Back to School Time: A Look Back on our Summer Travels

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With a life entrenched in our local community, our summer travels seem to end a month early now that we have an active high schooler. So the beginning of August marked the end of our summer road trip so we could get ready for Fall Sports and the new school year. Don’t fret though! Our travels don’t end, it is just our month of well… rest… as we plan for our school year travels. We love to live life abundantly and that means at home and on vacations as a family preparing to blossom. And that is what we call Life In Full Bloom!

So what did we do this summer? Here’s a recap:

Family VacationsWith the lovely winter we had last year, the school year ended right at the beginning of June. Our high schooler headed off to Colorado with Young Life.  It was such a blessing for her to witness nearly two dozen new followers of Christ accept His name and connect with other like-minded teenagers.  Among the fun things to do were zip-lining, tubing, tight-rope trust walk… yep, she decided that one was too much for her.  (smile).  Overall, it was an amazing week away.

While she delved deeper into Christ, the rest of us headed on our week long road trip through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.  Along the way, we stopped in several places, but our gold find this time was a little restaurant in Dickson, TN called Farmer’s Family Restaurant.  All I can say is “Yummyyyy”!  As huge foodies, we love to stop at different restaurants, preferably not large chains, but something indicative of the area and Farmer’s was no exception.   This family-owned restaurant only uses beef within Tennessee from over 130 farmers.  Now that is what I call supporting your local economy.  Our almost two year old instantly made friends with an older four-year old Family Vacationswithin moments of being seated at our table.  We felt right at home.   The buffet had so many choices we just couldn’t decide where to begin.  So we started with the corn meal pancakes our friendly waitress brought to our table, then quickly moved onto to the scrumptious items in the lineup – lots of fresh veggies – and I don’t mean the typical grab some carrots and broccoli with ranch sauce; but the good stuff – cabbage, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes – diet smiet!  Also, ribs, southern fried chicken, creamy mac & cheese and the list goes on.  We left there completely stuffed and happy!

The whole family arrived back in The LoneStar State to spend 4th of July at the 3rd Largest Firework Show in the USA – Addison Kaboom Town!  With all four of us plus a couple friends for the teenie bopper in tow, we headed off to Addison.  It was such a great time filled with concerts, great food, loads of people and an air show our 2 year old just couldn’t keep his eyes off.    Check out this vieo (far better than the one I took) by Scott Slocum.


Family VacationsThe next day, we headed to the Red, White and Boom 4th of July Celebration in  Historic Downtown McKinney.  The fireworks display was captivating.  A week later, we hit Lake Grapevine for some good ole fun on the water.  Just a little tidbit – we are planning a huge fiesta on this lake May 2012.  Back to the Lake.  Now we recommend Twin Coves Marina for good eats and live entertainment if you are ever in the area.  If you do not have your own boat, waverunner, etc., no worries you can rent them here for reasonable rates.  A couple things we learned on the way to Lake Grapevine, the mall has a unique RainForest Restaurant complete with singing animals, LegoLand is officially open along with the Aquarium and we have to go back to AMC’s newly created Fork and Screen movie theatre.

Now the time arrived to hit the road again for a trip trough Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.  This time we were gone 10 days and celebrated our son’s 2nd birthday on the road… oh and mine too.   For a road trip through these states, we recommend having a family stop in Branson, MO and if you haven’t been to the museum under the St. Louis Arch you should check it out.

We wrapped up our summer travel by heading back home for cheer camp and the National American Miss pageant where our daughter placed as a semi-finalist.  What a summer and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So what’s on our agenda for the school year?  Well, let’s see… beginning with September we have a surpise party to attend in Ohio, a Sandal’s trip to Turks & Caicos, the Faith Travel Expo in Atlanta, GA in October, our annual All Hallow’s Day mystery party in November along with our Thanksgiving to spend with family up North followed by the Luxury Travel Expo in Vegas this December and spending part of Christmas vacay in the Bahamas. And that’s just the rest of 2011.  What will 2012 bring?

Who knows, but we do know is we will continue to live a Life in Full Bloom.  What better life to live than one preparing to blossom with those you love and who love you.  Life Live. Must Travel.  Start your journey today!

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Abundant Journeys

Maria writes as well as handle guest post articles for Abundant Journeys blog. Abundant Journeys, an independent travel agency affiliated with MTravel CST# California: 1018299-10, blogs about wellness travel for the discerning travelier in three different life stages: Couples, Travel with Kids and Girlfriend Getaways focusing on Moms. We also enjoy blogging about fine foods and great gifts. Live Life. Must Travel. Start your journey today. Find our stories on JustLuxe.com in the travel section.

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