Friday, July 31, 2015

Books that I read for fun in July

Last year, I spent the last half of the year documenting the books that I read for fun.  I have decided that I need to continue that as reading is important part of how I relax. Books that I read for fun are books that I have not been asked to review and that I have chosen to read, well because I like to read.

Looking back over the first 6 months of 2015, I have read 34 books for fun! That is a ton! This past month, I had several books to read for review so that took up some of my reading time. However, I did get some fun reading in to help up my total of books read for fun!  

Here is what else I read for fun in July.... (Disclaimer: if you click on the book picture, it takes you to the page on Amazon.)


Here are the books I read for fun in:

June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015  
January 2015
Books from 2014

Have you read any good books lately?

Gatlinburg Family Vacation --- Day 6-- Dinos!

Friday morning, July 17,  we got up early and Bill packed the van up for us. We made sure everything was put back into place and we said good-bye to our “Above the Clouds” condo.

We stopped for lunch at McDonald's and the kids enjoyed eating fast food. (We had a rule for our trip, no fast food or chain restaurants that we could eat at home! However, we made an exception for the car rides.)

After lunch, we got in the van, and headed north toward Cave City, Kentucky for a fun surprise for the kids.

 We were able to go to Dinosaur World in Cave City, Kentucky. This past school year, Rebecca's class spent half the year learning about dinosaurs and she really, really got into dinos. Dinosaur World has lots of models of dinosaurs and dinosaur facts for the kids to learn.

There was a playground for the kids. They had a fossil dig that the kids could do and search for fossils. Both Rebecca and Jacob found a shark’s tooth.

They also had a huge area that was set up like an archaeological dig and the kids spent a lot of time in there.

There were a ton of butterflies present on our vacation. Someone once told me that butterflies are a symbol of a child that we lost. At Dinosaur World especially there was a butterfly that kept following us around. We definitely believe that it was our son Travis coming along with us.

After we left Dinosaur World, we headed about an hour north to our stop for the night at Comfort Suites in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I am so glad we chose to stop there. The room was great and the beds were so comfortable.

After we checked in, we decided to head to dinner. We headed across the street to the Texas Outlaw BBQ restaurant which would give us a 10% discount since we were staying in the hotel. I don’t know what the online reviewers were saying, but our service was great and the food was fabulous. I had a fresh trout sandwich---so good!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to take in a swim before bedtime. After, swimming, I got the kids bathed and we all headed to bed exhausted from our drive and day at Dinosaur World. We were looking forward to the next day, when we would make the final stretch for home!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gatlinburg Family Vacation-- Day 5: Part 2 ---Cataract Falls

After lunch on our anniversary, we headed out to the Sugarlands Visitor Center in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. From there, we went on a family friendly hike through the woods to Cataract Falls, a nice waterfall. The kids had never seen a waterfall before and they enjoyed it very much. Benjamin didn’t want to leave the trail when it was time to head back to the van when we were done. He is our little outdoors boy!

We headed back to the condo and hung out for a little bit, then headed back to the pool for a while. When we were heading out to swim, we saw a rabbit and lots of yellow bird in the grass near the pool.

After swimming, we went back to the condo and I made dinner for the kids and Bill went back down the mountain to pick up food for our anniversary dinner. On the way back up, he was lucky enough to see a bear in the road.

He got food from Mountain Edge Grill--I had a ham and swiss croissant and Bill had a buffalo burger. It was really good! We enjoyed our anniversary dinner, while the kids were in the background watching a new episode of “Spongebob Squarepants.”

After dinner, I spent the evening repacking for home and getting things ready to pack up the van in the morning to leave to head for our final destination in Kentucky. Overall, it was a great day and I feel so blessed to have a wonderful husband and kids to share these experiences with. 

Gatlinburg Family Vacation-- Day 5: Part 1-- Believe it or Not!

Thursday, July 16, dawned bright and early. This was our 10 year wedding anniversary. We decided to celebrate by heading down to town early to go to breakfast at Flapjack's Pancake Cabin. When we were there on our honeymoon, we found it extremely memorable that they did not have pecans….so this time, I ordered my pecan pancakes. They were really yummy.

After breakfast, we headed over to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium. They had some really neat things there including the world’s largest tire, the largest Transformer, holograms, unique artwork, etc. Rebecca really enjoyed this museum. Benjamin loved the room where there was a life-sized lite-brite for the kids to create with.

After we left the Odditorium, we stopped by and bought some fudge! Yummy! And we stopped and bought the kids a souvenir t-shirt each. Then we decided to let Bill, Jacob and Rebecca play some mini-golf. It was hot and humid, but the kids had fun--- Rebecca had 4 holes-in-one!

After golf, we headed to the Smokey Mountain Brewery for lunch. It felt great to sit in an a/c cooled room for lunch. The food was great again!

After lunch, we headed out to the National Park for some more adventures to come.....