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Entries in travel (3)

Tuesday
Jun142011

Mexico is for Guacamole Lovers... and more

Earler this year I went to Mexico with my college buddies to celebrate our 40th birthdays.

At first I was a little hesitant and heard my mother's voice in my head...

"MEXICO???"

And I'll admit I did look up the US consolate office nearby where I was going and emailed it to my mother and husband...just in case.

But when I arrived in Puerto Vallarta with my friends I was anything but frightened.

I was relaxed (the mojito on the plane didn't hurt one bit)

I was enchanted.

I ate fresh guacamole... every single day.

guacamole made fresh at your dinner table in Mexico

I was surprised at just how safe and calm I felt!

And then I realized how much my kids would LOVE Puerto Vallarta.

Lucky for you JetSetVacations.com has an incredible travel package to Puero Vallarta! Here's why I think it will be the perfect family getaway...

The water is warm enough for kids to swim and play.

The old town area has tons of great restaurants, street entertainment, and quaint shops and boutiques.

Learning to convert pesos to dollars is a perfect math exercise for them.

The people of Puearto Vallarta are really, really nice.

They have a Costco!!!!

Why book through JetSetVacations.com?

 

I have not personally used them yet but JetSetVacations.com has 15 years of experience and is a travel wholesaler so their prices are great. They have all kinds of packages listed on their site including affordable family vacations, quick weekend aways, even honeymoon or romatic trips. They offer "white glove" service with a vacation concierge assigned to assist you while you are away on your trip. AND they guarantee the lowest rates to Mexico (hello P.V.! - that's what the cool kids call Puerto Vallarta), the Carribean, and Costa Rica.

Plus, you can enter to win $1,000 vacation credit and more by participating in the JetSetVacations.com Twitter Party this Wednesday night from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/ijMbgq

Just promise me that if you win...you'll take me with you!

Disclosure: I have not used JetSetVacations.com but I have been to Puerto Vallarta and paid much more than what JetSet is quoting on their website. This post is sponsored by Global Influence and JetSetVacations and I received compensation, however all opinions are my own and this post was not reviewed nor approved prior to being published.

Tuesday
Apr052011

Universal Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter delivers on the magic

Remember when I was considering banning Harry Potter? The character has seeped into every crack in our lives. We hear magic games being played upstairs behind locked doors. Who said you could lock that door?? We have the books on-hand and open at any possible reading moment. And one of our twins has started saying "quite" every possible moment. Like, "I'm quite sure".

Well, I didn't ban Harry - not really, but we are "taking a break" for now which is fine because...

The girls got to experience HARRY POTTER IN PERSON!

While we were in Florida recently we were guests of NBC Universal and received a day of passes to Universal Orlando. With two huge Harry Potter fans our first stop, of course, was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!

{cue tears}

Universal Studios,Harry Potter,Wizarding World

No really, Em started tearing up at the park gate when she realized exactly where we were headed!

She has dreamed about this day, every day for months now.

I felt my heart grow huge watching the girls with their jaws dropped, their eyes sparkling.

I also felt an enormous amount of gratitude to the folks at Universal for putting together this incredible moment. For making it happen. And I can't wait to go back for more!

I can tell you, IF you have a Harry Potter fan in your house, the Wizarding World and Universal Studios is a MUST.

A MUST!

Look at this place!

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You first enter through Diagon Alley (or is it Hogsmead?) where there is everything from the Hogwarts Express and Honeydukes

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(with real Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans including vomit, earwax, and dirt!)

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to the 3 Broomsticks and Butterbeer.

Universal Studios,Harry Potter,Wizarding World,Butterbeer

There is a hefty wait at Ollivanders for wands.

And of course there was a line for...

Universal Studios,Harry Potter,Wizarding World,Hogwarts

 

Hogwarts Castle

The BEST RIDE EVER: The Forbidden Journey

The Forbidden Journey is one part ride, one part visual experience (like IMAX), and one part animatronics coming at you.

It's incredible and better than any roller coaster I've ever been on!

I don't have photos from on the ride because you really need to check all your goods into a locker. No really, check it. You'll be happier not worrying about it and enjoy the ride much more. And you want your full attention to enjoy this ride!

Now, even though there is a line, you will thoroughly enjoy the cue where you wind around the castle visiting with the portraits that come to life

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visiting with Dumbledore in his office

and finally catching up with Harry, Ron and Hermione before the mission

Hogwarts,Harry Potter

All in all it was a great build-up to a an amazing ride!

There are two other rides in the Wizarding World including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge but we were mesmerized with just walking around.

Tips for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Look for the small fountain in the center area for rinsing out your mug of Butterbeer or bottle of Pumpkin Juice.

Chocolate Frogs at Honeydukes make great teacher gifts and buy a few packages of Bertie Botts because I can't find them anywhere now!

Head straight there when you first get into the part because they issue tickets just to get into the Wizarding World area! Or, you can try waiting and going later in the day around 4 or 5.

If you have an Express Pass for the parks it won't work yet for the Harry Potter rides. Check and see when that will change.

Magical Memories with Harry

Harry Potter taps into so many things that excite a child: magic, secrets, and the fight between good and evil. Universal Orlando has really brought Harry Potter to life and made it something our whole family could enjoy. And now every kid in the 2nd grade class at our elementary school is asking their parents to take them to the place that has vomit flavored jelly beans. No joke!

Sticking with the chocolate frog,

Janine

You might also like:

When the power goes out on your birthday

Disclosure: I received free park passes and express passes for our family as a guest of Universal Orlando. We also received a gift bag filled with things to keep our memories alive. All opinions expressed here are my own and we were truly awed by the park and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published. My kids have not stopped talking about Universal Orlando since we got home.

Friday
Feb052010

Review: Label Daddy Keeps Luggage in the Right Hands

So here's a shocker...my go-to luggage is one of the rectangular wheeled bags that is brownish/black.

Yes, it looks like yours, and yours, oh and yours over there!

The Mister has a....

green one....

just like yours, and yours, and his.

Thankfully my luggage will not get lost among the masses next week as we head to Florida for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference because each one of our bags (and I'm talking suitcases, laptop bags, backpacks, camera bags, etc) will have one of these beauties on it:

Luggage tag from Label Daddy with Minnie Mouse

Even the Mister's bags (tho as of this post I'm not sure he actually knows that).

Label Daddy serves up labels hot and laminated

I received a few sheets of labels with all different sizes from label expert, Label Daddy. Some for luggage as shown above, but also smaller ones I promotly put on my cell phone, eyeglass case, water bottle, and anything else that could be misplaced or 'mistaken' for someone else's (don't steal my stuff yo!)

Label Daddy has all different size labels.

But the important thing to note is these labels are safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and washer and dryer! Plus, mine are laminated so they won't smear.

Label Daddy does Disney

With a whole line of Disney labels it was difficult to choose which one could represent my family. In the end, I went with Minnie Mouse because the Mister is used to being outnumbered by girls anyway. What's one more?

They have the classis Disney friends, plus characters from Toy Story and Cars, and of course the Princesses.

Plus, a school pack includes 132 labels and 4 zipper tags (genius!) for just $40.00! A great gift for someone starting pre-school or going to camp.

And, they are a great way to promote your blog :).

Janine

Disclosure: Sample product provided by Label Daddy at no cost. All views and opinions with regard to the product or company are my own and are not influenced, nor reviewed by the company prior to posting.