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  1. Default Mom and Boys Inaugural Road Trip

    Hi. I'm planning a road trip with my two boys (10 & 9) in the next couple weeks. The point is some quality time with the kids, and to give my husband an opportunity to play the bachelor for a weekend ;) If all goes well (generally speaking), I'm hoping to do this 2 or 3 times a year with the boys (with or without the old man).

    I've planned out what I think is a reasonable trip. I love to drive (My longest one-day drive was Detroit to Edison, NJ in one shot), so I'm not worried about the amount of driving. The boys are great in the car, and are accustomed to 3-4 hour rides to the cottage or to visit their grandparents. We've got books and tunes, so I think we're okay in that regard.

    Here's our planned itinerary. I've never planned a trip like this before (they've always been point a to point b trips), and I'm hoping it's reasonable. We plan to leave on Thursday after school / work / dinner. I plan on stopping frequently each day, especially on the return trip.

    Day 0 (~140 miles): Departure Day
    Travel from Windsor, ON to Lima, OH (140 miles)

    Day 1 (~250 miles):
    Visit Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum (14 miles)
    Travel to Lockington, OH and visit Lockington Locks (32 miles)
    Travel to Loveland, OH and visit Loveland Castle (80 miles)
    Travel to Louisville, KY and arrive at hotel (125 miles)

    Day 2 (~105 miles):
    Visit Frazier Int'l History Museum (weapons!) (20 miles)
    Visit Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (0 miles)
    Visit Muhammed Ali Center (0 miles)
    Travel to Cave City, KY and arrive at hotel (85 miles)

    Day 3 (~30 miles):
    Visit Crystal Onyx Cave (3 miles)
    Visit American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave (6 miles)
    Visit Historic Diamond Caverns (13 miles)
    Visit Dinosaur World (6 miles)
    Travel to Day 2 hotel for 2nd night (0 miles)

    Day 4 (~486 miles):
    Visit Mammoth Cave Nat'l Park (assume can reserve tour) (10 miles)
    Begin return trip, travel to Big Bone Lick State Park, KY (173 miles)
    Travel to Dayton, OH and visit Wright Brothers Memorial (85 miles)
    Travel to home (218 miles)

    I've never been to any of the caves in Kentucky. Would we be better off picking only one other cave to visit, and having more time to get home, and stop to see a couple things on the way? Each of the cave things I selected seemed to have their own unique "feature". I've thought about switching the Mammoth Cave to Day 3, and then having a couple alternate itineraries, depending on how interested we are in more caves...

    Also, I don't plan on booking anything ahead, except the Mammoth Cave tour, so I'm not looking to be the drill sergeant double-stepping us from attraction to attraction. I'm not pre-booking any hotels (I'm completely comfortable with this), especially since I'm planning on being in range of our day's destination ~8pm.

    I've used AAA information about the attractions to guesstimate how much time we'll stay there (and that it will be open when we get there) to come up with a timeline for the itinerary.

    Is there anything I'm missing? Any suggestions on things I shouldn't miss? I know there's a ton of stuff to see in KY (the original trip was to go to Nashville, but I got sidetracked by all the goodies in KY), and I know we can't see it all, but...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Ok, I've got to ask

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Is there any specific reason you want to go to Big Bone Lick (Here's the sign!) other than because of its odd name? Incidentally, the park is located on Beaver Road, near the town of Beaverlick!

    I camped at the park a couple years ago during a trip to Cinci, and I found it to be a nice little park worth exploring, but its nothing especially remarkable. I think you've got a great trip planned, but that last day would really be packed full. I think I would cut that element out to give you more time to enjoy Mammoth and make the drive home.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Is there any specific reason you want to go to Big Bone Lick (Here's the sign!) other than because of its odd name? Incidentally, the park is located on Beaver Road, near the town of Beaverlick!

