Travel-Mommy: Family Trip to San Antonio and SeaWorld

Travel-Mommy: Family Trip to San Antonio and SeaWorld

If you have never been to Texas and want to sample the flavor of the big and tasty state, San Antonio is the city to see. We had a wonderful family trip to the fun city and SeaWorld over a long holiday weekend.

We had fun chanting “Remember the Alamo” and we will always remember our interesting tour of downtown San Antonio. The Battle of the Alamo is a truly amazing story of outstanding bravery for freedom. Visiting the historic site is “a must” do but arrive early to avoid the long lines or consider visiting at night. The areas surrounding the Alamo,  The River Walk and Market Square, are absolutely beautiful in the evening when cruising in a horse-drawn carriage.

Cinderella Carriage ride around San Antonio

San Antonio is the perfect long weekend destination because you can blend learning about Texas’s rich history with sampling excellent local cuisine (bbq & tex-mex), wonderful shopping and exciting family entertainment at SeaWorld.

Lodging and Parking:

  • The Sheraton Four points San Antonio and the Crowne Plaza: are both nice, not outrageous & very central to the River Walk and the Alamo
  • Marriott Residence Inn: we stayed there but we would not recommend it because the place needs serious remodeling and new furniture
  • Use the concierge service of any of your credit cards such as American Express or VISA to book family friendly entertainment
  • VBRO or Dwellable.com: are great options for rentals and B&Bs
  • Parking is a bit dicey around the Alamo but the locals recommend parking in the Rivermall for $8. The best bet is booking a hotel walking distance from the attractions

3 No-Fuss Family Friendly restaurants

  • Boudro’s: a wonderful Texas bistro on the River Walk with outdoor seating
  • La Margarita restaurant and Oyster Bar: Tex Mex cuisine near Market street
  • Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery: The landmark has graced the Market Square for the better part of 60 years with its amazing Tex Mex menu and cheery atmosphere

Unique Attractions: The Chaps and the Spurs

  • San Antonio Spurs Basketball: One of the NBA’s finest teams featuring Tony Parker and Tim Duncan
  • San Antonio Rodeo: every February the cowboys and the bulls hit the town
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas: always a good time for families but save your pennies

SeaWorldThe biggest park of the franchise, this is a “must do” attraction

  • Try to visit off-season or on a Sunday and arrive at 9:45am before the park opens to avoid the long lines
  • We recommend that you have your big kids ride the major roller coasters first thing on empty tummies
  • Buy tickets in advance for online savings. The Boy Scouts also offer great discounts in their annual coupon book drive. The $65 ticket is slightly cheaper than Disney but what makes it worthwhile is the high quality shows and the park’s emphasis of marine animal education and habitat protection
  • Also, book any tours in advance: we highly recommend the Beluga whale tour for $40 per person. The tour allows you to meet the dolphins and beluga whales that star in the amazing Azul Show. It also guarantees great seats to the show and a kiss by a beluga afterwards.  Our daughter has sung Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” non-stop so we just had to meet one.

 

 

The Beluga Whales Sing to Us
  • We also recommend the $15 per person behind the scences tour of the One Ocean show. The kids really enjoyed feeding the stingrays and petting a bamboo reef shark.  The tour also included visiting the bottle neck dolphin training pools and rare rescue animals like the monk Seal now on the endangered species list 
  • You can book private tours at 210-523-3608 and we highly recommend Jenna who gave us our beluga tour
Our daughter with our SeaWorld Guide
  • Download the free SeaWorld Texas App in advance so you can plan which shows to hit. The distances between the different animal pavilions are long so plan your time carefully and definitely bring strollers for children under 7 or even for tired moms
  • The food is quite decent compared to most amusement parks. We loved the ribs and bbq at Shamu’s smokehouse. The lunch only cost $43 because we split the huge sampler plate, a chicken salad, and two kids meals along with free waters
  • Other shows the children loved: the Cannery Caper with the Sea Lions, Amazing Animals and the Bottleneck Dolphin feeding. Also, don’t miss the baby penguin exhibit
  • The Rio Loco ranked as our favorite ride but you do get wet. The ride allows bystanders to take part in the soaking of unsuspecting riders for the low price of a quarter–usually a welcome addition in the Texas summer but a cruel trick during the off-season.

So put on your cowboy boots and ride on down to San Antonio!

