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Myrtle Beach for Real Moms Relaxation #RelaxinMYR

Hi.  I might be a little of my rocker and a bit slow in the midst of telling you all about my latest adventure. Maybe I'm on island time still.  Or that my mind has not given up on it being vacation anymore either.  Ahhhhh. Either way, kids go to school in my town on Tuesday and the thought of this amazing trip to Myrtle Beach is a constant smell of salt water in my memory!

This past week I was invited by the amazing team at My Myrtle Beach to come on a little trip to get familiar with the area.  Now, you might remember my jaunt to celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago.  It was an amazing trip up until the very end when my older sister decided to take matters in her own hands on something.  And honestly, that really put the kabosh on any love that I had from the trip.  What a bummer, right?  It all really seals the deal when you go on vacation with people who decide the outcome of your trip.  

Well, it's been 5 years and this was a great opportunity to really get there and change the final outcome of my one and only trip to Myrtle Beach that happened in 2010.  I actually even walked to the house that we stayed at when we were there and sat on the curb nearby and relived the trip in my mind.

You can't control everything in life - but you can take steps to make things better in YOUR life.  And if that means retracing your steps on something and going for a different outcome than the one you had before?  Do. IT.  Cause now I can't even wait to go back to that beautiful place!  

This year has been a tough one on me.  From soured relationships to my dads health, my husband and I trying to get our house up to par, my kids growing older, and of course that conference that I planned in July that I no longer do.  It was a bunch of ups and downs.  And my church sermon on Sunday really put it out there.  (Isn't it amazing how God doesn't give you what you can't handle in your life?)  I won't go all into religion on you - but I will tell you this.  The message was really about if you feed the beast it will grow - and if you starve it - it will die.  So what I took from that message really was that the more I dwell on all the negative things that happened this year - the more it will continue to haunt me.  But by doing things to make me a better person and focusing on ME and my family? All the bad will starve and die.  (Well, at least the bad people in my life that has caused me hurt and heartache this year will *hopefully* disappear.)

BACK TO THE BEACH.

Myrtle Beach was a beautiful trip.  I got to stay in this INSANELY amazing house that was literally ocean front.  I opened my doors to the 3rd floor every morning and sat out on the deck watching the surfers.  I sure loved that deck.  I assume NO ONE saw me but at night, I'd go out there cranked my itunes and danced all alone. HA.  Yes.  That was ME.  SOBER.  Dancing on a deck. Frizzy hair in the ocean breeze.  Jamming to my favorite music really pondering what I want to do next with my life. 

I could sit here and tell you all about my trip or I could share with you the ways I really found myself in this trip. 

First off - If you're in Philly, you can actually fly nonstop to MYR on Spirit Airlines. If you've never flown Spirit - do yourself a GIANT favor and get to know all of their secret rules and ways they like to sneak in fees.  I'm not going to go into details on my flight horror in this post (but since they weren't a sponsor of this trip I'll happily share with you in a later post where they went wrong with ME and why I'll never fly them again.)  BUT... if you're cool with their procedures - then nonstop to MYR is really the best way to go.  You want to make sure you have a car when there too.  It's impossible to get around the area without one, fyi.

