Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Hyundai Santa Fe: Epic Playdate (Part II) #EpicPlaydate #CGC

Summer, Summer, Summertime! We’ve waited for it allllll year and summer is finally here. We’re off to a rocky and inconsistent start here in Boston – but I’m not complaining. The peaks of sunshine we’re getting in between the rain is more than enough to put a smile on my face.

I get kind of bummed my schedule isn’t more flexible in the summer – I’d love to hang out by the pool with my kiddo all summer, eating ice cream, and getting my tan on. Buuuut that’s not the case – so our weekends are jamn packed with local excursions and adventures outdoors.

I really wanted to make this Summer more exciting for lil mama and I. It’s been a rough year for us, and I wanted us to be able to get out, let loose, and enjoy these months with each other. We’ve had some pretty awesome adventures since June has started. We took our first trip to Disney and had a great time, and just got back from New York on Monday. I’m glad to NOT have to worrying about packing…for awhile. I’ve got some ideas for other trips to take and I can’t wait to experience them alongside my daughter.

Hyundai Santa Fe wants to know what your epic playdate would consist of. If you were to ask my daughter what her epic summer adventure would be, one thing would be a must. Any trip must include water, and a chance for her to go swimming! There is one picture of me nine months pregnant that she loves to look at and talk about. She SWEARS she remembers her thoughts from when she was in her tummy J I was in a two piece (the ONLY time I’ve worn a two piece) waddling around a beach in Maine. So of course, we have to go to Maine. I’ve seen a lot of signs in local T stations marketing the “Train to Maine” and of course it intrigued me! They offer round-trips daily between Boston and Portland. There is so much to experience in Maine, like sandy beaches, world-famous pier fries and a seashore amusement park at Old Orchard Beach. It’s my most epic playdate – and the fact that I can experience this car-free is just an added bonus!!

In a previous Hyundai related post in April I wrote about the chance to attend Hyundai Santa Fe Epic Playdate Weekend and here is a post and below is a video from a blogger who attended the event,

Hyundai Epic Play Date from dooce on Vimeo.

A trip to Maine via train is my epic playdate experience, what’s yours?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Preparing for our Disney trip in a month!

Holy Smokes…..One Month til Disney!

It seems like forever ago that I booked our trip for Disney, and now it’s only 27 days away! I’ve yet to become excited for the trip…it’s not really  a vacation for me, but I wasn’t thinking about me when I booked the trip, but of my darling daughter. I’ve got to give it up to the folks over at Disney – they haven’t let me forget about my trip and at least every couple weeks they are sending me something in the mail about our trip – they really deserve a pat on the back!!

So with a month until our trip, I’m now trying to figure out what the heck I need to prepare! A month or so ago I started reading blogs of other families that were planning Disney trips – and got overwhelmed, I must give it to the super planners, but I want a sense of freedom when I’m away, and don’t want to be tied down! Their prep was months in advance, which had me down because I have done ZERO prep, other than booking our flight and hotel! For me, preparation for this trip can be broken up into two categories: mental and physical.

Mental Prep:

-          Mental preparing to fly (me no likey)

-          Preparing to be around a whole bunch of people and kids! (I’m kinda a hermit)

-          Being prepared for lil mama to want everything & needed to set limits with her

-          Being OK with being out the office for an entire week (causes me anxiety)

I’ve been working on this mental prep for awhile now. I’ve always been one to avoid super crowded events – you should see me in NYC with lil mama – I’m a mess! There is going to be so much stimulation there and I know she is going to want EVERYTHING, so I need to have a budget in mind and really try to stick with it.

Physical Prep:

-     What to pack? And how?

I generally tend to be an overpacker – I like to pack for any circumstance which always means my suitcase is busting at the seams lol – and let’s not talk about my accessories…I have a lot of skincare products that must travel with me. I need to figure out how I can best pack these without being stopped at the airport! I’ve also decided NOT to bring my laptop, which will be a nice break – I’ll have my Galaxy so I’ll still be connected. I also don’t know the limits on how heavy our bags can be…I don’t fly, and really need to educate myself ASAP so I don’t break no rules!

-   What to wear?

