Medieval Times – Myrtle Beach

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday May 21, 2015 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, South Carolina, Travel


11138091_10205509633114912_4883508687306815075_nOur field trip group took a trip to Medieval Times. It was a great way to end the school year, although does our school year ever end? Cobey had been but he was so young he didn’t remember it.  At the beginning there was some confusion and disorganization but that was only group issues. Our entire group was in the blue section and cheered for the blue night. The first part was teaching the kids vocabulary and history from those times. It is done in a fun and creative way. I am not sure if they do it for regular shows but I liked this part. Cobey said they could have left it out. They also showed off a horse that was very well trained and impressive. The main show followed a simple typical story line of knight versus knight. You were suppose to cheer your knight to victory. It also had good versus evil theme and thankfully good won out.  It took a while to get out the food but when it did come out it did get good reviews. They served bread, chicken, a thick potato slice, corn on the cob and a cookie. They had fun names for all of them like baby dragon, baby dragon ear, baby dragon foot. There were no utensils which was part of the fun. Everything was fairly easy to eat without them.  Cobey enjoyed it but said it was fake. Claire loved it. I think she was the perfect age. It was annoying for me how much they came around trying to sell us stuff but  overall, I would give it high marks and it was worth the money. Check them out on your next trip to Myrtle Beach.

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NCHSA at Fort Caswell

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Oct 20, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel, Uncategorized

Claire caught a Skate


North Carolina Homeschool Adventures went to Fort Caswell.  We had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go back. This year we added a night and had more programming.  The first day they did activities in the sound where they fished for crab, caught creatures with nets and more. The second morning they seined in the ocean,  learned more about ghost crabs and  learned about sea turtles. In the afternoon, they did surf fishing, learned about the water cycle and did gyotaku prints. The first night we went on a ghost crab hunt which the kids loved. The second night we had smores and a bonfire. We ended our day with a tour at the Coast Guard Station which was interesting and informative. We are looking forward to more adventures next year.

IMG_6734IMG_6840Crab Fishing

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Tyron Palace

Cobey at Pepsi Family Center


NC Homeschool Adventures went back to Tyron Palace. It is one of the few places the kids have begged to go back to. They really wanted to go back to the Pepsi Family Center which in the North Carolina History Center. They loved this interactive museum where you can make turpentine, sail a ship, cook and make a quilt. I was afraid they would be disappointed because they were now too old for it or they were remembering it more fondly than it was; but, we started out our visit their and they loved it. I did manage to tear them away for a delicious  lunch at the cafe. We ate looking over the water and it was very nice. We then went and toured the Palace where we had a great tour guide. We toured one other house on the property and then back to the Pepsi Family Center. We ended up having dinner at Captain Ratty’s which is downtown New Bern  and it was great. We had  a great day and it was getting ready to be even better.




Guest of the Day


We arrived at out hotel the Hampton Inn in New Bern to discover we were the guest of the day. We had a special parking place, breakfast brought to our room and our name in lights. The kids loved it. We have stayed in lots of hotel rooms and it takes a lot to excite the kids now and that did it. What a great idea by that manager that really doesn’t cost them any money but makes a families day. Thumbs up to Hampton Inn of New Bern.

The next day we went to Shackleford Island. We had about a two hour tour of the island with Laura. She is so passionate about the horses and marine life that it is wonderful to learn from her. We got to see the horses up really close which was fun and Claire and Cobey got to snack on pickle grass which they had been talking about to all the kids. We spent another hour just hanging out on the beach and enjoying a great day. I really love it there and Laura makes it even better. When we got off the boat, we went to downtown Beaufort and had a great lunch at Clawson’s and then headed back home.



Shackleford Horses

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Great Day in Shenandoah Valley with Friends

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Aug 8, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel


Lunch at Caverns I had a fabulous day with our friends the Selznick’s. We started out at Shenandoah Caverns. We had a great tour guide. They have great stories and names of the formations. The kids liked seeing the bacon, pancakes, the Capital Dome and wedding couple. The guide was great at turning on and off the lights for effect and overall a great tour. After the tour we had lunch at the on site cafe. It was simple food but everyone seemed to enjoy it. The really enjoyed the soda that is bottled there. I brought snacks for myself; it was  not gluten free friendly. We went to see the store front windows which were interesting but not spectacular. We then went down the hill to the America’s on Parade museum. It has floats that were in Inaugural Parades and other big parades. The floats were fantastic and the kids enjoyed getting on some.  The last stop was the Yellow Barn which is basically shopping and we could have skipped that. All of that is included in one ticket price and well worth the money.

