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Museums and Amusement Parks

Lots to do in Mitchell, SD


It had been decades since my last visit to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota and I have to say that I have a new appreciation for the true craftsmanship shown in these murals. We are full time RVers traveling about this fine country of ours seeing what there is to see, basing all of our decisions on the weather. We started our journey earlier this year. We bought our Class C RV in January down in Florida. As the weather heated up, we headed north. Off to see Mount Rushmore! We are learning as we go that we don’t like to drive more than three hours at a time, and we don’t like back to back driving days. That gives us at least one full day to explore each town we land in. Mitchell is conveniently located off highway 90 and a great resting spot. I knew what the Corn Palace was all about (I had been there as a teenager), but Dave was reluctant to go. He read the online reviews and was not impressed. In fact one review said not to waste your time! I asked him to give it a chance. It’s free and we have plenty of time. We decided we needed a break from driving and had already agreed to stay 3 nights in Mitchell. Well alright, we do have 2 full days to kill. The first step to gaining an appreciation for the Corn Palace is to know going in that this is not a palace in the traditional sense of the word. There are no chandeliers or thrones. What you will find are dozens of murals created by nailing half ears of naturally colored corn in a paint by number type format. Did I mention that it is free to visit? That’s right. Just walk right in, after you check out the outside first. You will find murals adorning two of the outside walls of the building. Now be aware that June is the start of their yearly transition. All the murals may be works in progress, but to me that just adds to my appreciation of the art form. The corn on the outside is not treated in anyway and is replaced every year with a new theme. “South Dakota’s 125th” is the theme for 2015. They are also very excited to place their new domes on the building this year. The old domes have been removed and they are in the process of replacing them with new metal domes that contain LED lights. They will have the ability to change the color of the domes, such as lighting the domes with the schools colors when there is a game. The inside murals remain untouched for 10 to 11 years. The inside murals depict the story of the white man and the Indians. The inside atmosphere and availability differs depending on the time of year you visit. If you visit while school is in session, you will find it ready for basketball games. That’s right, this is where the towns high school and college play all of their home games. They are also very proud to showcase the finest of entertainers each year. The very first being John Phillip Sousa! Very interesting story behind that, but I will save that for you to learn there. In the Summer you will find the basketball court transformed into a gift shop and a place to view an informative video with a small tour that follows. The video and tour operate in the summer months only while school is out. We loved the video! The halls are filled with exhibits and timeline type posters that you can spend hours reading. As we were reading our way around the hallway, we were lucky enough to also meet the Corn Palace Mascot, Cornelious. Motto: Fear the Ear. The staff has all the answers to any question you have and corny jokes to go along with them. We bought some popcorn, sat in the stands, and just enjoyed the murals and people watching. So if passing through, take an hour or two and enjoy some art, history, and maybe some fresh popped popcorn from the concession stand. Have a seat and enjoy the visual story told by the murals surrounding you. Now not only do I have a better appreciation for the Corn Palace and all it stands for, but Dave does as well. We both agree everyone should take the time to see, learn, and respect the craftsmanship and history that goes into the creating of these fine works of art. It was a warm day the day we visited the palace so we wandered across the street and found a quaint little smoothie shop. There was a local inside that would try to guess where you were from as you walked in the door. Poor guy had a tough time with us as I was wearing my visor I got in Panama, and Dave was wearing his Texas hat a friend had given him. We finally told him we were from Missouri and asked if he was from Mitchell. “You betcha!” he said just bursting with pride! “Born and raised!” We chatted a bit while we waited for our smoothies. He greeted everyone as they walked in the door. As I mentioned above we stayed 3 nights and everything is so close together and signs to help you find your way. All you have to do is ask any of the front desk folks at your campground or hotel and they will be happy to share what their town has to offer. Now if you are wondering what we did with our second day. Wonder no more, we visited the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. This was a great stop as well, although not free. There was a small $6 fee per person for admission which included a video, then you could choose to walk around and read about the exhibits on your own have a guide walk you through. We would always recommend the guide when there is an option. The main exhibit inside is a life size replica of one of the lodge buildings. These buildings were used by the prehistoric villagers mainly to sleep. After explaining the way of life and showing you the inside exhibits, the guide will then show you to the back door to explore the grounds. Once outside you can try to hunt deer the way the Mitchell Prehistoric Villagers would have. When Dave and I went out there was no one there. I picked up the javelin type spear and attempted to hit the 2 deer they had set up in the distance. Wow, was that pathetic. This was harder than I thought. I kept trying and was getting no where close. When a guide stepped out and showed me the launcher. Just a simple stick with a divot in it. Once he demonstrated how this was used I gave it another several tries. I was certainly getting closer, but no contact. It was amazing what a difference such a simple tool made. Dave also spent some time at it, but never did hit anything. Good thing we aren’t dependent on that skill for survival. After that you follow the path that winds through the area where you can see the land indented where their lodges would have been. The path leads you to the next building that they intentionally built over two of the lodge sites. Inside this building you can see the process of an archeological dig still in progress. There are guides in this building as well to help explain what you are looking at. You walk an elevated platform around the dig site so you can really get a good view of what they are finding. After walking around there are hands on exhibits where you can sort bone from rock and examine many other hands on exhibits in their lab. I have to say both Dave and I enjoyed this stop as well. Maybe one day our travels will bring us back through Mitchell again, until then we say thank you for sharing your town with us. Our motto: Everything’s Carved in Soap!

