postheadericon Symmes Chapel aka {Pretty Place}

pretty-place

 

There are no words for how beautiful this chapel is!  It sits atop of Standing Stone Mountain and offers breathtaking views as far as your eye can see!  It also marries more than 100 couples per year, wow!

If you’re visiting Dupont State Forest it’s only a short drive away.  It is located at the YMCA Camp Greenville in Cleveland, SC.

 

pretty-place

 

pretty-place

 

symmes-chapel

postheadericon Visiting Epcot with Kids

Epcot

 

Epcot may not be the first park you think of when you’re planning your trip to Disney, but it should definitely be on your list!  Although it doesn’t have the big roller coasters that are so attractive at the other parks, it has something that the other parks do not….Worldly Experience!  Out of all the other theme parks we’ve been to, Epcot does the best job of sharing these other countries with you in a way that keeps both adults and kids engaged!  Does it have the same ‘magic’ that Magic Kingdom does, no, but it has many other reasons to fall in love with it all the same!

 

epcot

You Don’t Want to Miss

 

The park is big and it’s broken into two sections, the World Showcase which features 11 different countries and the Future World which has the rides and other things geared for families.

The World Showcase has 11 countries circled around a giant lagoon.  You won’t find a lot of thrilling rides in this section, but there are several movies, boat rides, and shows that will give you an overview of the country that you’re in!  The pace is slow and there is much to see and take in!

What we loved most about this area is that families can eat and drink around the world and kids can keep entertained by exploring all that each country has to offer!  Two things we especially enjoyed were  The American Adventure and Go Behind the Great Wall in China!

 

In the World Showcase you’ll find Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada!

 

World Showcase

 

 

Countries in Epcot

 

China

 

World Showcase Show

 

 

Future World is where most of the rides are located!  Some are stand alone rides and others are in Pavilions with much to see in each one!

Epcot’s most popular rides include:

  • Soarin:  It’s safe to say that this is the most popular ride at Epcot.  You’re seated in a row of seats and taken on a ride across the world!  You’ll see places like San Francisco, The Grand Canyon, the California Coast, Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park, and other awesome places!
  • Spaceship Earth:  This ride is inside the iconic Epcot ball and shows you how human communication has evolved since the beginning of time!
  • Test Track:  This was a favorite among my girls.  On this ride you get to build your vehicle and then take a long, fast ride!
  • Mission Space:  This ride offers both a simulated version and a version for those who experience motion sickness or have other health concerns.

 

Other things we enjoyed besides the rides were the Circle of Life movie and the Living with the Land indoor boat ride.  The Circle of Life is a 20 minute film featuring Timone and Pumba from The Lion King.  It focuses on environmental responsibility and is perfect for school-aged children!  Living with the Land is a boat ride through a greenhouse that shows you have farming and agriculture has evolved.  It’s fascinating to see how they are growing so much of the food they serve at the theme park!

 

 

Soarin

 

 

Mission Space

 

 

Photo Spot at Epcot

 

 

 

The New FastPass + = Not My Favorite

This one could be considered a good or bad depending on your style, but in my opinion, I am not a fan of the new Fastpass+ system!  We are not the type of family that plans trips months or even weeks in advance so making reservations for rides is just totally out of the question for us!  I don’t know weeks or even days ahead of time what rides we will want to go on and at what time.  We are a fly by the seat of our pants family and enjoy unplugging from technology when we’re on vacation.  We do not enjoy having to rely on it to change or make reservations on an app.  For families like us, this just doesn’t work!  Also, as a ‘day of’ type of family having to go to only a couple designated kiosks was  a royal pain in the butt!  Most of the more popular rides had either been unavailable or had come back times that didn’t work for us….it feels more business than pleasure!

