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Archive for March, 2011



Multigerational vacations. What are they?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Multigenerational vacations, virtually unheard of 20 years ago, are trips being taken together by grandparents, parents and grandchildren, all destined for the same location.  This type of vacation is becoming quite common and growing increasingly popular.  One type of multigenerational vacation only involves grandparents and grandkids while the “middle generation” stays at home, allowing quality time between their children and their parents.

Two factors appear to have spearheaded this new multigenerational trend.  Career opportunities, health issues, geographic preferences and lifestyles have all played a part in families leaving the “homestead.”  Family members have become scattered over the state, the country and even the world.  Setting aside multigenerational vacation time allows families to spend time together reconnecting.

The economy has also redefined the family vacation.  Recently families have had to downsize their budgets, but eliminating a much-needed vacation is downright depressing.  Multigenerational vacations may just be the answer to “How can I get away and save money too.”   Sharing expenses such as accommodations, food and car rental can greatly stretch your vacation money.

Planning and communication are keys to any successful vacation.  First, set the date; the sooner, the better.  Last minute reservations are traditionally more expensive and rarely offer group discounts or special packages.  Next, decide on the destination.  You will want to get everyone’s input.  When everyone feels they have a voice, they feel more vested in the decision and will remain more understanding and positive when involved in specific activities they did not choose.  This is also the time to honestly discuss the trip’s costs.  Unless grandpa has said, “This trip’s on me,” everyone needs to specifically state what they can and cannot afford.

Now is the time to select your accommodations.  Consider the number of people that will be sharing your “homebase.”  Most multigenerational families seek lodging that will provide an area for togetherness as well as privacy.  Accommodations such as cottages, cabins, and some hotel suites provide large living areas and kitchens that can be shared while allowing individuals their own separate sleeping quarters.  This type of lodging also stretches the vacation budget.  Meals can be prepared for much less money than eating out every meal.  You also have the added advantage of stocking up on mid-day snacks for the kids or late-night snacks for the adults.  Plus keeping a well-stocked pantry allows for extended day trips away from the home base.  Pack a picnic, then plan to spend the day hiking, swimming or site seeing without having to corral everyone to travel to a restaurant at lunch time.  Plan family “cook offs” or assign clean-up duties to your non-cooks.  Involving everyone shares the workload and decreases the chance of someone feeling like they are the resident maid.  Also consider any medical or dietary needs of your group.  After you’ve checked in to your accommodations is too late to remember that you need special accommodations for Uncle Ted.

While planning each day’s activities, remember to stay flexible and considerate of everyone’s needs.  Some in your group may love a non-stop agenda; others may be looking for a much more laid back schedule.  Remember the objective is to relax and reconnect.  When everyone feels the freedom to pick and chose activities, your shared time will be quality time; not a battle over who’s making who go where.

Be realistic about your transportation needs.  It may be cheaper to rent two large vans, but it may be more practical to rent one large van and two mid-size cars.

A trip to Clinton County offers the perfect location for grandparents to spend quality time with their grandchildren while taking in family-focused festivals, such as the Banana Split Festival, Wilmington Art & Pottery Festival, CrabFest, Holidazzle, Wilmington Art & Pottery Festival and more.  Another option is sharing a bit of history at one of several museums or visiting an authentic historic covered bridge. Perhaps picking fresh produce such as strawberries, raspberries or pumpkins in the fall at one of our u-pick farms would be a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Visit Grandpa’s Pottery and witness the magic of the potter at his wheel.  Grandparents and grandchildren can even try their hand at creating their own masterpiece.

For a look at nature, we suggest you go to Cowan Lake State Park to watch the sailboats and walk one of the many trails or visit Caesar Creek State Park to hunt for fossils along the lake bed. More treasures are waiting to be found.

Did you know Wilmington is home to the original banana split?  Enjoy a great lunch sandwich and a banana split from Peppermint Patti’s, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.

Just what kids love, a giant crab! Blanchester, in the southern part of the county, is home to the world’s largest horseshoe crab. The structure is large enough to hold 60 people and is surrounded by a garden. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Whether two or three generations are up for a vacation, we welcome you to Clinton County in southwest Ohio.  Call the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau for assistance planning your own special itinerary.  We’d be glad to help.