7 Ways to Find Yourself in Myrtle Beach

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people.  Of course I was there with a group of very amazing & intelligent influencers that I actually never met before!  (Except for Casey Mullins from Moosh in Indy)  This event was perfect for that.  I was totally myself with these women.  What did I have to lose?  Nothing.  And I'm so glad I did. 
  2. Remember how you got there.  No, no.  I'm not talking what kind of transportation you took, I'm talking where you came from.  And how you got there.  Often times we get so caught up in the daily mundane we don't stop and think about how far we've come.
  3. Visit something that brings out the kid in you.  Ya know, I'm not gonna lie.  At first I was like "an aquarium, museum and weird touch place?  How on EARTH is that going to be relaxing? That's where I'd take my kids!"  Ding Ding.  The ladies who produced this thing knew exactly what they were doing. HA!  We visited Ripley's AquariumRipley's Believe It or Not!WonderWorks & countless times I said out loud "I have to bring my kids here!  They would love this!"  So many things reminded me of my childhood too.  So even though it's insanity when you have your kids' with you take a minute and do something you'd do WITH them so you feel that kid-karma.
  4. Think in hashtags.  I know you think I'm crazy - but think in hashtags for realz! Think about it.  Hashtags are short, simple, to the point.  And always expressive and the focus of your whole tweet, right?  YES!  Think in hashtags.  #JustBe
  5. Eat your face off.  I am honestly STILL recovering from that gluttonous place of awesome!  I don't know how I managed to not gain a pound.  Seriously.  God was sending me a gift with that one.  Cause I enjoyed EVERY.SINGLE.BITE. from that trip.  I mean everything.  (And yes.  I am going to have to do a post JUST on the eating along.)
  6. Step out of your comfort zone but know when you need to step into you.  So, the very last day the group went to a vineyard.  We had just done an awesome day at a botanical garden (yes, story coming there too...) and my back was just causing me excruciating pain.  So I excused myself from that part of the trip.  And as gorgeous as I heard that place was, I am so so so so grateful that I did not go.  Because I took a little walk and ended up in front of the house my family stayed.  And I was able to set my intentions while setting those bad memories free.  That totally rocked.
  7. Change history.  You know you can do that, right? Yep.  And by visiting that place with the not so good memories, I was able to change history.  And now I totally look at Myrtle Beach with my eyes wide open. 

When can we go back again?

Be sure to return to get the reviews of Brookgreen Gardens, some of the best dining I've ever had at Tupelo Honey, Wicked Tuna & more... PLUS - need 5 fun things to do while in Myrtle Beach?  We've got the list for you! Check back soon!  Meanwhile, visit the Myrtle Beach site & check out their 60 Ways to Relax and Unwind!  

7 Things Loved By My Family at Moreys Piers

We took a lovely jaunt over Father's Day weekend to one of the very few shore towns that I have NOT stayed at yet!  I know. You have a hard time believing that, don't you? ha. But it's true. I'll be honest with you.  Real is why you come here and honestly, you've come to expect me to be REAL with you, right? 

Wildwood has never been one of my favorite places to visit.  We'd go there when we stayed in Cape May to have some fun on the boardwalk - but I would have NEVER in a million years have considered staying there.  I just didn't feel it was safe.  I thought there were some scary parts of town that I felt would not be smart to visit with small kids.  I thought the same about Atlantic City & I gave them a '2nd shot' with Boston 3 years ago.  I saw there that they were really trying to clean it up - but unfortunately, I haven't been back with kids yet.  So hopefully we'll have an awakening with AC like we did with Wildwood over Father's Day Weekend!

In case you didn't notice by the title....but we LOVED our visit there. 

And I'll tell you - it's one reason & ONE reason alone why - MOREY'S PIERS.

Yes. There are still parts of town that I felt uncomfortable in.  I won't lie.  But Morey's Piers is different. MUCH MUCH DIFFERENT. 

7 Things Loved By My Family At Morey's Piers

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1) THE MOREY FAMILY.  As you know in my love of travels and sharing here - I am a sucker for a real life story.  And the story behind the magic of Morey's Piers was so fun to see!  I missed a special cocktail event because well.... traveling with a toddler puts a vice grip on my plans. lol Truth be told.  But I did get a great break to really wander the hotel we were staying in and read the walls.  For. Like. HOURS. 

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2) THE PAN AMERICAN HOTEL.  What a CLASSY place!!  You know me - I'm a sucker for amenities so when I saw the Philosophy products in the gorgeous bathrooms?  I died and went to bath time heaven!!  I've stayed at thousands of places.  And if there is one consistent thing that tells me the character and class of the place - it's the toiletries!!  Everywhere you turn in this hotel you see a story.  You can get caught up in the walls of time beginning with the ride down the road with the big spinning Pan American sign in the back of an old pickup truck!  (And the chairs in the lobby are the coolest chairs I've ever seen!)

