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After a couple weeks hanging out in TN running our favorite rivers, we were ready to start focusing on the purpose of our trip. We were excited to be heading toward Columbus, GA where the 2018 US Nationals were being held.  The air was warm, the water was warm, and it’s typically a great place for all of us to enjoy the river.

Last year was the first year Nationals was held in Columbus. This year Elly and Coby were determined to get their rolls and Emmy wanted to run the Wave Shaper over and over to help her get past her fear of flipping. In the end they all ran Wave Shaper. Emmy got a gazillion combat rolls. Elly and Coby got their bomber combat bails and Elly even got a roll in the eddy.

Elly and Coby practicing their bails.

I was excited to see them in the water, laughing and having fun. Because, while we do compete in a lot of competitions, like the 2018 US Nationals, we kayak because it’s fun. The competitions are fun. Party surfing is fun. Running rivers is fun. It’s just all fun.

When we finally arrived in Columbus, from Tennessee, we were surprised to see so many RV’s already camped out in the lot designated for competitors. Surprised, but excited to see so many friends already there.

So many fun loving, like-minded peeps came out to Nationals this year!

As soon as my dad parked the RV we all jumped out and got our gear, grabbed our kayaks and longboarded down to the wave.  We used this session, and pretty much all the rest, to get used to our playboats and everything once again because we have not been kayaking for like 7 months!

Kady, Kenny & Dally were last in boats 5 months prior because they made the US Team and got to compete in Argentina at Worlds. Still, that’s a long time considering everyone else kayaks year round … something I would love to do too, but I can’t imagine giving up snowboarding and hockey. Plus, there is no water in Colorado in the winter.

But, we kayaked like crazy the 4 days before the comp. We brought the whole family down every day and just spent hours playing. One of my favorite times was when it got dark and the lights came on. It was super scary because the lights lit up the wave and only a few feet behind it and NOT the entire length of the water you paddle after flushing. But scary is often fun, and it was sooo fun.

On Saturday and Sunday 2018 U.S Nationals were held. There were so many spectators. It was funny because a lot of people introduced their kids to me and said they had been following us for a long time. They said we inspired them to get their kids into kayaking. That is so cool to me. I would love to see more kids paddling because it’s the most fun thing to do ever. Especially in the summer, especially if you live in Columbus, where it gets crazy hot. The only thing I’d ever want to do is be in the water!

It was cold and rainy all day, so we hung out under the rafts!

Anyway, a lot of people came and went those days, even though it was crazy cold! The weather was rainy and the air chilly.

We had super low expectations for winning, but high to have fun and, obviously do our best.  I was really happy to get 4th in cadet women. What I would love to see is a National King of the Wave competition. I would win. Every time. I love love party surfing and knocking everyone off the wave! If you haven’t tried this, you have to. Serious fun.

Getting ready for my ride!

Kenny and Dally and Cardy were disappointed in their rides, but I told them they did awesome and they got over it in like 5 minutes. Kenny got 3rd, and Dally got 2nd, and Cardy 7th in Junior men they all did amazing, really.

Jacob, Dally and Kenny … Junior Men’s Podium

My younger brother, Rowdy also got 4th in cadet men. This is super cool because he basically just started competing last year and he did awesome. I mean, everyone did awesome, everyone who competed did so great and it was so fun, which is all that matters. Win or lose, who cares, just have fun … that’s our motto.

Which is a great motto, cuz if you are not having fun, you’ll never get better, you’ll never progress and staying the same at anything kinda stinks. You know? You want to keep improving in whatever you do, so it has to be fun.

I love hanging out with this crazy, fearless kid.

After the competition ended within an hour everyone, and I mean everyone, who competed  in the competition disappeared. Like, literally everyone left. They all were heading to NOC, another super fun place that is great to paddle, but we weren’t going there, we had other plans, which includedsun and fun at Gulf Shores in a few days!  

We practically had the whole place to ourselves the next day. The wave and everything. We were the only ones there. We helped Coby and Elly get more used to bailing with their skirts on. Cardy, Rowdy and I tried to make each other swim. We paddled Wave Shaper, we surfed and we ran the river, including Cut Bait.

My mom even jumped on Good Wave 1000 times and she killed it. She had so much fun surfing Good Wave that she didn’t want to leave. She had so much fun surfing Good Wave, we didn’t do all the PR stuff we were supposed to do! My mom totally bailed on work … for kayaking!

It’s fun to watch my younger brothers and sisters (and my mom) discover how much fun kayaking is. There is a fear factor, which for some people is greater than others, but once you get past that hump, nothing holds you back. It becomes something you want to do all day everyday.

KelloggShow: Fun in the Sun in Columbus, GA for #PaddleSouth - YouTube

The dynamics of my younger siblings is funny. Elly and Coby key off each other. Coby usually does things first. But Elly has to agree to do it. Once she says yes, Coby will be the first to try it, which gives Elly the opportunity to see how it all goes down.

Like Wave Shaper, for example. Its big and burly, the possibility to flip is huge, which is fine, it’s fun. So, Coby and Elly were kinda on the fence. But, we convinced Elly to say yes, so Coby said yes and he was the first to run the rapid!  LOL.He flipped and bailed, we all got him and all his gear out and he was smiling huge. This gave Elly confidence and the exact same scenario occurred with her! It was great.

My Dad did rolls with Emmy who just started doing her role last year. She got it every time she tried, which is crazy because I remember just last year she was just as scared to flip as Coby and Elly are now.  But now she is rolling over and over. She even did this thing that my mom and I do … we roll over and over and see how many linked rolls you can do. It’s fun, but it makes you super dizzy.

I kept trying to surf Wave Shaper, then Ollie, then Good Wave. Ollie is super hard to catch, but I managed to surf all three waves a few times.

Emmy was pretty hesitant about running Wave Shaper. I get it because it looks pretty intimidating and it does flip a lot of paddlers. My dad had to push her a little to get her to agree to do it. She was pretty scared, but she trusts us all. She did a practice roll at the top eddy and then peeled out of the Eddy, following Rowdy down.

Wave Shaper did not flip her!  But then, she hit Ollie and she flipped after surfing it for a few seconds. This is where she got her first ever combat roll. We were all screaming and yelling and cheering. It was so cool, I was so happy for her.

When she got back to the bottom, my mom was waiting and gave her high fives and hugs and Emmy was smiling huge. I could tell she was super proud of her combat roll.

When you are teaching kids about kayaking, it’s so important that it just stays fun and that bad scenarios are avoided. So, while we nudge the little kids to try stuff, we don’t ever put them in situations that could actually be bad. That’s where Columbus is awesome. The water is warm and we can all swim the rapids, so you know it’s safe as long as you wear a PFD and a helmet.

The next day there was no water and so we decided to go run Mulberry Creek which was about 30 minutes from where we were parked. Kenny called a friend to see if it was running and the friend said it was very low, runnable, but super scrapey and rocky and he said something about a girl scout camp being angry. I don’t know, but we decided we didn’t have enough beta and it didn’t sound like it would be as epic as if the water was high and so we decided not to run it.