Have an Australian Adventure in southwest Ohio

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Have you ever seen a Parma Wallaby, a Bearded Dragon and a Muntjac?  We have a farm here in Clinton County that is one of the most unique you’ll ever find.  Horsefeathers Farm, under the sponsorship of the Cincinnati Zoo, specializes in the propagation of the endangered Parma Wallaby.  The public can visit the farm and spend the day watching wallabies of all ages play and interact.  This country setting offers water events such as fishing, canoeing and paddleboating.  Or how about a picnic lunch?  Packages range from $30 – $350 and can accommodate up to 75 people.  Reservations are required in advance. Horsefeathers Farm is open from May through September.  Visit www.horsefeathersfarmonline.com or call 937-289-3504 for more information.




What’s Solo Racing?

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

What’s solo racing?  This interesting and fun racing event will soon be part of Wilmington’s sporting events.  Even amateurs can participate.  Keep posted for details.




Packing for spring and fall travel

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Here’s a great list I ran across for when you are packing for travel in spring or fall.  I found it on the Fodor’s web site.  Great travel information.  Here’s the list that I borrowed:

After years of travel for work and fun, I’ve boiled down my packing list to the following clothes for all trips other than super-hot or super-cold climates (items with * I wear on plane)

Rainforest ruffled black raincoat* (rolls up in a ball, wrinkles shake out)
Two pairs leggings (one pair *)
Three tunics (one *)
Pashmina* (works as a blanket on plane and in hotel, as a scarf when it’s cold)
Low-heeled boots*
Black polar fleece gloves (you never know when you might encounter a cold spell)
Black polar fleece cardigan (layered under raincoat, plus scarf and gloves and I’m warm enough for almost anything)
One pair khakis (usually grey or black) with a little lyrca (I like Old Navy)
One short-sleeved and one 3/4 or long-sleeved dressy tshirt (I like Boden)
One pantsuit (if travelling for work) or one pair dressy trousers (if vacation)
One lightweight merino cardigan – preferably a bright colour or pattern (I like Garnet Hill)
Two pima cotton sleeveless shells (I like LL Bean; they go under my suit jacket and with the cardigan)
Charcoal grey Nikes that are stylish/sleek enough for sightseeing but also work for workouts
One fitness tshirt
Undies and socks (usually pack at least 4 pairs of socks because they take longer to dry than undies if you handwash them)
Lightweight cotton menswear style pajamas (wearing pajamas when I’m in my hotel room saves my clothes for going out)
Loafers that are dressy enough to wear with suit etc but comfy enough for walking around
Small umbrella
Bathing suit (tankini) – because you never know when you’ll find a pool

This packing list takes up about 2/3 of a 20″ rollaboard. Then, depending on what I have planned, I’ll add either a skirt and sweater, an extra suit (e.g., if it’s a business-only trip with a week’s worth of meetings), a lightweight roll-up-in-a-ball knit dress, or a couple of extra casual tshirts.

Toiletry kit contains:

Travel size facial moisturizer
Deodorant
Toothpaste and travel toothbrush
I use hotel soap, moisturizer and shampoo so don’t pack any
Migraine meds
Ibuprofen and tylenol+ codeine (I have a bad back)
Steroidal anti-inflammatories (emergency supply in case my back goes out)
Mosquito repellent in wet wipe packets
Antihistamine (because I swell up like a balloon when bitten by bugs)
2-day supply of cold meds (because sometimes you don’t have time to get to a pharmacy for a few days)
Immodium (I travel to developing countries a lot)
Cipro – antibiotics (see above re travel to developing countries)
Melatonin – helps me sleep on planes and get over jet lag
Ear plugs, A few bandaids, Tweezers




How will you respond to forecasts of higher gas prices this summer?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Okay, so it’s not good news.  According to an article in the Washington Times, oil and gasoline prices have risen to their highest levels in two years, and analysts say prices could shoot up dramatically this year as the thirst for fuel grows in the U.S. and around the world.

The former head of Shell Oil has warned that gas prices could hit $5 a gallon by 2012 because of fast-growing demand in emerging countries where more and more people are buying cars, combined with restraints on drilling in the U.S. in the wake of last year’s disastrous Gulf oil spill.

So, how does that fit into your travel plans?  Closer, drive-to destinations will most certainly be a trend that will be seen if gas prices do as they are predicted.  But that’s not all that bad.  A lot of us think we have to head off to a far away destination to vacation and get some rest and relaxation, but that’s not necessarily true.  How many times have you passed an attraction in your own community that others travel to see and you’ve never even checked it out yourself?  We’re all guilty, aren’t we?

Plan some one-tank trips this year.  My bet is that you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find.  If you don’t know where to start, check with your local convention and visitors bureau.  I’m sure they will have suggestions.  Right here in Clinton County we have a Great Getaways brochure that gives ideas for putting together your own travel itinerary depending on your interest.  Check it out – http://www.clintoncountyohio.com/documents/great-getaways.pdf.