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3)  THE PIERS.  Notice I didn't say the Boardwalk.  Cause until they stop allowing people to smoke and flick their ashes on me and my kids - I'm not a fan of the boardwalk at all.  (And I'm not a smoke-snob.  Both of my parents smoke heavily their entire lives.  I just don't believe that it should be allowed in a public place like that.  It really bothers me when I walk up to a store and their workers are standing in their doorways trying to get me to come in there and their stink cigs behind their ears and in their hands.  GROSS!  There are way too many little kids running around on that boardwalk - there shouldn't be any smoking.  But if you are like me in that? GET ON THE PIERS!!  Cause the Morey family does it right.  NO SMOKING ALLOWED.

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3) THE FUN on THE PIERS.  Yeah.  You can find so much to do on those three piers that you never need to hit the boardwalk or the streets of Wildwood if you're a fuddy-dutty-like me.  And honestly, there are many out of towners that need that 'comfortable place'.  Morey's Piers have so many really fun things to do! I died after finding out there was THREE piers to PLAY!  The Ghost Ship & Kong were our favorite rides.  LOVED them.  

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4) THE FOOD.  When I think about beach & boardwalk food - I think cotton candy, pizza, 'snack bar' type food.  But not at MOREYS PIERS!!  When we arrived they gave us a ton of generous coupons to experience all the food at the piers & I am so glad they did!!  The last day, I ended up sharing some of them with a sweet woman we met at the waterparks who was there from Illinois (where I'm from). Cause honestly, I felt bad with all the talk I made about the 

5)  THE WATER PARKS.  Seriously one of the coolest thing ever is enjoying a WATER PARK while near the ocean!  The PIers really have a couple cool water parks that everyone has to take advantage of when in Wildwood.  Being a kid from the midwest and never even seeing the ocean till much later in my college years, the only water fun we got were water parks.   I grew up in a boat on a dirty lake in southern Illinois.  Our 'special treat' was hitting a water park.  So to be a kid and have the ocean at your fingertips?  I can't even IMAGINE what a cool opportunity that is. The #1 thing that I love most from my move to Philly is that we are within a couple hours drive of the shore.  From Cape May to LBI - I am forever in love with it.  Add a boardwalk AND a waterpark?  Totally died and gone to heaven reliving my childhood with my son at the 

6)  THE HISTORY.  More than one occasion my family had to distract me to STOP looking at all the images on the walls at the Pan American Hotel!!  I stopped every time so that I could read, snap and share the great history of Morey's Piers!  

7) OH-MY-THE-ORANGEAIDES.  Seriously.  I should be embarrassed with how many orangeaides I had on those piers!!!  My mouth is watering now for one dangit.    

Now check out their fun History YouTube video:


Tuckerton Seaport Privateers and Pirates Festival: June 7, 2014

Yo ho ho!

It's time to don your best pirates attire, put on your finest eye patch and get ready to set sail on your dreaded pirate ship!  That's right, it's that time of year again: Tuckerton Seaport is hosting their annual Privateers and Pirates Festival!

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On Saturday June 7 starting at 11am, Captain Black will be coming ashore with the crew of the Valhalla, ready to transform Tuckerton Seaport into a pirate paradise. For the pirate-at-heart, this is the perfect event for the entire family. Meet pirates in person, join a treasure hunt, and get your picture taken on the plan. The best pirate costum will be awarded a prize at the end of the day!