    I camped at the park a couple years ago during a trip to Cinci, and I found it to be a nice little park worth exploring, but its nothing especially remarkable.
    The only reason I included it was because the "prehistoric remains" museum and the outdoor discovery trail sounded interesting. It's certainly not a must-see destination.

  4. #4

    Default Reservations

    Visit Mammoth Cave Nat'l Park (assume can reserve tour)
    Reservations are not only possible, they are recommended. You can do so here. I visited recently and did the Historic tour with 'Ranger Maria' - it was really enjoyable.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the tip. I think we'll likely go ahead and book that same one!

    I talked with the boys, and I think we're going to move the Mammoth Caves to Saturday morning, and find some additional interesting things to see on a more leisurely trip back home. I'll update the itinerary once the changes are made.

    We also decided we'll leave on September 27th, as we just discovered that the 28th is a school holiday.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Adventure Day Packs

    Quote Originally Posted by rennick View Post
    Thanks for the tip.
    Here are a couple more tips gleaned from my memories as a kid roadtripper.


  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Here are a couple more tips gleaned from my memories as a kid roadtripper.

    Thanks Mark, there are some great ideas in that article. We've kind of figured that the boys are at an age now that they can appreciate these types of trips, and remember them. (And I figure we've got 6 or 7 years before they start balking at family vacations.)

    I'm really hoping this trip goes well, as if it does, we're going to plan a spring trip for the 3 of us out to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, et. al. and a summer family trip (all 4) to visit some of the eastern Canadian provinces.

    When I was a kid, we didn't really do much in the way of vacationing. My grandparents had a cottage 3-hours away, and that was pretty much the only place we ever went.

    Except for our trip to Winnipeg. I'm pretty sure I was only 8 or 9, but I remember so much about that trip (the Wawa goose, the Terry Fox Memorial, climbing Castle Rock, buying amethyst crap from some gift shop, a Paul Bunyan statue, my dad running out of gas at the top of a hill--and coasting to the gas station at the bottom, stopping at each state/province border sign for a picture, dad getting pulled over for speeding in Minnesota, visiting the Mint, counting cars with my sister, fighting with my sister, getting threatened by dad).

    We'd really like to create alot of those types of memories for the boys. (We went camping for the first time this summer.) Plus, since I never travelled much as a kid, there's a lot I haven't seen and would like to.

    I'm heading out at lunch to buy MS Streets & Trips. As helpful as the AAA site is, I think that it's probably worth it to buy the MS offering, considering the number of trips we're planning over the next couple years, it will be a good investment.

    I'm thinking about buying the bundle with the GPS included. Has anyone used that version?

  8. Default

    Well, after a couple hours of using the software, I can see that my road trip planning will likely involve a combination of the AAA tool and MSS&T. I like that the AAA tool shows scenic routes that are in the area that I'm in, as well as the extra information they provide for the various attractions.

    I think for longer trips the plan will be to use the AAA tool for individual segment planning (you can have a max of 15 or so stops or waypoints in a single trip), and then use MSS&T for putting it all together, changing routes to add in any scenic roads we want to travel, and planning rest stops, lunch breaks, etc based on the estimated drive times I get out of MSS&T, which is a feature I really like.

    We decided to do the Mammoth Caves on Sunday morning, then after lunch do 1 or 2 more caves, based on our feeling at the time, and then head back home, so we'll be a couple hours on our way out. Then we'll spend Monday stopping at a few more of the attractions on the way back.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Good plan

    I tend to use both MS S&T and the AAA online travel planner, too. Between the two, you get a lot of good information.

    I just caution you to not plan to the nth degree. And don't necessarily believe the travel times these programs suggest. I've found MS S&T to be very accurate for some areas....and way off-base for others. It doesn't allow for heavy traffic congestion that will slow you down, for example. So build in some flexibility for these types of situations.

  10. #10

    Default Good idea

    I think that you are wise to reconsider the plan for days three and four. I'd kinda scanned right past the fact you were planning so much on the final day. You'll definately be better off with the revised plan.


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