Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Favorite things about coming HOME from traveling

During my last flight home I was in awe of the sight of Seattle.  It was as if I had never seen it before and it was the most beautiful place on earth.  It was home and an overwhelming feeling of happiness took over.  I had not come home from a bad trip, in fact we had an amazing time in Hawaii - but something about getting home is always a good feeling.  I started to think of all the wonderful things I love when I land on the ground or return home from a trip. So here they are in no particular order!

1. The site of Mt. Rainier and Seattle are more beautiful than any other descend in a plane.
2. The Smell and drive of my very own car - especially if I've had a cheesy rental all week
3. Knowing my favorite coffee stand is just around the corner
4. Sleeping in my very own BED!  Need I say I'm addicted to my Tempur-Pedic
5. Being able to walk around in my birthday suit, without worrying the kids will open the hallway door for the tourist to see the hotels newest attraction!
6. If we've left the kids at home with Grandma, the feeling of is even more special and that first HUG is amazing!  I suppose when they are teenagers it won't be the same, but for now I enjoy a toddler and 6yr olds hugs and kisses
7. Ok - So I don't have any pets, but I know you animal lovers are thinking "Kisses from my puppy" or "Cuddles with the cat"...so there's your little shout out to pet lovers across the nation.
8. Getting back to the normal routine! Sounds boring, but sometimes after a week of running around like a maniac tourist, it's nice to know you have a schedule at home.

What's YOUR favorite thing about coming home?  


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

5 things to remember as you head for the airport - Travel Tip Tuesday

 Here are a few items you want to remember before planning your trip to the Airport.

1. Depending on the length of your flight and what time it is, pack a good snack or even a breakfast, lunch or dinner to go! Liquids are prohibited beyond security, but FOOD IS NOT.  With airlines these days your lucky to get a pack of peanuts big enough to satisfy a bird and getting a small snack onboard runs in the $5-$7 range or more for a whole meal and vendors inside the airport are just as expensive in most cases.

2. Plan your route ahead of time and be sure to give yourself enough time for unexpected traffic. If your visiting a large city and have a mid-day flight home, you're likely to get stuck in the local rush hour.  Ask a local about traffic rushes and they can probably give you some tips on how to get around and when the best time to leave is.

3. Don't forget if your headed home and have a rental car, leave yourself some extra time to refill the tank of gas.  I almost completely forgot this important step on my last solo trip and found myself in a rush to find a gas station that was no where to be found near the airport.

June 29, 2010
4. Check into your flight the day before online and print your tickets.  This can save you some time, especially if your not checking any bags, then you get to head right to the terminal.  If you are checking bags, this can save you money with certain airlines who are offering discounts for prepaid baggage fees online.

5. Expect the unexpected! Even if you've done your job to get to the airport on time and did everything above to assure you didn't miss your plane, don't be surprised if your rushing to the gate only to see "DELAYED" on the board.  I have found that with flying you can't expect everything to go right 100% of the time.  Keeping this in mind, I find myself excited when things do go as planned and just appreciate getting home on time or near on time is just fine by me. ShareThis

Monday, June 28, 2010

My first video post in Park City, Utah - Ziprider

I just got back from an amazing 4 days in Park City, Utah! I was extremely busy with a conference I attended, but Jyl & Rachael, hosts of EVO, made sure we had some extreme fun on the last day. We were given a pass for the Park City Mountain Resort park and it was a blast!  They have several rides in their park, including the Alpine Coaster (coolest ride I've EVER ridden) and Ziprider, both of which start high up on the mountain and get you back down in the fastest funnest way possible!

I wish I had recorded the Alpine Coaster, but I had to man the controls on how fast to go and we were in fast mode.  So I recorded my awesome ride on the Ziprider.  Watch the video and you'll get a glimpse of people riding the Alpine Coaster and other rides below me as I zip down the mountain side.

I can't wait to share more about Park City, Utah with all of you.  This beautiful City that once held the 2002 Winter Olympics has so much to offer even in the summertime.

Enjoy my FIRST video post on Travelers Barista! And I'd love to hear your comments, as always!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Foto Fun Friday - June 25th, 2010

The beautiful colors of the terrain wouldn't make you think "Volcano", but it certainly is!  This sleeping mid-pacific volcano harbors many endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. One being the "Ne-Ne" bird, and the state bird of this Island. Where is this volcano and what it's name?



