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Las Vegas’ Seven Magic Mountains

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Autos, Kia, Las Vegas, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia While on our road trip from Orange County to Las Vegas, one stop that we couldn’t miss was seeing Seven Magic Mountains created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Pictures of the colorful rock towers have been all over Instagram this summer, but there is nothing better than seeing the artwork in real life. We had made many stops along our way to Las Vegas and didn’t arrive at the Seven Magic Mountains until dusk. It ended up being the perfect time to visit the popular Las Vegas desert hot spot because there were hardly any visitors there. The art sculptures are located off a paved road just a couple of miles outside of Las Vegas. My cellular service was not giving me a good signal in the desert, so I used the GPS on our...

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Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson at Hale Huakaʻi

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort The alarm went off in our spacious room at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, and I opened the curtains to reveal a beautiful view of the ocean with my children who had arrived on the island the evening before. As I opened the curtains, my kids all said, “wow.” They were in awe of the beautiful view. Then I surprised them with the news that we were going down to the beach to have a family Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) lesson at Hale Huakaʻi. Hale Huakaʻi is a public activities center located on the resort where they offer snorkeling, cabana rentals, SUP, and more. Our kids got their swim gear on and after a filling breakfast at the Tiki Terrace; we went to meet our instructor at the beach....

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Best Shave Ice in Maui: Gus’ Hawaiian Shave Ice

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Dining, Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort After checking into the beautiful Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, I went for a short drive up north to see the Nakalele Blowhole. While on my way to the blowhole, I was admiring the lush landscaping when I spotted the cutest VW bus I have ever seen on the side of the road. When I noticed that the sign on top of the bus said “shave ice,” I turned my car around to enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat at Gus’ Hawaiian Shave Ice. Little did I realize that I was about to sink my taste buds into the best shave ice I have ever had. Inside of the bus was the nicest man who helped to navigate me through their menu. There were so many delicious flavor choices and of...

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Nakalele Blowhole in Maui

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort When our family recently visited Maui, I had a different flight than my husband and kids, and I arrived on the island a couple of hours earlier. It ended up being a brilliant way of traveling because I was able to rent our car, check into our room at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, and get some groceries for the week. Then when my husband arrived with the kids, it was a much more relaxing and less stressful arrival for the kids and us. Once I was done checking into the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, I decided to take the car for a short drive up north to explore. One thing that had been on my bucket list for quite awhile was to visit the Nakalele Blowhole in Maui. I had read mixed...

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Route 66: Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Autos, Kia, Las Vegas, Road Trips, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided on behalf of Kia Every time that we go to Las Vegas, we are always in a rush to get to the city to have some fun. This summer, I took the kids by myself to Zion National Park, and we made a quick stop in Las Vegas. Since I was traveling without my husband, I decided to take my time getting to Las Vegas and explore some stops along the small strip of Route 66 that was just a short detour on our way to Las Vegas. One of our favorite stops along Route 66 was Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch! The small area of Route 66 between OC and Vegas adds about an hour to your road trip (depending on how many times you want to stop and take cool pictures). Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is...

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Kids Cooking Fun at the DoubleTree in Palm Springs

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Palm Springs, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the resort Our family kicked off the summer season with a weekend staycation at the DoubleTree in Palm Springs. The desert destination has everything families need to have an unforgettable weekend getaway complete with various activities for children. When making our plans to stay at the DoubleTree, I called the resort to see if they had any culinary activities for my culinary arts student to participate in, and the staff went out of their way to arrange a private cooking lesson with their chef.   When we arrived at the resort restaurant for the cooking lesson, three tall white chef hats were waiting for my children at the front desk. My kids were thrilled to see the hats and put them on along with their aprons before being welcomed into the professional kitchen...

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Abandoned Town: Zzyzx Road

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Autos, Kia, Las Vegas, Road Trips, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia We’ve all driven by the Zzyzx road sign on the way to Vegas, and I’ve always been curious about what is at the end of the road in the middle of nowhere. While on a summer road trip from OC to Vegas, I finally took the time to pull off the freeway to explore the abandoned town at the end of this famous road. As we drove down the road, I was glad that I was driving our AWD Kia Sorento because most of the road is not paved. As a mom, I’m not used to driving on dirt roads, and when I was on the dirt road, the Sorento handled just as well as it does on paved roads. We made our way down the windy road and took a moment to stop and...

