Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Travel

#KudosToYou: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hosts “Over the Edge” Fundraiser for Special Olympics

There are many ways to enjoy the views of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii- by airplane, boat, foot or car. But, what do you think it would be like to take in the turquoise textures of the water, the swaying palms popping out of fluffy sand and the yawning sky disappearing into the Pacific Ocean while rappelling down a 40 story (more than 400 feet!) building?

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach is providing this high-thrill vantage point, via an event called Over the Edge on Saturday November 5th, to adventure-seekers able to raise more that $1,000 for the Special Olympics Hawai’i. They hope to raise $130,000 for Special Olympics Hawai’i with all funds used to benefit local athletes.

The Over the Edge event has raised over $900,000 (!) for Special Olympics Hawai’i since it was first held in 2009. The proceeds have provided services to more than 3,700 athletes statewide.

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Travel

Best Musical Festivals in New Orleans

Did you know that the yum factor of coffee and beignets ramps up exponentially after grooving your groove thang to a few sets of live music?

Do your taste buds, and ears, and eyes, and heck, your everything a favor and head to New Orleans for one (or all!) of the following music festivals, sure to leave you blissed-out and figuring out how to extend your trip by a few days.

“Sorry boss, (cough cough) I think I pulled my hamstring doing a wicked version of the Cajun Jitterbug and couldn’t possibly sit on an airplane.”

The following festivals offer audible treats for every palate, so pick your pleasure and book your flight.

Read more on Huff Post!

Camping, Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Travel

The Journey of The Great Song Cycle: Interview with Joanna Wallfisch

Playful and poetic British vocalist and composer Joanna Wallfisch shirked the bus aspect of her latest West Coast tour in favor of a bike. The tour was aptly named The Great Song Cycle.

Joanna pushed through challenge and triumph while traversing the coast with only her body and two thin wheels propelling her forward; what transpired was a tour full of music made richer by the beautiful struggle Joanna intentionally created.

As you’ll discover in the following interview with this unique songstress, her journey was not passed through without contemplation and growth; it birthed it.

Why did you decide to pass on “traditional transport” in favor of a bike for this portion of your tour?

J: The main reason was freedom. Life on a bicycle is to be completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I carried all that I needed for my multi-faceted month; my instruments, my home, my clothes, food, water, and myself. When traveling by car, train or plane one can easily forget that you have to carry yourself with you wherever you go. On a bike, you become so attuned to the body you live in and how mind, spirit and flesh can actually exist simultaneously together and also as separate entities. It was a complete thrill to know that the only way I was going to get from A to B was by the strength of my own body and mind…. Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Travel

Where to Dive, Sleep and Eat in Roatan, Honduras

The world’s second largest barrier reef surrounds the island of Roatan, a tropical rock located off the coast of mainland Honduras. Roatan’s warm waters are pulsating with life so colorful, playful and exotic your curiosity and lust for discovery could have you swimming in the water for hours.

While lauded as one of the most appealing destinations for scuba divers, Roatan also offers physical intrigue and mental solace for those content with a snorkel, goggles and fins, or even just a cocktail, beach chair and “I just can’t quit you” book.

Come one come all to the island you might not be able to leave; I moved back to Roatan three weeks after my initial visit, and stayed for three years.

When (not if!) you make it to Roatan, here are the top spots to dive, sleep and eat.

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Travel

Virginia City Is the Ex-Metropolis You Must See to Believe

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Did you know there is a quirky haven tucked in the mountains above Reno, Nevada where you can watch camels and ostriches race, spy on ZZ Top bearded locals sipping pints of brew under colorful chandeliers and explore mines where millions of dollars worth of gold and silver were precariously pulled from the Earth in the mid-1800s?

All this goodness is living in Virginia City, Nevada.

When the mining industry went bonkers in the 19th century, Virginia City provided the means for forlorn prospectors to become mining-millionaires. Subsequently, many of their wives became widows- the average life expectancy of miners in this time was 45 (if they breathed some luck in with all the dust.)

