The Posh Blog
It’s Time for Selfie-Less Travel!
Tired of missing great moments in your vacation because you’re distracted by posting to social media? Well, problem solved! Los Angeles-based Bruvion Travel is now providing “Selfie-less Travel.” A new service allowing travelers to spend more time enjoying their vacation and less time worrying about capturing the perfect moments!
How does it work? Good question! With Selfie-less Travel, taking advantage of this perk means you get access to your very own Social Media Travel Assistant who will handle your social media grunt work. From making sure photos are flattering to highlighting the best aspects of one’s travels, you won’t have to lift a finger!
24/7 Social Media Travel Assistant
This full-service package offers around the clock access to your very own social media travel assistant. Designed to keep you engaged in every aspect of your vacation from the first class champagne toast to iconic landmark photos, the 24/7 Assistant will focus on capturing and documenting every aspect of your vacation, editing photos and sharing those memories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Not just a social media expert, all 24/7 Assistants are well-versed in both photography and photo editing. This means they make sure you look your absolute best in every post! These assistants are even available for multi-leg trips.
Local Social Media Guru Guide
If you’re looking to capture select highlights of your vacation, Bruvion offers a Local Social Media Guru. Based in the destination where you’re going, this vetted local Guru will spend the day capturing and sharing memories. Not only will they follow you around throughout the day papparazzi-style, they’ll ensure you’re hitting the right spots at the right times.
Are you in need of a social media assistant when you travel? Will you be taking advantage of this new service? Let us know in the comments below!
photo credit: Susanne Nilsson via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photo credit: David Blackwell. via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: Bruvion Travel
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/19 at 08:30 AM
Going on Vacation? Try a Vacation Home!
When it comes to family vacations, home really is where the heart is! According to new research released by luxury destination club Inspirato with American Express, families are among the heaviest users of vacation home rentals this year, representing 56 percent of all vacation home rental lodgers. Families are also more likely to value the benefits of vacation homes than other overall travelers.
The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Inspirato among over 2,000 adults in June, also provided insight into which benefits unique to vacation homes are most valued by traveling families.
According to the survey, 93 percent of all those traveling with families cited “having privacy” as important or very important. Next on the list was “having space to spread out” with 83 percent of families citing it as important or very important. The third most important benefit was the “ability to stay with children and/or family and/or friends under one roof,” with 82 percent citing it as important or very important.
Several other benefits largely unique to vacation home rentals were all also cited as being important or very important to more than half of traveling families, including providing guests a more authentic destination experience, having common areas to accommodate groups of people and having a private kitchen to prepare meals.
No matter what type of vacation experience you’re looking for, Inspirato Signature Residences provides the perfect setting for enjoying life’s best moments! Ranging from elegant homes in Grand Cayman, to stylish four-bedroom residences overlooking the mountain in Vail, to cliffside villas with private infinity pools in Costa Rica, each combines the space and comfort of a private vacation home with the five-star service of a luxury resort. Unlike typical online vacation rental agents that broker third-party homes, Inspirato fully manages and controls each Signature Residence and invests an average of $50,000 in furnishings, fine bed and bath linens and other upgrades so each home is the pinnacle of luxury.
Of course, you need to be an Inspirato with American Express Member in order to access the Signature Residences, but with the perks like your own Personal Vacation Advisor and Destination Concierge, how can you say no?
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/16 at 11:24 AM
5 Best Resorts for Luxury Family Vacations
Summer’s over, the kids are back in school, and it’s time to start planning for a restful vacation to recover from that stress! This week we’ve done a little research and put together a list of five of the most luxurious, most fun and most relaxing resorts in the country. But, don’t worry, all our suggestions are family-friendly and kid-approved!
Gorgeous Ghost Town
For a little rustic goodness—while still preserving the luxury—try Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado. Forbes even included it in the 10 Coolest All-Inclusive Vacations list—and for good reason! A refurbished genuine ghost town located high in the San Juan Mountains in the Colorado Rockies, the authentic log cabins and cottages are hand built (sometimes by miners themselves!) while the interiors have all the perks you could want for a luxury vacation. Just like the old mining town that was here before, there is a saloon, dance hall, bath house, open air chapel and lush waterfall for you to enjoy. A highlight at Dunton Hot Springs is the natural hot springs where you can soak in the bicarbonate water. It helps to improve circulation and promotes healthy skin! Other activities include nature hikes, heli-skiing, fly fishing, yoga and guided horseback rides. Want to see a little more? Check out their streaming live feed!
