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Experience Columbus Roar and Explore Package


***Thanks for entering! The giveaway is now closed.***
The winner is…Amaris R. Congratulations!
You have 24 hours to respond with your mailing address or a new winner will be selected.
**For another chance to win, please visit Stephanie’s blog where she’s giving away an identical vacation! Her giveaway ends 6/18!
http://whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com/here-have-a-free-vacation-really/
*If you didn’t win the giveaway, it’s easy and affordable to purchase a “Columbus Roar and Explore Getaway Package”…Click here!

In just over a week my husband and I will spending our 11th wedding anniversary in Columbus, OH! We’ll be bringing the kids with us because there are too many fun things for families to leave the kids at home. As a Pittsburgh Mom Blogger I was invited along with other local bloggers, Janene and Christine from More than Mommies and Heather from Diary of a First Time Mom, to #ExperienceColumbus with our families.

You can follow my family’s trip to Columbus on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (#CFOTBExperienceColumbus and #CFOTBRoarAndExplore).

There is an amazing and affordable Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway Package that can help you #ExperienceColumbus with your family.

Columbus, OH Roar and Explore Family Adventure  Getaway

The affordable Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway features four tickets each to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay and COSI science center. Available May 22-Sept. 1, families can book their Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway online now at www.ColumbusFamilyFun.com or by calling (888) 795-3709. (Packages are designed for four, but additional guests may be added when booking.)

What fun things can you do in Columbus, OH with your family?

Starting at just $411 plus tax for a family of four, the Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway features:
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, ranked the No. 1 zoo in America, unveils its 143-acre Heart of Africa exhibit May 22. Visitors can stand face-to-face with giraffes and feed them a snack; get up-close with lions as they board a grounded airplane; and take a camel ride in the Zoo’s newest and largest region. This stunning new exhibit is home to 150 animals and adds even more reason for travelers to visit the place famed zoo director Jungle Jack Hanna calls home.

Zoombezi Bay, the world’s only waterpark inside of a major zoo, opens Baboon Lagoon this season. Ideal for younger kids, this active play land boasts eight water slides, fountains and a 1,000-gallon bucket dump. Beyond Baboon Lagoon, guests can splash and scream through 17 twisting waterslides, extreme raft rides, headfirst racers and the hair-raising 209-foot Cyclone, the world’s largest reducing-radius slide. Zoombezi also offers the more laid-back, adults-only Crocktail Creek, a lazy river where moms and dads can relax.

COSI, the nation’s top science center, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year by hosting The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes. Brand new this year and running only through September, guests get their own book full of clues and can join master detective Sherlock Holmes to participate in experiments and stay hot on a trail to crack a new mystery. In addition, COSI visitors can ride a high-wire unicycle, use sonar technology and get wild with loads of other hands-on activities that make science fun.

•As the preferred hotel of the Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway, the Drury Inn &and Suites offers special amenities, including: free, hot breakfast and evening snacks; indoor pool; and complimentary wireless Internet. Other Hotels are available, but prices may vary by location.

Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus’ uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome visitors. Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or 866.397.2657 (866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus, facebook.com/ColumbusFoodScene, Twitter: @ExpCols and Pinterest.

Enter to Win! Columbus, OH Roar and Explore Family Adventure  Getaway

Enter to Win a Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway!
(Giveaway ends Saturday 06/14/2014 at 11:59PM Eastern)
Experience Columbus was also awesome enough to offer me a Columbus Roar and Explore Getaway Package to give away to one of my readers! This package has a $400+ value!

Here is what your getaway includes:
2-night stay at Drury Inn and Suites
4 tickets for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
4 tickets to Zoombezi Bay Water Park
4 tickets to COSI (Center of Science and Industry)

Click here to enter this giveaway via Rafflecopter!
(Please be sure to use a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win! Winner has 24 hours to respond.)

If you don’t win the giveaway, it’s easy and affordable to purchase a “Columbus Roar and Explore Getaway Package”…Click here!

Disclosure: As one of the Pittsburgh Mom Bloggers I was given a Roar and Explore package for free and one to give away on my blog. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark Pittsburgh


Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

This is a local post, but for my non-local readers I’m going to post the goods for you right away. You may not be near Pittsburgh to experience Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark firsthand, but you can be absolutely anywhere to watch me make an idiot of myself, get broke, and bust up my knee cap. Enjoy! (Watch video here)

Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

My family was invited to visit the VIP Grand Opening of Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark in Pittsburgh last Friday and we had so much fun!