The bummer is my parents decided it would be a great day for school and getting work and blogs done. We also took showers. Big HUGE props to Outside World Columbs and Whitewater Express for being so awesome and letting us use your showers. This is appreciated more than you will ever know!

A good friend and fellow JK boater, Jeremy Adkins. Emmy & Elly love him.

The next two days were the same as the first. Coby, Elly and Emmy ran Wave Shaper a bunch. We surfed Good Wave and practiced flatwater tricks.

When we got packed up to go, my brother Dally got to drive the truck because he has his permit. My dad jumped in the driver seat of the RV, my mom in the passenger seat of the trcuk and we drove out of Columbus, super proud of each other. But especially proud of Elly and Coby bailing, Emmy getting her combat roll. So much happiness going around, it’s awesome

Maddy

The post Kids Kayaking: Happiness & Fun at 2018 US Nationals in Columbus, GA appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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I write for several online travel blogs. The best, and by far the biggest is TravelingMom.com.  It is one of the biggest travel sites in the online world. Through TravelingMom, I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many amazing women who identify with all aspects of mothering, as well as all stages. They are a wide range of strong, confident, successful and talented people.  We all have TMOM names, mine happens to be Unstoppable TravelingMom. I’ve never really stopped to think about what it means to Be UnStoppable.  It’s a hashtag I use and a state of being that I aspire to.

Evaluate your fear, take chances, turn off the noise … You do You!

And the truth is that I  typically feel quite unstoppable. My mentality, for better or worse, has always been me against the world, or as it stands now, Dan and the kids and I against the world. I don’t let anyone or any thing tell me what I can and cannot do. I have an aversion to authority, especially assumed authority…I’m not singing my praises, I’m simply stating what IS. Nothing infuriates me more than some random mom chastising my kids for climbing up the slide or on top of the monkey bars. Like, really lady, who made you the public playground police?

The people who are my tribe are the ones who go along with the innocent pranks my kids play, or, like the man in Golden, CO who was there from Connecticut visiting his kids. He took the time to come out and watch our kids (and Jacob) compete. He had seen them SUP’ing the day before and thought they were “good kids” and “good sports”. They are a little crazy, unconventional and wild, but they are all inherently good and kind.

But society would rather they walk up the steps of the slide and play on the playground equipment “the way it was designed”.  I’m sure, if you’ve read this blog before you’ve heard the reference to the crazy lady at a park in Sparta, NC who called the cops because the kids were climbing trees? These are the same people who roll their eyes at toddlers playing at a train table OFF the tracks. These are the people, and I’m going to step in it here, who hate their jobs and their lives because they’ve never ventured off the beaten and approved paths. They don’t know how to live!

My kids aren’t perfect, I mean they are kids, they are pretty dumb, but they are good, they are learning the ways of the world, they have met amazing people and a few significantly less than amazing people. They are praised and they are destroyed. Each of them remain the same inside regardless of the ratio of kind v mean things they hear any given day. Our kids know who they are, they know they are safe and loved, they know they are children of God, that they have worth and a purpose … snide comments, cops and failure can’t keep them down.

Being Unstoppable Begins with Parenting Take the risks, make the jump,, your dreams will catch you!

So in my research of Unstoppable-ness I seriously began to realize that being Unstoppable is a frame of mind that is a direct result of your outlook on the world around you and your experiences with it.

So if, as a kid, you are constantly told No, Be Careful, Watch Out, if you never are permitted to just be you and do you, you are never going to step outside the box. You won’t take chances because you don’t know how. These kids have parents who have instilled fear in their hearts, created doubt where there was none. With the serious lack of free play in 

Kids are generally curious and love running and playing and exploring. This is the pre-cursor to Being Unstoppable. Let them be free, stand back and watch from a distance, give them space to inquire and to meet other kids and yes, even to run up the slide. The more they are free to push their limits the more they will learn about those limits and discover their fears. They will learn to manage that fear, with your help, and to push those limits.

Being Unstoppable Means Letting Them Fail Every failure gets you closer to success.

Failure is hard. It makes you question your worth, your abilities as well as your standing in the eyes of your peers. Failure is a hard pill to swallow for kids, for adults, and yes, even parents.

We want to coddle our kids, we hate to see them struggling, suffering and failing. You watch them work hard to achieve something and when they don’t you feel their pain as hard, if not more, as they do.

You gotta let them move through those feelings. Failure is the greatest thing next to winning because they are out there doing, trying, pushing, dreaming & experiencing … Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.

If our kids aren’t given the chance, the opportunity to fail, they will never know how to get back up, to keep forging forward.  The members of this family fail A LOT. We are what could be called professional failures. But mixed in there with all the failures are some amazing and confidence boosting successes.

Just the other day, Coby (5) was longboarding and doing headstands on his longboard. He was instantly successful, until he got too much speed and I couldn’t get to him fast enough and he crashed into a parked bike. Scary but memorable for him as he learned to moderate his speed and to take in his surroundings and a few minutes later was back at it.  And he’s 5 …

Stop Caring What Other People Think Being Unstoppable requires parents teach their kids to be resilient.

Worrying about what other people think, is akin to imprisonment. It paralyzes your ability to think for yourself, this desire to be liked and accepted.. This fear of what other people think weighs so heavily on ,amy, young and old, that they can’t even identify what it is they want in life, being popular and well liked IS their life’s goal and that, that is devastatingly simple.

We have to teach our kids that they are their biggest advocate, that they have to be true to themselves. To hell what other people think. If we taught our kids to stop accepting bullying, and how to punch back; if we taught them to give the proverbial middle finger to anyone who tries to impart fear on their hearts, maybe these kids would grow up and take down the status-quo. They would be so empowered.

When we took off our on fulltime RVing adventure, 7 years ago, we did so amidst so much hatred, it was mind-boggling the things people said on public forums. But we knew what we wanted and we were being true to us. If someone had told me we would still be doing this 7 years later and that we’d be stopping to take selfies with fans and appearing on The Today Show and the like, I’d have laughed. We are simply doing life our way. The fact that people, most people, not all, now see the benefit of what we are doing is just part of the game.

Being Unstoppable Means Re-Evaluating the Status-Quo Being Unstoppable means you keep going regardless of the obstacles.

Now, we are a society of rules and laws, many of these laws are well-founded, they protect the rights of others and the property of others.

Laws are unbreakable without a serious consequence. Rules, however, are flexible, fluid and ever changing. I’ve strived to teach my kids the careful balance of being respectful while also being forceful and persistent.

My daughter, Maddy, is the most persistent person you will ever meet. She asks, I say no, she retreats and reevaluates. She then comes back with some ammo, and then more ammo and then more ammo, until finally I have no choice but to say … yes.

In life we can either affect the status quo by influencing those in power, which is what you must do when you are 13, or you can dismantle it, throwing everyone’s games off by doing your own thing, therefore bringing the powers that be to your reality.

The latter is my preferred course of action. I don’t ask permission, only forgiveness.  Dan and I were quite certain that this life of adventure and travel and non-conventional living would be greatly beneficial to our family. We took the chance, if it had sucked, we would have thrown in the towel told the world they were right and moved on to our next play.

