Darien Lake: Our Visit

*articles may contain affiliate links* I worked with Darien Lake through a blogger partnership with US Family Guide. They sent us tickets for a visit in exchange for this post.

Summer is all about family fun and memories, right? Well, our fall has started and I’m really confused by the weather – it’s still been a bit steamy in Pittsburgh! We took advantage of this nice weather one weekend in September and took the kids and my bestie for a getaway to New York. One part of our visit was to Darien Lake amusement park, a highly suggested quick road trip from the Pittsburgh area!

(Note – if you’d like to visit Darien Lake, you’ll need to wait until 2018. Their Harvest Festival ran September 16 – October 1, extending the summer fun just a ‘lil bit!)

With plenty to do for kids and adults, I really felt this was the best park for our kids’ age range (2 to almost 9). Just like any good park, you enter through a midway of games, shops, and food, but once you get past that the entire park is walkable and not too spread out. The smaller kiddo area (Beaver Brothers Bay) is sort of in the middle of all the excitement, so if parents need to split up the older kids, it is nice and easy.

There really wasn’t anything ride-wise that we didn’t get to do in about 5 hours on a relatively quiet Sunday “fall” afternoon at the amusement park. Like I noted, we visited during the Harvest Festival; however, we never did get a chance to head over to the area with the food trucks and beer. (The kids were having too good of a time!)

Greg and Tom got to experience The Viper which celebrated its 35th “birthday” this summer. Greg says, “It was fun, it was pretty intense and I didn’t stop yelling until we came to a stop!” With several loops and a tunnel, it definitely belongs in Darien Lake’s “Thrill Ride” category!

Darien Lake The Viper

Missy and I kept things pretty low key, enjoying watching the kids but also laughing lots on Grizzly Run, a wet ride on “rapids”. (I’d really been wanting to ride a rapid ride with Greg, this was our first chance to do this because our local park closes our rapids down for the fall!)

We ended the day with a classic fish pond game, too! Our trip to Darien Lake was definitely full of fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’d like to visit Darien Lake, check out their website for details on the 2018 season!

Road Trip Ready

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) Today’s post, Family of Six: Road Trip Ready, is going off the June BlogHer “NaBloPoMo” theme / prompt, what do you do to get ready for a trip?. I think it’s going to take some skill. Getting a family of 6 ready for a trip will be no small feat. Luckily, this week, we get to experience it for the first time.

Back it up four years ago to this first post about preparing for a trip. We packed everything but the kitchen sink. Now that our Durango will be filled with six humans, there is limited space so we won’t be packing as much this time around.

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Road Trip Ready

Here are the five things I am planning on doing to make our first REAL road trip a success*:

1. Create a packing list.

As a planner, the list will have to be on paper and be accompanied by a pen to cross everything off as it gets packed. The list will be in sections – what to pack in the adult bag, big kid bag, and twins’ bag, as well as any additional baggage we might have. Additionally, the list will help ensure we don’t bring the kitchen sink and only the necessary items.

The Durango is spacious; however, the “trunk space” is completely taken up by our double stroller, so we have to utilize spaces in the seating sections of the truck, keeping in mind I may need to feed the girls bottles or break up a big kid fight as we drive down the highway. This list will be updated up to the moment we leave the house.

2017 Update – We are HUGE fans of using Trello to keep our lives organized. It’s a list that I can have on my PC and we both have on our phones. It’s really great for the whole teamwork side of parenting. If you have not used it yet, check it out today!

2. Charge electronics. “Back in the day”, this used to read go to AAA to get a map drawn up or go to MapQuest and print off a map, but today it means be sure your phone is charged so that you can use the GPS / Google Maps on it. Make sure the big kids have some type of electronic device charged and loaded with kid friendly apps that do not need to be on a network to run. Related, ensure we have been connected to WiFi as much as possible before to get the max life of our data plan + #1 should include “car chargers”.

Our must have chargers would be a Kanex GoPower Portable Battery or Fast Charging Car Charger (this one has an additional USB – PS, what did we ever do without fast charging?!?!). Both are available on Amazon, so if you’re reading this last minute, there is still time for you to jump over there and pick these up!