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Travel Insights: Family Ski Trips to Berkshire East, Charlemont, MA

Family Ski fun at Berkshire East
View-From-The-Warfield-1

For the New Year, we promised some helpful travel insights from a marketing mom. Our plan is to write a weekly column. Since we are in the middle of winter, we will write about our ski trips across the country. We would love to hear about your experiences and how you mapped out your family vacations.

One of our favorite places to ski in the New York City/Tri-state area isBerkshire East in Charlemont, MA. A family owned mountain, Berkshire East is the perfect mountain for teaching children how to ski. All trails are easily accessible from the main chair lift so parents can closely monitor teens and little guys in ski school. The hill offers something for everyone from fun moguls through the trees, to black diamond runs, to a snow board terrain park.  If your children want to try skiing competitively, they have one of the best racing programs on the East Coast with many alums selected for the US Ski team. Most important of all, snow making provides decent coverage for most of the season.

Lift tickets, rentals and ski school:

  • You can make a day trip since only 2-3 hours from NYC/Westchester
  • Lift Tickets are around $58 for the day and lift lines are very short
  • Junior and student ticket are very reasonable and almost half the price of Vermont
  • The day care center is super accessible and cost-effective. We have used the daycare for over five years and love the staff
  • Highly recommend the ski school programs and private lessons. Kathy Kilhart is an outstanding instructor
  • The rental shop provides basic equipment for beginner and intermediate skiers

Lodging & Dining:

  • Zoar: inexpensive rooms but stark and some shared bathrooms
  • The Warfield house Inn: basic with a fun  pub restaurant
  • Vacation Rentals By Owner: sometimes has options
  • Unfortunately, no 3-4 star accommodations or a ski-in & out options at this time
  • Some of the standard family hotel chains are in Greenfield MA down the road
  • Avery’s Grocery Store in Charlemont: has absolutely everything you could need and an amazing meat and deli department
  • Gypsy Apple: 4 star New York City cuisine
  • Mohawk Park: a diner in the middle of a camp ground that provides excellent fare
  • The Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant has the perfect selection for connoisseurs

Unique Features & Attractions:

  • GreenPower:  A large Windmill turbine helps to power the resort–revolutionary!
  • Tubing: fun when you need a break from skiing
  • Night Skiing: on Friday and Saturday nights but you better bundle up
  • Zip Line: amazing views during  the off-season
  • Shelburne Falls, MA: A wonderful artist enclave full of interesting shops is only 15 minutes away. Our favorite night out is Candlestick bowling atShelburne Falls Bowling (has a bar and the owners are super nice) followed by a pie at Buckland Pizza
  • The Clark Art Museum: in Williams Town, MA: one of the most extraordinary collections of impressionist paintings including Renoir, Monet & Degas
  • Mass Moca: a super hip modern art museum with wonderful programs for all ages

You should be able to click on the links above to plan your trip on-line. When you do your travel planning, what tech tools and Apps are your favorites? We keep lists of what to pack on Pinterest and our smartphones and often use Apps to check the snow conditions. Let us know what you think of Berkshire East and if we left out any of its wonderful features! Let it Snow!

Other resources and blogs here:

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Health rules with family members!

Every year getting into better shape rates high at top your list as and also for most mothers and dads. Overall, we have inked okay but we could always do much better. As we grow up and busier as our grow, finding time to deal with ourselves becomes challenging. Fortunately or unfortunately based on the day, we entering an age group where the bikini may don’t be socially satisfactory but we will play that certain by ear.

On the other hand, A recent study with the CEA showed that over fifty percent of online consumers used some form of fitness tech in past times year, and analysts in Forrester Research expect usage to increase from the lower single-digit millions to be able to 10 million with the end of 2015.

Family jogging outdoors with the kids in a beautiful summer landscape in the late afternoon sun

Among our favorite tech tools would be the Nike Fuelband. We have been wearing it because January 1st to support with our mom “get into shape” mission. The Nike Fuelband revolutionizes digital sports as being a glorified step counter that permits integration with many technology and social media incentivizing us into a new fitness level. To support that “digital brand” Nike created an App with regard to Facebook‘s “timeline” allowing you users to remain competitive against their friends and professional athletes to find out who can accumulate by far the most points. We take advantage of the social media because having a support group encouraging you to definitely meet your goals— is really a proven method to achieve your “weight” loss.

The Nike Fuelband may sure simplify living for moms. We use it as we walk the kids to and from school buying enough shopping at the food store. Now, only in the event, the Fuelband contained the answers how to manage your partner, work, children plus a yummy dinner …. let’s have a blast with this objective!

Tell us about your favorite fitness devices, programs, websites or simply plain tech that inspires your regimen!

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