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On The Road in the All New 2015 Chevy Trax

Posted by on 11:42 am in Travel, Travel Reviews | 0 comments

On The Road in the All New 2015 Chevy Trax

Most of the time, I travel via a plane but every once in a while, I love a good roadtrip. A few weeks ago, life got pretty hectic so I did what I do best… I decided to go on a quick getaway to Wisconsin. The drive was less than 3 hours, so it was the perfect time to get away and just get lost in my thoughts. After viewing the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, I knew it was the perfect vehicle to take on the road. The Trax is the perfect roadtrip vehicle because it’s a cross between a car and a SUV. Which means you get more room than a car and more mpg than a traditional SUV, with 26 City (MPG) AND 34 Highway (MPG), I was able to make the trip on less than one tank of gas. Now, that is my kind of roadtrip! Though the Trax appears small in nature, it’s actually pretty roomy, which is important when taking a vehicle on the road. You don’t want your passengers to feel cramped, which is definitely not the case with the Chevrolet Trax. Now lets talk about some of my favorite features… The Drive-The Trax was very easy to drive and maneuver, almost like driving on clouds. I’ve driven a ton of cars and there is nothing worse than driving a car that is hard to move, the Trax handled the road perfectly. OnStar-We got lost and needed directions several times. OnStar made it easy for us to get back on the right route. No more pulling over to enter an address in the navigation system, customer service can locate you and send directions to your vehicle in a manner of seconds. Built in Wi-Fi (4G LTE)-This made my passengers quite happy! We were able to listen and groove to some of our favorite internet radio services via Bluetooth. Additional storage in the glove box, plus additional USB plugs kept us fully charged and connected. Cruise Control-Up until now, I’ve never used the Cruise Control feature because it’s hard to do in a city setting but this feature was my best friend on our roadtrip. Can’t believe, I went so long without using it. Bose Sound System-You guys know how I feel about my music, the Bose Sound System packed a mighty punch in this crossover vehicle. Overall, this car was so much fun, with a starting price tag of $20,995 it’s truly a great option for anyone who is in the market for a car. While the Chevrolet Trax has been gone for a few weeks now, I truly miss it, it’s such a fun car    ...

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Summer Fun: Take the Family to Magic Waters Waterpark

Posted by on 2:20 pm in Family Travel | 0 comments

Summer Fun: Take the Family to Magic Waters Waterpark

Summer is finally in full swing, with temperatures rising why not take the family to the waterpark! One of the best things about summer is enjoying the day by the pool and one of my favorite waterparks is Magic Waters near Rockford, IL. I remember every summer as a kid begging my grandmother to take me and now that I have the boychild he begs me to take him. What I love most about Magic Waters is that there is something for everyone to do, whether you have big kids or small you won’t be disappointed. It’s truly a great way to spend the day with the family. Find your fun at Magic Waters Waterpark near Rockford, IL. Magic Waters features 10 attractions such as the Typhoon Terror, The Double Dare Drop Speed Slide or Tsunami Bay-Illinois’ largest wave pool! Experience the thrill of Splash Blaster Water Coaster Ride or just relax on the Splash Magic River! Don’t miss Tiki Island-a water paradise for kids! There’s fun for the entire family! Another thing I love about Magic Waters is how clean the park is, there is nothing worse than a unsanitary waterpark. If you are looking for a deal, take the family on Wednesday when tickets are only $12… I swear, you can’t beat that deal! So if you are in the Midwest and you are looking for something to do, I highly suggest checking out Magic...

