Chuck E. Cheese – Knoxville, Tennessee – 02/27/2010

Chuck E. Cheese! Where a kid can be a kid! And where a family can go to kill some time waiting for Daddy to get off work!

Random Downtown Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee – 02/27/2010

After a morning at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre, an afternoon learning about local history and paying our respects at Old Gray, and then some grand fun at Fort Kid Playground, we grabbed a few shots in around the downtown area of Knoxville before we headed home! There are a lot of great attractions here in Knoxville! Some shots below include: Knoxville Museum of ArtSunsphereBijou TheatreTennessee TheatreMast General StoreWomen’s Basketball Hall of FameJames White’s FortCalhoun’s on the River And several bridges over the gorgeous Tennessee River! We are very fortunate to have so many resources close at hand! There truly is…

Knoxville National Cemetery – Knoxville, Tennessee – 02/27/2010

Forever humbled in gratitude for those that served, we pay our respects. To the Unknown U.S. Soldiers, your sacrifice was not in vain. The price you paid for our freedom, we will forever be in your debt. Let us not disappoint you, as we continually strive to love and appreciate everything in this beautiful world around us.

Old Gray Cemetery – Knoxville, Tennessee – 02/27/2010

You can learn a lot about the local history of a certain area by visiting a cemetery. Local leaders, authors, artists… Prominent families… Or even just take some time to appreciate what life was like in a certain time for the people you see before you. Life is fleeting, that much I know. But, we each leave a legacy. Teach a younger generation to find value in the legacies before them, and you impart wisdom upon them to make the world a brighter, beautiful, kinder place…

Knoxville Children’s Theatre Presents The Hobbit – Knoxville, Tennessee – 02/27/2010

The Knoxville Children’s Theatre is a fantastic theatre group bringing plays TO kids BY kids. It’s a great resource in the Knoxville area for kids interesting in acting and production, and it’s incredibly fun to catch a show as an audience member! Meeting the actors afterwards is always a lovely extra treat! Are you going to be in the Knoxville Area anytime soon? Check out the KCT schedule to see their current line-up!! Knoxville Children’s Theatre NOW PLAYING!

Random Shots in Downtown Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

It was a cold and blustery day in Downtown Cincinnati, but we still enjoyed our trip to the Cincinnati Museum Center, spending time in both the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, as well as the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. When we were done there, we drove through Downtown to check out some of the historic buildings and architectural detail, and then we stopped to play in the snow and grab a bite to eat before hitting the road back home! Buildings, bridges, churches, businesses… Even the Duke Energy Center and Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals…

Duke Energy Children’s Museum – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

Another fabulous Children’s Museum for your consideration, is the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, one of several fascinating museum units located in the Cincinnati Museum Center. Go for a full day of fun, or stop by to let the kids engage in some open-ended play and creativity after spending the earlier portion of the day learning in the Museum of Natural History & Science or the Cincinnati History Museum. A fully stocked kitchen, grocery store, post office, and more. Ride-on toys, water-play, an art center, trains, dinosaurs, LEGO, and even a full-sized nature-themed indoor climbing structure! Keep the kids engaged in…

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

One of our all-time favorite museum experiences for kids, is hands-down, the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science. This phenomenal collection of exhibits is just one of the museum units located within the Cincinnati Museum Center Complex at Historic Cincinnati Union Terminal in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The beautifully preserved old train station houses some of the most interactive environments we have yet to experience. Real live cave and glacier simulations for kids to climb through; amazing geological collections specific to the Southern Ohio area; and even loads of hands-on docent-led activities located all throughout the museum. We learned all…

Hangin’ with Big Boy – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

On the way to the Cincinnati Museum Center, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at the iconic Big Boy! The restaurant chain has been around since the late 1960’s, but you sure don’t see them very often anymore! Check out the existing Big Boy Locations HERE! And the Big Boy Menu! To learn more about Cincinnati, click on any photo below! For our Cincinnati QUIKLIST, check out attractions, dining, and lodging HERE! For other things to do in Ohio, click THIS LINK! And, lastly, if you’d like to check out Our Family’s Adventures in Ohio, RIDE WITH US…