The new facility is located at Pines Plaza Shopping Center on Perry HWY behind Shop N Save.
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

ABOUT THE SKATEPARK
The 33,000 square foot black light facility, located in the space under the Shop N Save in Pines Plaza Shopping Center is divided in sections based on skill level and every new skater, regardless of age or ability, is assigned an instructor for basic lessons. With ramps ranging in height from six foot tall down to short beginner ramps just about anyone can learn and have fun.

Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

The COOLEST Birthday Party and Family Fun Spots! Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, looking for a unique group outing or just dropping in for some public skate time, you’re sure to experience wholesome family fun like you’ve never had before!

*BLACKLIGHT Environment
*Positive, Hi-Energy Music
*Learn to Carpet Skate CONFIDENTLY in Minutes
*Ramps, JUMPS, and Grind Rails
*Instructor-Taught TRICKS and Stunts
*Birthday party packages for ages 4-7 and 8-teen.
*Groups: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sports Team Banquets, Clubs, Home/Cyber School, Physical Education, Team Building, Pre Lock-Ins, Church Youth Groups, Field Trips

Super cool party rooms…
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

Fun Slides, a multi-award-winning product from Simtec, Co., are plastic sliders that attach under athletic shoes. They provide the sensation of sliding on a hardwood floor with socks on. At Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark and Party Centers, kids and adults slide on the skatepark’s carpeted ramps, jumps and slide rails for an easy to learn thrill.
Athletic shoes must be worn in the park at all times! No FLIP FLOPS!
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

Adaline is 4.5. She had difficulty mastering the standing slides, but she still had a lot of fun using the butt slides. (See video above)
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

Everyone who skates at Fun Slides Park, must have a signed waiver.
*Anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver.
*18 and over may sign their own waivers given that they produce proper ID.
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

Fun Slides Park requires that helmets be worn by children under 8. Elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards are recommended in all areas especially for novice skaters.
We brought our own helmet and elbow and knee pads for Adaline, who is 4.5 years old.
(If you watched the video I posted above you’ll see me take a spill and smash my knee with no pads on. It’s only banged up now, nothing serious, but I’d still recommend using knee pads! Ouch!)
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

We all thought that Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark was really cool. Adaline had a blast going from slide to slide and even my husband enjoyed sliding around. We’ll definitely visit again.
Fun Slides Skatepark Pittsburgh

The World’s only carpet skate parks!
*Pines Plaza Shopping Center
1130 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh PA 15237
(Behind Shop N Save)
*Greensburg Shopping Center
410 E. Pittsburgh Street, Greensburg, PA 15601
Behind Family Dollar (the old Bobby Dales)

Helpful info: Facebook / Website / Hours / Parent Info

Do you skateboard or roller-blade?
Would you ever try a carpet skatepark?
Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: My family received free admission to the skatepark as part of the VIP Grand Opening for bloggers and other media. I was not asked or required to blog about my experience. All opinions are my own.

If you are local to Beaver County PA or the Greater Pittsburgh Area, please like my local Facebook page Beaver County Family Fun for updates on local family friendly activities.
Beaver County Family Fun Facebook Page

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But… (Part 4)


On Friday 01/07/2011 myself, my husband, our 17 month old daughter, my mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my 7 month old nephew embarked on a road trip from PA to FL to surprise my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary. I had visions of sleeping in and sitting around the vacation villa writing blog posts to my little heart’s content while my daughter played with her cousin and was supervised by the four other adults present. BUT…things didn’t quite work out like that. This is Part 4 (the final installment) of my story…

Read But…Part 1, But…Part 2, and But…Part 3 first!

In South Carolina my brother-in-law (who drives like a pokey old man) was driving 74 in 70mph zone and was pulled over by a State Trooper in an unmarked car. Now we have two upset babies in the van that want out of their car seats and my brother-in-law was a nervous wreck because he had no idea why he was pulled over. The State Trooper said that he pulled him over for speeding (you should’ve seen how fast the cars were passing us on the highway…this was a super dangerous road for the cop to make a traffic stop on). My husband was in the passenger seat and didn’t say a word but left his badge sitting on his leg during the stop. We’re not sure if that’s what did it but thankfully the trooper gave Matt a warning and told him to “be safe”. We were able to keep driving straight through and we made it back to home sweet home at 2:30am on Sunday morning. Hubby unpacked the van and I got the little lady to sleep in her own crib for the first time in nine days. We can finally get back to our normal routine. But…

Actually for the most part Adaline has readjusted rather well. Aside from her nap/sleep schedule being off an hour here or there she jumped right back into sleeping regularly in her crib and she miraculously has abundant and unconditional love for Daddy and Grandma that she somehow couldn’t channel while in FL.