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Hotel Review: Lord Baltimore

Posted by on 10:00 am in Travel, Travel Reviews | 0 comments

Hotel Review: Lord Baltimore

Boutique hotels are my thing. Of course I enjoy high end properties that have a five star rating and are known the well-over for their distinction and classic style. But I especially like hotels that aren’t a chain—ones that are unique and funky with fabulous furnishings and youthful appeal. While in the Washington, D.C. area recently, my flight was canceled and I had to stay until the next day to catch a plane to New York City. I used my trusty Hotel Tonight app on my phone to look for rooms in the area that wouldn’t break the bank, and I came across the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Downtown Baltimore near the harbor. And at only $75 for the night, I went ahead and booked the room since the photos of the hotel on the app looked amazing. Once I arrived to the hotel, I could tell that this was an old property, but it had been redone and updated into a quirky hotel destination. The lobby still had an old Charm City feel, but was mixed with contemporary furnishings. The staff greeted me with a smile and gave me a room on the 15th floor. My room was a nice size with a Queen bed, flat screen HD TV, and a small bathroom with wood laminate floors. The decor was trendy yet sparse, and I could appreciate the youthful style meets old world feel. For $75, I doubt I would be able to find a better room in the Baltimore area. And for a night or two, this property was well worth it. Here are a few photos from my room at Lord Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Hotel was voted Best City Center Historic Hotel in 2014by Historic Hotels of America. Originally built in 1928, it experienced a million dollar renovation in 2013. It reopened in March 2014. For more information on the Lord Baltimore Hotel, click...

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Explore Ocala/Marion County Florida for An Authentic Florida Family Vacation

Posted by on 5:30 pm in Family Travel, Travel | 0 comments

Explore Ocala/Marion County Florida for An Authentic Florida Family Vacation

We received the following press release to share with readers: OCALA, FLORIDA (June  2015) – Summer vacations are one of the most treasured and highly anticipated times of the year. It’s a season when life-long memories are made, and for many families a summer road trip is an unforgettable and forever cherished experience. Families, couples or friends looking for an exciting and distinctive stop on their summer adventure can explore countless attractions, both on land and water, throughout Ocala/Marion County, one of Florida’s original travel destinations. See breathtaking sights including sun-drenched hiking trails through lush forests, crystal clear fresh water springs, lakes and rivers and limestone canyons. Those looking for an adventure through the woods can lace up their sneakers and hike through the Ocala National Forest. Located roughly 40 minutes from historic downtown Ocala, the national forest offers dozens of different hiking trails ranging from half-mile boardwalks to nearly 100 miles of backpacking trails for the experienced naturalist. In addition to hiking trails, there are 100 miles of designated equestrian paths and camping sites. Make sure to stick to the marked trails; this is, after all, the largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest in the world.  While in the area, you may want to look for the 45-foot Chapman Oak Tree, located just off State Road 19; it is the largest of its species in the U.S. and registered as an American Champion Tree. If making a splash is on your summer to-do list, plan to stop at Wild Waters at Silver Springs, a longtime family favorite that’s been newly renovated. This one-of-a-kind waterpark offers a cool time for the entire family, where you can relax by the wave pool or take a plunge down one of the high-speed waterslides. There are also several natural springs sprinkled throughout the Ocala National Forest, one of the most popular being Juniper Springs, located about 28 miles east of Ocala. The forest’s springs stay at 72 degrees year round, making them a fantastic spot to cool off from Florida’s summer heat. Another popular spring is The Salt Springs Recreation Area, also located in the Ocala National Forest. Its name originated from naturally occurring minerals carried to the surface from underground aquifers, providing a level of salinity not found in the other springs. The semi-tropical foliage of pines and palms at the campground is a winning combination for a summer outdoor experience, perfect for the entire family to enjoy. During the summer the Rainbow River, located in Dunnellon, is the ideal aquatic sanctuary for tubing.  A natural landmark, this family-friendly river shimmers with silver and turquoise hues and stays at a cool 72 to 74 degrees year-round, perfect to drift away for three to four hours of downstream relaxation. It is ideal for swimming, bird watching, scuba diving, boating, kayaking and paddle boarding as well.  KP Hole Park, known as ‘The Tuber Ride of Generations’ and the ‘Rainbow River Classic’ has been a local and tourist go-to for more than 60 years.  Water adventurers can bring their own floats (60” and smaller) or rent one for their excursion. Carney Island Park at Lake Weir is another great recreational area for those looking for a little bit of everything. With over 750 acres of sand hill islands, causeways, wetlands systems and shoreline beaches, this destination offers hiking, swimming, picnic...

