Hocking Hills Trip With the Kids Post-Divorce Papers

Do you have a place, a destination, or a trip you’ve always wanted to take either with your family or spouse? Hocking Hills was my place. I’d always wanted to go. We talked about it multiple times over the course of 19 years of marriage but something always came up, often other financial obligations that took precedence over a trip to Hocking Hills. An excuse always presented itself, such is life. We tend to put off the things that will really matter in the long run, like planning family vacations and getaways with your spouse to reconnect, spend quality time together and make the memories that strengthen the marital bond. Ultimately putting off what is vital for the family and marriage for some other short-term gain or for something we assume should take priority over the need to take a break from all the work and really remember why we do all the work we do, who we do it for, what we do it for, we’re so American! 

Read more

OTHER WORLD Perfect Tween & Teen Experience

Bowling, roller skating, see a movie, arcade, get coffee, make soap, make candles, go to the art museum, science museum, ANY museum? One can practically exhaust ALL ideas when it comes to things that tweens and teens might enjoy doing. And often the resounding response to each suggestion is, “ehh” or “meh”. Teaching a cat how to high dive is an easier achievement than getting a teen or tween excited about doing something you suggest! Which was why I wasn’t too surprised when the resistance was strong when I mentioned going to another art immersion experience. But this art immersion experience was unlike any other, this one was from an OTHER WORLD!

Read more

Indian Creek Zoo is OPENS (Discounted Admission)

Looking for a local place to take the kids for a fun adventure this weekend! Where they have the opportunity to get up close and personal with  camels, goats, Emus, alligators, wallabies, buffalo, and more!! You might not be able to take the kids on a wild and exotic vacation to Australia, the Sahara Dessert, or Florida Everglades but the wild and exotic animals that reside in such places are closer to home than you think, in Lambertville, Michigan at Indian Creek Zoo!!  Best part, they’re opening early and offering a discount on admission…. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS 

Read more

20 Kid Approved Ohio Destinations

The kiddos put together a list of their favorite Ohio destinations we have visited. The following destinations are fun family friendly destinations that were of particular interest to children ages 2-11 years of age & us kids at heart too! (Tip: When purchasing tickets for admission inquire about discounts, AAA, reciprocity, etc. We were able to get admission FREE at some of these thanks to our local memberships)



  1. Campbell’s Sweets Factory Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #16 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrip2
  2. Spangler Factory and Museum (Bryan…pair this one with #4 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrip5
  3. Imagination Station (Toledo…pair this one with #18 for an awesome day trip) )
  4. Imagination Kingdom (Wauseon…pair this one with #2 for an awesome day trip)Roadtrip3
  5. Sauder’s Village (Archbold)
  6. Castle (Loveland) Roadtrip4 
  7. Newport Aquarium (technically it’s in Kentucky but it is so close to Cincinnati) roadtrip6
  8. COSI (Columbus)
  9. Maumee Bay State Park & Lodge (Oregon Ohio) 
  10. Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Wapakoneta)Roadtrip9
  11. Young’s Jersey Dairy (Dayton…pair this one with #20 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)  
  12. National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #20 for an awesome day trip)  
  13. African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton) Roadtrip11
  14. Cedar Point (Sandusky)
  15. Kalahari (Sandusky)
  16. Christmas Story House Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #1 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrips
  17. Kings Island (Cincinnati)roadtrip8
  18. Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Toledo…pair this one with #3 for an awesome day trip) 
  19. Toledo Zoo Aquarium (Toledo)
  20. Boonshoft Museum (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)


Have some great memories of visiting an Ohio destination with your family? Do own/work at a must visit Ohio destination? Please share! As stated, we are currently working on our summer bucket list; we would love to hear your recommendations.



Castle in Ohio!? WHAT!? Totally falling in love with Loveland!

I know, I was shocked when I heard the news too, a castle, in Ohio? What!? And how have I never heard of it before? It is a little hidden treasure in Loveland Ohio, which by the way is just the cutest town!

castle_aquariumnewport 067


castle_aquariumnewport 022

Our little Knight was beyond ecstatic to visit the castle; he packed his shield, sword, & helmet and sat on the edge of his seat till we arrived in Loveland. The girls were pretty psyched too! It was a rather quick trip to Loveland from Toledo, with potty & coffee stops it took us 4 hours. It could easily be a fun day trip, who doesn’t love a good ROAD TRIP!! Woot Woot!! Or you could make a fun mini-vacation out of it and visit other local fun spots like we did. (We stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites (now that’s a true vacation for moms….there is an indoor pool & workout space, kids can sleep on pullout couch in separate room from parents, there is a full kitchen so you can grab food from grocery store, or on weekdays you can get an awesome breakfast & dinner, oh, almost forgot the best part, .50 cent wine, SCORE!!) it was like having a wife, haha! Someone else to make the beds, cook the meals, clean up, simply amazing! I wish I could live there. Lol!)