Adaline loves Grandma again!


She was no longer attached to my hip and other than being a little upset if I left the room, she was perfectly happy to completely ignore me most of the day. *She still had a cough and her runny nose was getting worse. She cried every time we changed her diaper. For the most part Sunday 01/16, Monday 01/17, and Tuesday 01/18 she was a perfect angel, but for whatever reason on Wednesday 01/19 she decided to break out the tantrums. She was screaming and crying and running from me and saying “no” every chance she got. At one point she swatted me in the face (um, I don’t think so, young lady!) which resulted in a very strong reprimand from mommy followed by her very first time out (sorta). It was a long and exhausting 20 days and I was looking forward to putting it all behind me and getting back to blogging. But…

Considering I spent the first week of the month sick with the flu, the second week of the month playing conjoined twin with my daughter in FL, and the third week of the month reorganizing the house after vacation whilst getting the smack down from my precious first born child…the Christmas decorations were still up. I’m not sure why the magical elves did not come and put everything away for me, but they didn’t. And so we spent the fourth week of the month taking down Christmas decorations at our house and the church. After my “vacation” with no internet access I also have about 80 million emails to read and about 40 posts to write. And just when I thought it was all going to get back to normal my husband and I decided that we are fat (or on our way there at least) and started doing the 30 Day Shred in the evenings. Thursday was our 4th day in a row, yay us! But of course all of the physical fitness cuts into my blogging time (boo!).

Is this the elf who should've taken down my Christmas decor while I was on "vacation"

I’m hoping that I have a spare moment to get a half-decent post up in the near future. Perhaps this post (turned “series”) was so long that you’ve quite had your fill of me for awhile and can do with another break from my rambling. Nonetheless, if I do find said spare moment this weekend I’m going to be blogging next week about the other parts of our trip…all of the details I left out of these four posts. (What?! There’s, more? You left out details? How is that even possible?! Jenn, say it isn’t so…) These will be real stories and not fragments of me complaining in a blog post about why I don’t have any time to write blog posts. Hmmm…

But…no more “buts” for awhile (I hope).

*Adaline is feeling fine now. Her cough and runny nose are now gone and she’s not crying during every diaper change anymore. The tantrums have stopped but she has been showing much more of a temper lately than what we’re used too.

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
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But… (Part 3)


On Friday 01/07/2011 myself, my husband, our 17 month old daughter, my mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my 7 month old nephew embarked on a road trip from PA to FL to surprise my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary. I had visions of sleeping in and sitting around the vacation villa writing blog posts to my little heart’s content while my daughter played with her cousin and was supervised by the four other adults present. BUT…things didn’t quite work out like that. This is Part 3 of my story…

Read But…Part 1 and But…Part 2 first!


We managed to get Adaline to take her medicine and her fever broke after only a day. When asking my husband to fill up her bottle with some fresh soy milk before bed he and my mother discovered that for the past day I had been giving my daughter spoiled soy milk (and the Mother of the Year Award goes to…not me!). Poor baby. No wonder she didn’t want to take her bottle. The milk didn’t give her the fever since she had the fever prior to me opening up the brand new, factory sealed container of soy milk (with a May 2011 expiration date) for her in the van on Saturday. It may, however, have contributed to the vomiting experience we had.
Adaline decided that after be traumatized by a long, grueling ride strapped into a car seat with a fever while being force-fed spoiled soy milk that the only way that she was going to sleep on Saturday night, and Sunday night, and Monday night would be directly on my chest. She would take naps the same way (if she napped at all). That’s okay, though, right? Because with all of the sleep that she’s getting now surely she’ll be in a great mood during the days and I can get some rest while her Grandma and others take turns fawning over her.
But…

