It’s a question that I’ve heard in my adult life far more than I ever thought I would. The second word gets out that we’re going camping, I am almost always asked this question. It usually comes from one of three types of people:
Someone who’s never been camping before
Someone who grew up camping, but doesn’t really know how to do it on their own as an adult
Someone who used to enjoy camping, but doesn’t know how to go about it now that they have kids.
It’s shocking to me, because camping has always been a part of my life, and sharing it with my kids is a huge joy. Read on to find out how easy it is to take your family camping.
We had a great time in Copenhagen, and we had some great adventures with our kiddos. When researching the area before our trip, we were really excited to visit the Den Blå Planet, which is actually the National Aquarium, located right outside of the hubbub of the heart of Copenhagen. Even though it was a short drive from the city center, it felt like we were in a tranquil place like no other. Read on to find out how to plan a trip to this amazing aquarium.
Welcome to 2018!!! When reflecting on the past year I always like to think about the highlights of the year. Our little family really had some amazing adventures this year. I would love to share with you some things you must try. I interviewed my family members this year (my husband Phil, my daughter Audrey (age 9), and Luke, my son (age 7). I will of course give you my input as well. Also, happy 2 year anniversary to the blog!!! We really enjoy sharing with you our expertise and hearing about your travel adventures as well. Here we go!
If you only have a short time to spend in Copenhagen and you want to get a beautiful but affordable overview of the city, you have to take a canal tour with Strömma. We aren’t really city folk. We usually like to explore the countryside when we visit new places, but Copenhagen really charmed our socks off. It was such a dazzling city. Read on to find out about our canal tour through this wonderfully diverse city that we just couldn’t get enough of. Continue reading →
If you know me or follow me on social media, you know about my most recent obsession…room escapes!!! For those of you who don’t know, room escapes are entertainment venues that offer to lock you in a room (not literally, fire code is pretty important to follow) and you have a certain amount of time to escape the room by solving a series of connected puzzles and mysteries. It is fantastic amounts of fun. In this post, I will take you through a bunch of room escapes I have tried in Southern California (spoiler free, of course!) in hopes that you will jump on the bandwagon and try some of these out. Here is my current So Cal directory of room escapes the I have tried. As I try more, I will add to the list. Continue reading →
From a recent road trip around the Sabine Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana – 2016
In honor of my little sister moving to Louisiana, I am writing this post about taking an amazing Louisiana road trip for, as always, DIRT CHEAP. We found some unbelievably reasonable airfare from California on Google Flights, and just had to plan a little road trip loop around mostly Louisiana and Mississippi. We went in March, but we came back in August and checked out Northern Louisiana as well. Get ready for some amazing Louisiana (with some Mississippi on the side) style adventures. Here we go.
Well, it’s been a whole year since I started the ole travel blog and I decided to reflect on the last year of travel. I am going to talk about the best place(s) we ate (sometimes it is too hard to choose one), the best place(s) we visited, the best place(s) we hoteled, and the best thing(s) we did. Of course, I will give you an overall snapshot of our travels at the end of the post, so you can get some travel inspiration. Sit back, relax, and make 2017 the year you get out there and travel in those vacation pants!!! Hope you start planning that next vacay, stat! Continue reading →
At the official Hot Springs National Park entrance in Hot Springs, Arkansas. August -2016
In August we flew to Northern Texas because my baby brother got married. My husband reminded me that I had never been to Arkansas, so we had to plan a little road trip out of Texas while we were out there. We wound up in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a four night trip, and let’s just say, this place was made to be blogged about. Hot Springs, Arkansas is the home of Hot Springs National Park and it is exactly what it sounds like. People at the turn of the century flocked to Hot Springs to take advantage of all the bath houses that sprouted up in the town due to the natural hot springs in the area. Well, eight of the original buildings remain standing today, and two of them are still working bath houses. Read on to find out how you can plan an amazing adventure to this fantastic place. Continue reading →
I remember when I discovered tripadvisor.com. It was early 2011 and I was planning a trip down route 66. I was visiting family in Colorado and after that we decided to drive out to Chicago, Illinois, the place where the famous route 66 begins. I was so excited to plan our hotel stays along the way and I came across this fantastic travel website. I looked up all the cities we were planning on staying in along the route. The site gave me the top hotels, restaurants, and things to do in every place. I was so excited that most of the # 1 rated hotels were dirt cheap compared to California hotels, and we got to stay in highly rated hotels along our entire trip. Tripadvisor did not disappoint. This post will give you some tips on using this amazing website and app. You won’t want to plan another trip without consulting Tripadvisor first. Then, after your trip, you’ll want to come back and do some reviews of your own, so you can advise future travelers.
Family selfie at Cinderella’s Castle, the focal point of the Magic Kingdom. – 2015
In Part 2 of my Walt Disney World – Family Edition post, I will talk about the magical Magic Kingdom. Read on to find out how to take a budget friendly trip to this fantastic theme park. If you haven’t seen part ,1 click below.
Let’s start with the most popular of the BIG 4 parks, Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is full of fantasy, wonder, and excitement. If you grew up going to Disneyland in the 1980s, like I did, you will LOVE this park even more. It will bring back so much nostalgia. It really is a fantastic place for everyone. Check out the tips below to get the most out of your day here.
