Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Journey Behind Niagara Falls

On labor Day  weekend last month (Sept. 1-3), we decided to cross the border.  We have never visited  Niagara Falls before so this was a spontaneous trip  that we thought would be fun.  We live in the Mountain State so it took us a little over 4 hours of driving to  reach Toronto.  I previously suggested to just go on the New York side so  our business stays in the US but hubby said it would be a chance to see part of Canada since we haven't been there, so that's what we ended up doing.
We did the tour offered by the hotel where we stayed in so after  an hour or so rest upon checking in, we explored a 3-hour scenic  tour around Niagara Falls.  Since it was on a holiday weekend, it was a bit pricey but we really did not a have a choice because we will only be there for a day so we took that option.
The good thing about going on this VIP tours is that you'll get the VIP treatment which means, you don't have to fall in the long lines.  The professional tour guide  arranged all of the things that needs to be done so you can just enjoy the journey. 
Seeing the Falls is really breathtaking.  I have seen so many  pictures and videos of it but it is quite different seeing it for real in person.
I am glad that they allow camera, we got to take some pictures behind the Falls although it was misty.
There were so many people so  taking pictures  takes time as you have to wait  for other people to  clear up a spot but we managed to get some.
The tour guide did not go with us by the Falls but we have limited time to see everything and  get back to the bus.

I was in awe  looking at the Falls but at the same time I always  have  fear of seeing the  force in water.  I grew up in a coastal area so I am used to water but a tidal wave wiped out everything we had when  I was 10 years old so that traumatic experience  stuck with me.
Niagara Falls is one of the places in our bucket list so we are so happy that we got to see it this year. 
Traveling  is not cheap, as  a family of four, it's quite expensive actually for an average-income earner family but we love doing it.  We want our kids to have  good experiences through traveling to places.  This is something both hubby and I never experienced when we were kids so we want our children to have a different experience than us.  We still have a lot of places that we want to  travel so hopefully we will get the chance to do it in the future.  

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Best Child-Friendly Travel Destinations

When you have young kids or teenagers, it can be difficult to plan a vacation that everyone will enjoy. Sometimes it feels so impossible; families decide to boycott heading abroad, settling for a nearby location. While this may make you, the parents, feel safer, you are taking away your chance, and your kid’s chance, of experiencing and seeing the world.
If you want to head abroad, here are the best child-friendly travel destinations.
NIagara Falls, Toronto Canada - Sept. 2018

Edinburgh, Scotland
Sometimes heading to a capital city can leave parents worried, wondering if it’s too big for their kids to handle; however, Edinburgh is big enough to keep you and your children entertained, but small enough so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Edinburgh is notorious for its major festivals throughout the year, including the Fringe festival or the science festival. Other major points of interest include the Museum of Childhood, the Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street, and the Old Town. For a relaxing day, though, head to Holyrood Park, where you can walk, cycle or simply look at the loch.

Florida, USA
When you think Florida, you will, of course, concoct visions of theme parks and Disney World. You’ll also dream about sunny weather and beaches galore, for both parents and kids to relax and sunbathe on. If you want to explore, though, you can visit the Shuttle Launch Experience which can be found at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, or you can grab a vehicle from a trusted car rental and drive to the Everglades National Park so that the whole family can see alligators and the subtropical wilderness.
Disney World Florida
Toronto, Canada
Toronto will wow your kids, with its abundance of child-friendly activities, such as ascending the famous CN Tower or seeing dinosaur bones at the ROM. You can also visit Chinatown and the Kensington Market, or see the glittering skyline from afar when the sun dips. The main attraction, however, is Niagara Falls, which will be a wet and wild experience for all family members to enjoy and remember for years to come.
Niagara Falls

North Island, New Zealand
While the North Island may not have snow-capped mountains, it does still offer dramatic and beautiful views you’ll never forget. Plus, it is difficult to separate New Zealand from Lord of the Rings, so be prepared to recognize rolling, green hills, hobbit houses, and vivid vistas. Popular places of interest include Rotorua, Waitomo, and Wellington.

Tokyo, Japan
Japan itself can seem like a giant playground. With neon lights and anime seemingly everywhere, kids can settle quickly and be kept entertained incredibly easily. If your children are avid gamers or fans of Pokémon, then the Pokémon Center is right up your street – just be prepared to have to buy a few plushies! If you have teenagers, you can take them to Akihabara, the Electric District, where the latest gadgets and geek culture can be found. Mount Fuji and the beautiful Nikko are also only a short drive or train journey away if you’re after a more traditional view of Japan.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

How to Plan the Perfect Family Trip

Family trips are great ways to bond, make beautiful memories, and teach your children more about the world and the people within it. They also tend to be very stressful. In some cases, you might just be tempted to go to a destination entirely directed to your kids. However, this is a mistake for several reasons. One, you don’t get to enjoy the trip nearly as much, and two, you don’t get to bond together as a family. Family vacations should be about learning and growing together, and to perfect your next family trip, all you need to do is follow these steps.

Choose Kid-Friendly Destinations
Kid-friendly destinations are not just theme parks or resorts. A kid-friendly destination is anywhere in the world that will accept children. To put this into perspective, everywhere except adults-only entertainment venues, like casinos. Your children will have as much fun exploring a new city as you will, so don’t ever hold back when choosing your next destination. Adult-only venues are geared for adults, and far too many kid-venues today are geared just towards children. To vacation together as a family, choose a middle-ground.