Adaline napped on Mommy throughout the trip

Adaline also decided that she would want to be attached to me every single minute of every single day or incessantly cry “Mama!” until your ears would bleed. Daddy? No, thank you. Grandma? No, thank you. Aunt Jessie or Uncle Matt? No, thank you. Mommy? Yes, please! All Mommy, all the time.
Mommy while sleeping, Mommy while awake, on Mommy’s lap while she uses the toilet, Mommy in the bathtub with me when I take a bath, on Mommy’s lap while she tries to eat.
Walking with Mommy? No, thank you. Strapped to Mommy in an Ergo Baby Carrier? Yes, please. Sitting next to Mommy? No thank, you. Sitting on Mommy’s lap clinging to her like a baby monkey? Yes, please.
Oh, the separation anxiety…it was extreme, intense, severe, and unlike anything I’d ever experienced in my life. Luckily as the week went on she became a little more herself. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights she slept in the pack-n-play. And while she still wanted to be attached to me a good bit of the time she began to warm up to the rest of the family again and let them hold her on occasion and she began playing a lot more. We would be heading back home soon and hopefully the return trip would go much better since Adaline was feeling well.
But…

Adaline's attached to Mommy

(*Note the white arrows in the top row pointing out Adaline in the Ergo. She’s also in the Ergo in the bottom middle photo, but you can’t tell in the picture.)

On Thursday we spent all day at the Magic Kingdom and it was cold. Friday morning Adaline woke up with a wet sounding cough and a mildly runny nose and…her diaper had exploded. I’m not talking about some wet jammies…I mean that the diaper busted open and she was covered in pee-filled gel. We had to go right directly into the tub to try to wash the junk off of her. The runny nose and cough must’ve made it hard for her to sleep, so she slept on my chest again on Friday night (and left an outrageous amount of drool soaking on my shoulder). We left for home around 9am on Saturday morning. We planned on stopping to stay at hotel again since the whole “driving straight through” thing didn’t work for us the last time. Adaline did really well. Although she had her moments from time to time she was pretty quiet through most of the trip and took regular naps (one of them lasting three hours).

Adaline sleeping during the trip home


Dominic, however, did not fair so well. On the first trip he slept most of the way and was quiet and happy when he was awake. Not so this time. He didn’t sleep as well and when he’d wake up he was screaming and it was near impossible to calm him down. He wanted out of that car seat in the worst way. He was kinda driving us all crazy, waking up Adaline from her naps, and the whole thing was really upsetting my sister. She wanted to stop at a hotel (so that he could wake up screaming in his pack-n-play every 45 minutes rather than the van?). We were making great time and Adaline was really behaving so we wanted to keep driving as long as we could.
But…

(To be continued on Friday 01/28)

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
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But… (Part 2)


On Friday 01/07/2011 myself, my husband, our 17 month old daughter, my mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my 7 month old nephew embarked on a road trip from PA to FL to surprise my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary. I had visions of sleeping in and sitting around the vacation villa writing blog posts to my little heart’s content while my daughter played with her cousin and was supervised by the four other adults present. BUT…things didn’t quite work out like that. This is my story…

Read But…Part 1 first!

West Virginia decided to greet us with a snow storm. It was dark and it was snowing quite a bit. You couldn’t see the lines on the road. You couldn’t really see the road itself. Had it only been dark and not snowing or had it been snowing but in the daytime, there wouldn’t have been any problem. We were creeping along at 30 miles an hour. I envisioned us needing to pull to side of the road trying to keep the tired babies warm and then getting slammed into by another car that lost control. Never underestimate the ominous feeling of an intuitive woman (or me 😉 ). I spotted a sign for a Sleep Inn in 8 miles. My husband reluctantly stopped at the hotel. We weren’t making good time so there was no need to put our lives in danger braving the elements. At the hotel we decided that the ladies and kids would stay in one room and the fellas and the cold medicine would stay in another room. This way the guys will be sure to get the sleep that they needed to drive in the morning and we could get our tired babies a good night’s sleep in the pack-n-plays versus the car seats.
But…

Adaline would not sleep in her pack-n-play. I had to put her in bed with me (something I’ve never done before). She wouldn’t lie next to me, but rather slept on my chest the whole night. I did not sleep at all because aside from the fact that I was afraid to fall asleep and either crush my daughter or send her rolling off of the bed, I was also kept awake by a freight train driving right through the room my mom snoring and hungry screaming pterodactyls my nephew waking up crying every 45 minutes (*sweet dreams, Jenn*). Nonetheless I wasn’t too concerned about myself and rather just wanted my precious daughter to get a good night’s sleep so that she’d be more pleasant for the rest of the drive in the morning.
But…

