Where to next?

Since we already went on our beach vacation, I’m looking for a long weekend trip to add to our summer to do list. I would love to go to Atlanta, but there are so many things to do there that I don’t even know where to start! Are there any other cities in the south that y’all might suggest instead. If you have any ideas on what a crew like mine might want to do in Atlanta I would love to hear them!!

image

Photo credit: wikipedia

 

 

 

Good Eats on Hilton Head Island

Every time we travel we check Trip Advisor, Yelp, and ask around for the best places to eat. Sometimes the reviews are spot on and other times we are left wondering if the owners somehow coerced people to leave the positive reviews.

Here is an honest review of some of the places to find good food on Hilton Head Island.

image

 

Alexander’s : The food here was really tasty. I had the stuffed shrimp and I would highly recommend it. Some of the other people in our party had the surf and turf and said it was some of the best they’d ever had.

The Old Oyster Factory: This had some of the most beautiful views of the marshes. The food was all outstanding. Everything that everyone ordered was perfectly prepared and outstanding. This is a place we’d visit again and again.

Coco’s on the Beach: I didn’t eat anything from here, but my children and the rest of the family did. They said the burgers were out of this world. They also loved the mozzarella sticks. The children loved ordering the virgin drinks there too.

Low Country Backyard: I had the best shrimp and grits of my life at this little restaurant. Unfortunately, we’ve only been able to eat there once. There are only a few cooks, very few tables, and no reservations. This helps keep the quality of the food high, which I appreciate. It just makes it extremely hard to get to eat there with a large family.

I hope that if anyone out there is headed there that this little review helps.

image.jpeg

Road Trip Fun

Because traveling with so many people is very expensive, we usually save money on vacation by driving instead of flying. That means that there will be many hours spent in our car and many times the words, “I’m bored,” will be heard and said. I try to make little fun baskets for each child to keep them occupied throughout the drive. I pack one for the drive to our vacation destination and another one for the ride home. I will be posting more about those baskets soon; but wanted to share one of the things that I put in there for now. I made a road trip scavenger hunt.

image

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
1. AL license plate.
2. GA license plate
3. NY license plate
4. IL license plate
5. car with a dog in it.
6. a car with a luggage carrier (not your own)
7. a car with the driver eating
8. roadkill
9. a Coke truck
10. a police officer
11. a state trooper
12. a car with a passenger asleep (not your own)
13. a lake
14. a historic marker
15. a bridge
16. a university or college
17. a liquor store sign
18. a Baptist church
19. a Catholic church
20. a school
21. a billboard for a lawyer
22. a swimming pool
23. a pizza delivery car
24. a sign about God or Hell
25. a car with someone singing in it
26. a park
27. a construction worker
28. a car with a stick figure family
29. a car with an honor student sticker
30. a car with a political sticker
31. a car with “wash me” written on it
32. a boat
33. a shoe or other clothing item on or beside the road
34. a no U-turn sign
35. a cemetery
36. a fireworks store
37. a car with a person drinking Starbucks
38. a Porsche
39. a Grayline or tour bus
40. a truck with some kind of livestock
41. a Frito Lay truck
42. a U-Haul
43. a tree with Spanish moss
44. a car with a HH sticker
45. a hospital

Whoever finishes first wins a little extra prize that I keep up front.

Feel free to copy and paste my little game and use it on your own road trip.

 

Chicago

This southern girl loves warm weather. I don’t care for freezing temperatures or snow. Given these facts it seems crazy that I could love Chicago the way I do. I’ve been overseas and I’ve been lots of places in the U.S too. Chicago is my favorite place to visit without the children (so far). I must throw the disclaimer out there that I’ve never been there in the winter and honestly don’t plan on it.

There are so many things to love so I’ll just name a few.

The Art Institute. I could spend ALL day there. I have always loved art. I love learning about the artists and seeing these paintings or other pieces of art that I’ve seen in books. There is so much to see.

The Field Museum of Natural History. This is yet another place I could spend a full day. There are amazing things to see and learn while you’re there. It seems like I never have enough time. If you go, don’t forget to meet Sue. She’s hard to miss.

The Museum of Contemporary Art.  I wasn’t sure how much I would like this place, but surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I love art that I can understand even if it requires some explanation. My favorite things in this museum were the sculptures. It amazes me how creative some people can be.

Magnificent Mile. There are endless things to do here. I cannot lie and say I don’t love a little shopping. The stores are fabulous and this southern girl even thought most of the people working in them were friendly.

Also, the architecture on the buildings is incredible. There are so many amazing works of art that are part of the building themselves.

The John Hancock Center. The views are unbelievable! Truly amazing.

Chicago has an endless array of restaurants. My very favorite is  The Grill on the Alley. It has a lot of special memories for my husband and me. There used to be a server there named Manfred that we always requested. My sweet husband even got him to write me a birthday note one year when he went there on business. Manfred always had two jokes ready to tell…a clean one and a dirty one. We always had him tell us both.

On our last visit we ate at both RPM Italian and RPM Steak. These are Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s restaurants. The vibe was electric in both places. It was a little more “hot” at RPM Steak. With that said, I preferred everything about RPM Italian. The food was out of this world and I even was able to stay low carb there. Neither place felt stuffy. Both were really fun. The food was good at both, but RPM Italian is most certainly a place I want to visit again and again.

On my last visit, my niece and I walked over 30 miles in the few days we were there. Our husbands were at a conference and we had the days to ourselves. We had such a good time! We were on a hunt for consignment shops. Those stories deserve their own post.

Anyway, we had such a great time really exploring the city and we were so proud with how well we were able to use the Chicago skyline like the northern star. We went everywhere and never were lost!

I don’t know when my next trip to my favorite city will be, but it won’t be soon enough!

837

840

848844

878

864

Hilton Head Island

At the beginning of the summer my family took a wonderful trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is truly one of my favorite places. We took both sets of grandparents and we truly had a grand time. There were the most wonderful memories made.We tried new things like paddle boarding, which I absolutely loved!  We had fabulous weather and stayed at the most amazing house.

1005

The children played Bean Boozled with their grandparents. We all thought it was hilarious when my dad, Boobah, got dog food three times in a row. All four were great sports! We had countless hours of fun in the infinity pool.

1109

We had a wonderful time on the amazingly beautiful beach. We found all kinds of little sea creatures.

1071 1007 983

This vacation was one that had it all. We had an amazing time together and made memories that will last a lifetime.

1162