Archive for the ‘Vacations’ Category

The Vacation Attraction Planner

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Many families, time and money willing, plan a summer getaway to, well, anywhere else. Whether you’re going to Paris, France or Paris, Texas, if you’re taking the kids with you, you’re going to have to figure out how to keep them entertained. For some destinations, that can be as simple as heading for the hotel pool to splash the hours away or letting them loose to roam the campsite creating their own adventures.

If hanging out at the hotel all day doesn’t tickle your fancy and you’re not headed for the great outdoors, then you’re going to need to come up with some activities and destinations that will keep them interested and engaged. The idea is to prevent the constant wailing and whining of “I’m bored”. So what’s the best way to figure out what your kids will want to see and do? I say ask ’em!


The WiFi Treasure Hunt

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

787337_96637039_400x300I have a friend who owns a vacation home near Lake Tahoe and, being pretty much the most generous person in the world, he lets us stay there when he’s not using it.  We took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend and went up for a quick break.  We weren’t expecting great weather so we planned on just hanging out, enjoying the views, and relaxing quietly. We drove up on Saturday and after unloading the car and putting groceries away, the kids started in on a game of Monopoly.  That kept them busy for a while — long enough for me to learn that my laptop’s hard drive had died.  It also kept them away from their tablets long enough that they didn’t think to ask for the WiFi password until bedtime.  With a promise that they would get the password in the morning, they quickly turned in for the night.


A Summer of Cinema

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Has summer vacation snuck up on you as it has the rest of us?  Are you staring at three months of “I’m bored!” and wracking your brain (and searching the internet) for activities that will keep them busy and happy without driving you insane or sending you to the poorhouse?  Are you looking at the cost of summer camps and wondering how much your kidney would sell for — assuming you could even find a spot at any price?  Well, help is here.


Daddy’s Day Off

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

As a parent, one gets used to the idea that if you’re not working, you’re taking care of your kids.  It is a very rare event to have more than a few minutes to oneself without some sort of activity taking place or task that needs to be accomplished.  Sure, you can get a babysitter now and then or take turns having a mom’s and dad’s night out, but, really, one’s life is, for the most part, put on hold when one has kids.  So when I found myself in the odd position of having a day off with no kids and nothing I desperately needed to do, I began pondering the many options I had to amuse myself for the day.

Naturally, it didn’t quite work out the way I’d planned it.


Toddlers Versus The TSA

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

By now, I’m sure just about everyone has heard about the three-year-old that was “hand-searched” by TSA agents after she got upset about having her teddy bear taken away.  It turned out that the girl’s father was a TV reporter; he pulled out his cellphone and recorded the search.  (The video has since been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement.)

As you might expect, the opinions on this are all over the place, ranging from “this is sexual molestation of children!” to “if we don’t search children, the terrorists will put bombs in their diapers!”  I think reality is somewhere in the middle — I suspect the parents could have done better job of preparing their child for the process but I also think the TSA is probably ill-prepared and poorly-trained to handle such situations.


Fudging The Number Of Kids On Vacation

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

We’re planning a family holiday at Disneyland later this summer and when booking our hotel room we had to pay a little more for a larger room, now that there are five of us.  Sure, the older two can share a bed and the baby can sleep with Safari Mom and me, but the hotel doesn’t allow that.  Five people means the larger, more expensive room, whether we like it or not.  But what if I had simply not mentioned the baby and reserved the regular size room?  Could I have gotten away with it and saved myself some money?  Turns out the answer is a resounding yes. And no.