Sunday, November 27, 2016

West Virginia White Water Rafting!

West Virginia

June 2016

 This June, we traveled four hours to Minden, West Virginia. We ended up at the Ace Adventure Resort! There are a million things to do there, but our main goal was white water rafting. Travelers included Kristin, Josh, Leah, and Josh's mom (Susan) and grandma (Barb). We stayed at one of the on-site cabins, and did an all day white water rafting trip.
Upper New River - All Day
The rapids on the Upper New River are perfect for newbies. Easy waves with just the right amount of splash.  Perfect for families, young adventurers, and those who want mild rapids.
  • Class I-III+ Rapids
  • Trip Length: 10.5 miles (All day)
  • Meals: Riverside Lunch
  • Minimum Age: 6

  • Our guide, Alex Bosh, was awesome! He took the time to make Leah feel comfortable and even jumped out of the boat to swim with her in the river. The riverside lunch was absolutely delicious...highly recommended. We got some great pictures of our trip and had an absolute blast!

    Adventure is out there!

    Leah, Barb, and Kristin hanging out by the bonfire...wait...I don't think we ever got it started!
    Leah standing on the cabin porch...loving every minute!

    Leah and Daddy setting up the bonfire.

    Still enjoying herself!

    In Upper New River during our riverside lunch.

    Leah had way too much fun making Bigfoot calls...and even more fun when some local turkeys kept responding!

    Four generations!

    Josh really did try to get the bonfire going. It was just too wet!

    You can barely see Leah's head at the front of the boat during this class III rapid! I'm pretty sure she got a mouthful of water on this one!

    She loved paddling!

    Leah and Daddy

    Leah got to ride "Princess"

    The master of white water rafting!

    Kristin and Barb enjoying some down-time.

    Leah and her bad-ass grandmas!

    Mimi always plans great trips for Leah!

    Ready for action!

    Excited to get the show on the road!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hello, Hawaii!

We started off the week on Friday, July 31st at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Big Island, Kona side. The hotel was BEAUTIFUL. We ate dinner at Brown's Beach House right on the beach, and our reservations were at sunset.
View from our table at Brown's Beach House!

Josh and I were also celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. There is no place like celebrating in Hawaii!

The next morning we were up at about 4:00 am. Hawaii time is 6 hours behind Ohio time, so that took awhile to get used to. We spent our morning at Pauoa Bay at the hotel. Leah played in the sand and the adults got some awesome snorkeling time. We saw a ton of fish, and two sea turtles. One even popped his head up out of the water about four feet from us!
Leah and Mimi Susan on the beach at 5:00 in the morning!
Leah in Pauoa Bay.
The only snorkeling picture we got! Me and my dad - Josh is in the background.

After snorkeling, we headed to good, old Walmart to grab some groceries and head to the Hilo side of the island. We stayed in a rental home in Ninole.
This picture is actually just the pool house! The actual house was almost 10,000 square feet and gorgeous! 

On Sunday, it was so RAINY! We headed about 20 miles south of the house to hike Akaka Falls. We were pretty soggy, but I think it is better hiking in the rain than in the heat.  
Here is a picture of the three of us and below is a picture of Leah and Mimi Barb.

On Monday, we headed back to the Kona side of the island to visit Hapuna Beach, one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It was beautiful...except for the poisonous, centipede-looking creatures rolling around in the ocean! After the beach, we drove to the Kona Brewing Company for lunch and did some shopping on Ali'i Drive.

On Tuesday, a small group of us went Zip Lining at Umauma Falls. It was SO MUCH FUN ziplining over waterfalls and lava tubes. I don't have any pictures at the moment - we only had the underwater camera - but hoping to have some to post soon!

Wednesday was another rainy day on our side of the island. 
However, rainy days make beautiful rainbows! This was our view while sipping our morning coffee.
Later that day, the skies cleared and we were able to view Waipio Valley. Great view and great history!

