Trip To The County Fair

August 8, 2013

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This post is sponsored by Volkswagen SmileDrive, powered by Google. Go for happier drives.

Matt and I are always looking for more creative things to do with Mazen on the weekends, especially as he is older and more interested in his surroundings. When I got word that the Albemarle County Fair was happening this weekend, we decided to take a road trip into the country to Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe, and call it a family day at the fair.

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Helping us document our drive was the new Volkswagen SmileDrive app for Android.

The app syncs with your car via Bluetooth (or you can manually start and stop drives if you don’t have Bluetooth in your car) and records trips via GPS. The beauty of the app is that it can sync automatically with Google+ so can you share your trip route as well as the photos you take along the way. {Remember ‘Punch Dub’? If you have a Volkswagen you can collect virtual “punches” when you pass another Volkswagen!} We shared our Smilecast with Mazen’s grandparents, who are always chirping for more grandson photos.

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Along the way into the country we passed Michie Tavern and Monticello where we stopped to snap photos to test out the app.

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Wheee!

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We hadn’t been to Ash Lawn before and wish we had had more time to go into the house too.

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Loved all of the boxwoods!! Reminded me so much (by sight and by smell) of my grandmother

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Once we got to the fairgrounds, it was packed with fun things to do for kids.

Oink!

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I loved the ribbon building, which reminded me of the pickle building at the North Carolina State Fair that I visited every fall growing up.

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They had lots of animals to see as well – M loves animals! He squeals whenever he sees one.

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But he was a little too young for petting, so we rode this horsey instead

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He did get to pet a bale of hay

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And we caught his first time standing without hands on camera!!

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That is until he went boom to the ground

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Matt and I kept happy with a treat from Carpe Donut

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The FRODO – a donut ice cream sandwich!

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YES it was good!

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When we had explored the edges of the fair, we piled back into the car and made another stop up to Carter’s Mountain where peaches are in season and the views are incredible

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That green meadow below that bird on the right was where we were at the fair!

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On top of the world!!

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Here is a summary of our trip out of the city and back. SmileDrive puts your route and photos together into a professional video slideshow of your trip too! If you’re exploring a new city or taking a cross-country trip, this would be such an easy way to record your route and the sights along the way.

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This post was sponsored by Volkswagen SmileDrive, powered by Google. Go for happier drives.


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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh August 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

Looks like a great app! I can’t believe how many teeth Mazen has! Such a cutie!

Oh yeah and a Fro-Do…best idea EVER! So stealing that one to make for the Mr! :-)

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2 Hope August 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

I need that donut ice cream sandwich in my life!

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3 Maggie August 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

Yay for Android apps! Reading on the nexus now :) I can’t wait to go apple picking at Carter mountain this fall!

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4 Lauren @ The Highlands Life August 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

My gu, Archie, loves animals too! He can’t get enough of them.

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5 Kinsey August 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

Mazen is such a cutie! He looks more and more like a little toddler every day.

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6 Melissa August 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

I love this post! It looks like you and your family had a great time and Mazen is adorable! That Fro-Do looks very yummy, too!

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7 Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties August 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

that looks like a fun road trip! i went apple picking at carter’s mountain a few years ago- what a beautiful place :)

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8 Connie August 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

Kath, is that the Foonf? I vaguely remember you mentioning something about reviewing the Foonf but I dont think I’ve seen it on BERF yet. Would love to hear your thoughts as we are in the market for a convertible car seat!

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9 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

Yes, we love it!!

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10 Ashlee@HisnHers August 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

That is an awesome app! My hubby and I just went on an 1,100 mile, 5 day road trip for our 1 year anniversary. WISH I would’ve had this app for it!!!
And wish I had that ice cream sandwich ;-) YUM

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11 Lauren August 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

This is a great example to other bloggers of how to incorporate sponsored posts. Very nice post and love the new format.

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12 Linda August 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

Do they have this App for IPhone?