3. Make a road trip playlist. Greg and I both thrived on making epic road trip mix tapes and then CDs (again “back in the day”). Now, we can make an mp3 CD when we are taking the Durango or load one of our phones up with music if we are taking the van (thank goodness for bluetooth stereos!).

Traveling with four kids means that the music has to be somewhat kid-friendly for those moments when they break their headphones (happens every trip). Disney music or worship songs are usually good for this, then they fall asleep and the classics from our teenage-angsty years can come on.

4. Clean the car. Being stuck in a car that stinks of last month’s dirty socks is no fun. Bonus for cleaning all bodies that will be in the car as close to leaving as possible. Put in a car freshener that won’t make the passengers sneeze. For safety, clean all windows (inside and out) and check & adjust tire pressure. (Why are there always dirty socks when I clean out the cars?)

Bonus idea – After you clean those windows, put up a static cling car window shade so that the ‘lil ones’ noses don’t get sun burnt!

5. Prepare for Flexibility. Know that something is bound to go wrong. You’ll hit traffic or not leave when you want to. You’ll need to stop so your kid can pee on the roadside. Or maybe you’ll need to extract a chocolate chip from someone’s nose. These things happen.

Be prepared to eat on the go (have snacks on the list in #1) or adjust your planned arrival time. Don’t plan on leaving too close to your first planned activity — thanks to this one, we often end up leaving earlier than planned and have been known to roll into our destination with the sunrise (likely no longer happening with four kids).

What do YOU do to prepare for a road trip? 

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* Success of our road trip will depend on if we actually leave in a decent window of time compared to when I’d like to leave, if we have fun, and if we don’t forget the essentials (underwear and diapers).

 

Experience Columbus: Foodie Tips

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

Food is a necessity, but something I don’t always plan for when we vacation. This needs to change. Especially when I have a family that loves food. Our trip to Columbus didn’t involve much planning on my part because I really wanted to go with the flow and enjoy the weekend. I wanted flexibility to enjoy the convenience of eating at our hotel and to be able to jump up and join one of these ladies on their adventures and not be bound by a food choice.

IMG_3976(Pictured are Ashley 0f Momma on a Mission, Kelly of Pgh Momtourage, Nadine of The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, and (a desperately needing a haircut) me…not Pictured is Nicole of Champagne to Crayons.)

Here are my tips if you are heading to Columbus, Ohio and want to get some delicious food.

1. Use Social Media. I tweeted to @ExpCols and @cbusadventures in search of kid-friendly / local food (non chain). They were able to crowd source some great ideas, which we sadly did not indulge in. (I was looking for something near the zoo, but honestly, about a mile into the zoo I realized there was no dragging my kids out – Tandori Chicken flatbread, it was!) If you don’t ask, you’ll end up grabbing fast food or something familiar. Don’t do this! Enjoy.

2. Snack. No, I’m not just talking about bringing snacks so you don’t get HANGRYI mean enjoy small bites and indulgences of the local offerings. We were gifted with delicious treats from Buckeye Crunch, Shagbark Seed & Mill Corn Chips, CaJohn’s Raspberry Chipotle Salsa, and Pocket Change (Brownie Bites) from Sugardaddy’s. Yum.

3. Go for a good pizza. Yup, we try to eat healthy around here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t spring for a pizza every now and then. Throughout my travels, I always make it a point to grab up a local pizza and enjoy it. This time around, we went to OH Pizza and Brew, a quick walk from the hotel (and convention center). This was a new business, but full of amazing choices and flavors. The breading was light and fluffy, with fresh ingredients and barely any hints of grease. Perfection.

4. Splurge on some ice cream. Run, don’t walk, to a Jeni’s Ice Cream location near you. Thank goodness this cutesy ice cream shop has deals with grocery stores here in Pittsburgh because one small bite and I was in love. Fresh, local ingredients. You can taste the love in these “Splendid Ice Creams”. 

I’ll be heading back to Columbus in about a month and cannot wait to make some adult dining choices while there. So many great foodie options, so little time. Share with me YOUR favorites in Columbus…or your tips for experiencing the cities you travel (when it comes to food).