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Travel Tip Tuesday - June 22, 2010

Most airlines are now charging $15-$30 for your FIRST checked bag and even more for your 2nd, 3rd and so on. Don't forget, this charge is each way, adding up to $30-$60 per person, per trip!  Also don't forget, airlines have a checked bag weight limit, meaning if you go over the typical 50lb limit, you'll have even more Fees tacked on to your luggage, and these can get hefty - quite literally!

Taking a short trip? Check your airlines carry on baggage limit and you can save yourself some cash by hauling it on the plane yourself. Most airlines allow one "personal" bag (i.e. purse or laptop) and one suitcase that fits their size limits.  But, don't attempt to bring more luggage than the limit states, you may be required to check luggage, plus this is just a common courtesy to your fellow passengers by not taking up all the overhead space with your personal luggage.  I must admit, I scowl at people carrying 3-4 bags onto the plane that are clearly over the limit and some how get through the boarding process.  On our last trip to Hawaii my husband and I shared one large bag to check-in and saved some cash. 

Bringing a lap baby? Most airlines will allow an "extra" diaper bag as a carry on for the lap infant.  Check with your airline for lap infant baggage restrictions. 
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Road to Hana – Did we make a wrong turn?

Our third trip to Maui – Our first drive on the road to Hana. Narrow, Winding, endless drive to Hana!

I had read that the road to Hana is World famous for being one of the most scenic and beautiful drives you’ll ever take. Lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls and Maui at its best! Preparing for what we thought was a several hour drive, I packed a lunch, some water and we set off for our daily adventure.

We began our journey on Hana Hwy and at mile six we passed quickly by some “painted Eucalyptus trees”, something I had really wanted to see and photograph. There wasn’t really anywhere to stop or park and my husband assured me “I’m sure there will be more as we get farther into Hana”, so we drove on. Mile twenty and I was wondering what exactly we were supposed to be looking for and seeing on this trip? We had passed a couple small waterfalls trickling under the bridges, nothing spectacular, but nice to see. I had assumed trails or landmarks would be marked or obvious stopping points along our route. We did pass a couple areas where the tourists were piled up bumper to bumper trying to create parking space on the side of the narrow road. We were again unable to stop at what may have been a waterfall or trail along the drive. After pulling over several times to remove tailgating drivers off my rear end and driving 20mph for a couple hours, we arrived to Hana. A small City on the Eastern tip of Maui that has kept the Hawaiian culture at heart. We stopped to eat our lunch as I wondered, “Did we miss something?” “Did I make a wrong turn?” No, there is only ONE road to Hana and almost no way of getting lost.

Despite the fact that rental car companies prefer you not take the second half drive of the Hana Hwy and they will void any insurance you purchase, we did it anyways. Curious if we were missing out on what the rest of Hwy 360 has to offer, we continued on. What a Mistake! Don’t do it! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200…turn around and head back the way you came from! A couple miles in we should have gone with our gut instincts and found some way to turn around. The roads became narrower, and at some point the asphalt became dirt. We found ourselves driving past warning signs of “falling rocks” along the mountain roads we were now traveling on that barely seemed to provide enough room before we may have plunged into the ocean below to our certain death.

After getting through the mountain terrain, the Lush Greenery that we were once winding through became almost dessert like with only rocks and the ocean at one side. The coast line was a beautiful sight, but something you can admire on almost any Maui Hwy. We drove on for what felt like hours, but was really about two hours on the bumpiest, narrowest, longest road we’ve ever traveled. Around 4pm that evening the site of Makena, Kihei and the towns below were a blessing and we couldn’t wait to get back.

We went about this trip ALL WRONG!

So why wasn’t the Road to Hana the best scenic drive in the World? One thing locals seem to forget to tell tourists is that you need some sort of guide on the road to Hana. And I’m not speaking of a personal tour guide or taking a charter bus (although you can), but just a guide book or CD to take along on this trip. The roads, landmarks, and points of interest do not speak for themselves as you might see on a typical scenic Highway. Waterfalls, trails, and gardens are hidden treasures along Hwy 360. Don’t expect to see it all from your car and be prepared to take a hike or two.

You can purchase Hana Guide CD’s all over Maui (I realized AFTER the fact) and Snorkel Bob’s had one for $10, which was the best deal I found. I also found a neat looking “Hana Highway Mile by Mile” book you can buy online that would probably be most helpful.

If you’re planning the road to Hana drive, learn from my mistakes and take some guidance with you unless you’re just going for the long drive. Pack a lunch, water, sunscreen and if you’re in a convertible be ready to put the top back up at any given time for rain.

