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Entries in travel (10)

Monday
Jan252010

Packing for California...clothing optional (Twincident #148)

No, we aren't going to a nudist camp. We aren't even going to California. But the Twofer is...in their own mind anyway (ahem, going to California not a nudist camp, sheesh!).

Play Travel is Serious Business

The Twofer got their own little wheeled suitcases for Christmas from my mother-in-law and so far they have really enjoyed going nowhere but pretending they are going everywhere. The latest trip took them to California, via train (the guest bedroom).

When the Mister told me what they had each packed realized I have two very sensible girls who definitely have their own, very different priorities. You can tell a lot about a girl from looking into her suitcase.

Little Girl Suitcase

El packed:

books

flashlight

writing journal/sketch book

more books

hairbrush (this is particularly cute since she has curly hair and we never use a brush on it except when it's wet)

Em packed

2 handbags

shoes

snack

laptop

her wallet

and MY book The 100 - A Guide to Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia

NOTE: It seems it's no coincidence Em got the suitcase above with the Paris theme.

One can only assume they plan to buy all the clothes for the week once they get there. Or hit the laundromat. I didn't ask.

What do your kids pack when they are taking a pretend trip?

Janine


Tuesday
May262009

Disney Magic - NOW I get it. I get it and I love it. Here's why...

I believe in Disney magic.
There. I said it.

And, I cried like a baby during the Wishes Fireworks, but more on that later.

Disney Twofer

As you know from my earlier posts we planned a trip to Disney World for the Free on Your Birthday promotion to celebrate the Twofer's 6th birthday. Last week we flew down Wednesday and only had Thursday and Friday to spend at Magic Kingdom but that was enough to catch the bug.


If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed some tweets go by with the hashtag #disneytwofer – that was me and the folks following along on the journey. And it was quite a journey. I may have to break this up into 2 different.

The Magic of Disney at the hotel

OK, there was definitely a line and some time spent waiting for the Disney Magical Express bus. But at least we didn’t have to wait with our big bags, just our carry-on bags. We got to the hotel (we chose Pop Century) and were able to check in right away and enjoy the pool. Later on, our bags were delivered to our room – voila!
Other highlights:
  • The Dining plan felt magical because we didn’t feel the pinch of pulling out our wallets each time we ate.
  • I told the front desk we were celebrating our twin’s birthday and there were balloons and Mickey photos in the room when we returned after dinner!
  • The pool was open until midnight and what is more magical than swimming on a warm Florida night?

Magic at The Magic Kingdom

Rides


On each ride I allowed myself to really see things from a child’s perspective and I’m telling you I remembered. I remembered how excited I was at age 5 to climb aboard Dumbo, and wind through It’s a Small World. I allowed myself to really feel like I was flying over Never Never Land with Peter Pan and witness a battle on Pirates of the Caribbean. I did something I haven’t done in a long time…I used my imagination. And I liked it.

The Castle


I have ALWAYS wanted to go in
that castle. The one way I knew I could get in there was to make reservations to have lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table and seeing as it was the Twofers’ birthday, I knew they would love it too. So this is what it’s like:

First we met and took photos with Cinderella – fabulous blue dress, white gloves, and all.


Then we headed upstairs for our meal and a number of other princesses stopped by our table for autographs and pictures. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Jasmine were gracious and charming. The dining area had big chairs, wooden beams, and large windows with a view of the park. The food was surprisingly good and the desserts were deeeelish. Throw in some wishing stars and wands and you’ve got Disney magic…bippity, boppity, boo!


After an enormous lunch and all the excitement We headed back to the hotel for a break and returned in the evening for more rides, dinner, and those darn….Fireworks.

The Magical Fireworks


Yes, I cried during the Wishes celebration fireworks. But here’s what was swirling through my head: I remember thinking about what a great day we just had and how good it felt to be able to share this with my girls. MY girls who are no longer babies but big 6 year olds. I thought about all that is wrong in this world, and how lucky I was to have my family safe, healthy, and experiencing this together.

I thought of the Make-A-Wish kids who often get trips to Disney World and what their parents feel as they watch those same fireworks night after night. And then I thought of how my dad, who passed away just weeks after the Twofer were born, would have f-ing LOVED the whole damn thing.

What I realize now is that it was not just the fireworks that brought me to tears. It was the combination of fireworks + touching music about wishes + lack of sleep that most likely caused me to tear up (ok, bawl).

But what happened when we got back to the room was truly magical.
And that you will have to come back to read in my next post…Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney.

Read more in this series:
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise

Wearing my mouse ears,
Janine

Friday
Apr242009

This. Is. Cool. KaBOOM! mapping 100,000 play spaces in 100 days


Imagine you are on vacation at your inlaws and just really need to find a great playground for your 2 and 4 year olds...nothing too big, shade preferred.

You go to KaBOOM! 's playspace finder and BOOM! There's the perfect park not 5 miles from where you are.

But KaBOOM! needs your help.

KaBOOM! wants to map 100,000 playspaces in just 100 days. I'm helping the Mom Central team add play spaces because for every space we add, $1 will be donated to Jumpstart, a non-profit that brings at-risk preschool children and caring adults together to improve literacy.

What is considered a playspace for KaBOOM?


a playground

field
skate park
roller hockey rink
lake
dog park
community center
basketball court
ice rink
or any place where kids can engage in unstructured play for free or a nominal fee.

A playspace listing on KaBOOM! consists of an address or cross street and a description, one photo and one rating.

Join KaBoom! (registration takes 1 min.) then join the Mom Central team. Be sure to log your playspaces. Look up the ones you frequent on the internet and when you are there take a quick picture with your phone - you can upload it to twitpic! Then be sure to add a rating and any other information you think parents might want to know.

Boom! You just earned a dollar for Jumpstart.

But hurry - as of today there are just 68 days to go!

I thank you, Mom Central thanks you, and all the kids and parents looking for places to play thank you.
Janine

Friday
Apr032009

Around the world in one night

Last night was International Night at the Twofer's school and I was completely wowed. Families chose to represent a different country from around the world and set up tables with photos, books, artifacts, and even food from that country.

Flags Of The World

Photo via Flickr 365

Many families chose countries they had ties to, and even included short dance routines like Irish Step Dancing. Some families just chose a country and used it as a way to explore another culture with their kids. One family chose to represent the country where they adopted their children.

Each table was unique and you could see the families that chose to participate had the most fun as they stamped each child's paper passport.

And I learned a lesson - sometimes it is better to give of your time, than to receive.

Jambo! Next year, I think we'll do the Kenya table.

Janine

Wednesday
Dec242008

I won't call it the drive from Hell...


Yesterday, a trip that usually takes 5 1/2 to 6 hours took us 8. Instead of getting in around 8pm as originally planned, we got in at midnight. M was in pain from the cheaper booster seat we had. Mr. was cranky from some work-related drama. L was getting a cold. And my stomach was upset most of the ride.

But here's a list of reasons I won't call it the drive from Hell.

1. The delay was caused my mere traffic, and not a blown tire on the side of the highway with tractor trailers flying by just inches from my car.

2. For better or worse, all 4 of us were together for 8 hours, which is more than a lot of families have right now, especially the families with loved ones serving overseas.

3. We made it to my mom's without incident. We and the car are in one piece, safe, and warm.

4. It's Christmas and almost the start of a new year. I have too many things to be thankful for, and for the next few days I've decided to try gratitude on for size...it seems to be working.

Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate!
Janine

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