Apr 212014
 

My boys are experienced travelers. They have flown to Disney World every year since my oldest was five and the little guy was 21 months old (they are now nine and six). We always fly to Orlando out of Providence, RI, so it is a short flight for us (about two and a half hours or so), but this is the second year in a row that we have flown across the country to San Diego (which is where I am right now). That is about a six hour flight from Boston, so it’s almost double the amount of time on an airplane than what they are used to.

They are generally really good about entertaining themselves, but you never know when one of them is going to get bored, so for long flights, I always bring a carry on bag filled with things to keep them busy.

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As you can see it’s filled with puzzle books, Mad Libs, mazes, Where’s Waldo books and most importantly – snacks!  I also make sure I have sharpened pencils and a pencil sharpener so that they can actually do the Mad Libs, puzzles and mazes.  I make sure to charge their 3DS’s and Kindle Fires the night before so that they are fully charged before we leave and that way they should last for most of the time we are up in the air. Continue reading »

Apr 182014
 

Last year during the kids April vacation from school, we packed up and jetted off to San Diego for the week.  It was kind of a spur of the moment trip for us and by spur of the moment I mean the we only booked it about six weeks before we left.  I am a planner and for me, that was very last minute.  My sister in law, brother in law and adorable nephew live in San Diego, and since we don’t see them as much as we wish we did, we thought we’d go to them for a visit.

We left on a Friday and I surprised the kids, who knew nothing about the trip, by picking them up from school early.  Chris & I took them to lunch and told them that we were going to California.  They had never been to CA before, so to say they were excited was a total understatement.

I made the decision beforehand not to bring my laptop with me on the trip.  We had some major things planned for the week (Disney Land, the San Diego Zoo and Sea World to name a few), not to mention that I wanted to spend as much time with my in-laws as possible, so I figured I wouldn’t have much time to keep up with things on my end – hence my decision to leave my laptop home.

What I did was line up a bunch of guest posts for my blog before I left, so that way things wouldn’t go unattended for an entire week.  I got some great posts in and was really excited to share them with my readers.  The first two days, the posts went up without a hitch, but on the third day something horrible happened. Continue reading »

Apr 172014
 

The date was October 29,2001 and I was in Las Vegas on my honeymoon with my ex-husband when we made a spur of the moment decision to rent a car and go see the Grand Canyon.  It was something that we both had always wanted to see and we figured we had a perfectly good chance while we were out west, so why not? We asked around (remember that was way before smartphones existed) and were told it was anywhere between a four and five hour drive to get there.

We got Mapquested directions to the Grand Canyon from the concierge at the hotel we were staying at, picked up our rental car and we were off.

I have to be honest -it was a really boring ride.  We drove for nearly four hours with nothing to look at but “brown”.  If you’ve ever made the drive, you know exactly what I mean by that. There was a house every few miles or so or a random cactus, but other than that – there was nothing to see. Until suddenly, out of no where, we saw this:

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It was like one of those slow motion scenes out of a movie. My ex was driving, I was in the passenger seat and both of our heads almost completely turned around (think the Exorcist) to see it as we drove past. My ex and I looked at each other, he slammed on the breaks and drove back because we both knew we would regret it if we didn’t stop there. Continue reading »

Mar 252014
 

Chris and I recently went on a little adventure to Connecticut.  Although the plans we originally had for the day didn’t work out as planned, we ended up stumbling across this interesting place called Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center in Middletown, CT.

Let’s face it, it’s hard not to stop when you see this as you’re driving by:

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And have a look at how the building is “decorated”.
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Feb 212014
 

My family stayed at the Mountain Club on Loon Mountain the weekend before last.  It’s a resort that’s located right at the base of the mountain.  We took a few steps out of our room, walked out of the door to go outside and were were literally standing at the bottom of the ski slopes. Here are a few pictures I took of the ski/snow boarding chair lift and slopes just so you could see what I saw when I stepped outside.

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Feb 192014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets for snow tubing and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

My boys absolutely love playing in the snow and one of their favorite winter activities is snow tubing.  When we had the chance to go snow tubing at Loon Mountain recently, we were all super excited.   Usually, I just “supervise” while the kids go tubing, but this time – I actually went, too!

The Tubing center was marked and easy to find.

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Inside, we signed waivers, were given lift passes to attach to our coats and grabbed some tubes.   Continue reading »

Feb 072014
 

Yesterday, I told you all about our adventures on Wickenden Street in Providence.  Wickenden Street has numerous independent shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants that are popular among local artists, professors and students.  Among the shops on Wickenden Street are a few antique stores.  Chris and I get a kick out of antiquing sometimes, so we stopped into one of them while we were down there.

As soon as we got into the store, I walked right into this little beauty.

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I have no idea what anyone would do with that hideous thing, but frankly, she kind of creeped me out, so I moved on quickly and didn’t look back.

As I walked a little ways into the room, I saw that they had this old version of The Poky Little Puppy for sale. Continue reading »

Feb 062014
 

Last week, Chris had a day off from work and since the kids were at school, we decided to head down to a trendy, artsy little neighborhood down in Providence, RI called Wickenden Street.  I actually haven’t been to that section of the city in ages, but what you need to know is that Wickenden Street has numerous independent shops, art galleries, a farmer’s market, coffee shops and restaurants that are popular among local artists and students. Wickenden Street is nestled in between Brown University, RISD and the Moses Brown School, so it’s pretty happening there.

Our first stop of the day was Willy’s, which is part coffee shop part organic market.  It was a little strange to be honest, but we hungry, so we went in.

