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Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, Tennessee. This indoor water park has over 7 acres of water park extravaganza! Including a wavepool, waterslides, tubing and wading pools for the little ones.
Wisconsin Dells as always had the corner market on family fun. Kalahari Waterpark a variety of indoor magic from surfing and lazy river floating to a water rollercoaster and flume rides.
Sahara Sam’s in West Berlin, New Jersey is where its at! The Largest indoor waterpark in the state includes family rafting, extra long body slide, water obstacle course and a toddler lagoon.
These are just 3 of the top indoor water parks that the FamilyTravelFiles.com recommends. Check out the rest of their list for more info.
Recently we had the opportunity to return home to the Nevada City, California area for a visit. While we truly wish a longer stay (permanent) would have been in the cards, it just is not at the moment. We still have high hopes of living in this town in the near future and crave the eclectic area packed full of great food, lakes, mountain bike trails and cool festivals.
If living in Nevada City, CA is not something you are able to do, the next best thing would be to visit. Hopefully our whirlwind trip pictured below will help you see the high points, but this doesn’t even start to capture the super cool stores and amazing outdoor activities surrounding this area.
This trip was really focused on spending time with friends, however in our free time, the below restaurants and locations are a must!
Breakfast started a small New Orleans themed place call Ike’s Quarter Café. Ike’s prides themselves on local ingredients and a variety of gluten free, vegan and healthy food options. Numerous different types of locally baked bread, waffles and creations are available. Ike’s is CASH only, has outdoor seating and allows “dog parking” just outside the entrance. Get the Gasserhouser and thank me later!
The craft beer scene is alive and well in Nevada City. Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill has brought the “tap house” and burger joint theme to town and are doing a great job supplying a HUGE selection of craft beer. Go to Jernigan’s, select a few different beers to try in a tester flight and have a giant burger; makes me smile just thinking about it.
The afternoon was spent shopping and sipping on coffee from Cafe’ Mekka. We walked the streets poking in shops, window shopping and people watching. The weather was spectacular for mid January. We stopped at Pioneer Park and let the little lady run laps around the spacious park.
The evening called for PIZZA in with friends. North Ridge Restaurant has great food as a whole, but they make pizzas that are to die for! North Ridge is a great family place with a huge variety of food and some nice beers on tap.
The following day we had lunch at Lefty’s which sits on a super quaint creek and has the BEST outdoor seating in the town. The “SOP” burger is where it’s at, paired with one of the multiple craft beer options available, you can’t go wrong at Lefty’s.
Finally not a restaurant, but definitely a must visit location is Ol’ Republic Brewery. When Ol’ Republic came to town we were ecstatic. Nevada City needed a quality place to hang out and have a locally made beer in a family friendly environment. Ol’ Republic does not serve food, however they allow you (and encourage you to) bring food in from one of the many local dinning establishments close by.
Nevada City is a town with loads of character; a real must see of Northern California. We have traveled all over the world and Nevada City, California is on the top of my list as one of the most versatile towns with great food, shopping, beer and incredible outdoor fun. Go check it out!
1. Fox Nomad by Anil Polat. Anil is a very well traveled, technology savvy adventurer.
2. Fevered Mutterings by Mike Sowden. Being from the UK, Mike has a great “Brit” sense of humor in his writing.
3. Johnny Vagabond by Wes Nations. Wes offers beautiful photography and great adventure stories of his travels.
4. Canvas of Light by Daniel Nahabedian. According to Hodson, Daniel is the “Best travel photographer on the internet”.
5. The Aussie Nomad by Chris Richardon. Chris offers candid backpacking advice.
Enjoy this great list of travel blogs! Thanks Michael Hodson!
What type of cyclist are you?
Here are some great facts from the infographic:
– Cycle 20 Miles a day reduces the risk of heart decease by 50%!!
– Portland, OR is the FRIENDLIEST city for cyclist! #2 Minneapolis, #3 Boulder, CO!
– Orange County, CA has the highest sales of fixed gear bikes!
Credit for infographic goes to http://www.verticalmeasures.com/content-marketing-2/bike-culture-its-personalities-infographic/
We have added another bike to our stable. This rounds the number out at 8 bikes for the wife and I which is a ridiculous amount of bikes to our NON-CYCLING friends… Our cycling style has changed within the last few years based on the birth of our little girl. That takes us to our current addition.
