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5 Least Visited Places in the U.S.

Most of the time when people think about visiting the United States, they immediately plan trips to New York or Los Angeles maybe even Miami. Although the places are awesome, why not take trip off the beaten path? Why choose the road less travelled? The U.S. has a lot of hidden gems in other cities that are not as well known. Here is a list of charming cities we think are worth visiting when your looking for new adventures.

Boise, Idaho

Idaho may not seem interesting or may only be known for its potatoes but the capital of Idaho has so much more to offer. A youthful destination, you’ll find fresh air and low pollution as you stroll Basque Block. While your there, take a ride on the Boise River Greenbelt for some relaxation.


Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Gorgeous state parks, skiing, rocking climbing and Mount Rushmore all make Sioux Falls a fantastic place to visit. A river literally runs through the city – Big Sioux River is a site to see and ends in a series of rapids in Falls Park. And if your looking for something quirky, check out the butterfly house at Sertoma Park.


Bowling Green, Kentucky

What does cave spelunking, wooden roller coasters, and underground boat tours have in common? Bowling Green!! If you looking for something off the beaten path, this city’s got it! When your done with all your outdoors adventures, head over to the National Corvette Museum for a little car history.


Asheville, North Carolina

If your into the art scene, Asheville is the perfect place to be. The Downtown Art District is home to numerous art galleries and museums and has opportunities to showcase local up and coming artists. And since the city is located in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains, there is plenty of inspiration.


Santa Fe, New Mexico

If your looking for a centuries-old Spanish colony, then you want to visit Santa Fe. With architecture influenced by Pueblo people and distinct Southwestern feel, Santa Fe has lots to offer. And if your a foodie, the New Mexican cuisine, a blend of Mexican, Pueblo, and Spanish flavor and styles.

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Old Settlers Park, Texas

Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, TX

Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park is one of the best parks in the state of Texas and known as the best sports destination in the youth and amateur sports leagues. The park’s 640 acres provides lots of options for hike and bike trails and plenty of ample space for recreational pursuits such as disc golf, cricket, baseball, softball, soccer facilities, and more. You will never run out of things to do and there is lots of space for social distancing. This is a great idea to tour your own city; not sure how to get started? Check out my post here for some creative ways to tour your own city.

We decided to take the trail closest to the disc jokey and cricket fields. It must have been disc jockey tournament day because there were lots of teams playing and making their rounds through the park. I would call this the scenic route as there were some great photo opportunities and lots of native Texas landscape to see. Of course the first things our kids spotted was the el chupacabra sign which led to lots of questions. Which some how turned into a Bigfoot conversation….needless to say their imaginations got the best of them! Old Settlers Park is also a great place to congregate outside, BBQ and have a game of horseshoes at one of the two pavilions available.

Brushy Creek that runs throughout the park and even has a mini waterfall that you can look over from the bridge. Our kids had some many questions and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water. Plus there are so many beautiful flowers to see and plenty of trees to provide lots of shade on hot days. Don’t forget your fitness tracker, you can easily walk a mile or more on the trails, just look for the mile markers along the way. We explored one of many trails at Old Settlers park so we will definitely be going back. Parks are a great opportunity to spend time with your family, experience nature first hand and spark your kids curiosity!

Surviving Chaos

In order to make the most of you time at the park and prevent kid meltdowns, I’ve provided some surviving chaos tips. Have fun exploring at the park.

  • Sunblock: Be sure to put on lots of sunblock to prevent sunburn. This is the first rule of thumb for any outdoor activity.
  • Early Morning: Best time to visit the park is early morning. It’s cooler, less crowded and your kids will have energy to burn. A fun filled morning at the park makes for a well rested and relaxed afternoon (I hope).
  • Backpack: This is the perfect place to keep water, first aid kits, sunblock, snacks, portable potty seat, etc. What ever creature comforts you need. Remember to keep it light weight since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and/or biking.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks! Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, granola/protein bars, goldfish or whatever your kids like. You don’t want food meltdowns and HAN-gry kids in the middle of your hiking journey

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Surviving Chaos, When in

Tips for Surviving Long Haul Flights

Long haul flights can be brutal! These are flights that last 8 or more hours, a full day, from beginning to end in order for you to get from 1 side of the globe to the other, literally. Sitting in the same spot in a small confined spaced can be tough on the body….and mind! Once you finally land, you’ll feel some serious jet-lag that goes far beyond basic exhaustion. Whether your travelling to Australia or Singapore (hello 19 hours!) or Germany, we’ve got some tips and tricks on staying comfortable and sane so you survive your long haul trip.