I’m all about comfort – and my standard outfit when I’m not at work is leggings, converse, and a tshirt. Best outfit ever. But I obviously know we’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so I need to be comfortable all the time. So I’ve decided to bring my workout gear, running pants, dri-fit tops, sports bra, and sneakers. I’ll be comfortable and ready to run at any moment! I also had to think about the dreaded topic of a bathing suit. I’ve just begun my fitness journey so I’m not yet seeing the results I want in my body, so I needed a suit that was not only cute and flattering but that sucked in what needed to be sucked and gave an overall slimming look – I recently teamed with Albion Fit and got sent the cutest bathing suit I’ll happily be rocking in Disney!


As you can see there is much prep to be done for our upcoming trip. But the biggest pieces are all done. We have our flights. We know where we’ll be staying. We have our dining plan. We have access to the parks. I’m happy with that and hope that everything else just falls smoothly into place…(a girl can dream!). But, it is important to really start thinking about what I still need to get, what exactly I’m packing, and start organizing! I’m not going overboard, so hopefully it’s not too much work!


Have you been to Disney? What kind of prep did you do beforehand? What advice would you give me?


Experience Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort in Utah

Looking for a vacation for your family this summer? Be sure to check out Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort in Utah. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort at Zion National Park ranks as one of the best active-life family destinations. They have 4,000 acres literally on the border of Zion. Their canyoneering adventures are very unique and very exciting for an active family.


- 4,000 acre ranch resort adjacent to Zion National Park (literally against border of park)
- Overview of operation and location - here
- Aerial View of operation - here
Most activities (on property) of any destination resort in the region -
Swimming Pool (Two Level / Gravity Edge / Water slides) / Jacuzzi)
Lodging Options (Six Lodging Types)
Western Wagons
Cowboy Cabins
Cabin Suites
Vacation Homes/Cabins
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park (75 minutes)
- Summertime rafting trips (90 minutes)
- Grand Canyon North Rim (105 minutes)
- Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (20 minutes)
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
- Pipe Spring National Monument
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- Frontier Movie Town
They offer fine diningrelaxation / spa treatments and excellent accommodation options!
For more information contact – Mark Wade at 435-216-8171 or via e-mail at


Secret’s Out…We’re Going to Disney!

The last vacation my daughter and I have been on was back in 2007 when we visited Aruba for my sister’s Wedding. We’re more of the staycation type. If vacations weren’t so expensive and I had more moolah I would love love to vacation more with lil mama! Working in non-profit fundraising is pretty exhausting and it’s been a difficult year for us medically and emotionally, so I know we needed some away time together. It’s important to get away from your normal routine, it’s important to spoil yourself…I really don’t do it enough.

disneySo what did I do? Book a trip to Disney! … I swear I’m crazy. Yup, we’re off to the most magical place on Earth! My daughter has been asking for awhile now to go somewhere, on an airplane, stay in a hotel, and of course visit the castle in Florida. I tried to silence her requests and convince her we should go to Puerto Rico and visit the beach! But she was firm – Disney and the castle.

But how to break the news to her? This is a HUGE trip for us! (My pockets sure feel lighter!). I couldn’t just come out and tell her! I needed some mystery; I wanted it to be a surprise! So I decided I would create an Easter Day Scavenger Hunt Revealing our Trip to Disney. I thought I was so slick! After a long day of visiting family and eating delicious food we got back home and I hid clues for her around the house in left over Easter eggs. Until I realized I messed up the clues, so I had to rush and get them all correct. Sigh.

I wanted to make this FUN, so I made a paper chain (love em) with we’re going to Disney, and lil mama LOVES to scrapbook so I got some Florida scrapbooking stickers and even an airplane :-) I wanted this to be special…I was so excited to share this with her.

IMG_4216Once she read the little sign I had created she was off – off to find clues and find out what BIG surprise Mom had in store for her. From her closet, to the TV, to her bagpack, to the Fridge, to the door she went which finally lead her to ‘a place you love to go into after a long day that is usually full of bubbles’ … the tub! Where we was greeted with a special sign, her paper chain, and other goodies. It’s funny, her reaction – many many smirks – was not what I expected. I thought maybe she’d cry or roll around on the floor. But she grinned, she smirked, and she said Moommmmmy we’re going to Disney. It’s weird…it’s kind of like she already knew we were going! Smartypants.

So, yep we’re going to Disney – everyone’s like aren’t you so excited? I’m not…yet. I’m sure once it gets closer I’ll get more excited, but my fear of flying has clouded my excitement – and the fact that the trip isn’t cheap – ouch! But, we don’t go on vacation much, so it’s time to get away, enjoy some sun, and visit the castle! Lil Mama is counting down the days until June 3rd!



Get Away to Colorado Rocky Mountains Resorts

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