Sunset at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Sunset at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Oahu

Hilton Hawaiian Village is one of my favorite properties in the world. When I was trying to decide my ultimate vacation spot for Thanksgiving, it topped the list. There are so many things about it that make it one of my favorite destinations including the endless array of activities, the amenities, the dining, and the views, but the sunsets are so truly magical that they make the flight worth it themselves.  Continue reading

A Bucket List Day at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm roller coasterWe’ve been to Knott’s Berry Farm a number of times now, but we always fight traffic to drive up on the weekend and deal with lines and crowds. It stresses us rather than creating an amazing day with lasting memories. We wanted to experience Knott’s in a bucket list way with minimal guests in the park, minimal hassle to get there, and maximum fun all around. We planned the perfect Knott’s day including an over night stay at Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, dining at the best restaurants, and a visit during the slowest day of the week, Monday. It paid off tenfold and we had the best day at Knott’s Berry Farm yet.  Continue reading

Horsing Around at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Sunset at Drakesbad Guest Ranch, Lassen Volcanic National ParkLast week during our northern California trip to Shasta Cascade area, we stayed in cabins, camped in tents, slept in a loft next to a river, hiked to mountain tops and deep valleys, explored caves, kayaked rivers, and had close encounters with birds and bats. There were tons of first time experiences and opportunities for adventure, but the best part of the trip was horseback riding at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Athena rode on horses before but I have a feeling this is the one that she’ll remember.  Continue reading

Going with the Flow at Tsasdi Resort

Tsasdi Resort, Lake Shasta, CaliforniaWe arrived at Tsasdi Resort in Lakehead, California with high hopes of exploring nearby waterfalls, lakes, and caves. There’s so much to experience in the Lake Shasta area and I never want to miss an opportunity to see or do something new. Once we checked in, though, we completely changed our outlook. Staying at the resort and utilizing the dock was the best way to spend the entire afternoon. We could easily go with the flow and avoid a schedule completely.  Continue reading

Getting Away at Strawhouse Resorts

Strawhouse Resorts, Big Flat, CaliforniaI struggle with balance. Staying away from social media sometimes seems impossible. I say that I’m going to put my phone away or avoid using the Internet, but it’s an addiction. I like to plan a trip away from it all every couple months so I can get back to what’s really important – quality time with Athena. We spent a night at Strawhouse Resorts in Big Flats, California and with no WiFi, phone service, or even television, we had time to share some great moments together.  Continue reading

A Warm Welcome at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California

Visit California Welcome CenterAthena and I have been exploring new areas of California every other month in the last year thanks to Visit California. Yesterday, we arrived in Redding, California and we had a hot, hot, hot day exploring the family-friendly activities in the area. We spent the better part of the day at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. There was way more to do there than I expected and Athena loved a surprise that waited for us in the animal section.  Continue reading

Family Weekend at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina

With its world-class attractions like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, family-friendly dining like Corvette Diner and Waypoint Public, and terrific climate, San Diego is a perfect vacation spot for kids. There are so many amazing opportunities in the area that there’s never a lot of time at the hotel, but Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina is a destination in itself. There are activities for big kids, little ones, and kids at heart alike. It’s the only resort hotel in San Diego with multiple water slides and it’s close to all of the best activities. Even with tickets to San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, we wanted to spend most of our time at the hotel.  Continue reading