Is the Road to Hana for Kids?
I personally don’t recommend the Road to Hana for young children or anyone that gets car sick. We opted not to take this drive when we visited Maui with our children and I’m very glad we did. Older children who enjoy hiking or scenic drives may enjoy the ride, but there isn’t much to do to keep toddlers or even elementary aged children occupied.  If your lucky to have children who love car rides, this may be an ok trip for them! 
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Foto Fun Friday - June 18, 2010

This surfer wasn't catching too many waves, but care to take a guess at what Island we were on, or be even more daring and guess the beach?

Here is a clue...I just got back from this U.S. Island!
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Maui Island & Molokai Helicopter Tour with Air Maui

I’m no stranger to flying, but helicopters are a rare treat! For our 10 year anniversary we took a trip back to Maui where we had spent our honeymoon and I wanted to do some of the same activities we enjoyed the first time. On our honeymoon we had taken a short flight over Haleakala Crater and it was great. This time we were able to take the longer 60 minute flight around the entire island and it was even more amazing.

As we drove to the heliport we noticed it was quite cloudy and we were worried it would ruin the flight. When we arrived to Air Maui we were told it was extremely foggy in the valleys and they’d have to slightly re-route along the shoreline or we were given the option to fly to Molokai along with West Maui. We and the other passengers all agreed to see Molokai and that turned out to be a great decision. We soared over the sugar cane fields and across the ocean to Molokai where the mountains and valleys were covered with lush greenery and the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. The pilot got close in for an amazing view, doing a 360 to ensure everyone had a good photo opportunity. Just as I was enjoying the flight we flew over a cliff for a roller coaster dive over the edge. I felt as though we were leaping off the mountain into the ocean, what an amazing feeling! Our pilot (Al) was funny, informative and narrated the entire tour with Hawaii legends and tales. It was one of the best helicopter rides I’ve taken.

TIPS: If you’re planning to take a helicopter ride with any company be sure to bring your camera and sunglasses, and everything else is usually left in your vehicle. Your weight will be required when booking in order to be sure the helicopter is properly loaded and you should be given safety instructions before your tour. If you tend get motion sick, take the shorter flight through Maui (half hour). The Valleys can be a little bumpy and even for someone like me who is not easily motion sick; I had a couple moments I was starring at the barf bag wondering if I’d have to use it. I’ve never had that feeling in a helicopter ride but possibly the longer, slightly bumpier ride was the reason. Lastly, bring a couple dollars cash, the Maui heliport charges for parking, about a dollar per hour, and if you want to tip your pilot as well that’s at your discretion. ShareThis

Monday, June 14, 2010

Zip Lining and Mayo Sandwiches - Alaska


Conversation over the two-way; "We've got a Mayonnaise Sandwich just below at your 2 o'clock!"  Our guide points below to the baby "Mayo sandwich"...ok, a baby bear that was walking through the bushes below.  A site seen almost daily during the zip lining excursions. Why on earth they call them a mayo sandwich is unknown to me.  I figure a "honey pot" or "honey stealer" would seem more appropriate, but either way, they use the term to not scare any tourist by shouting "there is a Bear in the woods"!  Apparently it's caught some people off guard.  But what a very cool site for me to see.  I've seen a bear or two at the zoo, but to see a cub in it's natural habitat is something different all in itself. 

Once we all caught a glimpse, it was "Zip-set-Go"!  We were halfway through our zip line journey and all five of us were having a blast. Four men, one being my husband and then myself.  The other wives stayed back on the cruise ship and in town for some shopping. We started our trek at the tree house where we were geared up with helmets, gloves and the proper crotch grabbing gear to Zip with.  With a quick tutorial we chose our guide, who turned out be hilarious and entertaining, and we set off on the first smaller zip line.  The trail only got higher, faster and more fun as we went along, and even bounced along some wooden suspension bridges to break things up a little. The views were great and the zipping was even better!  Once we made it to the end of several zip lines it was the final Hoo Rah!  We got to be silly and we were encouraged to strike a pose for the cameraman taking our pictures.

At the end of our trip through the trees we received a special treat that not all groups get to do unless you get through the course in a good amount of time.  Instead of walking down stairs to get to the end, we got to repel down a tree, which was faster, funner and my first time repelling down anything.