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13 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

It’s a Google product, so I think it’s only Android for now

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14 Alexa August 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

I need to try this in our Volkswagen!

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15 mary @ minutes per mile August 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

what a neat app! my husband loves road trips and i love taking photos… perfect combo. your kiddo is too cute!! :)

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16 Liz August 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

Lovely pics!!

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17 Christine@ Apple of My Eye August 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

LOVE all of your pictures from the day, especially of the little guy! That donut looks out of this world ;). Mhmm!

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18 annie August 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hi Kath… long time reader here. Looks like a really nice trip to the fair. I have to say I am really disappointed in this post. I totally understand that you’re doing more sponsored posts, but you are someone who is so pro-walking, and with a baby. Driving is necessary sometimes, but apps like these just distract us while driving, which is incredibly dangerous. Doesn’t really seem consistent with your message as a walk-as-much-as-possible mom. I think it’s tough for your readers to relate when your sponsored posts are SO different than your normal message. The GM post was another example of this. Anyway, just my 2 cents. I’m getting frustrated and as a long-time reader I thought you might like to hear why.

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19 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I walk everywhere I can walk, but we could not walk to the fair!! Also, the app is very clear when it starts that you should never use it while driving. I was the passenger on our trip so Matt had all eyes on the road.

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20 Becky August 8, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hi Kath,
I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog for the past few years but I’ve been noticing, and maybe its just me, that there seem to be a lot more sponsored posts recently. Not that I don’t enjoy reading about new products every once and a while but is this the new direction for the blog?
Thanks.

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21 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

It is a new direction. I recently mentioned it in this post for a bit more on the future of blog advertising

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22 Becky August 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thanks!

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23 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

I haven’t been on the blogs for a while and Mazen has gotten so big!! I love that you guys went to a county fair. I’ve never been to one, but I’ve always wanted to. They look like so much fun!!

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24 Katy Widrick August 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

That’s really cool! I have an iPhone but we have a tablet that runs on Android…wonder if this would work. {{{running to check}}}

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25 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance August 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

What an awesome app! Mazen looks like he had such a fun time.

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26 lynn @ the actor's diet August 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

Very cool – I JUST got a new VW Golf and want to test it out – but I have an iPhone…

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27 Emily @ Life on Food August 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

Fairs are so much fun. In New England they are more of a fall activity. I cannot wait till the start.

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28 Casey @ Life of a Hashbrown August 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

All of your pictures make me want to live in your hometown!!! How do you find such amazing things to do every weekend?

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29 Lisa August 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Mazen is such a cutie! :-)

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30 Myprotein discount code August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

This makes me wish I lived in the countryside!

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31 Erika @ fortheloveofpeanutbutter August 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

NEED THAT FRODO. periodendofstory.

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32 Shel@PeachyPalate August 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Looks like such a quaint little fair! One of my favourite things to do with my little niece…

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33 Jasmine, bama + ry August 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Mazen is so very sweet. And, have I mentioned what great taste in jewelry you have? :p

Great pictures! xo

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34 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm
35 Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run August 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

that donut truck is one of the cutest food trucks i’ve seen.

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36 Kim @ Healthy Living in the City August 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Looks like a pretty nifty app! I have an iPhone, so that might be an issue, but I would have LOVED this app when my husband and I went on our honeymoon in Peru in the spring. I’m a big map person and I’ve been trying to match the photos of our trip with a map. They are sort of geo-tagged already, but being in airplane mode the entire time, the geo-tagging was based on the times we had wireless internet. I guess I might have run into the same issue with this app in Peru anyway. Oh well.

Anyway, looks like you had a great little day trip! I LOVE your pink shorts! They are such a fun color! :)

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37 Marissa@ohhhsolovely August 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

what a fun activity for the family, but especially M. as a teacher of young ones, i love hands on & creative things like this for the kiddos. i do anticipate (not a parent just yet!) that this is one of the hardest areas of parenting – coming up with different, educational things to do with the kids and keeping it exciting for them.

