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Making the Most out of the Stunning Beaches of San Diego

San Diego Beaches

San Diego is famous for mild weather and seventy miles of stunning coastline. A city that has something to offer everyone, San Diego is brimming with museums, golf courses, world-class dining and tons of family-oriented activities. Though San Diego beaches are wonderful in all seasons, they’re particularly welcoming on those scorching summer days when the ocean is beckoning you in for a relaxing swim.

Getting the most out of the beach lifestyle is about more than taking an annual vacation. A far better idea is being able to hit the shores whenever you want! That’s why so many people invest in one of the Welk timeshares that are available on many of the beautiful beaches in San Diego.

And that’s why this week we’re reviewing the most popular beaches in San Diego!

San Diego Beaches

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach benefits from the almost perfect weather all year round! Getting to Coronado Island is easy, as it’s possible to reach it by public bus, car, private shuttle or taxi across the Coronado Bay Bridge. You might even recognize the shoreline from the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot! Always wanted to try surfing? The flat, wide beach area is ideal for beginner surfers, and the sandy shore is well-known for being incredibly romantic!

San Diego Beaches

Mission Beach

Mission Beach ends at the north of Pacific beach and starts at Mission Bay’s channel entrance. Mission Beach has something for everyone! That’s why it’s one of the most popular attractions, drawing in crowds and sun worshippers from all over the world! Whether you’re strolling along the boardwalk, riding your bike or laying out on The Strand, your brood will not run out of things to do. Ride the Giant Dipper, join in an action-packed game of volleyball or just people watch!

San Diego Beaches

Carlsbad Beach

The beaches of Carlsbad are one of the best kept secrets in San Diego—a fact that is definitely appreciated by the locals. The northern portion of the Carlsbad’s coast is made up of numerous beaches separated by sea walls. Generally, the cliffs in these locations are low and offer a beautiful unobstructed view of the ocean.

Where should you go?

Trying to decide where you go? Or even where you’ll find your ideal holiday home? You’ll probably want more info than just the beaches. With the help of Welk timeshare review, you’ll find what you need!

photo credit: Chad McDonald via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Chris Lee via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: Joe Wolf via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/22 at 08:30 AM
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Five Reasons to Visit the Turks and Caicos this Summer

Turks and Caicos

This week we’ve got five Posh reasons you should be scheduling your trip to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos this summer! First up, the island topped the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for best vacation island in the world and is home to crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs and stunning sunsets. Of course, we know Poshbrood readers want more, and we’ve got all the info you’ll need!

Turks and Caicos

#1 Easy In, Easy Out!

The Providenciales International Airport welcomes direct flights from major cities like New York, Newark, Boston, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal, Nassau and London, so travelling to Providenciales is easy-peasy!

Turks and Caicos

#2 Grace Bay Beach

Ranked “Best Beach” by Conde Nast Traveler and by the World Travel Awards for several years, Grace Bay Beach has 12 gorgeous miles of powdery white-sand shoreline and infinite aquatic possibilities. Vacationers go swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, sailing, kiteboarding or simply relax on one of Ocean Club’s pink umbrella-accented lounge chairs… and do nothing at all.

Turks and Caicos

#3 Fabulous Snorkeling and Diving

Warm, calm and amazingly clear waters provide the perfect conditions for diving and snorkeling. The country has the third largest reef system in the world, and its impressive array of marine life is healthy and flourishing. Divers rave about the exceptional levels of visibility when they are submerged alongside dramatic vertical walls and when they are exploring sunken cannons and shipwrecks.

Turks and Caicos

#4 It’s Family-Friendly!

Family vacations in Turks and Caicos are popular because you can maximize that kid-parent bonding time frolicking in the sun, savoring unrushed meals and enjoying fun-filled watersports or nature and wildlife expeditions. Choose from sunset cruises, adopting a puppy for the day, horseback riding on Long Bay Beach or a day trip to Little Water Cay to get up close and personal with indigenous rock iguanas and more.

Turks and Caicos

#5 The Best Food and Drinks

Whether you prefer upscale and gourmet or beachfront and basic, the food and beverage options in Providenciales have one thing in common—they’re all super yummy! The island is world-renowned for its remarkable seafood, so no visit is complete without a trip to Da Conch Shack to sample freshly harvested conch and Turks Head, the local beer.

