#RockYourVacation in STYLE with Kissimmee!

 

Ya know... Do you ever stop and wonder "How can I vacation or get away more?  Who doesn't wonder that on a daily basis.  I know I do!  Especially if you get an opportunity to WIN a fabulous vacation that is totally paid for!!!

I'm sure you've seen me post about the amazing trip I get to enjoy with Experience Kissimmee, right? (Time to totally catch up on the instagram #RockYourVacation awesomeness!)  But from ziplines to gators to a feast watching a real medieval battle - this trip is so much more than a 'visit to Kissimmee'.  It's been a EXPERIENCE in KISSIMMEE!  

I love to travel.  It always has been a passion of mine.  I've been to Florida twice in the last month and everytime I come down here I see something totally different than the last!  So much to do that you're guaranteed to NEVER hear 'I'm bored!'

When I think of Kissimmee - I think of an experience over a visit for sure.  So what am I doing this week?  Promoting the AWESOME promotion they are doing called #RockYourVacation!!  Experience Kissimmee held a video contest on Instagram on how you would #RockYourVacation and now the voting has begun!  Be sure to head over to www.RockYourVacation.com and vote ONCE a DAY for your FAVORITE video!  There are some really amazing & creative videos.  Who would have thought you could rock a 10 second video? haha  

Ok - so this winner is getting a trip of a lifetime valued at $10,000!!  NO KIDDING!!  Some of my press friends and I get to experience tiny bits and pieces of this trip and I can assure you - it's going to #ROCKTheirVacation!!  

So where am I staying?  A GORGEOUS home with AllStar Vacation Homes.  Where am I eatin'?  A persona chef has created some meals for us from   A Chef of Your Own   Also dining at Columbia Restaurant..and DESSERT at Chocolate Kingdom! Plus caught a show and dinner at Medieval Times.  Shopping?  Orlando Premium Outlets of course!  Playing?  ZIPLINING at Gatorland, SeaWorld Orlando VIP tour, getting crazy at FUN SPOT USA!  

THEN.... yeah.  That's not all. 

THEN - we're going on an airboat ride AND a hot air balloon ride!!

Yes.  I do love my job.  Someone's gotta be a daredevil to share the fun with you, right?

Ok... so enough about ME. 

Get over there and ROCK YOUR VOTE FOR #RockYourVacation!!!

Visit Philly

 

Really Visit Philly

 

I've lived in this uber awesome town for almost 7 years!  I can't believe it.  The time has flown by.  And I'll be totally honest with you when my husband said 'I got a job offer in Philly' I kind of snarled.  I had never been to Philadelphia before and the city didn't have the best reputation from what I had heard. 

But when we arrived and I finally got to see and 'visit Philadelphia' as a tourist would, I quickly realized there was so much more to this city than what anyone could tell me that didn't live here. The secret little places from City Tavern where our dignitaries once came after a long day at the office.  No big deal. JUST WRITING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!  Awesome, right?

So many secret little places in Philadelphia that visitors can truly learn and experience our countries heritage.  You know what else Philly has that isn't like any other city?  FUNKY FAST STOPS!  That's what I call 'fun-out of the box-unique places-to see on the fly'!

For the Three Stooges Fans

The Stooges have a Museum in Philly called the Stoogeum!  Get it - Stooges and Museum? Ha. Love it.  The Stoogeum is the first and only museum for the Stooges with over 100,000 pieces of Stoogiabilia.  (Yes. That is a REAL WORLD.)  The Stoogeum is also home to the Three Stooges Fan Club.  From artifacts to artwork dating back from 1917 to today - you're sure to remember something fabulous from your childhood!  (I use to watch the Stooges with my grandpa and this place brought me back to those memories!)

YES! Pizza Brain in Guiness Book of Records!For the Pizza Lovers

Pizza Brain located in the Fishtown section of Philly is the first pizza culture museum and shop.  This fun shop has everything from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles memorabilia to more facts you can handle about pizza!  All truth and backed by the Guiness Book of World Records, thank you.  Fun for the whole family for sure!

For the Shoe Shopping Addict

Ok, so you won't be able to fuel your addiction if you really are a shoe addict but you will be able to have some fun learning all about SHOES at the Shoe Museum at Temple University!  This museum is home to over 900 pairs of shoes and 250 of them are on display!

From celebrities, former presidents to even a circus giants size 18 pair of shoes, you will definitely get the shoe buzz visiting this quirky place in Philly!  This museum isn't one you can just 'stop by' as you'll have to make an appointment but it's well worth it for any shoe lover!

Staying in Philly

Of course you need to find a place to stay.  I'd love to have you at my house but my 5 year old might talk your ear of and my 1 year old might eat your food. Sooo..with that being said - the best place to find the best deals for staying in Philly is the website www.VisitPhilly.com/overnight.  There you'll see the latest and greatest places to stay that works with Visit Philly to offer the best deals.  In this deal you get 2 nights accomodation, free parking (MEGA value there!) and a fab With Love, Philadelphia XOXO Welcome Gift!