Giraffe’s for Breakfast
Wake up, brush your teeth, open up the resort room curtains and there’s a giraffe! The Kissimmee Florida Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the only upscale family-friendly lodging experiences where you get to actually stay where the animals live. The resort is designed in the traditional horseshoe-curved design of the traditional African kraal, so there are spectacular views of four lush savannas where more than 200 animals and birds live. The Wildlife Field Guide helps you identify each species, and the resort’s Animal Specialists teach you about African animals and ecosystems. And for even more fun, wake up early and go on the Sunrise Safari!
Big Cedar Lodge is an 800 acre preserve just ten miles south of Branson, Missouri on Table Rock Lake that is tucked away into the wooded hillsides of the Ozark Mountains. You’ll stay in a gorgeous log cabin with a jetted-tubs, vaulted ceiling, wood burning fireplace and full kitchen. Want to throw a BBQ? You can—on your private deck with a gas grill. Part of the Backyard Baskets service, they’ll deliver your choice of steak, chicken, prime rib, burgers or hotdogs, along with sides and dessert. There is so much to do at Big Cedar Lodge, everyone in the family will be happy! Hiking, kayak trips, campfire horse-drawn wagon tours and golfing will fill your entire stay. And don’t forget the beautiful spa when it’s time to relax!
Natural Landscape Focused on Preservation
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina is number four on our list of best resorts. The Inn allows for a visit to a comforting way of life with southern accents and Spanish moss covering oak trees; it’s a place where time slows down and luxury takes over. Accommodations are spread across the property that borders 20,000 acres of coast marshes. Cottages feature 1,140 sq.ft. of luxurious indoor/outdoor space and a well-appointed interior with pine floors, vaulted ceilings and a private screened in porch. The Inn offers many kids activities including the PB Explorers Club, the Teen Adventure Island and, to give you a little alone time, the Evening Island Kids Adventure with campfire stories, fishing, shrimping, crabbing and delicious fireside snacks!
Restoration and Rejuvenation
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Ojai, California is a popular luxury destination for spa and golf getaways dating to the 1920’s. The resort’s exquisite décor blends luxury and comfort in a modern Spanish Colonial style, and many feature fireplaces, private balconies or patios overlooking the golf course and surrounding mountains. Recreation at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is intended for the body, mind and soul. Fitness classes, apothecary, s’mores roasting and Camp Oak, Kids Camp are just the beginning. Other on-site activities include safari scavenger hunts, color splash sidewalk art projects, and everyone’s favorite: dive-in movies! There’s even an exclusive adults-only Herb Garden Pool! No matter what your soul needs, you’ll find it at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
Which resort is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! But whichever you choose for your vacation, relaxation and fun will be the theme!
Nathanael Madden is an entrepreneur who has traveled to 21 countries and most of the states. He has friends in 112 countries, and helps run http://www.arcadiacoves.com resort.
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/12 at 01:11 PM
Boudin Bakery: A San Francisco Tradition
Looking for a fun adventure in San Francisco? The city’s iconic establishment, Boudin at the Wharf, is located in the heart of San Francisco’s renowned waterfront. Born in the Gold Rush, Boudin is the oldest continuously operating business in San Francisco and is world-famous for The Original San Francisco Sourdough Bread™, baked from the same “mother dough,” or sourdough starter, since 1849. Because each loaf is made from a portion of the original sourdough starter, Boudin Sourdough is one of a kind. With its delicious tangy flavor, golden crunchy crust and soft chewy center––along with its famous aroma––it has been described as “a sensory experience in a simple loaf of bread.” Boudin at the Wharf is Boudin’s flagship bakery and home to Bistro Boudin, Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour, a demonstration bakery, and Bakers Hall Marketplace. Boudin at the Wharf is the quintessential San Francisco landmark that entertains bread lovers (and isn’t that everyone?) of all ages!
