Tag-Archive for » family vacation «

I am going to do this…

Along with my other touristy Las Vegas things I plan to do…I will be going here

And…I will be eating this

Frozen Hot Chocolate!!  Yummy!!

Making summer plans…

We are thinking of heading out on a little road trip this summer.  We like to pack the family up and head out for little adventures.  While my sister was here this weekend, she was mentioning that her kids wanted to go back to South Dakota this year.  They went down last year and the kids had a blast.  She said there were a million things to see and do and they really hope to go back.

So she put the bug in my ear that Richard and I should think about meeting them there in the summer!!  Sounds promising to me!  I have been researching the area online a bit…help me out!!  Leave a comment about your favorite family vacation ever!!

Cheap car rentals…

Family travel can get expensive with hotel, meals and car rentals, so it makes sense to save money where ever you can.  Here is a money saving tip anyone can take advantage of to save a few dollars when renting a car.

I tend to use Priceline for most of my travel bookings, but I have found that often you can get a better deal on car rentals using Hotwire.com.  I usually check the price listed on Hotwire and then go to Priceline and bid a few dollars lower and see what happens.  If my bid is rejected on Priceline I will book the car using Hotwire.

Click the link below for a quick video demonstrating how it’s done.

Video too small? Click Here

Sedona, Arizona

 

Last May, my sister and I decided to plan a trip to Sedona, Arizona.  We wanted to get our parents to actually get themselves on a plane and experience some travel.  The reason we picked Arizona is that we have an uncle that lives in Winslow and we hadn’t seen him in over 19 years.  We wanted my Dad to see his brother while he was still young!  So we convinced them to come and started planning. 

We flew into Phoenix and rented a car to drive to Sedona where we stayed.  We were looking to do the trip for the most affordable we could.  We got rooms at Kokopelli Suites in Sedona.  The front desk staff was very accomadating and friendly, making sure to suggest great places to eat and tourist attractions to see.  The rooms were nice, very clean.  We were only down for 3 nights so we had to act quickly to get all our sight seeing in!  There are so many more things we could have done there.

Our first day…we flew down this day and had the afternoon to wander around, find our hotel, pick out somewhere nice to eat.  It was kind of a relaxed day which was nice. 

The second day…this is the day we planned to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle in Flagstaff.  They chose a restaurant that was one of their favorites and we met them there.  After 19 years, there was no mistaking who he was when he got out of his Dodge truck (same as my Dad drives) and walked (the same as my Dad) over to us.  Seriously people, the similarities were endless.  The walk, the cowboy boots, the same jeans, the voice, the laugh…we all just sat back and watched my Dad and his brother.  We had a wonderful lunch and with pictures taken and goodbyes said, we headed on our way.  Richard and I had seen the Grand Canyon before, and I am so glad that my sister was anxious to see it and we convinced everyone else to go.  We headed out of Flagstaff and headed to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  After about 1.5 hours we were there and it truly is majestic.

Day 3….definitely our busiest day.  Gwenn went with one goal…to see the McDonalds in Sedona.  The reason?  It is the only McDonalds ever that does not have the signature yellow colored M.  The town told McDonalds that they could build as long as the arches were Desert Teal as to not clash with the surrounding red rock of the area.  So we went, we took pictures, and now she can say she has been there!! 

We then travelled just outside of town to see a church.  Not just any old church…this church was beautiful and built into the side of a wall of red rock!  It was called the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  The idea of the church came from a lady named Marguerite Bruswig Staude who was from New York.  While travelling in the Sedona area she loved it and decided a chapel would be perfect there.  It was finished in 1956 and has been there ever since.

We managed to fit in some souvenir shopping as well and then that night…the sushi restaurant.  So nice to check out things the adults like when the kids do not come on the trip!  If the kids would have been there, no sushi restaurant!  So we went and ate way too much.  But it was delicious!!

Day 4…the day we pack up and head for home.  We left lots of time to drive back to Phoenix to catch our flights home.  On the way, we stopped to photograph everyone with the Seguaro cactus.  I say, if you are going to be a tourist…act like a tourist!!  Pictures of everything!