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Parenting, Travel

Your Guide to a Luxury Family Vacation in North Lake Tahoe

If you’ve been looking for a watering hole in the sky, whose waters are swirling with unpretentious grandeur, family friendly thrills and mega-yummy food, pack up your swim suits (or snow suits) and hoof it to North Lake Tahoe.

To minimize the stress pangs birthed from figuring out the logistics of a vacation (especially when humans under the age of 21 are involved!) I’ve collected my North Tahoe faves, and those of my nearest and dearest who called North Tahoe home for over ten years, so you can slide into this haven with nary a worry in sight (just a bunch of pine trees in sight.)

Where to Stay: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Read more on Huffington Post!

Airplane Travel, Travel

Top Stops for Families Vacationing in the Florida Keys

I find the Florida Keys to be synonymous with simple living, tranquil vibes and landscapes so hypnotic you’d be happy to just sit and stare for a few hours- maybe even days. Because traveling with children breeds a special brand of stress, you might as well travel to a land where everyone (children included) can’t help but chill out- in warm waters.

Here are a few Florida Key destinations sure to infuse your family vacation with a unique blend of easy-going fun and introspective ponderings.

Read more on Huff Post!

Career, Childbirth, Family Entertainment, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Travel

How the Band Famous October Tours With Their Baby (Interview)

When you have a baby it can be a struggle just to put on some pants and walk to the mail box. Well, Sarah Bowman and Rene Coal Burrell of the band Famous Octoberhad the baby, put on the pants and didn’t just make it to the mailbox, they went on tour for the “One Day Baby” album they also birthed. Sarah and Rene are a living testament to the fact that creative passions, career and parenthood can harmoniously coexist as they travel through the United States sharing their music and nurturing their young family.

I was able to get a glimpse into their journey thus far, and gleaned plenty of inspiration for my own journey through motherhood.

Read the interview on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Travel

Why Reno Should Be On Your List of “Must See” Cities

Reno has been percolating with opportunity that is now being realized in community-focused gentrification- and I’m loving it. I used to think of Reno as a gateway to Tahoe, but a recent trip to “The Biggest Little City in the World” has flipped my script. I now view Reno as a trendy and entertaining stand-alone destination that allows me to carry a cup of wine around my neck as I walk along the river flowing through its center. I struck gold when I “discovered” Reno.

Here’s a few reasons you should shimmy into a plane seat headed for a Reno vacay, or maybe even score in their real estate market before it’s gobbled up by hipster Millennials.

1. Community Work Spaces

Read more on Huff Post!

Airplane Travel, Travel

A Collection of the Best 82 Tips for Traveling With Children

*I did not write this entire piece but contributed many of the tips. Happy travels!

You never know how easy solo travel is until you have kids. Family travel numbers are lower than you would expect considering all the great benefits to traveling with children. The top reasons why families aren’t traveling with their children are the cost and not feeling comfortable and confident. This collection of 82 tips will help travelers be prepared and confident to take their children on a vacation regardless of their age.

But traveling with kids doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you’re imagining right now, and travel can be extremely beneficialfor your kids. In fact, there are families — with kids as young as infants and as old as grumpy teenagers — traveling around the world every day. These 82 tips are compiled from travel bloggers and parents that have become experts on the topic of traveling with children, and they’re guaranteed to improve your family travel experience.

Read more on FlyFar!

Camping, Travel, Uncategorized

How to Take Your Camping Cuisine to The Next Level

Food prep has always been the metaphorical poison oak rubbing on my leg when I go camping- my main criteria being “what will be the least fussy food to make?” After spending half a day using my mad-Tetris skills packing my car with half my house, I have no desire to be a short order cook of crappy food when I get to the camp site.

But, what if campfire food could be both easy and delicious? (I would go camping more.)

I spoke with Shane Hammett, avid camper and chef de cuisine at the Lone Eagle Grille in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, to get the (beefed-up) skinny on how to make campout eating a (easy) fine dining experience- albeit fine dining a la fold out chairs, dust and bug spray.

Here’s how to jazz up your campfire cuisine without having to skip the hike because you need to clean up after lunch and start prepping dinner.

