Traveling with kids

MMMM…Walt Disney World

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Johnny bit my finger

Last month we had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World for four nights. We had a great time hanging out as a family at the park and at the pool. The last time we were here was November of 2015 and we were all itching to go back. I’ve written up a few reviews previously so I’ll only focus on a few meals we had while there. Continue reading

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Making Cofffeeee

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Kona Coffee on my in-laws farm is truly a labor of love. Except for the husking and roasting the rest of the process is 100% manual. When we were visiting last week we had a chance to help harvest some of the trees. They have a small stand of some 50 or so, and can produce a fair share of real Kona Coffee right here on the Kona Coast each year. It’s a pretty cool process to watch and participate in (although I really only watched), my wife and daughter did all the harvesting. Continue reading

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Review: The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

For our 10 year anniversary we had lots of choices of places to stay in Maui, I was trying to stay at one of the Starwood properties, there are three here. Initially we had booked using points to stay at the Sheraton Ka’anapali Resort, it was close to $300 per night so we opted to use points instead and on a 5 night stay we got the room for 8k Starpoints per night instead of the usual 12k. Being a hotel it appeared to have the usual amenities, was on the beach, had a kids club and offered free breakfast for SPG Platinum guests.

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Lobby reception

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Categories: Family, Hawaii, Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The power of the schedule change

Sadly vacation must always come to an end, and ours finally did on Sunday. We had initially booked these tickets to/from Hawaii on Delta, back in December. The trip was for September 5 to 14 and was a simple roundtrip to/from Maui from SFO via LAX. This was part of the crazy mistake fare that lasted some 5 hours where Delta was selling tickets to/from anywhere in the US for tens of dollars per ticket. In some cases the tickets were in first class to boot.

We were lucky enough to score two sets of these tickets the others were used to get to Orlando back in May, and cost about $100 for three coach tickets all in. These were just a bit more at $150 all in for three tickets and included the short segment in first. Sure first class to Hawaii would have been cool, but $150 for three tickets all in sure is great too, so I’ll take it.

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Categories: Airlines, Delta, Hawaii, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in your backpack? (What to bring when flying with kiddos)

As a parent of a three year old daughter who’s not only precocious, but not one that’s interested in sitting still, and who’d rather play preparing for a plane trip can be intimidating. At home getting her to sit down for anything other than a meal or TV is nearly impossible. Now I know I’m not the only parent that has this dilemma, it’s a pretty common one in fact. Kids like to play, run around and just do stuff. And frankly that’s what I want her to do. It’s an important part of her child development.  Besides they can get bored easily, so having a slew of entertainment is important regardless of the situation. I’m not an expert in picking travel distractions, but with at least 15 air trips with our kid since she was eight weeks old, and taking three major international trips to the Maldives, Australia and London. I can at least say I’ve learned a few nuggets of information worthy of sharing.

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The travel backpack

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Aloha Again Hawaii

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10 years has flown by. Before a selfie was a selfie

Vacation is finally here! I know it may seem I’m perpetually on vacation, but that’s not really the case. I’m fortunate to get almost four weeks off per year, so that allows us to plan a few trips each year. The last couple years we’ve done two two week trips, but this year we switched it up and decided to take three one week ones instead. So this time around were going to Hawaii. Wait, hang on, if you read this blog regularly, you might be thinking that we went there already this year, and we did. But that was only for the weekend. This trip is a bit longer, and were going to two different islands this time since we like to island hop.

In any event I’m incredibly excited to be on vacation, for many reasons but mainly because I get to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary. It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been 10 years, it really doesn’t seem like that long. Even though we have so many aspirational places we want to visit, Hawaii always makes the list, because it’s such a fun place. There’s so much to do, the scenery, beaches and food are outstanding and it’s close to home. We wanted to do something fun and close to home and a place our daughter would enjoy too, so when it came to places to vacation, Hawaii was top of the list.

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Our entire wedding party. We all were so young!!

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Categories: Family, Hawaii, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts on The Hilton Hawaiian Village – Waikiki Beach

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The fountain view from 35 stories up

The family and I recently spent a cup of coffee at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu. Unfortunately I didn’t get a single picture of our 1 Bedroom Suite in the Diamond Head tower. I usually try to do this but with five of us staying here and with so much excitement to get to the beach as soon as we walked into the room our bags exploded and the room was a mess. That being said I can at least provide you with some insight into the property and my thoughts about staying here.

First off let me tell you that this property is HUGE. It’s the largest Hilton property with almost 4000 rooms on 22 acres of beachfront property. I’m not sure how many high-rise buildings are on the property, but I’d say it’s close to 10. Additionally there are over 22 restaurants on site, tons of stores to shop in, two ABC Stores, Three Starbucks and a pear tree. Continue reading

Categories: Hawaii, Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Catching the Aloha spirit on Alaska Airlines

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Aloha here we come

Last week my family and I had the pleasure of flying Alaska Airlines to Honolulu, Hawaii. It was my first time flying Alaska in first class on a flight longer the two hours, and my wife and daughters first flights on Alaska. We flew them from Oakland, California on their direct flight. They also offer connecting service via Portland, Seattle and most LA airports too. They may not offer as many flights per day as say Delta, American or United, but they most likely offer more destinations from more airports, since the big three really only offer service from their hubs in LA, SFO and  Seattle whereas Alaska offers service from almost all major West Coast cities. From the Bay Area Alaska flies to the four major islands in Hawaii (Oahu, Big Island, Maui and Kauai). We bought the tickets about six weeks ago using their Bank of America Visa buy one ticket get one for $99 plus tax. 

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Categories: Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Food, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:
Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW
Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay
Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my!
Wandering the parks

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Hotel map

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Categories: Disney, Hotels, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Trip Report, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Review: WDW Magic Bands

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:

Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW

Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay

Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Well the test of Disney Magic Bands is now no longer a test as of April 30th it is now available to anyone that goes to any of the Walt Disney World Parks. They have been testing it for almost a year for hotel guests and annual pass holders, but now any guest that wants to fork over the $12.95 for a Magic Band can do so and take advantage of the perks.

My family was at the WDW for eight nights in early May and because we had booked a room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge we had the opportunity to pre-order the bands and have them sent to our home or directly to the hotel, and because we were a guest the bands were free. The perk itself is pretty cool. It allows you to do several things from open your room door, pay for meals and souvenirs, get into the park (if you link your park ticket to your My Magic account) and also make Fast Pass reservations up to 60 days in advance.

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Forget pin trading buy a band

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Categories: Disney, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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