Travels

I have a gypsy soul.  There are few things I love as much as traveling and I will never understand people that go to the same vacation spot year after year.  The need to see new sights and experience new things pulls strongly at me and before too long I tire of sitting stationary in my hometown and hit the road.  The world is interesting.  Here are some of the things I've seen along the way.





There are few places in the world that make me want to return year after year.  My family and I love Ace Adventure Resort so much, we have returned twice within one year.  Located in West Virginia, the place lives up to it's state motto: Wild and Wonderful.  Ace is both.  Here are a few of the reasons that we keep coming back for more.


This is the swimming lake located at Ace and it is filled with giant, inflatable toys!  This picture doesn't even cover the half of it.  There are also floating trampolines, obstacle courses and much, much more.




A floating Saturn.  Just climb on and rock it back and forth til someone spills into the water.





A view of the 40 foot long slide and zip line.   If you look to the left that building you see houses a restaurant on one level and a bar with live music on the upper level.  Also, along side the restaurant is a sand volleyball court, tether ball, gift store, bike rentals, picnic tables, and a giant screen where they show family friendly movies at night.  Just in case that's still not enough, there is also a ping pong table and life-size chess set.






My niece zipping along the zip line.  It starts at the top of a 40 foot staircase and ends........






with a splash!!


When your fingers and toes are wrinkly from time spent in the water, you can dry out by heading for the mountains.  Take a tour guide (I recommend Paul) and partake of the half-day or full-day rappelling and rock climbing trips.  We did the half-day, because I am a big baby.  If you have never rappelled 70 feet down a cliff or climbed a 40 foot wall of granite, then you do not know what you are missing.  Truly, I felt as if I could accomplish anything by the time we were finished.  It was a great feeling and well worth the effort!   As first timers, with a young child  and my fear of heights, we did the easiest route.  They do have climbs for every level of experience, and our guide encouraged us to try the full day climb next year. 



My son rappelling down a 70 foot cliff.  He loved it!




The most popular reason to visit Ace Adventure is the whitewater rafting.  Some of the best rapids in the world can be found here.  My niece and I braved the water during our first trip to Ace.  When you hear the rush of the water and know what is coming, the adrenaline rush you get is unlike any other.  All your senses are heightened and you will never feel more alive than you do in the midst of a rapid.  With smaller children in tow we had to do the minor trip.  Less dangerous, but no less of a good time.  You will get wet, don't worry about that.  Just enjoy the scenery, it's beautiful on the river with the mountains rising on either side of you.





A great way for families to spend some time together. 




As the sun sets on your stay, I hope you will have had as much fun as we do.  They have camping as well as cabins complete with hot tubs on the back deck.  I don't get paid to praise this place.  Everything I am sharing is because I firmly believe it's true.  I hope to pass along this info, because I think it's important for families to have spots like Ace, where they can unwind and just enjoy each other's company.  Maybe, challenge themselves to do something out of the ordinary.  You'll come away smiling.











Charlotte, North Carolina

Perhaps, inside of all us lurks a Nascar fan.  Perhaps, not.  Within my family there resides two.  My husband and my father.  So, it's not a big suprise that on a road trip down to South Carolina to visit my brother, we had to take a detour to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Nascar capitol of the world.  I have to admit that although I'm not a fan myself, I really enjoyed Charlotte.  The town is filled with nice people that are quick to smile, polite and happy to point a tourist in the right direction.  The town is also filled a HUGE shopping mall.  So, while my husband toured a couple of these places......










and took a lot of pictures like these............
















and I'm including this one, just because I like the saying.....






"Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people
to produce uncommon results"


my son and I toured the mall.  I don't have any pictures of it, but I can tell you that it's a wonderful place.  We spent some time at a store called Books-A-Million, and yes, they did have a million.  At least.  I could have spent all day there.  But, we had ice cream to eat, clothes to buy and mall cops to watch as they sped around on their seques.  As agreed upon, the family reunited at a little spot in the parking lot called Nascar Speedpark. Actually, not small at all.  We raced these.......







and posed for pictures like this........





and we had a great time.  Charlotte is a nice city, with nice people. 











The Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine

"It's better by the sea."
Thus proclaimed a small plaque hanging in a tourist shop and I have always found it to be true.  There is something calming to be found in the continuum of the ocean.  Waves, one right after another come from far away, to settle upon the shore and sing a soothing lullaby as they wash over my feet.  I love the ocean.  To my mind there is no better coastal view than that which can be found along the Marginal Way in Maine.  A scenic one and a half mile stretch that begins in the town of Ogunquit and ends in the village of Perkins Cove it's an easy, paved walk if you ever find yourself up that way.

This is the beginning of the trail, from the street in Ogunquit and heading down toward to the white, sandy beaches.  If you don't stay at the beach, but continue on the walkway toward Perkins Cove you will be rewarded with breathtaking views.



As you can see by left side of the photo the walkway is paved, however most folks (us included) veer off the path to explore the rocky shore.



Some lucky people live along the way and this is the view from their backyard.  We were told the sea spray reaches heights of 25 feet when it hits the rocks.



The little daredevil was all tuckered out from rock climbing.




I was taken with the colors of brown, green and blue and
all the textures of the rocks and waves.  The photo just can't do it justice.






We arrived at Perkins Cove and were admiring the village when a golden retriever came out of a house behind us, walked across the bridge, stood in front of a bookstore and barked twice.  A man came out with a folded newspaper and held it out to the dog, who took it in his mouth and walked back the way he came.  As the dog passed us the man went back inside
the store and I turned to my husband and said, "I want to live here."






This drawbridge acts as an entrance to the harbor.  When the fishing boats come in they honk their horn and someone near by runs up and presses the button on the rail, raising it so that they can pass through.  Don't ask me what a boat does when no one is around.  My son had a great time working the drawbridge for all the boats, though.



  

Check out the name of the boat leaving port.  Makes me wonder-who is Anne and is she ugly or was the captain just mad at her when he named the fishing vessel?



This stone sat nestled next to the docks and reads in part,
"Dedicated to all fishermen who have sailed away forever."




Anchored in the cove and waiting for the chance to get back out to sea.

Maine felt like home to me.  I hope everyone gets the chance to visit and experience the state for themselves.







Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
My husband and I spent a child free weekend here. Great city.


Chicago
I love a city that puts a giant, silver jelly bean in a park.


All the better to reflect the nighttime city skyline in.
Chicago


Chicago
Then the mother ship landed.


And dropped off the giant dinosaur that ate Chicago.
Chicago

I'm just kidding. That wasn't a space ship, but an outdoor amphitheater and the dinosaur was part of The Museum of Natural History. When we left Shy Town it looked just like this:


Chicago
It's a great city with too much to do in one weekend.
Everyone get there!