Domestic Travel

When You Wish Up OnStar, Makes No Difference Where You Are

“Hello, Traveling Moms, welcome to OnStar. How can we help you?” Although you’d not be called by name were you the one making the OnStar call for directions—we were a special program—you’d get the same clear, professional assistance from the real person on the other end of the line. Our cool voice came through the audio system in the Chevrolet Camaro we were prodding through the streets of Kissimmee, Florida, under an leaden-overcast May afternoon. On the Road with OnStar – Disney World Our wheels were a slick red Camaro SS convertible, and had there been any hope the rain would hold off, the top would be down and Megan, Chris and I would have had hair blowing in the wind. Well, the women would have hair blowing in the wind; my blowing mane is long gone. I would probably have bug splats on my pate. This is Florida, after all. “There’s one Traveling Dad in here, too,” I protested. The only Traveling Dad tapped to write about innovation and technology, I was part of a collection of Traveling Moms, we were guests of Disney Parks, Chevrolet, OnStar and Panasonic for a wild weekend writing workshop. This Saturday afternoon, we were on a scavenger hunt with an hour, a list and OnStar. Traffic was not kind, and we mixed up the dropped Ripley’s Believe or Not museum with the...

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Confessions of a Dad in Louisville

My approach to parenting may not be for every man, especially those who believe that the path to child rearing begins and ends with discipline. And it certainly wouldn’t pass the sniff test of most mothers. That said, I’m pretty sure my daughters would testify on my behalf in the court of political correctness, although I probably would never call them to the stand in the first place since the younger two still seem to get a real kick out of the thump-thumping sound of the bus running over me after they’ve thrown me under it. But when the girls’spring break coincided with their mother’s invitation to test drive the new Chrysler 200 in Louisville, we packed up the minivan (fist pumps to the Toyota Sienna’s Barcalounger-like reclining back seats with foot rests) and road-tripped from Connecticut with a loose itinerary that included 36 hours or so of pure Dad supervision. Hell yeah. I’d been to Louisville only once before in the 1990’s, and then it was only for a few hours. I had no real impression of the city, and even if I had I’m sure it would not have been applicable to Louisville today. I loved that city this time, and I’ll give you eight reasons why. 1. Louisville is one of the most livable cities in America. Downtown has been revitalized. Art is everywhere, in the...

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How to Buy Souvenirs for Your Kids

If you’re about to go on your first trip since becoming a parent and are looking for an easy souvenir idea, here’s one: Nothing. Don’t get baby anything on that trip, or any other. Stop the habit before it starts and you’ll save yourself heaps of time, money, and aggravation. (Also, if you’re shoving Tooth Fairy money under your child’s pillow for the first time, leave something way south of five bucks. I left a fiver for my eldest daughter when she lost her first tooth, and what was meant as a one-time-only First Lost Tooth prize became the...

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River Rafting in Alaska With Kids

With my wife Beth and my four children in tow, I went on assignment in Alaska this summer. And while our quirky 49th state naturally provokes plenty of questions, one question above all others went through my mind: What was I thinking? How can a family of six explore Alaska in a 31-foot RV for ten days and manage to enjoy themselves? Read on. Nova River Runners About 2 hours South of Anchorage on the Alaskan Highway is a turn off to Hope, Alaska. It is here where a small, converted school bus, with a “Nova” logo painted, pulled...

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Road Trips Before the Pink Strip

Road trips are much easier before you have kids. When it was just you, your wife, and the open road, you just worried about packing a few essentials. You could drive for hours without stopping, making record time to your destination. That changes, though, the moment you see that little strip turn pink. I’m the type that just wants to make it to my destination, no side trips, few-as-possible bathroom breaks. Let’s. Just. Get. There. Once my wife got pregnant, however, what was normally a 4-hour car ride turned into 5. It was no fault of her own, of...

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Getting Kicked by Route 66 on a Road Trip

In an age of interstate superhighways, it’s hard to believe that Route 66 used to be such a major thoroughfare. The two-lane roadway seems impossibly narrow. Fortunately, we passed few other cars as we rolled along in our wide SUV. It was my wife’s idea to drive from Chicago to central Illinois via the Mother Road. I had just finished rebuilding a 1967 Cobra Jet Mustang and it seemed somehow fitting that we should take the low road in honor of the heyday of American road trips. (We didn’t drive the Mustang–it’s not quite ready for a road trip....

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How to Pass Down a Love of Baseball

I have always been a big baseball fan. I played it in high school, and while I might not have been the best player, it didn’t keep me from loving the game. My dad was also a baseball fan. His love of the game was what he passed down to me. I always enjoyed going to the ball park with him while he taught me the different idiosyncrasies of the game. When I learned that I was having a son, I knew that I wanted to pass down to him the love of baseball that my dad passed on...

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No Impact of FAA Sequester Budget Cuts

First a bit of background – two weeks ago I was in Charlotte, NC; from there I traveled to Madrid, Spain, for five days; and then I was home for the weekend before traveling from Oregon to Florida on April 22, the dreaded F-A-Armageddon.  For three days, I heard warning: “There are going to be flight delays across the country because of the sequester and the FAA furloughs.” I am of the crowd that opted for the view that – just like the sequester – things wouldn’t be as bad as people said they’d be, and this was an...

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Limited Time Magic: The 2013 Disney Campaign

Making Every Moment Count: TravelingDad takes a first look at the new Disney park campaign that addresses the current, family vacation needs. Most parents these days have a higher level of anxiety and stress; vacations are now a more important event to focus on time with family. Creating more quality time to be with the ones that matter the most is what is most important right now. Learn how Disney is addressing the need to make quality time a lasting family impression with Limited Time Magic. I only have 9 summers with my kids… The 2013 Disney campaign is something...

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TravelingDad Wine Tour: May the Best Man….Zin!

Dropping Daughter off to College:  The whole reason why this Traveling Dad adventure happened was because of my daughter. This fall was the beginning of her freshman year at UC Davis. This prestigious college is located just outside the city of Sacramento, which is the state capital of California. Davis is a long ways away from our hometown of San Diego and it was my Dad Duty to transfer my daughter’s belongings to her new dorm room. So before I started my 9 – hour drive north, I talked my girlfriend into sharing the long road trip with me....

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