Posts Tagged ‘ vacation ’

Google Street View: Take a Virtual Tour of Family Vacation Spots

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Legoland California Google Street ViewThinking about  a quick getaway for Memorial Day weekend? Before you finalize your plans, explore family-friendly places by using Google Maps Street View.  If you’re not familiar with this free tool, it gives you a 360-degree street level look at popular U.S. and world destinations (zoos, amusement parks, public parks, landmarks, museums, etc.).  From the comfort of your own home computer or smartphone, preview places to determine if you want to visit them in person.

Get a panoramic look at these following U.S. destinations:

For bigger family vacations, you can take a road trip to different U.S. landmarks, discover historic Italy, or even set sail down the Amazon River.

Plus, if you or someone you know manages a unique destination, request a Street View team to visit the location through the Street View Partner Program.

Happy planning!

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Autism May Be Linked to Obesity During Pregnancy
Obesity during pregnancy may increase chances for having a child with autism, provocative new research suggests.

Apps Helping Autistic Children Communicate
Children with autism typically have difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Manuel Gallegus reports on one school in New Jersey that is using iPhone and iPad apps to change all that.

Colombian Girl, 10, Gives Birth to Daughter
Young mother, a member of the indigenous Wayuu tribe, delivered by C-section.

Emotional Trauma May Hurt Toddlers’ Later Learning
Suffering emotional trauma such as witnessing domestic violence or being abused early in life may inhibit children’s intellectual development, according to a new study.

Fertility Clinic Founder May Have Fathered Up to 600 Children
A pioneering British scientist who set up a controversial London fertility clinic with his wife in the 1940s may have fathered up to 600 children, according to research from two men who have discovered they are his biological sons.

Will High Gas Prices Bring On Another Summer of the ‘Staycation’?
Remember the “staycation“? In 2009, when recession concerns reached their peak, the term came into widespread use, referring to the practice of staying home (or close to home) as a money-saving alternative to the traditional vacation involving a flight or long road trip. Rising gas prices may bring on a staycation sequel in 2012.

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Nature’s Playground

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

I’m not sure where you are located, but the temps here in New York have dropped. It’s the perfect time of year to take a sunbreak, and last year I found just the place.

St. George Island, a 28-mile barrier island, sits four miles off the mainland, with the Apalachicola Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. According to Dr. Stephen Leatherman’s (aka Dr. Beach’s) annual survey, the tiny island claims to be the sixth best beach in the world! I have to agree…it’s breathtaking. The nine miles of undeveloped shoreline features some of the best shelling. If the kids are lucky, during May and August, they might get a glimpse of a loggerhead sea turtle.

Besides the beaches, there’s great fishing, nature trails, canoeing, and kayaking in shallow Apalachicola Bay. Journeys offer some great kid-friendly adventures. For $40, you can hop on a boat to scout for dolphins and visit Little St. George for a hermit crab race. Snacks and drinks are included. Local rental agencies such as Resort Vacation Properties offer loads of private accommodations. For $5 (per person, per night) you and the family can also rough it and camp at Gap Point in the island’s state park. Watch out for the “cat faces” left over from when the pine trees were turpentined. Hope y’all get to visit!

Photo: Lou Kellenberger, Franklin County, TDC

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Tags: , , | Categories: GoodyBlog, Travel

Win a Trip to New Orleans!

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Looking for an awesome surprise for your valentine? We can help! Just in time for Valentine’s Day (and Mardi Gras!), we’re teaming up with Zatarain’s to send one reader and his or her sweetheart on a romantic trip for two to New Orleans. One lucky winner and guest will score a two-night stay in the French Quarter at Omni Royal New Orleans, $1,000 coach airfare vouchers, a $250 gift card to one of Chef John Besh’s exclusive restaurants for a VIP dining experience in the Big Easy, and a Zatarain’s prize pack! To enter to win, post a comment below in the comments section from now until 11:59 EST on February 6. For full contest rules, click here. Make sure to visit Zatarain’s Facebook page or Twitter feed @MyZatarains. And Goody Luck!





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Enter Parents’ Family Vacation Photo Contest!

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Dust off your memory card… It’s time to enter the third annual Parents’ Family Vacation Photo Contest!

No matter if you snapped an amazing photo of your little one dipping her toes in the ocean, playing at the park, or exploring the top of a mountain – we want to see your best shots from your last family trip!

