When I was growing up we had a family tradition that I fondly remember. Every year, on Memorial Day, we would pack up the car at the crack of dawn and drive to a local park where we would meet up with our entire family for a picnic.

All of my aunts, uncles and cousins were there and we would eat eggs cooked on the grill, then take walks on the trails and after lunch we would play a rousing game of softball–the youngsters against the old-timers.

It. Was. So. Fun.

Those Memorial Day picnics were the highlight of my spring each and every year. I remember laughter, bug spray, dirt and scraped knees. I remember the sun, the gravel under my feet and the smell of the charcoal. Did I mention laughter?

I miss those picnics so much.

That’s one reason why I am SO EXCITED to be taking part in the second annual America Is Your Park campaign sponsored by the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative. Whew! Say that three times, fast!

The goal of America Is Your Park is to encourage people to play, be active and help their favorite park win a recreation grant provided by Coca-Cola Live Positively. First place winner receives $100,000 and the title of America’s Favorite Park, second place wins $50,000 and third gets $25,000.

How awesome is that?

So, I’m co-hosting a family picnic at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park. Ohio is known as the “Birthplace of Aviation”, because Dayton, Ohio is where Orville and Wilbur Wright were born and is where the design of the airplane first took shape and was perfected.

These men changed the world and we get to see where it happened. We get to sit down with friends and family, have a picnic and probably some of those laughs I was talking about, right on the spot where the Wright Brothers made aviation history.

You can’t beat the historical value, it’s an hour from Columbus and this National Park is located inside of Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where the Air Force Museum is located. Bonus! This park even has a flight simulator for the kids!

We are looking forward to a day, together as a family, enjoying this amazing National Park. It should be great! And, if I can create memories for my children like the ones from my childhood, it will be even better.

Voting details:

·         Everyone can vote for their favorite park to win the title of “America’s Favorite Park” by visiting LivePositively.com.

·         Voting runs until September 6,  2011

·         There are other ways to vote for your favorite park, including uploading photos of the park to LivePositively.com/americasparks and checking in on Facebook Places when you go to your park. More information about these methods on LivePositively.com/americasparks

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  • Chris Long

    Great State Park. The museum there is unbelievable. 100’s of actual airplanes all in one place spanning from the Wright’s first flight to the present. Very Cool. Have a Coke and Smile and enjoy your day 🙂

  • meleah rebeccah

    I absolutely *love* the real / original red-cap Coca-Cola. Ah yes….

  • AlisonH

    Cool, thank you for the heads-up. Just voted for Muir Woods, the redwood forest on the other side of the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco, down a twisty windy mountain road. A little less scary to get to since they painted a double yellow down the center and forbade tour buses from crossing way over it at blind curves with steep dropoffs.

  • Jenn Marie

    I so remember these kinds of family get together’s when we were growing up … and thankful that we have kept these family traditions alive!!

    Every time I smell kerosene and charcoal, I think of some of the best moments of my life!!

  • Just Jennifer

    This is very cool. We have a great local park I can vote for.

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