1. Build the Right Kind of Fire.

Trying to cook on a campfire without the right kind of fire is like trying to scale a mountain trail in heels- you can do it, but it will take a long time- and it will suck.

Read more on Huffington Post!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

How to Have An Epic Family Vacation In Nicaragua

Mother nature has planted a special kiss on Nicaragua, blessing it with balmy oceans, lush vegetation, affordable food, drink and accommodations, and smiling people ready to enhance your vacation with kindness and a reminder to relax and move slow.

My family has fallen so deeply in love with Nicaragua we’ve decided to purchase a property on the Pacific coast, ensuring we have the opportunity to infuse our lives with the uplifting vibes of this vibrant country on the regular.

If you and your family plan to explore this hidden jewel of Central America, fertile with adventure and chances for enlightenment, follow these suggestions to help ensure your trip is a success.

1. Hire a Chef.

Parents spend a hearty amount of time preparing meals and cleaning up after meals- then rinsing and repeating. If you’ll be renting a house, make it a true vacation by hiring a chef to prepare your breakfasts, lunches or dinners (or all of them!) Chef services in Nicaragua are inexpensive, and you can request they do all the shopping for you! In addition, you’ll be supporting the local economy and gaining a chance to get to know someone who is likely a native of the country.

Read more on Discount My Flights! 

Travel, Uncategorized

Ringling Brothers Took It Out of This World

Holy acrobats-light show-unicycles y’all- Ringling Brothers brought it. And now, they’re bringing it to you. “It” being their new show, Out of This World. I went to Florida (to the 580,000 square foot complex that houses the Ringling Brothers family!) to preview a few of the acts, and the opening of the show – oh my wow. I thought I was going to see some hoops, a bit of flying trapeze shenanigans and popcorn- but saw so much more.

 

I left this experience totally star-struck by these obscenely talented people. I’m not even sure they’re people- they’re so skilled they may actually be from someplace out of this world. (I also left with videos of me jumping rope and unicycling with the Saint Charles Troupe- and when I say “unicycling” I mean “me being held up on a unicycle and pushed around by two strong men.”)

Read more on Huffington Post!

Camping, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

9 Insider Tips for Family Camping on the California Coast

There’s a rare form of magic in the crisp air along the California Coast, which is why it’s best enjoyed outdoors. Camping along these beaches rich with ancient trees, active sea life and a bounty of activities (for all ages!) will support you in creating the ideal vacation for your entire family. To ensure it’s more fun than frustrating, follow these tips.

1. Find the Perfect Spot.

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It’s hard to go wrong when finding a site to camp along the West Coast, but depending on your family’s specific needs, some locations will suit your family better than others. Take your preferences for sites (e.g., not near cliffs, activities for young children and a beach with a mellow break) and find a few spots that meet your needs.

Read more on Discount My Flights

Travel, Uncategorized

Food Lover’s Guide to Austin, Texas

Photo: Jeremy KeithPhoto Credit: Jeremy Keith

If Austin, Texas were a perfume it would smell like barbeque, with an undertone of breakfast tacos and craft beer.

I was going to write a “Best Places to Eat In Austin” article, but that would be impossible, seeing as there are hundreds of “best” places to eat in my wacky hometown.

This is a tiny sprinkle of Austin eateries that will leave you fat, happy and searching for more.

Read more on Flight Network!

Travel, Uncategorized

How to Enjoy a Trip to Mammoth Lakes (With Kids!)

IMG_6496The snow reminds me that Mother Nature has not completely forgotten to give us water.

The fresh air reminds me to breathe.

The cozy cabin reminds me to bond.

And the fireplace reminds me to drink something hot and sweet (with Baileys in it?).

My family travels to Mammoth Mountain many times a year, taking a grateful sigh of relief when we see the jagged outline of the Minarets, looming behind Mammoth Mountain — our welcoming committee.

Ten minutes later, we turn off the highway and cruise into the chic, yet cozy, Mammoth Lakes village.

The town is intentionally kept quaint, but has an obvious layer of modern influences and a thriving youth culture.

Read more on Huff Post!