TIPS: If your considering the zip-line excursion be sure your not afraid of heights.  I could just imagine someone like my mom freaking out at the top of the trees.  If you get through some of the course and can't continue on, you must repel straight off the zip line to the ground, which is probably more scary than doing the course itself.  The heights didn't bother me and I felt very safe with the double clipped lines they attached us to. It just felt a little odd standing in a huge tree that swayed a little as we stood waiting our turn. 
Bring your camera, be sure it has a Strap to attach to your body, otherwise you can't bring it along.  Leave most items behind, but if you must carry something you'll have a chance to put those items in a locked bin before your zipline tour begins. ShareThis

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kauhale Makai Condo - Kihei, Maui, Hawaii and my first VRBO.com rental

On our third trip to Maui I decided to try out vrbo.com to find a “vacation rental by owner”. Having never used this site I was unsure of what to expect. The searching is very open ended and can leave you scanning through hundreds of listings in a popular destination, but well worth the search if you have the time.

After going through my usual dates, location and best deals search online I chose a condo listed on VRBO located in Kihei, Maui. The pictures looked wonderful and the owner, Gina, was prompt and helpful when I sent an inquiry about her condo. Her listed price was unbelievable for what she was offering and last time I checked, she is still offering this great deal!

Upon our arrival to Kauhale Makai I was happy to see the pictures were true to the actual condo. Unlike some of our previous hotels where they used wide angle photos to make rooms appear larger and nicer than they really were in person. The condo was very clean, comfortable and had all the amenities we needed during our stay. A full kitchen, reclining leather couch, Queen bed facing the ocean and even beach chairs and an ice chest for our trips out. Even better, the owner provided free wi-fi and unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada and the laundry was just across the hall for $1 a load. I truly can’t think of anything she missed in this beautiful Kihei condo. The owner redesigned this 1975 unit to the most up to date appliances and d├ęcor possible.

As with any other individually owned condo community, each unit is unique and designed by the owner. From what other residents were telling us, our unit was one of the nicest at Kauhale Makai. So staying here in another unit may not be a similar experience. The community has a pool, kiddy pool, hot tub, outdoor games such as volleyball and nice BBQ area in the commons.

The location in Kihei was centered for a short drive to any attraction you wanted to get to on the island, and a half hour drive to the airport. Stores, shopping and restaurants were all in close proximity - all while the ocean was just a few steps away and a beautiful view from anywhere in the Condo.

I was not only happy with my VRBO experience but extremely happy with this condo and will definitely be returning to one of Gina’s properties. She is extremely helpful and definitely treats her condos like her own home and provides the best service to her customers. To view her condos direct you can visit her at http://www.ginaonmauicondos.com/. Make sure to tell her Travelers Barista sent you over…maybe then I’ll get to visit Hawaii again even sooner!

If you are planning to stay in a popular destination, check out VRBO and search for rentals by owners to get a great deal you may not find with your typical vacation website! ShareThis

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foto Fun Friday - June 11th, 2010

A beautiful night shot of this famous struture in Northern U.S.

Giving you an easy one this week...so no hints!

What's the NAME of it and what CITY does it stand in?

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Be a Tourist in your City - From a NEW view!


I have taken a couple of helicopter tours during my travels and they never cease to amaze me - but never did I consider what the amazing view above my own City might be.  My husband bugged me to go up for a ride a few months ago and he finally convinced me to go.  He booked me a ride with Hammer Helicopters in Olympia, and the day I went up turned out to be a beautiful Spring day. 

I was a tourist in my own City, viewing sites many locals have probably never seen.  I felt like a bird as we flew over the local shopping centers, my children's school and even my own house.  The pilot was great to take me where ever I desired and we were able to see everything I wanted in a half hour flight.

If you live in a City with a small airport then you're more than likely to find a company willing to take you up for a site seeing tour. Helicopter flights are not known for being the cheapest way to travel, but I have always found them to be worth the ride.  Be sure to bring a camera, tell your pilot where you'd like to go and in many cases you can even request the doors off if your daring enough, and it's better for photos.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Travel Entertainment for $1 One Dollar - Travel Tip Tuesday

Our week in Maui has been full of eventful days, but what to do when your traveling and it's almost time for lights out and you don't have much to do.  We have found on our last few trips that many hotels & condos provide a DVD player. When we are home we don't have much time for movies, so having a movie night on vacation is fun, easy and CHEAP!  For $1.00 you can find the local grocery store or sometimes a McDonald's, Walgreens or Walmart to find a RedBox or DVDXpress movie rental station. Just be sure to return your video the next day and if your staying a while you can pick something new each time you return your video...were on movie #4 this week. And as a trip without the kids, we're able to rent Rated 'R' that we rarely see at home. 
June 8th, 2010
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Monday, June 7, 2010

If you love it - Go Back!

