What I Learned This Summer….

End-Of-SummerIn just a few short days Labor Day will upon us and bring with it the (sad) unofficial end to summer.  In exactly one week from today the pressures of back-to-school, including new teachers, new friends and homework along with hectic schedules of kids’ activities will once again begin in our household.


The kidlets are enjoying their last few days of summer by jamming in as much carefree fun time as possible – hanging with friends, playing sports, swimming and sleeping in!

I’m also getting ready by taking a few deep breaths to help find my “happy place” before the insanity of the school year begins. Part of that is taking a look back at all the fun and adventures we had as a family this summer.

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A Day At The Beach – Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Family Fun Place Pass Giveaway

JenksAmbassadorButton-250x250To me, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than at the beach. I love nothing more than having my toes in the sand, splashing around in the waves and sitting on the beach for some, what I call, “golden goddess” time – but covered in 40+ sun block and wearing a big floppy hat & sunglasses, of course!

I’ve been a faithful patron of the Jersey shore since I spent my first summer there when I was six. So if you do the math (and I beg you please not to!), I’ve been frolicking in the sand and surf there for some 36 years. In fact, the family did an overnight trip to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant Beach last week to celebrate my birthday.

Whether you’re a day-tripper or planning an extended stay, Jenkinson’s is a great family friendly beach and boardwalk destination. You will definitely find something here to excite each member of your family.

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Splish-Splash! Visiting Schlitterbahn & Family Tips for Visiting Waterparks This Summer

Summertime is here and that means lots of fun times are ahead with family and friends! We just got back from our first big trip of the summer – Texas!  I know, who goes to scorching hot Texas in the middle of summer – but we do.  We visited with family and took a road trip from Houston to San Antonio.  Along the way we checked out the Alamo, walked through Natural Bridge Caverns, tubed down the Comal River and spent an awesome day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort.

THM_WaterParkTips_Schlitterbahn_4The family after a long and fun day at Schlitterbahn – outside the main entrance.

Located in New Braunfels, TX — which is just outside of San Antonio — Schlitterbahn is a family friendly waterpark.  In addition to New Braunfels, they have a few other locations scattered around Texas — in South Padre Island, Galveston, Corpus Christi — and one located out-of-state, “up north,” in Kansas City, KS.

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#JerseyStrong at the Jersey Shore, Visiting Seaside Heights

This past weekend we made our first trip down to the Jersey shore since Superstorm Sandy. We spent the day visiting one of the hardest hit beach resort areas, Seaside Heights. Before the storm, most Americans knew it as the place where that MTV show “Jersey Shore” took place. After the storm, most Americans knew Seaside by the sights of the Jet Star roller coaster and Ferris wheel sitting in the Atlantic Ocean.

Even though I saw President Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie on TV last week touting that Seaside was back in business for the 2013 summer season, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was a little apprehensive about visiting and even tried talking The Hubs out of going there.


The kidlets pointing out where their favorite rides once were on the Funtown Pier

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A Serious Case of the Winter Doldrums

After a brief tease of warm, spring-y like temperatures here in the northeast the past few days, winter has reared its mischievous head again and this morning blanketed our area with a coating of snow.   There wasn’t too much of an accumulation only 2 inches or so, not enough for a snow day, but just enough to wreak havoc with each of my kidlet’s school openings as well as my commute into NYC to work. BAu_qrmCEAEKAM1

Footsteps in the snowy/slushy mix that met me at the train station this morning

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After The Storm…

This is a familiar sight in my neighborhood since Hurricane Sandy blew in last week.

My family is very fortunate.   No one in my family was hurt, no trees slammed into our home and there was no water in our basement.   We were without power and hot water for five very cold days, but unlike many others along the Jersey coast, lower Manhattan, Long Island, Staten Island and even Connecticut – we are lucky that we still have a home.Continue reading ⇒

My Love-Hate Relationship With Vacation

I love vacations!  They’re my number one way to de-stress, re-charge and spend some quality time with people I care about and do things that my family really enjoys doing.

I also hate vacations!  Leading up to the actual vacation is always stressful for me and a flurry of activity.  First there’s all the research of what to do and where to go, factoring all the opinions (sometimes unwanted) of family members and/or friends on trip choices and booking the trip. Then there is the packing – clothes packing for me, the kidlets & The Hubs, books & toys, the various house supplies we’ll need and don’t forget the “in case of” stuff, which as parents you are required to have with you.

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The Sounds Of Summer

Oh the joys of summer!  As we get ready for our annual beach vacation, I’m making sure that The Hubs is loading up the iPod with lots of great music to help set the mood.  Chances are most people have a song or songs that remind them of summer.   I certainly have my favorites; mostly they’re tunes from when I was growing up.  Hearing those songs instantly take me back to a carefree time in my life where my biggest decisions during the summer months either revolved around what toy to play with or bathing suit to wear.

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Hi, Ho, The Rodeo!

Recently, after months of planning, my family took a trip to Texas to visit the Hubs’ younger brother and his wife.  The kidlets had not seen their Uncle T and Aunt B since August 2010 when we were in Colorado to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Hub’s grandmother.   At that time our son was not yet three and our daughter just 10 months old, so traveling was a major ordeal, and required packing lots of stuff and putting up with lots of drama.  Now that the kidlets are a bit older, both fully potty trained, eating solid food and sleeping in actual beds, a real vacation sounded more like fun and less like joining the army with all the equipment we’d have to bring along.  When the Hub’s brother suggested we come down in early March to attend the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, we immediately booked our tickets.

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A Trip To The Little Creamery In Brenham – A Story Of Ice Cream Making, Texas-Style!

The best part of having family spread out across the country is that we have lots of excuses to take the kidlets to places we otherwise might not go to.  Since the Hubs has a married brother in Texas and the weather was getting warmer, it was the perfect excuse to pack up and head down to the Lone Star State. The highlight of our trip, besides all of the quality time spent with Uncle T and Aunt B of course, was our day at the Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show. I’ll be sharing the details of that later this week, but today is all about our tour of the Blue Bell Creameries located in Brenham, TX and the yummy ice cream we saw made, and best of all, got to eat! YUM!

Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, TX

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