So what are you waiting for!  Come Visit Philly!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit Philadelphia. The opinions and text are all mine.

Philadelphia is the perfect spot for a getaway! Stay for any two consecutive nights at one of twenty participating hotels and your car stays free! For more information and to book your room visitphilly.com/overnight.

 

______________________________________

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit Philadelphia. The opinions and text are all mine.

Nickelodeon Suites Hotel

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Nickelodeon Suites Hotel

Traveling with my family and experiences new things is one of my most favorite things in life!

We recently were invited to discover Orlando, Florida in a new & unique experience & I can't wait to share with you all the great things and travel ideas we came up with on our trip. 

Visit Orlando has some amazing tips on traveling with toddlers.  As someone who has always lived in the frozen tundra...I have always dreamed about trips to the beach.  Florida was always top of the list.  And as a parent, Orlando has always been the top vacation destination for us in the past few years. 

With a son who is spoiled with trips to Disney, in a very good way, of course.  I have always wanted to really 'VISIT ORLANDO' and experience all the other things the fabulous Florida town has to offer.

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As someone who is apart of Nickelodeon with NickMom - when I was asked if I wanted to stay at Nickelodeon Suites hotel - I was over the moon about the opportunity!  How fun!  

We got to the hotel and I instantly fell in love with it.  We got out of our rental car and my 5 year old hightailed it to the giant Spongebob Statue for his own perfect photo opp.  So, I obviously had to push the 1 year old up to the statue and take a shot of him and Boston in front of Spongebob!  What a great start to the trip.  From the moment you walk into this space to the moment you leave it feels like you're in a Nickelodeon Show! 

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

Elves and Eggnog at Omni Hotels

To celebrate the sprit of the holiday season, the Omni Hotel at Independence Park invites winter travelers to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year by offering a "Elves and Eggnog" overnight package. Not only will you receive 20% off luxury accomodations featuring Omni's signature blend of modern luxury and classic sophistication, the offer includes two enticing speciality eggnog aperitifs, prepared exclusively by Omni's brand mixologist, and complimentary breakfast for two.

Elves and Eggnog Holiday Package

Santa's helpful scout elf, "Elf on the Shelf", will also be present in each Omni hotel to help Santa manage his naughty and nice list with younger travelers. So need to bring yours from home! Each package also includes holiday turndown service with a treat, delivered by hotel elves, "hotelves," and late check-out so guests can enjoy some extra relaxation during the busy holiday season.

About the Omni Hotel at Independece Park

The Omni Hotel at Independence Park, 401 Chestnut Street, is a four-diamond European-style luxury hotel that  offers elegance and style at its best - all within walking distance of the Liberty Bell, U.S. Mint, Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin House.  Situated just 10 minutes from the Philadelphia International Airport, the Omni Hotel at Independence Park offers the ideal Philadelphia hotel location.

Breakfast with Santa at the Golden Inn

Ho, Ho, Ho with a touch of sand and you have the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season! Santa will be arriving beach side at The Golden Inn of Avalon on Sunday December 15 and Sunday, December 22, 2013 for a special breakfast and a visit with Santa.

No matter if you have been good or bad, this is a breakfast that you won’t want to miss!  Seating begins at 8a.m. with the last seating at11 a.m. The cost is $9.95 for children ages 12 and under and $14.95 for adults. The menu includes scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, turkey sausage, fresh fruit blintz, build your own pancakes, fruit salad, Danish, pastries and cookies.

 

Kids of all ages can write their holiday list and give it to Santa and in a couple of days they will receive a personalized letter back from Santa!

Reservations are a must and space is limited! For more information about The Golden Inn call 609.368.5155 or log onto www.goldeninn.com.

About the Golden Inn

The Golden Inn is located at 7849 Dune Drive in Avalon. Open 365 days a year, The Golden Inn of Avalon, is the perfect place for a summer vacation or a getaway anytime!  Just steps from the beach, The Golden inn features 154 guest rooms are equipped with 27-inch color televisions, individual temperature controls and – in many cases – breathtaking ocean views.

Celebrate the Magic of the Season at Congress Hall

You all know how much I love Congress Hall in Cape May. The fun doesn't just end when the summer comes to an end. Congress Hall hosts some great holiday events that you will not want to miss!

Breakfast with Santa

Jolly old St. Nick himself invites you to have breakfast with him and his pal, "Blue" the pig every Saturday this holiday season in the magical Ballroom at Congress Hall. Enjoy all of your breakfast favorites while you snap some photos with Santa and fill him in on your Christmas wishes. 

**SPECIAL** Save 20% off for November 30th if booked by November 26th. 

Adults: $15.95 | Children 4-12: $9.95 | 3 and under FREE

The Santaland Diaries

Join Congress Hall for Lunch and a Show on Sunday afternoons or Dinner and a Show on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at the Blue Pig Tavern. Enjoy a 3-course meal along with your show ticket to a Cape May Stage Production of David Sedaris' hillarious one-man play. For mature elves only. 