Take a trip to Greece- in Nashville, TN!

Located in Nashville’s Centennial Park stands an amazing sight. The Parthenon. It’s a replica of the original Parthenon in Athens and it quite simply takes your breath away. There is a 42-foot statue of Athena inside holding a statue of Nike that stands as the main focus, but there are other sights. The admission cost isn’t overly terrible. Adult fee is $7, kids and seniors only cost $5. It is absolutely worth seeing. The Parthenon is closed on Mondays, so be sure to plan accordingly. Naturally, it follows typical museum rules, so there’s no food, drinks, gum, pets, or oversized bags allowed, (maybe no backpacks either if I remember correctly), but they do offer free lockers for your stuff. Oh, and strollers are allowed, so your little one won’t get cranky from having to walk all over the place (which is a big help for a lot of us!) Before I go any further, let me just say this: pictures simply do not do this place justice.
There is of course, an educational opportunity here (who doesn’t love Greek mythology?!), but my suggestion is to just wander around first and soak up some of the awesomeness of the place. Now I personally have never been to Greece (can’t fly unfortunately), but while we were there I spoke to several people, some of which actually had been to Greece! They were amazed by how incredible this replica is.
If you need a break while looking around, you can go outside and have a picnic on the lawn. We saw several families doing this. If we had known we could, we would have brought a lunch or at least a snack! However, I don’t know if you will be allowed back in without paying again, so make sure you get everything seen that you’d like. Otherwise, when you’re done, go on out and have a nice little rest and refreshment session before heading on. You could even bring along something to entertain the little ones after a snack. Perhaps a Frisbee, or some fun activities like cards, coloring books, or even a board game.
This place is so awe-inspiring you won’t want to leave. Everything here (especially inside) seems so larger-than-life. From the Parthenon itself, to the Athena statue inside, you are almost overwhelmed with size, but in a good way. To put it into perspective for you, the statue of Nike that rests in Athena’s hand is around 6-feet tall. It looks so tiny there in her massive hand!
I had to ask why there was a replica of the Parthenon when we visited, and the answer I got was that it was originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Expo. It was (and is) a monument to what’s considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. I won’t argue with that. It really is fabulous. It also serves as the city’s art museum. That may not be the best plan of action. The statues of Athena and Nike, and even the building itself demand so much attention, I feel it takes away from the displays of art. They pale in comparison to the majesty that is the Parthenon.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis- Amazing Adventures

