Photo Friday:

Hiking on Mt Hood
Hiking on Mt Hood

We've been working on doing more hiking with our kids this summer. It's not always easy, but the kids are starting to enjoy it, even when they're tired (or maybe they just enjoy the snacks I bring along).

What tips do you have for hiking with kids?

What is Photo Friday?

  • Post a travel photo on your site. It can be about any topic, as long as it is G-rated.
  • The focus of the post should be on your photo.
  • You don't need to be a professional photographer (I'm not), but do showcase your best work, and make it big enough to see well!
  • It's nice to include a few sentences about the photo, but it is not required.
  • Link back here so that your readers can see all the other great Photo Friday posts.

Book Review: Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds

The Scoop Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds gives a straightforward view into what it's like to live in today's Pueblos. The storyline isn't super engaging, but if you're headed to New Mexico or Arizona it's a nice way to give your kids a realistic view into a world that is at once very similar to their own and also very different.

Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds
Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds

When we're traveling, even with the kids, it can be tough to feel like we've connected with the way people live now. We can see there homes, we can read about or enjoy museum exhibits about the history, but what is it like to blend old and new in the real world? Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds attempts to answer that with photos and descriptive text about two girls who live in the San Ildefonso Pueblo twenty-two miles north of Santa Fe. It's a fact filled book that shows pictures of home, school, and local ceremonies. Though the storyline isn't strong enough for kids to develop a true connection to the two girls, Pueblo Girls is great background for kids visiting New Mexico or Arizona.

Related Links
Buy:Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds (affiliates link)
Children's Books about New Mexico Children's Travel Books

Disclosure: I purchased this book myself, but whenever I receive a free product or service, I will always let you know. If you buy a product through one of my Amazon links, I do receive a small commission, and that income helps me keep this site going.

Book Review: Tiger of the Snows

The Scoop Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest is a serious and beautiful, poetic story about the Tibetan climber who summited Mt Everest with Edmund Hillary.

Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest
Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest

Does your child have impossible dreams? Or perhaps he or she is more like my son, Everest, who is so pragmatic that it sometimes gets in the way of big dreams? Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest is about how the childhood dream of Tenzing Norgay, who grew up in the shadow of Mount Everest, came true when he summited the mountain with Edmund Hillary. It's a serious story, best received by readers 5+. The poetry avoids the saccharine sweet rhymes that dominate most children's books, and coupled with the adventurous story it's a great fit for young boys.

Side note: This seems like such a lovely way to honor Tenzing Norgay's contribution. In western culture, we tend to honor those who look like us more than people from other cultures, and at the time Hillary received higher honors than Norgay. He is widely regarded as inspirational by many Asians, and his is a story of the ability to grow from a humble childhood to worldwide fame through hard work and focus.

Tiger of the Snows captures the drama of Mount Everest's Summit in poetry
Tiger of the Snows captures the drama of Mount Everest's Summit in poetry
Related Links
Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest (affiliates link)
Children's Travel Books

Disclosure: I purchased this book myself, but whenever I receive a free product or service, I will always let you know. If you buy a product through one of my Amazon links, I do receive a small commission, and that income helps me keep this site going.

Photo Friday: First Day of Summer

Savoring every moment!
Savoring every moment!

Happy first day of summer! I hope you and your kids are savoring every moment!

What is Photo Friday?

  • Post a travel photo on your site. It can be about any topic, as long as it is G-rated.
  • The focus of the post should be on your photo.
  • You don't need to be a professional photographer (I'm not), but do showcase your best work, and make it big enough to see well!
  • It's nice to include a few sentences about the photo, but it is not required.
  • Link back here so that your readers can see all the other great Photo Friday posts.

Book Review: Off We Go to Mexico - An Adventure in the Sun

The Scoop A visual journey, packed with sun-drenched illustrations through Mexico. Each two spread page introduces several spanish words and a poetic description of something one might experience in Mexico.

Off we go to Mexico! And Adventure in the Sun by Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr
Off we go to Mexico! And Adventure in the Sun by Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr

Off We Go to Mexico is best for young kids (age 2-5) who aren't expecting a storyline, but will enjoy this book's detailed, colorful pictures and lilting rhyme. Off We Go to Mexico gives a nice overview of Mexican culture the way a child might experience it. If your child is learning Spanish, translated words and phrases, included in each two page spread, could be a great conversation starter, and if a trip to Mexico is the first time your child will be encountering a foreign language they'd be a great opportunity to discuss how that works.

If you're headed to Mexico, the simplified match at the end of the book would be a great way to point out where you're headed without getting drawn into the details of roadways and geographic features.

Off We Go to Mexico
Off We Go to Mexico
Related Links
Buy: Off We Go to Mexico (affiliates link)
Children's Books and Toys for a trip to Mexico
Book Review: A Mango in the Hand

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book so that I could check it out. I will be donating it to my children's school library. If you buy a product through one of my Amazon links, I do receive a small commission, and that income helps me keep this site going.

Photo Friday: Museum Going

Kids at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Kids at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

We're always sort of nervous when we take the kids to a historical or cultural museum. True, there have been some sticky moments, but more often they surprise us by finding something they're interested in, as they did in this picture taken at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. When we're at our best, we can use that as a hook to carry us through a bit more of the collection.

Related Links
Albuquerque with kids

What is Photo Friday?