Not only will the day be filled with fun adventures, there will be live music as well. Here are some other great highlights waiting for you:

Privateers & Pirates Festival Highlights

  • Pirate Meet & Greet
  • Pose on the Plank
  • Pirate Costume Contest for Adults and Children
  • Piratology 101: Learn about the Golden Age of Piracy!
  • Cannon Demo: Watch how to handle and fire a cannon. Volunteers will be needed to join the gun crew. Don’t be scared by the big BOOM at the end.
  • Scurvy Mutineers Sword Fight Show: A live steel combat show complete with action and laughs. Volunteers will be selected from the audience to join the mutiny.
  • Whip Show: Things will really heat up as tricks and skills are shown.
  • Pirate Pistol Duello Show: A stage show of how a friendly game of Liars Dice can go terribly wrong. Learn how pirates settle an argument.
  • Amputation Demonstration!
  • American Water Puddles Van: Learn about water conservation, where the water locally comes from, how the water is treated and play interactive games where you can estimate your daily water usage
  • Watch the Parrot Pirate Party with a Parrot that Talks
  • Pirate Food Court
  • Make-and-Take Crafts
  • Live Music by Pirates for Sail
  • Treasure Hunt sponsored by Fantasy Island Plus, Pirate Ship Bounce House included with Admission!
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Tuckerton Seaport is located at 120 West Main Street.  Admission for the Privateers and Pirates Festival is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children, and free for Seaport Members and children under 5. 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.


For more information, find the Tuckerton Seaport on Facebook or call 609-296-8868.

Tuckerton Seaport Summer Events

We are HUGE fans of Tuckerton Seaport, and have had the opportunity to visit several times in the past few years. We'll be up again for their Privateers and Pirates on June 7 (check out our experience from last year!). In addition to Privateers and Pirates Day, Tuckerton Seaport has a jumpin' calendar all Summer long with fun events you won't want to miss. Here's a quick run down: 

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RFA Bass River Summer Flounder Tournament: June 7, 2014

For more info: http://joinrfa.org/rfa-bass-river-tournament/


Pirivateers and Pirates Festival: June 7, 2014   11am-5pm

All Things Pirates! Learn the difference between privateers and pirates and then be one. Pirate history – authentic and make-believe – plus a treasure scavenger hunt, costume contest and pirate craft activities. Enjoy the crew of the Valhalla Pirates with historic pirate entertainment. “Pirates for Sail” live band, Grog Garden and tasty food vendors. General Admission applies.

 

On-line Auction: June 14-July14, 2014

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With over 200 items on our auction block, the Seaport’s Annual On-line Summer Auction is a great way to support educational programs right here on the Jersey Shore while also getting some incredible deals on vacation packages, tickets to local attractions, dining gift certificates and VIP experiences. Visit www.biddingforgood.com/tuckertonseaport

 

Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival: June 21 and 22, 2014    11am to 5pm

Enjoy delicious Jersey fresh clams, crabs, scallops and shrimp from the finest local seafood purveyors.  Micro brew court. Crafters, vendors, music, food, refreshments, family activities, demonstrations,boat rides, boat builders and decoy carvers. Speak with commercial fishermen to learn about occupations on the bay or take a clam shucking class. So bring the family and plan to spend the day. Music from local favorites: The Mott’s Creek Pickers (Sat) & The Billy Walton Band (Sun). Selected as one of the Best Outdoor Festivals by NJ Monthly Magazine. Presented by the Jersey Shore Folklife Center. General Admission applies.

Roots Music Festival: June 28 and 29, 2014     2pm – 8pm

The Tuckerton Seaport is thrilled to host the Roots Music Festival on June 28th & 29th.  Kick back for 2 great days of music, wine tasting, food, crafters, vendors, demonstrations & activities. Live roots music from The Billy Walton Band, Ryan & the Blue Hearts, James Day & The Fish Fry, Steve Guyger, The Keystone Swingbillies, Snake Brothers, Home Cookin’, and Zydeco-a-Go-Go.  Uncork some fun and enjoy a perfect afternoon of wine tasting from some of NJ’s finest wineries Di Matteo, Tomasello, andValenzano. Complimentary wine glass included. Try free samples from the barbeques of best local barbeque cooks and vote for your favorite. $20 day / $15 members; 2 day combo pass $30 / $25 members. Pre-sale special!  Buy 2 day combo in advance and receive free reserved parking.