The Seaside Café and Cabana Bar & Grille at Ocean Club Resorts are great options for casual, toes-in-the-sand-style dining. After a long, exhilarating day, adults also can enjoy a bottle or glass of wine over dinner at Opus Wine Bar Grill. The venue boasts the island’s largest cellar and is Fodor’s pick for one of the best places to drink wine in Turks and Caicos. All three restaurants provide live music, daily specials and a Monday rum punch party.

For more info on where to stay when you visit Providenciales, check out Ocean Club Resorts!

Photo Credit: Ocean Club Resorts

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/19 at 08:30 AM
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A Wonderful Weekend Visit to 41 North

41 North

This Poshbrood chick and her hubby just spent a lovely weekend at Newport’s new 41 North property located downtown right on the water. From sitting on the deck that juts out onto the water and watching boats pull up, to waking up to amazing water views, this little babymoon was well-worth the three hour drive from New York. We were married in Newport and visit regularly. But we usually stay in older, more historic inns further up the hill. The 24-room 41 North is hipper, attracts a younger crowd and has the best views in town. The hotel has many eco-friendly aspects, including an iPad in every room! Each one comes with a room service menu pre-loaded, so they don’t use paper for anything.

41 North

The Room
We stayed in room 14 and enjoyed a full harbor view. I loved the quirky touch of a Dr. Seuss book in every room, even though the hotel seems more adult-friendly than kid-friendly to me. The Malin and Goetz products along with the deep, soaking Koehler tub gave the space a seriously luxurious feel. The tub was so deep my husband had to help me in and out of it because of my huge pregnant belly! Waking up to the sounds of a busy harbor was so lovely, and from our balcony, I could see all the way to the Newport Bridge. We got to enjoy watching a sailing class from nearby college Salve Regina University practice one afternoon. Room 14 looks out onto the long stretch of The Grill restaurant’s waterside deck, so if noise bothers you, I’d suggest an interior room. Guests are encouraged to use the bathrobes provided, as well as take home the terry cloth slippers. I saved mine for my upcoming hospital stay with baby #3!

41 North

The Location
41 North is located directly on Thames street, so we took a super-easy walk back after dining our favorite restaurant, The Black Pearl. I loved the proximity to the shops, especially the Armory Antique center around the corner at 365 Thames street. We also walked to the Madeline, a beautiful 72-foot yacht, and took a sunset cruise around the harbor. The ride was so gentle one mom breastfed her infant next to me the entire time!

When we felt adventurous, we walked about a mile to The Breakers. We took an audio tour of this splendid 1893 mansion on the sea, and returned to town by walking along the front of the historic houses on the recently restored famous Cliff Walk. Large sections that were closed last year to the public are now open.

Without a doubt, once again, we had a wonderful time in Newport! 41 North is a great find in a beautiful location, but definitely an adults-only venue. If you want to bring the kiddos, I’d suggest their lofts and cottages which are separate buildings just off the water that include a full kitchen.

Our guest poster this week is Kate Rockland. Kate lives in New Jersey with her husband and three unruly children. When she’s not making forts out of pillows or begging people to buy one of her two novels, she loves traveling through New England.

Find Kate here: http://www.katerockland.com

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/15 at 08:30 AM
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Poshbrood & Trump Central Park Welcome Princess Charlotte!

Trump Central Park

A great big Poshbrood welcome to the new Princess of Cambridge! In true Trump-style, the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York is celebrating with a delightful Central Park Princess Package! From shopping sprees to museum visits, Trump Central Park’s youngest guests are exploring NYC in royal style!

Trump Central Park

Enjoy accomodation in a park-view suite complete with delicious in-room milk and cookies from Jean-Georges. Hang out in the room with complimentary coloring book and crayons, watch kid’s DVDs on your 55” HDTV or take advantage of all the usual Trump Kids Services and Amenities like menus designed just for kids, swimming lessons, board games and children’s books!

Trump Central Park

Of course, this wouldn’t be the Princess Package without a Princess Rhinestone-Studded Tiara and a shopping spree at FAO Schwartz with a $100 gift card courtesy of Trump Central Park! While you’re out shopping, take advantage of the four tickets to the family attraction of your choice: Central Park Zoo, Manhattan’s Children’s Museum or the Museum of Natural History. A trip to Trump New York is sure to be one your litte princess will never forget!

Want more info? Find everything on this exciting Princess Package here!

