It’s Not All About The Shopping!

18. Be In the Audience Of A TV Show

18. Go To The Mall Of America

I have my first replacement, it has taken me a while and I know some of you will be thinking that I am replacing something for just a shopping centre, but do you know what

I don’t care!

I have been wanting to go for some time and its not just shopping, there is a whole theme park within the shopping centre! What also draws me in is the fact that it is another place to cross off to say that I have been to & in reality I could team it up with another city in the states, so I could 2 for the price of 1. In my research, I have been basing it on going back and staying with my godparents, but I have been looking and I could pair it up with a week in Texas or maybe go an hang on the beach in South Carolina or visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. For me, America is 100% the land of hopes and dreams, there is so many different things you can do in 1 country – it is insane!

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So that is another change down – I just need to think about when its going to happen!

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Why Am I So Indecisive…..

18. Be In the Audience Of A TV Show
21. Take My Godchildren Out For The Day By Myself

Both of these are being replaced, number 18, because its soo hard to get in the audience – you can get tickets but it’s a case of turn up and see if you can get in to the show – so it’s never guaranteed. Number 21, my godchildren were never my godchildren, I was a honorary godparent to one my friends 2 children. Unfortunately that friendship hasn’t stood the test of time and we now no longer speak or see each other, so 21 is never going to happen.

What I am going to replace these with is really difficult, I have been mulling this over for the last few days and here are the contenders:

Celebrate My Birthday Abroad
Throw A Massive 30th Birthday Party
Go To The Mall Of America
Be A Big Kid At Disneyland

So they are all a bit different, but I need to pick 2 of them! Each have their pro’s and con’s and I have done some research and based on going away in March 2015 (I’m not planning on going away that soon!) it would cost me + 1 other the same price to go to Disneyland Paris for 3 nights (not including park tickets just travel and hotel costs) as it would to go to the Mall of America and my Godparents in Indiana for 10 nights (that includes flight and hotel costs in Minnesota). How does that work?! I would love to go to Disney and just let go and have fun and enjoy myself, but it’s not something that I feel strongly about, but then how can you feel strongly about going to a shopping Mall! Haaahahaha!!!! How about throw a massive 30th Birthday Party – this could cost A LOT or cost a little, I could theme it, invite lots of friends and family and really have a great time. It doesn’t need to be in hall/marquee it could be held in a back garden or a pub etc. It can become a celebration of completing my bucket list! The other one is to celebrate my birthday abroad; it could come in so many different forms, a day in France, a week away or even mix it up with another item on the list!

Although it shouldn’t, it does come down to the cost element. At the point of writing this, I am due to attend an appointment with a Financial Advisor to help me to budget and start saving, as I am trying to save up for the most expensive thing I will ever buy – a home. So whilst my bucket list has to be about things I wouldn’t normally do or things I really want to do before I have to “grow up” it does come down to can I afford it?

I am swaying more towards a party and celebrate my birthday abroad, but then I want to go to the Mall of America……aaah decisions decisions. I can only pick 2, but what 2 will I look back on in 15 years’ time and say “I can’t believe I did that, that was such a great time”. I did have a 18th & 21st Birthday party so do I really need a 30th birthday party?!

Oh what to pick!! Ok, I can’t make the decision now, I am going to sleep on it and think about it later…..

So its now 2 days later, I have written off Disney….here are some Pro’s & Con’s to the rest:

Celebrate My Birthday Abroad
IDEA: Day Trip To France/Week Away All Inclusive Last Minute Holiday
PRO: somewhere new to see/experience a different culture/only needs to be a day or long weekend/could do it for my 30th
CON: who would I go with/is it going to be expensive for a short time
Throw A Massive 30th Birthday Party

IDEA: Garden Party/Could Be On A Cheap Budget – Start Preparing Now/Could Go All Out And Hire Caterers etc
PRO: big celebration/all friends and family together/ good fun
CON: cost/time to organise/had 18th & 21st party – do I need at 30th?
Go To The Mall Of America

IDEA: Girls Trip/Teamed Up With Somewhere Else In US/Possibly Then Onto Uncle Martins
PRO: somewhere new to see/wanted to go for a while/not just a mall there is a theme park too/can team up with somewhere else in the states
CON: cost (approx. £800 for 2 weeks 3nts @ MOA then onto IND inc car hire – based March 2015)/who would come with me

However, this still doesn’t help me as I don’t know what 2 to choose!!!! AHHHHHH!!! Ok, lets regain some composure, I have 4 more birthdays left (including my 30th!) to celebrate my birthday abroad, that means 4 years to plan and pay for a birthday bash – both of these are do-able. Mall of America, if the prices stay the same and say I took £800 spending money, thats £1,600 total – I am sat here thinking

THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY

but I am also thinking that I am only going to live once and a birthday party could actually cost that amount by the end of it. Life is so short why shouldn’t I do the things I wanna do – I cant do it when I’m gone & do I really want to sit when I am 60 and say “I wish I did that?” not really, I want to be telling my grandchildren “I did all these amazing things”.

