Just A Slight Change Of Plans…. | Cary, North Carolina

Loftus Family On The Move

Beautiful North Caroina Feature

Well here we are again with another slight change of plans!! We were all set to settle in the Lake Murray South Carolina area and then spent some time in the Raleigh Areas of Cary and Apex and fell in love with the beautiful and progressive towns. Having  After a few promising land scouting trips we discovered that North Carolina suited all of our needs a little better.

Having so many top Universities in close proximity really provides a wonderful blend of educators, outdoor enthusiasts and fun-loving people. Apex , N.C. was even voted the absolute #1 best place to live in America. So we figured we just had to give it a shot. We have spent the last week meeting people, looking for an immediate place to live for the next year or two while focusing on a home build and researching and visiting schools!!! Phew…

Of course we still managed to have fun while working on getting situated by celebrating the 4th of July as well as having a blast with our Cousins from Atlanta who came to Raleigh for a visit. Wow, can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next few weeks….

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Travel Spotlight | Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau Bahamas : Travel Spotlight

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The first time I was fortunate enough to visit the Bahamas was when I orchestrated a spring break girls trip while at the University of Michigan (Go Blue). We were fortunate to pay only $492 for round trip airfare (Vista Count) was the airline, and I am not even sure it still exists. However we were fearless and had the most amazing week staying at the half moon hotel but going to the other major hotels and beaches to chill, hang out, find beaches and party. Fast forward with several cruises, family stays, and marketing jobs, Nassau has become a staple in our Caribbean.

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Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbor a colorful blend of old world and colonial architecture, and a busy port. The tropical climate and natural beauty of the Bahamas have made Nassau a popular tourist destination.

Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km² of relatively flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges (none of which restricted settlement). In the center of the island there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connected.

The city’s proximity to the United States (290 km east-southeast of Miami, Florida) has contributed to its popularity as a holiday resort, especially after the United States imposed a ban on travel to Cuba in 1963. The Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island accounts for more tourist arrivals to the city than any other hotel property. The mega-resort employs over 6,000 Bahamians, and is the largest employer outside government.

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When in the Bahamas you must try the local staple, Conch.Here is a variation of a conch salad recipe.

bahamas Conch-Salad-Recipe bahamas conch shell

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Happy Birthday Denise!!!

Travel Spotlight | The Amazing Cayman Islands

The Amazing Cayman Islands

Cayman Island Tourism Colin and I  had a blast experiencing the culture and beauty of the Cayman Islands while working for a marketing company. We truly enjoyed the friendly locals, pristine waters, gorgeous sand and overall atmosphere. We highly considered placing our roots here before we moved to Hawaii.

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman,Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles.

The Cayman Islands remained largely uninhabited until the 17th century. While there is no archaeological evidence for an indigenous people on the islands, a variety of settlers from various backgrounds made their home on the islands, including pirates, refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, shipwrecked sailors, and deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s army in Jamaica.

Cayman-Islands-Feature

To get more in depth knowledge of traditions and local culture make sure to click this link below for more!!!

Cayman Islands Information

Cayman Cruise Ship loftandlearn

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Below is an awesome site for Caymanian Recipes if you would like to cook with a little Cayman Island Flare from Recipes social online network!!

Caymanian Recipes

 

Cayman Islands. Dive loftandlearn

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Cayman Turtle Farm

Cayman west bay heritage loftandlearn  Grand Cayman map

 

 

5 Essentials For Road Trips With Kids | Parenting Tips

Here is a quick checklist of essentials to bring on your next road trip with small kids.

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After traveling cross country (AGAIN) with boys in tow we wanted to pass along a few tips so that you won’t be caught off guard and without something you need!