Being Unstoppable Means Being You Sometimes unplugging from the noise is the best way to take care of yourself.

In the end, Being Unstoppable means simply being you. Turning off the noise, and listening to your own inner voice.

In today’s digital world that center’s around social media, this can be difficult because the noise comes straight to you, via your phone. What I do, when I feel I’m being taken down by pessimism or even envy (because it happens to all of us) I turn off notifications and I go off the grid while I work on getting my head in the right space.  And that’s me, a 40-something mom.

Imagine what our kids go through? I know of kids, 16,17,18 who pay for followers and like on IG! Their self-esteem rides on having a certain number of likes, of followers.  This is sad to me, because while we have a social media presence, I don’t work it. My thing is I post and am gone. No time to scroll. Dan doesn’t scroll, our kids don’t scroll, much.

I also don’t post everything that happens, and neither do our kids. Believe it or not, the idea that “if it’s not on video it didn’t happen” is harmful af.  One of my daughters had a friend who literally did everything “for the photo”. If she went to the beach it was for 20 minutes to get that picture. If she hiked, same thing.

We do more offline than ever makes a post. Can you believe there are mountains we climb, rivers we run, hikes we traverse, picnics we enjoy,  and don’t take a single shot? Or if we do, it’s on the way home when we’ve finally remembered, “oh crap, a sponsor would like a photo of such and such”.  Much of our life is private, because much of our life is public. There is a balance that we must teach our children.

Being Unstoppable Means Being Courageous Parents must help their kids learn the skills to be successful in life.

As parents, we must help our children learn how to turn off the static and focus on their own journey in life.  We can guide them, we can help them identify their passions and their strengths and weaknesses. As parents, we can teach them how to never give up, to manage their emotions,  make sure they receive a quality education. We can do so much, but what we can’t do is hover and dictate and warn and caution and entertain 24/7. Parents have to be present, but not oppressive.

We have to show them how to live an authentic life.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings

The post Be Unstoppable: How to Raise Our Kids to Be Authentically Themselves appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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So we are all back on the road, and so happy about it. It was a long winter without a lot of snow, which will make the kayaking season back in Colorado interesting. But we are so ready to start kayaking and climbing and hiking and biking again, that we all eagerly packed up the RV and sprinted out of the West toward the East.  Our East trip is one month of non-stop kayaking. One of the most fun rivers to run, for everyone, is the Ocoee river. But, we like to try new rivers too. One of the new rivers we ran while in Tennessee was Richland Creek.  Whitewater Kayaking Richland Creek was super fun!

The gang … some of our favorite people to paddle with are right here in this photo!

We are hanging out in TN before we head down to Columbus, GA for the Paddle South Freestyle Kayaking National Championships.  None of us have been in a kayak in about 6 months, so our expectations are low for winning, but high on the stoke for fun! Columbus is a great spot for everyone to get in the water and play and learn.

But, while we are here in TN, we have been running rivers. We have run the Ocoee, the Tellico, Cheoah and now, we have decided to kayak Richland Creek in Dayton with some friends. No-one in my family has ever done Richland Creek before, so we thought it would be fun. And, oh my gosh, it was.

Kelloggshow Kids Paddle Richland Creek and Get Some Carnage! - YouTube

Scouting Richland Creek

We drove about 30 minutes from where we were camping, near the Ocoee. And since the weather has been freezing, we layered up under our drytops.  I was so thankful for my Kokatat Fleece because it is really soft and so warm. My Kokatat drytop was awesome too, keeping me completely dry and warm, as long as I stayed in my boat!!  But, I have now decided that I really really need a Kokatat drysuit since I’m running harder creeks that have the potential to make me swim!

So, anyway, we met up with our friend Grady Flynn who was already there doing laps. We had perfect timing, because as soon as we arrived, he was at the take-out. We quickly got dressed and were ready to go.

Now, Richland Creek is alongside a trail that you can walk and scout the entire run . We all walked it together and Grady pointed out the three rapids that could potentially cause problems. One was at the bottom, Weirdo. And the other two were Class V’s at the very beginning.

The hike was pretty easy which is good when carrying big boats!

Rowdy and I both decided to wait until the second run because the river is so short it is easy to do two runs. We both also like to have our dad, Kenny, Dally & Kady know the river and the lines before they lead us down so they can lead us the right way. Our friend, Jacob McConell was with us too and he and my brother, Cardy, decided to wait with us until the second run because they were cold already.  Plus, all our gear was soaking wet from running the Ocoee three days in a row and nothing dries out here in the East because of the humidity! 

So, me, Rowdy, Cardy, Jacob, and my Mom walked up the hike with everyone who was running the first lap – my siblings Kenny, Dally, Kady and my Dad, and then our friends, Grady, Max Haworth, and Jeremy Adkins. They were all going to the top to run the two Class V’s.  We were just going to follow them down the river, watching and filming.

Kady did so great following Grady’s lines! Pins are Possible on Richland Creek

But on the way up, we saw a guy piton off the second Class V, Left Down Hut, and get vertically pinned on a rock! He pulled his skirt fast and was out, but his boat was stuck there even when our crew did their first run!  We watched them all kill the entire river.  I was really happy when they all did awesome. Once we got to the end and back to the rv the rest of us got dressed fast because everyone was cold and we didn’t want to keep them waiting .

Now it was our turn. I was excited, I love new rivers and creeks. When we all were ready we walked up the mile and half hike again. Don’t worry, it’s an easy hike without much of an incline. The only hard part is walking in all your gear carrying a boat, like my JK SideKick.

Great spot for a photo! Two Class V’s on Richland Creek

But anyways when we got there Rowdy and I, after taking one look at the class 5’s earlier, knew we are not ready for any class 5 yet. So we got ready to put-in right below the second Class V rapid, Left Down Hut.  Sure, maybe we could do it, in fact, we probably could because really they didn’t look that hard, but I practically just started doing class 4’s. It’s much better to progress slowly than to just jump right in and do a difficult and technical rapid like a Class V. Cardy, on the other hand, is already doing some Class V’s because he has been doing class 4’s longer than us. Plus, Cardy is a really good kayaker, he makes everything look really easy like my other older siblings.

Cardy did so great. Great lines. Having Kenny and Dally below helps!

Now, Timber Rattler is the first rapid of the river and, like I said, it is a Class 5 that has a few bad pin spots and an insanely sticky hole and, according to American Whitewater, a gnarly sieve.  It’s  “a steep boulder garden ending with a five foot boulder choke with a somewhat sticky hole at the bottom. ” I watched everyone run it and while it looks really easy, the water is so much pushier than it seems, at least that is what Kady told me.

Cardy followed Kenny down it and had a perfect line the whole way until Kenny got a little messed up on his line and Cardy hit Kenny’s stern. This slowed Cardy down right before the hole. He really needed speed and a good boof to make it over clean. Kenny got a great boof but since Cardy hit him, Cardy had no speed. He tried to boof but got messed up and kinda pitoned right into the hole and disappeared for a second.  Then, he got stuck in the hole and flipped over. And, he actually swam because his paddle got caught on a rock and was ripped right out of his hand.