 

Fourth of July Celebration

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Parade followed by children’s activities, baby parade, entertainment. Fireworks over the lake at dusk. This event it FREE! 


Sunshine Foundation Fishing Tournament & Family BBQ: Saturday July 12   3pm–7pm

Check back on the Tuckerton Seaport events calendar for more info in the near future.

     

Tuckerton Seaport Celebration & Fundraiser: August 12, 2014      6pm – 9pm

Our premier fundraising event features endless hors d’ oeuvres and entertainment by the Billy Walton Band!

With it's close proximity to both New York City and the New Jersey beaches, Tuckerton Seaport needs to be on your Summer Bucket List!  The only question left to answer is: which events will YOU be going to?


Kid-Friendly Things to Do in New Jersey

Philly-area families know that once Summer hits, the best place to be is the beach. Luckily, we are within a 1-2 hour drive to fantastic beaches. New Jersey is one of my favorite places not just to hit the sand and sea, but to take my kids.  The entire state has fabulous attractions and events all year-round. Here are some of the best kid-friendly things to do in New Jersey: 

    

 

Tuckerton Seaport

Quaint, yet a hop skip and a jump from New York City and the Jersey Shore, Tuckerton Seaport is the perfect day trip for the family. If you are staying at the beach and want to shake up your week, Tuckerton Seaport Museum is as fun as it is educational. This attraction is rich in preserving the “maritime history, artistry, heritage and environment of the Jersey Shore. They also have super fun events, like the Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival.

Adventure Aquarium

You don’t have to travel far into New Jersey to find family-friendly fun. The Adventure Aquarium, just over the bridge from Philadelphia, is a hot spot for visitors. Watch the hippos swim, touch a shark and laugh at the dancing penguins. There is a ton to learn about sea life as well as watch  one of their Meet the Divers shows!

Atlantic City

Who knew that Atlantic City was family friendly? Over the past few years, the town has rebranded, making sure to offer something for everyone. There is the beach, fun places to eat like Rainforest Cafe, Atlantic City Aquarium and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. This is only a smattering of what AC has to offer families. How will your family #DoAC?

Sahara Sams

We all love Summer because the warm weather and brilliant sunshine gives us a much-wanted opportunity to spend time outdoors. But what about the weeks it rains all day? Then there is nothing better than an indoor/outdoor water park!  Sahara Sam’s in West Berlin is the best of both worlds, offering both an indoor AND outdoor water park! Outside is complete with a children’s splash park, wave pool and volleyball courts. Inside offers water slides, lazy rivers and an arcade. Perfect for any weather all through the year!

Congress Hall  

Some resorts are perfect for adult-only vacations. But what about family getaways? Congress Hall in Cape May has families covered! Offering luxurious accommodations, Congress Hall still knows how to have fun. Get your karaoke on during the weekly Family Karaoke Nights as well as the Carnival on the Grand Lawn every Monday night (which includes a complimentary family-friendly movie once the sun goes down)!

Cape May County Zoo

If your visits bring you to Congress Hall, then there is no better way to spend a day of your vacation than the Cape May County Zoo. A beautiful show of natural environment, the lush gardens are an oasis for over 500 animals (representing over 200 species!). The beach is the perfect place to get an education on the animals of our planet!

What are YOUR favorite kid-friendly spots in New Jersey? Inspire our next trip by sharing your tips!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Virginia Hotel & Cottages in Cape May

Virginia Hotel
Cottages in Cape May

I am a LOVER of hotels.  I love to travel...taste new flavors...check out the bathroom products and share my experiences!

Last summer I was apart of an AWESOME weekend getaway to Cape May to stay and promote Congress Hall.  It was the best experience ever!  

So with the awesomeness and all that is in Cape May-why not return - right?