The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis is, in a word, amazing! There is so much to see and do there. However, it can be a little costly, especially if you have a larger family. Kids under 2 are free, but over that the cost is $ 18.50. Admission for adults is $21.50. It adds up fast! Get there early because this place is immense! It goes from the lower level all the way up to level four.
The exhibits are outstanding though. There is an exhibit called the Dinosphere… You read that right! The Dinosphere takes you back to the Cretaceous Period. Kids even get a chance to touch an authentic T. rex bone! There is also an amazing science exhibit. It has six different areas that are interactive. The Fireworks of Glass exhibit is awe-inspiring. It is a 43-foot tower of blown glass. It features over 3,200 pieces and can be seen from all sides. Kids can create a sculpture of their own (from plastic, not glass of course) and there is also a virtual interactive glass blowing opportunity! The Treasures of the Earth exhibit includes sections like Seti’s Tomb, Terra Cotta Warriors, Kidd’s Shipwreck, and an archeology lab. The Playscape is fun for kids too! This is for the younger kids though; infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It has musical instruments, an underwater pond habitat, a nature inspired activity set, and more. There is a carousel ride that kids love. The best part is, it’s only $1 to ride, though again, kids 2 and under ride free. As a kids, I remember being absolutely fascinated by the Carousel. The size alone was somewhat awe inspiring, There is also a maze of mirrors, and a life-sized kaleidoscope. One of my favorite areas is the SpaceQuest Planetarium. Admission for this is free, but it’s a first come first served basis. It is a full dome planetarium and it is amazing!
Other exhibits include the Biotechnology Learning Center, Health House, Inside Hollywood Film & TV! You’re On the Set, Flight Adventures, Power of Children, SciencePort, Stories from Our Community, and What’s ’our Style? One thing’s for sure, at this museum you will never get bored.
There is, of course, a gift shop, but we didn’t even go in, so I’m not sure how expensive it is. If I had to guess though, I would say it probably isn’t cheap. They do have really neat things though. A lot of unusual items. It really is up to you whether or not to spend the fortune they’re likely to ask. They also have a food court, but again, it’s a little pricey.
This is another location that takes a while to really see. If you can’t afford to go 2 days in a row, then you will want to go as early as you can so you can see as much as possible. I will say this though, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum is not something you (or your kids) are likely to forget any time soon. There is so much there you may walk out feeling dazed.


Race fans: Start Your Engines!- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway


If you’ve grown up around racing, then you’ve heard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; IMS to those of us who live here. Race time in Indianapolis is a big celebration. People come from all over, and not just the U.S. If you go walking around at any time during the event, you will hear a plethora of accents and languages.
As a native Hoosier I’ve seen and heard so much. I’ve “walked the track”; a term the natives have coined simply meaning we walk around the main streets near the racetrack itself, not the actual track, and mingled with the people. Most of what I’ve seen and heard aren’t fit to print. Let me just say this: Do Not take your kids to the festivities the night before the race! They will see and hear things that should wait until… ahem… they are an appropriate age.
There are a couple different aspects to the races here. One is, naturally, the race itself. Whether you come for the Indy 500 or the Brickyard 400, either choice offers a good time. My advice for both: be sure to bring lots of water and lots of sunblock! The sun can be scorching and with the high humidity (especially around the Brickyard 400) it masks just how easy it is to get a sunburn! Another must is ear plugs for the little ones. Certain locations around the track are easier for the littles to handle, for instance seats in the turns, but if you get stuck with seats in the straightaway your hearing will be affected. Many adults don’t enjoy it, let alone small children.
ims crowd
The other aspect, and the locals will tell you this is what it’s all about, is the atmosphere. The people and the festive feeling that flows day and night. Many campers arrive early to get a coveted spot for their RV inside the Coca-Cola Plant field (simply called” The Coke Field” the those of us that live here.) Though the prices for camping here are fairly steep, many don’t mind. It puts them right in the heart of the festivities. You see, the Coke Field is where the party is. Several little parties that amount to one giant party. There are food vendors (the elephant ears are fantastic!) and alcohol stands that line the streets. All in all it’s a fabulous time… at least for the single people. For those that want to experience the race, but don’t want to traumatize their kids or explain why so many women have (mardi gras) beads by the pound around their necks, then my suggestion is to find a house to park at. There will still be parties among the others parked, but it is much tamer than the Coke Field.
The traffic is insane, the crowd massive and people all over the place are celebrating or misbehaving. Sometimes both. There have recently been some changes made. The main thoroughfare, Georgetown Rd., has had construction so it is now primarily for the people that live in the area. It no longer connects to the other streets (namely 16th street which sits right in front of the IMS entrance) and now comes to a dead end. This means great things for the partiers and track walkers.

All in all it’s a lot of fun, or at least it can be, but it can also be a bit dangerous. I will end by saying this: for singles, I highly recommend it at least once. For families however, well, it’s still fun, but you must be much more careful. It’s definitely not the best pace for kids. If you decide to go and take the littles, I suggest taking them to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.
ims hofm

REVIEW OF Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City KS

unnamedGrowing up in Colorado I never really thought of Kansas as “out west”, but after visiting Dodge City I may have changed my mind.

