Category Archive: Family Travel

A Dozen Gardens From Around the World

The days are getting longer, and with flowers blooming in the yard along with a few peeks of the sun in the sky, it’s a great time to be in Seattle. Spring is finally here! Since the flowers in my garden are not terribly impressive yet – things will be in full color in another few weeks – I turned to some of my blogger friends to get a take on some of their favorite gardens around the world. I selected a dozen of them, one for each month of the year, and hope you can work a visit into one of them during your next vacation. 1.Springtime tulips at Araluen Botanic Park, Western Australia Western Australia conjures up images of red desert, barren gorges and rugged wilderness, but half an hour’s drive from Perth we found Araluen Botanic Park. […]

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Universal Orlando Resort: I’m So Excited

I am an unapologetic Universal fan, whether it’s Universal Orlando Resorts in Florida (I went there last year for Halloween Horror Nights), or Universal Studios Hollywood (I went there on a getaway last month with a family teenager). So you can imagine my enthusiasm when Universal Orlando Resorts asked me to join their Blog Squad, a year long ambassador program to discover and write about the theme parks (and a water park opening early next year), special events, world-class hotels and entertainment venues, shopping, food, and more. (You can read the announcement here.) This opportunity to discover more about Universal Orlando starts tomorrow! I’m excited to spend five days on site in the company of other bloggers, photographers, and videographers, many of whom I’ve not yet met. My stories of discovery and fun will come weeks and months down the road, […]

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Getaway to Universal Studios Hollywood

Heading to Universal Studios Hollywood during summer vacation was a frightening idea. The crowds, the lines, the mass of humanity crowded together pushing and shoving! But summer was the only time I could schedule a getaway to celebrate the 13th birthday for a family member. I set out to find a way to make it work both for the new teenager and for me. Here’s what I did as well as tips and recommendations for your own trip. Note:  This article was written in collaboration with Expedia.com who asked me to share my personal getaway guide to Universal Studios.  Choosing Your Dates Summer is vacation time, so there are a lot more people at Universal, and my top recommendation for timing is to go off-season, during the week while kids are in school, and to avoid weekends and holiday seasons. That […]

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Hogwart’s is Coming to Universal Hollywood

The official opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be Thursday, April 7th, 2016. After visiting both Harry Potter attractions at Universal Orlando earlier this year, I’m excited about having something a little closer to home. Potter fans have been eagerly anticipating this arrival to the West Coast, more than five years in the making. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is being masterfully recreated with impeccable detail as a real-world interpretation at Universal Studios Hollywood.  The land will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point. From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the […]

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60 Years of Innovation at Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration

Walt Disney observed that Disneyland will never be complete so long as there is imagination left in the world, and since Opening Day, July 17, 1955, the Disneyland Resort tradition of innovation has continued, inspiring classic theme park attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Soarin’ Over California, Toy Story Midway Mania and Radiator Springs Racers. The Diamond Celebration continues this tradition with three fantastic new shows that expand the boundaries of after-dark entertainment – Disney’s signature “kiss goodnight.” New Shows Nighttime will glitter as never before with three, sensational shows that expand the 60-year tradition of innovative and immersive storytelling: the brilliant, high-energy “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular at Disneyland Park, and the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” at Disney California Adventure Park. In […]

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Postcard from Wildlife Safari

It’s a road trip weekend and a chance to enjoy the baking hot weather of southern Oregon. These three brown bears at Wildlife Safari (in Winston, Oregon), were trying to beat the heat with a bear-sized popsicle – a large block of ice with berries and other fruit frozen inside.

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Postcard from Nickelodeon Universe

A theme park inside a mall? Yep, that’s just what you’ll get with Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Located near the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, this was the first stop on my theme park getaway weekend.

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Postcard from Fort Vancouver

Located in the southern part of Washington state, Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost for the Hudson Bay Company. Today it is part of the National Park System, with living history events and a world-class archaeology collection. In the blacksmith shop, a top-notch nail maker could make one in 12 seconds flat.

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Jersey Shore: Lucy the Elephant

I love offbeat and quirky kinds of places – for just the reasons that they are offbeat and quirky. I’ve been known to drive out of my way to see the “biggest,” “smallest,” “world’s only,” “oldest” thing or place or whatever. Why not?! Although the Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage on the Jersey shore, it didn’t harm one of the shore’s iconically quirky attractions – Lucy the Elephant. Lucy is a six story, 90 ton elephant made of wood and tin sheeting. She was put up 1881 to attract tourism and development to the south Atlantic City area, and while she was architecturally unique at the time, she soon became merely the first of several zoomorphic (animal-shaped) buildings. Did you even know there was such a thing a zoomorphic architecture? Since she was originally constructed, Lucy has been a […]

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The Top 5 Family Attractions in Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh is a popular place year-round for travelers of all kinds, but especially families.  From the very atmospheric city streets, to the many tours and festivals that the kids will love, Scotland will leave the parents charmed and your children ready for their return trip. With so many attractions and venues, it’s really hard to decide where to spend your time.  Here’s some suggestions that will keep everyone smiling. Edinburgh Castle Of course, the famed icon that brings travelers here from afar has to top the list.  But why?  Because the castle can be a fun way to learn about Scotland’s troubled history.  There is so much to see here, from the city’s oldest building (a small chapel) to quirky spots, such as the dog cemetery.  On a clear day, this is also an opportunity to […]

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