I love to travel to new places, hoping to find an exciting change of scenery, but who loves going somewhere new and finding out it isn't all what you had hoped it'd be? 

I am slowly realizing as I sit her on my Lanai in Maui that this truly has always been my favorite place to travel.  My first trip here was my honeymoon 10 years ago and basically one of my first major travels of my life.  After an amazing 10 days in Maui I figured the thrill of a honeymoon must have been what kept it in my memory (and no I'm not talking bedroom thrills).  After 10 years and many more travels my heart still had a fond place for Maui.  In February of this year we made our first trip back after almost 10 years and brought our children and my mother with us.  Yet again after a week in Lahaina I wanted to stay longer.  Watching my children have the time of their life playing in the warm beach sand and enjoying walks in the morning sun.  It was all too good to be true. 
Now it's June and I sit here feeling like I'm at home.  The Northwest is where my real home is and where I usually love to go back to, but being here just feels so right!

You might think going back to the same place over and over would get boring, but I have found that learning my way around Maui makes me feel more welcome and getting to the store or doing simple things are easier and more relaxing.  Just today we took a trip up to the Haleakala Crater, something after 3 trips we had not yet done and it was Amazing!  Yesterday we drove the road to Hana, yet another activity we had not done, but probably won't do again.  We are slowly learning what we like and don't like to do on Maui and where our favorite places to be are, making each trip better and better!

So, it can be nice to travel the world and visit new places, but the best trips seem to be that place you really truly love to be.  Whether it's just a short drive from your house or maybe across the ocean, sometimes doing the same trip over and over, is a worthwhile "old" adventure! 


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Saturday, June 5, 2010

5 Great Trips without the expense of a Rental Car

Ever book a trip and gasp when you go to book a rental car?  I've found myself doing a ton of research finding great hotels and activities only to find the rental car costs more than my flight! Or my hotel wants to charge me the cost of a meal to park on a daily basis.

One great way to plan a trip without spending money on a rental is to go somewhere that has great transportation without the needs of a car.  Granted almost any major city in the U.S. is probably accessible without a car, but some require a lot of taxi rides, buses or other modes of transportation that can easily add up to the cost of a rental car or more.  So here are some of my favorite destinations that may require a little more walking, but it's great exercise and I guarantee you'll have fun doing it!

LAS VEGAS (Weekend Getaway)
Vegas is one of my top destinations for an easy weekend getaway. I'm not a gambler or much of a drinker, but spend your days in the beautiful sun of Vegas walking the strip and you'll be entertained for days on end.  The hotels in Vegas alone are enough to keep your eyes busy at the astonishing details of these 5 star miniature cities.  Take a gondola ride at the Venetian or book a show for some evening entertainment.  Vegas has something for everyone!  See my post on 4 great reasons to visit Vegas.

WASHINGTON D.C.  (Historical Fun)
D.C has been one of the cleanest and most transportation friendly cities I've ever visited.  Having never ridden a subway in my life, my husband, daughter and I were able to navigate the entire City during our stay.  We pre-ordered a week long subway pass for way less than the cost of a rental car and had a blast hopping from train to train.  Walking through this City full of history and museums is a sight to see and the fact that they are mostly all FREE makes this trip even more worth while!  To pre-book subway tickets and have them shipped to your home before your trip go to http://www.wmata.com/ - More on our D.C. trip

DISNEYWORLD (Family Fun)
"Zip-a-dee-doh-dah" who needs a car when your at the happiest place on earth?  Book a trip to Disneyworld Florida and once you arrive at the airport just head for the magical land of Disney via a shuttle van.  There is so much to do at the Disneyworld Resorts that you won't even have time to step foot off the 47-square-mile theme park!  This is definitely the Ultimate Family destination and FREE shuttle rides are provided from all the Disney Resorts to any theme park all day long!

CRUISING (Multi-Generational)
One of my favorite ways to travel is cruising! It's basically an all-inclusive trip if you want it to be and the boat is your vehicle.  Not only do you leave the car behind but you get to visit multiple cities and sometimes Countries in one trip.  Of course some ports may require a taxi or you may want to spend a little on a tour, but setting sail aboard a vessel is my kind of travel.  Even better, book a ship out of your home port and skip the hassle of flying while your at it!

VISITING THE FAMILY or FRIENDS (Mooching)
Maybe jetting off to visit the in-laws across the country isn't your first thought of relaxation, but it's definitely an economical way to travel if you've got a welcoming family.  You know, the parents who will pick you up at the airport, clean out their guest room for your arrival and make you breakfast in the morning.  Now that doesn't sound too bad, does it? ShareThis

Friday, June 4, 2010

Foto Fun Friday - June 4th, 2010

Yet another picture taken of a place I've written about. 

