Raphael Ocampo

Raphael Ocampo

Raphael has visited 32 countries, 39 states and lived in all four time zones between LA and NYC. Most importantly, he embarked on his toughest yet most rewarding journey: fatherhood of identical twin boys. He chronicles his trips through the lens of entertaining toddlers with an attention span of 68.2 seconds.


Travel to Malaysia, Yes a Muslim Country

A journey to a Muslim-majority country – like Malaysia – is probably one of the furthest thoughts for most Americans, and the greater West for that matter. The media portrays the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia as terrorist havens on the brink of destruction and violence. So why on Earth would you want to go to Malaysia? Inter-religious Friendships Formed Almost a decade ago in New York City, I met Kamran, my first friend with Pakistani roots. He was born in New Jersey, and his father was from Pakistan. He and I grew very close and took...

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Eat (or kill) Lionfish in the Caribbean

I attended a lionfish cooking demonstration  by the Sandals Foundation in Negril, Jamaica recently while visiting Beaches Resorts. Chef Juan, a head Chef at Beaches, presented a fish to the group and walked us through how best to prepare it. Before he did, though, he explained the dangers of the lionfish, and how the species is forever changing the Caribbean ecosystem. Why are lionfish dangerous Lionfish, formally known as Pterois, are a voracious fish native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. With few predators, most likely due to the effectiveness of their venomous spines, they have proliferated in the...

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Getting Up Close with Penguins

Disclaimer: This experience was provided to my wife for review purposes and I attended as her guest. Opinions, as always, are my own. Did you ever imagine that you, or your kids, could mingle with penguins up-close and personal? Well, now you can hang with penguins without having to travel to Antarctica – although it will still be cold! Sea World offers a Penguins Up-Close Tour that my family and I experienced recently in Orlando, Fla. The tour itself requires admission to Sea World, which is not included in the price of the tour. It’s only available for small...

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Cirque du Soleil Ovo Touring Now

Cirque du Soleil Ovo Touring Circus Mystifies I have fond memories of attending the circus as a kid with my parents. The elephants, lions and ring-masters with their hoops lit on fire entertained while I got cotton candy all over my face. Cirque du Soleil is the modern day circus and Cirque du Soleil Ovo is traveling throughout the nation. Now that I’m older, and no longer love the idea of animals in captivity, Cirque is the new way to feed the inner-child imagination. Having attended many Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, mostly in Las Vegas, I wasn’t sure what...

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VIP Tour at Walt Disney World, You Deserve It

Walt Disney World for families with young kids can be incredibly rewarding and fun, and not to mention tiring! Ultimate VIP Tours is a service offered by Walt Disney World Resorts that takes the work out of it and let’s you focus solely on the fun. The Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour provides a VIP Tour Guide, who whisks you to the front of all the main attractions leaving you, and your little ones, feeling like a boss. What do you get with Disney’s Ultimate VIP Tour? Guidance – A vacation, especially at Walt Disney World, should...

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Adult Activities on Disney Cruise Line

Are there Adult Activities on a Disney Cruise? There are plenty of articles covering the plethora of activities for kids on a Disney Cruise, but what about adult activities? Entertainment for adults abound aboard a Disney Cruise, and what a wonderful surprise it was to this dad to discover during a 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream with my wife and preschool boys. I’ve been on almost a dozen cruises throughout the world, but this was my first Disney Cruise and I didn’t expect to have as much fun as my twin boys did. Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay,...

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Golf Resort Getaway: Streamsong in Florida

Looking for the perfect golf resort getaway? Then for the moment, look no further than Streamsong Resort in Florida. Streamsong is one of the top golf courses in Florida, located between Tampa and Orlando. There are two courses open now – Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue – with Black opening in the Autumn of 2017. The courses are not easy but they send you out with caddies who help guide you throughout the course and attempt to keep you “out of the weeds.” We did see some fairly large alligators in the water so I recommend not going after your...

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Tips for Travel Between Miami and Havana

Travel Tips: Miami to Havana, Cuba I previously wrote about the logistics of planning a trip to Cuba here. Once you’ve booked your flight, here are some tips for the respective airports. If you’ve grown accustomed to the automated kiosks at US airports, semi-efficient checkin lines, and paperless air travel of the US airline industry, you’re in for a rude awakening when traveling to Cuba. Travelers are advised to arrive four hours before your flight and it was immediately evident why. The majority of the travelers were checking in a ton of luggage. The line at the airport resembled...

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How to Avoid AirBnB and HotelTonight Fails

Often times, I travel last minute so am fairly used to concocting solutions at the 11th hour. On a recent trip to the Bay Area, though, I experienced an epic last-minute travel fail with my two usual stalwarts: HotelTonight and AirBnB. I will explain how you can prevent a similar mishap so you can avoid AirBnB and HotelTonight fails and not end up homeless while traveling. First, a word about the two prominent services available for the travel warrior. HotelTonight is an app that offers discounted hotel rooms, for the day of travel, based on filling last minute room inventory. The savings...

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Dad Lessons From the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration

Dad Lessons from Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Like Nemo out of water, I was one of the handful of dad bloggers at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World. I have gone in the past as a +1, as the guest of my wife Tara Met Blog, but this year I was invited to attend… despite my need for the male gender restroom in a sea of over 200 mom bloggers and social influencers. It turns out, there were plenty of lessons to be learned at the conference, not only from Disney, but from the many mom...

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