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Sunday, November 5, 2017

To Take a Vacation with SMALL CHILDREN Or Not That is the Question?

There are all kinds of reasons to decide not to travel with children : it will be a hassle, we don't really have the money, it will interfere with their schedule, WE won't really have fun, and on and on.

I want to encourage you if you have not started to travel with your very small children every year to start NOW ! I can hear what you are thinking, some of you. We don't have the time, money, etc. Fill in the blank.

Contrary to popular belief, you do have the money. And you can make the time. You just have to make traveling a priority. Part of the things that you purpose to do every year without fail .

Starting to travel with your very small children is an adventure, it is scary at first if you have not started. I am of a certain age now where I can look back on it and remember with such joy the trips and the times that we have taken. The place that my youngest learned to walk- Aruba, They were not used to young couples bringing along their children then! Amazing to us, we wouldn't leave them home! They had no real activities at any hotel that we ever went to !

Today ALL of the hotels are family friendly and waiting for you to bring your children, most of them don't even charge an extra fee for food for them if they are under 12 years old! So between the airlines allowing you to travel with them on your lap and the hotels feeding them for free, Why are you not taking advantage of this opportunity?

Travel when they get a little bit older is also less costly, airlines charge less when you are traveling with children under 17, most of the time. Ok half of the time.

But besides all of that the memories that you will make are priceless, at the risk of sounding like a hallmark card. You cannot replace the things that you will gain from these times! The expensive clothes that you don't buy because you took a vacation or that extra toy you maybe didn't buy, you will not even remember in 5 years. But you will remember getting stuck inside the hotel in a rain storm and watching videos in the lobby with all the other families that were there at the same time! Or meeting new friends that you kept in touch with through writing a few lines now & again and checking in to see if they were going back to that awesome beach with their kids the same ages.

You will never be sorry you took those vacations instead of buying something else. It lets your children learn about the world around them , it opens up adventure and dreams .

If you can not travel by plane because it just is not in the budget this year , you can plan a camping trip. Ask around and see who has camping equipment that they are able to loan you. My children never slept as well as when they went camping and played outside all day. Sleeping on the ground in a tent might not be your big adventure but they will have the time of their lives. It will be great if they have not taken a vacation before!

I want to challenge you if you have not made vacation a part of your lives, make it a priority. We have always had a bank account for travel. We have put away money that was just for that. Before becoming a travel agent I  would find creative ways to make travel possible. We found hotel points, air miles, and we also booked far in advance to take advantage of the deep discounts from booking early. When couponing I would save the money earned from couponing for travel.

My children have grown and have a sense of adventure, they have been fortunate to have traveled across the world and they still love to travel today. So don't be afraid that they won't want to travel when they grow up! My children learned how to navigate the airports, train stations and be away from home at early ages because of the travel that they grew up with. IT is a win win all the way around.

If you already travel with small children I would love to hear about your favorite trip. Are there things you do to make travel a priority?

If you don't vacation yet with your children and have not yet I would love to hear why not, and if you plan to in the near future.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Barbados Destination for a Wedding!

Its been a busy time, just got back from Barbados. What a great place to visit! Went to Sandals, all inclusive resort. It was really kind of nice. Had a room with an ocean view and a soaking tub on the balcony. It was so nice to go out and sit on the balcony and hear and see the rush of the waves, I love a beautiful view. It was a nice time to just sit and marvel at the view, I just came back from California from taking care of business from my dad. More sad stuff, but some beauty too. Got to see my brother. I also got to see the beach in Santa Monica.
I love the Ocean, it is so beautiful. It is so big. and when you feel like your day is filled with big troubles look out at the Ocean and see how big it is, your problems don't seem that big anymore.

Back to Barbados, It was hot and the perfect detraction for a few days, training and seeing what the beautiful property looked like, tasting all the food, trying all the services. Went for an awesome Catamaran Ride! Tried sushi for the first time, California roll, I guess it was not raw fish, but it was great! Butch's steak house, great! Room service, fast, hot and so good!

Pool bar, had a few drinks even though I don't usually drink, they were kind of strong, and they were to all of the patrons liking. The pool that went along the the swim up rooms were amazing! Said to be the longest pool in the Caribbean. The pool at the cabana's was really nice, pool at the pool bar was what you would expect. There was a net to play volleyball, which was busy with players most days.

The grounds were so amazing, flowers everywhere! The areas for the weddings were exquisite, so many nice touches, from heart shapes right into the lawn to arches in plantings. Breathtaking! And what your eyes did not enjoy, your nose took in, it was just so beautiful, the pictures were sure to be amazing. This does not even mention the backdrop of the Beach and the Ocean!

For a Wedding this is quite a great Destination!  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The longest Journey

Have you lost either of your parents? If not hold onto them with both hands! When you lose a parent it is life changing. You always sit and think about how many times you didn't call, what could you have done to see them more. Then it's to late. You  think there will be another day, sometimes there is not! They are just gone, no goodbye, just gone.

After my dad died my heart was broken, I needed some kind of closure to say goodbye, the one I didn't get to speak. I took his ashes on a journey across country to leave behind a little memory with him and I , the longest journey. It was a spur of the moment journey, the kind your heart needs and your heads says "are you sure you want to do this".

My husband said a firm "no you are not going to do this!" Then I said "you don't understand I have no choice!" I called my daughter so I would not be alone and off  we went. To take my dad (well his ashes) across country with me for the last longest journey!