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Edward Scissorhands House in San Diego

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Autos, Cool Places, Kia, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

 I visited San Diego as a guest of Kia While in San Diego learning about Kia’s ecoDynamics technology, I was given the opportunity to drive a beautiful 2017 Kia Soul EV around town. I got to explore the town with one of my best friends who shares a love for discovering unique and funky places. After I took her to see the skeleton house in San Diego, she then surprised me by bringing me to the Edward Scissorhands House (Harper’s Topiary Garden). We rocked out to our favorite tunes in the hip 2017 Kia Soul EV and felt the cool ocean breezes flowing in from the sunroof. We drove to one of the highest points of downtown San Diego, and there it was – one of the coolest front yards I have ever seen. The house sits on top...

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San Diego Skeleton House

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Autos, Kia, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited San Diego as a guest of Kia Whenever I visit a city, I’m always on the hunt to find a new funky and quirky spot to visit. When on a recent trip to San Diego to experience Kia’s ecoDynamics technology, I made plans to visit the San Diego skeleton house for the first time. I did some research to try and find the location, and I didn’t find very much published about the house. I was lucky to find the name of the street in one of my favorite road trip apps, so I added a stop to my travel itinerary. Along with my friend, we drove a hip 2017 Kia Soul EV to find the skeleton house. When we started to drive down the street in search of the house, it’s didn’t take long to spot...

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Red Rock Canyon California State Park

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Autos, California State Parks, Featured, Kia, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia One of my goals this summer is to take my kids to visit as many California State Parks as possible. One of the California State Parks that has been on my bucket list to visit for many years is the Red Rock Canyon California State Park – not to be mistaken with the Red Rock State Park in Nevada. Before packing up the Kia Sorento with everything that we needed for our weekend adventure, I tried to do some research about the park online. I could hardly find any information about it online, so we just jumped into the Sorento, and went exploring. The California State Park is only an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles, making it the perfect day trip. We left early in the morning, and within a couple of...

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Best Summer Travel Deals at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Palm Springs, Travel | 0 comments

  Cool pools, a sandy beach, waterfalls, cabanas, and amazing room packages are set to highlight summer 2017 at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa. With an unparalleled selection of connecting and adjoining rooms for friends and family travelers, the award-winning resort has introduced two value-loaded weekday packages – as well as a special spa escape for the coming season. The three new offerings are as follows: DOUBLE YOUR FUN FOR AN EXTRA $50, priced from $209 USD per night Summer guests can stay in spacious style and book a second room for only $50 more per night. Only one resort fee applies when booking this two-room weekday package, adding further value for summer guests – and connecting rooms are an option based on availability. Book this special offer at bit.ly/2qU8b3K, corporate code P51. Valid Sunday through Thursday, June...

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A ‘Suite’ Staycation at DoubleTree Doheny Beach

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Staycations are the best kind of vacations. Orange County is its own little paradise, and instead of traveling afar to find a beautiful paradise, we try to enjoy as much of the beauty of Orange County by having as many staycations as possible. Our favorite staycations are ones spent by the beach, and our recent staycation at the DoubeTree Doheny Beach was one we will remember forever. The weather was perfect the weekend of our staycation. We arrived on a Friday afternoon at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach and checked into our ocean view suite for the weekend. Within minutes of arriving at the resort, my children had changed into their swimsuits and were ready to go across the street to play at the beach. The beach is just steps away from...

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Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Olamendi’s Dana Point

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort mentioned One of our favorite places to get quick and delicious Mexican food in Orange County is at Olamendi’s. Olamendi’s is located in Dana Point right across from the beach, and was once a favorite dining spot of Richard Nixon. While on a recent staycation at the DoubleTree Suites in Doheny Beach, our family went sailing in Dana Point Harbor and then walked from our resort to Olamendi’s for lunch. The kids love the festive vibe of Olamendi’s Dana Point and always play a game of ISpy while we are dining in the restaurant. There is so much for the kids to see in the restaurant that it keeps them entertained so my husband and I can enjoy some quality time talking without being interrupted by the kiddos. After a long...

