A Day of Testing Out Athena’s Gifts

PlayWheels Quad Skates
Since we were traveling during the holidays, we opted for the multiple Christmases. Santa’s elves delivered some of Athena’s gifts early so we could open them at home and the Big Guy delivered the rest on Christmas Day in Wisconsin. It was a great plan that worked wonderfully for us, but the only downside was that Athena didn’t have much time to test out her favorite Christmas gifts before leaving the state. The minute we returned, we took the time to use her PlayWheels Quad Skates and her PlayWheels Skateboard. They were the first item on her list so we wanted to make the most of it.  Continue reading

An Entire Town for Kids at Mill View Ranch

Mill View Ranch, Camino, California

Whenever I travel with Athena, I always look for a park for her to play or a restaurant with an indoor play place. In El Dorado County, they have an entire old-west style miniature town made just for kids. It should be no surprise that despite the cold, I still made time for a visit with Athena.  Continue reading

Kinderhotel‏ Oberjoch – The Best Alternative to Caribbean Resorts

Kinderhotel, Germany

Most American families opt for all-inclusive, Caribbean resorts for their family vacation. It’s easy and provides tons of options for all family members. Naively, I assumed it was the only legitimate option as well, but I recently discovered Kinderhotel Oberjoch in Germany. It’s the most toddler-friendly, all-inclusive property that I’ve visited and the best alternative to all-inclusive, Caribbean resorts. If you want something different and you’d like to experience Europe but you still dream of all the conveniences of an all-inclusive, look no further; Kinderhotel Oberjoch is a family-friendly Paradise that truly understands the needs of families with younger children. Continue reading

Top 10 Bucket List Activities in Germany (Toddler Edition)‏

Castle Visit in Germany

There’s no shortage of awesome adventures in Germany; from wingsuit flying to paragliding over the Alps, you can do it all. What sights should you visit when traveling with your family, especially young children though? Most families assume that because they have young children, they should stick to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean but it doesn’t have to be that way. After a two-week, whirlwind adventure in Germany, I’ve come up with a German bucket list of ten family things to see and do while you’re in the country. Since traveling with a toddler can be so difficult, I’ve decide to make a toddler addition. And to prove how manageable it is, I’ve traveled to each of the destinations during two weeks on my own with Athena. If I can do it on my own, you can definitely do it as a family. Continue reading

Through the Eyes of a Himba Child

Himba Child, Namibia

For years, an ancient, semi-nomadic tribe of herders known as the Himba has drawn photographers to Namibia’s northwest. The community living among the majestic Makalani palms at Palmfontein invite visitors to learn more about their proud and ancient lifestyle and culture. While still a traditional tribe, they are becoming familiar with looking at themselves through a camera screen. When I arrived with a GoPro, though, their reaction was priceless. I showed a few children, both young toddlers and older teens, how to hold the GoPro and my Canon T2i and what things looked like through the viewing screen. They took a few photos and videos for themselves and results are beautiful! Continue reading

30 Tested Bucket List Adventures

Adventure Collage

What are your top five bucket list items? Share your list with others, making it more likely to come true. I’ve successfully completed hundreds of bucket list items from flying a jet pack to traveling the world and I achieved them by creating a yearly list. The more unrealistic we are with our dreams and goals, the more we are able to achieve. What’s on your list?

Here are 30 tested ideas for the adventure section of your bucket list: Continue reading

Toddler Fun Day at Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas

Athena Enjoying Newport Coast Villas

Balancing my time well when traveling with Athena can be difficult. She needs time during the day to nap, she needs to eat regular meals, she needs more time to  get from place to place,  and she needs to be back at the hotel by 8 pm to go to bed. It’s a different kind of travel but it’s filled with it’s own type of rewards. During our stay at Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas, she has been an excellent traveler with few complaints even when were out past her bedtime or when she’s missed an afternoon nap. She was calm when we waited several extra hours on the runway in Charlotte; she was patient when we were driving in L.A.’s rush hour traffic; and she was happy to meet the cast of Extra even though she has no idea who they are. It was her time to experience the rewards of Newport Coast Villas so yesterday’s time was completely dedicated to toddler-friendly activities. Surprisingly, I had as much fun as Athena. When she’s happy, I’m happy. Continue reading