Class V, no problem for Dally!

This was a little scary to watch because his boat came out immediately, but Cardy was under for a little bit. Luckily, he came up before I could panic. It’s just that it always seems like forever when someone is under water.  When he came back to the surface he grabbed the back of Kenny’s boat and Kenny paddled him to the side. Everyone cheered saying Yay Cardy “Your First Class 5 swim, Yay”, and of course Cardy had this huge smile on his face as always. He is so much fun to kayak with. After that, Cardy got back in his boat and we headed down to the next Class V rapid.

Kenny always fishes everyone out of the water! Richland Creek III/IV’s

After Timber Rattler, you paddle through some Class III rapids before coming up on the next Class V rapid, Left Hut Down. There is a sharp left turn that you have to take over a 4′ drop to avoid the waterfall to your right. The waterfall is not a place you want to end up. It is short, like maybe 6′, but the potential for a pin is near certain, which is why you take a sharp left. After the left turn, you turn back right and huck another 4′ drop.

One of our favorite paddlers of all time. He makes everything fun.

Everyone did amazing, no swims, no pins, no bad things, just perfect lines.

Rowdy and I put in right below this second rapid. I’m pretty sure that only three rapids have names, but the rest of the river isn’t totally a piece of cake. It’s all Class III/IV. There are some technical moves on some of the rapids, but for the most part it was pretty easy and straightforward, especially because I had everyone telling me where to go! We paddled and talked, laughed, and just had fun, because kayaking is fun.

This was just so funny, to see Rowdy upside down as I came down. He rolled up perfectly.

Then, we came across this pourover kinda thing.  Dally told me and Rowdy to go left toward this rock that goes right by a pourover. It looked straightforward enough. Rowdy went first and did great. Then I went. I somehow managed to go up on the rock and get all messed up. I dropped into the pourover.  I got flipped over and I was not holding my paddle tightly enough for the force of the pourover water, so it pulled my paddle from my hands and, despite trying a hand roll, I swam. My boat recirculated for a few minutes but finally came out, and Kenny grabbed it and brought it to the side.  

Our good friend, Max (who didn’t do a second run) grabbed it and helped me drain it. When I got out of the river, I was literally freezing cold and I decided right then and there I was asking for a drysuit for my birthday. Anyways, my Mom was right there giving me hugs and high fives, and doing jumping jacks with me to keep warm. Then, I got back in my boat and continued back down the river.

Weirdo – A Rapid That Can Be Trouble

Next, is just more Class III/IV-ish water until Weirdo a class 4+. There are three drops within Weirdo.  There is a hole that you boof and then you ride a curler over another hole. Cardy took a different line from everyone else and went on the left and paddled down a rock slide.

I was so proud of Rowdy, he styled everything and no swims!

Rowdy and I were actually debating running it until Kady told me that she thought that maybe I shouldn’t run it. Then Kenny said the same thing, and when Kenny says you shouldn’t do something he means it because he usually never says it.  So Rowdy and I took out above it and walked down the rapid. It is a really easy walk. Kady, Kenny and Dally are older and way better at kayaking so we trust them and listen to them. But anyways everyone else did awesome on Werido.

The rest is just boogie water until the take out. Once we got to the take out we took a picture of everyone and then got out of our gear fast because we were freezing cold. When we got into the RV, my mom was making Hot Chocolate and had warm blankets ready for us.  

Kayaking is so fun, even when you have a little bit of carnage. In fact, we always tell each other that if you aren’t swimming ever, you aren’t pushing yourself. Everytime I paddle a new river, I’m learning so much. I love paddling rivers, it’s my favorite thing.

Maddy

 

The post KelloggShowKids Whitewater Kayaking: Richland Creek appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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Colorado has long been on top of the short list for many travelers. With countless waterfalls, and rivers, mountains historical sites, Colorado offers endless adventure. That being said, many people are entirely mistaken about what exactly Colorado is. It is amazing, and beautiful and rugged and tame. And there are a lot of things you should know before you cross the state line. From altitude sickness to the widely mistaken rocky mountain oyster, here is a solid list of 12 things to know before visiting Colorado.

The beautiful scenery will have visitors gaping. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Colorado is an amazing place to visit, let alone live. One trip to the Centennial State and your entire outlook on life will change.  In fact, after one visit to Colorado in 1998, we began making plans to get out of our city mindset and into a more chill, more adventure focused lifestyle.

12 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Colorado

But, traveling to Colorado is not as easy as packing your bags and hitting the streets, unless, of course, you don’t leave Denver, which you must. You see, Colorado is unlike any state I have ever been. It’s laid back, sure, but it is almost a necessary study prior to enjoying. As an 18 year resident of this amazing and quirky state, I lay out these 12 things to know before visiting Colorado.  So come on, let’s Visit Colorado on paper for one minute.

1. Marijuana The laws governing purchasing and smoking pot in Colorado are tough to know them before you Visit Colorado. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Let’s just confront the elephant in the room… marijuana.  Definitely in the Top 3 Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado!  Everyone in the world, by now, knows that it is legal to buy and consume pot if you are 21 or older. But, what so many don’t fully grasp is that it is illegal to smoke it in public. That includes, but is not limited to cars, buses, parking lots, ski resorts, parks, bars, etc.  

But just because it is illegal to smoke in public, doesn’t mean everyone knows or abides by this … so be prepared to smell A LOT of pot during the summer months if you plan to hit the river, take a popular hike or chill at some of the most amazing hot springs in the country. And if you are a marijuana tourist, don’t be that guy who starts smoking around kids … and, please, understand the laws before you come.

2. Altitude Sickness Altitude Sickness is a real thing and knowing how to deal with it can save you two full days on your Colorado vacation! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Now that we got that squared away, let’s talk about something I knew nothing about when I first traveled to Colorado. Altitude Sickness. Again, a very high on the totem pole of Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado!

Altitude Sickness is, unfortunately, a real thing. Some people have no problems with the altitude, others instantly feel the effects as soon as they hit Denver and beyond.  Altitude sickness is the cause of headaches, unquenchable thirst, fatigue and very rarely, nausea. Typical symptoms tend to subside around the second day. However there are several things you can do to reduce your symptoms and even avoid it altogether.

The first is to drink a boat load of water. Grab your Nalgene bottle, or your hydration pack, like a GeigerRig,  and keep it with you at all times, filling it to the brim with absolutely the best tasting tap water in the world … ok except maybe the Alps.

Second, don’t do anything strenuous the first two days you are here. Many people complain that they are lightheaded, so take it easy.

Third, take Altitude Adjustment … a 100% preservative-free, all-natural supplement that is specially formulated to reduce the effects of high altitude sickness. Our friends and family swear by them!

