Friday, August 29, 2008

One-Tank Trip from Cleveland, Ohio

Okay, all you folks from Cleveland looking for a little one-tank trip this Labor Day weekend (or, any weekend for that matter).

Here are a few choice places you could go that won't cost you much in gas, and that will be fun for you and your family:


Yes, Toledo. It's only a couple hours away by car, and has some fun things to do, like:

Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railway Museum

Like trains? Then you have to stop at the Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railway Museum to take a ride on the historic Bluebird passenger train. This train takes passengers on a 90-minute journey through the scenic Northwest Ohio countryside, passing the Maumee River and historic buildings. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $6.50 for children 3-12.

SS Willis Boyer Museum Ship

From trains to ships. The SS Willis Boyer is a restored Great Lakes ore freighter which has been turned into a museum, docked in downtown Toledo. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children under 16.

Maumee Bay State Park

A little camping, a little fishing, a little hiking. Then top it all off with a little golf or a swim in Lake Erie. While the camp sites and cabins are probably all taken this Labor Day weekend, there looks to be many availabilities in September.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Another one-tank trip from Cleveland to consider is to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where you'll find:

Pittsburgh Family District

If you have kids you'll want to check out the Pittsburgh Family District, which is a collection of kid-friendly activities all within one neighborhood. Your kids will love the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh; the National Aviary, which is the premier bird park in the U.S.; the Carnegie Science Center (check out the Miniature Railroad & Village and the USS Requin submarine); and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Kayak Pittsburgh

Want to try your hand at kayaking? Then head on over to Kayak Pittsburgh Downtown (nearest PNC Park) and Kayak Pittsburgh North (North Park Boathouse along North Park Lake) to rent a flat-water kayak for fun on the water. There's no better way to see Pittsburgh than from a kayak.

Mt. Washington

Well, actually, there might be a better way to see Pittsburgh. From atop the beautiful 367-foot-high Mt. Washington! A great way to climb Mt. Washington is to take one of the funiculars to the top; the Mon Incline and the Duquesne Incline. Once there grab a bite and a fabulous view of Pittsburgh at one of Mt. Washington's many restaurants.

Detroit, Michigan

Huron-Clinton Metroparks

A collection of 13 different parks covering almost 24,000 acres, located along the Huron and Clinton rivers. If you're looking for something outdoorsy to do, you can find it at one of these 13 parks. You can explore many different hiking and biking trails, golf courses, camping, canoeing, etc. Oh, and nature and activity centers with activities going on all year long. If you are longing for some winter activities, you'll be pleased to know that 10 of the 13 Metroparks offer cross country ski trails, with 5 of those renting ski equipment.

Henry Ford Estate - Dearborn, MI

Okay, not technically Detroit, but close enough; just 8 1/2 miles away. Here you'll find the Henry Ford Estate, with an amazing mansion built in 1914. But, there's not only the mansion, there are sculpted gardens and riverwalks, all available to visitors. If you only want to tour the grounds it's just $2. Otherwise, the regular house tour (including grounds) is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $6 for children 5-12. Children under 4 get in free.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BugFest Sponsored by Terminix - Raleigh, NC

Saturday, September 20, 2008
9AM - 9PM
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, North Carolina

Okay, you gotta love a festival devoted to bugs sponsored by a company that kills bugs. But, here you go, BugFest, billed as "the nation's largest single-day bug event," held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

This event is perfect for a weekend getaway for families with kids, or anyone who enjoyed watching people eat bugs on "Fear Factor." Personally, I never like watching people eat bugs, especially when they're still moving around.

But, if you want the experience of eating bugs, you can taste some dishes featuring bugs as a major ingredient at Cafe' Insecta. Their 2007 offerings included such dishes as:

Buggy Bean Dip with Crackers
Hoppin’ Hunan Stir-fry Grasshoppers over Rice
Mealworms Marinara
Hush Grubbies
Critter Fritters
Waxworm and Watercress Salad
But, that's not all, for dessert, you could choose from:

Wormy Watermelon & Mint
Bug Bite Cookies
Ants in Amber
Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. Wonder what's on the menu for 2008?

Of course, food's not the only highlight of BugFest 2008. There will displays, exhibits and presentations all geared towards arthropods (bugs). Their website,, didn't have a schedule for 2008, but did give 2007 exhibits and presentations to give you an idea of what to expect this year.

2007 Presentations and Exhibits included:

Cooking with Bugs
Alberti Flea Circus
The Bug Doc: Veterinary Medicine for Arthropods
Creeping Crawlies: Centipedes and Millipedes
Pine Stakes Thoroughbred Termite Races
Tarantulas and Other Spiders
If it was me, I'd definitely check out the Termite Races; so I hope their included this year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Win a Trip to the Pepsi Smash Concert in New York

You have until August 28, 2008 to enter this sweepstakes for a getaway to New York to attend the 2008 Pepsi Smash Concert on October 4, 2008. If selected you will receive:

>> Two (2) round-trip coach class airfares to New York City from the closest major airport

>> Two (2) nights hotel lodging (double occupancy)

>> Two (2) tickets to the Pepsi Smash Concert

Approximate Retail Value of this trip is between $1,000 to $2,500. (If the winner lives within 75 miles of New Ork City, then you'll receive ground transportation.)

Who can enter:

Those 21 years or older as of Monday, June 16, 2008, anad who are legal residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other commonwealths, territories, and possessions).

How to enter and win:

The rules state you go to, but if you go there you will get an error page. The correct page is Enter to win

Sweepstakes is limited to one entry per person.