The first place I look...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The kiddos are gonna blog!

8 days until our "Southern States tour"!  I will share all the ins and outs soon-I promise! 

BUT I have to share the excitement (me) and mixed reaction (kids) when I told them tonight that I wanted them to be active on this blog.  I have researched and planned the upcoming itinerary down to a tee, then thought how I really just wanted this trip to become a permanent part of our family legacy--not just from my perspective but from the kids' perspectives too.  With that in mind, I bought each one of them a journal today and talked with them tonight about how I want them to take some time everyday while we are on our SStour and just write what they think about the drive, the food, the hotel, the attraction, or whatever comes to mind....then i will share their thoughts and opinions with everyone here on Travel2bye2.  I hope that the experience opens up a love of writing, creating, and a positive way to channel their opinions (instead of arguing in the car)!

I believe that for kids, blogging represents a new way to not only write, but to create as well. With all the information and media available on the web today, a blog is the perfect way for young people, to research, vent, and create a living record that will be available for all generations to come.  One day when I'm gone, they can click on Travel2bye2 and read to their grandchild all about our trip in March 2012.  Wow!  I wanted a family legacy, and can't think of a more perfect way to get one.  Because blogs exist in a digital space mean that the kids can add to them indefinitely and learn more and more about what interests them, hopefully travel (in this blog's case).  I hope that they can use blogs as a way to help them find their life's passion.  Blogging also helps kids in many obvious ways: It improves their capacity for observation; increases their communication with family and friends who might be living in other cities; teaches them how to use the Internet appropriately, and even helps improve writing skills and spelling (a huge plus for my dyslexic child-who loves to write more than the others!).

Wish us luck!  Please stay tuned for all the details of the itinerary complete with reactions and opinions, written by the kiddos themselves!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Traveling thru Waco? Baylor's Mayborn Museum is a must see!

RIght off I-35 at Baylor University in Waco, Texas is one of our favorite in town "vacation" spots- The Mayborn Museum.  Our family recently visited the Mayborn Museum on a cold December day and had a blast! The price is right at $6 for adults and $4 for can easily spend a full day here.  And it isn't just for little kids!  Even our teenagers had fun trying out the hands on activities and yes, mom and dad even joined in.  Above you see Maggie enclosing herself in a human size bubble!  All the hands on activities encourage learning while still bringing smiles...we discovered an air cannon, different forces of water, pulleys and pendulums, and the science of sound.  Another wing of the building has role play rooms where you can have an ultra fancy tea party, visit other countries by dressing up and playing instruments, and spend hours at a "home on the range" milking a cow, riding in a wagon, pumping your own water and cooking on the hearth just like in the pioneer days.  They also feature traveling exhibits that never cease to amaze us all.  We have seen the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit and the Egyptian Pharoah exhibit, both of which we visited twice because we enjoyed it so much.  The pride of the museum is the Texas Natural History section which highlights the nearby actual Mammoth site with a casting of mammoth remains you can walk on top of and many of the wonderful exhibits which were once shown at the now closed Strecker Museum.  They are open daily and are well worth the time and money if you find yourself traveling thru Texas or even if you live nearby.  To see exact hours and current exhibit information follow the link:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why Travel 2bye2? by Gwen

Travel 2bye2.  I hope just the name makes people curious.  For me, so many things come to mind...  First, of course, comes the travel.  It is really a passion I have discovered  in the last few years.  As a child I didn't travel, except from Waco, Texas, to San Angelo, Texas, to see 2nd cousins once a year, but I did read.  I read every book that was ever put in front of me.  I begged to go to the library (I know you are thinking I'm a complete NERD now) because my dad once told me once that only a book could take you anywhere you wanted to go.  And I was happy with imagining all the beautiful places in the world until Reggie came along.  He definitely messed up my happy little way of thinking!  He introduced me to new places, the fun of plane travel, car travel, train travel, and the sheer awe that comes from seeing a new place for the first time.  Beginning with our first trip together--to New Orleans, Louisiana--I was hooked.  Then....we hooked the kids.  Yes, kids.  We blended our families when we married and we are now a happy, chaos filled family of 8.  Yes, eight.  We have Chase-18, Tylar-15, Brady-13, Abby-11, Paige-10, and Maggie-7.  We decided in the beginning of our marriage that our life's legacy would be  to worship God, love each other endlessly, and teach our children that the world has so much to teach them, but they must see it to learn it, absorb it, and make it better.  We started with a plane ride from Waco, Texas to Jacksonville, Florida in 2008.  We assigned the three older boys, each a younger sister.  As the oldest ones, it was their job to help their little sisters with their luggage and holding their hands in the airports.  I will never forget the moment at the DFW airport that I turned around and saw all 6 of our children following behind us, 2x2.  Even though the girls are a little older now, we still follow that same plan, although I will brag that every single child of ours can find their way thru an airport as well as any adult.  I am proud to share this love of travel with you, our hints on saving money, finding the best hotels, learning about each location, and building an itinerary.   I hope the tips along the way that we have found (and sometimes stumbled upon) and will share with you thru this blog, spark your urge to try a new adventure of your own, whether you are on a budget, have a gaggle of kids like us, or you simply want to travel with the love of your life, as I get to do.   -Gwen