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/12 at 08:30 AM
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Nantucket Island Resorts Celebrates New Chris Hemsworth Movie!

Nantucket Island

Headed to New England this summer? Summer guests at Nantucket Island Resorts have the opportunity to experience the brand-new “In the Heart of the Sea” package created in celebration of the December 2015 debut of the Chris Hemsworth movie of the same title. Based on the true story of the sinking of the Nantucket-based whaleship Essex (the inspiration for the book Moby Dick) the package includes two tickets to the iconic Whaling Museum as well as two nights’ accommodations.

Nantucket Island

Get a little activity in and add a historical walking tour to explore the island that flourished in the 17th century as one of the world’s most lucrative whaling capitals. You can still feel a great deal of this history throughout Nantucket—the Whaling Museum is housed in an original candle factory built during the whaling era and former whaling captain mansions still stand. The cobblestones that were used as ballast for the whaling ships can still be found around town!

Nantucket Island

Two great properties for families are the White Elephant and the White Elephant Village Inn & Residences. At White Elephant, kids receive a gift of select beach toys at check in. Throughout your stay, they can refer to their “Nantucket Kids’ Adventure Guide” and participate in the hotel’s scavenger hunt (prizes afterwards!) And a bonus! You’ll find the tub stocked with bath toys to make even sleep routines special!

Nantucket Island

At White Elephant Village Inn & Residences, you’ll have access to cribs and pack n’ plays, and tons of baby essentials! In addition, guests have unlimited access to strollers, joggers, wagons, beach chairs and beach towels for various outings. Bath amenities for children include Dolphin Organics in kid-pleasing citrus scents and kid-sized plush terry robes. Complimentary squirt toys are fun for both bath and pool time. Also at the pool is the Village’s own ice cream cart, serving complimentary ice cream every afternoon in-season. Older kids will be entertained with board games, choose from a variety of kid-friendly DVDs and Blue Ray discs, play Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii while in the hotel and grab some boogie boards and toys when headed out for a beach trip.


Property images courtesy of Nantucket Island Resorts

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/08 at 08:30 AM
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Summer Travel Deals for Posh Broods!

With summer vacation on the way, we’ve got a round-up of the hotels and resorts you’ll love to go to and hate to leave. Beaches, golf and spas—you won’t want to miss out, so come with us and check out the latest summer travel deals!

El Conquistador Resort, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Who’s ready for some fun in the sun?! For a Caribbean escape this summer, El Conquistador Resort & Las Casitas Village, Waldorf Astoria Resorts in Puerto Rico is offering a Summer Splash package—with free tickets for a family of four to the resorts’ state-of-the-art Coqui Water Park. Also included in the package is a $50 per night resort credit that can be used towards rounds of golf on their renowned Arthur Hills designed 18-hole golf course, spa treatments for kids and adults alike at the Waldorf Astoria Spa and Ki’ children’s spa, watersports on the resort’s 100-acre private island, dining at the resorts’ 23 food and beverage outlets and so much more! Inspired by the nearby El Yunque Rainforest, the 2.4-acre Coqui Water Park delivers an adventurous jungle experience, including waterfalls, rapids and a jungle rope bridge!

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL
Does someone in your family love golf? Just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, the AAA Five Diamond Ponte Vedra Inn & Club invites golfers to experience its Grand Slam Golf Package at both of its two picturesque, yet challenging, 18-hole courses. A hole in one, the Grand Slam package provides golfers with unlimited access to both immaculately manicured golf courses, range balls, guaranteed advance starting times, a 30 minute daily golf clinic, daily club cleaning and storage, a golf gift set, complimentary breakfast and luxury accommodations. A premiere East Coast golf destination just south of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra’s Ocean Course and Lagoon Course feature meandering water obstacles, undulating fairways and elevated greens protected by strategically positioned, steep-faced bunkers, making for some very exciting rounds!

El San Juan Resort & Casino, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The foremost hotspot and entertainment venue in Puerto Rico, travelers can celebrate with the iconic El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, this summer as the resort marks its 30 years of splendor in the tropics. Guests who book the package for stays now through December 22, 2015, receive a $30 daily resort credit for use at select food and beverage outlets, $30 in casino credits at the hotel’s recently relaunched Royal Casino, a $30 spa credit to the Edouard de Paris Day Salon & Spa, daily breakfast buffet for two and an anniversary gift! Set on uninterrupted miles of one of Puerto Rico’s most picturesque beaches, the resort boasts refreshed rooms and suites that seamlessly blend Miami trendy and classic elegance, a renowned lobby experience—the epicenter of San Juan’s vibrant nightlife, nine dining options, the alluring Encanto Beach Club and the rooftop Spa.