Created 50,000 years ago - nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep

Where is the worlds best preserved Meteor located?
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Marriott introduces "Tots Travel Too"

Searching for your next hotel stay with your toddler?  Marriott hotels are stepping up to make your trip a little smoother and hopefully a little nicer for your little one!  They are welcoming toddlers with open arms to their more than 2,500 Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels in the continental U.S. and Canada.

Marriot has teamed up with "Coverplay" in order to provide guests with a very nice, clean and even Chic crib slipcover to ensure your "Traveler-in-training" can rest comfortably.  Their Tots Travel Too program includes a complimentary playard with a laundered slipcover and bath time animal toy during your stay.  You can also request outlet covers, nightlights, baby shampoo and baby lotion from the front desk. 

I cannot tell you how many times I've gone to a hotel or condo and requested a crib for my children and was less than happy when I saw the dirty, used and sad product they considered a crib.  I've found myself having to clean the crib before my children could use it and requesting extra sheets to cover it up.  This COVERPLAY is a great product for a hotel and I wish I would of thought of it myself!  Once a child uses it, it's removed, washed and no need to worry about what child used your child's temporary bed the week before.

Marriott sent me a package with information on this new program along with a sample Coverplay Slipcover and let me tell you, this is not just some cheap product to lure in guests.  The slipcover is quality made and I am using the items for my own little "pretend Marriott stay" at Grandmas this week while my husband and I travel to Maui for our 10 year anniversary. I have always kept my old playard at my mom's for overnight stays and the slipcover gives my otherwise dated playard a whole new look.

I have always enjoyed Marriott hotels and now having a hotel that not only welcomes children, but is working hard to include them during my stay, definitely gives them a huge thumbs up in my book.  Traveling with children is hard enough as a parent, but to know you have someone on your side makes it just a little bit more comforting! ShareThis

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"The Well" Luxary Spa at Miramonte Resort - Indian Wells, CA (Palm Springs)

I have found myself day dreaming of my time at "The Well" spa and dazing off into complete bliss!  My husband and I took a trip to Indian Wells, California for our last vacation as parents of one child and our last vacation alone for awhile.  Our son was due to arrive soon and we needed to relax.  We stayed at the Indian Wells Resort Hotel across the street and took a walk over to the Miramonte Resort to see what they had to offer.  I was 7 months pregnant and very excited to see they could give me a prenatal massage during a couples massage with my husband. 

The next morning we kept busy until the afternoon and then made our way over to the spa. You'll receive full access for the day to the spa when you book a service.  Once you check-in they provide you with a plush robe, slippers and give you a quick tour of the spa.  If you arrive early enough you'll have time to lounge in the most comfortable lounge chairs, use the Men's & Ladies Steam rooms, lockers and beverage bar and full use of the warm mineral pool.  Of course, being 7 months pregnant I was advised not to use the steam room, but it looked very tempting and my husband was able to enjoy it.  Nevertheless, I was in complete relaxation in the mineral water pool and lying out in the Desert sun with my big belly in tote.

It was time for our couples massage and we were greeted by two very nice ladies that took us back to our room.  They spoke to us individually to find out our specific needs, and then together asked what kind of music we preferred during the massage.  I left that one up to my husband and just enjoyed what I knew would be the last relaxing moments I would have in a long time to come!

Our day at "The Well" spa was a memorable one and I have yet to come across another that is just as amazing.  Not that I frequent spas often, but I've gone to several in the past and none have come close.  I also saw that Miramonte's spa was voted the #1 Spa in the Country on Conde Nast Travel magazines top 100 list and I couldn't agree more! 

NOTE:  If you plan to get a massage while pregnant at Miramonte, or any other spa for that matter. Be sure to drink EXTRA water before and after your massage.  This is very important for the health of you and baby. ShareThis

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Travel Tip Tuesday - June 1st, 2010

Today's travel tip comes from a lesson learned last week in Colorado. 
When your visiting a windy city you must do the following;

Place all papers and light weight items in the glove compartment
and
Open ONE door at a time

Otherwise you may end up looking like the goofy tourist chasing after her tour vouchers through the subway parking lot and then having to drive around the block to find them! 
I have never experienced so much wind in my life.  When we got out of the car I was nearly blown away.  And I thought they said Chicago was the "Windy City"! ShareThis