General admission tickets are $25. 
$39 for lunch and ticket - 3pm
$59 for dinner and ticket - 7:30 pm

To make your reservation for either Congress Hall events, please call (609) 884-8422. 

Chevy Equinox Review

Five Faves with the Chevy Equinox

 

I have sad news.

I have to give back the Chevy Equinox I've been driving for 2 weeks.

I am highly heartbroken.  Totally.  Cause having a CLEAN NEW CAR TO DRIVE IS A GIFT! lol

Not to mention, I've been driving the same Mitsubishi Endeavor for 6 years now.  And there is quite the collection of old french fries and cheese puffs in there.  hahaha.  Gross, right?

Anyway, I was invited to test drive the Chevy Equinox with my family to the celebrate Chevy event at Hershey Park in tasty Hershey, Pa.  

We loaded up the car to spent two nights in Hershey learning more about Chevy.  I have to admit, although I do currently own a foreign car....I love to support American made goods.  

And lets be honest....there isn't much better than a good old fashioned Chevrolet for American pride!

While driving this fab crossover vehicle - I found 5 things that are totally awesome that I want to share with you.

Five Faves: Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD

1)  BLUETOOTH.  I know.  The fact that I don't have a bluetooth automobile is embarrassing.  Really sad.  But truth be told - my car is a 2004.  It is PAID FOR too.  But having one for a week has made me REALLY want a vehicle that has a built in bluetooth.  If not for convenience-than for safety!!

2) COLLISION ALERT.  Otherwise known as 'honey-you're obviously driving too close to that car!!!' alert.  Yes.  That's really what it does. It was great because I bumped it wayyyyy up. ahem. To be funny.  And it went off the ENTIRE TIME we traveled to Hershey when my husband drove.  FUNNY FUNNY to see my husbands face when I busted him out.  hahaha But in reality-it's an amazing addition to the Chevy family.  When you do traffic travel often-it really keeps you on your toes. 

3) USB PLUG-IN.   I have a fabulous phone that needs a fabulous charger.  So, to be able to plug my iphone in via the cord it came with (and not have to buy a specific car charger) is GOLDEN!!  Makes me soooo happy that I can listen to my tunes too.  And... Hudson has a set of songs that helps him relax.  It works.  It ROCKS that I can play it into the car and not have to put my cell up to his ear!!!

4)  REAR CAMERA.  Driving an SUV you know that sometimes its hard to see what (and who) is behind you.  My neighborhood is INSANE with young kids riding bikes, running, playing...you know.  Being KIDS.  So to see via a camera out the back of my car when put in reverse?  COMFORTING.

5) CHEVY MYLINK SYSTEM.  This thing is beyond radically awesome.  So, always living in climates where it snows - there is a lifelong dread of having to clean off my car and 'warm it up'.  But if I head the Chevy MyLink - with the power of an application - I can start my car from my phone!!!!  REALLY.  TRUTH.  How awesome is that?  (It is also a connection with On Star.)

Obviously now you can see that I'm TOTALLY dreaming of a new car.  BIG TIME.  I have to admit-Chevy is definitely at the top of the list after getting to learn more about their culture and automobiles.  I loved the Equinox - but I do need to find a car that has bigger cargo space.  With two boys and a short drive to the beach?  Gotta have the space.  So CHEVY...if you're listening... I'd love to test out the Traverse next! hahaha (A Mom can dream, right?)

For fun, I got to try out a Chevy Comaro Convertible at Hershey Park.  It was a test drive that ROCKED.  

Check out the video here:

 *DISCLOSURE:  I was given an Equinox to test drive for a week.  My famiy and I did get to stay at a hotel provided by Chevy & tickets to Hershey Park.  But that doesn't change my experience.  Thanks Chevy!

Chevy Equinox video REVIEW:

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

Sandman Matt at the Golden Inn

Can you build the ultimate sandcastle? If you have watched the Travel Channel's Sand Masters and wondered "How do they do that?", here is a chance for you to learn from one of the Masters himself. 

The Golden Inn of Avalon will be hosting renowned sand sculpture Sandmann Matt Long Sunday, August25 through Tuesday August 27 as part of a unique and afforable VIP family overnight package. 

This is Sandman Matt's second visit to the Golden Inn. We were able to go down and see him last year as he created a sand work of art over a two day period.  He created a 4x4 sandcastle incorporating the logo from The Golden Inn. This year, he has promised a bugger and even better sandcastle! 

The Golden Inn of Avalon is offering the Sandman Package. The package includes three nights accommodation in a standard room with two queen beds (upgrades are available), two lunches for all participants, two sets of sand tools, expert training, and a contest with cash and other great prizes! The total package runs $529! 

Guests will also have a chance to show off their new talens in a contest for the Best Sandcastle, Most Original Sandcastle, and Best Sandcastle fitting the theme of Avalon. Cash prizes will be awarded.