I wanted to stay at or near the location where my husband & I went on our first 'shore trip' when we moved her from Chicago years ago.  I actually found this property while searching and about fell over when I saw one of the porches actually overlooked the place we stayed!

I have to be honest with myself you...I am a bit travel spoiled!  Yes.  I know.  Me?  Yes. I can't believe it either.  =)  When I was in my 20s and met my husband he took me all over the country. 

We went from Chicago to Vegas, LA, Boston.....finally to Philly.  And since I've been blogging, I've been invited all over as well!  Stayed at gorgeous places (and a few DUMPS along the way...ahem.)  

But the Cape Resorts Group has by far surpassed anything I've ever experienced.  I don't know if its because after meeting Curtis the owner, and hearing his amazing story of how his grandfather use to own Congress Hall and he grew up running the halls!  He later renovated it and gave it life again.....

I love that it's not run by some 'hotel management company' that doesn't even know much about the hotel! Curtis has so much passion in the place-you can tell before you even walk through the front doors.  The warmth and welcome feeling you get from all the properties is impeccable.  You can tell that he takes care of his employees too because they are always smiling and go above and beyond a typical hotel staff.  

In fact, I forgot my coat there when we checked out on Monday and by Tuesday it was at my doorstep!

The off season price to stay in the cottage we stayed in:  The White Cottage (Penthouse Suite) was approx $200 a night.  Not bad for that ocean view, right?  

*Outstanding service

*Close proximity to Washington Mall (SHOPPING!!)

*Open all year round

*AWESOME bathroom amenities!

Disney Fantasy Cruise

Disney Fantasy: Playing Mrs. Potato HeadDisney Fantasy

Cruise Christening

This past Thursday evening I got the opportunity to take part in a magical Disney event that happened in New York City.  

To say this was a celebration is completely and totally not doing the evening justice!!

I was invited to stay at Ink48 Hotel and enjoy a night at the Christening of the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship!

Since I haven't ever 'been to Disney' (I know-pathetic, right? lol) or have I even ever been on a Cruise...I really had no idea what to expect.

Of course we have ALL seen the movie Titanic..and can you believe that was the first thing I thought of when we embarked on this ship?? Seriously!  As soon as we walked through the front doors there were mater dei's lined up to greet us.  Just like in the movie! ha And I can honestly say I have NEVER seen more champagne in my life!!!

My friend Debbie from Mamanista is so awesome at taking me under her wings at these type of things.  I mean, I've done some pretty awesome things in my radio career-but for some reason-when I hit the big city of New York that good ol' country girl comes out of me!!  And I get so overwhelmed!  I can proudly say that I'm getting better at the NYC trips after going so many times (HENCE-I bring spare shoes! lol) but she's so amazing with showing me the ropes.

This extremely handsome Parisian man looks at me and goes in the HOTTEST accent ever 'Care for a champagne, madam?'  and I ahem...about died.  Deb looked at me-I looked at her and we both just about bust out laughing.  Of course because this country chic was shining through.  She grabbed the champagne and I grabbed the sparkling-strawberry-mint-like-I-have-no-idea-what-was-in-it-but-it-was-tasty-non-alcoholic-drink and we entered the foyer.

It was gorgeous!  Disney characters were etched in every single piece of this ship!  From the mirrors shaped like Mickey in the bathrooms to the gold plates on the walls with characters-there was no mistaken that this was a magical place!

The didn't hold ANYTHING back in the party!  Neil Patrick Harris was the host of the evening entertainment...great songs from their cruise shows...visit from Mary Poppins....standup by Jerry Seinfeld...

Did I mention the celebrities JUST there to celebrate?  Yeah!  Ty Pennington and some of the cast from The Revolution were there...Mayor Bloomberg stopped by....and you KNOW it's a big deal with the CEO of Disney takes the mic!

Mariah Carey and her hubby were there.  She was the Fairy Godmother of the Ship.  That was cool since now she's a mom and really gets it. (Well, sort of. hahaha)

Check out my video recap and be sure to comment if you've ever been on a Disney Cruise!  We are soo going to take one after that experience!

