Tag-Archive for » travelling with kids «

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!!

Christmas in Las Vegas Baby!

My husband’s family consists of 4 brothers, their wives and 10 kids.  His Mom passed away in May of 2000 and his Dad passed away in September of 2004.  Christmas always meant alot to our families, but after both his parents passed away, we wanted to make sure that we were always close.  People are amazed when they hear that we have monthly get togethers with Richard’s family…it is important.  Always remember that family is what is most important and they won’t always be around.  Richard may have been 34 by the time both his parents were gone, but I know that there are many times when he wishes he could call up his mom to tell her something great…or ask his Dad how to build something…or give his Mom one more pair of earrings for her birthday cause he couldn’t think of one single thing she needed.  And she loved it…every year…Beth didn’t care what she got because it meant the world to her coming from one of her boys!  They both loved hosting, they loved travel and they loved Christmas…so we thought we would do them proud and head out of town for Christmas…all 18 of us together!

Since 2004, we have been alternating between his family and in-laws.  It seems to be working great so far.  Right after Christmas of 2008, we started making plans to go somewhere warm for Christmas of 2009.  I like to be on the computer…in case you hadn’t noticed…so I took over finding us somewhere to stay!    Being the adventerous sort I am, I set out to find ONE house that would fit us all.  Who wants to spend Christmas Day all bunched up in a couple of hotel rooms…boring!

Why Las Vegas?  Why not Florida or Hawaii?  Well, two of my brother-in-laws run a business together and it is hard for them to get away for a long time together, so Vegas seemed perfect.  Close to fly to, stay and play for a few days and then come home.  I used vrbo.com to look for a house and because Richard and I had been there a few times already, we somewhat knew what areas we liked.  You guys are probably thinking it was hard to find a house that fit 18 people….but it wasn’t.  There are a ton of rental homes on vrbo.com that allow for up to 25 people.  And alot of those people own two houses side by side so you could rent enough space for 50 people!  It is amazing!!  I emailed a ton of houses, found availability for the dates we wanted and waited.  After receiving a ton of emails back, I sorted through them, found the perfect house and booked it.  The great thing was we had all this square footage, our own pool and hottub and we would all be together.  The cost was approximately $450 per family for the house plus any groceries which we split 4 ways.  And using Allegiant airlines we paid a fraction of the costs for the flight. 

Ok, so what did we do when we got there??  Well we kind of all did our own special things, one family went to see the Blue Man Group (very loud…but good) others went outlet shopping (they were very happy).  Let me stop there….let me tell you about my sister-in-law.  We gave her a hard time….she mapped out the malls.  I am not joking…she literally had maps, a pen and a highlighter to map her route and what stores she had to hit.  You know who you are…and we love you!!  Anyway, Christmas Eve we wanted to do something special as a family so we rented a huge limo and had them take us around and down to Freemont Street.  The kids loved it!!  Of course they had a live band, big Christmas tree and the popular light show.  It was wonderful!

Christmas Day we spent at the house eating big meals and….swimming!!  That’s right…swimming in our own private outdoor pool! 

I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all had a super time!  It was nice to get away from the snow and just enjoy each others company!  Hoping to get away Christmas of 2011 with my side of the family!  Keep you posted on that one!

Close to home…

I love to travel outside of Canada but we do have many marvels right in our own backyard.  Just 30 minutes from our house is an area of the badlands that is called Dinosaur Provincial Park.  It was named this because in a century of looking, over 150 complete dinosaur skeletons have been found here.  The landscape is beautiful…

There is also a campground where you can camp and hike right amongst the hoodoos.  It is great for a day trip as well…even though there are areas that are not open to the public, you can find many hiking trails.  I can’t count how many times we packed the girls up when they were little and went down for a day of hiking or just a picnic.  And when you are tired of being outside there is a field station where you can go in and watch short videos and see some of the skeletons that were discovered in the park.  If your kids like dinosaurs…they are going to love Dinosaur Provincial Park!

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!

Introducing the kids…

I have three children…three very beautiful, wonderful, talented children.  Our oldest, T, is for the most part, our level headed child.  She gets good grades, plays guitar and has a job.  She wants to go to school to become a hair stylist.  She is strong willed and knows what she wants.  And out of all three….she hates to travel!   She hates to fly, she hates to stay in hotels and she gets grumpy.  I asked her one day why she had to hate all that stuff and her biggest reason was that when she had breaks from school she just wanted to “hang” with her friends!  She is going to be 18 in 3 months.  I guess I should have known that the day would come.  I am hoping that one day she gets it and sees the value in seeing the world and how other people live.