Magic Kingdom -Tips and Tricks
Fast Pass + – Make sure you have reserved your fastpasses for the day on your Walt Disney World account. See my tips on Fast Pass + in part 1 of this series. Attractions worth getting fast passes for, if possible:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Peter Pan’s Flight
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Remember: If you get three attractions reserved early in the day, you can go back and order more fastpasses on the My Disney Experience App once you have used them all. That is the only way to get more than three fastpasses in a day. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at this park. If you go to the park during the nighttime extended hours for WDW Resort guests, the park is open until 2:00 AM , and you will pretty much have the park to yourself. Hard for young kiddos, but we just toted the stroller around while they slept, and the hubbs and I took turns walking on rides. It was fantastic.
My daughter and I got to walk on all the Fantasyland rides during the nighttime Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom.
Here is our gang at the Extra Magic Hours at night. Taken at 1:50 A.M.
Vintage Cool Attractions – As I mentioned above, the Magic Kingdom has tons of vintage cool attractions that will take you back in time. Don’t miss these attractions that used to be at Disneyland in California, but are no longer there: Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, Swiss Family Tree House, Tom Sawyer’s Island (with the fort and Injun Joe’s Cave open still), Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Walt Disney World’s version of the Peoplemover), and the Rockets on top of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (like it should be). Also, they still have The Main Street Electrical Parade. This used to be at Disneyland, but has been gone for several years. It was so fun seeing it again.
This way to the People Mover. Nice!
Pacing – Magic Kingdom is a larger park, not as large as EPCOT, but it has a lot to do. If possible, make sure you spend a couple days here. If you are only spending one day here, be sure you make use of those fastpasses, so you get the most bang for your buck.
MVP Tip: A lot of people who have been to Walt Disney’s original Disneyland Park in California decide to skip this park. They think it is just a replica placed in Florida. Nope, not the case. Even the attractions they have at both are way different. For example, on Splash Mountain you are seated side by side in the log rather than in a row. It also goes through different scenes from Song of the South as well. The whole park is like that, but it also has completely different attractions too, like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Bottom line: don’t skip it while your there.
Educational Guide – I’m a teacher, so I try to find teachable moments everywhere we go, and believe it or not Disney World is no exception. Make sure you check out the Hall of Presidents. Talk to your kids about presidency and how important our founding fathers were. Liberty Tree Square is a great way to show your kids what Colonial Times were like. They even have stocks to take your picture in. Talk about that kind of history with them. It’s important for kids to know how the world has changed. The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom is great show that demonstrates how technology has changed through the years. You also get to ride around in a circle theater, so that’s fantastic as well. Tom Sawyer’s Island has a lot of history about the Southern United States and how things were back then. Also, my husband taught my kids how to play checkers while we were there. Make history come alive and teach your kids something while you are having all sorts of fun. Never miss an opportunity to help their brains grow.
Checker time on Tom Sawyer’s Island.
My Vacation Pants Recommendations- We loved the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It has very cool technology and is a thrilling ride, but still tame enough for younger children. If you have never been to a Disney Park, you have to go on the classics like Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, Small World, etc. We also loved The Hall of Presidents, maybe because of the The Bill and Ted reference, but it’s educational none the less. One more thing that is exclusive to the Magic Kingdom, you have to check out the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom. It was an interactive show and it was so hilarious we went back twice.
It was spooktacular at the Haunted Mansion.
Jungle Cruise is classic.
Space Mountain mimics the Matterhorn track from Disneyland in California. No side by side seating here.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as seen from TomSawyer’s Island.
What To Eat
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Yep, it’s just like it sounds, you get to eat inside Cinderella’s Castle. How cool is that? On this particular trip Cinderella was doing some remodeling, so we weren’t able to eat here, but we have eaten there on past visits. Make sure you make your reservations early because they do fill up fast. It’s a small intimate venue and you will feel like you’re royalty eating there. This is also one of those splurge places. Maybe bring some sandwiches for the rest of the day because this place is quite spendy. Our favorite thing is the pretzel bread. Not sure if they still serve it, but if they do, you’re in for a treat.
Liberty Tree Tavern – Take a step back in colonial times and enjoy a meal. This restaurant is located in the Liberty Square section of the park. We had some good ole comfort food while we were there. I liked that when you checked in to the restaurant they asked where you were from, and then when they called your family name to seat you they would yell where you hailed from. It went something like this, “The Vecchio Family from the California Territory, your table is ready.” It was cute, real cute, and fun to explain to the kids about colonies verses territories and stuff.
Out front of the yummy Liberty Tree Tavern.
It looks like a cute little colonial tavern inside.
Dole Whips at the Sunshine Plaza – If you have never had a Dole Whip, you must try this tasty treat during your visit. It’s basically pineapple ice cream, and it’s so magical. They have a whole plaza dedicated to this treat at the Magic Kingdom. You can get it at a couple different places (by the Enchanted Tiki Room and across from the Swiss Family Tree House). They had an orange pineapple one that we tried that was okay, but for the real deal get the pineapple flavored one, or splurge for the pineapple float. Yum.
Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.
So there you have it. My Vacation Pants guide to the Magic Kingdom. Please comment or e-mail me with any questions you have about this place. I do know my way around a Disney Park. Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to check the links below to help you plan, and follow me on social media for updates about posts and to get even more travel tips.