Experience San Antonio and SAVE!

This post brought to you by SAVE . All opinions are 100% mine.

School is about to start (38 days…but who’s counting?!?), but you have plenty of time to get one more vacation in.  Or in my case…my first and only vacation this summer!  When I plan a vacation, I look for ways to save money, especially in this day and age.  Sometimes people think it’s impossible to save money when on vacation, but when you visit sites like SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience, you can experience all that you want for a fraction of the cost.

One place I’ve always wanted to visit is San Antonio, Texas.  I’ve heard it is gorgeous there.  Right now, using the SAVE website, you can get some Limited Time Offers to save you money on things to do while you’re in San Antonio!  I took the opportunity to check out the site and I found a lot of great deals.  Here’s what I would do:

  1. Book our hotel at Days Inn Sea World.  With rates starting at $59 a night, you can’t beat that price and I know my kids would love to be near Sea World.
  2. Visit Enchanted Springs Ranch.  Both Oprah and The History Channel recommend this authentic movie set that has an old west town, working ranch and an exotic animal park!  You can save $2.00 off admission!!
  3. Alamo Helicopter Tours!  With this deal you can save 10% and it is fun for the whole family!  I’ve never been in a helicopter, but I bet the River Walk and the Alamo look amazing way up high like that!
  4. Alamo IMAX Theatre Rivercenter.  FREE child’s admission.  This would be a perfect thing to do as an after dinner treat for the kids to wind down before bed.  Plus…can’t beat FREE!
  5. Natural Bridge Caverns.  This is a discounted family friendly guided tour through an amazing underground chamber with awesome formations!  I just know my kids would be in awe!
  6. Splashtown.  This 20 acre, family friendly waterpark is an awesome deal with $7.00 off admission.  A fun way to cool off in the hot Texas sun and have a fun, family day!

For a family of four, like mine, vacations are pricey.  But using SAVE to plan our vacation is a great way for us to have the opportunity to do more and pay less!  Be sure to follow @SAVEinSA on Twitter to be up to date on all the latest and greatest deals, limited time offers and ideas to plan your next getaway to San Antonio, Texas!

Please check out the SAVE website and tell me what you would like to see in San Antonio!!

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When a Cow Laughs, Does Milk Come Out Her Nose?

Now that I have your attention (make sure you read all the way to the bottom…I have a GREAT giveaway with this post!)…today I had the pleasure of visiting the Goma Dairy Farm in Marlette, MI.  This day trip was sponsored by United Dairy Industry of Michigan.  The UDIM is umbrella organization for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Michigan.  Michigan has 375,000 dairy cows and those cows, in 2011, produced approximately 8.5 billion pounds of milk.  To break that down a little bit further, the average dairy cow in Michigan produces about 8 gallons of milk a each day of her milking period.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I did see that episode of Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie where they learned how to be dairy farmers and while that episode was very humorous, I learned WAY more than I ever imagined today at the Goma Dairy Farm.  First of all, did you know that cows are creatures of habit?  I didn’t!  But they are.  So because of that they need to be milked around the same time each day.  It was in the parlor (where the cows are milked) where I really saw how much of a creature of habit they really are.  You see, a group of cows are herded to a holding pen in the parlor and a group of them are walked down to individual stalls where they back in and be prepared to be milked.  These cows literally walked to their stall, backed in and after they were done being milked they waited patiently for the bar in front of them to lift up so they could walk out and allow room for the next set of cows to head to their stall.

Just hanging around!

Another thing I found very interesting is when a calf is born, it is separated from the mother within 24 hours of birth.  Now this may seem cruel to you, but it is for their own safety.  By separating them, it helps to prevent diseases that the newborn calf can get.  But trust me, I got to see a calf today that was 24 hours old and she was very content in her calf hutch.  Take a look:

Don’t you just want to rub that soft, pink nose?!?

