The water slide was five stories tall and just looking up at it, I felt a loss of breath. But my little ones only felt excitement and before I could grasp their hands and say no, they were gone, up the stairs, eager to take it on. I resisted the urge to stop them and watched as they climbed the stairs to the top. I sat on one of the lounge chairs, pretending to not be worried, anxiously waiting as they came down. Swoosh! Down came the 6-year-old. Swoosh!, down came his 7-year-old brother shortly after. I watched as they effortlessly swam out of the pool, paused, looked at each other, and then simultaneously laughed out loud. “That was the coolest ever! Let’s go again!” And just like that, I was hit with the realization that my children had grown bigger and more adventurous, since the last time I had the opportunity to stop and absorb it all.
This travel post is part of a host agreement.
A couple of weekends ago I headed out to join a group of fellow bloggers to give New Jersey beaches a shout out. Weather-wise it wasn’t the best weekend. We’ve been experiencing lots of rain lately, and though I was hoping for some serious beach time, Mother Nature had her own plans.
Nevertheless, I joined the group, made up of bloggers who are part of the Social Media Moms and New Jersey Digital Moms groups, and under the #JerseyLove hashtag shared information on Belmar, NJ, one of the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, as well as Caesars Palace and Atlantic City, not as hard hit by Sandy, but affected by the media’s misrepresentation of the damage to their boardwalk area – which was close to none in comparison to other areas of the Jersey coast, affecting their tourism.
I have made it my mission to make sure that beach lovers know that despite Hurricane Sandy, despite all the devastation she left behind in New Jersey, many have worked hard to bring the shore back to life and help local businesses strive once again.
And just weeks away from summer, the Jersey Shore now is OPEN, the region is coming back with favorites and offering the classic tastes and treats all summer long for you to enjoy first-hand. To ensure you have the opportunity to experience all that the shore has to offer, region residents and business owners are hosting four upcoming events this month of June (2013).
Image from: The Guardian’s “Hashtags: From Twitter to Facebook“
Sometime in January of 2009, only a month after I started blogging, I was invited to a blogger event. The invite said, “Stay connected by following us on Twitter!” I cringed and thought, “What is Twitter?” and then after checking it out thought, “Why would anyone want to use this? What a mess of information overload!”
By the end of that week, I was hooked. I loved everything about Twitter. My love for Twitter was such, that at one point I said to my friends caught up in some Facebook drama, and in awe of my absolute cluelessness of it all, that, “If it didn’t happen on my Twitter stream, it didn’t happen.”
Only a few more weeks before we head out on our summer road trip! I am joining up with The Motherhood on a Capital One sponsored Twitter party to talk about saving money this travel season, because truth is before all of it can come to fruition, there is a lot of planning involved. Planning not just on what destination, or what hotel, but also how much money is needed. Traveling with a family of five is not easy on the budget, and requires a lot of planning.
Take our road trip for example. We researched the cost of our flight from JFK to Seattle months ago, before Thanksgiving! And we started watching our spending and calculating our budget once we had a number. We didn’t wait till the last-minute to purchase our ticket (and we bit the bullet and reserved a red-eye flight) and saved some money there.
Last fall I was invited by the American Diary Association & Dairy Council (ADADC) to learn about and visit local New York state dairy farmers. This visit was an important one for me because during the time of my visit there was a lot of talk going on online and in the news about farming practices and ways in which animals were treated and fed. As a parent, I have been working on making changes in my home to improve the quality of the foods and products that I feed my family.
In saying this however, I realize that having the choice is, in and of itself, a luxury. The truth is that, despite what advocates for organic and non-processed foods say, eating “healthier” in this country is expensive. It is a luxury – both in access and in affordability – that not many families can afford.
I learned so much from my recent visit to Mexico City, like for example, 4 days is not enough.
Unfortunately, that’s how long I was there, though thanks to the hospitality of the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico City, I got to see a lot in that short period of time!
One thing I realized right away is that Mexico City is massive! Over 8 million people live in a city that was once much smaller, built on an island on Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325, and was known as Tenochtitlan. Mexico City is also way more cosmopolitan than some imagine. At certain instances during my visit it felt as if I was driving down the Champs Élysées (along Paseo de La Reforma), walking past cafés in a trendy neighborhood in Madrid (along Colonia Roma), or taking a stroll near NYC’s Central Park (along Bosque de Chapultepec, also known as Mexico’s “lungs”).
“Why are you going to Richmond?”
I got asked this question so many more times than I care to remember before taking the hour and a half flight from Newark into Virginia’s capital.
Mainly because I have learned that often times some of the best experiences can be found in the places you least expect to find them, and because I was invited by Richmond Regional Tourism to eat…and I love to eat!
I kind of expected to taste some pretty yummy food, but what I didn’t expect was that I would meet such passionate people, who in this community not only all know each other but also really support each other.
I am always looking for new places to eat in NYC because it’s fun and because people are always wanting to try something new when they visit here. When those new eateries pop up in parts of town where good eateries are so hard to come by, even better!
The Westin New York Grand Central is pretty new to its East 42nd digs. Walk into the main lobby and you can still see the shine and glitter. Of course, the standard Westin scent welcomes return visitors to the brand, such as myself, making us feel immediately comfortable and familiar no matter what the destination.
But aside from all the things that we love about Westin that we are sure to experience from just walking in, they also have now launched a new eatery and bar, which on the night of my visit wasn’t just a place for tourists to mingle, but also a few New Yorkers looking to grab an after hours drink.
Oh, New Jersey. You never cease to amaze me. We’ve enjoyed finding more and more ways to spend time outdoors, in nature. But most of all, we’ve been able to enjoy it all at minimal cost, if not free. We’ve such enjoyed these awesome finds that when we aren’t traveling or running around doing errands, we delight in the opportunity to discover something new.
This past weekend was no exception and our newest discovery led us to Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ. Duke Farms is 2,740 acres of diverse, protected, and beautifully preserved habitats, and is one of largest privately owned parcels of undeveloped land in the state, owned and managed by The Duke Farms Foundation.