When we arrived in Loveland our first stop was lunch. We found a nice pub called Paxton’s that was delicious! We highly recommend the food & clean  restrooms…which I had the fortune of visiting 4 times between the 3 kiddos, and by the 4th time I actually had to pee, lol!

castle_aquariumnewport 007

And there is a true gem next door to Paxton’s, Loveland Sweets!! If we weren’t all suffering from a massive Easter candy hangover we would have been all over that!

Loveland Sweets is a purveyor of hand-crafted chocolates, caramels, marshmallows, and ice creams. Their house-made candies are prepared in small batches using only the finest ingredients. They also offer an extensive line of quality panned chocolates, fine domestic and European chocolates, gummis and novelty candies as well as seasonal specialities. Their ice cream is made on the premises, and flavors change frequently allowing them to feature ,among other things, fresh local fruits during the peak of berry and peach season.

And next time we go back I want to eat here…..in the passenger car….

castle_aquariumnewport 011

The Works is owned and operated by Scott and Jamie Gordon, both of whom were born and raised in Loveland. They share a keen interest in seeing the historic district of Loveland not only succeed, but thrive. That interest, along with their desire to build a unique, family friendly restaurant serving up great food was the driving force behind the creation of The Works.

The building in which The Works resides has historical significance in Loveland, which is one of the major reasons why Scott and Jamie decided on approaching the City of Loveland about their idea. This landmark was built in 1905 and served originally as a water filling station for steam locomotives. Later on, the building served as the firehouse and public works building. Scott and Jamie’s first hands-on experience with the facility was back in high school during class float building activities.

As if the wait and anticipation from the drive & lunch wasn’t enough we then had some trouble actually locating the entrance road to the castle. The castle is located at the end of a very steep and winding road, with private property signs all over the place, good thing we live on the edge. LOL!  We took a chance and went down that questionable drive and sure enough at the end was the castle!


castle_aquariumnewport 061



castle_aquariumnewport 013

castle_aquariumnewport 052

Brief History:

The Castle is based on tenth century castles in Europe. It was built by Harry Andrews, a World War I veteran who objected to the use of guns and machines in modern warfare. He preferring the sword of old.  So how does a US Army vet get through the first mechanized war if he objects to firearms? Harry was a nurse.  Discharged after suffering meningitis (during which he was declared dead), Andrews spent six months in Europe after his discharge visiting castles.  His imagination stirred, he settled to the Cincinnati area to found (or, as the Order puts it, reactivate) the Knights of the Golden Trail, an order open to any man willing to help save civilization.  As part of his dream, he built Loveland Castle.

The Order currently owns and operates the Castle.  A popular tourist attraction, it’s also rented out for weddings and for Scout functions.  Open all year for tours, it is only available for private functions during warm weather months.  It is possible to spend the night in the Castle.  However, before making your reservation, keep in mind this is a working tenth-century-style building.  There is no heat or electricity, and the only bathroom is a porta-john in the parking lot.

castle_aquariumnewport 034


castle_aquariumnewport 039


castle_aquariumnewport 036We so enjoyed our self guided tour of the castle! The kiddos called it an exciting adventure! The grounds are so beautiful too, we will have to go back when the flowers are in bloom, I am certain it will be absolutely breathtaking!

castle_aquariumnewport 059

When we go back I would like to attend a drop-in class at Cincinnati Circus & Flying Trapeze, I am interested in the Aerial performance or Aerial fitness class, how cool would that be? I would also like to stop in the antique shop….I saw a couple potential future Pinterest projects screaming my name as we drove past the window.

I would also like to rent bikes from Loveland Bike Rental and take a casual ride along the Little Miami River with the kiddos (maybe pack a picnic) or perhaps make it a day trip with the hubby & rent the tandem to wine sampling at the Valley Vineyard in Morrow….um, yes please! I can’t wait to go back!!  Eee! I have totally fallen in love with the little town of Loveland!