Of course I know all about cowboys and Indians (I am part Cherokee), and names like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp have been in my vocabulary my entire life, but I never really knew why Dodge City meant anything until my visit to the Boot Hill museum in Dodge City Kansas.  I have even seen my fair share of buffalo and dancing girls, but learning more about what made this area such a draw was fascinating.  From the buffalo hunts, to the cattle drives, and later the infamy brought to the area by men like Bat and Wyatt this place is rich in history and has good reason to refer to its “out west” claims.  The Boot Hill museum was quite the treat and I would love to return some time when I can take full advantage of all it has to offer!  I give it an enthusiastic “THUMBS UP!”

The highlight of the museum for me was the section located on the original Boot Hill site where there are many exhibits dedicated to the Native American way of life, buffalo (including an amazing buffalo stampede complete with shaking ground!), and a fascinating living room directly out of the 1960s highlighting the famous “Gunsmoke” TV show complete with episodes of the show playing on a retro TV set.  To get to this part of the museum you first attend a short 15-minute video which runs on a loop and is narrated by Buck Taylor, one of the stars of the show which ran in living rooms from 1955-1975.  There are some steps here, but those wishing to can use the ramps as almost the entire museum is handicap accessible.


There are also plenty of opportunities to learn about the history of Dodge City.  Check out the jail, the Victorian room, and take a fascinating look at the sad but real children’s coffins in the undertakers “shop” exhibit.  There is even an exhibit highlighting the first newspaper and you can take home a souvenir “Wanted” poster with your picture and aliases such as “Kiss-Me Kate”.

A can-can show complete with dancing girls is available for purchase and is held in the Long Branch Saloon – we weren’t able to stay to see it in person but it sure looks like fun! There is a General Store located in one of the replica buildings, and patrons are encouraged to sit and enjoy a snack or some ice cream in the Beatty and Kelly Ice Cream parlor (pretty pricey but good food and amazing concoctions made with Blue Bell ice cream).














At noon during the summer months there is a gunfight (watch your ears!) which is free with your paid museum entrance fee.  You can purchase several different packages from just museum admission to a  complete package deal with everything including a country-style dinner.  We did the museum only which took about 2-3 hours but you could potentially spend much of the day here enjoying all there is to see and do!

Prices range from $10-30 depending on what inclusions you have time for, they have plenty of free RV parking, and they are open daily beginning as early as 8:00 during the summer.  Visit their website at for contact numbers and more information.

Rvers Review of Monsoon Lagoon in Port Clinton Ohio

monsonSplish Splash, dart n dash! Better have the energy of a kid because this park will have you splishing, splashing, darting and dashing. All that fun and the price won’t send you screaming and fleeing. The only screaming you might be doing is from the seat, of the go cart, you are driving like Dale Earnhardt Jr. as you whizz past your significant other in a mad dash to be the winner of a race you concocted up in your own head.

If the go carts are not your speed just zoom on over to the putt-putt area. Who doesn’t love a little putt-putt; 18 holes in the heat just make sure to drink plenty of water. Too hot? Don’t let that stop you return your equipment back inside the air conditioned registration room/arcade room. Then, splish and splash your way to Adventure Island Treehouse, where your little ones can climb, slide and swim their way to happiness. Want some joy for yourself then make your way to Typhoon Rush. This ride has minimal restrictions as with all the activities inside Monsoon Lagoon do. For up to date and accurate restrictions I recommend viewing their website or calling their office. Typhoon Rush a bit much then how about a cool dip in the relaxation pool where one can swim about, float or sit as the warm sun beats down. Looking for something of the adult nature then swim your way over and belly up to the bar. That’s right no splishing splashing required here unless you get so tipsy you make a splash; with that said on my visit to Monsoon Lagoon that never happened. One, I didn’t drink. Two, even though it is adult oriented it is very much a family park. Three, Monsoon Lagoon is staffed with responsible employees.

Monsoon Lagoon offers a variety of activities for the whole family; from go carts to putt-putt to an indoor arcade to bumper boats. The one thing I love about this park is it is unlimited use for the day. Pay once stay and play for the whole day. On a sour note the price of food put a huge hole in my pocket; ouch. The no cooler, no outside food and drink rule puts a hurt on the wallet. That aside it really is a kid friendly, family friendly fun park. One other note they do offer season passes, group deals and online coupons and did I mention parking is free.