About Sandman Matt

Matt Long has been sculpting sand for about 13 years and professionally since 2001. Matt has been commissioned by an array of companies and organizations including, Atlantis Hotels, Nickelodeon, The PGA Tour, W Hotels, and The Curacao Department of Tourism. Like most sand sculptors, he has won numerous sand sculpting awards. 

About The Golden Inn of Avalon

Open 365 days a year, The Golden Inn of Avalon, is the perfect place for a summer vacation or a getaway anytime!  Just steps from the beach, The Golden inn features 154 guest rooms are equipped with 27-inch color televisions, individual temperature controls and – in many cases – breathtaking ocean views.

Travel with an Infant to Disney

Travel with an 
Infant to Disney

 

Why yes! I did just get back from Disney World!  I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for the first time and I had to get my family there for sure!! 

I flew in with Boston & Hudson (ahem-yes-I traveled with a 10 week old A.L.O.N.E!) on Thursday.  My husband arrived on Friday and we played all weekend till this morning when we returned home.

I have to admit... as much as I am a travel PRO - I wasn't too sure about traveling with an almost 5 year old and a TEN WEEK OLD.  Yes.  10 weeks.  That's a whopping only 70 days old baby.  

And the great news is that HE WAS AN AMAZING little traveler!!

I did learn a few things along with way that I'd LOVE to share with you. 

Please note-I'm in NO WAY a "DISNEY EXPERT".  I actually have only been there 3 times.  This being the 3rd.  Each time I learn a little something new.  That place can be incredibly overwhelming for newcomers-add a BABY to the fold?  Could mean a yes or no on your family go. 

TIPS FOR TRAVEL - 10 WEEK OLD TO DISNEY

*DON'T FORGET TO PACK ENOUGH FORMULA - Yes.  I ran out.  (YES. Gasp. I'm NOT breastfeeding...so please refrain from hassling me on that one. My boobs don't work-'nuff said.)  I ended up having to buy the already mixed formula in the gift shop and it wasn't the same brand.  Um.  MEGA blowouts for 2 days.  Poor baby.  He didn't complain at all.  In fact he loved the formula...but his body and that quick switch isn't the best thing for a baby.

*BRING A SUPER LIGHT COVER TO SHIELD FROM THE SUN - The sun in Orlando is HOT HOT HOT.  I brought a really lightweight cover and laid it over the top of our stroller.  It was a lifesaver!!  The cover was breathable and he didn't burn while tramping around the parks.  *Note, some strollers have special spf screens or covers for them.  If your stroller offers it-BUY IT!  It's worth it in the end.

*HAVE A SPRAYBOTTLE HANDY - Yes.  We got suckered into buying another one of the Disney misty thingys that are fans that spray water.  We already have one at home-but why would I be brilliant enough to pack that one?  Ugh.  Anything will do...but have one.  Babies get hot easy and some misting might make them feel better.

*PLAN TO NOT HAVE A PLAN - We actually didn't have a plan other than the events I had to take part in with the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that I was there for.  But we decided to take it easy the entire time.  If we could fit something in - we did... if not... we just went with the flow.  By not 'planning' every second we were able to relax a bit.

*STAY AT A RESORT ACCESSIBLE BY MONORAIL - This was a big one that I learned.  By using the monorail, the baby was able to stay in the stroller and I just tipped the stroller and drove it up onto the platform.  If you take the strollers with a baby on a bus (which we had to do to get to Downtown Disney) then you have to have someone hold the baby and break down the stroller - then hold the baby the entire ride there...and on the way back.  The monorail was great for convenience with the dude and the stroller.

*BRING A BABY CARRIER - I honestly only used this when doing the travel there and back part.  It was great on the airplane to have him hands free.  It helped him sleep the entire time both ways!  WINNER!  But I can tell you that there are some rides that allow babies to ride!  Can you believe it?!?!  (THANK YOU Joovy!)

*BABY RIDES - YES!  There are some rides that allow the babes!  I about flipped when they said there were.  Hudson, my 10 week old got to ride the Toy Story, Peter Pan Ride, It's a Small World, Under the Sea at Epcot and a few others!!  I highly suggest the baby carrier when going on those rides....but you can hold your little peanut too!

Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival at Tuckerton Seaport

Who doesn't like a little bluegrass and barbecue? On May 19, 2013 from 11-5, Tuckerton Seaport will be kicking off the summer with the down home sounds of bluegrass and the sweet smell of barbecue. There are a TON of things to come out and do: rafters, vendors, food, refreshemnts, family activities, demonstrations, decoy carvers, boat building and boat rides!

New this year to the Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival is Todd's Musical Petting Zoo! Try out over 100 instrucments from accordian to zither, steel drum to thumb piano and everything in between!

Real Mom Media will be on hand to share with you all of the amazing things that Tuckerton Seaport has on deck for the day! Make sure you follow us Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to virtually follow along with us!

OR, come on down and join us! General Admission to the Tuckerton Seaport applies.

About Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum is located at 120 West Main Street in the heart of historic Tuckerton.  Event admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children, and free for Seaport Members.  Event admission includes access to the Seaport’s 40 acres of family fun, featuring maritime activities, historic and recreated buildings, live animals, a boardwalk, miniature golf course, and exhibits.  This event is supported in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, www.visitnj.org.  For more information, find the Tuckerton Seaport on FaceBook or call 609-296-8868.  For more info, pictures, and a video of Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo check out www.diatoddnics.com/pettingzoo.html.

Baby Loves Disco Valentine's Day Party

Baby Loves Disco is celebrating family love this Valentine's Day featuring chocolate treats, make-your-own valentines cards, mommy-daddy slow-dances, arts and crafts,  dance lessons, contests, unlimited juice boxes, snacks, cash bar for non-driving parents and more! Par­ties will be taking place in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Ticket are on sale now!

About Baby Loves Disco

All across the coun­try, Baby Loves Disco is slowly but surely trans­form­ing the hippest night clubs into child proof dis­cos as tod­dlers, pre-schoolers and par­ents look­ing for a break from the rou­tine play­ground cir­cuit let loose for some post nap­time, pre-dinner fun. Baby Loves Disco is an after­noon dance party fea­tur­ing real music spun and mixed by real DJs blend­ing clas­sic disco tunes from the 70s, & 80s guar­an­teed to get those lit­tle booties mov­ing and grooving.

The fun spills out from all cor­ners of the club: bub­ble machines, bas­kets of  scarves and egg-shakers, a chill-out room (with tents, books and puz­zles), dia­per chang­ing sta­tions, a full spread of healthy snacks and danc­ing, LOTS of danc­ing. B

 

 

 

Omni Hotel at Independece Park

OMNI HOTEL AT INDEPENDENCE PARK HELPS GUESTS ENDURE WINTER COLD SEASON

PHILADELPHIA, PA - -Bless you, Gesundheit, or salud no matter how you say it a cough or sneeze can be the signal that a cold is coming on.  Feeling sick while away from home can be an awful experience, but not at the Omni Hotel at Independence Park where they are committed to helping sick guests get back on the road to better health.

The Omni Hotel at Independence Park offers its sick guests a complimentary bowl of chicken soup delivered to their room. Even better than mom used to make, this heal all remedy is prepared in house and delivered hot to the guest.

“If we see a guest at check in who seems under the weather, we will ask them if there is anything we can do for them from additional blankets to extra tissues in their room, we want to make sure that their stay is pleasurable even if they are not feeling well,” said General Manager AJ Williams.

“No one wants to be sick, let alone away from home,” Williams added. The hotel also has plenty of orange juice and tea stocked for guests who want it and will provide humidifiers and any other “feel better” necessity the guest requests.

The Omni Hotel at Independence Park, 401 Chestnut Street, is a four-diamond European-style luxury hotel that  offers elegance and style at its best - all within walking distance of the Liberty Bell, U.S. Mint, Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin House.  Situated just 10 minutes from the Philadelphia International Airport, the Omni Hotel at Independence Park offers the ideal Philadelphia hotel location.

Disney Art of Animation Resort

Disney Art of Animation Resort

 

This past month my family and I were invited to take part in the mega grand opening of the new Fantasyland at Disney World!  We had the best time ever.  My sister came along to help while I had events to participate in and it turned out to be such a perfect time to visit.

We went to Disney in May for my 4 year old's birthday and honestly it was the very first time we had ever been there before!  I know, right? ha.  

So for the next few weeks as all start dreaming of heading to warmer territory I'm going to share certain aspects of our outstanding trip.  

#1 on deck is the SUPER AWESOME resort we were put up in!

Art of Animation Resort in Orlando, Florida

This is a super awesome place for any kid or family that has a Cars fan!  

5 Reasons to Stay at Art of Animation Resort

 

* The resort comes to LIFE!  There are 3 different areas at the hotel. Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid & Cars are fully decorated with life size fun! We actually stayed in the Cars section and we couldn't have been happier!

* An animation artist walks around the resort and makes awesome cartoon art out of soap water!  Yes SOAP WATER!  The guy that was doing it the entire time we were there was awesome with kids.  He would strike up a conversation with kids and carry these tiny turtles in his pocket so when he asked the kids trivia question he had a little prize for them!  It was super cute to see the kids' at the resort interact with the artist.  And to think he could draw Mickey out of soap water and a broom?  Awesome!

*The Big Blue Pool is the largest pool on any of the Disney Properties!  I loved spending time in the pool area.  Thankfully the weather was perfect for us to sit out and catch some rays a bit in December.  There are 3 pools on the grounds at this resort with this one being the largest of them all.  What's REALLY cool about this pool is that when you go underwater, you can hear your favorite Disney tunes!  Underwater speakers belt out the amazing tunes from the Finding Nemo movie.  There is also a Schoolyard Playground right behind the pool where the smaller kids and splash around on the really soft pads and fountains of fun.

