What to Do and See on a Trip to Frankfurt

Frankfurt offers one of the largest airports in the world and for many within and outside of Europe is a gateway to the Germany and the continent. The city itself is also the financial capital of Germany and is a mainstay of business. However, fortunately, there are plenty of far more exciting and fun things to do in this Germanic metropolis. So, what should you make sure to see on a trip to this wonderful city?

The Römerberg

The Römerberg

The ‘Roman Mountain’ as the translation would have it is the picture of old Germany and is positioned at the heart of the old town. The area has the half-timbered houses you’d imagine when thinking of Germany of old and has been holding the town’s fairs since the 13th century. The town hall still resides here today after over 600 years and there’s quite a twee but unique feel around The Römerberg and it’s a must see on a visit.

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The Goethe House

The most significant and also well-known German writer is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and as you may have guessed he was born in Frankfurt. Goethe wrote the renowned book Faust, a tale of a man who makes a pact with evil for his own gain. Goethe’s home was destroyed in World War II however, the German people have complete restored it brick for brick and painting for painting and though burned to the ground in the 1940s, it’s now exactly as it has been for almost 300 years.
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Prepping Your Kids for a Trip to Mexico

Culture shock can be something of a shocker. When you are traveling with your kids, it is important to buffer this shock as much as possible, because if they are comfortable, you will be too. While in many ways kids are more resilient than adults, they too can experience culture shock while traveling, especially when traveling to a foreign country, where they don’t speak the language.

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In Mexico City

Any major trip you are taking with your kids requires preparation. Help them get the most from their trip to Mexico by preparing them for what they will encounter there.

Learn the Language

When planning a trip to Mexico, expose your children to the Spanish language in preparation for their adventure. A traveler’s vocabulary and some key sentences will help your children greatly as they travel. You can find some very helpful websites online, such as 123teachme.com which helps you and your kids learn basic Spanish. You will see the benefits of an online Spanish tutor quickly as Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn.

Read Books About Mexico

Before you leave on your trip, get a variety of books to read about Mexico. These will teach you about the customs, geography, history and culture of the area you will visit. Your children will be much more excited about their trip if they have an idea of what to expect. As you read, they will form opinions about what they want to see first and what they are looking forward to most.
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Looking for a Truly All Inclusive Experience? Book a Trip to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun

Disclosure: I was invited to the Hard Rock Hotel resort and expenses were paid, but as always, all opinions are my own and honest. I was not required nor paid to write this review.

cancunA few weeks ago, I visited the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. The beaches in Cancun are some of the best around, and it’s only a short flight for most Americans. Travel to Mexico is easy, flights are short, the food is good, and your dollar goes far. The Hard Rock Cancun was completely amazing- and truly all inclusive.

cancun mexicoAs I walked into the hotel, I was greeted with a most welcome frozen drink- it was quite warm outside, and after a very early flight from a very cold NY, and landing in a tropical paradise, the temperature change was something. Checking in with a cold drink in my hand was definitely a nice touch, and very thoughtful. The room I stayed in had two beds, a jacuzzi, and a double sink to make getting ready with a family easier and faster. The bathroom and shower were also in a separate room, so that one person could be showering while everyone else gets ready for dinner, the beach, or wherever you desire to go.

cancun-timetoplay As soon as I checked in, there were water bottles waiting for me in the room (as we all know not to drink the water in Mexico, our systems can’t handle it) and some fresh fruit was delivered- again, just little thoughtful touches. Also in the room was a small refrigerator that was full of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, juice boxes, and more- all part of the all inclusive price of the room. This is also useful if you have a baby on formula or for storing breast milk. It’s super convenient not to have to run out of the room every time you or your little one is thirsty.

cancun-timetoplay 152Also- if you are traveling by yourself, with friends, as a couple and left the kids at home (or perhaps left the family pet with a sitter) you know you will be nervous and want to check in from time to time. Your phone may or may not work in Mexico- but one more perk of the Hard Rock Hotel is that phone calls and internet are both included- make as many phone calls as you like, you won’t be charged extra fees. There are many hotels that claim to be all inclusive- this is the first where I truly wasn’t asked to spend money for extras like phone calls, internet, and even cans of soda or a mini bar in the room. Want room service at 2 am? Go ahead- call and order. It’s part of the package.

cancun-timetoplay 042Super thoughtful extras, like sunblock and even aloe, are available by the pool just in case some traveler forgot to bring theirs. Which from what I saw, many did, and made use of this basket. It was located by the towels, which you get fresh and clean as often as you need to.