Here was my favorite part of the tour…finding out how the milk is processed.  So I told you that the cows go to the parlor to be milked.  Well that milk goes into a tube below them and through a cooling system that keeps the milk around 36 degrees.  From that point it goes immediately into the tanker trucks ready to take the milk to be processed.  No one can touch that milk, unless they opened up the tanker truck to get to it.  Now if that isn’t great enough, what I am about to tell you next is going to knock your socks off.  ALL Michigan Dairy Farmers signed an agreement that they will not give their cows growth hormones.  Furthermore, once the milk leaves the cow it is tested 11 times before it reaches your kitchen table.  Because the milk is tested so heavily, things like antibiotics are kept out of the milk supply.  Do you know what this means?  I can stop freaking out about not giving my children organic milk because in terms of quality, safety and nutrtion THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!

The van de Goor family started their dairy from in Marlette, Michigan in 1999 with just 350 cows.  Today they have 3000 cows and milk 2700 cows daily.  With just 32 employees, you better believe they run a very organized farm!  right now, one truckload of milk goes to Kroger and a second one goes to Yoplait.  Tomorrow Goma Dairy Farm will be hosting Breakfast on the Farm.  If you aren’t able to make it tomorrow, check out the website to see if there is another one you can attend.  They sound like a lot of fun for the whole family!

According to the Michigan Dairy News Bureau, one glass of milk has nine essential nutrients.  In order to the get the calcium from another source besides milk, you would have to eat THREE cups of broccoli…who wants to do that?  Not me!  Also, it has been confirmed.  For you workout buffs…chocolate milk is a GREAT after workout drink!  Now…he’s the part I’ve been waiting for!  I have one heck of a giveaway for you.  Check out what you will be winning:

You will win a Magic Bullet Blender, a $50 Mastercard gc, a reusable Got Milk? bag, a pair of cow socks and a Got Milk hat!

GIVEAWAY!!!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Please complete the mandatory entry first before doing any additional entries.  You MUST put each entry in a SEPARATE comment.  Thanks!

 Mandatory Entry:  You must leave me a comment telling me what ONE dairy item could you NOT live without.

Additional Entries:

  • Follow @MiDairyNews on Twitter
  • Like the Michigan Dairy News Bureau on Facebook
  • Subscribe to the Michigan Dairy NewsYoutube page!
  • Subscribe to Diaries of a Domestic Goddess via email
  • Like Diaries of a Domestic Goddess on Facebook
  • Put this giveaway as your status on Facebook (one entry per day)
  • Follow DGoddess on Twitter
  • Tweet this giveaway (one entry per day)
  • Leave a comment telling me what your favorite feature about a farm is (unlimited)

 

This giveaway will run from today (7/21/12) until  8/1/12 at 9pm EST.  One winner will be chosen at random using the And the Winner is Plug-in.  That winner will be contacted via email and will have exactly 48 hours to respond with their shipping information or a new winner will be determined.

 

Disclosure:  This day trip was sponsored by the UDIM.  Lunch and the prize pack picture below was given to me.  All opinions stated on this post are solely mine.

Take a Roadtrip this Summer and use the Roadtrip-a-Matic!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PA Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am not a good traveler.  To be more specific…I don’t fly well.  Shoot, I don’t drop people off at the airport well.  But one of the things I want to do more than anything is plan roadtrips  to all 50 states and hit all the cheesy tourist hot spots.  Biggest ball of yarn…I’m there!

Recently my husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary by roadtripping it to Indiana.  I spent days planning the weekend out and while I thought I was good to go, when we got to our hotel, I realized we were about an hour away from where I wanted to be.

Has that ever happened to you?

Well not anymore!  With the Roadtrip-a-Matic, planning your pa-roadtrips is a piece of cake!