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38 Kylee August 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Oh my goodness, Mazen is looking more and more like a little boy everyday! Amazing how quickly they change!

Just curious, cute sandals…do you remember where you found them?

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39 KathEats August 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Marshalls…sadly they are gone at mine already

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40 Randy August 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

It looks like everyone had a great time at the fair.

Beautiful VA scenery pics, I live in Oregon and it is nice and green here too.

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41 Kitty A. August 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Mazen looks so cute with his little teeth! He’s turning into such a big boy!

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42 Emily August 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Longtime reader, just wanted to put out there that your sponsored posts are hard to read. Reading about a car, a trip, or a phone app are not what I want to read on a healthy lifestyle blog. I find myself reading less and less, mainly because the blog is not what it used to be. I realize this is the direction you say it’s going, but other blogs don’t seem to be doing this. Good Luck.

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43 Maggie August 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm

These are my sentiments exactly. I don’t mean to offend or make you upset, but the nutrition/health aspect of this blog has waned, and as a longtime reader, I am very frustrated. I don’t read blogs to read product endorsements. I agree with other readers that you should do a survey to see if this is the kind of content desired by your audience. I respectfully wish you best of luck.

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44 Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile August 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

One of the best parts of summer is definitely the county fair! I love watching the judging of the pie contest ;)

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45 Allison k August 9, 2013 at 5:40 am

We called it “slug bug!” I know a few people who called it punch bug, but never punch dub! I find these regional differences interesting. Sort if like “peep eye” (peepie?!) I’d never heard that till I read it on your blog! Oh, and cheer wine! Didn’t even know it existed!

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46 Brandi August 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

Fun outing! Just wanted to point out that it looks like Mazen’s car seat straps appear to be a bit loose in these pictures. Don’t forget to do a pinch test to see if the straps are tight enough! Here is a pictorial: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=49030

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47 Alison August 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

Sorry Kath, but the sponsored posts are really getting old. They are so out of touch with the so-called “focus” of your blog. They really just seem random sometimes, and not necessarily geared towards the theme. Are you doing them solely for the profit, or because they are products you actually want to try? This product just does not seem to be something you would normally write about, but because they are paying you, you used an entire day’s post to talk about it. It seems that other long-time readers like myself are frustrated as well. Perhaps you could do a survey to see what direction your readers would like the blog to go? Just my two cents. Have a great weekend.

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48 Mari August 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

Just wanted to leave a comment as a longtime reader. I too am getting annoyed with so many sponsored posts. This blog no longer feels as authentic because there are so many sponsored posts, and many don’t feel consistent with your overall message — the posts sponsored by corporations like Tide and General Mills come to mind. In the past I enjoyed reading about new products or foods you’d discovered, but now it just feels like I’m reading commercials. I know you say this is the ‘future’ of blog advertising, but other blogs that I read seem to be more discriminating about how they incorporate advertisements.

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49 KathEats August 9, 2013 at 9:40 am

Skip the sponsored posts and jump to today’s – it’s all local products

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50 KathEats August 9, 2013 at 9:40 am

Well, not all local, but products I’ve found

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51 Janice August 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

To the last two posters, Kath is entitled to make a living!
Skip them if you don’t like them.
Last time I checked Target, Home Goods and Trader Joe’s do not accept loyal blog readership as payment at the checkout!

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52 Jordan August 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

I agree with Janice. As a mother of a 1 year old, I appreciate any post that shows you entertaining a little one (even if it’s sponsored!). They need to see more of the world outside where you can walk. Keep on doing what you’re doing Kath!

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53 HeatherFromKC August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

Loving all of your post. I love hearing about new apps, products, recipes, etc. Keep doing what you are doing, Kath

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54 Neil Butterfield August 14, 2013 at 7:50 am

Mazen has gotten bigger and looks to cute for words :-)

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