Ski Mountain High in California

Just outside LA you can hit the slopes!


A short drive from the major cities in Southern California, Mountain High Ski Resort is a must visit this winter. Whether you are a skier, snowboarder, or looking to go down the hill by sled this is the place. My visit was a pleasure from start to finish. The drive is pleasant, the food is tasty, and the winter sports are where it’s at.

Me in my Mountain High Yeti mask!

If you didn’t know January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. So I figured I would take on the challenge at Mountain High. Skiing is totally new to me and I could not have picked a better destination to get started. Everyone raved about their ski instructors and I agree. Mountain High has a top notch ski school, their instructors are certified PSIA and AASI, use the latest equipment, and boast some of the highest success rates in the country with lessons for all skill levels.

If you are an expert already there is plenty to keep you busy. Mountain High is broken into three resorts, East, West, and North. Each is packed full of great runs and when the weather gifts SoCal with snow we are ready to rock. There are 290 acres of skiable terrain, The trail breakdown is 25% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 35% Advanced to keep everyone racing along. With a maximum elevation of 8,200 feet keep hydrated and don’t be surprised if you get winded more easily. Hydration is key.
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Fall and Winter at Woodloch

Enjoy the Seasons in the Pocono Mountains

Woodloch Family Resort has it all this season and there is no better way to see the Pocono Mountains than with a family trip to Woodloch. Whether the trees are tipped with crimson leaves or topped with pure white snow, you could not imagine a more lovely local to get away to, and now is the time to plan your getaway!

Fall is a great time to take a ride through the countryside, and kids will love the horse or tractor drawn view. Halloween has the Haunted Hayride for those brave enough to face a fright in the night. Or maybe come for the Holidays and get everyone outside for the Festival of Lights. Enjoy the evening air and glowing decorations before heading in for some hot cocoa. The Nature Trail is lit up for the Holiday Season to give the ride a whole new feel. No matter the time you pick, there is always something going on at Woodloch.

The food served at Woodloch Resorts will keep everyone in your family happy- especially those who can take a vacation from cooking.


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Woodloch Poconos Resort

all inclusive resort

An all-inclusive family resort, located in the Pocono Mountains, Woodloch offers the best in lodging, dining, and entertainment for all four seasons. Rent a cabin or a room and enjoy time with family and friends. With views of Lake Teedyuskung and mountain vistas a vacation here is a chance to relax and renew yourself.

Kids will never lack for indoor or outdoor adventures. In warmer months, hit the mountains and climb the hills. In winter, you can ski or snow tube. Too cold outside? Try the six sided rock climbing wall which is available any season. Swimming is always an option as well, as the resort has indoor and outdoor pools. For those that like a little speed and some motorized fun there, are the bumper cars, go karts, and even bumper boats! If you crave some quiet, you can glide silently through the water on a kayak trip and experience a new view of nature and the surrounding wildlife. You might even catch a peek at an American Bald Eagle flying the skies.
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Welcome to IOWA!

Ever consider visiting Iowa? If not, maybe you should. There are some great family stops and a lot to do.  These are a few of our favorite stops on our recent visit.

iowa

Amana Colonies

Located 20 miles from Cider Rapids are the Amana Colonies, 7 villages that were originally German settlements in Iowa. Settled in 1855 the colonies remained self-sufficient until the 1930’s. The Amanians operated independently as a community by farming and handcrafting to maintain their own local economy. Today you can visit the villages and shop at their craft stores, eat local fair, or drink a glass of wine or beer. Antiques, furniture, home decor, clothing, and gifts you will find nowhere else create a unique shopping adventure.

iowa food

The Colonies tradition of great food is available for visitors to explore in the restaurants or specialty shops. The Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse has over 160 years of experience offering ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and pork to visitors and online.  The Ox Yoke Inn is a fantastic place to stop for lunch, and has amazing German style food. The staff is gracious and the food is affordable and filling. The Broom and Basket Shop is exactly what you might expect, a store dedicated to selling locally handmade brooms and baskets. Another interesting stop is Iowa’s Largest Walnut Rocker, at over 650 lbs. and 11 ft. tall. Great for a family picture. These are just examples of some of the interesting sites you can wander through on a visit to the Amanas.
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Winter Fun at Okemo

Is your family’s idea of the perfect holiday gift several feet of fresh powder beneath their feet? At a time of year when cabin fever attacks, the freedom and exhilaration in skiing is the perfect antidote. When you drive up with your folks or the kids, you want the rest of your vacation to be spent having fun – not more driving around. A resort with all the amenities to please everyone fits the bill: Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.  We had a great time checking out all that the resort had to offer- and there was quite a bit to do.

ski vermont

Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, they offer 8 different styles of accommodations – many with ski in-out availability. Choices range from classic mountain lodge rooms to multiple options for larger families – perfect for those family reunions.