Road Trip & Rides!

Friday 27th June, we pick up 2 of my godparents grandchildren and head out for dinner at a local restaurant with their son and his children, once our bellies are full we head home pack for 2 nights and get some rest!

My Dad & His BFF!

My Dad & His BFF!

My Chubby Burger

My Chubby Burger

Saturday comes around, the van is packed for what looks like a 2 week vacation and we all jump in and head off on the road. Our first part of the drive is back through Amish country where we had been “hunting” Amish the day before – we manage to see a couple more buggies in people’s drive ways again. We then head off down country roads and drive through a cute little town called Batesville it looked really old and quaint. It had a lot of old looking houses and shops, there was also a canal and you could go on a boat and the horses would pull you down the canal. We then headed out to a huge reservoir, uncle Martin took a few wrong turns so the journey there took a little longer than expected….that ended up being a recurring theme through our road trip…..

The view from the resting area was amazing! The reservoir just seemed to go on for miles and miles, we could only see up to a bend and in my mind it would then go out to an ocean, but as we are in a landlocked state I know that’s not possible. We had some snacks and drinks then jumped back in the van and headed on towards Mason, Ohio.

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We arrived at out hotel, checked in, changed and the kids jumped into the pool! It was quite refreshing as it has been quite hot out here. I realised though that my foot still hasn’t healed as I couldn’t swim properly. We all managed to get changed and ready to head out again, but this time we were going to the RODEO….more on that later…..

We headed out the next morning to KINGS ISLAND, which is a theme park & water park, all together it has to be the size of Chessington & Thorpe Park put together. The first ride we go on is called The Vortex, mum, Aunty Kim & Kaleb all sit this one out & I think my dad wished he did too as he came off white as a sheet! We then headed off to The Beast, which is a wooden coaster, we all head off to the queue apart from mum and Aunty Kim (they aren’t big riders). That one definitely tips dad over the edge & he declares himself done for the day! The 2 littlest ones decide they want to go on the racer, which is 2 coasters that pretty much race each other – we all jump on – joe & Kaleb decide to go in the red coaster, which turns out to be the winning one! Joe, Kaleb & Uncle Martin head off to the new ride The Banshee, Faye-Lynn & I decide that we are going to go on the Viking Swing, I literally thought I was going to fall out when we were swinging sooo high! On the way back to where people were sat we walked past a face painting stand we both decided we HAVE to have it done, I grab some money and we head back. I can’t remember the last time I had my face painted, but there was one design I had to have!

LOVED This!

LOVED This!

I Think They Got A Bit Wet On The Water Ride

I Think They Got A Bit Wet On The Water Ride

Dad Just Had To Pose With Snoopy

Dad Just Had To Pose With Snoopy

We head back to the van and Joe & the little kids get their swim stuff, after the swim the night before I decide to sit this part out, when we head back into the park I get a wheelchair too as I can feel I have overdone it as my foot is starting to hurt. The kids have a great time in the swim park and the adults (when they aren’t watching the kids) enjoying people watching and seeing all the sighs kings island has to offer & believe me there was a lot!

Once everyone has decided they have had enough fun for the day, we head back to the van and head to a restaurant for some dinner – we had ALOT of laughs there due to the slowness of the service and just other silly things – I think exhaustion had finally set in!

The next morning me & the little kids have another swim and then we pack up and head back towards Indiana! We stop en route at a McDonalds, my first one here in America! Then carry on, on our merry way!

Sooooo even though it’s not a big road trip, it was still a road trip to a different state & we had such a great time!

Big Kid In America!

It’s 8am here in Ohio….yeah I am in Ohio! We have been to Kings Island theme park yesterday & it was brilliant! The rides are bigger, better, faster & scarier than the UK by miles! It’s about the size of chessington and Thorpe park put together when you include soak city – which is the water theme park.

I did about 4 hrs walking and riding before I caved in and asked for a wheelchair, I think I over did it as my foot is now really sore. Luckily today we are heading back to Indiana so we will be spending quite a bit of time in our mini van so I will be able to rest my foot!

I have also crossed something off my bucketlist while we have been here, but I will share that with you later….however I do feel that just our journey here and hunting down Amish people on Friday could also count as as road trip….so expect another blog about that soon too!

xxx