cancun-timetoplay 100The resort is directly on the beach, which any parent will tell you is a huge plus. No need to lug all your gear and toys all up and down, just a few steps to the sand. If you like, there are lounge chairs and umbrellas right on the beach, set up and waiting for you. You can also rent cabanas for the day. If you prefer to lounge by the pool, this one won’t leave you wanting. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas situated all about the pools, as well as two swim up bars that have both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. There are several buffets with food all day and night long poolside, with tables and chairs to eat at as well if you prefer to just grab a quick poolside bite for lunch rather then go to one of the resort’s restaurants.

cancun-timetoplay 049When you are at the pool, there is always music playing, but often there is live music playing. Live bands, including former American Idol contestant Casey James, play regularly at the Hard Rock Hotel. There is a real party atmosphere to the place, while not being anywhere near out of control or frenzied. It’s just a laid back, fun, party place to be. The kids pool is located further back, of course. As part of your “Rock and Roll Fantasy”, not only is there live music, and night time entertainment, but of course the signature Hard Rock “Rock Star” memorabilia on the walls and even ceilings of the hotel and lobby (ask to take a tour, or find a map and take one self guided). You will be vacationing like a rock star from the time you are dropped off at the hotel to the time you cut off your bracelet to leave.
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Why You Should Want To #VisitLancaster

When it’s time to get away, scenic Lancaster, PA is one of our favorite places to go. There is plenty to do, see, and eat in this family friendly environment. Here are some great places to visit in Lancaster, one of our favorite places to spend time as a family (and sure to be one of yours, as well).

lancaster PAThe Strasburg Railroad is the home to many restored trains from around the USA. Many train fanatics call this site the best historic railroad in America for visitors, and for good reason. Recognized as one of the most significant historic railroads in the USA, the Strasburg Railroad has acquired historic trains from all over the country, and recently celebrated operating for 50 years as a tourist railroad It is one of the remaining stations where you and your family can ride the refurbished trains and steam engines. This station is large, restored, and maintained beautifully- a source of pride for the local people.

strasburg railroadEvery time we visit, we truly sense the enjoyment that the conductors and employees have for their jobs- it shines though as they take their time with every child, posing for photos and answering train trivia with a smile. As you ride the beautifully restored trains through Amish country, learning about steam railroading, agriculture, Amish culture and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, enjoy your family and your little ones, and let worries slip away. They are little for only so long, and riding in a “real” train is going to be a real delight. There was a “vintage baseball” game being played while we visited last weekend, where olde-time dressed players used old rules, terms, and equipments to play the game. It was very enjoyable to watch, and their wives came in full period clothing as well. There are other special events going on regularly at the Strasburg railroad. Check out the calendar and plan for your favorites.

pic 3Strasburg Rail Road is pleased to offer an all-new Summer Fun Pass, a value-packed ticket option for individuals and families who want more bang for their buck! The Summer Fun Pass is valid from May 25 – September 2 and includes unlimited steam train and fun extra rides.

At just $35 per person for ages 3 and older, this pass will pay for itself in just three visits, one of the best offerings from Lancaster County attractions. The Summer Fun Pass admission option also includes a 10% retail discount at the Strasburg Rail Road gift shops and access to member-only specials throughout the season.
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Carmel, California – Food, Wine, Art, and Culture

carmel CACarmel, CA is a great spot to get away from it all- the perfect place for weddings, proposals, romantic hideaways, or girlfriend getaways. A small but active and artistic area, you will find plenty of shopping, museums, theater, good wine and good food, as well as the beautiful coastline.

CA food and wine tourCarmel-by-the-Sea is a small town with a rich artistic history on the Monterey Peninsula. In the early 1900s, 60 percent of Carmel’s houses were built by those who were “devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts.” As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 4,081.

Close by are the scenic 17-Miles Drive, Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, world renowned golf courses, Point Lobos Reserve, and the Big Sur coast. This area is very pet friendly, and one will see dogs everywhere they go- on sidewalks, stores, in restaurants, and even art galleries.

CA foodThere are some fine dining options, as well as others with a more funky flair in the area. Mundaka, a Spanish style tapas restaurant in downtown Carmel, is the result of a love of food, wine, music, and Spain and its culture. The food is ordered by the small plate and meant to be shared with the whole table. The dishes and drinks are organic and locally grown- don’t expect to order a cola in this establishment. The atmosphere is funky and artistic, and has both vegetarian and non-vegetation options as well as live music many nights. Grasing’s offers fine dining that features fresh ingredients from California’s Carmel Coast and Central Valley. They have a varied wine list, and the desserts are interesting, delicate, and delectable. You will want to make sure to save room, and indulge yourself.

CA food toursTaking a quick trip, but want to really experience the food and wine? Take the Carmel Food Tour. While walking through the picturesque city of Carmel, you will be able to enjoy the tastes from seven of Carmel’s most unique restaurants and specialty shops. This 3 hour tour is not only an enjoyable lunch that literally gives you a taste of the town, but also a glimpse into local area’s culture, art, architecture, and history.
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