We then went to the Route 55 Chip factory. The kids loved sampling all the chips and they have windows were you can see the chip making process. The last stop was a covered bridge right down the street which ended up being the highlight of the day because we let the kids get in the river with their clothes on. They had a blast. It was another great day in Virginia.

River under Covered Bridge

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We started our morning in Historic Edenton at the Iredell House. We had a great guide that gave us a insight into the important role the Iredell family had in history. I have been in many historic homes and I am amazed that their are still so many items that I have never seen. I enjoy seeing and learning about new pieces. After the house tour, the kids were excited to get onto the trolley. We had a 45 min. trolley ride around the town. Our tour guide did a great job of  showing us a lot of different architectural styles. He also shared the history of the town. I enjoyed the story about the Edenton Tea Party and the slave girl that escaped. We watched a short movie in the Visitors Center after the tour which was a nice overview. We quickly went and saw a few more things before we had to be at our next tour.


Our next tour was at the Edenton National Fish Hatchery. We started in the small aquarium where the kids got to see and learn about an alligator. We walked back to the hatchery to see what they do there. It was very interesting and we had a great guide. The think I liked best is he talked about finding something you love and making it your career. You could tell he loved his job. It is such an important lesson for kids to learn and I liked they could see it being lived out.




Our last tour was at Historic Planation.  It is a great example of the colonial period and gave a great glimpse to the time period. My favorite room was the library where Mr. Stone the owner of the plantation, had over 1400 volumes at the time of his death. There were some beautiful pieces in the house. The kids also learned where pop goes the weasel came from.

We also got to tour the 1763 King-Bazemore home that was brought to the site from four miles away. It also has been nicely restored and has some interesting pieces. It amazes me that after all the homes we can continue to learn more and more. We had an awesome day and made it home before too late.

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We stopped on our way to Edenton at the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum. It was a good half way point to take a break. We stayed an hour which was plenty of time. We had been several years ago but most of the exhibits had changed. It was free because we have a children’s museum membership.  There is a dinosaur exhibit, an exhibit that shows how your body works, a preschool gym that the kids were almost too big for, two costumes to dress up and a natural science center. The science center has a touch tank that has nothing to touch in it.  It has an alligator and a python that are living. The best part of the day was when the Rhino started making noisy and scared me half to death.  Overall it is an okay museum but I would not go out of my way to go there. It is not no were near as good as a NC Museum of National Science or a Marbles.

We had dinner at Waterman’s Grill in Edenton which was recommended by our hotel.  It is downtown Edenton and not on the water.  You could see the water from some of the tables thru a small window but not from our table. I like being on the water when I eat seafood but besides that the atmosphere was nice. They don’t have a kid’s menu except for a shrimp plate for 7.50. I hate paying money for food for Claire that she will not eat. I had streamed shrimp, Cobey had a salad with fried oysters and Claire had the shrimp plate. The kids food looked really good and they enjoyed it. My shrimp was overdone but okay. Cobey had key lime pie for dessert that was excellent.  Overall it was good but for a family with kids, it was on the pricey side.


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Museum of Industry and Chocolate World

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Oct 9, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

We started the day at the Museum of Industry in Baltimore. I thought it would only take an hour to go thru so we did not rush to get there. We spent over an hour and could have stayed longer but had to get  Bruce to the airport. They have a guided tour which you can join at any time. I highly recommend the tour because the staff shows how the machines work and gives great information about the exhibits.  You even get to help operate one of the machines. We did not get to hear the entire tour but we hope to return soon. There is a transportation section, printing section, cannery, blacksmithing, sewing factory and more.  It is one of our free museums with our Historic Ship Membership. They also have homeschool days four times a year. It is definitely worth checking out!

We dropped off Bruce at the airport and headed for Hershey. Claire was first to see the Hershey Kiss light post. She was so excited. She said she wanted to live here. We went to Chocolate World where we first went on the free ride that tells you how chocolate is made. The kids enjoyed it so we of course had to ride again. Claire liked the talking cows.

The next activity was the Create Your Own Bar. I was a little skeptical because of the price but it turned out really neat. You enter and receive your disposal apron and hairnets which the kids kept as souvenirs. You then go to a computer where you pick the ingredients that you want in your bar. Then you go to a room where you get to watch your bar go down the line and be mad.  Then you go to another computer area where you get to design your wrapper. Lastly, you get to pick up your bar.

