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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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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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The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Best of OC, Museums, Staycation | 2 comments

  “Oh, the places you’ll go.” That is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss, and so true about sharing the world with our children. One of my favorite things to do with my children is to go exploring, and when you explore, you find hidden gems just like we did while on a recent staycation in Laguna Beach. During our staycation, the weather wasn’t as sunny as we had wished, so we made the best of our little getaway and went exploring the different art museums in Laguna Beach. That was when we discovered an amazing hidden gem – The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery. The gallery didn’t have any signage to show us exactly what is was, but a piece of Dr. Seuss artwork that was in the window caught the eye of my younger son...

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Where to Eat, Sleep and Play in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored Laguna Beach is our favorite place to getaway from the daily stresses of life and experience a family staycation right in our backyard. We always feel like we are in paradise when staying in Laguna Beach because of the beautiful waters, delicious cuisine, and fun children’s activities. We have made it easy for families to plan their upcoming Laguna Beach getaway with everything you need to know about where to eat, sleep and play in Laguna Beach. Where to Stay The Inn at Laguna Beach Looking for a resort with an ocean view? The Inn at Laguna Beach offers guests some of the best resort ocean views. The rooms are decorated beautifully, and it is centrally located within walking distance to the most popular Laguna Beach restaurants. They offer complimentary wine hour at their rooftop bar and cookies...

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Sun and Sunsets at The Inn at Laguna Beach

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Our favorite place to have weekend staycations is in Laguna Beach. When planning our recent Laguna Beach getaway, we made plans to stay at the highly acclaimed Inn at Laguna Beach. I have seen the hotel many times while walking along Main Beach or driving down PCH, and I couldn’t wait to stay and experience the resort. I picked up my kids early from school on a Friday afternoon and took them down to Laguna Beach. I parked my car in the resort parking lot and walked down to Main Beach to look at the tide pools. The tide was low, and it was the perfect time to see all the beautiful sea life living in the tide pools on Main Beach. After splashing our toes in the ocean, we walked...

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L’Auberge Del Mar Reimagined Guestrooms

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

  The 121 guest rooms at L’Auberge Del Mar, A Destination Hotel, located in San Diego’s coastal North County region, have emerged with a fresh new contemporary look masterminded by renowned Los Angeles interior designer Barclay Butera. According to Bob Harter, director of sales and marketing for L’Auberge Del Mar, the room renovations are part of a recently completed refurbishment program, which also impacts meeting spaces and select public areas. “All our latest upgrades are taking a cue from the surrounding surf, sand and sun,” he added. Providing an inspired take on the hotel’s oceanfront location, the new guest rooms have been redone with Butera’s characteristic modern beach flair – marked by clean, transitional “coastal chic” decor. According to Butera, who first redid the resort in 2008, each guestroom now sports a calming backdrop of crisp whites and subdued...

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Dine Inside of a Life-Size Gingerbread House

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Christmas, Dining, Family, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue While our family was visiting Great Wolf Lodge this holiday season, we had the most memorable experience dining inside of a giant life-size gingerbread house. The gingerbread house is located in the lobby of the resort and is adorned with candy treats. The gingerbread house features: 663 pounds of gingerbread dough 5,635 Square feet of Gingerbread 70 Gallons of Icing 1,152 Peeps 450 pounds of Mike & Ikes 135 pounds of gumdrops 85 hours of icing 160 hours of house creation Everyone who visits Great Wolf Lodge during the holidays is drawn to the beauty of the life-size gingerbread house. Inside of the house is a circular table where families are invited to have an unforgettable dining experience. The second it was time for our family to dine in the gingerbread...

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Family Staycation at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored When it comes to staycations, families living in Orange County have so many options, but when it comes to a beachside getaway, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is a premier choice for locals. The historic vacation destination has recently undergone a major renovation and offers guests plush accommodations just steps away from the crystalline waters of the Pacific Ocean. As our children are getting older, it is becoming harder for all of our family to be able to come together on the weekends. The minute that I noticed that my high schooler had a weekend free of commitments, I planned a weekend getaway to The Ranch at Laguna Beach. We packed our beach gear into the car and drove down the coast to the resort. We checked into our room, and within minutes our kids were on a...

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The Great Wolf Lodge Howl-O-Ween Staycation

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Halloween, Holiday, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue When looking for the best place to have a Halloween staycation with your family this year, The Great Wolf Lodge is the place to have a epic Howl-O-Ween getaway. Last week, our family had a weekend getaway to the premier vacation destination, and it was one of the best family staycations we have ever had. We checked into The Great Wolf Lodge on a Friday afternoon, and then took the shuttle over to Disneyland for Mickey’s Halloween Party. Our kids trick-or-treated, enjoyed tasty Halloween-themed treats, and watched the fireworks twinkle over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Once the clock struck midnight, and Disneyland started to close, we made our way back to The Great Wolf Lodge where our children would dream of cake pops and lollipops. Our family would spend the weekend in...