368My favorite activity is the lazy river. Jump on a tube and float your cares away. Just be sure to keep one eye open because there is always that one family member who likes to spring a surprise attack on you, and quietly scoots you under the numerous buckets of water that just so happen to fill full up as you float right under them.

To sum it all up Monsoon Lagoon is a splishy splashy, dart’n, and dashy kinda place; Located in Port Clinton, Ohio just off route 2 at 1530 S. Danbury Road. My family enjoyed the day swimming, putt-putting and eating pizza. We will definitely visit Monsoon Lagoon again. So if you are in the area stop by and take advantage of their package deal.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park in Marblehead Ohio

lighthouseI recently visited the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park for the third time. This park is very photogenic and very popular. The feeling you get while there is one of calmness, peace, inner love, and relaxation.

No worries on parking – plenty of it. I did find the entrance a bit odd – you pull in on a drive that borders a church and for some odd reason there is a do not enter sign on the right hand side (makes it look like you are not to enter here but you do.) There are no other roads into the Park but this one and only one exit so to have this sign there I don’t know the purpose. I really wish they could build a nice bathroom facility but they do offer a port o potty (two) but like most port o potties these ones get used a lot and leave a lot to be desired. People need to show respect. Let’s move onto the scenery. I love lighthouses and this one is no exception; very tall, very beautiful full of rich history. This lighthouse is the oldest continuously used lighthouse; operating since 1822. Out of the fifteen lighthouse keepers two of them were women. You might find this interesting – the first lighthouse keeper was a Revolutionary War veteran. When he passed his wife took over his duties. Since 1972 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has maintained the property and took over the tower in 1998.

While we were visiting this last time I got to see the Coast Guard there. This is a very well maintained park. It has a lot to offer. We invited my parents along and we had a picnic lunch. It was “bird watching” week and the birds were plentiful. This was nice because my daughter is homeschooled and we were able to view, photograph and return home to research the birds we had saw. Normally we do not fish this area but my father wanted to try so we did. The location we chose was a bit shallow and while we did catch about three fish total with four of us fishing – the fishing was not good and was a bit challenging with a lot of snags. I did catch something called a Gobi. That was a first for me but not exciting it’s a small fish. There are several areas to fish so you might try anywhere but the far left corner that border’s the church property.

273The second visit there we did not try to fish because the wind was fierce and the waves were high. Aside from picnics and fishing you can take along a good book to read. We enjoyed walking/ climbing on the rocks. While we were there the museum was closed. I do hope we can visit again when they are open. We were able to look in the Tower window and we could see the staircase and brick wall. If you would like to visit and see the lighthouse just go to 110 Lighthouse Drive, Marblehead, Ohio 43440.

An RVing Trip to Kings Island In Mason Ohio

coasterKings Island; The excitement starts before you even approach the entrance. You can see Kings Island’s newest, longest, inverted roller coaster in the world! I can hear the screams now and no not the ones from the riders but from the kids in the back seat of the minivan. Kings Island has more to offer than just thrill rides. It is a place of magic, dancing, swimming and singing.

Seeing it is a thrill riding, high flying, game playing, fear screaming kind of place lets start with the coasters. Let’s start with the one I just mentioned the Banshee; now this is one you won’t find me on. However, if you are a thrill seeker this baby gets you going inverted at 68 mph. It is a very popular ride. Let’s move on to the Diamondback; again not my cup of tea but very popular with the thrill seekers. If you thought the Banshee was fast you haven’t experienced fast till you’ve rode the Diamondback; this sleek ride drops you 214 feet and reaches a speed of 80 mph. Looking for tradition then be sure to ride the Beast; a thirty-five year old wooden roller coaster.

Let’s talk about layout. Kings Island hit the nail on the head when they designed the layout of the park. The parking area is massive. So if you are looking to drive the RV over that’s not a problem at all. They have spaces for tour busses and school busses as well. So parking an RV won’t be an issue. Once you enter the park the thrill rides are to the left. You’ll find Planet Snoopy to the right and the mild rides in the middle. As you enter you will see an amazing fountain scene and most likely be bombarded by Kings Island photographers wanting to capture those special moments with their cameras (at a cost of course).