3. We Drive Fast Coloradans drive fast even in the mountains. You don’t have to keep up the pace, and in fact, that is inadvisable! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg Unstoppable Traveling Mom

I tend to drive rather quickly, so the speed in which Coloradans get around didn’t faze me. However, it has surprised and even frightened some of our friends and family when they visit Colorado. Especially when speeds in excess of 75 are common in the mountains and the roads are unfamiliar. So, I felt this was an absolute to include in the top 12 Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado.

Don’t worry about everyone else. Stay in the right lane and drive the speed you are comfortable driving, and obey signs … when a speed limit drops to 40 around a turn, that is not a suggestion!

4. Fire Bans Unlike the East Coast, Colorado has significant fire bans! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

This item on my list of Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado is the worst! The word fire ban was never in my vocabulary before I moved to Colorado. I hailed from the DC area. We would take our kids camping in the dead of August and build huge campfires, never once considering that in other parts of the country were droughts and forest fires were a huge concern.

And then one day, immediately after moving to Colorado, we packed up the truck and the kids and headed out to a random forest road. Low and behold there was a sign, “Fire Ban is in Effect”. What in the holy heck? And it was June! We tried camping with no fire and lasted barely one night. Even today, after 18 years the thought of no campfire puts a huge damper on the whole camping experience.

So, I included this for those of you who enjoy camping for the Smores, the ghost stories and the camaraderie around the fire, as well as the warmth. BEWARE, when you visit Colorado, you will most likely encounter fire bans.

5. Nature is Serious Business The hikes are out of this world in Colorado and Coloradans take great pride in keeping our natural beauty pristine. Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

City dwellers, take note. Coloradans take nature, in all forms, very seriously.  If the sign before a hike says “Stay on Trail,” you best take that to heart. Likewise, a sign prohibiting swimming.  If you do go rogue and start messing around in Colorado’s near-pristine wilderness, you will likely be featured in a Social Media shame campaign. There is no joking around.

And, for the love, don’t litter.

Respect nature is a definite on any list of Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado.

6. Pack for a Truly Bi-Polar Weather Pattern The weather is constantly changing, it’s cool in the mountains and warmer in the valleys. Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

What to pack is everyone’s top question when planning a trip to visit us in this amazing state. This morning it was freezing, low teens and by 2 pm it was 50 degrees. Tomorrow it is supposed to snow and the following day it will be what Coloradans deem shorts weather … a balmy 49.  

So, what to pack? No-one knows, so the keyword around these parts is … layers! Bring it all.  During the summer, the weather is much cooler in the mountains than in valleys … many mountains remain snow-capped year round!

Shoes, here in Colorado are easy. Simply, bring a pair of sandals and wear them with socks if and when it is chilly.

Oh, and when you Visit Colorado don’t forget the sunscreen because Colorado has 300+ days of sun.  

7. Craft Beer Colorado Colorado is home to nearly 230 established breweries. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

For the love of beer, this had to be included in any Colorado. We are craft beer country!  Good luck finding Bud Light or Michelob on tap in more than a handful of bars and restaurants. Coors is popular because it is brewed in Golden, CO, but that is really about it.  You see, you are now entering the Craft Beer Twilight Zone. And you’ll love it. You know what they say, when in Rome …

8. Rocky Mountain Oysters Not what you think. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Rocky Mountain Oysters, the food Colorado is famous for. And when I say that, I mean people from all over come here for them! My first experience with Rocky Mountain Oysters was at this local Glenwood Springs, CO restaurant, Rivers. Delectable food, for the foodie. However, I’m a cheeseburger and fries girl to the core. Side Note: their brunch is to die for.

Anyway, we met some new friends for dinner and I scoured the menu for something to order. I opt for a salad. Our friends go with the Rocky Mountain Oysters and realized we have no idea that they don’t hail from the sea, proceed to have a lot of fun with my husband and me.

So, what is the big deal? What exactly are Rocky Mountain Oysters? Why did some food item make it onto a list of the top 12 Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado? 

Well, Rocky Mountain Oysters are … mammal testicles, and most commonly come from bulls, bison, pigs, and sheep. Yep, I’m so not kidding.

So, word of caution, when you Visit Colorado, beware, apparently people from all over the world visit Colorado for these “delectables.”

9. Coloradans Dress Casual It’s a thing, much to outsiders dismay. Photo Credit: Teva.com

A quick trip to NYC or LA has me feeling underdressed at every turn. There simply aren’t enough bags to bring all the clothes I need for a weekend trip, not to mention the fees associated with those bags.

However, when you Visit Colorado, the expectations are greatly lowered. In our small neck of the woods, between Aspen and Vail, if you see someone in a suit, they are undoubtedly a lawyer on his way to court. No lie.

So, a great guide for when you Visit Colorado is to pack super casual. For men, this means a flannel and jeans and for women, jeans and a cute top. And yes, this is appropriate for Friday nights, out on the town whether you are in Denver or Aspen. And, yes sandals and socks really are a thing here.

10. Learn Skier Etiquette Before Skiing or Riding The KelloggShow family chillin’ at the top of the mountain. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

There is little that drives Coloradans crazy more than people who break Skier Etiquette. So, put “research” on your list of Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado.  You’ll notice, while here, that we have very little in the way of rules.  The first is be chill, the second is Skier Etiquette.

So, don’t be that guy (or gal) who cuts the line at the lift, or flies down the park and runs into a 5 year old (actually happened just the other day), or smokes pot on the lift (major pet peeve of mine), or any of the million other things listed specifically in a gazillion blogs found via Google.

Brush up, it will save you some headaches.

11. The Outdoors Is Life Coloradans are crazy. Here the KelloggShow family participates in the annual New Years Day run down a Class III section of the Colorado River. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Coloradans are super cool people, we do things that others only read about. This is the happiest state, after Hawaii, in the union, and it’s because we get outside and adventure. We are diverse people, despite the fact that most of y’all think it only snows here.  Sure we all ski and snowboard, but we all also have other passions that run from climbing to whitewater kayaking to biking and so much more. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a sedentary Coloradan, and if you do, they are a transplant from a city.

One of the Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado is that you will spend the majority of your time outside doing cool things!

12. Dogs are Basically Humans Dogs have almost as many rights as people, in Colorado! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Dogs are, for good or bad, welcome almost everywhere.  Truth be told, I have even seen them skiing or riding!  Dogs are everywhere. You will see them at the river, at the base of a mountain, on every hike you’ll ever go on, even when it clearly states NO Dogs. Dogs are in bars and even some restaurants, which I just can’t get beyond, but they are there. In fact, my daughter went to her female doctor and the doctor brought her dog into the examining room.

So, definitely, if you are a dog lover, put on your list of Things To Know Before Visiting Colorado … bring your dog! 

KelloggShow Visiting Colorado

The post 12 Things You Must Know When You Visit Colorado appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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For most of us who enjoy traveling with our families, oftentimes our dream vacation and our budget don’t coincide. Or perhaps you want to party like it’s 1999 while also basking in the love of your spouse on a fun-filled romantic tryst. When your budget can’t spring for an International Trip to Rome, or even NYC, you need look no further than Las Vegas! Here, in the land of luxurious hotels, overindulgence, fine dining and caribbean-esque pools, you can pretend your way to almost anywhere in the world! Check out this list of Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas!

