This story starts a couple of months before I would visit The Omni Homestead Resort, a stunning historic hotel in Hot Spring, Virginia. I needed to be in southern Maryland at 10am on a Monday morning to visit the new Camp Kesem summer camp location I helped fund by hiking across England with a gaggle of dad blogger buddies to honor a dear friend who succumbed to cancer. Phew that’s an emotional mouthful. D.C. traffic, 100 miles of hiking, terminal cancer. Facing the daunting prospect of battling both the Baltimore and D.C. beltways in rush hour traffic, I instead...Read More
Irvine, California located in south Orange County, is one of the larger cities in the region and is home to fantastic restaurants, hotels and fun for families. With John Wayne airport in town, the city of Irvine is super easy to access as well. Let’s break down the best of Irvine for family travel! Where to Stay While in Irvine, our hotel home was the Homewood Suites Irvine. Opened last year, this all-suites hotel features a free daily breakfast, a fantastic outdoor pool, workout center and amazing amenities. We had a two bedroom suite that had a full kitchen...Read More
Santa’s Wonderland is a behemoth of the Texas Christmas light scene. In fact it is the BIGGEST Christmas attraction in Texas. It began as a drive thru Texas Christmas light attraction and grew into the type of theme park that would make Clark Griswold proud. It draws Texans from far and wide to its delightful explosion of Christmas Cheer. The idea of a visit can be overwhelming so I’ll run through the Don’t Do’s but first let me give you some Christmas background on my family so you know what we’re dealing with. Christmas in the Stump household can be...Read More
Costa Mesa, a destination city in Orange County, California is centrally located next to Newport Beach, Anaheim and Huntington Beach. Costa Mesa is known as the “City of the Arts” for good reason – home to the Segerstrom Center, the town boasts performing arts that will satisfy anyone’s taste for culture. Added to that – there’s so much to be said for Costa Mesa – the city is close to sports, fine food and active adventures for your family. In this post, we’ll explore where to stay, where you should eat and experiences that are worth your time. So,...Read More
For a quick summer vacation this year, we decided to take a road trip down to Colorado Springs, Colorado to visit the Great Wolf Lodge resort that opened there in 2016. For those who aren’t familiar with Great Wolf Lodge, these are resorts throughout the United States that offer an all-in-one experience centering around a “lodge-style” resort and water park. Think of it as you would going on a child-friendly cruise ship, but without the boat. To illustrate how immersive and full of activities and fun the Great Wolf Lodge experience can be: our family arrived and, upon our...Read More
They call Aruba “One Happy Island” for good reasons, and our happy little family felt right at home in those famous warm waters and white sands. Our stay at the Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusive Resort was awesome because we didn’t have to think about much more than which beach chairs we would occupy each day.Read More
The focus of family vacations to Disney World often centers around younger kids. Our experience, however, has been that tweens enjoy Magic Kingdom even more. They know the stories, the characters, and are more independent. Growing older, and taller, also opens up a greater variety of rides, such as the insanely fun roller coasters. Here are my top 10 picks for rides and attractions your tweens will love at Magic Kingdom. Attractions for Fun and Laughs Mad Tea Party – Who doesn’t love a fast paced whirl around in the teacups? Well, there are some who aren’t too fond...Read More
Parents often question whether or not their teens will enjoy a Disney World vacation. “Aren’t they too old for princesses?” In case you haven’t noticed, Disney has a TV channel aimed squarely at teens and the theme parks are no less exciting for this age group. While there may not be the standard extreme roller coasters, there are still plenty of exciting thrill rides for teens at Disney World. Imagineers have put a lot more effort into designing rides that tell a story and, even in the queues, riders will find themselves entertained instead of just scared of the...Read More
Sometimes, in the life of a family travel writer and photographer, you must leave the family back at the ranch and have experiences all by your solo self. It’s a happy and sad reality all at once, but sometimes there’s not budget for +3, and so I go it alone and report back to them and to you. And then sometimes, I make immediate plans to return to that exact spot I stood, or in this case swam, with my wife and kids because the experience was so grand, so unique, and so enormous! There I was, at 6:45...Read More
If you love beaches, boating, nature and sea life, Exuma Bahamas has to go on your bucket list. These are the top 5 surprising things we found while visiting Exuma Bahamas last year. After a few days at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort we took a short flight to Great Exuma, the largest of 365 islands that make up Exuma. Here’s what you need to know about Exuma. Things To Do In Exuma Bahamas If you think of the Bahamas as an exotic honeymoon destination, Exuma does not disappoint with hotels like Sandals Emerald Bay. Ours was not that kind of trip. With...Read More
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