Family Travel in the Colorado Rockies

Photo courtesy of RockResorts.

There is nothing quite as charming as a Colorado mountain town.  Here the heritage of the Wild West combines with impressive Rocky Mountain scenery, to engulf you in breathtaking and stimulating surroundings.  And then there's all that outdoor adventure to be had!  You truly can't go wrong with family travel in the Colorado Rockies. Whether your family's preference is a snowy destination, seeking out the world famous Colorado Rockies ski areas during the winter months, or enjoying a warm and sunny alpine hike... this area has so much to offer, year round. Family Travel in the Colorado Rockies Let's start with the legendary skiing and snowboarding opportunities.  There's a reason people travel from all over the globe in order to ski at places such as Vail, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge in the Colorado Rockies.   These "ski towns" have a culture all their own, offering excellent restaurants and shopping to contribute once you're done for the day on those slopes. Some luxury … [Read more...]

Top 5 Experiences at Kennedy Space Center

Saturn V rocket boosters... with my husband and son for scale.

Spurred on by a great blog post I read featuring Kennedy Space Center (KSC) as a destination for families, we recently carved out some time from our Florida vacation for a visit. Not having been there since I was a kid in the 80's, I wasn't quite sure how much activity it still had, or what they showcased there these days?  Turns out it's a robust and thriving visitor complex, with more to see and do than ever before!  It was a pleasant surprise, which offered both learning and fun for my entire family. While we did not get to see everything (there's a LOT to do and see!), or experience every tour, here were our Top 5 Experiences at Kennedy Space Center favorites, along with a couple of tips for your family's visit. Top 5 Experiences at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) When you arrive, the beautiful entrance way greets you in style.  Maps are available, and you'll want to grab one to check out all that's available.  Hours are typically 9am - 6pm, although please reference the … [Read more...]

Healthiest Airline Food Choices

Healthiest Airline Food Choices

DietDetective has released its 2014 Airline Food Survey rating foods for thirteen (13) airlines. The survey assigns a “Health Score” based on eight criteria, including things such as health of meals and snack boxes, health of individual snacks, healthy offerings, and calorie levels.  It's an annual survey conducted to provide travelers with the best in-flight food options, so they can make healthier choices. I was personally curious about these scores and best choices on each airline, so I thought I'd wade through the (lengthy) press release and share a summary of this interesting information. Healthiest Airline Food Choices At a glance, here's a summary of the contender's results: Virgin America Received the Top Rating   Delta and Jetblue Close Behind Delta Most Improved Air Canada Dropped United, American and US Airways Below Par Hawaiian Airlines at the Bottom The 'Shame on You'goes to Frontier" says Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, public health advocate, editor of … [Read more...]

Barcelona and Back Again

Barcelona Heading for the coast

Europe is home to a number of great countries that just so happen to be fantastic holiday destinations and Spain is no exception. The home of paella, bullfighting and the wonderful Costa Brava, Spain, and in particular, Barcelona offers so much for the family — especially the kids. So, what can a family of four do in Barcelona? Read on to find out.  Heading for the coast Although it’s not strictly in Barcelona, the exceptionally beautiful Costa Brava, one of the prettiest parts of Spain, lies just 60 km northeast of the city. Moms and dads will love Costa Brava’s rich cultural heritage, which includes three museums celebrating the life and work of the artist Salvador Dalí, such as the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Meanwhile, the kids will love the region’s glorious beaches, while their parents can unwind in Empordà, Costa Brava’s exceptional wine region. Getting cultured If there’s one thing that Barcelona is really good at, it’s housing museums, and there are a bunch of … [Read more...]

To China & Back Again ~ Planning a Family Cultural Night

Chinese Lanterns

The following is a guest post in conjunction with one of this blog's partners. Do you want to take your family on an exotic or international vacation...but your budget won’t allow it? You’re not the only one. Luckily for all of us, children have an incredible imagination. Traveling the world with your family can be as simple as planning planning a family cultural night. After all, educating your children on different cultures and customs can (and should) start in the home. In this article, I’ll focus on taking your kids to China and back in an evening, but these ideas can be adapted to any part of the world. Step 1: Getting Ready for the Trip Before you set out, you’ll have to prepare for the trip. Before you go… Pack a suitcase with your children. China gets hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, so have each child pick out an outfit according to when you’ll be visiting. Make a small “passport” for each child with their picture and basic information on the … [Read more...]