Thursday was just a "lay by the pool day". The 6 hour transition was catching up with us and we were very tired!
This was our last day before flying back home on Saturday, but this was a great day. We started off at Volcano National Park. We were able to see the volcano, walk through lava tubes, and take a hike on Devastation Trail.    

Our next stop was Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Not only was the black sand awesome, but there were a ton of sea turtles that made their way to the shore.
Walking on lava!

Celebrating 12 years!

Fun on the beach!

Up close with sea turtles.

There were SO many more pictures we took, but this was just a glimpse of the week. We had a wonderful time in our 9th state as a family. What's in store for next year??? 



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Disney World!

We Made It To Disney World!

Our trip to Disney World was awesome to say the least! We stayed at the new Art of Animation resort in the Little Mermaid room. Along with us on the trip were my parents, Josh's mom, Susan, and my brother Joe and his family. We visited all four parks, and ate every breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Disney characters. Leah turned 4 on Wednesday, June 11th. We all had dinner at Cinderella's Castle to celebrate. But, you know Disney...her birthday was a week-long celebration!

Magic Kingdom
  Our first stop was Magic Kingdom. We spent two full days at this park and it was a blast!

 Leah was really pumped the first day, but a little overwhelmed! I don't think she realized at the time that we would be coming back for more fun again and again!

 She got the hang of things pretty fast! She loved riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We ended up riding it twice while we were there. Once during the day, and again at night.
 Splash Mountain was her favorite ride, by far! We rode this ride twice as well. Our little dare devil had to ride right up front!

 We definitely had to make a few princess stops along the way. Ariel was so friendly and spent a lot of time with Leah in her Cove.
 Tiana and Prince Naveen were also entertaining. It is amazing how much time the characters spent with her to really make her feel special and important. We never felt rushed when meeting characters. Prince Naveen was our favorite...he was hilarious!

Our second stop was Epcot on Day 2. By this time, Leah was starting to realize that the fun was just beginning. 

 Epcot was neat for all of us. There were plenty of things to keep Leah entertained and a lot of cool things for the grown ups too!

Our first character stop was with Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie. She was shy at first, but couldn't stop talking about it all day!

Goofy was AWESOME. Again, all the characters spent so much time with her. Goofy took the time to dance with her to bring her out of her shell. She couldn't stop smiling and laughing!

She ran right into Minnie's arms!
   We ate lunch today at the Akershus Banquet Hall in Epcot. Leah got her picture taken with about 6 Disney Princesses and her autograph book signed. She even got a signed birthday card from all of the princesses! The best part, though, was the Princess Parade...she got to help lead the parade with Princess Aurora herself!

Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
Both of these parks were just ok. We visited them briefly. Animal Kingdom was basically rained out and Hollywood Studios didn't have a ton to do. Here are a few pictures!

This was the day Leah kind of pooped out. It was Thursday, and I think she needed a break. She was hot (we all were) and tired. She looked like a little wilted flower!

We ate breakfast at the Disney Jr. restaurant and were the first family of the day to be seated. We got a standing ovation at the door from the staff and were the first people to meet the characters!

Even dancing with Olaf didn't help!

Happy Birthday, Leah!
Leah turned 4 on Wednesday! And boy, does Disney knows how to celebrate in style! First Leah got a call from Mickey and Minnie singing Happy Birthday.

Next, she got a special delivery...Balloons, a signed picture from Minnie Mouse, and a stuffed Nala from The Lion King!

We started our day off at the Contemporary Hotel  at Chef Mickey's with the whole family.

Papa, Emma, and Leah with Minnie Mouse!
Leah and Pluto!

We spent the rest of the day in Magic Kingdom, riding every roller coaster Leah was tall enough for! 

 Daddy and Leah on Goofy's Barnstormer Roller Coaster!

Finally, we ended up at Cinderella's Palace for Leah's birthday dinner.

Meeting Cinderella for the...third? time this week!

Making a wish with our magic wands!

Singing Happy Birthday to Leah for the...100th? time this week!