I'm so refreshed after my night of (no) sleep and the pack-n-plays that weren't slept in

On Friday before we left on the trip I thought that Adaline felt a tad warm. In the van I thought she felt even warmer but figured it might just be from all of the screaming and crying she was doing. In the morning she felt just as warm if not warmer and after making all of the other adults touch her forehead we agreed that she had a fever. Naturally I had no thermometer to confirm this and no infant medicine to administer to her anyway. The poor darling girl screamed and cried and fussed most of the day. She didn’t want her bottle, although she drank it from time to time. She was miserable and she wanted me to hold her. Of course I could not because she needed to stay strapped in. Finally we were able to get some infant medicine at one of the convenient stores. Now I could give her medicine to break her fever and she’ll feel better much better for the rest of the trip.
But…

This irritating toy kept Adaline quiet for a short time while Cool Daddy was trying to get some rest.

I put the medicine in…and it came right back out. Adaline threw up for the very first time in her life in a van in a parking lot of some random rest stop. She had it all over her sleeper, on me, and on her cousin Dominic’s Glow Worm. I wasn’t going to try to give it to her again. She was nearly hysterical while crying and grasping onto me for dear life. Somehow I managed to get her cleaned up and back into her car seat. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it to Orlando after 10pm on Saturday night. Once we could get settled into the vacation villa and get Adaline some medicine and some regular sleep in her pack-n-play she’ll be back to normal.
But…

(To be continued on Wednesday 01/26 and Friday 01/28. Read But…Part 1.)

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
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But… (Part 1)


On Friday 01/07/2011 myself, my husband, our 17 month old daughter, my mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my 7 month old nephew embarked on a road trip from PA to FL to surprise my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary. I had visions of sleeping in and sitting around the vacation villa writing blog posts to my little heart’s content while my daughter played with her cousin and was supervised by the four other adults present. BUT…things didn’t quite work out like that. This is my story…

Pay no attention to the sleeping old woman with the monkey on her head, this photo is about me having the flu.

On New Year’s Eve I got the flu. And the flu decided to hang on to me for a week wherein I drowned myself with some sort of disgusting liquid medicine (with an ice cream chaser to kill the taste) and slept as often as I had someone around to watch my daughter. By Friday January 7 I was feeling 95% better.
But…

On Friday we (myself, my 17 month old daughter, my husband, my mother, my sister and brother-in-law, and my 7 month old nephew) intended to drive from PA to FL in order to surprise my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary. The plan was to leave in the evening around 6ish, which is normally my daughter’s bedtime, in hopes that she would drift off to sleep in the van and snooze her normal 13 hours while we drove over half of the trip.
But…

Adaline about 2 hours before we left.

My brother-in-law got tied up at work and one thing led to another and they didn’t end up getting to my house until 7pm or later. I’m not really sure as I think I blocked a lot of it out. Between the excitement of so many family members descending on the house at once and the fact that it was over an hour past her bedtime sweet Adaline was overly tired. Surely she’ll drift right off to sleep in the van.
But…

We strapped this poor over tired baby into a car seat (which she normally doesn’t mind) and she was very upset. I tried going through her night time routine in the van giving her the same doll and pacifier, reading the same books, singing the same songs. It was all for naught as she continued to cry and request “up” out of car seat (She would also randomly request “Elmo”, “Bottle”, and “Baby” but each time I attempted to fulfill her request she shoved the item away and said “No!”). She would repeatedly say “itchy” and then I would attempt to scratch her neck or back while she was still strapped into the car seat. She would fall asleep from time to time but while awake she was just miserable. We weren’t far into our trip, maybe about three hours when it was time for my husband to take over driving the midnight shift. He’s used to working shift work for his job, so driving this time of night should be no trouble for him.
But…

Despite getting the flu shot my darling Cool Daddy had caught my flu. He had managed to keep it away all week while he was taking care of me, but on Friday it hit him. He got worse as the night went on and he was coughing and sniffling and just plain tired. He hadn’t taken any medicine because he needed to drive. Good thing we would be driving straight through and getting to FL on Saturday afternoon so that my man and my baby girl could get some much needed sleep. But…

(To be continued on Monday 01/24, Wednesday 01/26, and Friday 01/28)

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

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