Fall Break Trip


Fall break this year was a really fun road trip up to Indiana and Kentucky!  I have some great AirBnb recommendations and travel tips for anyone who plans to travel in this area!  The trip was inspired because a student I have in VIPKID has been attending a residency program with her mom at Indiana University (Bloomington!)  This was the perfect opportunity to visit the boyhood museum of Abraham Lincoln (last year we visited the birthplace! Read about it here!) We then took the interstate over to the Ark and then back down to Mammoth Cave for an epic fall break adventure!

Stop 1 - Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Park (Lincoln City, Indiana)


Christian is third grade now and an amazing reader.  One of his books this school year is the D'Aulaire biography of Lincoln.  He's reading it on his own and when I told him that my dad's family has traced lineage to Abraham Lincoln's family (my dad was 14th cousins I think?!)
Christian was sooooo interested and made comments like "Why didn't you tell me that before?!  Now I am going to love reading this book!"  For me, the fact that he made this personal connection was worth all the driving for this trip!  Even during the display of the replica of the farm, Christian was recalling facts from the book and very excited to share what he knew about Lincoln's boyhood!

We nicknamed the kids "Honest Abe" and "Baberaham Lincoln" on the car ride up to Bloomington! They needed that nap after running around at the National park!

Stop 2 - Bloomington, Indiana

When we arrived in Bloomington, the sweet family from China prepared a meal of delicious authentic Chinese food!

The kids weren't too sure of the dishes but dug into the wraps with a delicious pork and chicken filling! Linda is my student and is a beginner in her English speaking, but her mom is fluent and teaches English to non-speakers in China.  We had the most wonderful visit and the kids hit it off so well!  They loved each other's company as we spent the evening together on the first day!

Stop 3 - Brown County Indiana 

The second day was a treat to visit Nashville, Indiana!  This is an adorable town and well worth the trip to visit!  It was like a quiet Gatlinburg! Folk artists and amazing glass artists have displayed their beautiful work in many little shops and boutiques along the main street!  Nick said he felt like he was in Pawnee from the TV show Parks and Rec!  Check out Brown County's tourism website here!

The highlight of our Bloomington trip was our choice for an AirBnb!  I'm always drawn to farm style accommodations (see our last trip in TN) and we were so happy to stay in such a wonderful place with amazing animals!  Check out the listing below!

Vin was the perfect family dog!  Always ready to play fetch and the kids had such a good time with her!

Mr. Ronnie was a rodeo champion and showed us around his farm and we enjoyed petting the horses too!

We said goodbye to our friends from China and drove over to the Ark Encounter for our next stop!

 Stop 4 - the Ark Encounter

 Our visit two years ago left a great impression on us as a family and the kids were very excited to go back!  Christian is older and was very focused on reading a lot of the signs in the ark.  I love how well done everything is created in the exhibits and I'm so proud of the ministry that Answers in Genesis has within the Christian community!

We stayed closer to the Ark this time in an adorable cottage where Christian was really excited to build his large foam puzzle of the ark!

Stop 5 - Mammoth Cave

Our final leg of the trip was spending 3 days and 2 nights in the Mammoth Cave National Park!  I researched places to stay around the park and I'm glad that I chose to stay right in the park for our trip!

The Woodland Cottages are absolutely adorable and had a rustic camp feel to them!  There's also a hotel on site and back toward the interstate there are hotels, but these cottages were right next to hiking trails and the visitor's center/restaurants so it was very convenient!  Check them out here!

On the first day we checked in and got our Junior Ranger packets and started the Nature Scavenger Hunt!  We were surprised at how close the deer would get to the people in the park!  It was beautiful to walk around the historic cave entrance and hiking trails!

We ate our lunch on the first day in the diner and hiked the Historic Cave trail and Dixon Cave Trail.  Dinner was at the park restaurant and had great food!  Although it was super cold in the cabin, we kept warm under all the blankets and got up early the next morning to buy our tickets for the Drops and Dripstones cave tour!

The kids also finished their Junior Ranger packets during our day of hiking and were excited to show off their badges to the folks on the tour with us!

The tour lasted about 2 hours and was absolutely beautiful!  The kids did a great job walking through the cave!  After the tour we spent the rest of the day on more hiking trails

We drove to a nearby restaurant for dinner on the second night and when we got back we went on a nighttime hike around the Heritage Trail!

Our final day at Mammoth Cave was spent getting some fun souveniers at the gift shop and doing one more small hike at Sand Cave before heading home!  We are excited to go back in the spring since it is just a quick 2 hour trip off the interstate from home!

Thanks for reading the whole post!!!  If you've been to Mammoth Cave before tell me your favorite part of the park!  There are other trails that I would like to go on during our next visit!  You can view them all here!


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