 

Experience Columbus: COSI

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

If you couldn’t already tell, we had a great time last weekend in Columbus. I’m kind of bouncing around with our story, but it keeps yinz on your toes, right? Today we’ll be sharing fun from our time at COSI, Columbus’s Center of Science and Industry.

The preface to this story is that our morning started out fun and relaxed. I went for a run, packed a few last minute things, woke up snoozing kiddos, and confirmed with my #PghMomBloggers friends that we’d be asking Drury for a late check out and heading to the pool. The skies were a little gray but sunny, so my family intended to be a ‘lil lazy then head to the Arts Festival before walking over to COSI . As we boarded the CBus, I noticed big black clouds rolling in and fast. Not 2 minutes after two of the other families got off the bus at German Village did the sky fall apart.

It was pouring rain and my happy mood snapped. We devised a plan to ride the bus back to the hotel area, Greg would get off the bus and get the car then meet us somewhere along the route. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much faith in his navigation skills / GPS, so we all got off the bus and ran in the rain to our hotel. I was not happy and it definitely impacted our time at COSI (sadly for me!).

Just a quick drive over a bridge from downtown, we were at COSI. Parking is $5 (unless you are a COSI member). I think that you can pay cash or card (or maybe even pay inside?) but we were sharing spaces with people who where there for the Arts Festival so parking was $10 and I was kinda at my limit for the day so I didn’t really pay much attention.

We got out of the car and the rain stopped. Marvelous. We did take our umbrellas, but once we got inside, Greg opted to take them back to the car so we could be more hands-on. (COSI has some super large lockers to hold your coats / bags / belongings, but they are square and our golf umbrellas didn’t fit.) (These are things I didn’t think I’d have to know as a parent before kids!)

Once we redeemed our tickets, we were given tags that were to be showing during the entire trip. Be sure you are prepared for this – belt loops (or shoelaces) work best to hold them. Evan, Greg, and I had one, but there was nowhere on Arianna to put her tag. She had to wear it on her wrist which had me worried the whole time, especially in the Oceans exhibit. I witnessed a few people losing theirs because they got them wet. 🙁 Here’s what I mean:

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Our first official exhibit stop was an area where the kids could build things with foam blocks. I plopped down on a bench and got comfy, happy to watch them play for awhile.

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The rest of the time at COSI was somewhat a blur because the crowd started growing and it was hard to let our ‘lil ones explore with a bunch of big kids running them over. Yup, Evan got knocked down at least twice while holding my hand and there were no apologies happening. I watched a kid who was about 9 running free fall flat on his face, no parent in sight to see if he was ok or to tell him to not run. Anxiety level was high (for me) and it was a weird role-reversal (as this is normally Greg’s gig — he was relaxed and quite enjoyed the day!).

What I do remember were these things I loved:
1. The Dreamscape portion of the Oceans exhibit had hands on water play activities that the kids LOVED.

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2. No “pooping” you, we played a “Who Pooped?” game.

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3. The Little Kidspace was full of hands-on things for kids through 1st grade – read perfect for our ‘lil Burghers. They check the number of adults and kids and you have to have a pass to enter and exit. Awesome for safety! There was also a water play area here that wowed us, and a kid-sized sink in the bathroom. Major wins for the day!

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All in all, the kids and Greg loved our time at COSI and have convinced me that I would too if I had just snapped out of it (and it hadn’t been raining and so busy). You can give it your own spin by visiting them in Columbus. Adult tickets start at $17.95 and kids are $12.95. There are lots of add-ons available, so be prepared to either say no or pull out your wallets and take on the full-blown experience. (Everything listed in this post was on the General Admission ticket.) More photos from our day can be found here.

My apologies as the Bitter Becky shines through – I was really unhappy with the way the weather didn’t cooperate, and this can definitely impact my opinions! We hope to head back to COSI when the kids are a ‘lil older and we can let them enjoy everything on a different level. I just didn’t have the patience to be the best mom I needed to be during this part of our trip. Boo!

This was my brain during our visit!

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Experience Columbus: Franklin Park Conservatory

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

It was the calm after the storm, just what we needed.