As I was saying Kings Island is not just about the thrill rides they have something for people of all ages. I am very excited to see the Cirque Imagine; an acrobatic performance. I already watched the “The Boyz Are Back show; a performance honoring the boy bands from the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was so fun I plan to watch it again; lights, singing, dancing and food; such fun. Kings Island even has a Hoedown – located over in Planet Snoopy. This show is geared for younger children but we took our teen and we loved it. There was Lucy and Charlie Brown. The Hoedown is a real crowd involving entertaining show.

397Even though the train ride is a slow pace, short, jerky ride it is still one of my favorites and I love when they blow the train whistle. While as exciting as the train ride is you won’t find me there long because when it makes it stop at Kings Islands Soak City Water Park you’ll find me getting off and taking a wild ride in the wave pool. I could spend all day riding the waves. Soak City has a lot to offer too from their Lazy River to their tube – riding thrill seeking slides.

One of Kings Island’s newest attractions along with the Banshee is Dinosaurs Alive. You better have your walking shoes on because it’s a long way down and a long way back. While it was okay it’s not an attraction I will be seeing again anytime soon. It would be really cool if they made this a ride attraction; one that could let you stop and see the dinosaurs as you approach each one. Kings Island is rather large as is and requires a lot of walking so to have to walk more just seems unnecessary.

Let’s talk about a different aspect of Kings Island. An aspect the public might not be aware of. The contribution Kings Island makes to its disabled visitors. Kings Island partners with a childhood cancer organization called A Kid Again and once a year it brings in the families of children who have suffered a traumatic illness (such as cancer) to Kings Island. They bring the families in for a fantastic day of rides, swimming and food. Well there is something new this year and I knew I just had to go see it! When I saw the display it brought tears to my eyes; tears of joy and sadness. There were many visitors stopping to see this magnificent display. The display is that of a young child name Gabriel Taylor. The statue was created to honor this brave young lad who lost his battle with cancer. This is near and dear to my heart because my very own child fought cancer as well. Praise God for his goodness even when tragedy occurs. Thanks to donations and raffle tickets to be the first to ride the Banshee and the Diamondback over $200,000 has been raised for A Kid Again. Thank you Gabriel, his family, those who donated, Kings Island and A Kid Again; now families such as mine can come and visit the statue and be reminded that Kings Island is not just for healthy kids but for kids who brave their way through illnesses and disease. Kings Island is wheel chair friendly and goes above and beyond for the disabled from their parking to entrance onto rides.

I’ve bought my season pass because this summer my family will be in the area. So if you plan to be in the Lebanon area why not camp at Cedarbrook Campground (only 8 miles from Kings Island) and purchase the season Gold Pass. The Gold Pass allows free parking, entrance into the park including Soak City and early entrance to certain rides as well as discount tickets for friends and family on specific dates. You can even purchase the Gold Pass by signing up for their 6 easy payment plan. I found this the best for our wallet. This pass can only be bought online.

I really hope that you can visit the park, see Gabriel’s Statue and make many family memories. Just look for the big sign that says Kings Island located at 6300 Kings Island Drive Mason, Ohio 45040

RVers review of Point Pleasant the Birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant

Point PleasantRVers review of Point Pleasant the Birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant

I have to admit I’ve never been much of a history buff but since I started fulltime RVing and roadschooling my teen daughters I’ve taken an interest in Historical sights; such as Point Pleasant, Ohio the birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant. Point Pleasant, Ohio is located near the Ohio River on U.S. Highway 52; also known as The Ohio Scenic Byway.

Ulysses S. Grant was the eighteenth president of the United States; born April 27, 1822 to Hannah and Jesse Grant. While visiting Point Pleasant I was able to view the outside of the very home he was born in. However, for a small fee you can tour the inside.

Grant had a clear view of the Ohio River from his home. I’m sure a lot has changed in the area since 1822. For instance fencing has been added, a rest stop has been built and a bridge has been dedicated in his name.

At the rest stop there is a bathroom facility but that’s about all you can call it; a two holer is more like it. Suggestion: take some hand sanitizer. There is a picnic area where you can sit and eat or just relax and take in the beauty of the Ohio River. Just across the river you can see the fullness of the Kentucky Hills. This rest area is pet friendly as well. While we were there we stopped to talk to other tourists and pet their pooches.