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The thing was, all their bagels, pastries and muffins were sitting out in the open, probably getting stale and breathed on by the girl working behind the counter, so Chris & I decided to get hot chocolates.  Sadly, they both ended up being luke warm chocolates & we decided to blow that Popsicle stand for a better place.  A much better place. Continue reading »

Jan 132014
 

At our condo on Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, there is an outdoor hot tub by the pool area.  If you’re keeping track, we were up there recently (November) and it’s pretty chilly up there this time of year.  Not to mention that I just posted about the boys sledding on the mountain the other day……

So needless to say, it was cold and the thought of going into the outdoor hot tub in frigid temperatures was not appealing to me in the least – but the boys on the other hand. Well, they couldn’t wait to get in to it.

Yes, that IS snow you see all around the hot tub.

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But if going into the outdoor hot tub in the freezing cold weather, they thought it would be funny to roll around in the snow. Continue reading »

Jan 122014
 

While we were in New Hampshire in November, we stayed on Loon Mountain.  When we arrived, we were excited to see that they already started making snow on the mountain and the boys couldn’t wait to go out and play in it.

It was still really early in the season, so we weren’t expecting there to be snow and didn’t go prepared.  Chris stopped at a store up the street and we picked up a couple of cheap sleds so the boys could take them out for a spin.  The thing is, where the hills are, even the small ones, were at the base of the ski slopes, so we had to wait until after dark before we went out to sled.  That didn’t seem to bother the boys, though – they were just happy to get out in the white stuff.

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Jan 082014
 

When we were in North Conway, NH in November, we spotted this awesomely decorated snowman outside of the MWV Children’s Museum.  The boys loved it and we immediately ran over to it to take a picture.

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As we drove away, we spotted yet another one:

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It had this sign on it, which led me to think that there were more than just the two we had come across. Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 

When my family was up in New Hampshire back in November, I booked us seats for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad.  The boys love train rides and the price was right, so I bought us tickets for a round trip ride through the mountains.

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There are several different options including a dinner train ride, but I opted for a 55 minute ride on the Valley Train.

ON THE VALLEY TRAIN, you’ll enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as you journey on historic rail routes in vintage passenger cars (most from the 1920s) from our 1874 train station in North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett and back again. Children under 4 ride FREE in Coach on the Valley Trains, and well-behaved dogs are always welcomed at Conway Scenic Railroad!

The 11-mile, 55-minute roundtrip Conway excursion is ideal for visitors wanting a shorter train ride, especially those with young children. On this excursion, you’ll travel south past the Moat Mountain Range and parallel Route 16 before passing through farmlands and crossing Moat Brook, the Saco and Swift Rivers on the way to Conway. Here, you can watch the powerful locomotive “run around” the train in preparation of the return trip.

They have two departures on Saturdays and Sundays: 11:30 to Bartlett (1 3/4 hrs) and 1:30 to Conway (55 minutes).  I paid $15.50 each for our ride, which I think was pretty reasonable for all that fun.  My only complaint was the seating situation.  Apparently back when these train cars were built, people were much shorter.  I sat with my six year old and Chris sat with the nine year old and we were literally crammed into the seats like sardines.  Seriously, this is how we had to sit for the entire hour: Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 

Back in November, we headed up to New Hampshire for the weekend and one of our stops was The MWV (Mount Washington Valley) Children’s Museum.  It’s a great indoor kids activity center with tons of interactive, hands-on exhibits. The MWV Children’s Museum is a great place to bring kids ages 0-9.

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At the museum Kids Can:

  • Put on a puppet show
  • Dress-up in their Drama Center
  • Play with Trains in Transportation Exhibit
  • Climb the Life Size Tree House
  • Play with Shapes and Designs
  • Cook in their pizza Kitchen Continue reading »
Dec 172013
 

Remember last month when I told you all about the Magical Express?  The Magical Express is complimentary round-trip airport transportation and luggage delivery for guests who are staying at Disney resorts.   The day before your flight, you’ll get an envelope on your door with the time your bus leaves the resort for the airport.  It’s usually two to three hours before the flight.

Let me start by saying that the Magical Express isn’t so magical on the return trip back to the airport.

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Dec 162013
 

One of the things that we like to do when we go to Disney World is pin trading.  What is pin trading?  Disney Pin Trading is a fun, interactive experience where guests can trade collectible Disney pins with Disney Cast Members and other guests (although I don’t think many people trade with other guests – at least not that I’ve seen).

All you have to do is locate a Cast Member wearing a lanyard with Disney pins and find a pin you’d like. Then present them with one of your Disney pins to trade.

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Dec 152013
 

Hidden Mickeys started out as inside jokes among the Walt Disney Imagineers. A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction (ride, resort, etc…). Originally, it took the shape of a head and ears silhouette, Disney.com, i.e. one large circle with two smaller circled on top in the appropriate place.

In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to an attraction, Imagineers subtly “hide” Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight. Soon, it became a tradition, and as the word spread, Disney fans everywhere went on the search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and theme parks.

I ordered a book off of Amazon a few years back that listed many of the Hidden Mickey’s scattered throughout the parks & resorts at Disney World (there is a separate book for Disneyland) and the boys and I always love searching for them every year.

Here is one that’s hidden inside the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot.  There are at least three on that ride (that I know of), but this is the only one I was able to snap a good picture of.

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Do you search for Hidden Mickey’s when you go to Disney?

Dec 142013
 

On our last night at Disney, we decided to head back to the resort and let the boys play at the arcade for a little while.  We walked past it every day and they kept asking & asking to play, so we let them.  Chris got them each an arcade card with $10 loaded on to it and they played until their money was gone (which didn’t take long).  They each got to play about about a dozen or so games.

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