Our visit to Franklin Park Conservatory was right at the end of our Experience Columbus trip. So right at the end that I had to assure the ticket counter attendant that YES we REALLY wanted in even though we only had 45 minutes to enjoy. I really needed a calm event before our drive home (after a rain storm, almost dropping the best ice cream I’ve ever had, and a mild mama breakdown). Ahem.

And enjoy those 45 minutes of calm, we did. For 43.5 minutes, we explored the Blooms and Butterflies 20th Anniversary Exhibit. Our ‘lil butterfly fit right in.

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Greg spent most of that time trying to catch the brown butterfly that had gorgeous blue wings inside. It  was definitely worth his time, although I was using a smaller, tighter, slower lens and this was the best shot I got:

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Because normally it looked like this:

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Evan and I were busy looking at plants. While I love butterflies (and, fun fact, have a tattoo of one), one of my favorite memories as a kid was of when my mom would take our Campfire Kids / Buckeye Y troop to the botanical gardens in Fort Wayne. This girl is totally going to be that lady that once the kids are grown and the retirement check is coming in will be a gardener. We explored the beautiful plants like…

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With just over 2 minutes to spare, we left the butterfly exhibit and while I started at gorgeous glass sculptures, Greg and the kids looked at the butterfly life cycle part of the exhibit. I really wanted to see more plants, so rushed into one more room before we had to call it a day (and a weekend, boo hoo!). But it was amazing to have taken that peaceful time because…


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If I had to pick a “best moment” of the trip, it just might be the calm, quiet 45 minutes we got taking in nature’s beauty.

You can experience the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus on your own either by buying a ticket ($12 for adults, $6 for kids over 3) or including this as part of your Experience Columbus Roar and Explore Package like myself, The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, Champagne to Crayons, Momma on a Mission, and Pgh Momtourage got to do last weekend.

More photos from our trip can be found here on our Flickr page. If you know my husband and want to pass him a “hey, Becky’d love this gift” idea – tell him to pretty please take me back for alone time with the gorgeous plants, ok? 

Experience Columbus: Drury Hotels

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

By no means am was I a hotel snob. Nope, I can stay in pretty much any hotel and get comfortable (especially if it’s at 5:30 in the morning and I’ve driven through snow and ice to get there…hello, January vacation). But yinz guys. Why haven’t I stated at a Drury Hotels property before this past weekend? It’s definitely going to be my go-to when possible, and here are five reasons why.

1. Kickback. During our weekend in Columbus, we got to experience two of the fabulous Kickback events at Drury. This is a free (to hotel guests) buffet of hot and cold foods (think hot dogs, soup, salad, veggies, chips, pasta, and more) and three free adult beverages per night. Free. Per night. These totally went down very easily after a 3 hour road trip, lemme tell you. From 5:30 – 7:00 PM, you can indulge in this awesome event, one of the things that makes Drury’s already competitive price an even greater value.

 

kickback2. Quickstart Breakfast is served from 6 to 9:30 on weekdays and 7 to 10 on weekends. Of course, free food is a plus for us and the more the merrier. After my running adventures around Columbus, I’m not ashamed to admit I packed in several sausage patties and hot oatmeal. This is not your standard free hotel breakfast – it’s deluxe and included several options (eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, muffins, fruit, cereal, and more) plus the ‘Burghers’ all time favorite, Heinz ketchup to top it off. 😉

3. The beds and pools are for jumping in. Just reading this in the hotel info booklet made me smile (and made me do it, admittedly!). The beds were super soft and comfy – the kids and I had no trouble sleeping. (Greg is a different story when in an unfamiliar place, he was a security officer…) The pool was chilly, but it didn’t keep Arianna from jumping in and showing us her swimming skills. Evan, Greg, and I stuck to the edge and indulged in some hot tub time.

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4. Customer Service is incredible. Not once did I see an employee looking miserable at the location we stayed at. The Manager was super friendly and engaged our kids in conversation. He was on-board with us sticking around for a 12:00 checkout so the group’s kids could all enjoy some more pool time, too. Everyone who managed the front desk and operator line did so with a smile. As a customer service leader, it’s hard to blow me away…but they did.

