For my very first National Park review, I started with one from home. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located in Northern Ohio near Cleveland. It is a beautiful park to visit for hikes, biking, and family fun. I have been to several of United States National Parks, so I do have a little bit of information that I can compare with as far as which National Parks are the best and why. There is a bit of background information required. I went to the park on February 22, 2018. I went to the park for 1 day (about 5 hours). The temperature was between 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit and it was very rainy the entire day. It had also been rainy that entire week so trails were muddy and the water was flowing & high. I want to dig right into some tips for the park, some information that might be useful to you, and the trails that I hiked:
If you’re looking for a fun place to stay while vacationing near Sandusky, look no further than Kalahari Resorts. Kalahari Resorts and conventions, America’s largest indoor water parks, resorts & convention centers, is a great place for family-friendly fun, a holiday party, a birthday bash, or a business meeting. Kalahari offers an indoor water park, outdoor water park, almost 900 hotel rooms, a convention center so big that it took me almost 6 months of working in it that I didn’t get lost just walking through it, an arcade with activities including mini bowling, laser tag, & more, a serene spa, and all sorts of restaurant, bar, and retail options. Considering I have worked at Kalahari, I may be a little biased; however, I also know lots of tips and secrets and would recommend coming to Kalahari for a vacation to anyone I know!
I've worked as a waitress/bartender for 4 years straight now and I've wanted to share this post for awhile but wasn't sure it was related to travel enough. However, I think it's important for foreigner and non-foreigners alike to know how the restaurant business works considering on your travels (if your a foodie and spirit lover like me) you'll be dining out at least a few times. I've worked in corporate restaurants, dive bars, fine dining, resort restaurants, banquet service, and a bar that literally serves drinks at $30 per drink, so I'm certainly used to a variety of customers. One thing that doesn't change is the way the service industry works.
In this week’s blog, I’ve gathered quite a lengthy list of places I’d like to check out in each of the United States. In the upcoming months, I plan to be on the road extensively and I wanted a reference list for each state. This is so that when I know I’m headed to South Dakota in a week, I can look at that specific state’s list and say “Great, I’ll go here, here, & here.” Some things have not been put on the list because I’ve either been there already, it’s too expensive, or I’m unaware that it exists. If you’re reading my blog and see something missing that you think is vital to my living, please share so that I can add it to my own list and check it out for myself. These are all destinations that are relatively popular already and I’d love for anyone to share some of their favorite local spots that I may have forgotten. I won’t drag on any longer because you’ve got a LONG list ahead of you (and so do I)!
This week’s blog will be relatively short and sweet. I have several new series I want to start for this next year and this is among them. I have my official bucket list, but I also have an ongoing list of things that I’d like to do on my off time. They may not be life changing, but they make my life whole. Some examples may include trying that new deli that everyone’s been talking about, visiting a local travel destination I saw on my Instagram Explore feed, or going to a unique new bar that has crafty spirits. So, I always have new things that I want to try out. When I wrote my “What to do in Ohio” blog, I was blown away by all of the things that my friends shared that I’ve never done or places I’ve never seen in Ohio. My ‘to-do’ list for Ohio got a whole lot longer. To get to the point of all of this, I was writing the Ohio blog and I was typing out the words ‘Cuyahoga Valley State Park…’ hmm, that sounds wrong. This, literally one week ago, was when I discovered there was a National Park within 45 minutes of where I live and I didn’t even know it! We literally traveled all over our beautiful country in search of every National Park we could hit on the way, meanwhile not ever going to Cuyahoga Valley National park; but worse, not even knowing it was a National Park. This is when I filed away another new ‘to-do’ list in the old noggin. My newest ‘to-do’ list is to try and see every National Park that United States has to offer. This is also the start of a new series I’d like to host where, after I go to each National Park, I write a blog covering the trails, transportation, parking, traffic, hikes, etc. To start the newest series off, I’d like to list, by state, every National Park that U.S.A. has to offer.
As we come into the New Year and I develop my blog, I’m working on a new series. I’d like to hit every state and share some of the most popular destinations and some of the hidden gems that only the locals know about. I’ve used search engines asking “What to do in *insert destination here.*” Oftentimes, this question results in the most popular destinations or “tourist traps” in said area. I love a good tourist trap, it became that way for a reason, whether it be incredible food, fun activities, or beautiful scenery; however, I also like to wander off the beaten track every once in awhile and step away from the crowd.
They say “write what you know;” the funny thing is, I haven’t even been to half of these places even after living here almost 25 years. However, I have been to quite a few and thanks to my fellow Facebook friends, I have a wonderful list of tourist destinations and not-so-touristy destinations for you to visit on your next trip to Ohio. As a northern state, Ohio tends to be pretty “seasonal.” A lot of these places will be busier in the summer months, stay slow during fall and spring, and oftentimes be closed during winter. Ohio has a very nice summer, not too hot or humid; but beware of the weather station because it almost always gets it wrong. I’ll share pertinent websites, information and opinions if I have been to the location. Some of the locations I had heard of and some of them were shared by friends. There’s hiking, biking, waterfalls, skiing, snowboarding, sailing, boating, camping, drinking, and beaching. There’s something for everyone in Ohio!
As we wrap up the holidays and are coming into the New Year, I think a lot about the year behind me; the things I did, the things I didn’t do, and the things I wish I had done. In my travels I’ve made a lot of mistakes and there were things that could have turned out better. It’s all about how you look at things, though. We’ve had plenty of things go bad and instead of letting them ruin our vacation, we’ve found ways to turn them around.
Today, I’m going to talk about some of the things that have gone so terribly wrong with our adventures and how we handled them. Keep in mind that this isn’t an extensive list and that we often don’t consider mild things a big issue, but that we do in fact experience mild issues as well such as terrible traffic, rude people, colds, bad customer service, no parking, etc. Some other minor issues we experienced include:
In last week’s blog I discussed how we budgeted for 2 months of travel across the U.S.A., but what I didn’t discuss is how we saved the money in the first place. It’s not easy saving over $7,000. So, this blog post isn’t so much as a travel blog, but more of a money saving guide in order to help you travel more!
To get right down to it, we spent around $7,300 for 55 days of travel time around the U.S.A. The bad news is I don’t have a detailed account of how we spent it. I DID! But the documents saved to my phone that listed every single penny we spent, drowned in the Colorado River about a week before we got home. SAVE YOUR DOCUMENTS, FOLKS. Everything that follows are estimates; however, they are very well guessed estimates because during the entirety of the trip, I was writing down everything we spent money on and keeping track. Read on for information about how we spent our money during our travels.
One of the things that make me happiest in life is my bucket list. It’s a reminder to me of the things I’ve already done in life and the things I still want to do in life. There have literally been times where I’ve been down, feeling lost on what I should be doing in life and A.J. will say “let’s do something on the bucket list” (Best Husband Award!), I pull it out and it cheers me right up. This is why you and everyone else need to write one of these things TODAY! As a planner and goal oriented girl, I love having a bucket list because it prioritizes what’s truly important to me in life; it gives focus to what I want to achieve, places I want to see, and things I want to do. So, what is a bucket list? A bucket list is a list of things you would like to do before you die. Some people list things they want to achieve before a certain age. Everyone’s bucket list will obviously differ quite a bit in things they want to achieve and how many items are on it. Read on to see what I’ve included in my bucket list and how you can make your own!