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Flying the Friendly Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

Posted by on 10:00 am in Travel | 0 comments

Flying the Friendly Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

One of the things on my Bucket List was flying in a hot air balloon. I say was because back in May during a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, my dream was realized. Raijean and I both were able to fly in a hot air balloon soaring above the desert near Phoenix, and I can say that it was an amazing experience. I’ve always been a person to want to try new and different things. I’ve ziplined, bungee jumped, and swam in many oceans, but never had a chance to go in a hot air balloon. Thanks to Hot Air Expeditions (@BalloonsAZ on Twitter), we were treated to a ride that I will always remember. Here are five things that stuck out to me during our hot air balloon ride: It is HOT In order to “propel” the balloon and make it go higher (and to be able to guide it), you need hot air. And that hot air is produced by a blazing hot flame. I don’t think I was ready for how hot it got, but glad I dressed appropriately as described in the tour materials. It is beautiful Seeing everything high above the desert was something to behold. At one point, I stopped trying to take pictures of everything because I wanted to fully enjoy the sights and scenery. We had to get up pretty early in the morning for the trip, but it was worth it. The views that I saw that morning will last in my memory for a lifetime. It is an event After our ride was complete, we had breakfast in the middle of the desert complete with all of the fixings and mimosas. It wasn’t just a hot air balloon ride, but an experience. And a fabulous one at that! It is fun During our ride, we were on a balloon with two other families, so we got a chance to chop it up with other people, too. It is a fun way to meet new people and experience something that isn’t your garden variety activity. It is something I want to do again I can cross riding in a hot air balloon off of my bucket list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over. I wouldn’t mind partaking in one again, maybe this time in Europe. So, it may be crossed off my list, but it’s still on my European Travel Guide. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience a hot air balloon ride, I highly recommend that you do. And if you are visiting Arizona, make sure to check out Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix. They will take  great care of you and give you a memorable...

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Travel: Our Visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

Posted by on 10:48 am in Travel | 0 comments

Travel: Our Visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

While in Arizona we got the chance to experience many new things. One of those experiences included a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and school Taliesin West in Scottsdale AZ. If you aren’t familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright he is probably if not one of the greatest architects of our time. Frank has created some of the world’s most famous structures. I live in Oak Park, IL. where he also had a home, so you can see why I’m kind of obsessed with his work. “Oak Park, Illinois is home to the world’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and houses, with 25 structures built between 1889 and 1913.” I’ve visited his structures in Oak Park many times, so I thought it would only be right to see some of his work while in Scottsdale, AZ. Here’s a little more information about Taliesin West:  “Taliesin West is a national historic landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains outside of Scottsdale, AZ.  It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Wright’s beloved winter home and the bustling headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship, Taliesin West was established in 1937 and diligently handcrafted over many years into a utopian world unto itself. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. It was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations A lively community, Taliesin West is open to the public and offers a broad range of tours. Come experience the place that Wright called “the top of the world.” Check out some of the images we captured below…   It’s amazing how much time and effort was put into Taliesin West. While, I won’t give away the complete history, I will tell you it was probably one of the best tours I had ever been on. We got to learn so much more about Frank Lloyd Wright and how Taliesin West came to be. We learned so much about his past, his wives, and his travels around the world. If  you are ever in Scottsdale, AZ and love architecture, I definitely recommend that you go on the Frank Lloyd Wright tour. To get more information about the property and foundation go...

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My 5 Favorite Moments From Our Walt Disney World Spring Break Trip