Bistro Boudin is a full-service restaurant located on the second floor of Boudin at the Wharf. It is known affectionately by locals as “the restaurant upstairs,” and savvy San Franciscan’s often climb the staircase for a slice of authenticity along the Wharf. Bistro Boudin’s Executive Chef is Misael Reyes, who built his career with Francis Ford Coppola at his restaurant, Rubicon. Misael is originally from El Salvador and brings a Central American flair to all of his creations at Bistro Boudin. Reyes just added a number of new dishes to the menu including a variety of ceviches and Leg of Muscovy Duck Confit. Bistro Boudin only serves seafood recommended by the expert Seafood Watch list, so guests can be confident that all the seafood they enjoy at Bistro Boudin has been designated as “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives,” by the scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Bistro Boudin’s Executive Sous Chef, Keith Luke, is a big supporter of the farm-to-table philosophy and helps Chef Reyes identify the best sources for ingredients in Northern California.
Tucked next to a spectacular gallery overlooking Boudin Bakery and San Francisco Bay, the Museum at Boudin at the Wharf offers a fascinating exploration of the intertwined histories of Boudin Bakery and San Francisco. Isidore Boudin founded Boudin Bakery in 1849 and through the decades, Boudin has shared both hardship and glory with the city, from the 1906 earthquake to the waterfront’s recent renaissance. This landmark museum is super fun for the kids if parents need a midday break or a great place to enjoy a cocktail before dinner at Bistro Boudin!
Bakers’ Hall market is stocked with an array of picnic supplies as well as an assortment of specialty food items from Northern California producers, including artisanal olive oil, handcrafted cheese, gourmet chocolates and, of course, Boudin’s signature San Francisco Sourdough French Bread. An easy to use guide to the best picnic spots in the city helps guests find just the right place to enjoy their delicious picnic repasts.
Both locals and visitors love to watch the Boudin bakers carefully mix, form and bake The Original San Francisco Sourdough Bread™. Enhancing that cherished tradition, a clever sound system makes it possible for guests to speak with the bakers as the bakers are working. Kids love it—and the cute animals and shapes the bakers create!
photo credits: boudin.com
photo credit: Christian Bradford via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/09 at 08:30 AM
Visit Santa’s Home in Lapland!
Travel is about experiencing new things, stepping out of the ordinary and living, for a little while, a life that’s completely different from your everyday. And while a lot of times a vacation means beaches and ocean and palm trees swaying in a gentle tropical breeze, it can also mean soaring pinnacles of ice, exotic food and locales, cozy winter nights and beautiful summer days. With this in mind, why not consider Lapland as the next adventurous getaway for your family?
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You may be wondering where exactly Lapland is located. Both Sweden and Finland have provinces called Lapland known as Swedish Lapland and Finnish Lapland. Lapland by itself in English, is used to refer to the area inhabited by the indigenous Sami people.
Finnish Lapland is located far north of Europe, above the arctic circle, around the same latitude as northern Alaska. Because of this, there are some amazing things to experience like skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling and the Northern Lights. Best of all, Lapland is home for a very famous resident—Santa Claus!
Although it’s not quite Christmas yet, if you want to see Santa where he lives, start making plans now for the place you’re visiting! Santa’s Lapland is a wonderful little village in Saariselkä where both kids and adults will be delighted by a 3- or 4-day snow adventure culminating in the magical experience of a private meeting with Santa Claus in his hidden cabin. Wondering what Santa does in the off-season? Find out here!
But it’s not all snow and ice: Lapland is known as one of the “Lands of the Midnight Sun” because during the summer months, the position of the region with respect to the sun means that there is sunlight for almost 70 straight days. Visitors during this time will experience a completely different place, surrounded by beautiful, lush forests and wildlife (including reindeer and moose) all just a brisk hike through unspoiled wilderness.
During the summer from late July to early August locals seek out and harvest the indigenous cloudberry. These golden berries have been enjoyed since the 1700s, and have a subtle, sweet, unique flavor reminiscent of the place you’re visiting. The berries are made into jams, served alongside native “squeaky” cheese and used to make a very aromatic cloudberry liquor. There is even a Cloudberry festival!
Would you be willing to brave the Artic for a visit to Santa? Or would you rather visit when the sun is up all day and cloudberries are blooming?
photo credit: Heather Sunderland via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Chris via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Santa’s Lapland
photo credit: Heather Sunderland via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Per Arne Slotte via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/05 at 11:15 AM
Abercrombie & Kent Introduces Seven New Dedicated Family Journeys
Two years ago luxury travel experts Abercrombie & Kent launched Connections, an inspired approach to group travel designed to provide an intimate, first-hand perspective on the world’s most intriguing places. By artfully combining the same local expertise and insider access that they are known for, with 4-star-plus hotels specially chosen for their location, character and value, A&K has developed some new journeys specifically for families!