My family and I are actually planning a roadtrip to Pennsylvania this summer and I am VERY excited to find out about the Roadtrip-a-Matic because it gives me the option to pick and choose what I want to do.  Since I will be looking for kid friendly things, I can click on “Kidsylvania” icon and it will take me to another page with  three options for kid friendly roadtrips all mapped out for you.  If that isn’t awesome enough, it also breaks up what to do each day for 3 days!  The tour I am interested in for my family is called “Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love“.  This is what it has planned:

Day 1:

  • Please Touch Museum
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Eat at the Reading Terminal Market
  • Sleep at Windsor Suites

Day 2:

  • A Walk Through History
  • National Constitution Center
  • Franklin Square Park
  • Eat at Jones Restaurant
  • Sleep at Windsor Suites

Day 3:

  • Sisters Cities Park
  • Fairmount Water Works
  • Morris Arboretum
  • Eat at Delassandro’s Cheesesteaks

Doesn’t that sound like a great family roadtrip?!?  Don’t have kids?  No big deal!  Simply pick a different themed roadtrip and the Roadtrip-a-Matic will map out a great trip for you!

Check out the Roadtrip-a-Matic and leave me a comment telling me what type of roadtrip you would like to plan!

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Truly Unique Places to Visit in Michigan

One of my biggest vacation dreams (besides traveling to Hawaii) is to visit all the truly unique places each of the different states has to offer. Growing up in Michigan, and maybe this is true for people in other places, I seriously doubted we had anything unique like a massive ball of string or something like that. Boy was I wrong. Michigan actually has several truly unique places to visit! Let me know if you’ve ever been to any of them!

unique places

Truly Unique Places to Visit in Michigan

*This post may contain affiliate links*

#1 Hell, Michigan

The next time someone tells you to “go to Hell”…you can!  Or better yet, when someone says “when Hell freezes over”, take them to Hell, Michigan in the winter!  When you’re there, visit the Creamatory of Screams and take the Grave Digger challenge. If you can finish the ice cream put in front of you, you get your very own death certificate from Hell, MI! Other things you can find in Hell, MI:

  • Locks of love bridge – attach your lock and throw the key away in the Hell Creek River.
  • Visit the Damnation University – be sure to pick up your Dam U diploma.
  • Buy Your own Piece of Hell – purchase 1 square inch of land in Hell, Mi and say you own a piece of Hell.

#2 Hot Dog Hall of Fame in Rockford, Michigan

Yes you read that right, there is really a Hot Dog Hall of Fame.  This truly unique place is located at the Rockford Corner Bar just north of Grand Rapids.  In 1967, several Detroit Lions football players challenged each other to eat 12 hot dogs each.  From that moment on, anyone that met that challenge received a brass nameplate on the wall!  There are more that 5000 nameplates on the wall…the record being 43.5 hot dogs eaten by Tim Janus.  Could you beat that?

#3 Planet Walk in Lansing, Michigan

Our children learn all about the solar system and the planets in school, but do they truly grasp how LARGE the solar system really is?  You can stroll through downtown Lansing, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and each step you take represents a million miles!  During the walk, you will see each of the planets (properly scaled) and the distance between each planet is properly scaled as well!

#4 Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, Michigan

Do you love a good haunted house? If so, then you need to check out the Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI. Erebus is a four story haunted house. It even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Walk-Through Haunted Attraction in 2005! Could you make it through this haunted house?!?

#5 World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan in Traverse City, Michigan

At the Sara Lee Bakery Group, near Traverse City, you will find the World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan. The pan held a pie that weighed 28,350 pounds. It was 17 feet, 6 inches in diameter. While you are in Traverse City, be sure to check out some of my favorite spots to visit!


Have you been to any of these places?  What places would you add to the list?

Mini Vacay Yesterday!


Yesterday my husband and I, along with our kids, drove up to just past Grand Rapids to hang out with my husbands family at a beach on Lake Michigan. It was SOOOO much fun. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun we had. My kids were CAKED in sand, hot, cold (water was freezing), tired, but had the time of their life. They are already asking when we can go back. And you know what, so am I!

This was our daughters first real time to the beach. We took her when she was about 8 months old, but she has no memories of that. Every time we turned around, she was laying on her stomach on the sand. She loved to just wiggle around on the sand. Our son…he spent his day digging a hole that his entire body could fit into up to his waist! I’m sad I didn’t get a picture of it. He dug a pretty large hole!

Here is a link to the exact beach we were at. If you are around this area, you should definitely check it out. It cost $6.00 to get in and that’s it! We brought a picnic lunch (more like a feast lol) and really enjoyed the day.

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