At Jackson Gore Inn, thoughtful amenities like deep soaking tubs to loosen up sore muscles after a run down the slopes. An indoor pool and game arcade keep the kids occupied during inclement weather or after skiing.
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7 Ways to Save for Your Next Family Vacation

Family vacations are a fun, much-needed time for families to have together. It allows them to get out of the normal routines and just create new experiences in a new destination. The only problem is, depending on the size of your family, going on vacation can be expensive, causing some families to miss out altogether. The good news is there are some ways that you can pull more savings so that you can book that much-needed trip this year. Check them out below:

1.  Don’t Eat Out

Eating out is a ton of fun, but also comes at a hefty price. If you’re going to increase your vacation savings you’re going to want to cut back on eating out. If you’re used to eating out 3 times a week, cut back to once per week and put the money you would have spent on the other days into a savings account.

2.  Keep the Change

A penny saved is a penny earned. When it comes to saving loose change, it can add up pretty quickly. When paying for things, use cash and never give exact change. When the cashier gives you the change, place it into a piggy bank or jar. When the jar fills up, take it to your local bank and have it added to your savings account. You can do this every month until you’re ready to book the trip.

3.  Switch Energy Services

Some of the highest bills in the house are the mortgage and the energy bill. If you’re dealing with a higher energy bill, you may want to look into ways to cut those costs. Aside from taking actions like reducing your energy consumption, you can also check online resources to find out how to switch to a more affordable energy provider.
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Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts in Punta Cana

When it comes to family vacations, the bar is always being raised. Let’s face it: families want something that’s quite a step above camping in the backyard for their getaways. This time of year, most of us are craving warm temps, sunny skies, and lots of opportunities for a swim. Exotic and different are icing on the cake. That’s why Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) is sure to inspire memories that last forever. I was happy to be hosted to experience it.

dominican resorts

The resort’s luxurious accommodation includes the Swank Swim-Up Suite. Imagine a private, VIP-style wrap-around terrace that’s adjacent to the pool, along with sunbathing beds. You’ll feel like the resort’s all your own. There are other configurations and sizes of swim-up rooms as well, to suit different needs and family sizes.

resorts punta cana

You’ll find the décor bright and cheery, but with simple, modern lines to feel more relaxed – rather than formal and uptight. Kid friendly, but still chic.

spongebob pineapple house

The ultimate in luxe accommodations, and still able to fit a larger family is The Pineapple, inspired by SpongeBob Square Pants’ home under the sea. Two bedrooms and three bedrooms in a loft configuration are looked after by your own personal butler. Special activities can be booked for guests staying here, such as a moonlight beach dinner prepared by a world-class chef, wine tasting, an in-suite afternoon tea party, pizza party, or pajama party.

dominican republic resort

So, if you crave more water than swimming in the pool, they have the beautiful Uvero Alto Beach available and just steps away. There are plenty of lounge chairs and even beach beds available for guests to use, you won’t need to scramble for them or search around in vain. The beach is lovely, quiet, and very clean. You will want to spend quite a lot of time there, if you are like me. You can order drinks while on the beach as well, which makes staying longer even more appealing. Other outdoor games and activities, such as tennis, are found at the resort, along with playrooms for the kids and the opportunity to run into – and take photos with – your favorite Nickelodeon characters, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Indoor activities include the fitness and dance studio.
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Six Tips for Cruising with Kids

Going on holiday with the kids is as equally rewarding as it can be frustrating. This is especially true if you are trying to travel to a range of different destinations. Corralling little ones onto flights can be tricky at the best of times and this is only exacerbated when you have multiple transfers and connecting flights to make. Fortunately, there’s one way to simplify the process and let the whole family travel to various places with ease – by taking a cruise.

By opting for a family cruise holiday, you just travel to the departure point, get comfy in your cabin and let the world come to you from the comfort of a luxury cruise liner. No longer the preserve of wealthy pensioners, cruise holidays are available to anyone. Whether you fancy touring the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, or even chillier climes – it’s up to you.

Don’t worry if you’ve never cruised before. It’s easy! And to make it even easier we’ve compiled a short list of tips for getting the most out of a cruise with kids. Read on.

Feel free to take the kitchen sink

It is received wisdom these days that it’s best to pack light when traveling. And usually this is the case. However, on a cruise you have the luxury of your cabin as a base of operations throughout the holiday. You don’t have to pack and repack (beyond a day bag for excursions). Combine this with the fact that there are not lots of shopping options on the seven seas, you don’t want to get caught short by forgetting any necessities. So, don’t worry about packing your suitcases a little fuller.
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