We took a mini-trip to Cumberland Falls in Southern KY not too long ago. It was such a beautiful afternoon! The waterfall is majestic, the rock samples are outstanding, the hikes are not too difficult, and the scenery is gorgeous!
You’re able to walk right up to the water a short distance before the waterfall.
There are several vantage points to see the waterfall in its powerful beauty.
There’s even a very fun beach area below the falls where you can play in the sand or water.
Small caves were all over the place, too.
Here’s just a sampling of the varied rocks we were able to see – amazing!
Last week before school started, we took a trip to Kentucky Kingdom with the big kids. We could’ve called it an “end of summer” trip, but I prefer to call it a “kick-off the new school year” trip. Why focus on the end of something when a wonderful new beginning is right around the corner?!
Our favorite water ride – The Tornado.
The kids spent a ton of time in this water playground. We rode dry rides, too, but had way more fun splashing our day away.
Don’t ever call me completely punctual. We studied early pioneers and settlers of Kentucky at the beginning of last school year. A trip to Fort Boonesborough – the first pioneer settlement in KY – was planned then, but we never made it. My children never fear, though – eventually I tend to fulfill my promises.
You can learn more about Fort Boonesborough at:
Kentucky State Parks
Fort Boonesborough Living History
Fort Boonesborough Foundation
We had a great time touring the fort, watching an action-packed film, visiting with reinactors and taking a walk down to the beach located on the KY River. Field trips are worth their weight in gold!
Outside the fort
Inside the fort
Learning to start a fire
Caleb’s favorite part – the jail
Visiting with Daniel Boone to get our land deed
A view of the beach
Our homeschool group visited the Cincinnati Art Museum last week. What a wonderful trip!! We knew we’d see art and hoped we find art by a famous artist or two, but had no idea how many famous artist’s works they have. I’ve included a BUNCH of pictures, but this only scratches the surface of treasures we found! And even better – the trip was FREE!
(Sorry for the slant to the pictures. The only way to take a decent picture without an awful glare was to take it from the side. And these pictures don’t do the artwork one bit of justice!)
Really from Egypt!
Matteo di Giovanni
Van Gogh – My Favorite!!
Mary Cassatt – My Second Favorite!
Pierre Auguste Renior
I’m ready to go back and take more time to really observe the art – without a two year old would help! Fair warning – if you decide to go, realize there are nudes and it’s hard to avoid them.
Words cannot adequately express our trip to the Freedom Center in Cincinnati yesterday. After spending so much time in our unit study learning about slavery in our country before and after the Civil War, we have become immersed in the sadness, courage and strength of slaves, abolitionists and those who risked their lives to help on the Underground Railroad. It may be because of this that the Freedom Center touched us so deeply, although I think it would probably touch just about anyone who walked through the doors.
Besides the emotional impact, it’s a terrific state-of-the-art museum with top-notch displays. They offer classes and tours for groups, but we chose to just take the self-guided tour – and I’m ever so glad we did! Upon arriving for a self-guided tour, they give you a map and listening devices that you wear around your neck. There are separate tours available for families with children or adults alone. We took the family tour which means we looked for the red signs near displays, pressed the number into our listening devices and listened to just enough kid-friendly information about the displays.
Not only were the listening devices a great interactive tool, there were many displays that allowed the children to listen, touch, or experience various things in a hands-on way. Above is a picture of the boys sitting in a crate similar to the crate Henry Brown mailed himself in to gain freedom from slavery. Below are just a few of the displays that were beautifully crafted and brought the stories of slavery and the Underground Railroad to life.
Best of all were the films that were interspersed between exhibits. You first meet Harriet Tubman in a simple, nearly voiceless film that is very powerful. Then, you watch a film that lasts only three or four minutes, but brings home the sadness of a slave choosing to leave his family in order to attempt an escape to freedom. But the most moving of all is a documentary introducing you to the real-life facts of two very brave abolitionists who helped slaves cross the Ohio River from Kentucky into Ohio – ex-slave John Parker and Reverend Rankin. After this documentary, you’re led down a dark path to a theater that is down by the “river”. You watch two young slaves in their attempt to cross the Ohio River with the help of conductor John Parker and attempt to make it to safety the station located in Rev. Rankin’s barn. This movie not only brings you right into the story, but helps you to understand the unbelievable courage and risk on the part of those who helped slaves.
Even after all the wonderful displays, moving films, and welling of emotion, nothing touched me more than these two actors. They weren’t even sitting on the porch of this authentic slave pen as actors. In fact, I think they were just taking a rest. But after snapping this picture, it hit me all of the sudden. Real people who loved each other dearly were taken away from one another in an instant in the name of money and power. Real people faced a life of loving, knowing that they might lose that love – whether a spouse, parent or child – without ever getting a chance to say goodbye. Real people were often treated worse than the cattle we raise on our farm. Real People. God’s children. Of course, I knew this all along, but something about seeing these actors brought floods of emotion over me. I can’t imagine how slavery was ever thought of as acceptable – and still is in many parts of the world.
And just so I don’t leave this post on a downer note – the Freedom Center is located on the Ohio River right between the Paul Brown Stadium – home of the Cincinnati Bengals – and the Great American Ball Park – home of the Cincinnati Reds. Because Caleb loves baseball so much, we took a little walk to visit the Reds’ stadium. He was overjoyed!