  • Post a travel photo on your site. It can be about any topic, as long as it is G-rated.
  • The focus of the post should be on your photo.
  • You don't need to be a professional photographer (I'm not), but do showcase your best work, and make it big enough to see well!
  • It's nice to include a few sentences about the photo, but it is not required.
  • Link back here so that your readers can see all the other great Photo Friday posts.

Photo Friday: Memories

Everest and his dad ride in Disneyland's Astro Orbiter
Everest and his dad ride in Disneyland's Astro Orbiter

There's something special about taking your own kids to do something that was magical for you as a child. For me, the opportunity to be up high, sailing through the sky on the Astro Orbiter, is a hazy childhood memory, so it has been fun to revisit this ride year after year at Disneyland.

Related Links
Orange County and Disneyland with kids
Contrarian advice for visting Disneyland with kids

What is Photo Friday?

  • Post a travel photo on your site. It can be about any topic, as long as it is G-rated.
  • The focus of the post should be on your photo.
  • You don't need to be a professional photographer (I'm not), but do showcase your best work, and make it big enough to see well!
  • It's nice to include a few sentences about the photo, but it is not required.
  • Link back here so that your readers can see all the other great Photo Friday posts.

Book Review: Paris with Children

The Scoop The Little Bookroom Guide to Paris with Children is the kid-friendly guidebook you wish you had for every city. The author, who knows the city like a local, provides recommendations and advice to help you get the most out of grown-up attractions like the Louvre, find kid friendly activities like French cooking classes, and eat in restaurants that feature French food but also accomodate American-food-focused kids well.

Paris with Children
Paris with Children

The cover, and small size make The Little Bookroom Guide to Paris with Children feel like a special gift from your most stylish friend, and somehow that made it hard for me to take this guide to Paris with Kids seriously. It sat on my nightstand for weeks before I finally cracked the cover. I read the introduction in detail, and then focused on the sections of the city that I know best, inspecting to make sure that the advice made sense for kids, that the author was recommending quality restaurants and attractions, and that the organization made sense. I'm a tough audience when it comes to guidebooks since each one weighs heavy in a daypack already loaded down with sippycups and wetnaps.

Paris with Children - a page about the Jardin des Tuileries
Paris with Children - a page about the Jardin des Tuileries
The Little Bookroom Guide to Paris with Children: Play, Eat, Shop, Stay really delivered. I loved the suggestions in the introduction for bilingual summer day camps and year round festivals that would appeal to children. There's even a list of babysitting services. That's the type of information a friend in the area might have, but you'll rarely see it in a guidebook.

The neighborhood guides did a good job of giving kid-centered advice about what to do in each of the most touristed parts of Paris. Listings included a few kid focused options (for example a cooking school near the Louvre) and the major attractions. Each listing is brief, but gives you an overview of how you might attack it with kids in tow, and an overview of the snack or meal options inside (you know you'll never make it through the Louvre without a snack break or two). Restaurant recommendations run the gamut from quality local places that accomodate kids well to kid-comforts like the Hard Rock Cafe.

Paris with Children - a detail page on shopping in Paris
Paris with Children - a detail page on shopping in Paris

Can I include a quick plug? If you're already carrying your smartphone on vacation, consider adding all your favorite Paris recommendations to TripDoc (my iPhone app). Just give TripDoc the names, and it will plot them all on a map so that you can plan out your days and find your way around Paris.

Related Links
Buy: The Little Bookroom Guide to Paris with Children: Play, Eat, Shop, Stay (affiliates link)
Children's Books and Toys for a trip to Paris
City Guide: Paris with Kids

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book so that I could check it out. I donate products valued over $40 to charity. This book, valued at $19.95, is being loaned to a series of Paris-bound friends this summer. If you buy a product through one of my Amazon links, I do receive a small commission, and that income helps me keep this site going. TripDoc is the iPhone app my husband and I co-developed.

Finding Time for Yourself When You Travel With Kids

View from Seattle's Alki Beach at Sunset
View from Seattle's Alki Beach at Sunset

I've been invited by Residence Inn to contribute to their Family Travel Talk Forum on Facebook this year. I'm joining several other blogging parents and I'm excited to see it shape up as a lively forum where we can share tips about traveling with kids.

My first post, about how to find a moment for yourself without completely ditching the kids, is up now (yes, it's possible). You can check it out here and I hope you'll share your own tips for finding balance when you're traveling with family.

Photo Friday: Up Close and Personal at the Fantasy Faire

My niece gets a chance to get close to a *real* princess
My niece gets a chance to get close to a *real* princess

There's no doubt that Disneyland can be magical for its youngest visitors, but the large scale can sometimes be overwhelming too. That's why we always try to seek out a few spots where the kids can feel like they're having an experience that's all their own.

The new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland was the perfect spot for my two year old niece. Kids line up outside the Royal Hall and are escorted (along with their families) to meet each of the princesses who are in attendance. During our visit, she got time with Ariel, Aurora and Cinderella. Like the Mikey meet and greet in Toon Town, our visit was completely unrushed and since she was a little nervous, she had time to get comfortable and talk with each princess before I swooped in with cameras to try to get the perfect shot.

Related Links
Orange County, CA with Kids
Contrarian advice for visiting Disneyland
All posts about Disney

What is Photo Friday?

  • Post a travel photo on your site. It can be about any topic, as long as it is G-rated.
  • The focus of the post should be on your photo.
  • You don't need to be a professional photographer (I'm not), but do showcase your best work, and make it big enough to see well!
  • It's nice to include a few sentences about the photo, but it is not required.
  • Link back here so that your readers can see all the other great Photo Friday posts.