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/05 at 08:30 AM
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Where Will the Well-Heeled be Summering this Year?

Virtuoso

Where are you and the brood headed this summer? Well, if you want to know where everyone else is going, we’ve got the answers! Leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso, recently released the Top 10 destinations where the most posh of us will be summering. Europe is well-represented, but there are a few surprises as well!

The Virtuoso Top 10 Destinations for Summer 2015 are:

1.    United Kingdom
2.    Italy
3.    France
4.    Canada
5.    Spain
6.    Germany
7.    Netherlands
8.    South Africa
9.    Ireland
10.  Greece

What fancy locale jumped up the list the most since last summer? Our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada!

So now we know where everyone is going this summer! Of course, loads of families are headed out to other more unusual destinations. Many exotic countries have experienced increases in travelers between this year and last. These are the countries that had the greatest spikes in interest!

The Virtuoso Hot 10:

1.    Australia (+137%)
2.    China (+101%)
3.    Ecuador (+84%)
4.    Iceland (+49%)
5.    Greece (+41%)
6.    Japan (+35%)
7.    Turkey (+29%)
8.    United Arab Emirates (+22%)
9.    Canada (+20%)
10.  Croatia (+18%) 

Looks like a lot of families are headed Down Under this summer. Australia is great to visit—especially when it’s their winter!

If you’ve not yet booked the family vacation for the summer, we hope this gave you some inspiration!

Where will you be heading this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/01 at 08:30 AM
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The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines

While on vacation in San Diego, this pregnant Poshbrood chick and her hubby were lucky enough to escape the kiddos and immerse ourselves in the family-owned Lodge at Torrey Pines. The 6.5 acre property is only a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego and is perched on the peak of the rugged cliffs of La Jolla overlooking its famous 18-hole golf course that will host the 2021 US Open.

Torrey Pines

Part of the Torrey Pines State Reserve, with sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, this 170-room resort stays true to Southern California style with Craftsman-style furnishings and architecture. The doormen wear kilts, and the food at in-house restaurant A.R. Valentien that overlooks the golf course, comes from local farms. The wine list is exclusively from California vineyards. Or if your up for more casual dining, try The Grill & Bar!

Torrey Pines

After taking a hike together through the trails of the reserve, which guests can access directly from the hotel, my husband spent the afternoon golfing. He chose to carry his own bag and walk the public course instead of use a caddy or rent a cart (though both options are available) as the views of the hang gliders and landscaping down to the ocean are spectacular. There are two courses, North and South.

Torrey Pines

I tried one of the May specials, the “Mommy to Be” package at the spa, which felt amaaaaazing ($150 for a massage and pedicure). The Spa at Torrey Pines is famous for its Coastal Sage Scrub that uses some of the 17 varieties of sage found around the reserve (50 minutes, $140). When I came outside after my massage, a yoga class was being held on the lawn. You can also get your girlfriends together for a private yoga class that can be customized to your level of experience! ($150, 3–20 people)

Torrey Pines

I would definitely come back to the Lodge at Torrey Pines on a future trip without our kids, and stay longer in the lodge to take advantage of its amenities. This hotel is one of those places that is surrounded by such beauty it almost needs no introduction—but the luxurious property and features don’t hurt! Hopefully, by our ten-year anniversary, we can find someone brave enough to watch our brood back east so we can visit again!

Our guest poster this week is Kate Rockland. Kate lives in New Jersey with her husband and three unruly children. When she’s not making forts out of pillows or begging people to buy one of her two novels, she loves traveling through New England.

Find Kate here: http://www.katerockland.com

Photos courtesy The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/28 at 08:30 AM
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Family Vacation in a Luxury Hotel in the Algarve? Yes, You Can!

Martinhal


So you’ve probably heard of the Algarve—that sunny Portuguese paradise, voted the best European Beach Destination two years in a row with its beachside towns, nautical sports and beautiful golf courses. But here’s what you don’t know: in a little historic town called Sagres, there is an award winning luxury family resort. Now we have your attention!

Martinhal

This is the kind of town that has been able to keep true to its legendary history. Having been a place where various Mediterranean peoples worshiped their gods, this town was also home to the most important nautical base during the Portuguese Age of Exploration.