We all had such a great time.  I hope that it will be easier next time to convince my parents that it is a good idea!

Flying to Tulsa, OK…

I am in Tulsa on a training course with my brother, Gerald.  I have been looking forward to this trip for some time.  I was especially looking forward to escaping winter, if only for a week.  Late last week Tanya asked me if I had checked the weather in Tulsa.  To my horror the forecast was calling for snow.  Not impressed.  The weather man is always wrong right?  I’m sure the forecast will change…. 

Well Sunday rolled around and we were off to Tulsa.  We flew Continental Airlines from Calgary, AB to Houston, TX for our connection and had 15 minutes to get to our next flight.  We ran the 1/4 mile in record time I’m sure.  We made it onto our plane and they closed the door behind us.  As we landed in Tulsa I thought to myself “How could our luggage possibly make it onto our plane?  I mean we barely made it.”  Sure enough, our luggage did not make it, however the gentleman at the Continental Airlines counter was extremely helpful and found our luggage was on the next flight in.  He assured us they would send a taxi to our hotel with it.  Currently it is 11:30pm here.  I just spoke to the front desk at our hotel and found out our luggage is on its way over.  As a customer I understand that things go wrong, but it is how they deal with those challenges that will make me a return customer and the service we received from Continental Airlines was excellent on this flight.

As far as the snow fall goes.  Our next stop after the baggage claim was the car rental desk and they gave us the bad news.  Apparently Tulsa is expecting ice storms and up to 15 inches of snow this week.  Good thing I brought my winter jacket.

Richard

My dream vacation…

When my sister and her family were down at Christmas we got talking about our dream vacations. My sister and I would like to go over to Scotland and Wales where are Grandparents were from, but I was surprised to hear that her “ideal” vacation is the same as mine!!

This is the St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora and you might recognize it from the movie “Couples Retreat”.    A one bedroom, over the water, villa can be reserved for about $1040 Canadian for 7 nights.  A 3 bedroom for the same amount of time will run you about $12,900!!  But boy does it look worth it!!  I figure that with a family of 5 this could be a bit out of my budget but if you were looking for a romantic getaway for 2…this would be perfect.  I promise that if I ever go, you guys will be the first to hear about it!  I am anticipating a flawless review!

Venice Beach Review…

For the most part, Venice Beach is a beautiful section of the California coast just south of Santa Monica.  Generally it is a nice sandy beach and a great place to spend the day.  The ocean front is lined with expensive houses and condos with an amazing ocean view.  As you walk north on the boardwalk you can see the Santa Monica Pier and the carnival rides in the distance and it is very much the California beach that I imagined. 

As you approach Muscle Beach, which really isn’t as great as I thought it would be, the atmosphere changes and you would swear you were walking down a row of shops in Jamacia.  The very first street corner had a Medical Marijuana sign out front and a young lady on the corner pulling people in to get their Medical Marijuana License.   From then on the smell of weed filled the air and we were approached every half a block or so either by a “Kush Doctor” salesperson or a “down and out” musician trying to sell us a CD he had burned on his computer. 

I am not sure what this area used to be like, but from some of the stories I have heard it used to be an interesting unique place to visit, but it seems like the area has become dominated by drug shops, drug users and people down on their luck.  In all it was an interesting experience, but it is unlikely we will be back, especially with our children.

Here is a quick video review including a couple video clips of the boardwalk:

Middle child syndrome

I know some people say they have middle child syndrome.  I think there is definitely something to that!  Our middle child, D, is just what they say a middle child is like.  She is eccentric and crazy and will do just about anything to be the center of attention!  Her sense of humor keeps us laughing all the time.  D has an amazing sense of style and will wake up 3 hours before school just to pick her outfit and do her hair just right.  She loves to bake…I blame her for the extra weight I seem to enjoy carrying around!!  I guess it isn’t her fault that I love to eat and she is just too good at baking!  She is a beautiful girl, inside and out!  And luckily…she loves to travel with us…as long as T is coming too!  It’s a vicious circle!