I cried a lot, laughed some and listened to his music (a find while cleaning out the console in his car), his music was so sad and lonely, it however let me know him better! I drove in his car, with his smell, and found little notes along the way.

I will always be grateful for my husband letting go and my daughter coming along (she had to fly across country to drive back across country with me).

It was not an easy journey, but for me it was a needed one. My dad had driven me the same journey when he took me back to meet my family for the first time when I was just 9 months old.

We drove route 66 as far as we could without going off the driving pace to much. It brought back some memories of days gone by and days to never see again.

There were some funny things that happened along the way. We stopped into a pep boys to get the oil changed before we left. The window washers were so bad, they ca,me off the car in pieces. (I guess it really never rains in Southern California!) The tire was nearly bald, that would have been fun to try to change between myself and my daughter who call someone when a tire needs changing! The oil really needed to be changed! They really tried to sell me 65.00 per quart of oil. I resisted.

I had a trophy with me of my dads. I decided to take a picture with it everywhere we stopped and leave some ashes. Sometimes we just stopped and took a picture with the trophy. One of these stops, a policemen stopped (we were on the side of the highway getting an entering Oklahoma state sign) he wanted to make sure we were ok! I thought he would give me a ticket or something for stopping where we did. I told him a brief story of what we were doing. He told us to be careful when pulling back onto the highway and told us it was a nice tribute to my dad.

We saw and met so many great people along the way, I am grateful to my daughter for coming with  me. She had to work in the car on her computer for a lot of the drive. She got impatient a few times but was a comfort and a needed passenger on my journey. It was a sacrifice for her to go.

We made it across country in 5 days, I know a lot of people could have driven it faster, but it gave me the time to try to say goodbye and listen to his music.

I still have not been able to take the final pictures, entering my state, leaving the ashes in my yard as a last place. I have his ashes on my mantel and his trophy next to them. I am still waiting for the time when I can finish saying goodbye. Maybe this summer.

I miss my dad, and my heart is still broken, but here are some things we saw along our journey.

Here is where we went.


True story:

I still have my dad's ashes. I have not been able to part with them. I don't really know why. There is so much more to this long drive than I shared in the first place. This long drive with my dad's ashes is the closest I had been to him in 10 years. Yup, 10 long years. He had not spoken to me. No phone calls, no texts, no emails, no letters, no smoke signals. (he was part Native American)

 My dad chose me when I was young, what I mean by that is I had very young parents. My mom was 17 years old my dad was 18 and She did not know she was "with child" . He did. She was not as over joyed as could be as an unmarried 17 year old in that day. 3000 miles from home, scared and knocked up. But my dad was thrilled, he wanted to be a daddy, for a little while any way. I got to live with him until I was 4, then 6, then 16 . (16 was a stint for 6 months) between 6 and 16 I never heard a peep out of him. No cards, no letters , no phone calls , no nothing. See a pattern here?

He died without calling me! He was sick, in the hospital, and he didn't give me a chance to see him. My heart aches - you see my entire life I chased a dad that I could not catch. And now I have him, sitting in a box on my mantel and I cannot let him go. Sad, There is so much more to this story. Maybe another time I will write it all down.

My stepmother did not call me either. she sent me a letter 1 month after he died. It took me 2 weeks to make my way through the shock to call her back. She was so sick by then she could not talk to me. She died 2 weeks later. I never got to talk to her either. I don't have her ashes because someone stole them. That is for another time, long story!

I know no one cares so I can write. Well not no one. But few.

air travel was a surprise!

I love to travel! I however hate to travel coach ( I know, I know). This travel experience was not to bad! We were going on a mini family vaca and due to the number traveling we traveled coach.

Not just coach but on the airline that you don't pick your seat until you are boarding, you have to get a letter and number then board when they call you !

It was not terrible! In fact it was quite comfortable! I was ready for a miserable flight with my knees in the seat in front of me. Nope, ample seat  spacing, free snacks, and a little bit of entertainment from the jovial crew were the order of the day!

We went to visit the mouse in Florida, stayed in the "new" time share on premises. Hated the decor, hated the furniture,  it was made for dolls,even hated the service!

 We normally have a great time both checking in and out of the resort, not so much this time! We took advantage of the online checkin service, Not a fan if this is the way you get to your room!

   Loved the view, loved The Hoop De Doo Revue, loved the layout of the condo.

The parks, they were crowded! I am not talking a wait time for rides, I am talking a sea of people just trying to walk to rides! Never go during vacation week! That is a note to myself!

The dinner show mentioned above  Hoop Dee Doo Revue, it was great! Fun and funny, the meal is more than enough to fill you, (it keeps coming out till you are full) Bottomless soft drinks, beer and wine. They participate with the audience during the show. I don't want to give to much away if you have not seen it!

If you go get there a little bit early, you can walk around the grounds after you get your ticket. If you get there 15 minutes before the show you will be waiting in a long line. Everyone else has gotten there 15 minutes before the show.

It is a little bit pricy when you look at it initially, but it's a live show with a great meal, (if you like fried chicken ,ribs and all the fixins) Plus all your drinks and dessert! So I think it was worth the price. It is also part of the Dining Plan, 2 meals but again worth it.

We skip the "magical" free ride to our vacation and get the free ride at the end. We take a taxi, it helps the taxi drivers and it gets us there faster to start our vacation! You are also not waiting in more lines and jockeying for a seat on the bus.

Our flight home was just as pleasant, same seat spacing, same free snacks, another crew who seemed to love their jobs!

I may travel with this airline again! How have your airline seats been? What do you fly and how are the seats in coach?

Share your experiences .