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Desert Family Oasis: DoubleTree Palm Springs

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

 We visited as a guest of the venue Palm Springs is one of our favorite places to escape the stresses of daily life. We kicked off our summer this year with a weekend getaway to the desert and discovered our new favorite desert resort, the DoubleTree Palm Springs. I first found out about the resort when seeing pictures of the beautiful property in my Instagram feed, so I planned a trip at the beginning of summer before the summer heat was in full effect. We loaded up our Kia Sorento with our suitcases and took a short road trip to the desert. We made a couple of stops along the way to see Pee-Wee Herman’s Dinosaurs and to show the kids the massive windmills. When we arrived at the resort, we parked our car and got ready to embark...

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Epic Los Angeles to Las Vegas Road Trip

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Featured, Kia, Las Vegas, Road Trips, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided on behalf of Kia One of our favorite summer road trips was when we went off the beaten path from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Normally, when going on a Las Vegas road trip, we can’t wait to get to the city and drive all the way to Vegas with as minimal stops as possible. This year, we did things differently and turned a four-hour drive into a 12-hour drive, and it was the best Las Vegas road trip ever! If you make this road trip, you’ll want to leave early! Leaving from Los Angeles or Orange County will take about the same amount of time, and your family can easily accomplish all these stops, and make it to Vegas before sundown. You’ll want to load up your Kia with plenty of snacks and water for the...

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Dinner under the stars at Cafe Santorini

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Dining, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue When planning a family getaway to Pasadena, there are so many choices when it came to deciding where to go for dinner. I had heard a lot about Cafe Santorini, so I made reservations to have dinner on their rooftop patio on our first night in Pasadena. The restaurant was a short walk from The Courtyard by Marriott where we were staying for the weekend. We entered the restaurant through a small door on the side of the building and walked up the long and narrow staircase to check in with the hostess. My favorite feature of the restaurant is the outdoor dining ambiance. There are a couple of inside tables, but everyone who dines at Cafe Santorini wants to eat outside where there is a beautiful view of old town...

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Best Breakfast in Pasadena: Lincoln

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Dining, Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 1 comment

 We dined as a guest of the venue On our last day visiting Pasadena, I wanted to go to the best place in town for breakfast. With Pasadena being a culinary hot spot, there are so many choices when it comes to dining out. I asked around, and everyone mentioned Lincoln. After checking out of our hotel at the Courtyard Pasadena, we drove in over to Lincoln for breakfast. While on our way to the restaurant, we spotted a fun fork in the road and stopped to capture a photo of the funky roadside attraction. When we arrived at the restaurant, it looked like a warehouse. I parked our Kia Sorento in the parking lot and walked into the restaurant. The minute that I entered the restaurant, I was in love with the vibe. There was a line of...

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Halfway to Hana: Home of ‘The Original’ Banana Bread

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the resort After swimming in Haipua’ena Falls and Ching’s Pond, our kids had worked up an appetite, and we wished we had taken the advice of the staff at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel and purchased a picnic lunch to take with us on our excursion. Thankfully, we arrived upon the Halfway to Hana food stand that had not only food to fuel our kids, but also the best banana bread our taste buds had ever experienced. When we arrived at the food stand, the parking lot was full. We found a spot along the side of the road and then walked up to see what they had to offer. After swimming, and cliff diving, our kids were willing to eat anything. I ordered them all a hot dog and a large bottle of...

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Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Disney, Entertainment, Film, San Francisco, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue One of my favorite things to do when I’m in the San Francisco area is to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. When I went to visit Pixar Animation Studios to learn about the upcoming film COCO, I made a stop at the museum before flying home. One exhibit at the museum that captivated me was Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja. Before exploring the exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum, I didn’t know a lot about Andreas Deja. I quickly learned that he is one of the most highly acclaimed animators of all-time and is known for his work on bringing Scar in The Lion King to life. While I was looking around the exhibit and admiring his work, there were drawings of lions that didn’t look familiar...

