Category Archives: travel

New Adventures in New Zealand

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice that I haven’t updated in quite some time. Some of you already know that our little family has made the journey back to our second home – New Zealand. See I was born in Canada, so I consider it my first home. I met my husband in New Zealand, had my first child here and even obtained my citizenship so I consider it my second home even though I’ve probably spent the majority of my adult life in this country.

Packing up your life and flying with 2 kids to the other side of the world is no easy feat, especially when the change happened quicker than expected – can you say less than 2 months?! I’m gonna save the details around our move for another blog post…or maybe even for a book, yes the details are that crazy that I  am seriously considering spinning it all into a memoir.  You see everything from the time I decided to spend a year in New Zealand way back in 1999 pre-birthing hips fresh out of University til now could easily fit into a book. From moving to Auckland from Christchurch just a month shy of the first devastating earthquake to moving to New York city and giving birth to my daughter and then returning to hospital with her just days later, the many celebs I met in New York and now the return back to the land of the long white cloud, there is a book in there somewhere!

the kids exploring their favorite rock on St Heliers Beach

My eldest said,

Mom, I like our new home. There is so much more room here than in New York.

And that is when I knew without a doubt, even though we all miss so many faces and places from New York, our little family is going to be just fine in our new home on the other side of the world.

Their will be some changes around here while I look at rebranding and sharing my new adventures in Auckland, but most of all I’m excited about just writing again. Besides running, writing is such a release for me!

In the meantime, seeing as the holidays are coming up I’d love for you to share your tips for traveling with kids.

Heck knows I’ve got a ton of tips after several 32 hour journeys with one toddler and then this most recent trip around the world with 2, but I’m sure you’ve got your own as well for train, bus and car.

Welcome back dear readers!

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2 Fun Places to go With Kids this Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day as a child always signaled the start of Back-To-School. As Mr P enters grade 1 and Little Miss starts her first days at daycare, I can’t believe how late we are going bback to school in New York – September 9! We are enjoying our last days of summer on our entire family’s first trip to Disney World. But if you are looking for something closer to home, check out these fun places to visit/things to do with kids.

Visit Sesame Place

Labor Day BBQ

Celebrate Labor Day with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends!  Enjoy an open air, traditional holiday BBQ in Big Bird’s Riverside Pavilion! After a fun-filled dinner, enjoy a spectacular fireworks show, set to Sesame Street music, making the festivities on Labor Day weekend truly memorable.

September 1 at 5:00 PM in Big Bird’s Riverside Pavilion 

Labor Day Weekend Fireworks

Don’t miss the ALL NEW fireworks show, set to Sesame Street music! Rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count, as their music fills the air and the sky is covered with colorful bursts of brilliance. Be sure to watch us paint the sky red (and green and blue) from inside the park.

September 1 (8:25 PM - 8:35 PM) Fireworks will begin immediately following the 8:00 PM performance of the Neighborhood Street Party Night Parade.

Monsters University

If you missed it the first time around,  Monsters University is returning to theaters this Labor Day Weekend just in time for school to start back up! Check your local listings and check out this funny clip!

Happy Weekend friends!



Driving in New York is Easy with Kia Rio

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I had the pleasure of test driving a Kia Rio SX 2013, the latest sporty addition to this family of compact, fuel-efficient cars. Over the space of a week, I was able to see how a car could fit into my daily routine. Though Mr BAM and I have toyed with purchasing a car in the past, in this city of fast drivers and heavy traffic we are always a little unsure about buying a car while living in Brooklyn.

In our family of 4, Little Miss is in a front-facing carseat and Mr P has a booster seat. We like to travel around the 5 boroughs most weekends, and have actually still not visited many of the city’s best kid’s attraction because, well, we don’t have permanent access to a car! Heading the Bronx Zoo for example would take well over 2 hours by public transport. See why we need to seriously consider a car?



25 Things No One Tells You about Sesame Place

We had the pleasure of going to Sesame Place in Langhorne Philadelphia for my birthday weekend. It was our first time and Mr BAM and I agreed it was perfect for our kids (Mr P nearly 6 and Little Miss 20 months).  The drive from NYC is an easy breezy hour and a half if you go straight or a little longer if you detour to rest stops. Definitely short enough for busy toddlers.

Their were water slides, roller coasters, carousels and a ton more dry rides. We really enjoyed all the opportunities to get up close and personal with the kids’ (and our!) favorite characters. Once you get one cuddle with Elmo or Abby Cadabby you just can’t get enough! We discovered a few tips and tricks just by trial and error and amazing intuition that really made the trip awesome.

I hope these help you have as great a time at Sesame Place as we did.

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1. Sunscreen, a hat and water shoes are a must. Without watershoes, you’ll burn your feet lining up for popular rides like Sky Splash on the concrete steps



Win A One Night’s Stay at SpringHill Suites Philadelphia

Did you enjoy my review of the Family-friendly hotel SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne? Then you’ll want to enter to win one night’s accommodation to stay with them!

Close to many family-friendly attractions like Sesame Place, Philadelphia Zoo and Oxford Valley Mall, SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne is a great place to base your family for an Eastern vacation. Check out their website for more details on this Marriott owned hotel and don’t forget to read my review.

A stone's throw away from Sesame Place, image curtesy of SpringHill Suites

Please make sure you are familiar with all the contest rules before entering. Good luck!



11 Reasons to Stay at Family-Friendly SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne

I recently had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday at the SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne. I can’t thank them enough for the complimentary stay and for being part of an unforgettable birthday. With just an hour and a half drive from New York city, it makes for a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is not always easy to find time for an extended vacation with the family, so getting away close by to the closest hotel to Sesame Place is a pretty good idea for a nearcation for a family of four with 2 kids under 6.

Elmo was waiting for us with a bouquet of flowers!

Here are just a few reasons why I’d recommend SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne for your next family-friendly stay.

1. Complimentary 24 hour valet service. This may not seem like a big deal when you have kids and are not likely to be out and about at all hours of the night, but trust me this valet service is more than meets the eye. As our very first point of contact with the hotel, the valet were helpful, almost like a mini-tourist desk. It is also nice to have free parking. The front desk staff was equally as friendly, but you don’t normally expect that level of service from the valet staff.

2. Did you catch what I said above, yep that’s right SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne is the closest hotel to the ever popular Sesame Place. Just park your car, put on your bathing suit and follow the path less than 10 minutes from the front desk to the Sesame Place gate. So convenient if you need to duck back for an afternoon nap so the kids can stay awake til the night time parade at 9PM and close the park with their favorite furry animals. We were happy to be able to stroll over to bed rather than deal with the traffic of everyone driving home. Less travel with kids that late at night, means less chances of a meltdown!

The heart marks the spot! That's how close SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne is to Sesame Place