*Staying in the rooms are like living in a movie!  The areas of the hotel are so well thought out.  I can really only speak of where my family stayed. The Radiator Springs section of the resort.  Our room was PERFECT for us.  There were 4 of us - 3 adult and one child.  So for the Cars Family Suite we had 2 full-size beds & the pull out fullsize couch.  The bedroom has a spare bathroom with lots of space in the gorgeous stand up shower. (GREAT shower head!)  The dining table is a Murphy type bed.  (Can I tell you I'd LOVE to buy this for the play room in our house so we have a place for guests to stay!!  LOVED it!  Very comfy and perfect to give more space in the rooms.  Everything in the suite is something you might see in the movie. 

*Free & fast transportation to all the parks.  This is a great perk with any of the Disney resorts.  Their transportation system is outstanding!!!  But we barely had to wait for any of the busses when we were there.  Either going to the parks or returning to the resort.  A HUGE plus.

 Check out my video of the room at the Art of Animation Resort

Philadelphia Open House

Philadelphia Hospitality, a 30-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to providing visitors with unique and distinctive travel experiences,  is putting out the welcome mat  for two spectacular weekends Friday through Sunday, October 5 through 7  and 12 through 14 by offering a variety of behind-the-scenes and special access tours and tastings focusing on more than a dozen historical and cultural treasures on and around  Broad Street--  from Temple University to the Avenue of the Arts to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. 
More than a dozen special tours include City Hall, Kimmel Center, the Wanamaker Organ, Union League, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and other iconic sites. Tours include meet-and-greets with celebrity chefs, local personalities and city officials. All tours are guided and offer an opportunity to see and experience places familiar and not so familiar with a behind the scenes look!  A full list of tours is available on the Philadelphia Hospitality website, tours include:

Philadelphia’s City Hall: Past, Present and Future

Date: Friday, October 12
Time: 4:30-6:00 p.m. (City Hall interior tour)
Price: $15.00 (includes refreshments)
Description: Get an insider’s look at the country’s largest and most elaborate seat of municipal government. Completed 30 years after construction began in 1871, City Hall is still the world’s highest masonry load-bearing structure consisting of 88 million bricks and thousands of tons of marble. 
 
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (City Hall exterior and office of the Deputy Mayor)
The tour will continue across the street to 1515 Arch Street to the office of Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Director of Commerce for a view overlooking City Hall, Dilworth Plaza and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  

Wanamaker Organ

Date: Saturday, October 13
Time: Noon – 2 p.m.
Price: $20.00
Description: The Wanamaker Grand Organ at Macy’s has been thrilling shoppers every business day since 1911.  Built for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, the organ has more than 28,000 pipes, which range from ¼ inch to 32 feet long and are located throughout the building – all controlled by the organist using six keyboards and 729 controls at the console above the Grand Court.

Kimmel Center/Academy of Music

Date: Sunday, October 7 & Sunday, October 14
Time: 10 a.m. - Noon
Price: Free
Description: Go behind-the-scenes at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the crown jewel of the Avenue of the Arts. Get a performer’s-eye-view from the stage of the magnificent Verizon Hall; learn about the architectural nuances of this home to the Philadelphia Orchestra and six other resident performing arts companies.  Then, walk a few blocks to the Academy of Music, “the oldest opera house in the U.S. still used for its original purpose,” where you will tour the grand lobby, Stage Door Canteen, Ballroom and Auditorium with its beautifully restored crystal chandelier.  

Septa Transit Museum

Date: Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, October 13 
Time: Museum and store hours are 10-3 p.m.
Price: Free (self-guided tour)
Description: This museum presents the heritage of the Philadelphia area's transit system. Among the many attractions are a 1947 trolley, transit memorabilia, and photographs. 
 

Wells Fargo Museum and Building

Date: Friday, October 5
Time: 4:00-5:00 Wells Fargo Museum/5:15-6:00 Montgomery & McCracken Law Library
Price: $10 (includes refreshments)
Description: Located in the historic 1928 Beaux-Arts Wells Fargo Building, this interactive museum connects the California Gold rush with the Philadelphia Mint, tying together the history of Wells Fargo and the rich heritage of the eastern United States. 
 

Union League

Date: Saturday, October 13
Time: 11 a.m.- Noon
Price: NOT YET DETERMINED
The Union League, one of the country’s leading private clubs, was founded in 1862 to support Abraham Lincoln and the Union during the Civil War. Explore this historic building and its extensive Civil War collection of books and rare editions, manuscripts and artifact. Note: Dress Code.
 
Tours are ticketed and vary in price. Some tours are free. For more information including tour description, times and tickets, visit Philadelphia Open House or call 215/790-9901.

 

Omni Berkshire Place Hotel Review

Omni Berkshire

Place Hotel Review

A couple weeks ago I headed to the 'Superbowl for Bloggers' - BlogHer in NYC.

I was blessed to be perfectly located at Omni Berkshire Place Hotel just down the street from the convention center.  

It was a PERFECT location!

My roommates and I had a short walk to the conference center.  

The room was also perfect size for us.  And trust me when I tell you-that's almost IMPOSSIBLE to find in NYC!  The hotel rooms are TEENY TINY!