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The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue One of the most popular places to visit in Pasadena is the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. On the first day of our Pasadena staycation, we had lunch at Pie-n-Burger before going to explore the botanical gardens. I picked one of the hottest weeks in history to visit the botanical gardens, and the temperature was over 100 degrees, so we had to make our visit shorter than I would have liked. When we first arrived at the gardens, I purchased the kids some water bottles at the cafe located near the entrance to keep them hydrated as we walked around. The minute that we entered the gardens, we were captivated by the beauty. The gardens are 120 acres, and we could have spent the entire day exploring the different gardens and...

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Blue Sapphire Pools: Ching’s Pond and Falls in Maui

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort While staying at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, we embarked on an adventure of a lifetime exploring the hidden waterfalls of Maui. After swimming at Haipua’ena Falls, our next stop was Ching’s Pond & Falls. Parking was difficult at this stop along the road to Hana, but we managed to find a spot along the side of the road. When we arrived at the falls, locals were having a family barbecue at the falls. As we walked down to the waterfall, there were warning signs that we were trespassing on private property. At first, I was worried, but some locals were swimming down in the pools invited us to continue down for some water fun. When we arrived at the pools, it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen in...

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Doc Brown’s Back to the Future House

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided on behalf of Kia Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies EVER!!! I have watched the series more times than I can count. When I heard that the house of Doc Brown was in Pasadena and we were there, I knew I had to go. I asked my mom if we could go and she said, of course!!! When we pulled up in front of the house, I practically screamed with the excitement of seeing the house from my favorite movie. When we first arrived, I sat on the edge of our Kia Sorento looking at the house because I thought it was so cool. Once we found a parking spot, we got out of our Kia Sorento and went to the front porch. We choose just to walk around the outside, but if...

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Hidden Haipua’ena Falls in Maui

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

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Our family has done the road to Hana multiple times in the past, but every time we would always get stuck at the more “touristy” stops along the road. This year, my daughter and I did some research to find some more secluded stops that featured more waterfall swimming and less hiking. We left the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel around 8:00 and skipped Twin Falls for haipua’ena falls, and it was the best decision we ever made. Since we arrived at the falls early, and most tourists were at Twin Falls, we had the entire waterfall and swimming pool to ourselves. The one thing that I loved about this swimming area is that it was about 10-20 feet from the road (perfect stop if you have grandparents or young children traveling with...

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The Luggage Room Pizzeria in Pasadena

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Dining, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While on our Pasadena staycation, we got a little taste of history while dining at The Luggage Room Pizzeria. The restaurant is located in the 1934 luggage room of the Del Mar Train Station and is a great place for families to enjoy a delicious meal together. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by the nicest staff who helped show us to a table for the evening. The restaurant is intimate, has a large bar in the center, and an open-air kitchen where guests can see pizzas being made in the wood-burning oven. After we got our drinks, we ordered some appetizers to start our meal. It is rare to see deviled eggs on a menu so I couldn’t resist giving them a try. The eggs burst with...

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Roadside Attraction: Fork in the Road

Posted by on Aug 19, 2017 in Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Whenever I am visiting a new area, I am always on the hunt for a fun and funky roadside attraction. With Pasadena being a city rich with historical history, I knew that I would find something fun to discover with my kids. While driving around the city in our Kia Sorento, my younger son spotted a giant fork in the road. We couldn’t believe our eyes and the kids insisted that I pull the car over to check it out. There was some parking down one of the residential streets and we walked over to look at the cool roadside attraction. The first thing that I thought of when I saw the giant fork in the road was the scene from the muppet movie which was one of my favorite memories...

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Pasadena Neon Retro Arcade

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue While on a weekend staycation in Pasadena, I surprised the kids with a visit to the neon retro arcade after having dinner at The Luggage Room. The neon arcade is an old fashioned arcade that features many classic video games along with some newer games; Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Fix it Felix Jr and more! When we arrived at the arcade, my kids squealed with delight. Most of the games in the arcade they had never heard of before, and I had a blast introducing them to some of the best video games ever created. The arcade is small, so parents don’t have to worry about losing their kids, and the walls illuminate with neon colors at night. The entire arcade is set-up just like arcades looked like when I was...