5. Free, Free, and more free! Included in your stay at Drury Hotels are free wi-fi (awesome perk when your hotel is inhabited by mom bloggers who are trying to Instagram the experience left and right) / free soft drinks and popcorn from 3-10 pm / free TV upgrades like HBO / free parking (at most locations except the one we stayed at because it’s connected to the Columbus Convention Center).

If you’re traveling this summer, consider a stay with Drury Hotels. While I’ve only gotten to experience the one on Nationwide Boulevard in Columbus, Ohio, I am pretty certain you’ll head home like I did…sad to say goodbye to your hotel! Check out their property list and start checking of stays on your travel bucket list. Or, check out the Roar and Explore Package through Experience Columbus and get all the fun in one package (starting at $411 for a family of 4).

Experience Columbus: The Thriver’s Viewpoint

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

 

You guys. To tell you that this weekend was good would be a huge understatement. Unfortunately, it’s been what I’ve been telling people as they’ve asked me about it…because I am super tired and not really ready to be back into the real world (you know, the one where I work 8-12 hours a day, am training for who knows what run, and have a kindergartener). This post will be the first of several on how awesome our weekend was, and telling as to why it needs to happen with my ‘lil family more often.

First of all, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been on a three-year wellness journey. I want to be a thriver so I don’t have to say I am a survivor. During this journey, I’ve become focused on raising a happy and healthy family and building a better me. Secondly, you probably get the idea that I love food, and have to work hard to make a balance. So when I travel, I have to find ways to make these worlds work together. That’s why I do like to give a healthy spin on our trips (because otherwise, I’ll spend my time sick and have to work for weeks afterwards to reel it back in).

Here are the things that I did on this getaway to ensure this balance, my Thriver’s Viewpoint if you will:

 

1.    Pre-pack Snacks. I will be telling you about the snacks and meals consumed in another post, but I knew to stay on my schedule, I’d need to be prepared. That’s why I grabbed up healthy snacks for me (granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and bananas) and quick snacks for the kids while we were on the go and in the car. This made getting ready to head out for the days spent exploring the city.

2.    Keep on my exercise schedule. This meant getting up about an hour before my family did (they were so cute snoozing, it was tough!) and lacing up my shoes for a run both days. I wasn’t hard on myself, though. My pace slowed to over 12-minute miles because I was exploring things, taking pictures, and dealing with traffic lights. During these runs, I got to see minor details of the city that I would not have seen while juggling the kids. When I returned to breakfast, it made the amount of sausage consumed feel a bit better. I highly recommend runners check out the Scioto Mile while visiting Columbus and run along the river to see the sights I did along the way (see my photos below).

Running the Scioto Mile

3.    Wearing my FitBit. Between my running schedule and our walking around, it was easy to meet my step goal. At the same time, it was really nice to see how far we walked. The Zoo actually has a “HOOFit” Program that helps visitors meet their 10,000 step goal. If my steps around the zoo put me at over 8 miles walked, imagine how that felt on the ‘lil Burghers’ legs! Seeing the steps go up helped Greg and I adjust what we were putting the kids through and let us monitor break times. (More on why our steps were way over what the program shows will be in my post about the zoo!)

This fire station might be worth some extra steps...
This fire station might be worth some extra steps…

4.    Sleep. It’s easy on vacation to not rest, but this Mama needed it. Were we on our normal schedule? No. Did naps happen? No. But did I sleep when I needed it? Yes. Sometimes you just have to give in to the opportunities around you and rest.

Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.
Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.

5.    Hydrate. Our hotel had a fridge, but we didn’t realize that before our trip (lack of my research!). I wish we had brought a case of water, because we ended up spending the same amount on one bottled water out on our adventures as we would have if we’d bought a case. Lesson learned. But, hydration was necessary. I almost passed out at the zoo, thanks to the LOVELY heat wave we had, but it was too late to hydrate with water and I had to find some lemonade stat. (You might know that heavy feeling you can get with water when you’re dehydrated.) And keep the ‘lil ones hydrated, even if it means more trips to the bathroom. Just hope they don’t pull an Evan and have to go after you’ve been standing in line for an attraction for 40 minutes. *wink*

You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!
You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!