There were 3 women in our room and not once did we bump heads in getting ready!  It was perfect with the extra large mirror outside the bathroom and the bathroom fit 2 of us perfectly.

So, with that being said:

Top 5 Faves of Omni Berkshire

1.  LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.  Yes.  The location was outstanding.  Right smack dab in Manhattan where all the hub-bub was happening.  Perfecto.

2. TEEN CONNECTION. All of the Omni properties are very family friendly.  Great for kids, of course-but we all know that it's a totally different ballgame when you add teens to the mix!  They're much more than 'kids'.  The Omni Berkshire has an awesome teen connection program that is a must to check out for teens.  The program was created by the hotel managers teen son, David.  You gotta check out his awesome list of to-dos.

3. 24 HOUR ROOM SERVICE. This is a biggie for me.  Cause sometimes, I just don't want to leave my room.  And so many times hotels stop the dining at an early hour.  Not in NYC! lol.  Omni Berkshire had awesome choices too.  I had breakfast for dinner.

4. GREAT GUEST SERVICES.  They were on top of everything for me and my roommates!  We needed extra towels...DONE.  Toothpaste...DONE.  It was amazing.

5. GORGEOUS DECOR.  I'm in a place in my own home where I'm DYING to do some decorating!  Changing things up a bit.  Removing items that are cluttered.  And I've been stuck in a RUT trying to decide the colors and decor for my bedroom.  DONE!!  The rooms at Omni Berkshire were a tan base with splashes of yellow.  I am so stealing that!

 

Gaylord National ICE 2012

Gaylord National ICE 2012

 

This weekend my family embarked on a quick getaway to check out the Christmas in July ICE 2012 announcement at Gaylord National Resort near Washington DC.

It was a great time!  I've always been a fan of the Gaylord Hotel family-but after visiting Gaylord National this past holiday season to see their amazing ICE! Spectactular-I'm forever sold on this property and their Christmas on the Potomac tradition!

We had an amazing time.

We arrived late Friday night, checked and got ready for a big day on Saturday.

Saturday, we had a tasty breakfast at The Pienza Restaurant this got out and walked around National Harbor.

We hit up the Peeps store (that Boston LOVED!!) and a few other great places around there then headed back to the hotel. 

Around 3p the party began!  Boston was so excited to see some of the great characters at the hotel.  SHREK runs that place! lol  And after the announcement of their theme this year-Shrek REALLY has the run of the place!

Shrek The Halls is this holiday theme.  ICE! is an AMAZING family opportunity to make memories.  

Here are more details:

*Two million twinking lights, nightly indoor snowfall, gorgeous lit dancing water fountains set to holiday tunes and a stunning 60 foot glass Tree of Light!  (The Tree is OUTSTANDING!!!)

*Two million pounds of hand carved, colorful ice sculptures & slides!!

*Exeprience the DreamWorks - themed adventure wit the Christmasy DreamWorks experience!  Shrek, Madagascar & Kung Fu Panda!  

*Enjoy a ShrekFeast, buffet breakfast with your favorite characters from Shrek! (Um. HELLO.  They have a GREEN CHOCOLATE fountain!!!)

November 16, 2012 - January 6, 2013 

Get tix by Monday October 1, 2012 & get a great Early Bird Discount!  

 There are many packages to choose from when you visit the Gaylord National website-but here's an example of my personal favorite!

THE CHRISMASSY DREAMWORKS EXPERIENCE

2-Night Package Details

Availability: Select dates November 16, 2012 through January 6, 2013
Duration: 2 nights (for extra nights and atrium upgrades, call 301-965-4000)

Package price: Two occupant minimum 
(for single occupancy, call 301-965-4000)

Starting at $219* per night for first two occupants, plus tax, 
resort fee and parking

Additional Occupants

  • Each extra adult or child (ages 4 and older): $49 plus tax
  • Baby (ages 3 and under): FREE

Package includes:

  • Two night room accommodations at Gaylord National Resort
  • Tickets and front of the line access to ICE! featuring DreamWorks' Shrek the Halls
  • ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal
  • "Character Passport" Meet & Greets
  • DreamWorks Themed Scavenger Hunt
  • DreamWorks Welcome Amenity with Package Check-In
  • and even Special Wake-Up Calls by DreamWorks Characters!
  • Souvenir Family Photo

 

Must Do: #Duality #HowIDoAC

Must Do: #Duality #HowIDoAC

On 4th of July I got the opportunity to head to Atlantic City, NJ with my 4 year old to experince so many great new things they brought to the city in celebration of the 4th of July.

We stayed at the BEAUTIFUL Golden Nugget Hotel.  The rooms were spectacular.  They had gorgeous leather "L"-shaped couches, great views and a very comfy bed. Very modern decor and GREAT bathroom amenities!!

(Here's my quick view of the Golden Nugget Hotel via video:

We met at the pool in a private area to meet folks from the Atlantic City Alliance.  The ACA is a newly created non-profit entity funded and overseen by the city's casinos.  Their mission is really to bring more tourism into the area by showcasing the great places in town-outside of the casinos.  