Connecting Families Around the World
Each Connections Family Journey was designed by A&K’s resident experts to satisfy adventurers of all ages, with engaging local guides, fun and enriching activities and child-friendly hotels. The departure dates coincide with when the kids have off school, and each journey offers a $400 per-child discount!
You can choose from any of these journeys: Amsterdam, Paris and London to South Africa, Peru, Australia and New Zealand, Spain, Italy or Russia. Here a few of the highlights of these amazing travel opportunities:
Italy: A Family Journey
Discover Italy by enjoying kid-friendly activities for all ages and going beneath the surface of Italy’s best-known sites and cities. Learn the secrets of pizza making in Rome. Paint your own Venetian Carnival mask. Savor lunch with a family who produces celebrated balsamic vinegar. Visit the picturesque towns of Cinque Terre.
Spain: A Family Journey
Explore sunny Spain from seaside Barcelona to heartland Madrid while participating in kid-friendly experiences designed to inspire! Ride in a horse-drawn carriage to an authentic flamenco show. Take a dramatic cable car ride in Gibraltar and see the Barbary apes. Visit a traditional Andalusian ranch to witness a display of horsemanship. Sample traditional tapas around Seville. Join a local chef to learn classic Spanish dishes. Take part in a scavenger hunt in a museum.
South Africa: A Family Safari
Together, experience the treasures of South Africa—its historic cities, breathtaking scenery and vibrant culture. Embark on twice-daily game viewing activities in Ngala Game Reserve that borders Kruger National Park. Take the cable car to Table Mountain. Meet Boulders’ famous African penguin colony. Connect with local children when you visit the rural community of Welverdiend. Visit an Endangered Species Center where cheetahs, wild dogs and other animals are rehabilitated. Take a walking tour of Victoria Falls.
Discover a world of inspiring travel made possible only with Connections by Abercrombie & Kent. For more information, call 800-554-7094 to speak with an A&K Travel Consultant, go to http://www.ak-connections.com or contact your travel professional to learn more.
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/02 at 11:41 AM
FlipKey by TripAdvisor Names Poshbrood Top Blog to Follow
Thanks to our incredible readers, Poshbrood was named one of the Top 25 Family Travel Blogs to Follow for 2014 by Flipkey for tripadvisor. We’re excited to be recognized, and we want to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of the Poshbrood family! Thank you, Poshbrood readers!
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/29 at 11:07 AM
Need a Good Reason to go to Orlando? We’ve Got One!
Looking for a great place to stay while your family enjoys the Disney World experience in Orlando? You’re in luck, because the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World is now open for business!
Nestled next to a gorgeous lake in the Florida woodlands, the newly-opened hotel has everything you’d expect from a Four Seasons—luxurious guest rooms, world class dining, an amazing and sumptuous spa and tons of options for recreation, fitness and fun. And that doesn’t even take into account that it’s just minutes away from the most magical place on earth!
Guests can choose from modern, airy rooms, including suites that are perfect for families. And many rooms offer unobstructed views of the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park, a wonderful opportunity for a family picnic on the private terrace.
Before you start thinking all the fun’s to be had at the parks, the Orlando boasts a wet and wild fun zone for the whole family: Explorer Island! With a massive 7,590 square foot family pool, a lazy river, splash zone, waterslides, climbing wall and a video gaming center, no one will lack for entertainment options. There’s also beach volleyball, outdoor movie nights on the Starstruck screen and smokehouse barbecue at PB+G, the pool bar and grill. You can even take advantage of the complimentary kid’s camp available every day!
For the grownups, the Orlando boasts three on-site Har-Tru tennis courts in partnership with Peter Burwash International, an adults-only pool surrounded by private cabanas and reserved for guests 21 and older and a 24-hour fitness center. The Spa at Four Seasons features luxuriant treatment rooms, including ultra-private couples’ bungalows; the Experience Showers - a journey through water, scent and light effects like no other; the Aroma Design Bar for custom fragrances for treatments or to take home; and a hair, nail and beauty salon.
So when you plan your visit to the Magic Kingdom add a little extra magic, and stay at the new Four Seasons!
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/26 at 10:44 AM
Two Exciting Kid’s Adventures at Peninsula Hotels!