  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Forget about those jeans! Bring on the stretchy pants! Wear compression socks to reduce swelling and prevent blood clots. With all the changes in air pressure and temperatures, you’ll want something that’s breathable, easy to move in and stretchy. Your body naturally adjusts to these changes and you don’t want to be bottled up in jeans. Additionally, wear loose fitting layers i.e. a light sweater, light jacket or oversized scarf/pashmina to adjust to temperature fluctuations. Plus, they make great pillows when your ready for some shut eye.
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones: You’ll want these for a number of reasons….to hear the inflight entertainment, to listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts or to drown out the snores of the person sleeping next to you. Don’t forget them, you’ll be miserable without them.
  • A Book: A big long book would be ideal. A trilogy perhaps?? You would be surprised how much time elapses when you get lost in a good book….or two. Here are some recommendations: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (800 pages), The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.
  • Snacks: The last place you wan to be HAN-gry is on a flight at 30,000 ft in the middle of the ocean. Be sure to pack plenty of snacks but choose them wisely. Peanuts can be unforgiving on the tummy let alone pose an allergy risk to others. Opt for a protein bar, they’re the right portion to keep you satisfied until the inflight meal or after. Avoid alcohol and lots of caffeine (a cup of coffee is fine) as they can dehydrate you and cause more potty breaks. Remember to drink lots of water!
  • Keep Clean Bag: After you’ve travelled for 10 or more hours, you definitely want to freshen up. Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste, facial cleansing wipes, breath mints and lotion are easy to slip into your carry-on. This gives you the opportunity to freshen up mid-flight or right before landing. Plus your skin dehydrates so you’ll want to moisturize frequently. You can find more ideas on what to put in your carry-on bag here.
  • Grace and Patience: Remember to be kind to the person sitting next to you….your new neighbor. They may provide great conversation or snore the entire trip. Depending on what seat your in, EVERYONE has to go to the lavatory at some point. Regardless, be kind, gracious, courteous and friendly….your both in it for the long haul! And don’t forget about the stewardess who will tend to all your needs and requests. Always say thank you!

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4 Things We Miss About Home While Travelling

Although we love to travel and we really miss travelling right now, there are some things we miss about home while we’re travelling. You experience so much when you travel like meeting new people, going on uncharted adventures, and exotic food but there are some things we take for granted. We really miss these things when we are away from home. Here a a list of 4 things we miss about home when we are abroad.

  1. Familiar Food: As much as we love to try new and exotic foods, after a while you want to eat something familiar….and that you can identify. After your 5th squid dish, or 3rd hot and spicy meal, your really wanting something more simple. Yes, American food is not as exotic, but its familiar to us and easily recognizable.
  2. Doing Laundry: I’d never thought I would miss this, but I do! Being able to go and wash clothes whenever I need to is a big perk. But when your travelling, this service may not always be available to you or cost quite a bit.
  3. Our Bed: Believe it or not, we really miss our bed. Yes, there are beds at the hotel but its not quite the same. Your own bed has the perfect lumps, nooks and crannies specific to you but its not the same when your in a different bed. There’s no substitute for the 3-4 pillows you use or 1 sheet, 1 quilt and 1 blanket combo that are perfectly setup in your bed. There’s just something about your own bed that’s welcoming.
  4. Not Living Out of a Suitcase: Pack…unpack. Pack….unpack. With my husbands work trips, he typically visits 2-3 countries per trip. This meant that he was constantly packing and then unpacking when he got to his next destination. He never truly felt settled and felt like he was living out of a suitcase. When your at home, all you stuff is just there. No need to move it or pack it up and unpack at. You just feel settled and grounded, literally and figuratively,
Food

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Here’s an alternative to sandwiches for your next picnic, park trip, work or school lunch: Buffalo Chicken Wraps! These wraps are easy to make, healthy, and a family favorite. This recipe takes 5 minutes to make so some of the ingredients are pre-made and ready to eat. They make the perfect travel snack and/or lunch no matter wear you are going. You can check out our more recent adventure to the park here. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Iceberg lettuce leaves per wrap
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced and warmed
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ranch dressing

Let’s Make It!

  1. Cook bacon slices based on number of wraps you will be making. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place 2 lettuce leaves on a clean surface so that they slightly overlap creating a barrier.
  3. Add 1 slice of cheddar cheese in the center.
  4. Top cheese with sliced chicken, bacon and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch.
  5. Wrap ingredients tightly like a burrito.
  6. Slice down the center when ready to eat. Note: Add a toothpick in the center if needed to hold wrap together.

Surviving Chaos

  • Switch the Cheese: Switch out the Cheddar cheese with Swiss or Pepper Jack to change up the flavor and add a bit more spice.
  • Tortillas: If your really hungry, swap the lettuce wrap for flour tortillas. This will keep you fuller for longer and won’t make a dent in your daily carbohydrate count.
  • Warm it Up: Cook your bacon 30 minutes before you put together your wrap.
  • Ready To Go: Put wraps in insulated cooler so they will stay warm until you get to your destination.

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