 

Tips

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.  The park is very large (twice the size of Magic Kingdom) and requires a lot of walking
  • Allow plenty of time to rest, eat, drink, etc.
  • Don’t go expecting the same things you expect at Magic Kingdom
  • While many guidebooks say to map out your day and have a plan, know that it’s OK to go with the flow, too! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

postheadericon Eternity Bay / Halona Cove – Oahu, HI {Photography}

Eternity-Beach

 

 

eternity-beach

 The Halona Cove Beach / Eternity Bay is located near the Halona Blowhole and Sandy Beach in Oahu, Hawaii

 

eternity-beach

 

eternity-beach

Halona-Cove

eternity-beach

postheadericon Sandy Beach Park – Oahu, HI {Photo Essay}

Sandy-Beach-Park-Hawaii

 

Sandy-Beach

 

Rainbow-Sandy-Beach

 

Waves

 

Sunrise-Sandy-Beach

postheadericon Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – Hotel Review

Hilton-Hawaiian-Village

 

Visiting Hawaii (Oahu) with Kids – Hilton Hawaiian Village

Choosing the right area to stay in can be a tough decision.  Between the famous North Shore and Turtle Bay area, the beautiful and peaceful Ko’Olina area on the Leeward Coast, the breathtakingly stunning Kailua area on the Windward Coast, or the infamous Waikiki Beach area in Southern Oahu the choices are endless.

After hours of searching hotels and trying to decide the best fit for our family we decided to stay in Waikiki Beach -a bustling beach city full of life!  We chose Hilton Hawaiian Village because of it’s sprawling grounds, multiple pools, lagoon, and wide beautiful stretch of beach.  It’s also within walking distance to shopping, dining, and entertainment.

 

Did you Know:  The North Shore is an infamous spot that attracts surfers from around the world, but those big waves do not happen in the summertime.  They are in the winter months (November-February).  Summer waves are gentle making it a perfect spot for beginners.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Campfire Lodgings ~ Review by Travel and Photography Today

Campfire Lodgings

 

Campfire Lodgings Mountaintop Camping – Asheville, NC

Located just minutes from downtown Asheville, NC, Campfire Lodgings was a perfect place for our first trip in the new travel trailer!  It offeres paved back-in sites with full hookups and each site has a grill and picnic table.  The premium sites have a million dollar view (pictured above) and the other sites are just a short walk from the open common area so everyone can enjoy it.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Kayaking in Hilton Head

Kayaking with Dolphins Hilton Head Island

Kayaking with Dolphins in Hilton Head

Who:  Spencer, Myself, and our two girls.

What:  Kayaking the pristine waterways and inlets of Hilton Head Island.

When/Where:  First thing in the morning on Broad Creek.

Why:  Our goal was to see dolphins in their natural habitats.  Mission accomplished!

If you are looking for a fun and active way to get on the water and see dolphins in their natural habitat in Hilton Head consider renting kayaks and paddling the calm inlets of the island!  We chose Kayak Hilton Head and renting two tandem kayaks for two hours.  This gave us more than enough time to explore the waterways and see a lot of gentle, slow moving dolphins right next to our kayaks!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Maui with Kids: Amazing Stay @ Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

 

On our recent trip to Maui we decided to stay at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa for the second time!  A couple years ago my husband and I stayed here and fell in love with the resort and knew when we returned with our kids we’d want to stay again!

One of the most popular beaches on Maui is Kaanapali Beach and Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is perfectly situated at the end where black lava rock meets the ocean.  This popular snorkeling spot known as Black Rock is one of the many reasons we love this resort!   When you combine comfortable rooms, expansive grounds, an amazing pool, and a beach that offers both a sandy bottom and amazing snorkeling with a beautiful tropical reef and fish you have to perfect recipe for an unforgettable Maui vacation!

 

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa on Kaanapali Beach

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Scenic Drive on Oahu ~ Tantalus and Round Top Drive

View of Honolulu and Diamond Head Crater

 

Where to See Amazing Views of Diamond Head Crater and Waikiki

If you have a little bit of time to spare and want to see amazing views of Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu and Waikiki consider driving Round Top Drive!  It’s hard to believe that only minutes away from the bustling city, but here you can get some of the most magnificent views in all of Oahu!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon North Carolina Winery: Elkin Creek Vineyard

Elkin Creek Vineyard {Photo Essay}

 

Elkin Creek Tasting Room

 

Elkin Creek Vineyard is located in Yadkin Valley Wine Country, just one hour north of Charlotte and only 20 minutes from the Virginia border!

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Vacation Journal Printable
Facebook
Facebook Follow Me
Follow Me on Pinterest
Like what you see: Subscribe!!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Add to Google Reader or Homepage