If you stop and look around, no matte what part of the country you are in, you will have the opportunity to experience different cultures. From the Deep South to the bustle of New York to California, Texas, and all the way in between, there is a pulse of a different culture. You get to experince different foods, sights, and different amazing parts of our wonderful country.
Travel on direction and see the ocean, mountains and snow. Another takes you through plains to the rolling hills and down to the desert. From the Gulf to the maple trees in Vermont, there is something to see and experience. You don’t need a passport, a lot of money or even a plan. Pack up. Drive out and see what this country has to offer.
Learn about a new culture, whether it’s tasting local seafood to the best barbecue in the country, step out of your bubble and look around. Scale the Rockies, wander through the desert, hike the Smoky Mountains, see the whales in Oregon, have fresh lobster in Maine, the list goes on.
How lucky are we to have a world at our fingertips and we can experience so much right in our own backyard.
Check out my USA Travels Board, where I can’t wait to explore in Florida and my bucket list for Weekend getaways all on Pinterest. I also have a board of places I have traveled and my favorite pictures of some of the amazing natural sights in the States. Snoop around!
We took our kids to their first ever baseball game in Tampa, FL this last weekend. Boy, did we have a blast. Between playing “I Spy” in the truck on the way down to surprised looked on the lady’s face at McD’s when L. ordered 10 sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits (for the the 5 of us) we all enjoyed a much needed vacation.
So our first stop before hitting the ball park was Ferg’s Sports Bar And of course, I had to order their Ahi Tuna Nachos. Don’t those look amazing! It was heaven for my taste buds. Not too spicy to where I was sweating, but just a good kick to let you know the wasabi was there. If you are looking for a great place to chill before the game, check them out. It’s two blocks from the park, and totally worth the stop.
Who doesn’t love sting rays? Tropicana Field has it’s own Sting Ray Tank where you can pet the sting rays while overlooking the field. Pretty awesome and totally family friendly.
Tropicana Field is a completely enclosed stadium. Which, at the end of June in Southern Florida, is a blessing. We got there early enough to watch the Yankees in batting practice before the game.
The view from our seats! For $40 per person, we were left field by the foul ball post. No blocks in our view and close enough to see all the action and still stay within our budget. (Look, Yankee players!)
Another great view from our seats.
That is real dirt out there. It was cool to watch them prep the field before the game.
Let’s play ball!
I have been to hockey games, football games, and baseball games. The atmosphere for a baseball game is like none other. They hold true to the saying that baseball is America’s Greatest Past time, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Field sure to make it a family friendly event. The Yankee fans around us, and there were a ton of Yankee fans, were amazing and friendly. One group got the whole stadium to participate in the wave. Even though the Yankees lost that weekend game series, everyone was in good spirits. All our of kids loved it and me and the Mr. were happy to introduce them to the greatest game ever played.
One of the perks of living this close to the Gulf is the abundance of fishing we get to do. We are horrible fisher people. We can’t catch anything really work keeping when we fish from the marina or piers, but the boys love it and I enjoy watching the sunset. So it’s a win-win for all of us.
One night we took my Grams out to the Panama City Marina so the men/boys could fish and we could get her out of the house. Miraculously, for Florida, it was not very humid and very nice. We didn’t die sitting outside for once. And the sunset made it worth it. If you look closely, those tiny little buildings is actually Panama City Beach.
Okay, so this one does not include a sunset or even the Gulf, but dang I love these three. (This is Deerpoint Lake, still no luck fishing fresh water.)
Father’s Day weekend we took the family and Grams out to Mexico Beach Pier to do some fishing and relaxing. It was pretty busy that night, and Grams got to see a few little sharks up close and personal. We still didn’t catch anything worth keeping, even with all the junk we brought to fish. But any night with my crew is a night well spent.
We were even treated with a little visitor..Hello Mr. Sea Turtle.
And another beautiful Florida sunset.
Sometimes the best memories are right outside your front door. You don’t need a lot of money or have to travel far if you know where to look. With a family of 5, we are always looking for free fun. Get outside, get some fresh air, and make some memories. Those are the ones they won’t forget.
Every year we go camping and see the Christmas lights. This year we went to Tifton, GA to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historical Museum for a Victorian Christmas.