Chasing Wild Horses

Colorado Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge Mustang

Have you ever seen wild horses... living and running free? Did you know such a thing still existed? Here in the Wild West, you *can* still find wild horse herds.  Exciting, isn't it?! (Or is it just me... the girl who used to cry herself to sleep at night, in wont of her own horse?) There are even a few dedicated sections of government owned land set aside as wild horse preserves, to protect these lovely creatures.  Located in Western Colorado, the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge is one of three such ranges in the United States. Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge There are a few rules to accessing and enjoying the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge area, but for the most part they let outdoor enthusiasts have at it.  You can camp, hike, and horseback ride through this preserve... enjoying the scenery while you pursue your Ultimate Quest:  viewing wild horses. Horses were re-introduced (post Ice Age) to North America by the Spaniards in the 1500's.  Known as … [Read more...]

My Week in LA, Without Getting Shot At

LA Night View from the Perch

With Disneyland so nearby, you can imagine my initial excitement at being told I was to travel to Los Angeles for a week of work.  I had a healthy respect for (ok, hesitancy towards) the fact that my time would be spent almost exclusively by myself, in downtown LA.  But I can do this. So the week prior to departure I tackled all the usual things: Copied all the needed files to my laptop. Dug out my summer wardrobe - Hey, I’m going to Cali in March! (Post-trip note to self:  Working downtown LA does not require the same outfit selections as visiting a Southern California coastal resort.  More on this below.) Scoped out directions to my destinations. Read my online LA friend’s Facebook update, that week's highlight being her experiencing both an earthquake and gunshots to her car in one day.   Wait... what? Well, I’m pleased to report I survived my week in LA, and am now back home in Western Colorado safe and sound.  It was a fairly eventful trip.  Here are some of the … [Read more...]

Day Trip to Arches National Park

Arches National Park North Window size perspective 2

Just outside of the charming town of Radiator Springs... er... I mean Moab, Utah... sits the majestic Arches National Park.   Being an easy drive away from our home, my family likes to day trip here.  Especially during the Spring months, before that desert climate starts to really heat up those lovely red rocks, and the temperatures effortlessly soar above 100 degrees. Wait...Is This The Real Radiator Springs? I can't help but think of Disney's Cars every time we are in this area.   Here you'll find the Southwest's grand open vistas decorated with red rock formations, which were clearly the inspiration for the movie's setting. This is the REAL Radiator Springs, people!  As proof of my theory, we spotted this on our way there - at the Crescent Junction, turnoff. After posting this to instagram, my Utah outdoor blogger friend Melissa (Adventure Tykes) let me know that Mater is often nearby, too!  Shoot, we missed him.  He musta been out tractor tippin'. Our Day Trip to Arches … [Read more...]

Be a Pampered Castaway on Cocoa Cay

Cocoa Cay Caribbean water

Ever dreamt of being a castaway? How about being a pampered castaway for a day... on a small Caribbean island with a plethora of white sandy beaches, a sea of lounging chairs and hammocks to relax in, scenic nature trails, several water activities and sports to participate in, and a BBQ lunch served at noon? Sound too good to be true...? Well, welcome to Royal Caribbean's Cocoa Cay! Royal Caribbean's Private Island ~ Cocoa Cay Many cruise lines own their own small, private island in the Bahamas, for use as a day stop during their Caribbean cruise itineraries.  Royal Caribbean's is called Cocoa Cay, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who's been there, who did not absolutely love it. Although I posted a less than glowing review of our Royal Caribbean cruise experience overall, our day spent at Cocoa Cay was by far the best part of our trip.  It was absolutely fantastic.  We were there from 9AM - 5PM.  Take a look at some highlights and what to expect. Royal … [Read more...]

Last Minute Holiday Options for the New Year

Bali Coastline

The following is a guest post, in collaboration with one of this blog's partners. Even though a new year is upon us, a large portion of the population will be wishing the festive season lasted just a little bit longer. Sometimes it is nice to have a structured routine again, but being able to rest and relax is almost always the preferred option. Therefore, before you get too down about the prospect of getting back to work, how about booking a last minute holiday to look forward to? Cheaper flights 2014 can be found by leaving it late and you’d be amazed at some of the discount-price travel options available. Here are just a few destination ideas for bargain trips this year. Sun off the coast of Africa Thanks to its geographical location, situated just off the coast of northwest Africa, the Canary Islands provide holidaymakers with yearlong sunshine. An average of high of around 21°C in January and February that rises to nearly 30°C at the peak of summer means this Spanish … [Read more...]