Romance is in the air in Vegas … always.

Last year my husband, Dan, and I left the kids behind and took our first couples trip in over 24 years! And this year, we’ve gone again. Both times we went to Las Vegas. The first for adventure and fun with friends, the second, more of a budget friendly romantic trip.

Like many, I never equated Las Vegas with romance. I scoffed at the idea of marrying in a Vegas chapel and never having been there, I would have described the vibe as tacky and depraved.  But then, after our first visit, I discovered that Las Vegas was whatever you wanted it to be. It could be tacky and depraved, but it could also be luxurious and romantic.

I scoured the Internet for inexpensive flights across the US for a mini-vacation for us both, but nothing compared to either the prices of flights to Las Vegas or the lavish hotels that line the strip. That pretty much sealed the deal for us. We booked three nights at the MGM Grand and set out to find the most Romantic Things to Do In Las Vegas.  Here is what we found, sure to woo any significant other!

Ritzy Hotel Rooms Entertainment Central.

Yes, let’s go here first. If you are like us and have a young family, you know it is very very hard to find alone time. Add in the fact that we travel in an RV with a gaggle of kids, for 10 months out of every year … and you can probably appreciate our knack for being “crafty” as well as our thrill at finding ourselves alone in a really beautiful hotel room. {wink, wink}

I find luxurious hotels to be somewhat of an aphrodisiac, if you know what I’m saying? Beautiful rooms, gorgeous views, white sheets, palatial tubs, a bottle of bubbly … we spent quite a lot of time in the room. Just sayin … hanging in a hotel room with your spouse is undeniably one of the most Romantic Things To Do In Vegas!

Caribbean-like Pools Luxury begets romance!

The pools at Vegas Hotels are out of this world, and the MGM Pool is crazy awesome! I literally felt as though I could be at a myriad of upscale island resorts. Servers take your drink orders and return with the most scrumptious, if not outrageously expensive, fruity drinks and all stresses just melt away whilst the sun warms you straight through to your heart.

It was absolutely heavenly to just lay on a lounge chair or float in the pool without worrying about anyone or anything.  This peace is definitely in the Top 10 of Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas!

Vegas Shows Mesmerizing!

Arguably, Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. From comedy to magic and music concerts to adult shows, Vegas has it all.

It’s no secret that Las Vegas knows how to go big and seeing that we were staying at the MGM Grand, it only made sense that we’d take in a show there. We chose Cirque Du Soleil’s KA.  From the MGM Website, “KÀ tells the epic tale of twins on a perilous journey to fulfill their shared destiny. A masterpiece in storytelling, this ultra lavish production features mind-bending acrobatics, fierce martial arts, blazing pyrotechnics and jaw-dropping aerial adventures.” Romantic? More mind-blowing, but seeing a show would definitely be one of the top Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas.

Fremont Street Glamour and glitz all day long!

Definitely the most sparkly street on the planet, Fremont Street is a must-see for anyone wanting an authentic Vegas experience. It’s also surprisingly romantic in it’s simplicity. Ride the zipline, hold hands, people watch, hit up the casino’s, make out, whatever your fancy, Fremont Street is a blast.

Fremont Street makes in onto my list of the most Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas because of Bar 46 at The Golden Nugget. The firepit here offers a more quiet, intimate space, to sit arm and arm while you sip your cocktails and watch the inevitably intriguing entertainment that is Fremont Street.

Couples Massage So luxuriously amazing!

Oh how I love massages, and regardless of what Dan will tell you, I know he does too. We definitely don’t do this often enough, in fact, I believe we have only had two couples massages in our entire life. Once in Los Angeles, as a birthday gift from my son and his wife and the MGM Grand being the second.

Our bodies are abused in all the crazy activities we engage in. After a winter of snowboarding and ice hockey, I cannot tell you how amazing (and romantic) it was to simply relax and be taken care of. Couples Massage, by anyone’s judgment, is definitely one of the most Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas.

Dinner on the Patio at Costa Di Mare Ooooh, la la. The fanciest dinner I have ever had!

My brother flew out for one night to hang with us in Las Vegas. He almost always stays at The Wynn and prior to our trip he was going on and on about the Costa Di Mare. How much Dan would love it, how good the food was … how addicting it was. Dan splurged one night and surprised me with a reservation here and Oh My gosh, dinner on the patio might possibly rival hanging in the hotel room as one of the most Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas.

The scene is hard to beat. We got dressed up and I felt like a newlywed on my honeymoon. The ambiance is so romantic, the service was World Class and the cuisine is impossible to describe with words.  If you are going to splurge on anything in Las Vegas, this is the place to do so.

Belagio Fountains Super cool and fun!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bellagio Fountains. If you could remove the hordes of people, or at least pretend they weren’t there, then yes, the Bellagio Fountains themselves would make the list of the most Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas. But, you can’t. However, I still include them because they play a part in setting the mood.

For one, they are free. Two, Dan and I danced to the music, which was surprising and delightful. Three, afterward you can move on into the Bellagio, have a drink and dance at the Hyde, a cozy, intimate night club.

 

The post The 7 Most Romantic Things To Do In Las Vegas appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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Colorado is home to some of the best paddling towns in the country. So it should be no surprise that these towns hold some of the most exciting, fun and renowned whitewater events in the country, which bring professional athletes and river enthusiasts from around the world. Here’s a list of upcoming whitewater events that you don’t want to miss. Colorado snowpack is above average so far, which means 2017 is likely to be another epic year for whitewater. So mark your calendars and join in the fun.

The Golden Games
May 18 - 20, 2018

The three day weekend hosts a variety of sporting events, live music, demos, clinics, gear swaps and more. Sports to be highlighted are Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle, Slack Lining, River Surfing and many more.

Golden is one of our favorite places to visit.

Dates: May 18 – 20, 2018
Location: Golden, CO
Camping: $$ Clear Creek RV Park
Website: thegoldengames.com

CKS Paddlefest
May 25 - 28, 2018

CKS Paddlefest is a weekend festival for all ages, abilities and activities. It includes running races, bike races, SUP clinics, SUP yoga, kayak rodeo, flatwater demos, bouldering competitions, raft race, slalom race, kayak instruction, family dinner, disc golf and more.

Dates: May 25 – 28, 2018 (Memorial Day Weekend)
Location: Buena Vista, CO
Camping: Free camping in the adjacent parking lot.
Website: ckspaddlefest.com

Lyons Outdoor Games
June 2, 2018

Professional athletes travel from around the globe to particpiate in Lyons Outdoor Games competitions in slalom whitewater kayaking, BMX/dirt-jumping, and slackline.

Lyons has always been one of our favorite small towns. Get in on this fun event and help support the Town of Lyons as they rebuild from the 2013 flood.

Dates: June 2, 2018
Location: Lyons, CO
Camping: $ Bohn Park (Festival Grounds) and Meadow Park (across town from festival grounds)
Website: lyonsoutdoorgames.com

Animas River Days
June 2, 2018

Durango was the first community in the nation to construct a whitewater park back in the late 1980s. New construction was started in 2013 to renovate and improve the the rapids on the Lower Animas in Durango. The Santa Rita Park is scheduled to be completed this year.