What little girl doesn’t want to spend a day as a princess? Or how about a daylong Pokémon hunt? These very exciting kids’ adventure activities are part of the ultra-family friendly Peninsula Academy experiences available at select Peninsula Hotel locations.
Princess for a Day
An amazing experience for a lucky young lady, the Peninsula Chicago, will make your little royalty’s dreams will come true with their Princess for a Day: How to be a Perfect Princess package. At first, everything seems normal, since royalty is often forced to keep a low profile in public. But upon entering her room, the transformation begins! A staff of attendants is on hand for hair, makeup and nail makeovers as well as a dress and tiara fitting. A young princess must look the part, after all!
But looks are only part of the experience. During Afternoon Tea the princess will be given lessons on manners and the other skills she’ll need to be proper royalty, such as greeting her subjects, drinking tea (pinkie out!) and performing the most elegant and perfect curtsy. Then it’s out on the town in a pumpkin-shaped carriage for a shopping adventure! Upon her return, she’ll find a red carpet waiting for her, as well her prince, who will bestow upon her glass slippers, the keys to the kingdom and read out a Princess Proclamation. Bows and cheers all around end a perfectly delightful princessly day!
The Power of Ten
Of course, not everyone wants to be royalty. If your kids are adventurous explorers, the Pokémon Hotel Adventure at the the Peninsula Tokyo is perfect!
In a groundbreaking collaboration between the Peninsula Tokyo and The Pokémon Company, Pokémon Hotel Adventure: The Power of Ten gives guests age five and up the chance to ‘catch ‘em all’ by taking on the role of investigator hot on the trail of Pokémon characters that have been reported missing in the hotel.
When guests who have booked through the Pokémon room package check in, they receive a set of adventure goods including a Poké Ball, a magnifying glass, a copy of The Pokémon Times (containing clues about the mission), a detective’s notebook and a map of the hotel. Armed with these items, the whole family can explore the hotel, searching for the clues that eventually lead to a climactic and exciting ending. You’ll also receive an exclusive Pokémon plush toy that you can treasure forever!
So tie up your explorers shoes—or try on those glass slippers—and see what amazing activities Peninsula Hotels has awaiting your entire family!
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/22 at 09:26 AM
It’s a Kimpton Hotel Tween Trap!
Tweens just wanna have fun! And in this modern tech-crazed world, the latest gadgets and accessories are the way to their hearts. Eventi, a Kimpton Hotel located just blocks from Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building, wants to keep these cool kids tuned in while they’re on the road with on-loan amenities ranging from iPad Minis to Instagram printers. After all, a happy tween is a happy parent!
Already one of the tech-friendliest spots in NYC, Eventi is launching the “Tween Trap” amenity complete with the following:
- Instagram printer to turn the best Big Apple moments into a physical book
- iPad Mini so they can swipe through their favorite apps
- PlayStation Vita for playtime during parental downtime
- Beats Pill Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Beats by Dre Headphones to jam on no matter where they have to go
- Jakks Pacific Spy Net Ultra Vision Goggles to see in the dark, watch people with various fun video filters and record anything they see on the trip with a built-in camera
Guests can stop by or call the front desk to reserve their “Tween Trap” amenity, and all are available on-loan complimentary for the length of your stay.
The Eventi is a four-star luxury hotel offering personalized attention and thoughtful amenities like the Tween Trap. In a city celebrated as a global center for contemporary art, Eventi stands out as an arts and entertainment destination completely in step with Chelsea’s famed art galleries and vibrant nightlife. In addition to gorgeous accommodations and specialty suites, you can step outside the hotel to an indoor/outdoor multi-level public plaza featuring a giant multi-media art screen, art installations and events, a reflecting pool and thoughtful landscaping and multiple dining options.
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/19 at 11:30 AM
See the Super Moon from Shenandoah National Park!
Beautiful summer evenings lend themselves to staying out late and stargazing into the universe. This summer, Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge welcomes Greg Redfern, NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador and space expert, to talk about Super Moon, Space and more in the Shenandoah. With another Super Moon happening September 9, this is a perfect time to book a package at Skyland Resort and catch up on all thing star, moon and universe related. The 30-minute discussions will take place at Big Meadows Lodge, start at 9:00 p.m and be available August 17, August 27, September 5, September 10, September 21 and October 2, 2014.