To enter, go to to upload up to 6 photos now through October 15th. One grand prize winner will score an amazing trip for a family of four to Jamaica, provided by Jamaica Tourist Board and Delta Vacations, worth nearly $5,000!!!

The prize includes round-trip airfare and ground transportation in Jamaica, 7-days and 6-nights hotel accommodations of your choice, plus your pick of not one, but two exciting family tours (choose from fun options like river tours, tubing, horseback riding, and dune buggies).

Wait, there’s more! We’re giving away a $250 cash prize every week for 11 weeks to the reader whose photo gets the most reader votes in Parents’ Photo Faves gallery. After you enter, you’ll receive a URL that you can forward to family and friends via email and post on Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to vote for your kid’s pic!

To learn more about traveling to Jamaica, go to and visit to learn more about their travel packages.

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Wish I Were Here

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

IMAG0273So last week, before my mind was consumed with the right glasses for toddlers, I headed to La Playa Beach & Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, for a long weekend. I wasn’t able to get away with my husband, as our executive editor Chandra did last weekend, but I did bring my best friend Alexis, who celebrated an unnamed milestone birthday while we were there. Alexis hadn’t gone away for this long without her children since 2005, and we’ve both been going at breakneck speed for ages (just like all of you), so this trip was Kind Of A Big Deal for us.

La Playa is located right on the water; our gorgeous suite, 14 stories up, overlooked the Gulf of Mexico. Just looking at our view—that’s it in the photo—made me feel like I was hit with a tranquilizer dart (in a good way). The weather was unseasonably warm even for Florida, so it required no guts whatsoever to wade into the water. When we wanted a change of pace from the beach, we headed over to one of the resort’s four pools. (By the way, “four pools” might conjure up images of a giant, sprawling resort, but that’s not La Playa’s vibe at all. It’s spacious, but also small and intimate.)

I was struck by how many families with young children were there. That first afternoon, as I lay in the sun with a magazine, I overheard one little girl, right around 5, talking to her parents: “Okay, Mommy, I’m Ariel. And you’ll be a different mermaid—no, you’ll still be Mommy, but Daddy, you’re King Triton…” I had to laugh, knowing that’s exactly how it would’ve gone had I been there with my husband and two young daughters. One morning, I saw what had to have been a newborn snoozing away in a crib set up in the family’s poolside cabana. Another night, during an incredible meal at the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, Baleen (I had sauteed scallops with a lemongrass lobster sauce; Alexis had a roquefort-crusted filet), we watched a group of adorable little boys and girls playing tag on the grass as their families dined nearby. Afterward, we went up to our suite’s balcony to take in that tranquil view, and we could see the kids still running around, having a ball.

One of the highlights of our stay was our time at the spa. We each had a few treatments: Alexis enjoyed a massage and a Japanese soaking ritual, and I had a massage medley (I’d give you details but I was too relaxed to note anything) and an incredible pedicure. I even got to keep the bottle of polish for touchups, which is a perk I’ve never encountered anywhere else.

If our husbands hadn’t been home with the kids, they might have hit the golf course. La Playa has been consistently recognized as one of the top golf resorts in the country. Since it’s on the water, though, golfers need to head three miles inland to play, and staffers make this easy.

Actually, staffers make everything easy at La Playa. Everyone we encountered was incredibly friendly and accommodating (and if you’re wondering, almost none of them knew I was a reporter!). I’m already trying to figure out when I’ll be back.

La Playa Beach & Golf Resort. Rates in season start at $329; off-season start at $139.

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Vacations on the Cheap!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

p_101521750Don’t you hate it when you’re ready for a vacay but your bank account isn’t? Well I found some travel deals that I think your wallet will warm up to at Originally started as a site for huge discounts on everything from restaurants to haircuts, it launched an “Escapes” section this week with 40 to 70 percent savings on weekend getaways and longer adventures. I’m eying the 50 percent off Vermont package. What vacation are you coveting?

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Tags: , , , | Categories: GoodyBlog

Video Tour of a Disney Cruise, Part 3

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

In the last video postcard from Disney’s Baltic cruise, Sally Lee and her family take in Russia and Finland–and all the fun offered back on the boat. Check out the vid now or the previous installments by clicking here and here.

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