We spent the day exploring the museum and learning about the agriculture of the 1800s. At night we took the Polar Express to the North Pole to see Santa.
We slept in a tent (and boy was it cold!) which gave my kids the same experiences that I had as a kid. I love taking my kids on new adventures.
Tifton, GA is about three hours from home. The Museum is really neat and there are some great guides to explain all the buildings. My kids even learned how they made corn meal.
The gift shop offered turpentine, local honey and canned goods. Totally with the trip and the cold nights.
Where’s your favorite place to see Christmas lights? Any family traditions that you are passing down to your kids?
It’s been just beautiful here in Florida. Warm days and cool nights make for some great hiking weather. Today my family and I hiked through the Garden of Eden Trail in the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. It was an amazing hike but not for the faint of heart.
3.75 miles round trip showcasing some of Florida’s natural foliage and wildlife. This hike is strenuous and I would not recommend for small children.
*This novice hiker nearly puked on some of the inclines but I pushed through and feel amazing for it. And the River Loop is definitely worth it.
Check out the National Conservancy website for more information on Florida hikes.
While I miss the mountains, this was an excellent hike and worth the trip.
Garden of Eden is north of Bristol, Florida (one hour west of Tallahassee)
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Growing up in Missouri and Wyoming, my family spent most long weekends and summer breaks at the lake. We are carrying on that tradition with my kids. Our family, all 12 of us, loaded up two campers, two jet skis and two kayaks and spent the weekend playing at Lake Seminole.
Now while I love the beach, the lake was the perfect spot to take out the jet skis. The water was smooth and the weather was perfect. Only and hour and half from Panama City, FL, it was the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.
I think we have found our next great camping spot. Where’s yours?
I try to hold true to this statement and once a year take my kids on a trip. This summer, however, we did not plan any vacations or trips. We were just going to be homebodies and enjoy what our town had to offer.
Life had other plans. The boyfriend has family in Indiana and decided last minute we were going to take a roadtrip and spend the week in the Midwest.
12 hour drive later, the kids and I woke up to the sun rising over the corn fields and windmills greeting us a good morning.
We spent the week exploring the bfs hometown. From eating pizza in a double decker bus to venturing out to see waterfalls, we had a blast.
Stops included the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Swimming in the river in Liberty, IN. And a bonfire watching the sunset over the farmlands.
The trip home included a stop at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY and a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.
While a trip to farm country may not seem exciting, it’s all about who you travel with. My kids got to experience another state and I got to learn more about what makes my man tick.
No trip is ever boring when it’s with the ones you love. So get out and explore. You never know what you might learn.
Spring Break is next week here in Panama City. Usually we are off on an adventure during Spring Break, but this year we have company so we are doing a staycation while my friend gets to experience a new adventure.
I think one of the best things about having someone visit us is being able to show them all the cool spots and beaches like a tour guide. I get to relive the excitement all over again.
Three days packed with different beach spots, restaurants and of course shopping. I love a good adventure, but I also love sleeping in my own bed. I get the best of both this next week.
Anyone else enjoying a little Staycation this Spring Break?
I am a mountain girl at the very core of my being. While I do claim land mermaid status, my soul longs for the mountains. Seeing the mountains out of my parent’s mini van windshield meant we were almost to my grandmother’s house. As I had gotten older, and we had moved to Wyoming, seeing the mountains was an every day occurrence. We traveled those Rocky Mountain ranges every year, at least twice a year to see my grandparents. My life has always been in the mountains. My soul is happy in the valley of those towering, snow-capped ranges.
The mountains are calling, and I must go.
In two weeks my feet will touch Colorado soil after close to 5 years. Far too long. I will get to spend a brief, but wonderful week of Thanksgiving with my grandparents, in the valley of the San Juan Mountains. My soul will find it’s rest. It is weary.
There are never enough words to express my love for the mountains. The crisp breeze of fall, the rustling of the leaves as they flitter off the Aspen trees. The snowy hills and the creatures that roam free and quiet in the stillness. There is a quiet unlike any other, one that refreshes and restores.
I belong in the mountains. It is calling me home. 2 weeks to go. My heart is about to burst at the thought. Adventure awaits. Take me home.