Martinhal

Sagres sits at the southern-most point of Portugal and Continental Europe, where Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel opened for business in 2010. The resort has already collected an array of awards including Gold Award for Best Landscaping Design Concept, Worldwide by Homes Overseas Awards, Portugal’s Leading Family Resort on the World Travel Awards in 2013 and Europe’s Leading Villa Resort in 2014.

Martinhal

It’s easy to understand all this rapid recognition! The resort was beautifully designed, and the architects’ choice of natural materials—such as cork, wood or stone—blends it with the surrounding landscape, in a simple, sustainable harmony. There are accommodation types for all tastes, from stylish hotel rooms to luxury villas and vacation homes. And they all come with indoor and outdoor swimming pools with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on the side.
Martinhal
Because this is Portugal after all, the food is a high point. Based on local ingredients and traditions the three restaurants and four bars onsite use only quality, local produce. From the traditional fish dish at O Terraço restaurant to the international cuisine at the Os Gambozinos to the light food at the family coffee shop and surf bar, M—Bar. Of course, all this comes with award-­‐winning Portuguese wine.

Martinhal

And we are not done with “incredible” just yet!

Martinhal

Lovely beaches, stylish rooms and great cuisine are all excellent. But how can parents enjoy all this and still keep the brood happy? Well, the resort has put together a diverse set of programs to make sure your kids have as much fun as you!

Martinhal

Martinhal features a wide range of activities for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. There are several activities clubs that provide fun workshops, face painting, treasure hunts, arts and crafts, sports activities (tennis, windsurfing, swimming, etc.) and a game room with the most popular video games, pool table, table tennis and Foosball.

Martinhal

In fact, it seems like the resort has thought of everything! There’s a baby concierge service, a wide variety of baby products at the convenience store, babysitters, children menus and kid’s corners at the restaurants. Everyone will be happy and entertained throughout your stay at Martinhal!

Martinhal

While your kids are having the (supervised) time of their lives with other children, you’ll be pampering yourself at the Finisterra Spa or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon looking at the Atlantic Ocean from the beach pool. Take a walk down the private path to the beach, and explore the fortress. Or if you want the kids to join you at the spa, book a children’s spa treatment or even a baby massage!
Martinhal
From November 2, 2015 to March 18, 2016, you can actually check your children in at the resort’s Kid’s Clubs and daycare for free (from 6 months to 8 years of age).
Martinhal
Martinhal offers family deals, specifically for the US market, and has recently started a Babymoon package designed to give parents-to-be a luxury relaxing escape vacation during pregnancy. This offer includes accommodation, breakfast, one meal per day, access to all facilities and a spa treatment for the mother-to-be.

Martinhal

There you have it. Martinhal has luxury accommodations, an incomparable setting, the perfect space to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets on the Atlantic and plenty of activities for the kids!

Martinhal

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is a luxury family resort with a playground of possibilities and more than 365 different things to do all year-round. Located close to the historic village of Sagres, in the Western Algarve, Portugal, this region has a temperate climate year round, and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park surrounds the 100-acre beachfront resort. For more information about booking or the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, visit http://www.martinhal.com or call +351 282 240 200.

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/24 at 08:30 AM
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The 1920s Are Alive In Annapolis!

It seems our visit to the 1920’s is not yet over! For one weekend each year, the tiny city of Annapolis, MD turns a little (or lot!) Great Gatsby when an annual Croquet Tournament is held. The matches are held on the campus of St. John’s College—one of the smallest and oldest liberal arts colleges in the country—with teams consisting of students from St. John’s College and the US Naval Academy. Legend holds that the event got its start in 1982 when the commandant of the Naval Academy boasted that his athletic Midshipman could beat the more book-oriented students from the smaller school at any sport. When croquet was suggested, a rivalry and a tradition was born! Although both teams compete at the collegiate level, the team from St. John’s has taken home the esteemed Annapolis Cup 26 times in the 33 years the match has been held. This year’s match, which took place this past weekend, restored the St. John’s team to the winning spot after two years.

The day is kicked off with musical performances from the St. John’s Freshman Chorus and the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band. The event, which Sports Illustrated claims has “no parallel in intercollegiate sports” is incredibly popular with more than 5,000 attendees of all ages attending.

