The awesome rainbow ball

RainbowBall2016

Our little family of three just had a wonderful getaway to Sandusky, Ohio, including a day at Cedar Point and Soak City and an overnight stay at Castaway Bay. We loved all of the above! I'll blog about it all soon. For now, I just want to tell you a story about one part of our happy end-of-summer, pre-back-to-school getaway. It's a story about an awesome rainbow ball and the power of childhood magic. We surprised Zoe with a weekend away to celebrate the end of summer and give her a good … [Read more...]

Please stop judging parents

Z at the Seven Seas Lagoon, circa 2011

Dear Internet: STOP JUDGING PARENTS. That poor, heartbroken Nebraska family just had literally the most horrible and unexpected tragedy imaginable happen to them. AT DISNEY! Please stop second-guessing, judging and condemning them. This is Zoebelle at 18 months about to launch into the Seven Seas Lagoon. I put the camera down in time to grab her chubby little butt, but yes she did make it into the water. Anyone who can keep a toddler out of water on a hot day is either an octopus or has … [Read more...]

Take me down to the mermaid city

Zoe and three Weeki Wachi mermaids!

Am I the only one who remembers that old classic Guns N' Roses song that goes something like... Take me down to the mermaid city Where the water is clear and the girls are pretty Take me down... Okay, of course those are not the actual lyrics, but I think even GN'R and angry Axl himself would permit me to paraphrase in honor of the one and only city of live mermaids... aka Weeki Wachi Springs, FL! We spent a day there in April and it rocked Zoe's and my worlds so hard. It was … [Read more...]

Day trip to an island paradise

Kelleys Island 2015

If you're looking for a super fun, family-friendly day trip from Columbus this summer, look no farther than the easily accessible island getaway known as Kelleys Island, Ohio. For a long time, Lake Erie's shores and islands have been on our travel wish list. I'd heard all about "the lake that's almost an ocean" and the fun that can be had visiting Ohio's offshore islands. This weekend, we finally decided to head north and see for ourselves. It was just the kind of weekend getaway that we love … [Read more...]

Mermaid magic in Ohio

Katey Mermaid 2015

Long-time friends and readers know that my daughter Zoe and I are both fairly obsessed with mermaids. In fact, at last check, Zoe still says she's going to *be* a mermaid herself when she grows up. I do nothing to dissuade her from this notion. We're planning a visit soon to the legendary Weeki Wachee mermaids in Florida after Zoe fell in love with mermaid Taylor during the Weeki Wachi mermaids' visit to Newport Aquarium last fall. (Side note: this was such a successful event for the aquarium … [Read more...]

Lightseeing in northern Columbus

Lightseeing 2014

Have you noticed that a new word - lightseeing - has entered the vernacular in recent years? Lightseeing is like siteseeing, only it's focused specifically on seeking and admiring festive holiday lights. It's the phenomenon where you pile your family into the car after dark and head out to see neighborhoods decked out with holiday light displays - the bigger, brighter and gaudier, the better. Take my advice - singing Christmas carols as you go only enhances the experience! Last night, after … [Read more...]

Five days of gratitude: day four

NatureGrrl 2014

Day four of five days of gratitude. Here's what I'm grateful for today: 1. Words. I love writing. I love reading. I love learning new words. I love using old words other people don't use much anymore. I love big words. I love small words that say a lot. I love mellifluous words. I love alliteration. I love a good rhyme. I love song lyrics. I love poetry. I am grateful for glorious, glorious words. 2. Travel. I adore all stages of travel - dreaming about it, planning it, getting ready for … [Read more...]

Summertime beach cravings

Beach Cravings

I miss the beach. Somehow, it's just not summer without a visit to the ocean - salt water, sand, seagulls, shells and waves. I'm a bit spoiled, having grown up on Long Island with the beach as my back yard. Of course I didn't truly appreciate it as a kid - I wanted a pool instead! But I sure did enjoy growing up with horseshoe crabs, minnows and mussels as neighbors. What a wonderful, natural playground it was. And now, as a mom, I wish I could give Zoe more frequent access to the beach. Zoe … [Read more...]

Top 10 animal encounters in Ohio

Ohio Animal Encounters

We love animals in our family - I mean LOVE them. So it's only natural that, in addition to having a wonderful at-home menagerie we adore, we seek out cool animal encounters in our free time. This is something E and I did together long before we had Zoe, and since becoming parents we love these critter experiences even more. So, inspired by a recent Houston area blog post I found on this topic, here are our favorite Ohio animal encounters - including a few we haven't experienced yet but plan … [Read more...]

The year without travel

Mexico 2007

I love to travel. I crave adventure. It's in my blood - I grew up crisscrossing the Atlantic visiting my grandparents and other family members in the UK at least once each year until my 20s. I flew from JFK to Heathrow at the age of 12 as an unaccompanied minor. My childhood's family vacations consisted of sailing trips instead of road trips (and believe me, at the time I didn't appreciate that, but I definitely do now). You see, my parents are soulless gypsies who travel the world and … [Read more...]