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Festival of the Lion King at the Walt Disney World Resort

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Disney, Florida, Travel, Walt Disney World | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney In celebration of the classic Disney film The Lion King coming out of the Disney vault, I went to the Walt Disney World Resort to be immersed into the magical world in which Timon, Simba, and Pumbaa live. During my trip, most of my time was spent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and one of my favorite things that I did while exploring the theme park was watching the interactive production of Festival of the Lion King. During the performance, the film beautifully came to life. There was music, dancing, and all of our favorite Lion King characters. One of my favorite parts of the performance was when a dancer came out onto the stage and spun a wheel of real fire. He did many tricks with the fire and even breathed a...

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Best Burger in Pasadena: Pie-n-Burger

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Dining, Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest Did you know that Pasadena is where the cheeseburger was invented? When I learned this fun fact, I knew that our first meal on a staycation in Pasadena had to be at the popular burger joint, Pie-n-Burger. Pie-n-Burger is located right in the heart of downtown Pasadena. We drove our Kia Sorento to the restaurant, parked on the street, and then went into the historic building for lunch. Inside the small building is a long bar where people were enjoying delicious burgers and creamy milkshakes. Because it is one of the most popular dining destinations in the area, there was a short wait for chairs at the bar when we first arrived. There is a giant menu on the wall of the restaurant, so my kids were able to decide what they wanted to...

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Hula Lessons at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort During our stay at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, our children signed up for many cultural classes that are offered to guests staying at the resort. My daughter has always wanted to learn how to do the hula, and she was counting down the days until she would take hula lessons at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. The morning of the class, we met the instructor on the grass near the pool. She greeted everyone and then started to teach the basics of the hula. She took her time to ensure that everyone in the class was comfortable before turning on some Hawaiian music. It was just minutes before everyone in the class was dancing the hula. My younger son who was hesitant about taking the class because he thought the hula was...

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Dana Point Family Travel Guide

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in Dana Point, Featured, Kia, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored Dana Point is the perfect place in Orange County for families to create long lasting memories together. The city is home to some of the best beaches in Orange County and luxurious resorts. When looking for the best place to plan your next family staycation, Dana Point is one of the top choices to have a getaway full of sun and fun. Where to stay There are many resorts in Dana Point that each offer a different vacation experience. The DoubleTree Dana Point is just a few steps away from the beach. They have luxurious suites and guest rooms that offer beautiful ocean views. Your family can rent a bike and cruise around Dana Point when staying at the DoubleTree Dana Point. If you’re looking for a luxurious resort on the cliffs over the pacific ocean, The Ritz-Carlton...

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The World’s Tallest Thermometer

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Kia, Las Vegas, Road Trips, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided on behalf of Kia One of our favorite things to do while on our way to Las Vegas is to make a stop at the World’s Tallest Thermometer in Baker California. It only takes a few minutes out of your road trip, and the stop is a must. The town of Baker is a great place to get a refreshing drink at The Mad Greek Cafe and stock up on some alien jerky before checking out how HOT it is in the middle of the desert at the world’s tallest thermometer. Once our kids and luggage get loaded into our Kia Sorento, I always ask the kids how hot they think it might be by the time we reach the world’s tallest thermometer. All of the kids make their guesses, and I bring a small prize along...

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Holiday Inn Summer of Smiles

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Holiday Inn hotels and Scholastic have teamed up for their first ever “Summer Of Smiles” program. They began the fun family program in June at select Holiday Inn hotels. At the hotels, they will have different activities and Character breakfasts for families to enjoy. We were invited to come check out the activities at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Anaheim. Right as we walked into the lobby, we were fully immersed in the excitement. They had Clifford The Big Red Dog and Geronimo Stilton doing meet and greets with the kids. Each family in attendance was given a Polaroid picture in a frame of their visit with the character. Children were also given a book to keep them reading all summer long. My daughter received a Clifford book, and my son...

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Summer Fun at Tenaya Lodge

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Kia, Travel, Yosemite | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Tenaya Lodge is our favorite place to create family memories. We have visited many times during the winter months and had yet to visit during the summer until recently. While on a weekend getaway to Yosemite, we drove our Kia Sorento to Tenaya Lodge to enjoy some of their fun summer activities. We started our day at Tenaya by having lunch and swimming in their large pool. Tenaya has a beautiful pool area complete with a family pool, adult pool, and toddler pool. It is nice and spread out so that families don’t feel cramped when visiting during the peak summer months. After getting settled in our cabana for the day, the server came over to take our lunch order. There are a wide variety of drink and food options at...

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