 

6.    Have Fun. This trip, I let go of the stress and really let myself shine. This just might have included a 10-minute session of jumping on the bed and giggling with the kids. It was proof that I need more time to be me and have fun!

More to come on what we loved about our trip, but hopefully these tidbits will give you thoughts about how to stick with a Thirver’s lifestyle while vacationing. Thank you, Experience Columbus, for giving us this opportunity.

WonderWorks (Myrtle Beach)

About six years ago, someone (who worked in construction) showed me a photo of a job he was about to start work on. It was an upside down house, but he couldn’t tell me more about it because it was “top secret”. Well, it was one of Myrtle Beach’s newer attractions, Wonderworks, and my family and I finally took the time to visit it last week.

Wonderworks Myrtle Beach
Wonderworks Myrtle Beach

First of all, if we hadn’t bought a “Playcation” pass (which got us into several attractions), I would not have thought twice about paying the admission rate ($22.99) because “it’s just a house”. Second of all, I would have been sorely wrong to have made that decision. The price is NOTHING compared to the value you get for going, let me tell you. Pay it. Package it up. I don’t care. Just do it.

It doesn’t matter if you have young kids (talking 2+ here), tweens, teens, or no kids at all. We had a blast and I’ll definitely be going back.

For Evan (3), there were plenty of bubbles to go around. And around. And around. He probably spent thirty minutes in this area (although he liked other attractions such as the basketball arcade-style game) making bubble after bubble with Grandma.

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And our five-year-old Arianna simply loved it all. Of course, there were some things over her head science-wise, but she touched, pushed, stepped, rode, and did every thing she could. Not being 42 inches, she had a minor pout-down over not being able to ride a virtual ride, but there’s always next time.

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Us adults probably had the most fun. Imagine being a kid in an arcade and not needing tokens. That’s exactly what it was like. Virtual rides, sports simulators, interactive games, bed of nails, ropes course…it was all free with admission. Besides mildly freaking out on the ropes course (I did four obstacles then QUIT), I had a great night.

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(I would have been on this with him, but our combined weight is over the weight limit – darn!)

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If Greg and I still lived in Myrtle Beach, it would definitely be a date destination. We could have “played” for hours!

With over 100 attractions, there surely is something for everyone. If you’re traveling to Myrtle Beach (or any of the other locations with a WonderWorks), definitely include this on your to-do list. You can read more on their website: http://www.wonderworksonline.com

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Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by WonderWorks. I decided to write about our experience after we enjoyed it like we did. When I can’t pull Greg away, it’s definitely worth a review! 😉

 

Living Well: Eating While Traveling

One of the toughest things to do while trying to lose or maintain weight is eating while traveling. Especially when you are a foodie or traveling for a week or more without a fridge.

This happened to me last week, and I thought it might be good to open discussion on travel eating tips. Here are the ones I have…but then I have some questions, too. Definitely looking for comments on this post!

– Plan Ahead. I brought snacks with me, especially protein. Knowing I didn’t have a fridge, it had to be a lot of processed foods (boo) and nuts. Bulk granola, dried fruit, peanut butter, and oatmeal came along, too. I wish I had brought more fruit once I got to my destination, but live and learn.

– Protein. Have it at every meal. It will give you a lot more energy than empty carbs, coffee, or caffeine. Before this last trip, I thought protein cravings were a thing only I experienced, but I found others who feel this way, too. Listen to your body!

– Take snacks with you while at meetings, sightseeing, flying, or in the car. You may not have control over when a snack or meal is offered. Or, if your conference runs out of lunches an hour before they should have. I’ve been there, and I am not a happy person without my food.

– Portion Control. I’ve traveled to places with great food. I’ve sampled food. It is all about keeping portions in check to stay on track.

– Hydrate. I drink lots, and amp it up while traveling. I still dry out like a crocodile and it is not pretty.

Questions:
– How do you handle eating in time zone changes? Traveling from east to west coast definitely messed with my head and body.

– What snacks do you bring along?

– Do you keep the activity balanced to the food? (I ran twice and logged almost 20k steps a day.)