 

The Congress Hall Cape May, NJ

My Run for Congress

 

Well..sorta.

I'm actually running to The Congress Hall.

In Cape May..my FAVORITE beach city ever.

LOVE this town.  Let's just say.ahem..this little town changed my whole world.  AHEM...let's just say... I could have named my son Cape May instead of Boston. lol

Anyway..I'm soo excited to be going there this week.

My most fave 'mom' site that I'm blessed to do so much with, The Motherhood, invited me to take part in a weekend getaway at The Congress Hotel.

Um..TWIST MY ARM WOULD YA?!?!?!

I'll be there Thursday till Saturday.  And there MIGHT be a chance till Sunday.  (Ya know, my birthday is Sunday...so why stop on Saturday, ya know?!?!?!)

You can seriously tell how thrilled I am about something by my punctuation, ya know?

This little trip doesn't leave too much time by the pool.  So if there's a possibility to really get to dig my toes in the sand-I'm all over it.

Only sad part...I won't have hubby & bubby with me.  =(  Moms only.

So..I could mope and wish they were there-or I could EMBRACE it!

So..I'll mope. (wink wink).

And have an absolutely MISERABLE time without them.  (wink WINK WINK wink.)

So the visit has big plans to get down to business.  I mean ya know, this here blog is 'my business'.

This place is seriously top notch.

It's not cheap-but the history is rich.

And if you're one to really go all out for a vacation-I HIGHLY recommend any of the awesome hotels from the Cape Resorts Group. 

When we stayed there-it was in 2007.  GRANTED...we didn't stay at the Congress, but we did have lunch at The Blue Pig one day.  LOVED it. 

So..while we're here, I get to spend a bit of time on the beach, at their gorgeous farm, and dining at some super amazing restaurants! 

Shhh.  I'm gonna try to fit in butterscotch pancakes from Uncle Bill's Pancake House.

DEAR LORD THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

I really could live at the shore.  Summer, Winter, Rain, Shine.

Something about that smell.  The breeze.  The feeling you get. 

Excited to share my time!  Wish you were going too!

Do you have a special vacation place that you feel so at home when you're there?

 

 

 

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DISCLOSURE:  I am soooo grateful and sooooo thankful to be able to enjoy such a gorgeous little town.  So relaxing, peaceful and full of summer.  This little getaway is courtesy of Cape Resorts Group-but trust me when I tell you...ALL opinions are my own.  And they are 100% TRUE!  See ya at the beach!

Hope Lake Lodge, Strasburg RR, Chincoteague Island

Saturday - 6p Newscast - Fox 29

Fox 29 PhiladelphiaShort Summer Getaway Ideas...Great places not to far to pack up the car:

Pack up your car, cat & kids and go somewhere a little different than the shore this summer!

Hope Lake Lodge:

--Located in Cortland, NY in a gorgeous mountain setting.  Hope Lake Lodge can be found in the Greek Peak Mountain Resort.  Gorgeous, rustic lodging with great food, great spa and great fun!  Cascades Indoor Water Park is much better than many of the local parks in that you have ROOM to explore and not everyone is on top of each other.

Greek Peak Resort has a new Adventure Center opening in June that you'll not only get great exercise on the zip lines-but you'll have a blast doing it!

 

Chincoteague Island, Va:

Chincoteague Island is a serene, yet fun filled, tourist destination. Chincoteague Island is Virginia's only resort Island. Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague is within easy reach from all major cities on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Chincoteague is the gateway to the Virginia portion of Assateague Island, home of the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. Chincoteague offers a relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of unspoiled nature. From relaxing on the beach to viewing a spectacular sunset over the Chincoteague Bay, there is never a shortage of things to do in Chincoteague. We hope that you will fall in love with our Island, the way so many others already have.