GREAT job in my eyes!  

I have to admit-I've NEVER thought of AC as a 'family friendly destination'.  At ALL.  

But I have to give them big credit for really trying.  And if you follow the hashtag #HowIDoAC on Twitter you'll see what a great time so many people are having!

After meeting at the pool my son and I got cleaned up to head to Boardwalk Hall to the press dinner, viewing of fireworks, hearing Kevin Rudolf rock & checking out Atlantic City's hottest and newest attraction-a sound and light show called Duality.  Duality is a permanent show occuring twice an hour after dark up until 2am all year long.  This isn't just 'any old light show'...this is a $3 million dollar light show!!  

You have got to check this thing out.  AMAZiNG is not even the word for it.

The Phanatic at Avalon Golden Inn

The Phanatic at Avalon Golden Inn

What goes good with sand? 

The Philly Phanatic!  Every body loves that little green monster.

Ugh. He's NOT little though! lol

He's taking a road trip to the shore!

Here's the details:

PHILLIES PHANATIC TO HIT THE BEACH OF AVALON FOR A MEET AND GREET!

Join the Phillies Phanatic at The Beach Club at The Golden Inn of Avalon, Located at Oceanfront at 78th Street in Avalon, Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 3-4pm. for a meet and greet!

The event is free and open to the public. Bring your camera and your beach towel and enjoy fun under the sun with The Phanatic!

The Golden Inn of Avalon, is the perfect place for a summer vacation.  Steps from the beach, The Golden Inn has represented the best of the Jersey seashore for nearly half a century.

joey fortman

Putting the TMI in Motherhood with #RealMomProblems from funny & fantastic to everything in between! Joey Fortman has been seen on Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends and more!

Summer Fun at Gaylord National

This summer, Gaylord National Resort will become the epicenter of fun in the Washington D.C. region with an exciting line-up of special new experiences and activities open for everyone (both day visitors and overnight hotel guests). From everything from a FREE Saturday-night fireworks show over the Potomac River, to “ogre-the-top” fun with Shrek and his friends, to a high-flying aerialist show in the hotel’s atrium and much more! From now until September 2, visitors and guests can experience  everything from a FREE Saturday-night fireworks show over the Potomac River, to “ogre-the-top” fun with Shrek and his friends, to a high-flying aerialist show in the hotel’s atrium and much more! 

THE DREAMWORKS EXPERIENCE

 

Enjoy up-close-and-personal time with your favorite DreamWorks characters. Slurp down some swamp juice with Shrek; show Po your best Kung Fu moves; and take silly pictures with Alex and King Julien in Madagascar! Then, explore our spectacular indoor gardens on an interactive scavenger hunt for the whole family.

DreamWorks Character Parade

March around Gaylord National with your favorite characters like Shrek, Alex the Lion, Po and King Julien for a lively musical get-together that’s sure to entertain!

ShrekFeast Fairytale Breakfast

Join Shrek, Princess Fiona and Puss in Boots for a fairytale feast including Shrek-shaped waffles and a Magic Fountain bubbling over with chocolate potions. Solve riddles and puzzles to become an honorary Ogre or Ogress.

Princess Fiona’s Cookie Castles

The entire family will have sticky fun decorating their very own sugar cookie castle with candy and royal icing! Then, kids will be dubbed an official “knight” or “lady” of Far Far Away by Ogress Fiona. This fun family activity includes an official souvenir royal scroll for each child.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, home of the 17th Annual Amazing Maize Maze®, kicked off its Spring Season on May 26th. The farm is agreat experience for families. They offer over 30 farm-related activities from the popular Baby Chicks Hatchery and Lil’ Farmers Playland to the Express Wagon Ride, Giant Hay Chute Slide, Giant Jump Pillows and Straw Bale Racer, Farm Tour Wagon Ride and Singing Chicken Show. Guests can also visit a baby farm animal and get a sneak preview of this year’s “Batter Up!” Amazing Maize Maze design during its growing and grooming stages.  A special spring lunch menu of kettle corn and fresh squeezed lemonade is also available at the Barnyard and Chuck Wagon Cafes.   

Spring Season admission is $10.00 for all ages 3 and up. If you plan to visit again, take advantage of their Boomerang Special by purchasing a Summer Season admission pass for only $15.00 (all ages 3 and up). Visit as often as you’d like, through September 21st (some restrictions apply) for FREE with your pass. Children age 2 and under are always admitted free of charge. 

The farm’s Summer Season, which features over 50 farm fun activities, and the new Amazing Maize Maze, begins July 3rd.

I had the chance to visit Cherry Crest Adventure Farm back in 2010 and I can't wait to go back this summer!

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is located at 150 Cherry Hill Road in Ronks (PA) – about 12 miles east of Lancaster off of Rt. 741.  Complete details and seasonal schedules are featured at CherryCrestAdventureFarm.com, or call toll free 1-866-546-1799.