“We are thrilled to have Greg Redfern to entertain our Skyland Resort guests,” said General Manager Charles Friend. “Beautiful views are what we are known for, whether the expansive valley during the day or the star studded universe in the evening. It is always some sort of spectacular show here at Skyland Resort.”
Greg Redfern, an adjunct professor/instructor of astronomy will be available various evenings from August to October. Greg’s daily astronomy blog “What’s Up?: The Space Place,” has had hundreds of thousands of readers from around the world. Greg has been observing and photographing the sky for over four decades and collecting meteorites for years. He has used telescopes of all kinds and visited observatories, NASA facilities and geological sites. As a result, Greg has brought the wonder, beauty and excitement of our Universe to audiences for decades in one-on-one style that resonates with his passion and knowledge.
Redfern will present a 30-minute fascinating star studded presentation followed by star gazing in the big meadows area (weather permitting). Themes include:
- So, You Want to Be An Astrophotographer? This engaging presentation will teach the audience basics on how to photograph the Park and sky. Guests will be able to sue this information to try their hand at taking pictures of their own during their visit to Shenandoah. They will also see stunning pictures taken by Greg of the sky and learn about what they are seeing.
- The Sky IS Falling – Space Rocks and You This presentation provides guests background on meteorites (space rocks) and there will be real meteorites to look at, including a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite that fell over Russia in February 2013. He will also have a piece of Mars and the Moon for visitors to see as well.
- The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater The inside Story of America’s largest Impact Crater” Many people do not know that one of the world’s largest known impact craters is under the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Charles, VA. They will learn all about it from Greg’s firsthand experience with the deepest dig into the heart of this 57-mile wide beast. Guests will also see real geological samples from within the crater.
- Under the Stars In the Park Weather permitting, night sky unaided eye viewing will take place in the big meadows to show visitors the night sky. They will learn abut the constellations and associated sky lore. Q&A will follow.
Additional lodging promotions, events and activities for planning your Shenandoah getaway are available at the website http://www.goshenandoah.com or call 877.247.9261 to speak with the reservation office.
photo credit: Mark Braggins via Flickr cc by 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/15 at 11:45 AM
Turkey: A Perfect Vacation Destination
Looking to travel somewhere new that has fun and educational opportunities for everyone? Try Turkey! It’s the gateway to Asia and home to a moderate Mediterranean climate, Ottoman Monuments, stunning beaches, ancient ruins and nature parks the family will love. This week we’re sharing some of the best and most memorable destinations in the Turkish Empire!
This ancient chamber was actually used as a reservoir for the city of Istanbul, but don’t let that fool you. The workmanship and location beneath the city create a beautiful, awe inspiring look into history. Spend some time examining the glittering marble, and search around for the giant carp fish and spooky Medusa heads. Why are they spooky? Because no one knows exactly what they were for! But we do know that a visit to the Basilica Cistern is a cool and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
City of Antalya
Definitely take time to visit the ancient city of Antalya! Most visitors only see the resort areas of Antalya, but the city itself dates from 150 BC and is one of the hubs of the “Turkish Riviera.” The amazing old town center surrounding the harbor is called Kaleiçi, and the buildings date from Ottoman and Roman times. Many are still in use as houses, boutique hotels and restaurants. The city also features Hadrian’s Gate which was erected in 130 AD to celebrate the visit of Emperor Hadrian. Legend has it the queen of Sheba passed through the middle arch on her way to Aspensos.
The Prince’s Islands
The Prince’s Islands is actually a chain of nine islands in the Sea of Maramara that were originally places of exile for royals who had fallen out of favor. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main form of transportation on the islands because motorized vehicles (except for school buses and ambulances) are banned! Four of the islands are open to visitors and are a quiet, peaceful day trip on the ferry from noisy Istanbul. The Hagios Giorgios Church offers some of the most beautiful views of the islands and sea. If you are lucky enough to visit on St. George’s Holy Day, you’ll get to take part in their annual wishmaking ritual. Thousands come to the church to light a candle and receive a blessing from the priest. Because Turkey is a multi-cultural country most of the people attending are not Christian.
Jane Roberts is a passionate blogger who has been writing professionally since 2010. She works for Turkish visa, an application process service that allows for online processing of documents and has made it possible to apply for and receive a travel visa to Turkey in less than a week. As an avid reader and blogger, she enjoys sharing her experiences on travel, culture, history and lifestyle.
photo credit: Pedro Szekely via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photo credit: Igor via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Nevit via Wikimedia Commons cc by-sa 3.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/12 at 11:40 AM
Copenhagen for Kids!
