If you travel with small children, you understand stressful situations. You’re well versed in deescalating toddler tantrums and charging on through the rest of your day as your beautiful children scream from the back of the car “Are we there yet?” for the 100th time in the last 7 minutes.
Maybe this is just my life and my crazy family! Although I wouldn’t change it for anything, parenting at my house has its tension filled moments, which are only amplified when you’re going on a trip.
This is why I put together a quick list of Parenting Hacks when taking your kiddos to the lake!
After the long drive and your little ones see the water, everyone tends to flock towards the lakeside. However, the first thing you should remember is to take those kids to the potty.
Nothing is is worse than feeling the first sensation of relaxation as you dive below the water surface and then hearing, “Mom! I gotta go now!”
So, skip the soggy suit trek to the restrooms, and take them when you first arrive.
Play. Rest. Snack. Repeat.
Once those littles start going nuts in the water, you’ll be tempted to zone out and slip softly into a nap....
But, you MUST stay VIGILANT! If you’re swimming at any time during the day, it’s important to apply sunscreen and take breaks to avoid sunburn. If you’re swimming between 10 am and 4 pm ( prime time ) you really have to stay on too of how long they’ve been in the sun.
Typically what we do as a family is:
Apply sunscreen when we arrive
Play for about 30-45 minutes
get in the shade for drinks and snack for 20 minutes
Apply more sunscreen and repeat
After chilling for a few hours, it’ll be time to break out some lunch. I honestly don’t know if a better hack has ever been found for kids lunches at the lake other than Lunchables. Super easy to pack an keep cold in the cooler, no plates or utensils needed and the clean up is quick!
Long Dry Home
When the day is ending and those babes are getting ready to snooze in the back seat, it’s a great opportunity to lay their swim gear on the dashboard and allow it to dry.
I used to bring a grocery bag and throw their suits in it before we left the lakeside, but recently I’ve tried laying them out to air dry on our way home and it’s worked like a charm.
I hope you’ve found some useful tips and can try a few of these out on your next trip to the lake!
Every other weekend on Sunday night, our family packs up and heads towards Frankfort to pick up our son from his biological father.
Typically, we never eat in Frankfort, even though I spent time living there when I was 21 years old.
During that stint residing at the capital of Kentucky, I ate at a few local places downtown and ordered food from some mom and pop joints occasionally, but I mainly stuck to big name franchises that I was accustomed to.
On this Sunday though, Daniel and I sat upfront in the car, asking each other what we wanted to eat.
Finally, after a few minutes of back and forth suggestions, my husband did a quick search on the famous Google and said “Why don’t we eat at this place? The Stave.”
And I am so glad we did.
Taking Exit 58 on I-64, you’ll head east on US-60/Versailles Rd and take a quick right onto KY-1681. Following the road about 2.5 miles, you’ll reach a stop sign and turn left onto KY-1659 with The Stave on the right about half of a mile down.
There are a limited number of spots available to park on the side of this modern-but-rustic building, but don’t fear! There is an empty grass lot on the opposite side of the road for overflow parking.
The lot was full when we arrived and the place was busy with customers and staff moving around, so we parked across the road and I made it a great opportunity to get some shots entering the building with the kids.
When you pass through the front door, you’ll be greeted with a friendly member of the staff and given the option to sit inside closer to the bar or outside on the patio, given the seating availability.
We opted to sit outside with the kids and get the true Stave experience!
Immediately, we were served with water and given menus that truly stressed supporting local businesses. After a few moments of decision, I ended up with the special that day of Black Fin Tuna and Daniel ordered The Stave Burger.
As we waited for our meal, we passed the time by playing Rock Paper Scissors, admiring the huge planters out front and giving Sissy some crackers.
We also had the opportunity to get some shots of how The Stave looks on the inside and how cool the side patio is is!
The food arrived and I, of course, did not manage to remember to take pictures of our entrees or our bread pudding dessert - but take my word for it, you will not be disappointed!
I’ve been focusing on taking better photographs and handling my camera more effectively over the last few weeks.
I really feel like I do a great job capturing candid moments, but when you don’t have a subject to smile, laugh, or look longingly into the lens, it can become difficult to stay creative.
If you’re interested in photographing places or want to get some ideas that you could use as portrait locations, I’ve compiled a quick list to review featuring Downtown Mt. Sterling.
I was able to walk to each of these places within a 15 minute circuit and I did it in 85+ degree heat at 7 pm without breaking a sweat.
Location One: Courthouse Square
I like to park on the brick road in front of the court house when I visit downtown.
Maybe I’m silly and eccentric, but it’s just super fun to feel the uneven bricks beneath my feet and it completes the esthetic for me.
If you are starting your photography adventure at the Courthouse square, I’d take my camera to each store front and just start taking photos!
Try angles and mess with the settings. Attempt to do a trick you saw on Instagram and think about what makes each storefront or doorway unique.
Location Two: Brick Passageway
Near the Courthouse square, you’ll find brick passageways to have fun with!
What can you photograph there? The bricks, the water dripping down, a possible reflection in a puddle, any moss or plant growth.
Location Three: Maysville Street
Across from the Courthouse square, you’ll find more storefronts and a flower garden on Maysville Road.
If you’ve got the time, head North on Maysville and walk towards the rock and iron fences that line the street.
Look at the different materials used and get shots that show the detail and craftsmanship used.
Location Four: City Parking Lot
Most people starting out really like to photograph “pretty things”.
If you venture off the sidewalk and take time to snap some shots behind your favorite buildings, you’ll be sure to find some gems there as well.
This is a good way to practice finding beauty everywhere.
Location Five: The Wing Murals
When walking through the city parking lot, you’ll be sure to notice the floating umbrellas!
After checking out the ceiling, take a look at the walls.
You’ll find two sets of wings painted there as well as some exposed brick and a bench. A pop of color is always a good thing in the photo reel!
Something to think about...
My little adventure was very therapeutic and insightful. I practiced using the Aperture mode and patiently worked with my earbuds plugged in, listening to some moody neofolk sounds.
If I could offer one piece of advice to those contemplating a downtown photography adventure:
Take your time and look at everything.
Think about how you’d want to describe the flowers, sidewalk or wall to someone; do you want them to focus on the color, texture or lighting? How do you want someone to feel when they look through your lens? What story are you telling?