Dates: June 2, 2018
Location: Durango, CO
Camping: $$ There are several campgrounds in the Durango area.
Website: animasriverdays.com

GoPro Mountain Games
June 7 - 10, 2018

Professional and amateur athletes from around the world converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in 9 sports for more than $110,000 in prize money.

The GoPro Mountain Games may be quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier sporting events (similar to the Winter X-Games in Aspen), but is it also one of the most commercialized. Many events take place in the heart of the Vail marketplace, and parking is limited and far away from the venue. And there is absolutely no camping or overnight parking allowed anywhere within the Town of Vail.

Dates: June 7 – 10, 2018
Location: Vail, CO
Camping: NO camping allowed!! Vail Police are vigilant.
Website: mountaingames.com

FIBArk
June 14 - 17, 2018

2017 marks the 69th anniversary of FIBArk, the nation’s oldest whitewater festival and Salida’s signature event. Since 1949, every June during the Spring snow runoff, Salida has hosted FIBArk, “First in Boating on the Arkansas.”

Dates: June 14 – 17, 2018
Location: Salida, CO
Camping: Free camping at nearby BLM campgrounds.
Website: fibark.com

Gunnison River Festival
June 22 - 24, 2018

The Gunnison River Festival is an annual river event that embraces river and stream activities, education and the celebration of the Gunnison River Basin.

The Gunnison Whitewater Park has multiple whitewater features from beginner to expert and the festival has events and activities for all ages.

Dates: June 22 – 24, 2018
Location: Salida, CO
Camping: $$ Gunnison KOA
Website: gunnisonriverfestival.com

Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival
June 22 - 23, 2018

The 10th Annual Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival features kayak, stand up paddle board, raft, and river board competitions along with other events to promote the outdoors and an active lifestyle.

Not only will you enjoy the festival event but there is plenty of food, beer, vendors, and entertainment for the entire family.  All of the money raised goes towards continued expansion of the Whitewater Park, river restoration, and charitable causes.

Dates: June 22 – 23, 2018
Location: Cañon City, CO
Camping: ?
Website: royalgorgewhitewaterfestival.com

Uncompahgre FUNC Fest
July 14, 2018

Water sports enthusiasts, competitors, and the fun-loving Montrose community are invited to enjoy the Fun on the Uncompahgre “FUNC Fest” at the Montrose Water Sports Park. The annual event is hosted by the City of Montrose Office of Business and Tourism and features a full lineup of events on water and land.

Dates: July 14, 2018
Location: Montrose, CO
Camping: ?
Website: visitmontrose.com/218/Fun-on-the-Uncompahgre-FUNC-Fest

The post 2018 Colorado Whitewater Paddling Events appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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There are plenty of people out there who are not lazy, but just can’t seem to get motivated enough to get themselves to the gym. If you are one of these people, rest assured, you are not alone. In fact I used to be the same way when I first started lifting. I would dread it all day long, day after day. But believe me, after around 2 weeks of commitment and zero excuses, I finally started liking it more and more as the days went by. And as I started seeing results, it got easier to get motivated to workout and I realized I was sitting on some epic Lifting Motivation Tricks!

Training with a buddy is the biggest hack to success.

The hardest part is the beginning, getting yourself to the gym and getting motivated. These 6 Lifting Motivation Tricks should up your motivation 100%.  Check them out.

Get a Buddy

The number 1 thing, the biggest hack is you absolutely, 100%, need a lifting partner/buddy. If you do not have someone you can workout with it will be extremely difficult to not only get yourself to the gym, but to stay motivated while there. Mainly because you will end up needing someone to spot you. But, also a buddy gives you someone who can push you past your limits and someone to talk to. The cool thing is, this buddy can be anyone.  Your buddy can your siblings, parents, friend, or even a personal trainer. Having a Lifting Partner is definitely one the top Lifting Motivation Tricks.

Dope Playlist

Another of the industry’s top Lifting Motivation Tricks is, hands down, a sick playlist.  You need good music, that gets you pumped and stoked. You can’t workout or do anything but sleep listening to twinkle little star, or jingle bells!! You need energetic and loud music with people yelling and screaming!! Heavy metal or dubstep type stuff, where when you hear it you just want to go crazy!!  

Supplements

In weight training, supplements are everything. My top supplements for lifting are pre workout, and post workout drinks. My goto pre-workout drink is Cellucor’s C4.  This drink gives me a huge boost of energy. In fact the pre-workout will give you so much you won’t have a choice but to keep going and working out to use it al up. I absolutely love my pre workout.  As for post-workout drink we just use Cytosport’s 100% Whey.  It tastes way better than anything else we’ve tried, and we’ve tried everything. Just adding these 2 supplements to your regimen definitely recharges your routine. Hence, it’s one of my top Lifting Motivation Tricks.  

Goals

If you are trying to get in shape, a great hack is to print out a picture of someone in great shape to motivate you. Or if you are trying to gain mass muscle, print a picture of a bodybuilder and stick it on the fridge or your bedroom door. That way you have a visual goal that you view daily to help you want accomplish it everyday. Visual goals are awesome Lifting Motivation Tricks.

Schedule

One of the industry’s top Lifting Motivation Tricks to to make a set schedule, start off with 2 or 3 days a week, pick a time and day, and don’t miss it. Ever. If you schedule a time to lift, you won’t have the universal excuse of being too busy.  My advice is to print a work out sheet and follow it. If you are serious, like I am, you will make working out like a second job. Your mind tells you that you have to do it. You don’t make money but you make progress and gains. And, after a few weeks you will actually enjoy working out.

Start NOW

Procrastination is the killer of goals. That is why one of my top Lifting Motivation Tricks is to simply start NOW. Don’t wait until New Year’s or Monday or the first of the month. Don’t wait to start next week, or tomorrow. Start today,  just do it today.  Break yourself in slow. Start off with a little workout, maybe it will be 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Start off small and work your way up. Then, after a week, 2 weeks you will feel great and it will be the most addicting feeling!!  We all get it, we’ve been there, it is difficult to start. But once you start you can’t stop. So just do it, and accomplish your goals!!

Those 6 Best Lifting Motivation Tricks should definitely boost your motivation, so get out there and hit the gym!! Hit me up with your favorite Lifting Motivation Tricks! I’d love to hear what you do to keep hitting the gym and surpassing your goals!!

The post Weight Training: 6 Best Lifting Motivation Tricks appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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People on the island of Puerto Rico love to drink. This makes all the bars in Puerto Rico very popular. While we stayed in San Juan, we did some touristy things, but mostly tried to immerse ourselves in the local scene.  After asking around about night life, a few locals insisted that we  go to La Placita if we were looking for a real Puerto Rican nightlife experience. I have to say it was, by far, one of the highlights of our trip!

Introduction to La Placita:

La Plaza del Mercado in Santurce is a hot spot for locals to hangout in Puerto Rico. Located across the Baldorioty de Castro Highway, just on the other side of Condado, at Dos Hermanos and Capitol Streets it is jam packed with people of all ages.

