Travel Blog

Vacation with friends

8 Tips to help Prep for a Vacation with Friends

I feel like vacationing together is the Amazing Race of friendship tests. It COULD go well. You might double your fun-having capabilities and emerge champion in epic memory-making! On the other hand, it might implode into a bicker-fest. Your besties might decide to claim the master bedroom for the duration of the vacation rental, leave their hot curling iron on the bathroom floor and scream about you owing them $1.63 for your family’s excessive ketchup use on barbecue night.

Aulani tips

11 Aulani Tips for an Incredible Hawaiian Vacation

The boys have had a Hawaiian calendar up in their room for the last year, a gift from a friend of mine who lives in the islands. Several times over the last few months, Sidekick has pointed to one of the streaming waterfalls or sandy beaches in the photos and asked if we can visit. “One day,” I promised, “I’ll take you to Aulani and you can see ALL the special things about where I grew up.”

Pow Wow as a Family

Our First Pow Wow as a Family

Nate and I have been trying to find ways to help the kids explore their heritage more. I feel like one of the best ways to instill a love of history and humanities in children is to start with their direct ancestry. Make it personally relevant, and then branch out from there. We’ve actually been booking quite a bit of travel lately to show the kids various places that are relevant in explaining exactly how their family came to be.

Morning coffee at the campsite

Kickstarting the Adventure Camp with a Coffee Maker

Every dog will have its day and every day will have its dawn. A cold, bleak, bleary dawn meant only to torment those of us not born to the fragment of the mutant population known as “morning people.” You know, the ones who wake up singing This Little Light of Mine as they dance their way into the warm shower. No sir, it’s only cold showers for me. This sensation, of course, is only multiplied when camping.

Camping coffee

Our Nighttime Camping Coffee Routine

They say necessity is the mother of invention. When there is a need that must be met or supplied, surely a solution will follow along riding on the back of ingenuity like a mighty knight to save the day. Over hill and dale, through snow or shine, atop rivers or lava. But what happens when the mother of four sons needs her coffee?

SeaWorld San Diego with Little Kids

What to see at SeaWorld San Diego with Little Kids

With SeaWorld San Diego opening a ton of rides and educational shows in recent years, I’ve had some visitors ask if it’s an appropriate spot to take kids who aren’t tall enough or won’t necessarily sit still for a presentation. I always encourage these people to go see the many displays and hands-on experiences available at the park. More often than not, I wind up playing tour guide because I’m so enthusiastic about the incredible learning opportunities that are available here! Here’s a look at what OUR family does at SeaWorld with four boys ages 6, 4, 2 and 9 months.

Downtown LA with kids

Oh-so-Walkable Downtown LA with Kids

I’ve shared before that Downtown LA didn’t have a particularly awesome reputation when Nate and I lived in Westwood 15 years ago. It absolutely delights me that the area has seen such a massive uptick in development of family-friendly spots, from the installation of LA Live to the resurgence of Grand Central Market. It’s become one of our go-to spots for mini getaways and every time we go, I come back with a list of newly-discovered sights that I want to explore the next time we visit. The constantly-evolving nature of this historical area is fascinating, and the sentimental side of me thrills to see my kids exploring intricate pockets of the city where our family was founded.