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Local Treks

Monday, 09 March 2009

Maple Sugaring Festival

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My friend Sara is a genius at finding great things to do with the kids.  I get to say that because she's not writing this post herself.  But it's true, she is.  Her formula is pretty simple - check the local community papers first.  Find the parks and nature centers, look for the stuff that seems a little off the beaten track.

A good (and muddy) example would be this weekend's annual Maple Sugar Day in the Wissahickon Park section of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park.  Based on the expressions of passers by on the very popular Forbidden Lane [...]More

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

How to Safety Hack a Hotel Room

[Welcome new travel guide Erika S.!]

Before I started traveling with my toddler I scoured the internet for tips as to how to ease traveling.  Now that I have traveled to Asia, Europe and several American cities with my son, who is under 3, I have realized many of the tips weren’t useful.  The main pieces of advice about hotels rooms were to remove breakables and to tape over outlets.  First, most hotel rooms don’t feature many breakables.  Generally they are filled with items that are perfect for breaking your child, like glass topped coffee tables and unstable chairs.  Second, I have never been a hotel rooms that has featured an empty electrical plug.  By the time I have plugged in the mobile phones, cameras, and lap tops, I have typically run out of plugs.  In fact in most rooms I really need a powerstrip rather than outlet covers.  However, I have discovered that there are a few strategies to securing a

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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

This is an important historical event, so sit down and be quiet!

Scenes from Inauguration Day:

"I'm staying on the train FOREVER"

"Can I have a flag?"

"You HAVE TO wear your coat."

"But I want a flag!!!!"

"No, we're not going that w---No, we don't bother the policemen!  Come here!"

"Hey Nineteen, it's 'Retha Franklin"

"Mom, is she playing Rock Band?"

"Mom, it's Rock Obama!"

"Watch me Mommy!!!"

"Here, just sit down and watch Hulu, I'm tired of holding you."

"Can I watch Wall-E Mom PPPLLLLLEEEEEAAASSE??!?"

You can watch Wall-E at home for the 5,376th time, but there's only one chance to get on an SRO metro train, spend hours shoving our way through the crowd in the cold, and be there for history (the nice kind of history making, without blood or death).

Because of where we work, we had the opportunity to be a block from the Mall and inside…we watched the Inauguration on TV, like pretty much everyone else, but on TV from where it was happening.  There was such a palpable vibe of EVENT that I ended up [...]More

Thursday, 15 January 2009

zOMG: Playmobile for the Young Traveller

Ok, points go to my dear friend Charlotte (and her ultra-adorable son) for finding the Playmobile Security Checkpoint and passing it along. 

DO READ THE COMMENTS.  41g9wa5nrdl._sl500_aa280_.jpg

Yes, I am torn between finding this funny and not funny.  The comments, though?  Read.

That is all.


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Friday, 02 January 2009

Notes to self: On going home for the holidays

Things to remember for next year:
  1. Shop for gifts at my destination.  I live in Tennessee, which has an 8% (or more) sales tax, but went to Pennsylvania which has a 6% sales tax.  Better yet, we didn't have to haul gifts.  Sure, it made for a little more stress, but weigh that against packing your kid's toys, sleeping arrangements, clothes, and other stuff with you plus gifts that can't get smooshed.  If you're flying (we weren't), you can't wrap until you get there anyway.

  2. Stay in one place the whole time, and only make day visits to family and friends.  We haven't sold our house in PA yet, so we stayed there.  We have also stayed in hotels while visiting family, which perplexes them more than offends.  We can let my daughter run free in an empty house, turn the heat up as high as we want (my mother turns the heat up to 65 for guests….), and put my daughter to bed at night in the
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