Of course if traveling with toddlers or infants you need to make sure that along with all of your diaper bag needs like wipes, change of clothes,\plastic garbage bags,  etc…But a very good road trip add on is a portable changing pad. They are inexpensive and very easy to pack and store. They come in handy when you stop late at night or if you go into a bathroom  that does not have a  changing table inside. The changing pad also does wonders for germ-o-phoebes who like to avoid any unnecessary dirt or germs.

portable changing pad

Games, Games, Games, It is essential to make sure the kiddos are entertained while driving to ensure your sanity as well as theirs.Printing off a road trip games list off the internet comes in handy. Make sure you pack a kids atlas and  cool books (but beware of carsickness when reading). We also like to cover everything so we make sure to include, fun scavenger road trip games for everyone. These become really fun for everyone and helps to keep the driver alert! Also it’s a must for us to pack a portable DVD player and a leap pad to give our sons multiple options.

Auntie Mern Reading Selections loftandlearnFeature

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Of course you must pack snacks!!! We like to cut up slices of oranges, apples and grapes and pack individual bags of popped popcorn, pretzels and granola bars. But whatever you choose just remember that things can get really messy so don’t forget your napkins, wet cloths and hand sanitizer.

Blankets.We had to unexpectedly pull of the road in Wyoming due to a winter storm that closed I80!! Yes, this was a first for us to actually experience a major highway being closed due to bad weather. So we were forced to spend several hours at a truck stop with our car running and trust me it was a blessing that we had extra blankets with us. Blankets also come in handy for a quick pull over to stretch legs and play or a picnic.

Headphones.  Trust me, these are a must have! When Ace is watching the dvd player or Kingston is playing with the leap pad, having that noised blocked out for the two in the front seat is priceless!!

LLS road trip essentials ace

Travel Spotlight | London, England

London our Travel Spotlight

Uncle Ryan, Colin’s Brother, moved to London from Chicago a couple of years ago and was kind enough to send us a few pics of cool places worth note. He has already emailed Ace about his favorite football (soccer team) and has truly taken advantage of a relaxed work European work schedule by jumping over to many different countries! He plans on running a marathon in Dublin Ireland soon so we wish him the best of luck!!!
London is an exciting place for children and teenagers. Traveling in London as a family may seem overwhelming but is rather manageable. There are many museums that are free so you can try out many different places without feeling obliged to spend a certain amount of time to get your money’s worth. Also, family discounts on public transportation are very good.

London, England’s capital, set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At the center of the city stands the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.

London Big Ben

 

15 interesting facts about London and England that you’ve never heard

toothbrushWe all know that England is an interesting country with an impressive history and I’m sure you’ve heard many interesting facts about it. However, did you know that approximately 2,500 people have to be rushed to hospital every year for injuries caused by toothbrushes?!!

Read on for more crazy facts about London and England:

  1. sandwichNowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles (113km) from the sea! A place called Coton in the Elms is the furthest place from the sea.
  2. It is considered an act of treason to put a postage stamp with the queen’s head upside down on an envelope!
  3. The British eat over 11.5 billion (1,500,000,000) sandwiches every year!!
  4. England’s first telephone directory was published in 1880 and had only 248 names and addresses (there were no telephone numbers as you had to call the operator and ask for someone’s name to get connected).bigben1
  5. Our wonderful city London has not always had this name. In the past it has been called Londonium, Ludenwic, and Ludenburg!
  6. In 1945, a flock of birds landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by 5 minutes.
  7. Big Ben is not actually the name of the clock, it is the name of the bell which is inside the clock.
  8. taxiThere are more chickens than people in England.
  9. Black cab (taxi) drivers in London have to memorise every street and important building in London within six miles from Charing Cross and they need to take a test called ‘The Knowledge’ before they can drive a cab.
  10. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  11. In 1647, Christmas was abolished by the English Parliament. No-one was allowed to celebrate!
  12. On average, 488 people are injured by zips and 3,078 people are injured by slippers every year in the UK.
  13. The picture of the Queen on £1 coins show her age at the time they were made.ukflag
  14. Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world that is still being used by the royal family.
  15. England was part of the shortest war in history. They fought Zanzibar in 1896 and Zanzibar surrendered after just 38 minutes!

 

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