The last activity of the day was a trolley ride. I really wanted the kids to do this because I wanted the kids to hear the story of Milton Hershey. He has a great story. He went bankrupt four times, had a ticket on the Titanic and left a legacy for disadvantage kids. His story has lots of great life lessons. They gave us lots of chocolate during the hour tour which thrilled Claire. The trip to Hershey has even turned Cobey into liking chocolate.  It was a great day and the kids are begging to come back.

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We spent Sunday night in Boone because as many of  you know I am not a morning person. Sunday we met our good friends the Jordans at Shatley Springs which is one of my kids favorite places to eat.

Our first stop Monday was Linville Falls. We had four families with kids ranging from 2 1/2 to 13. We decide on the Erwin’s View Trail which has three overlooks and is a round trip of two miles. It is a moderate trail that is wide and has gravel. The family with the youngest struggled some but we all managed well. I would plan on at least two hours to enjoy the overlooks and make the round trip.

Our second stop was Linville Caverns about 15 minutes drive. We met up with another family at the caverns and split up into two groups. They take groups of less than fifteen at a time into the cavern which is really nice to be in a small group. I thought the tour was great. It gave a little scientific info but not too much to bore. They did not say millions of years but just many years ago which we appreciated.

Our last stop was Grandfather Mountain. We had a class about animal behavior where the kids were scientist in each of the animal habitats recording animal behavior. Mickey did a great job and the kids had a good time. We ended the glass by playing The Thicket Game which taught about camouflage and predators. We all ended the day on top of the mountain where we all braved the bridge even those afraid of heights. It was a fabulous day!!

We wrapped up the day with three families stopping at Cafe Portofinos in Boone. Kids Eat Free on Monday-Thursday with an adult entree. That is a deal. I had steak, pub fries and a salad. Claire had corn dog and Cobey had pizza. It turned out very reasonably priced.  Some of the kids got the kids spaghetti and it was a good size portion. I have eaten there several times and I have never been disappointed.


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We slept in this morning. I think we were up a little after eight. I am wondering if my schedule will stay shifted when I get home. I doubt it! Cobey seems to be tired and dragging a little today. He is the  one that needs his sleep. It has not phased Claire in the least except I have been awake before her a few times.

Our first stop was Lowell National Historical Park. The park is about the city of Lowell and it’s part in the shift of America from farms to industry. We started with a twenty minute introductory film about how the town became an industrial city. We then took a ninety minute canal ride that told  the history of the town and how the canal works. We went into a lock and the water rose four feet and four inches. I had never done that before so that was a neat experience. We learned about the man who saved the town from two floods after he was criticized that the floodgates where not needed.  Some tours get to tour a gatehouse so if you can do that tour I recommend it.


After the tour, we took a trolley to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum which is part of the National Park. They have done an excellent job making this museum interesting for kids. When you enter the museum, the kids put on an apron and clock in. They then search for the child cutouts that tells them a little information and something to try. They got to try many of the ten steps of making fabric. They also saw the machines in action. Boy, was that loud! At the end of the museum, they can mark where their clothes are made on a map. But their favorite part was building a city with homes, railroads, factories and parks.  We then walked over to the where the boarding house where the girls lived. Girls and young woman from surrounding farms were the first workers in the factories.

We walked back to the visitor center, grabbing a late lunch at Subway on the way. The kids got their Junior Ranger badges for the park and we were off to Salem. I highly recommend this national park.  There are a lot of staff in this park and everyone was friendly and helpful that we encountered. There are cost involved in the tours and museum but well worth it. It is one of our new top National Parks. You could easily spend a full day there but you know us,  you can’t keep us anywhere for long.

We were off to Salem because Claire wanted to go to The House of the Seven Gables. My friend Mary Beth recommended it and she was right. The kids loved. The tour guide did a wonderful job telling us the history of the house and about the people of that lived in the house. She also told us enough about the story written by Hawthorne to make us want to read the book.  We then had a self-guided tour of the house Hawthorne was born in which was moved to the property.

We then went down the street to the Salem Maritime National Historical Park. We had less than an hour so we did not get to take full advantage of the park so I can’t give it a fair review. The staff was very helpful and friendly. The kids were able to complete the program in less than an hour and they learned something new. They have tours of the cargo ship and custom house. I would like to go back and take those tours sometime. Salem is one place I would like to return to and spend the entire day.

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