He’s a Mean One, but a Charmer – The Grinch Musical

Segerstrom Center - L to R - Brance Cornelius, Serena Brook, Brooke Lynn Boyd, Stefan Karl, Rebecca Prescott and Ryan Knowles - Photo by PaparazziByAppointment

She did it! 90 minutes of no-intermission and not a tear in her eye or a whine in her voice. No, not Athena! She clapped loudly after every scene and sat wide-eyed with excitement as the Grinch won her heart along with Cindy Lou’s.

Last night, we attended Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and it showed me that children are more capable than we give them credit for. Continue reading

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Germany by Train- Toddler Approved

Train ride from Garmisch Partenkirchen to Fussen

I asked Athena, “What do you want to do most today?” “I want to ride the train,” she replied just as quickly as I’d asked. It’s been her favorite thing to do. She loves the entire process including getting tickets, riding the elevator, waiting on the platform, listening to the conductor blow the whistle, picking a seat, giving her ticket to the conductor, and watching everything pass by out the window. It’s all like going to an amusement park and I get to experience it with her rather than driving myself. The public transportation system is definitely toddler and parent approved.  Continue reading

11 Days in Germany with A Toddler – What Excites & Worries Me

Castle Neuschwanstein

Tomorrow, Athena and I leave for Germany. It’s just us and planes, trains, buses, castles, parks, unique accommodations, bucket list adventures, family fun, and authentic cuisine. Without a doubt, I’m excited and so is Athena. We’ve been dreaming about it for more than a month, talking about all of the new experiences we’ll have and what we’ll see. What excites me, though, is equally matched by what scares me. I’m traveling internationally with a toddler who definitely exhibits moments of “the terrible twos.” What am I thinking as I plan for this bonding experience? Find out below.  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

2014 Bucket List Update

I’ve already crossed off more than half of this year’s bucket list and I’m only 4 months in. What has this taught me? Creating a completely unrealistic list of items you want to accomplish is a fantastic idea and the best way to make your dreams a reality. If you can dream it and write it down, it becomes tangible even if it is utterly insane.  Here’s an update on this year’s list. The blue items are clickable and already complete.
Bucket List Experiences

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Trip to 100 Cities Around the World with Gallery Park Hotel

Old Town, Riga, Latvia

Recently I visited Riga, Latvia and thousands followed along as I explored this year’s European Capital of Culture. It was even better than I imagined.Careful observation and unhurried recreation in Latvia allowed me to unveil a multi-cultural gem with locals, much like Canadians, who enjoy life and appreciate their cultural roots steeped in traditions and values. From Air Baltic’s CEO to the staff at the hotels to the locals in the streets, the people in Latvia are down-to-earth, friendly, and appreciative. It is a country that reflects its entire history. From the diverse architecture to the performances, Latvia is as diverse in its offerings as its people. Do you want to see for yourself? I’ve found a way that could make that a possibility. Continue reading

5 Best Luxury Resorts

Beaver Creek Lodge, Colorado

After 2 years of extensive travel around the world, I’ve chosen my five favorite luxury resorts. These establishments stand apart for their personalized approaches, creativity, extraordinary physical attributes, impeccable standards of excellence, and extensive amenities. They are the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. I’ve only included resorts that I’ve visited in the last two years. While there are thousands of resorts I’d like to consider, I have to cross them off my list first. Continue reading