Travel with Kids

Adventure Ford truck under stary sky

Vacation Planning: You’re doing it WRONG

Visit California recently reached out to me for my experience and expertise to help spread the word about National Plan for Vacation Day. They wanted my take and advice on helping people better use their unused vacation days. I love traveling with my kids – especially in southern California – and proposed a plan that they loved and agreed to sponsor for our blog. So this is my take on how to use those stowed away vacation days to improve your standard of living!

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.”

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.

Fishing with kids

5 Tips for Fishing with Kids

As I grow older, I really get the sense there are no guarantees in this world. The markets, employment, housing bubbles, and so on. Well, I suppose traffic in southern California is something you can always count on. That runs like clockwork! So many other things, though, don’t go as planned. I guess this is where the old adage comes in, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Beaver Creek

The Charter at Beaver Creek

There is a distinct crispness to the air I breathe at just over eight thousand feet sea level. There even seems to be some sort of shortness in supply, as my California lungs aren’t yet adjusted to the thin yet clean air found at this outer sphere of the Rockies. Thinner though it may be, it still whispers and sings as it swims through the branches and needles of the evergreen trees standing tall around me. I close my eyes and the stress of civilization as I know it blows away.

Pioneering a Spirit of Adventure

I consider myself to be the pioneer of my children’s minds. Their mom plays a role, obviously, but as their dad I’m tasked with a few extra-fun things like introducing them to ice fishing and teaching them how to wield a drill and explaining how to keep their elbows in and head down when throwing that good ol’ fashioned night night blow. “Jump like a grasshopper and bite like a beaver,” I always say.