A Morning with Race Horses – Equine Exercise and Conditioning at Turfway Park – Florence, Kentucky – 02/23/2010

We spent some time this morning watching race horse conditioning and racing practice at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. The Horse Racing Industry is a large part of the local economy throughout Northern Kentucky. UPDATE: As of 2020, Turfway Park has been acquired by Churchill Downs and is scheduled to undergo a $150 million renovation project. The facility will be completely rebuilt and is scheduled to re-open in the Summer of 2021. To learn more about horse racing, click on any photo below! For our Cincinnati QUIKLIST, check out attractions, dining, and lodging HERE! Or check out things to do…

Newport Riverfront Marketplace (Newport on the Levee) – Newport, Kentucky – 02/22/2010

Newport, Kentucky is home to the Newport Aquarium! It is on the southern side of the Ohio River, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio! The Newport Riverfront Marketplace (Now known as Newport on the Levee) is a collection of shops and restaurants, that make great add-on experiences before or after you visit the Aquarium! Everything from fine dining, to ice cream, and candy! UPDATE: And now, even more restaurants and shopping adventures await your family! Crepes, Lemonade, Cotton Candy, and even more yummy deliciousness to make your day even sweeter! Check out the Newport…

Sweet Dreams Candy Company – Newport, Kentucky – 02/22/2010

Let Marine Biology Come Alive! Get Up Close and Personal with Marinelife at the Newport Aquarium – Newport, Kentucky – 02/22/2010

What a collection of Marinelife! Fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, birds, and so much more! Jellyfish, sea stars, penguins, frogs, crabs, sharks, gila monsters, and even alligators! All under one roof at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, just on the other side of the Ohio River at Cincinnati, OH! Countless species, all easily viewable, reside here in the Newport Aquarium. This facility offers such a variety of hands-on learning opportunities and many ways to interactively engage with the multitude of animals that call this place home! Touch tanks, bird feedings, animal meet-and-greets, and other activities allow kids to truly…

Cafe du Monde – New Orleans, Louisiana – 02/17/2010

Cafe du Monde Beignets are an absolute MUST-EAT when in New Orleans. But we also LOVE peeking through the back windows to watch them making our beloved beignets! It really is a fascinating experience to watch the legendary beignet bakers in action! Just walk behind the Cafe towards the river, take a left, and you’ll see them hard at work through the windows!

Carriage Ride Through New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana – 02/17/2010

One of my absolute favorite things to do in a city is to relax and enjoy a carriage ride! I find them to be incredibly affordable, and a good value for the information your personal guide will share with you along the route. A little local lore, mixed in with some unique historical facts. You may very well get into side streets or tighter alleys that you might not otherwise access via car or on foot. And if you, as a parent, are used to being the driver, the photographer, and the kid herder, all-in-one, carriage rides are a GREAT…

A Walk Through New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana – 02/17/2010

One of the most flavorful cities in America! So much history, character, culture, ambiance, and FOOD! New Orleans is definitely a magical city, and everyone should enjoy it at some point! Here are a few random shots from in and around downtown; as well as the Decatur Street, French Quarter, and French Market areas!

Bridges of Southern Louisiana – Highway 90 / Lafayette / Houma / New Orleans, Louisiana – 02/16/2010

The back roads are ALWAYS where the magic is at! Highway 90 across Southern Louisiana is full of old bridges of all sorts, and they sure do add plenty of character to the landscape!

