Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Importance of Making Time for Family and Kids

A Weekend Adventure with My Kids

(Updated January 2024) In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget the importance of spending quality time with our family and children. However, as I discovered years ago on a camping trip to Swallow Falls State Park, there's nothing quite like a weekend adventure to bring a family closer together and create lasting memories.

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First Time Off-road with My Son 👉 Watch Here

Making time for your family is so essential. I believe life is too brief to let your desires go unfulfilled. I began to realize that when my kids began to get older.  With that in mind, years ago, we loaded up the Jeep with camping gear and embarked on a journey to Swallow Falls State Park, a destination that was on my bucket list. 

Our camping trip to Swallow Falls State Park taught me the importance of making time for family and kids. The memories we created and the experiences we shared will stay with us for a lifetime. Life is indeed too brief to let your desires go unfulfilled, so I encourage you to take a break from the daily grind and embark on a family adventure of your own. You won't regret it.

Road Trip to the Mountains

The Journey Begins: A Topless Jeep Ride

Our adventure began when we loaded up my Jeep with camping gear and set off for Swallow Falls State Park. The excitement was palpable as we embarked on a journey to a destination I had been eager to visit for years. The open-air experience of a topless Jeep ride only heightened our anticipation for the weekend ahead.

Topless in My Jeep

Making Family Memories

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Once we arrived at the park and set up our tent, we realized that this trip wasn't just about exploring new places; it was about creating unforgettable memories with our loved ones. From roasting marshmallows to hiking to the falls, every moment was a chance to bond and strengthen our family ties.

My kids setting up the tent

Exploring the Quaint Mountain Town 

During our stay, we ventured into the nearby town of Oakland, which offered a variety of attractions, including antique shops, the National Transportation Museum, and a train museum. This charming town provided the perfect opportunity to take a break from hiking and enjoy some local culture.

Since it was my birthday weekend, I was able to pick our dinners all weekend. I didn't want to pack food, cook or clean up, so we hopped into the Jeep after setting up camp. 

Mexican Restaurant

The Breathtaking Youghiogheny River and Waterfalls

The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly the Youghiogheny River and the stunning waterfalls that surrounded it. The water was flowing at an incredible rate, creating a breathtaking display of mother nature's power. The 53-foot Muddy Creek Falls was a sight to behold, and we couldn't help but be amazed at the beauty and ferocity of the landscape.

Swallow Falls, MD

Waterfall Warning Sign

Hiking Through the Mountains and Along the Creek

Our hike through the mountains and along the banks of the creek was an unforgettable experience. We explored rock formations, marveled at the stunning scenery, and enjoyed each other's company as we navigated the trails. By the end of the trip, we had hiked the trail three times and couldn't wait to return and explore more.


Swallow Falls, MD

Hiking with my Kids

My oldest on the trail

Myself & my two boys hiking

Nearby lake for canoeing

Canoeing at Herrington Manor State Park Just a stone's throw away from Swallow Falls State Park is Herrington Manor State Park, where we discovered a serene lake perfect for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating. We decided to try our hand at canoeing and even let Michael take a spin on a kayak. The experience was both exhilarating and relaxing, and it served as a perfect way to cap off our unforgettable weekend.

canoeing with Michael

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Mini-Bucket List

Where to Begin?

(Updated January 2024) People often recommend having a 'Bucket List,' but sometimes it's hard to know where to start especially when you are in a phase of your life where you are rediscovering yourself. When I was in that stage I started with a mini bucket list and expanded it as I began to explore more about myself.

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Jumping in a lake - Facing my Fears

My 2013 Mini-Bucket List

Conquer my fear of jumping in a lakeCHECK I did it!! Sunday, July 28th. Will I do it again?
Conquer my fear of heights
Off Roading  in a Jeep CHECK this turned out to be a passion for me.
Hike Old Rag 
Run around Lake Courage: I was able to complete about half at Boy Scout Camp but the rain prevented from trying again.  I'm guessing it's about a 7 mile run.
Start up a new hobby: I decided on biking but soon realized it was not good for my knees and they locked up on me.
Camping at Swallow Falls  
Canoe with my Boys
Take my Boys Hiking
Make a New Friend

New Goals 2014

Start a training regiment
Sign up for Warrior Dash
Compete in Warrior Dash
Try a new Tex-Mex Restaurant
Take new friend to Tex-Mex Restaurant

New Goals Added in 2019

The Soundry
See the Band Reagan Years
Escape Room with Friends
New restaurants in the area - Pub Dog Pizza, Sanford Grill,
More Dancing - Nottingham's Tavern
Find a Good Jazz Bar

Reflecting on my list 10 years later 

As I look back on this first real bucket list, I found I had a theme. I began to see who I am to the core from analyzing this list comparing it to my goals and dreams I have now. 

My free time to do what I enjoy, my kids, adventure, my Jeep and conquering my fears are still experiences and goals I want to achieve. 

Check out my Bucket List page to for all me adventures, goals achieved and growth of my list. 

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