Looking for a vacation destination to the happiest country on Earth? Look no further than Copenhagen, the vibrant and culturally bustling capital city of Denmark. There you’ll find a nice mixture of past and present with beautiful modern architecture fitting comfortably next to the classical buildings of this ancient city. You’ll feel truly magical as you walk through the spires of the city center surrounded by castles straight from a fairy tale.
The modern day kingdom scored highest in six key factors on The World Happiness Report, so if you’re looking for a family-friendly destination in Europe, weekend breaks to Copenhagen are the perfect choice. Even with the whole family along, it couldn’t be easier to set up a Copenhagen vacation. The city offers generous provisions to families and businesses, and most attractions offer amenities like nearby parking, stroller-friendly areas and changing tables in restrooms. Restaurants usually offer children’s menus as well!
So what should you see while you’re experiencing the “City of Spires”? It’s tough to pick just a few suggestions, but:
National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark is situated in a beautiful 18th century mansion right in the middle of Copenhagen and is free for young children. Explore the history of the Danes from the prehistoric period right up to today! The Children’s Museum features tons of activities for kids up to 12 from climbing into a Viking longboat to experiencing a recreated classroom from the 1920s.
Outdoorsy kids will love the Open Air Museum located to the northeast of Copenhagen. It is one of the largest and oldest outdoor museums in the world and features interactive exhibits of farmhouses and equipment set up to replicate farming tradition dating back to 1650. Kids can explore 86 acres of land that representing all the different regions of Denmark!
Tivoli is the world’s second oldest amusement park and one of Copenhagen’s most famous attractions. Located in the center of the city, these gardens contain acres of lakes, theaters and pagodas, along with rollercoasters and the world’s tallest carousel, the Star Flyer. It’s a beautiful park crammed full of entertainment both night and day: a must-see for the whole family.
Bicycling is huge in Denmark with bikes accounting for half of city’s residents’ everyday commute. So why not “go native” and hop on a bike to explore! Rental shops are found all over, and for the smaller kids, cargo bikes mean everyone can go along for the ride.
And don’t forget to pack a book of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales to read with the brood as they fall asleep: they’ll love to hear stories from the man who walked the streets of the city they’re visiting!
Copenhagen is a wonderful city to visit as a family, and there’s something for everyone, so next time you’re planning a trip, consider this beautiful, grand, happy Scandinavian city!
photo credit: Casper Moller via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: IK’s World Trip via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Jens Rost via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/08 at 11:08 AM
Eco-Friendly Vacation Ideas in the Sunshine State
Getting ready to board a flight to Tampa, Miami or the Florida Keys? You probably already know you have some stunning scenery in store! Home to some of the world’s best beaches, most vibrant cities and amazing attractions, Florida is the perfect location for families who love to spend their vacations outdoors, getting back to nature and enjoying the finer things in life. It’s also a state that takes its responsibilities towards the environment seriously and does its best to promote a range of eco-holidays and activities. And fortunately, when it comes to outdoor adventures in Florida, you’ll always have plenty of sunshine to play in!
Eco-accommodation in the Florida Keys
The islands that make up the Florida Keys are a place of unparalleled beauty featuring some of the world’s most unforgettable beaches. When it comes to accommodations in these sun-drenched beauty spots choosing properties that are part of the Florida Green Lodging Program will help you stay eco-friendly! These beach and waterfront hotels have implemented a number of measures to help conserve natural resources. The hotels are some of the best available on the islands including luxury marina accommodations in Key Largo and exclusive beach resorts on Marco Island.
Outdoor Escapes in Orlando
With so many tourists descending on the city year round, cheap flights to Orlando are easy enough to sniff out, especially if you book in advance. Orlando might be famous for its theme parks, but there’s a whole lot going on beyond the Disney turrets. Dive into the cool blue deep at Discovery Cove, where you can swim with dolphins, pet manta rays and make friends with turtles. Just book well in advance to avoid disappointment, and you’ll spend a blissful day without a line in sight! For something a little more exhilarating, experience free-fall conditions at iFly Orlando, a sky diving simulation center, or a dreamy, fragrant afternoon in the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens, amid 50 acres of pretty petals and exotic plant life. Get bitten by the enormous flea-market just north of the city and scratch that shopaholic itch with a unique souvenir of your Florida adventure before your onward journey.