FAT TUESDAY!! KADN/KLAF Independent Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/16/2010

And the last parade on this INCREDIBLE Fat Tuesday Day of Celebration! The KADN/KLAF Independent Parade in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana. This parade appears to be a mix of smaller Krewes and businesses that come together to add some more Mardi Gras fun into the community mix! Restaurants, banks, colleges, local leaders, and more! All we know, is bring on the merry-making! Lafayette is where it’s at! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

FAT TUESDAY!! Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/16/2010

Bring on the next round of Fat Tuesday Fun! It’s the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade! How gorgeous are the Mardi Gras Indians in their incredible suits? Such a sight to enjoy and appreciate! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

FAT TUESDAY!! King Gabriel’s Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/16/2010

Let the Fat Tuesday Festivities Begin! First up, is King Gabriel’s Parade! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

Sunset at Cypremort – Cypremort State Park – Cypremort Point , Louisiana – 02/15/2010

The sunset this evening was INCREDIBLE! There is a bit of editing touch up to these photos, but a lot less than you would think! It really was unbelievably, not-of-this-planet gorgeous!

Digging Up Some Fun at Cypremort Point State Park – Cypremort Point, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

I really do believe kids have the most fun just being able to let loose and have some good, old-fashioned PLAYTIME. When we travel, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to over-schedule and cram as many activities into a day as we can. And, to be honest, I can get to quite a few places in a very short period of time. However, with that being said, I always, always recommend squeezing in time for unstructured play. Whether it is swinging on a swing, climbing a tree, collecting rocks, or just digging in the sand on the beach……

Climbing and Swinging on Avery Island – Avery Island, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Obviously, the big attraction on Avery Island is the TABASCO® Factory Tour, but there is a GREAT family-sized swing, and loads of awesome trees to climb! Grab some goodies out of TABASCO® Restaurant 1868 and make a picnic out of it! Relax and stay a while! Seriously! Look at how much fun they are having!

A Little Crawfish Etouffee at TABASCO® Restaurant 1868 – Avery Island, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

To this day, I will say, the Crawfish Etouffee at TABASCO® Restaurant 1868 ranks among my absolute favorites. I think I finally put my finger on the secret ingredient, and can do a pretty solid job of recreating the deliciousness in my own kitchen… But, I won’t lie! I crave the heck out of the real thing! Mmmm….

TABASCO® Sauce Tasting at the TABASCO® Country Store – Avery Island, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Mmmm! The best part of a factory tour is always the product sampling afterwards! The TABASCO® Country Store offers plenty of Sauce samples, as well as the ability to try TABASCO® Sauce Ice Cream! Wow! And it is REALLY good! But don’t take my word for it! Go, try some yourself!

TABASCO® Sauce Factory Tour – Avery Island, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Tour the history and production of TABASCO® Sauce on Avery Island in South Central Louisiana! Onsite activities and exhibits include the TABASCO® Museum, Pepper Greenhouse, Barrel Warehouse, Blending and Bottling, Avery Island Conservation, Salt Mine diorama, TABASCO® Country Store, and 1868! Restaurant.

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site – St. Martinville, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Nestled along the Bayou Teche, is the ever-romantic home of the story of Evangeline. One of my favorite love stories ever, and one we have traveled far and wide to honor while experiencing the history of the Acadian People, from Nova Scotia, into Southern Louisiana, and beyond… We’ve also visited multiple sites preserving the history of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow himself. Here in St. Martinville, the Evangeline Oak is the legendary meeting place of lovers, Evangeline and Gabriel. Evangeline is believed to be buried at the St. Martin of Tours Church.  If you want to know the entire story of everything…

Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish Cajun Cafe – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

We spent a while on this trip trying to find a smaller, more authentic Cajun-style restaurant, heavy on local flavor, but a little light-handed on the tourist pricing… We finally found Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish Cajun Cafe, and are SUPER glad we did! They had a GREAT Sampler Platter, that let us try a little bit of everything… Some of the things we were already familiar with, like Gumbo, and Etouffee, but we were able to expand our horizons with some newer-to-us dishes, like Maque Choux. Also, we tried ALLIGATOR! I’m not sure if any of us really liked it… But,…

Crawfish Capital of the World! – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

We love small towns that are chock full of local flavor! And Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, billed as the Crawfish Capital of the World did NOT disappoint!

