Does Your Toddler Have a Bucket List? Crossing off Horseback Riding at Alisal Guest Ranch

Horse Riding at Alisal Guest Ranch

Unknowingly, I’ve been creating a bucket list for Athena. She looks at travel destinations and activities with me and her comments and excitement determine a lot more than I realized.  Her recent interest in petting, holding, and interacting with animals led to our weekend at Alisal Guest Ranch. At the Alisal Bard Yard, children can be lead on horseback around the corral. I had no idea that children Athena’s age, and even younger, could ride on a horse and the opportunity was too good to pass up. At only 3 hours away from us, Alisal Guest Ranch was a good weekend getaway option. Plus, we could cross riding a horse off Athena’s bucket list; and if it was something she truly enjoyed, we could explore the possibilities in more depth.  Continue reading

Don’t Put that Thing on Me! Critters at Alisal Guest Ranch

Tarantula at Alisal Guest Ranch

What creepy, crawly things do you fear? Is it massive, hairy tarantulas? Maybe lizard-looking creatures with long, blue tongues that slither? Or fat, constricting snakes that coil around your body? My hair is rising just thinking about it. But this weekend at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort I had to suck it up and show Athena that there’s nothing to fear. I couldn’t, after all, impose my irrational apprehensions on her.  Continue reading

What to Pack When Traveling with a Toddler

Famous Germany Castle

I’d be lying if I said our recent 12 day trip to Germany was easy. It wasn’t. Athena, my rambunctious toddler, cried a lot, slept a little, and missed naps, reminding me of why people say, “The terrible twos”. There is no question in my mind that the trip was worth it though. It changed my way of travel and my ideas about traveling with a toddler. I feel like I can accomplish anything now and I’m ready to take on even more destinations for extended periods of time. There were a few packed items that helped us along the way, making our trip more simple and manageable. I’ve shared them below with hopes that you see the world with your children in tow. Life is worth living and traveling with your family is an amazing, eye-opening experience regardless of age. Share your tips for traveling with a toddler below and we’ll eliminate the notion that it’s impossible.  Continue reading

What Our Life Looks Like on WordPress Vs. What Our Actual Life Looks Like

Adventure City Balloon Ride

I’ve been seeing a lot of actual versus reality posts floating around lately so I thought I’d share a quick example with you: Continue reading

A GoPro, an XShot, & a Toddler – Germany Bucket List Made Reality

Athena and I covered Germany in true bucket list style. The expression on her face says it all.

****Our trip to Germany was sponsored by the German National Tourist Board. Thank you for making the impossible, possible!***

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

Best Toddler Moment of our Germany Trip – Affenberg Salem

Feeding the Apes in Affenburg

The weather in Germany, with rain showers daily, hasn’t been ideal for touring. Try standing at a bus station with a soaking wet toddler and explaining that the bus still won’t be here for 20 minutes and you’ll understand. When I saw Affenburg Salem, a trail that leads through the home area of about 200 monkeys, on our schedule, I almost skipped it. I wasn’t sure if the train and bus ride would be worth the zoo-like experience, especially in the heavy rain that we were getting that morning. How naive was I? Affenburg is nothing like a zoo and more like being in the Planet of the Apes. It was the best toddler, and mommy, experience of the trip. Having hands-on opportunities like this one give more meaning to travel and are well-worth a few uncomfortable minutes in the rain.  Continue reading

The Curious Mind of a Toddler in Fussen, Germany

Curious-Athena-in-Fussen-Germany

It’s obvious to see that when Mom isn’t within arms reach, Athena is looking for trouble. I don’t mind though; that’s what toddlers do and how they learn. We explored Fussen, Germany by foot yesterday. Rather than bringing the stroller and pushing Athena around while she just sat there, I let her wonder and choose the places and sights that she wanted to visit. We had an open evening and it was a perfect way to let her have some fun. I caught her curious mind in a short serious of photos and thought it would be interesting to share. Watch as the water fountain catches her attention. 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