Posted by on 8:00 am in Disney, Family Travel | 0 comments

My 5 Favorite Moments From Our Walt Disney World Spring Break Trip

Oh, why does Spring Break have to end? My daughter and I had so much fun during her Spring Break this year at Walt Disney World. This is the first time that we’ve been there during Spring, and it was also our first time staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. With so much to see and do, we weren’t able to complete everything on our Wish List, but we did attempt to and had so much fun while doing so. A trip to Walt Disney World is an experience one will always remember. Spending time with my favorite girl at one of the happiest places on earth is a gift that I don’t take for granted. Family travel is so important to me, as well as being able to make memories as a family unit while in a different place. I wanted to share with you My 5 Favorite Moments From Our Walt Disney World Spring Break Trip: Pop Century Resort in One Word: Amazing! One of the foremost Disney experts that I know (Amiyrah from 4 Hats and Frugal, who’s also a Disney Mom’s Panel member) recommended that The Chicklet and I stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, based on what she knew about us. And she was right on the money. Even before we were able to check in, we were in awe of all of the scenery and pop culture coolness at the resort. It’s fun and has something for every age. The resort features info, memorabilia, and other goodies from each decade starting with the 50’s going all the way to the 90’s. And the grounds are filled with fabulousness from each decade as well. We stayed in the 60’s area by the “psychedelic” pool, and there was so many “groovy” things to see. We also ventured to the 70’s area complete with an eight track cassette and a discoball. If you are looking for a Disney resort that is super fun for young and old, Pop Century Resort is it, yo! Witnessing a Marriage Proposal While trying to take a photo of The Chicklet in front of the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue near Cinderella’s Castle, we unknowingly began to witness a man proposing to his girlfriend. At first, I was a little annoyed because while I was trying to take my photo, he just bumrushed us, but my anger turned to “aww” when I saw him kneel down and propose. My daughter was still wondering what was going on, so I had to clue her in in between my “say yes, girl, say yes” chants. It appears like the would-be bride was shocked and wasn’t able to give an answer right that minute. But soon the family crowded around her, and she told him yes, and I shed a few tears myself. Dinner at The Crystal Palace I was having trouble getting a dinner reservation for our Friday evening stay, but there was a cancelation at The Crystal Palace, so we were able to get in just as we were getting hungry. Thank goodness for the Walt Disney World My Disney Experience app. The Crystal Palace is one of the original restaurants from the original WDW opening in 1971, so it was a treat to be able to eat there. During the...

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Three Pink Travel Accessories Every Diva Must Own

Posted by on 11:36 am in Travel | 0 comments

Three Pink Travel Accessories Every Diva Must Own

By now, I’m sure you guys see the ongoing theme of this blog…travel and the color pink! That’s right we love pink so much (we even included it in our name);  we make it our duty to find the hottest travel accessories for our readers. This week, I’m back sharing with you some of my favorite pink travel companions. These accessories are guaranteed to make your travel life a little bit easier. The Smart iReach Selfie Stick Now everyone knows, I hate, hate the selfie stick. I’m not really a stickler for selfie sticks but when I came across this pink one, I knew for sure that this would be a travel must have. It seems like everywhere I go, someone has them and all though I loathed them in the beginning, they are actually quite useful. Gone are the days where you have to ask someone to take your pictures. The Smart iReach Selfie Stick is perfect because it’s compatible with your iPhone or Android phone.  The Smart iReach extends the reach of your arm so you can capture everything and everyone in your photo or video.  It’s compact enough to fit in a purse, pocket or backpack, weighs less than a pound and comes equipped with Bluetooth technology that easily syncs up with your phone.  Simply click the button on the stick’s handle and “SNAP!” awesome picture taken.  No apps to download, no extra remotes to carry.  Everything is right there when you need it. You can find the product at www.smartireach.com.  It retails for $49.95. Speck Products I can’t tell you guys how many people have dropped or broken their phones/gadgets while traveling. There are so many things we have to worry about when traveling, your gadgets shouldn’t be one of them. What I love about Speck Products is that they carry a wide range of pink products to protect your phone, laptop, tablet and more. The prices are very reasonable and worth every penny. To purchase these products go to SpeckProducts.com Conair Travel Smart The Power of Pink Luggage Cart Even when I pack light,  I still find myself lugging around my purse, laptop, carry-on and whatever else I feel like I can’t live without. The Conair Travel Smart The Power of Pink Luggage Cart is the perfect way to keep up with the all of your bags while traveling. This cart weights less than 4lbs, holds up to 120 lbs and folds up when not in use.  It truly is the perfect cart when you are traveling. The Conair Travel Smart The Power of Pink Luggage Cart can be purchased...

