Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Tree Shopping Near Cincinnati

Bill and I have been cutting down our Christmas trees for over 20 years. So we have experienced a variety of tree farms that have offered cut your own trees. I would consider Bill and I connoisseurs (Christmas tree snobs) and we have found the perfect place not too far from home. Big Tree Plantation is located in Morrow, Ohio and offers the best selection around. Here is the whole crew out shopping this year! Poor Anna injured herself in the gym earlier in the day so she got a little transportation help from her strong and mighty big bro!
It has never taken us longer than 30 minutes to pick the perfect tree. Getting it back to the tree shaker was easy and the process of paying for and tying the tree to the car was painless. They even have a pretty sweet gift shop offering free hot chocolate. Santa was there, too, plus some reindeer.

This year they added outside food vendors. Food as in fried stuff. We had to try some of that fried stuff since I refuse to fry food in my own home! And the crazy idea that someone would put snickers, oreos and rice krispie treats in a Fry Daddy was just too intriguing!! We can now say that we have partaken. We will not partake again!!

So, aside from leaving there with higher cholesterol levels, we had a marvelous time. This is definitely our pick for a family Christmas Tree adventure!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The End of a Season

Most people mark the end of fall by the calendar - December 20. I however mark the end of fall by the date that all those darn leaves are cleared from the property!! You see, we have about 3 acres with about 20 mature trees and it takes us pretty much a whole month and a half to clear them off! Many of my friends comment on how beautiful our home and property are but are soooo happy they are not the owners of all those leaves that fall each autumn! So when they are finally off of the trees and off of the lawn we have our ceremonious picture taking event. I had to have Grams and Gramps get in on the action. After all they have been raking these leaves for --oh, about a 40 years! (not sure why they wouldn't sit down in the pile though, party poopers!).
Anna and the pup were next to have their picture done. It was a hot fall day. Can't you tell by the 12 inch tongue hanging out of the dog's mouth? She's probably dripping slobber all over those leaves that Anna will jump in later!!!

Even that crazy couple below stopped long enough for a photo-op!

Now this is the only remaining pile in the yard! Yahoo! We will leave this one as a drop zone for Anna's zip line and a place for the pup to lose all of her outdoor toys!!
Now that the lawn is clear - Bring on the Snow!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hiking: Miami of Ohio

Bill and I have decided that our future will include a lot of hiking!! We both enjoy it very much and have decided to see how many trails we can get under our feet before we cark! That's Bill's term for leaving this earth! I bought a wonderful book entitled 60 Hikes within 60 Miles and we have begun checking off the hikes surrounding the tri-state area. Our first hike was to the natural areas of Miami of Ohio and it was Fun, Fun, Fun! The Sycamore trees were huge as Anna and Bill are showing above. Anna could even crawl up in many of the crevices of the trees. When not crawling in she was climbing up!
The swinging bridge was the absolute coolest! Love this pic of Anna going across. She and her dad had the best time swinging and swaying! I made them stop when I came across. Although they did dare me to run across. I managed a slow trot!!

I did run across the concrete stepping stones. OK, it was also a slow trot but I did it more than once! Anna continued another three or four times.

The total length of this particular hike is 4.32 miles. We broke it up to get to the swinging bridge faster so I believe we did about 3.5. Certainly the 4.32 is doable with Anna. For younger kids it is only about a mile trip straight to the swinging bridge.
I highly recommend this hike for all families. I am sure you can visit and locate the natural areas to hike. For a good reference this hike circles Bachelor Pond.