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Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside Weekend Getaway

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue Staycations are my favorite kind of family vacations. It just takes a couple of minutes to toss a couple of outfits into a bag and be poolside at a hotel relaxing within minutes. Because staycations are always far less stressful than major vacations, our family tends to take staycations a lot throughout the year. It is a perfect way to stop, relax, and recharge as a family without a big cost or stress. We found ourselves overly stressed about the start of the school year, so we took our kids to San Diego for the weekend to stay at the new Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside and relieve some of their back-to-school anxiety. The new hotel is centrally located within walking distance of some of the best family attractions in downtown San...

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Unforgettable Santa Cruz Island Adventure

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in National Parks, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Ventura An adventurer at heart, visiting Santa Cruz Island was the favorite day of our journey in discovering Ventura County. Rising early was a breeze, just like a little kid off to play and the explore an island! Upon arrival at Ventura Harbor, we were greeted by Cherryl from Island Packers, the boat that will take us on the quick hour trip across the sea. Island Packers has been in business for 47 years, as we learned Cherryl’s dad owned the company which she enthusiastically continues to oversee. The boat will carry 100 people max, so make sure you reserve early. A few helpful tidbits to know before traveling on your island adventure, especially if you plan on staying awhile to enjoy the islands. You can purchase food and beverages on the boat,...

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Best Family Hotel in La Jolla: Hyatt Regency La Jolla

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Last year, we started spending a lot of time in La Jolla. We created unforgettable memories kayaking into sea caves, whale watching, visiting the sea lions, and dining at cutting edge restaurants. The one thing that we have not experienced was staying the night together as a family in La Jolla until recently. Instead of making our summer trip a day trip, we made it a weekend getaway by staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla is located just a short distance from the crystalline La Jolla waters and activities. The moment that we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the charming staff. Our kids relaxed in the children’s lounge while I checked us into our room for the weekend. The moment that we...

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La Jolla Strand Beach

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed in La Jolla as a guest of the Hyatt While staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, I wanted to visit a beach that didn’t have the crowds that La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove have. The staff at the hotel recommended we visit La Jolla Strand Beach for the afternoon, and it was one of the most beautiful beaches I have visited. Since the beach isn’t overcrowded, parking is easy at La Jolla Strand Beach. We parked our car and carried our beach gear for just a few steps until finding a perfect intimate cove to spend the afternoon together as a family. There are lots of various rock formations along the cliffs that carve out the beach creating a lot of places for families to feel like they have the beach all to themselves....

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Family-Friendly Asian Cuisine at Cafe Japengo

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Dining, Family, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, we had an unforgettable dinner at Cafe Japengo. When we first made our reservations at the restaurant, I was concerned that it might not have enough kid-friendly options, but the staff at the Hyatt ensured me that it was the best choice for dinner, and they were right. After a day of fun in the sun, we walked across the street for dinner. The staff welcomed us and found a comfortable table for us to enjoy dinner. While looking over the menu, I was overwhelmed with the large variety of healthy options on their kid’s menu. From udon noodles to a bento box, there was something for all of my children to enjoy. We started dinner with the house made chicken potstickers topped...

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San Diego Staycation at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort San Diego is one of my favorite summer staycation destinations with the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina being one of the premier resorts for families. The resort is centrally located right on the waterfront and is just steps away from the popular Gaslamp Quarter. With summer right around the corner, I couldn’t wait to plan a family staycation at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, so we had a pre-summer getaway. I made plans to stay during my son’s birthday weekend so he could enjoy some relaxation by the pool and have dinner at a restaurant he had wanted to try, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. When we first arrived at the resort, we checked into our luxurious room that had beautiful panoramic views of San Diego. There was a small...

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Getting Prepared for Summer Camping

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Camp, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Shopping, Staycation, Travel | 66 comments

 Sponsored We have tried camping a couple of times with our children but was never able to have a successful camping trip because of being unprepared. We never invested in a proper tent, camping stove or camping light. The result was a terrible camping experience that left us not wanting to camp ever again. Well, as our kids have been getting older, they continually ask us if we can go on a family camping trip, so we made the commitment to purchase the proper camping supplies at Kohl’s, and give it another try. Kohl’s has a great selection of camping supplies from tents to stoves making it an easy one-stop shopping destination to prepare for our weekend camping trip. We invested in a really nice (and pretty) Coleman eight-person tent, a Coleman 3-in-1 propane camping stove, and a Coleman...

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