• putdown
    adventures,  Travel

    Always Pee Before Airport Security

      There are 99 reasons I hate flying out of a certain airport, and 98 of them involve the inevitable flight delay we will encounter. Yesterday I added the 100th – the random security check that goes awry. When we left my son’s soccer camp in Charlottesville, Virginia for our drive to the airport, our flight was on time. By the time we reached the highway, it had been delayed 15 minutes. Then 30. Then 45. Then 2 hours. We stopped along the way at a shopping center to stretch our legs, kill some time, and get something to eat (because the airport food, or lack thereof, accounted reasons 52-58…

  • perot summer

    Summer Fun at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

    If you are looking for something to do in the Dallas area this summer, look no further than one of my favorite local destinations: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science. There is so much to explore there this summer that I wanted to share all the goings on! I was recently invited to Family Media Day at the Perot Museum, where they kicked off the morning with a film in The Hoglund Foundation Theater with DREAM BIG 3D. Narrated by Jeff Bridges, the film is a celebration of human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small. I will warn you – I cried, several times. Yes, in a movie…

  • Travel

    Family Travels: The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

    We hit the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun over spring break with our kids – and a whole bunch of college students. Confession: Cancun didn’t immediately come to mind as a family destination, and I don’t know why because it’s a fabulous spot. Spring break snuck up on us so I handed the planning reins over to my favorite travel agent with instructions to find me something warm, family friendly, and a short flight from Dallas. Cancun fit the bill, and of all the options, the Hard Rock Hotel topped the list. What I found is that it was a decent mix of family and partiers, and for the most…

  • Hay-Festival
    Books,  Travel

    8 Reasons You Need to Go To Hay Festival

    Note: This post featured events from the 2016 program. To view/book events for the 2017 Festival running 25 May – 4 June, click here to for current offerings and up-to-date information.* It’s early morning and I woke to the crash of thunder and a crack of lightning. Perfect. The weather is spot on to match my mood, because my hopes to be at Hay Festival this week were dashed by airfare prices, and I love my firstborn just enough to not sell him for passage. (Damn you, British Airways and your blackout periods for using air miles.)  The stereotypical wet Welsh weather is falling here while lovely Hay-on-Wye is experiencing lovely weather. It’s been three years since…

  • Travel

    Swimming with Dolphins in Cozumel

    I loved our little stay in Cozumel! We did loads of things, like Cozumel scuba diving and we even did something I’ve always wanted to do. There’s nothing like the thrill of knocking something off your bucket list. I was finally able to check off one: swimming with dolphins. While several of our port stops offered a dolphin interaction excursion, we opted for the Royal Dolphin Swim offered by Dolphin Discovery. This was a 60 minute adventure that included a foot push (I’ll get back to that in a minute), a dorsal tow, a handshake, hand target, and the chance to touch these lovely creatures. We met up with the…

  • collector, eye-of-the-collector
    adventures,  Travel

    Exploring “Eye of the Collector” at the Perot Museum

    My daughter is a bit of a magpie – a collector of things, some shiny, some not. If you open any small purse or pouch in her room, you’ll likely find a collection: plastic butterflies, acorns, pressed flowers, feathers, rubber bouncy balls. (I’m sure there is a fine line between her kind of “collecting” and hoarding, but for the sake of my sanity and the story, we’ll just call it collecting.)   The newest special exhibition at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science focuses on the hobby of collecting – and why people (and museums) do it.  After all, that’s what a museum does: they conserve and collect the world as we…

  • Carnival-cruises
    Lifestyle,  Travel

    Revisiting Carnival Cruises – 15 years later.

    Oh, the stories I could tell about the cruises I took with friends throughout our twenties and early thirties! Starting around 1995 right up until 2001, I cruised on Carnival nearly every year with friends, and did we have a good time! (Such a good time, in fact, that when we showed up on a cruise one year, we found that much of the crew had moved there from the ship we sailed on the year before – including the piano bar musician and our favorite deck waiter – who remembered us from the year before. By name. Let’s just say we had a really great time on all those Carnival cruises. Perhaps because of…

  • #ResidenceInn #Homeawayfromhome
    adventures,  Travel

    Home Away from Home: Residence Inn

      Recently I drove to Austin with some fellow bloggers for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference “On the Road”. Since the conference officially started at 8:30am, I knew making the four-hour drive from Dallas EARLY that  morning would be a deal breaker – nope, there was no way was I going to be up at 4am to make the drive, then do it all again after lunch. This girl needs her beauty sleep! Enter the Residence Inn by Marriott – a family favorite. In addition to the things like free wireless internet, flat-screen HD TVs to veg out in after a day of driving, what I like best is that there are…

  • adventures,  Travel

    Life is always an adventure at Sea World Texas

    My family loves and adventure and can’t be still for long. When the opportunity to attend AdventureCon at SeaWorld in San Antonio arose, we jumped at the chance to attend. Unlike other blogging conferences, this one was a family conference. While I was attending the Saturday conference sessions at the hotel, my family would be treated to experiences of their own with trainers, and have the chance to explore more of SeaWorld and Aquatica. Aquatica was the real draw for the kids – when we visited SeaWorld over spring break earlier this year, the weather wasn’t cooperating and it was too cold for us wimps to brave the water park (we…

  • visiting-OBX

    Visiting the Outer Banks #OBX

    If you were to look at the photographs from any given year of our vacations at the Outer Banks, you would find some version of this photo: Every year we rent chairs and umbrella from a local company. Every year, the chairs and umbrella look the same. I find comfort in this sameness, this constant in our trips. It is as dependable as the fact that, at some point in the trip, the skies will darken and the wind will churn up the surf, a signal of the rain to come, one child will get a sand rash from hurling their small bodies at the waves, the other will likely sunburn a body…