Spectators are decked out in their finest 1920s attire with picnics, swing dancing and croquet-watching taking place throughout the day. The team from St. John’s plays in a different “uniform” each year, from Greek togas to this year’s Hawaiian shirts. The Midshipmen play in uniforms that meet the US Croquet Association’s dress code.

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to dress you and your brood in fancy hats and posh attire, this is it! Bring a picnic basket, stake out some lawn space and party like it’s 1920!

photo credit: (c) 2015 James O’Gara Photography
photo credit: Rob Nease
photo credit: Citlali McDowell via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/21 at 10:15 AM
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Kim and Khloe Take Armenia!

Kardashians Armenia

Kim, Khloe, Kanye and North are traveling the world again this week! Their first stop was the Kardashian ancestral homeland of Armenia where they visited several historical sites.

Kardashians Armenia

Kim and Khloe, along with their cousins Kourtni and Kara, visited the Mother Armenia statue in Yerevan. In 1967, the nearly 168 ft. high statue, representing peace through strength and honoring the women who took up arms beside their husbands during the war with Turkey, replaced a statue of Stalin. The Mother Armenia statue is located in Victory Park, next to the Grave of the Unknown Soldier that honors the eternal memory of war victims.

Kardashians Armenia

The sisters also visited and laid two bouquets of red tulips at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex’s eternal flame that marks the genocide that killed 1.5 million Armenians. The group then stopped by the town of Gyumri where their ancestors lived before emigrating to America. The town is close to the once-contested border with Turkey.

Kardashians Armenia

They then moved on to Isreal where Kim and Kanye’s daughter, North West, was baptized. The baptismal ceremony took place at St James’ Cathedral, a 12th Century Armenian church in Jerusalem. They also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the traditional location of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

all photos via instagram/kimkardashian

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/17 at 08:30 AM
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Experience Downton Abbey at The Biltmore!

The Biltmore

Have you been experiencing Downton Abbey withdrawal? I think we all have! Last year, we shared the week-long Downton Abbey Classic Cruise. This year, we’re happy to report you can get your fix right here in the States at The Biltmore in Asheville, NC. The historic estate, the luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt, is hosting an exhibition of costumes from the show through May 25th.

The Biltmore

Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is displaying more than 45 costumes from the show throughout the house. Items on display consist of servants’ uniforms to lavish evening gowns and reflect how world events—the sinking of Titanic, World War I, the Jazz Age and the evolving roles of women—influenced fashion.

The Biltmore

With 250 rooms and extensive grounds, the Biltmore is reminiscent of Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed. Construction on the Biltmore was started by George Vanderbilt in 1889, finished in 1895 and served as the Vanderbilt family home for many years. Now a historic site, and working vineyard, the house is open to tours year-round.

The Biltmore

While you can’t stay in the house itself, the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four-star hospitality in luxurious rooms or suites. With great amenities like twice-daily housekeeping and a full concierge staff, your every need will be met! The Inn also offers wonderful extras like picnics, outdoor activities throughout the 8,000 acre grounds and in-room spa services.

The Biltmore

Want an even more authentic experience? Stay at the Cottage on Biltmore Estate. The cottage was originally the residence for the Biltmore’s market gardener and was later used to host VIP guests. This quaint 1500 square foot house hosts guests with some truly exquisite packages. The Spa Package includes a personal chef and butler and a personalized in-cottage spa experience.

The Biltmore

The Antler Hill Village and Winery is a dining and shopping area on the estate. The village also features a museum and the Farm in Antler Hill Village. Kids will love exploring the everyday lives of families who lived on the estate raising livestock, tending crops and working at Biltmore Dairy in the 1890s. And, if you’d like to really experience the estate, the Equestrian Center allows you to bring your own horse to explore their more than 80 miles of pristine estate trails. 

photos courtesy the Biltmore

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/14 at 08:30 AM
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Warm Up With Mother’s Day in Mexico!

Mother’s Day is May 10th! That means you have one month to dream up the best gift for the mom in your life. Have you started planning yet? We suggest a luxury trip for the family (or just mom and a friend!) to the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Velas Resorts in Mexico. We promise you’ll be scoring big points as she indulges in one of their all-inclusive Mother’s Day packages!

On Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit boast Mother’s Day Packages that greet mothers with a special welcome amenity, room upgrade, early check-in or late check-out and a resort credit per night. Mothers staying at Velas Vallarta also enjoy a city tour and cultural tour of Puerto Vallarta included in their stay. Making for an exceptionally luxurious Mother’s Day getaway, Grand Velas Riviera Maya provides private round-trip airport transportation, in-suite gourmet breakfast so moms can enjoy their first meal on this special day in bed, a romantic dinner on her spacious suite’s private terrace, and a spa credit and complimentary Velas Fish Pedicure to relax and unwind at Virtuoso’s “Best Spa.” And, don’t worry! There’s plenty for the whole family to do! In addition, all of Mexico’s Velas Resorts will offer a special menu of spa treatments at each property for just $99 in May.

All-inclusive rates include luxury suite accommodations, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more!


photo credit: ECohen via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photos courtesy of Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/10 at 08:30 AM
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5 Tips for Traveling with Kids

Last week we talked about some travel tips for Disney World, but what about traveling with kids in general? We know everyone is probably planning for summer vacations right now, so it’s a great time to share our top five tips for traveling with kids!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Pack Plenty of Nibbles

There’s nothing worse (or more expensive) than a hungry brood while traveling. Corralling everyone through the airport, finding a place to eat that everyone agrees on and then making sure you get back on schedule can take quite a bit of effort. Bringing nibbles along might take a little extra time at home, but will be worth it! Even drinks can be handled by bringing your empty, reusable water bottles. Most airports have filtered water stations designed to refill bottles. While most food is fine at security, it’s worth it to check the list before deciding what to buy. Packing snacks saves time, energy….and means kids will be eating healthy!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Prepare for Security

While the TSA won’t separate parents and children below a certain age, and kids don’t have to take off their shoes, everyone must be screened and all toys, blankets and stuffed animals will go through the X-Ray machine. This includes strollers and car seats! Going through the family lane at security will give you some extra time and space to handle little ones, but preparing kids beforehand will go a long way toward a calm experience. The TSA provides more info for parents here!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Have Gratuities on Hand

There’s nothing worse than juggling a cranky toddler and a load of bags while the bellhop waits expectantly for a tip. Stashing cash in small denominations and in easy-to-reach pockets solves that problem. And do tip well! When you need something out of the ordinary later in your trip, it will be helpful to be remembered for your kindness.

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Plan for Memories

Experiences are always more memorable when there’s a theme. Whether it’s cute group outfits, purchasing something small like a magnet at each travel stop, posing the same in a series of pictures or choosing a trip theme song, connecting a specific action with your trip will trigger great memories in years to come!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Be Present

The best travel tip we have is simply to be present! It’s always difficult to step away from work, but it’s necessary—both for the kids AND you. If you must check in with work, designate specific times each day and after they’ve gone to bed. But remember, it’s your vacation too, and everyone’s brain needs a rest.

What are your top tips for traveling with kids? Let us know in the comments!


photo credit: Kevin Shorter via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Kevin via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Matt Zimmerman via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: J R via Flickr cc by 2.0
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photo credit: ClearFrost via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/07 at 08:30 AM
Family TravelPermalink

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One Ship, Two Ships, It’s Dr. Seuss On Cruise Ships!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Wouldn’t it be great if we could jump into the pages of our favorite Dr. Seuss book? Well, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program lets you do just that! Creativity, imagination and fun are everywhere during this fanciful cruise!

Dr. Seuss Cruise

The fun starts with the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Start your day with the traditional Dr. Seuss meal of green eggs and ham, moose juice and goose juice, along with colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast! Staff are dressed in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms while the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two and Sam visit tables and pose for photos!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Dr. Seuss Bookville

You can visit Seuss-land as well! Jump right into this unique and dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Relax, unwind and play to your hearts content. Of course, Dr. Seuss books are available for a cozy reading time or stretch your imagination with arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.

Dr Seuss Cruise

Seuss-a-Palooza Story Time

What about a live-action story time? That’s right! After getting in the spirit with Cat-inspired face painting and some wacky games, you’ll experience a special reading of a Dr. Seuss book, complete with character appearances. Audience participation encouraged!

Dr Seuss Cruise

Visits from Favorite Characters

If that’s not enough Dr. Seuss for you, there are chances to meet and interact with your favorite Dr. Seuss characters throughout your voyage. You’ll get to participate in special photo opportunities featuring colorful and zany Dr. Seuss-inspired artwork. And make sure you join the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade!

Photos courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/03 at 08:30 AM
Family TravelPermalink

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