Chincoteague Island was named the #1 Best Beach Town in America for 2010 by AOL Travel Magazine! Click here to read the article.

Red Caboose MotelLancaster, Pa:

You can never go wrong with a trip to Train Town!  Home of the Pennsylvania Train Museum and the legendary Strassburg Railroad with great shopping, Amish food, lodging shows and more!

The kids love the Day Out With Thomas when Thomas stops in for a visit at Strasburg Railroad.

There are some super awesome places to stay.  Looking for classy?  The Marriott in downtown Lancaster - connected to the convention center is absolutely stunning!  Great price and gorgeous amenities.

If you want something off the beaten path, take the family to the Little Red Caboose Motel for a very unique overnight experience where you get to sleep in a real train caboose!  They have so many fun things for the family.  From a petting zoo to gift shop and restaurant.

Myrtle Beach Travel Tips

The week of 4th of July-my family and I traveled to Myrtle Beach. 

And as any mom can attest to-14 hours in a car ONE WAY is rough... not to mention we HAVE to get back home the way we came!

It actually wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Needless to say-my son was a rockstar...his parents?  NOT SO MUCH. 

Tips for traveling to Myrtle Beach with a Toddler:

-- pack MUCH less than you plan. You'll spend the majority of the time in your bathing suits-so don't overpack.  I know.  We all do it.  Just pull 3 things out after you are down. 

-- If you are driving more than 3 hours: pack a small cooler/lunchbox with emergency treats like; cheese sticks, peanut butter crackers, juice boxes, bottled water, soft drinks, etc

-- have entertainment.  Not only for your kids-but for you too!  I have AT&T and our trip there and back.... there was ZERO service on I-95 to and from Philly.  So here I was with no 3G..no wifi..AND no cellphone!!  I think it wouldn't have been as bad if I was prepared for it. 

-- Bring a videoplayer.  Right before the trip we got an IPAD.  Needless to say-my son owns that thing!  It came in very handy.

-- Print out directions.  So what if you have directions on your Iphone/Ipad/TomTom.  I had ZERO signal-so I could never access them!  I've never had a problem before-but it was a reminder that you should always have the 'old school' backup.

-- Upon arrival to Myrtle Beach - AVOID I-17.  It's a PARKING LOT.  It took us an hour to get from the top of MB to Surfside Beach.

-- Don't 'over expect' from your rental agency.  Know that those great pictures you see online-may NOT be what you expect up close.  ((Enough said here... still waiting to hear back on some things-THEN I'll share with you my actual issues/resolution.))

-- Water your plants before you go-and have someone do it while you are gone.  OMGosh.  It was the saddest thing to see when we arrived home.  I worked soo hard to keep those babies alive throughout May & June...and got home and realized. Duh.  They can't water themselves.  They were CRISPY dead too.  Drats.

-- Clean out the fridge & take out the trash.  You don't even want to know what I found when I got home.

-- DO NOT turn air totally off.   Yeah.  Hubby did that.  It was 103 in our house when we got home.  I could have charged people and held a bikram yoga class in there!!  Sadly...we lost a special pet because of it.  You know those frogs that come in a clear plastic box and they live without food?  Yeah.  Floating.  I cried.  Made hubby take them out.  And they stunk... BAD.  Boohoo.  Poor froggies.

These are just a few tips.. I have more coming!  Plus secret ways to get coupons and serious discounts at the beach.  Check back soon!

Travel Mom Intro

Ok-so as you may or may not know- I have traveled ALLLL over the country.  I've lived there..played there..loved there.

So, as a mom that KNOWS how much time it takes to plan for trips-I plan to tell you all about my traveling plans, right here.

Next week, my family is traveling, by CAR (for our 1st time-prepare yourself! lol) to beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC.

Come back here to learn all about our trip.. how we 'got there' and what I did to plan for the entire ordeal. 

TRUST me when I tell you-I soo can't wait to share my experience with you.  And I oh so hope that you learn a thing or two.... Cheers!