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Hotel Review: The Row NYC Times Square

Posted by on 11:00 am in Travel Reviews | 0 comments

Hotel Review: The Row NYC Times Square

I love boutique hotels that are fab and funky with a heaping dose of personality. While looking for somewhere near Times Square to stay during a recent trip, I came across The Row NYC. After perusing their website and seeing photos of the accommodations, I decided to book a room there and try my luck. Located off of 8th Avenue just one block away from the bustling Times Square, The Row is one of NYC’s oldest hotels. It’s a 27-story wonder with 1000+ rooms, all which have been renovated and updated to give a modern studio feel. My room was decorated in bright orange with white furnishings—-almost like an IKEA fantasy land. The room was small, but for NYC, as a good size, and I enjoyed the LED flatscreen television and high speed internet. You would never know that this hotel was built in 1928! I especially loved the lobby (which I failed to get photos off–epic fail), which boasts an eatery cafe during the daytime, and breaks out into a nightclub after hours complete with deejay, dance floor, and someone on the drums. With so many rooms, usually waiting for an elevator is a problem—not at The Row. Their elevator system is top notch. 8+ elevators that get all assigned to your floor only. You have to truly use them to see what I mean. My room looked out over the back of the hotel, where I had glimpses of The Shubert Theater, home of the Broadway play Matilda. I truly enjoyed my experience and would stay there again in a heartbeat. The Row NYC is well priced too. The average price per night for my stay was about $175 before tax, and that included breakfast for each of the four days I was there. For that area, you can’t beat it. Below are photos of my room. I am told the M stands for Manhattan Hotel, which was then changed to the Royal Manhattan, which was then changed to Milford Plaza. It was reintroduced this year as The Row NYC. Nearby restaurants and eateries include The Shake Shack, Carmine’s, and Junior’s Brooklyn, which I personally ate at about three times during my visit.   Visit Row NYC Times Square for more information and details. They are also on Twitter at...

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5 Holiday Travel Tips You Must Use This Season

Posted by on 10:00 am in Family Travel, Holidays, Travel | 0 comments

5 Holiday Travel Tips You Must Use This Season

This is the most wonderful time of the year. And one of the busiest in terms of family travel. And because of this, travelers have to take extra special care when flying, driving, or riding during the holidays. I’ve got a list of 5 Holiday Travel Tips You Must Use This Season. And believe me, they are going to come in handy: Holiday Travel Tip #5 | Ship Gifts and Items Beforehand Traveling with packages isn’t only expensive, but can be problematic, especially if your items don’t make it to your destination when you do. As a travel tip during the holidays, ship your gifts beforehand. It will save on time and money, and the likelihood that they will be there on time is increased. Services like UPS Ground are pretty reasonable, and will even pack and box up your things for you, taking out the stress of it all. Holiday Travel Tip #4 | Wear Layers When traveling during the holidays, you may experience different climates. Add to that getting through security, and it can be a hassle. Wearing layers and packing your coat can help speed up the travel process while making you comfortable. Wearing tights under jeans with a pair of boots is sensible for most fall and winter climates. Nix the coat and wear a sweater or top under a shrug or cardigan along with a scarf—all easy to remove (or keep on) while going through security. Holiday Travel Tip #3 | Pack Light Opt for clothing that can be rolled in your luggage, giving you more room to bring back items you may get while you are traveling. Body cons, tank tops, leggings, button downs, and tights can easily be rolled in suitcases, giving you maximum room. Holiday Travel Tip #2 | Keep Kids Busy There may be flight delays or lots of traffic while traveling. Make sure to bring a tablet or two for the kids and make sure it is charged before departing. Packing an extra extended battery also helps. If your tablet isn’t WIFI enabled, download movies and shows that your kid(s) enjoy before your trip so they can watch them anywhere without having a connection. Holiday Travel Tip #1 | Stay Informed Make sure that you have the app for your airline carrier installed on your device(s) to be able to keep up with flight delays and changes. You can also download traffic apps that can let you know about jams and alternate routes you can take to get to your destination. I hope you all have a great holiday travel season! You can also check out this post, Tips to Avoid Long Wait Times at the Airport for more hacks if you plan on air travel during the holidays....

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