Lake Martin Swamp Tour with Bryan Champagne – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

We’ve taken a lot of Swamp Tours in our time. Among the swamp tours more readily available, Bryan Champagne of Champagne’s Swamp Tours would definitely be ranked the highest. Bryan was fantastic with the kids. He engaged them with a lot of wonderful, wise, and witty dialogue, and then allowed them a lot of hands-on interaction with different plants, grasses, trees, reeds, seeds, and even a baby alligator! There are multiple tour companies and guides from which to choose in this area. And there are lots of locations in the Southern Louisiana region that offer commercial tour packages. But, we…

On the Shores of Lake Martin – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Lake Martin is such a gorgeous area. Teeming with spirited animals, gorgeous birds, and a plethora of plant life! It was a cool day, but we let the kiddos enjoy the fresh air before boarding the boat for our Swamp Tour with Bryan Champagne!

Bridges of the Texas Gulf Coast – Port Arthur, Texas into Bridge City, Texas – 02/14/2010

I have way too much fun trying to get unique bridge shots… And there are a LOT of bridges in the Gulf Areas of Southeast Texas! The first bridge, entering Port Arthur from the Southeast, is the Gulfgate Bridge, more currently known as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge. It is a cantilever bridge with a 136 foot clearance spanning the Sabine-Neches Ship Canal. The second bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, is a through truss bridge crossing the Neches River just upstream from Sabine Lake.

Sights and Sounds of Port Arthur – Port Arthur, Texas – 02/14/2010

Crossing into Texas from the Creole Nature Trail of Louisiana brings you past shrimping boats, oil platforms and refineries, bridges, and more; all dotted sporadically along the Gulf Coast… We continued through Port Arthur and into Beaumont, before wrapping around to I-10 for the less scenic route back to the hotel… But we did enjoy our little taste of Texas for the afternoon!

Driving the Creole Nature Trail All American Road – Grand Chenier, Louisiana into Sabine, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Most of Louisiana Highway 82 along the Gulf of Mexico is part of the Creole Nature Trail. Driving it makes for some grand adventures through prime bird and alligator habitat. Lots of shore birds, pelicans, gulls, egrets, herons, and even the occasional spoonbill if you keep your eyes peeled! The closer you get to Texas, you might even start seeing fields of Long Horn Cattle! It’s also a fun little route, because there are multiple free ferry crossings that take you across the larger rivers. Don’t forget to stop at Holly Beach for a fun afternoon, also known as La…

A Little Wet Fun in the Gulf of Mexico – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

We’ve never really been much for swimming in the open water. And, on a day like today, February in the Gulf of Mexico, it was a little too cool for bathing suit weather even for people who do enjoy a little salt water swimming. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run, jump, splash, and play the day away in the gentle rolling tides! Nothing says FUN like a soggy, sticky, sandy, salty mess! And Holly Beach was an awesome place to do just that!

Shells on the Gulf of Mexico – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Put your little scientists to work at the beach by searching for and collecting fun shells! Grouping, sorting, classifying! Building sand castles and decorating with the finest details! Imagination comes alive with PLAY! And the beach is one of the best places to engage with your natural environment! Talk about the animals that lived in those shells! Think about where they came from and how they got to that very beach! Touch them! Smell them! Admire their colors and textures! The list is endless! Click here, or on any photo, to learn more about shells!

Bubbles! – An Afternoon on the Cajun Riviera! – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Another GREAT idea for good, old-fashioned fun? BUBBLES! They’re not terribly expensive, or you can even make your own! Throw in a variety of bubble wands, or get creative on trying out different materials that might lead to some pretty unique bubbles! And, then, BLOW! How awesome are these HUGE bubbles floating above the Gulf of Mexico? We had SO much FUN today spending Valentine’s Day on Holly Beach!

Dig It! – An Afternoon on the Cajun Riviera! – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Holly Beach, Louisiana may not be the most developed beach along the Gulf… It certainly isn’t commercialized. But that’s the way we love it! We had the entire place to ourselves on this lovely Valentine’s Afternoon. And it just goes to show, give a kid a shovel and a bucket, and they’ll stay occupied for hours! Nothing better than watching the kids dig and play to their hearts’ content!