Make Use of Child Discounts as Much as Possible
Wherever you choose to go, whether that is to a camping trip or a theme park or even to an ancient city like Rome, always check in advance what child discounts there are. Doing so can help you prepare your budget accordingly and can help you save a few bucks in return.

Rent Out a Vacation Home
As any parent can attest, renting out a hotel or motel room with kids is a nightmare. They either need to stay on cots on the floor, in bed with you or in another hotel room. It can cause discomfort, and it can hit your travel budget significantly. That is why all families should start skipping the traditional hotel and instead aim to rent a property while they are away on vacation. It can be quite economical, allow everyone to have their own sleeping arrangements, and if you need it, a kitchen to make home-cooked food. Vacation homes can be found around the world on VacationRenter, allowing you to enjoy a home-away-from-home on your next big family trip.

Switch Up Your Schedule and Take Plenty of Breaks
When exploring a city or even having a beach vacation, it is important to switch up your schedule. Having a beach day is fun, but remember to go through a market in the afternoon or go on a tour in the morning. This way your trip can be full, varied, and interesting. When you plan for these big trips, however, remember to take into account your child’s stamina. They might be bouncing off the walls in the morning, but as the day goes on, they might need a nap. By taking plenty of breaks, you can help everyone to recoup their energy to enjoy the highlights of your trip that much more.

Family trips need to be fun for the whole family, and by following this guide, you can make that happen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Our Relaxing Stay at Homewood Suites in Florence Kentucky

During our 2 days adventure in Kentucky, we stayed at Homewood Suites.  We chose  this  hotel accommodation because we liked it when we stayed with them during our vacation in San Antonio Texas few years ago.
When you have kids, having  a complimentary breakfast is a big plus.    Homewood Suites  always has a nice selection of  breakfast in their  morning menus.  
The room was very spacious, it's a perfect  place to stay if you have  small tots that loves to run around as there is plenty of space.
I also love the fact that they have a sofa bed  which  the kids always use.
The kitchen is complete with  tools and wares for use.
We never used the coffee as we always have our coffee at the  breakfast bar.
I was very impressed that they even  wash the dishes for you if you forget to  run the dishwasher.
Although, we did not  plan to cook there, it was nice having the kitchen because we meet up with a family friend and we  had  plates and silverware to use for our snacks.
Homewood Suites  truly  know that Home is where the heart is. They understand that even  when you travel you still long for the comfort of the home that's why they work harder to make you feel at home by offering their  guests with resourcefulness and flexibility.  I love that about them.  This is our second time staying with them and they never disappoint us.
I love the bathroom!  I wish our bathroom is that big lol.
The mirror has a built-in touch lamp in it, it was pretty cool.
There was a huge  closet to hang clothes, they even have iron and ironing board.
We only stay there for a couple of days and  I highly recommend them. 
They have an indoor poor with jacuzzi.  The kids love the swimming pool, they had some place to swim after a long day of stroll outdoors.
Their employees are really nice and courteous.  I noticed that most of them are hispanic.  
The lobby area is pretty big too.  I just didn't like that the indoor swimming pool is  near the lobby/reception area.  You can smell the  bleach when you come in but other than that, it's an over all  nice play to stay.
I love staying at a place like this because you feel at home.  I think it is a perfect place to stay especially if you are staying longer.
The day we checked in, the receptionist informed us that they are serving a free dinner which was a nice surprise.
If we ever go back to Florence Kentucky, we would surely stay at this hotel again.  Their price is decent.  I am NOT in anyway compensated for this post, I just want to share our great experience with them.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

LifeGuards: Guarding All Life

The July 4th parade in Weirton was held  a bit early this year.  It was held on June the 30th, a couple of days before we went on a vacation.  I am glad they did it earlier because we got to participate  to one of the groups, the Pro Life Association.     This is our first time being part of the parade so we were all  excited.
All of us were wearing a shirt that says "Lifeguard" on the front and "Guarding All Life" at the back.
I understand that this is a very sensitive issue to some but I feel like  we have to stand up for the  protection of the unborn too.  I also understand the predicament that women faces when they are in a situation where they were forced against their will but at least they have the voice  to express their opinions.  The unborn has no voice so if no one will stand up for them, they will always be the victim. 
Anyway, we went early because the start of the parade  has no parking space so we had to park all the way downtown  and then walk to the starting point.
We  had fun on our walk.  We have never  walked on this part of the city so it was nice seeing  it.
For the previous years, we  have  witnessed some people  harassing the Pro Life group where they  verbally  abused Nuns and other religious people that  is part of the  group.  I am glad that this year, there was none of that, at least I did not see any. 
I think that  because there were many children in our group, the pro-choice people  did not say anything which I  was very thankful of.  The kids were were reading some statistics and facts about the impact of  abortion as the parade goes.
Most of the people that we knew at the Pro-Life group were from our  children's school.
Some of the Moms I know from church and school were there too so I felt very comfortable joining.
My husband was tasked to hold  the banner along with another guy.
I was really surprised that there were so many Pro-Life people  who joined this year.  There's not usually this big  from the previous years.
"Beach or no beach, we need lifeguards", some of the  signs that other people brought to the parade.

We would love to join again next year if given the chance.  Our children felt  awesome after  attending this one.  They feel like  they have done  something to raise awareness for the protection of the unborn.


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