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Sunset Cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue While staying at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I enjoyed some romantic time before taking the kids to dinner, watching the sunset at MoQUILA Agave Lounge. The lounge is one of the best-kept secrets in Orange County because it is not super busy on a Friday or Saturday night and offers couples beautiful views of the sunset over the crystalline waters of Doheny Beach. Both nights that we stayed at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I had cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge during the sunset before taking the kids to dinner. The lounge features bar seating right along the edge of the roof, high top tables, couches and a large fire pit in the center. There was plenty of seating for couples, and it never felt crowded...

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Family Sailing in Dana Point Harbor

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Best of OC, Dana Point, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited a guest of the venue One of my favorite things to do as a child growing up in Orange County was to sail my sabot. Growing up just steps away from the water in Newport Beach, my parents got me sailing lessons at a very young age. Once I learned how to sail, my parents couldn’t keep me off the water. I spent every warm day out on the water sailing my hot pink sabot around Newport Harbor. I always thought that when I grew up and had children of my own that I would teach them all to sail, but life happens, and I never got around to teaching any of my children how to sail. I have taken them out sailing a couple of times when in the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica, but none...

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Coastal Breezes and Cuisine at Doheny Surf

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue When checking into the DoubleTree Suites in Doheny Beach, I noticed the chic restaurant off to the side of the lobby. I took a peek at the menu and immediately knew that I wanted to have dinner with the family one night during our seaside staycation. After a fun day creating family memories at the beach, we returned to the hotel to have dinner at Doheny Surf. The restaurant has a coastal design that is perfect for families to enjoy an intimate dinner together. The one thing that I noticed in the restaurant is that they have a wood fire pizza oven which is rare to find in a hotel restaurant. The menu had a wide variety of culinary options making it easy for everyone in my family to find something...

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Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in San Luis Obispo, Travel | 0 comments

  While on our road trip to Monterey, one of our favorite stops was to see the bubblegum alley in San Luis Obispo. My daughter and I have always wanted to see the bubblegum alley in Seattle, and we didn’t even realize there was one in San Luis Obispo until a friend mentioned it to us. We put the address into the navigation in our Buick Encore and made our way to have some sticky “and stinky” fun. The biggest challenge of getting to the bubblegum alley was finding parking. The alley is located right in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, and parking is not easy to find. Once we found a parking spot, it was only a one-hour parking, so we had to make our visit to the area brief. The alley was located in-between two...

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Monterey’s Fish House

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Dining, Monterey, Travel | 0 comments

  After a long drive from Orange County to Monterey, we settled into our room at the Monterey Tides Resort, and then looked online for somewhere to get dinner. There are so many choices when it comes to dining in Monterey, and one restaurant that stood out to us among the rest was the Monterey’s Fish House. Little did we realize that we picked Monterey’s most popular restaurant to go for dinner. We arrived at the restaurant close to 8 pm on a Thursday, and there was a line of people that wrapped around the side of the building. We took our place in line and waited for a table at the highly acclaimed restaurant. Once we got a table, the service was phenomenal. We got a small table in the back of the restaurant and had one of...

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Tonita’s Mexican Food in San Luis Obispo

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 in Dining, San Luis Obispo, Travel | 0 comments

  There is nothing I love more than authentic Mexican Food. While on our recent road trip to Monterey, we made a quick stop in San Luis Obispo to look at Bubblegum Alley and to have lunch. When we arrived in town, there were endless choices of places where we could stop for lunch, but it was a small taco shop on the corner that caught our eye, and we had one of the best lunches at Tonita’s Mexican Food. The restaurant is a small building that has a large outdoor patio with a beautiful view of lush plants and trees. We were a little deceived at first because the Yelp app was advising that the restaurant was closed, but when we turned the knob on the front door, there was a lovely lady at the counter ready to...

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Hilton Reinvents the California Road Trip

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  In California Summer starts in April. Travelers from around the globe will enjoy the ultimate Golden State adventure with Hilton’s “California Road Trip,” a destination package that inspires thrill-seekers and value-minded explorers. Discover an array of adventures and authentic experiences with rates starting at $149 per night. The package will highlight premier destination cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Anaheim and San Diego with special rates available through Labor Day Weekend 2017. The California Road Trip package features savings of more than $125 per night, with exclusive discount of up to 15 percent on Enterprise/Alamo and National Car Rentals, $25 food and beverage credit (available in MIX Restaurant only), complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, unlimited access to the hotel’s Health Club & Spa and a California Road Trip Road Kit featuring exclusive discounts on local entertainment and attractions. Room...

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