Mardi Gras! Krewe of Bonaparte Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/13/2010

We viewed the Krewe of Bonaparte Parade from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette Campus. It was a bit more spirited. A bit more intoxicated an environment. All in all, still VERY Family Friendly… We just had a little more drunken competition for catching beads! But, one kid started the parade napping… And another one ended with a nap! So, maybe we weren’t on top of our game either! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

Mardi Gras! Krewe of Versailles Children’s Carnival Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/13/2010

So much excitement in the air on this BEAUTIFUL day to be taking in the Krewe of Versailles Children’s Carnival Parade in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana! Ah, yes! Family-Friendly Mardi Gras at it’s finest! A Parade FOR KIDS! BY KIDS! And look at all our loot! So many beads and toys! And fun times with friends! We really do enjoy the Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras experiences offered in Lafayette, Louisiana! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

Children’s Museum of Acadiana – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/13/2010

When traveling with kids, incorporating Children’s Museums into your itinerary is a FABULOUS way to spend a morning or afternoon learning while playing! If you invest in a Reciprocal Children’s Museum membership program, you can even save 50% off admission costs to other participating museum locations! LEARN MORE HERE! Creative play, imaginative thinking, and a host of other skills in which kids can engage while playing with lots of new friends! We love the Children’s Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, because it has so many unique areas to enjoy! A mini grocery store, pretend cafe and dessert bar, a…

Mardi Gras! Krewe of Apollo Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/12/2010

We rolled into Lafayette, Louisiana just in time to catch the Krewe of Apollo kicking off our 2010 Mardi Gras FUN! Feathers, masks, parades, toys, and BEADS! We love Mardi Gras Season in Louisiana! And Lafayette is a FABULOUS place to enjoy loads of Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras fun! Click on any photo for fun books for kids about Mardi Gras festivities and Cajun culture! Or, check out some Family Friendly Mardi Gras Gear HERE! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

John C. Stennis Space Center – Stennis Space Center, Mississippi – 02/12/2010

Over the years, the types of activities available in conjunction with a visit to the John C. Stennis Space Center have changed. Since the visit you see pictured below, they have now opened the INFINITY Science Center, and have a plethora of indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities available at what used to be the Visitor Center. We have not yet had a chance to explore the new INFINITY Center. If you have, be sure to let us know what you think! It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump off I-10, near the Mississippi / Louisiana state line! A…

Snowing on the Gulf of Mexico at Biloxi Beach – Biloxi, Mississippi – 02/12/2010

Well, now, I will say, it doesn’t snow very often along the Gulf of Mexico! But, on this cold and dreary day of February, in Biloxi, Mississippi, that’s exactly what it did! I’m pretty sure I heard on the news that it snowed in ALL 50 states today!

Tanner’s Pecans and Candies – Mobile, Alabama – 02/12/2010

A lovely Sweet Tooth Indulgence while passing through Mobile, Alabama! Tanner’s Pecans and Candies has lots of lovely choices, especially when in the midst of Mardi Gras season! One of their in-house specialties is the chocolate covered cherries! And you can watch the ladies make them right before your very eyes! Perhaps you need a King Cake? Or, of course, some yummy Pecan Pralines!

Logan’s Gymnastics Class – Victory Sports Center – Cookeville, Tennessee – 02/09/2010

We really enjoyed our time here in these Toddler Gymnastics Classes at Victory Sports Center in Cookeville, Tennessee. The teacher was phenomenal! She was fabulous with all of the little ones! The kids learned a lot about listening and following directions, in addition to stretching; being active; and gaining a wider range of movement, agility, and flexibility!

Happy Meal! – Monterey, Tennessee – 02/03/2010

A quick, easy stop when the weather is cold and dreary… Indoor Playgrounds offer up fast food and plenty of energy-burning fun! That’s what I’d call a Happy Meal, indeed!