The Silverback Gorilla (Surly Big Dummy) was ordered specifically from our favorite bike store, Carytown Bicycle Co. They have a very well thought out program where you bring your bike in and they clean it up, tune it and list the bike on eBay. The profits (minus eBay fees) are turned into a store credit with Carytown Bicycle Co. The shipping, tune up and listing is all done by the bike shop, you just show up and spend your newfound credit!
We turned a super fast Scott Plasma Pro Tri bike into a steel 50lb cargo bike! You couldn’t have dreamed of 2 different bikes. Honestly, you couldn’t have told me a few years ago (before my beautiful daughter) how much my life would change with her arrival. So the change in cycling platform is not so crazy. I’ve always thought a utilitarian platform like the Big Dummy would be cool; I just needed a reason to have one. Well, now we do.
I’m excited to put a Yepp seat on the back and scoot around with our baby on the back. I’ve already rolled to the grocery store, my CrossFit Workouts and just fun jaunts around the neighborhood. The bike rides great and puts a huge smile on my face. I’m stoked to be able to build this bike into an awesome on/off-road family touring machine. Additions include, Jones loop bars, Dynamo hub, Brooks saddle and a Yepp seat. Stay tuned for future rides and upgrades.
Adventure Family in Motion
TravelLeisure.com has come up with a list of the top 10 best rails to trails!
30 Miles from Susanville to Westwood California.
Susanville, CA is 208 miles north of San Francisco. Start at the 1927 train station and dont stop until you get to the 25-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan at the trail head of Westwood. The trail crisscrosses over the Susan River Canyon 12 times. It weaves back and forth through the forest.
20 Miles from Mineral Wells to Weatherford, Texas
Starting 40 miles west of Fort Worth the trail winds past horse ranches, longhorn pastures and meadows of wildflowers.
3 – Katy Trail
225 Miles St. Charles to Clinton, Missouri
Covering nearly the entire state of Missouri, the Katy Trail is the longest rail to trail that runs east-west. This trail covers portions of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
68 Miles Milford to Springfield, Ohio
The trail travels along the Ohio’s Little Miami River. Start at the southern end in Milford and bike down stream for an easy ride.
35 Miles St. Petersburg to Tarpon, Florida
This is an easy ride along the Gulf of Mexico. Make sure to be in Clearwater at Pier 60 in the evening to enjoy the artist.
34 Miles Abingdon to Whitetop, VA
Take a shuttle to the top of the states second highest peak. Cross waterfalls, small towns and ride along the waters edge. This downhill ride is a quick decent to the bottom.
12 Miles Georgetown – Silver Spring, MD
This trail is flat asphalt-and-crushed stone that overlooks the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. Beware, this trial is heavily congested with runner, rollerbladers and dog walkers.
13 Miles Colchester to Burlington
On the north end, this trail extend three miles into Lake Champlain on a narrow causeway. The southern section runs along the waterfront in bike-friendly Burlington, VT.
18 Miles Jim Thorpe to Summit Hill
In the western Poconos, head to the former mining town of Jim Thorpe. The trail was once the route used to carry coal down to the barges on the Lehigh Canal.
32 Miles Elroy to Sparta
This is the first rails to trails in the Nation! It has three tunnels along the trail so bring a flash light!
Now that the craziness has pasted from the holidays, we have been discussing how blessed we are and how loved our child is by the outpouring of amazing gifts from family and friends. Now that she is getting a little older and enjoying the process of unwrapping gifts it makes Christmas so exciting just to watch her!
We have been discussing our traditions as a family. With the baby only 21 months old, we can start establishing our own family traditions. One of those traditions we would like to implement is a holiday experience.
We have talked for years about going on a volunteer vacation. Giving back with a to service to others. We are very excited to make this a priority in our little family.
“Materialism is taking a backseat to experiences, ” says Darren Humphreys, owner Travel Sommelier, a safari and gastronomic travel company.
We have one year to start making a change in how we celebrate the holidays. We have 365 days to ingest this idea into our immediate families. How do we tell them to only send minimal gifts and if they would like they can help contribute to our holiday experience instead? It sounds greedy. It sounds ungrateful. But we would rather show our little girl that its not about opening 15 million presents at 5:00am on Christmas morning.
Its our job as parents to show her empathy, raise her to be respectful and show her how to be humble. In 2014 we would like to enjoy a new tradition, a Holiday Experience.
Quote from USA Today