The famous La Placita, as it’s called by the locals, is a historical market place where, during the day you can buy many different fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other local produce. And at night, it transforms into a lively block party. Everyone comes to enjoy a night out with their friends and family.

The list of activities is as varied as the people who flock to it.  Go bar hopping from street to street. Eat the good local food at the different local eateries. Dance to the awesome live music, from live salsa to the best DJs in the Caribbean. And drink Puerto Rico’s national drink, the Pina Colada.

This was the street party in Puerto Rico. Photo: Luke Henthorn Why you should go to La Placita:

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and go where the locals go, La Placita is the best place to be for an adventurous night. Not very many tourist know about this block party but it’s the most authentic destination to experience the flavor and vibe of Puerto Rico.

The best time to visit is Thursday through Saturday. After 10pm is when the crowds start to show up and the party begins.

Parking there is near-impossible so take a cab or walk. It was only a few blocks from where we stayed in Condado, so we walked. I never felt unsafe during the walk, not even on the way back at 4am. Still good to be cautious if you do decide to walk.

I also felt very safe the whole time at La Placita. There were cops on every corner and security guards at all the bars. Nothing worried me there.

 

Dress code:

Before you leave your hotel be sure you are wearing the proper clothing. We made this mistake and had to leave La Placita, go back to our hotel and change again to be able to enter into any of the bars. It’s a formal outing.

Men can not wear shorts and a tank top! My brother and friends, as the only tourists  that night, stood out even more in their sleeveless shirts.  They were actually told they couldn’t enter the bars.  They were informed that the dress code was jeans and a button down shirt.

I was fine in my dress, and all the other women I saw were either wearing dresses or skirts.

 

Where you should go in La Placita:

There are plenty of great places to dance, drink and eat in this square.

Some of my favorites included:

Tabaco & Ron Lounge, if you’re looking for a hookah come to this bar. Smooth hits and good tabaco. They also have great music.

El Coco de Luis, this is one of the smaller bars in La Placita. They serve the best Mojitos and Pina Coladas.

Mijani Club, was a great place for salsa dancing. Some locals showed us how it was done.

Fat Tuesday, This is a Mardi Gras-themed bar at La Placita. Come for the DJs and daiquiris.

The post Get Rowdy at La Placita in Puerto Rico! appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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We are a homeschooling family. My mom is an amazing teacher and has taught all of us at home, except for my oldest sister, Kerry.  We started when she was a Junior in High School and she did not want to make the move.  My parents respected her decision.  I am the first in our family to have never been in a real school.  My mom often says her only regret is not having homeschooled all of us from the beginning  I’m so glad she started because I Love Homeschooling.

Homeschooling can be done anywhere!

My older brother, Cardy was the last Kellogg to go to school. He finished Kindergarten and says he likes homeschooling way better. If you ask him why he will tell you because the teachers didn’t let him play on the playground with Kenny and Dally. They insisted he make friends with people in his own grade. It may seem silly, but that’s a pretty great reason to not want to go to school and to love homeschooling, in my opinion.

I Love Homeschooling for many many reasons. Here are the top 7 reasons that I love being taught at home.

Time with Family

Snowboarding during the week is great because we don’t have to deal with crowds.

The number one reason I Love Homeschooling is because I get to spend much more time with my family. If I went to school I would wake up and  leave and barely get too see anyone. After school we would have all sorts of extra curricular activities and have no time for family. It would suck. Being homeschooled means we study together, we eat together and we play together.  In fact, my older brothers help me a lot with school and I get to help my younger siblings too.

Freedom

We had a blast at Huntington Beach in November!

Another reason I love homeschooling is freedom. I don’t have to wait for weekends or for summer break to travel.  Or school can go with us everywhere. And I can go snowboarding, or kayaking, for the day, and come back and do school. Or I can choose to finish school early in the morning and then go do crazy fun things. It’s flexible, which means I choose when and where I do school, that is cool.

Student Led

Cardy and I made this map because we felt like it one afternoon. It was fun.

My mom talks a lot about student led learning, which means I can pretty much learn whatever I want. We do the basics, Reading, Writing and Math, but then we learn from our environment. Much of our school is done in real life. This is a big reason I love homeschooling. We learn about history going to places, like DC and Williamsburg and Columbus, GA.  We learn about Geography by traveling.  We learn how to lift Jeeps and change tires and renovate RV’s, and cook and so much more, just by living. But there is more.  For example, coding. I discovered I really like to code. It is so much fun for me and Cardy. And Cardy is learning Html/JavaScript! He is a 14 year old whiz kid! Another example, cats. I have researched so much about cats, that I know just about everything about them. I love cats for no other reason then I love cats.

Homeschooling is Portable

I love this quote said by Mark Twain. It’s definitely the foundation of our homeschool.

I also really love homeschooling because it is portable. I can do school in the kitchen, or my room, or on the deck.  I can even study in our RV. We could be driving down the road, and I cold be on the couch doing school.   I can choose to do school on Saturdays instead of a weekday.  I can look at the weather and see that we are going to get a storm on Wed and switch my school days to take advantage of the snow! Homeschooling is so great because it doesn’t tie me down.  And for my younger brothers and sisters, it’s great because they don’t have to sit at a desk.  They can walk around or stand or kneel or drink and snack while learning.

Homeschooling is Fast

After school, I love going hiking. If I had to go to school, I wouldn’t have time after to hike.

I like being homeschooled because my school day is so much faster than a sticks and bricks school.  I usually get up in the early morning around 7 and work on school while everyone else is still asleep, except my dad, because he wakes up at 4:30, for the same reasons … get our work done and get out and have fun.  It’s really cool having all day, or at least from lunch on, for family and fun! The world really is ours!

No Bullying

My family are my best friends. We are all crazy and we keep each other safe.

Another reason I love homeschooling is because I’ve heard a lot about bullying. I’ve even seen it when we visit friends and family. It’s so silly, really.  Luckily I’ve never experienced it myself.  Well, not really.  I guess kids have been mean to one of us at a playground or even at their house, but like, it doesn’t bother any of us.  We have each other’s back.  If anyone bullied me all my brothers and sisters would be instantly by my side. I can trust them to help me, and to always be nice to me.

Zero Oppression

I love being me and not having to worry that I might say something wrong.

So, in a lot of the books I read, the movies I see, the little news I catch, I’m always hearing about kids’ religious views being oppressed.  Probably the coolest thing about homeschooling, and why I love homeschooling is that I can practice my religion without consequence. I appreciate this because it’s not always the case.  My brothers friend wasn’t allowed to pray before a football game because it was, or could be, offensive to others.  Before every event or competition or fun day, we pray.  We celebrate Christmas and Easter.  We just pray all the time, we thank God and we ask for his protection.  To not be able to do that at school would suck.  God is part of my every day, I wouldn’t want to leave Him home just because I was going to school.

The post 7 Epic Reasons Homeschooled Kids Love Homeschooling appeared first on Kellogg Show.

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