Miami to the Everglades
If you’re headed to the vibrant city of Miami you’ll have more than enough family activities to enjoy including the always popular Miami Seaquarium. But don’t miss the experience of exploring the immense Everglades National Park that is only a 30-minute drive from the city. Avoid the crowds by booking private air-boat tours around this immense sub-tropical wetland where you can spot alligators, crocodiles and manatees. In fact, if you don’t feel like driving you can take a one-day private air-boat ride from Miami through to the Coral Gables, Little Havana and the Everglades.
Eco-adventures in Tampa
Tampa is another of Florida’s most popular cities! The beauty of a Tampa vacation is access to the nearby beaches. Fort De Soto Park is only a 40-minute drive from Tampa with beaches that are truly the definition of an idyllic white sand paradise. Eco-tours of the Fort De Soto islands are available during which you’ll stop off at a secluded beach to sunbathe and may even get the chance to see dolphins and manatees! There is also the option to hire kayaks for the family and cruise around the islands at your leisure.
No matter what you want to do on your vacation, it’s easy to stay eco-friendly in the Sunshine State!
Jane Coleman is a proud mom of two who juggles motherhood with managing a cupcake business. She loves the great outdoors and holidaying around America.
photo credit: Phil Ejercito via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photo credit: Serge Melki via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Miguel Vieira via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Pinellas County via Flickr cc by 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/05 at 11:15 AM
Five Sights to See on Your Summer Visit to London!
With the kids getting ready to head back to school, you may be wondering just what to do for the final few weeks of summer vacation. Keeping them amused (and yourself sane!) is no mean feat. A last-minute vacation to London just might fit the bill, so we’ve put together five fun activities that will keep the whole crew entertained!
The London Helicopter
Lifting off from the London Heliport in Battersea, the London Helicopter is the only scheduled helicopter sightseeing service in the UK. What a way to see the sights of London! You and the kids will enjoy a 20-minute flight over the Thames, taking in the wonders of the capital’s skyline and the unrivaled views of its famous monuments from a unique perspective. Definitely an amazing experience you’ll treasure forever!
The London Transport Museum
In the heart of London’s Covent Garden, in the historic Flower Market Building, you’ll find the London Transport Museum—a fascinating exhibit dedicated to the story of the capital’s transport system throughout the last 200 years. With 450,000 items preserved in the museum, there’s plenty to keep the children happy all day! In fact, there’s so much to see you may not be able to pack everything into one visit! In addition to some really fun planned activities, you’ll experience what traveling across the City was like in centuries gone by, sitting behind the driver’s seat in a tube train simulator and seeing an old bus that was pulled by horses.
Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms is an underground maze of rooms from which Churchill directed World War II. Today, you can visit these rooms and hear the captivating stories of this secret headquarters. Explore the War Room, the Map Room, where books and charts have been preserved exactly as they were on August 16, 1945, visit the kitchens that fed Churchill and his inner circle and learn about the great man himself in the Churchill Museum.
The London Dungeon
One of London’s most popular and famous experiences, The London Dungeon is certainly not for the fainthearted and perhaps best avoided by the squeamish. But for those enthralled by the grisly stories of England’s past, this is a day out beyond compare! The London Dungeon brings the country’s deepest and darkest chapters eerily back to life with actors providing spooky re-enactments of history’s most horrid stories. New this year is the Sweeney Todd experience capturing the terrifying tales of the demon barber of Fleet Street. Even though it’s remembering some pretty gruesome history, it’s all in good fun, and there are plenty of laughs as well as scares to be had.
Sea Life London Aquarium
Home to one of the largest collections of marine life in Europe, the London Aquarium is sure to draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from the kids as they participate in an interactive journey along the Great Ocean Conveyor. The aquarium boasts thousands of sea creatures, including 500 species from every part of the world. You can visit with the inquisitive stingrays who often come to the surface of the pool when people are present, brave the brand new Shark Reef Encounter (you can even snorkel with the sharks, eeeek!) and explore the Antartic with Penguins: Ice Adventure.
Have you visited any of these spots in London? If so, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear about your adventures!
photo credit: Heather Cowper via Heather on Her Travels cc 2.0
photo credit: Andrew via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
Posted by Elizabeth on 08/01 at 11:10 AM