I was fascinated by the bridge dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant. The original steel truss structured bridge was built from 1925-1927. This is not the bridge that is there today. However, the cast iron name plate located on the walkway, today, was part of the original bridge. On the pillars of the bridge are replicas of Civil War Cannons. To signify Grant’s significant role he played in the Civil War; one of the most significant General’s of the Civil War prior to becoming President of the United States. In front of the small walking bridge is a flower bed adorned with white daffodils. The walk across bridge has a wooden floor and steel hand rails along with a huge oval plaque that says “Grant Memorial Bridge.” This leads to the drivable bridge that displays the cannons.

Point Pleasant 1As you leave the rest area and cross the busy U.S. 52 Highway the first home you come to on the left is the very home he was born in. I was fascinated by the cedar shingles, the old cellar door and the brick fireplace. The sidewalk that led to his home was made of cobblestone. I can’t say as to whether all of this is the original “real deal” or not but it is rare to see a cedar roofed home. At least to me it is rare; that was the first one I had ever seen. The whole town had a very back woods type feel from the rustic old home to the splendor of the Kentucky hills. Even with the old time feel one sight brought me back to reality of today; a homeless man gathering cans, from the garbage bin, and storing them under the bridge of where he calls home.

If you are a Civil War buff or in need of just a place to take your roadschooled child(ren) for a day Point Pleasant is the place to see. Pack a lunch, rest awhile in the courtyard, watch the tub boats push the barges up and down the Ohio River and take in all that this place has to offer. Ulysses S. Grant’s three room house is located at the junction of U.S. 52 and State Route 232; Confluence of Indian Creek and the Ohio River.

An RVing review to Roscoe Village in Coshocton Ohio

roscoe villageAn RVing visit to Roscoe Village in Coshocton Ohio

Roscoe Village is known for being an 1830’s canal-town and rightfully so because it is located along what was once know as the Ohio-Erie Canal. Roscoe Village is located in Coshocton County, Ohio on State Route 16. A small yet full of adventure village that makes history come to life with its various festivals, scheduled events and numerous activities.

Before I get into great detail about Roscoe Village let me start by saying there is plenty of RV parking. Just head on over to the Visitor’s Center and behind the center is a large area for parking. If you have a small vehicle there is additional parking on the streets of the village and a small parking lot at the end of town.

While I once lived in Coshocton, Ohio at one point in my life and could visit Roscoe Village at any point and time – I would still make the trip now, as a full time RVer, to visit and enjoy what the village has to offer. My favorite scheduled event is the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival held in October. The year that I attended the Wayfarers performed; a young group of guys who play bluegrass. They were so good I bought their CD. This is one of the many performers the village brings in each year. Along with bands, singers, etc they also have interpreters and artisans; those are the ones who bring the village to life.

I recall the salsa stand. The artisan that created his own concoction of flavors from spice to sweets had a display of bowls all containing the flavors he created. I found him quiet amusing or more so the unknowing victims were amusing. We took a group of Foreign exchange students to the village. I remember the girl from Holland; she approached the salsa artisan and asked if she could try the different arrays of flavors. He kindly said, “yes.” The poor girl just didn’t know what was about to happen; with one bite her cheeks turned flush. You guessed it “spicy” not sweet. She inquired, “Will I die?” “No dear, you won’t die” and with that we gave her a bottle of water.

roscoe village (14)In the bottom of the Visitor’s Center there is a walk through museum (for a fee). While at the center you can schedule a candlelit tour or a seasonal tour. You can also purchase hand crafted items created by the many artisans you will find at the village; everything from wooden toys to brooms.

At one end of the village is a full-scale canal boat replica, an old wooden wagon and an overshot water wheel.

Throughout the village you will see a black smith shop, a general store, a tavern, a wine and coffee shop and a one room school house where they hold re enactments. Some shops even offer hands on activities such as basket weaving, candle making and tin punching. My favorite activity was the corn shucking contest. There is so much to see here that I enjoy visiting during different events/holidays. They even offer Homeschool days at a cost, Dulcimer Days and Christmas Candle lighting.

As with most tourist destinations bring a lot of money because tourism comes at a price. However, with that said I’ve attended many events and barely needed any money. It all depends on if you want to dine in the fancy restaurant and buy costly souvenirs. Seeing as I was there so often I didn’t need to see and buy it all but if you are only in the area for a brief moment it can be a rewarding experience to dine out and purchase a keep-sake. There is something for everyone here. Roscoe village is located at 600 N. Whitewoman Street Coshocton, Ohio 43812.