Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • 101_100x150.jpgRecently, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition aired the Hughes Family episode. The team built a new home for the Hughes Family and their blind, disabled son, Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry is an inspiration to people of all abilities, with his words and music. The show sent the Hughes Family to London, showing that families of all needs can travel and explore the world.

    Author Candy Harrington provides the perfect avenue for planning a trip for a special needs family. Her recent book, 101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers can help find the destination for any Traveling Mamas searching for the best holiday for her entire family. Now everyone can have better quality travel, from the family with special needs children to including a grandmother who is a bit of a slow walker. You’ll find extensive information on accessible cruises, RV travel, and active holidays.

    Candy has provided resources at the end of every chapter, helping travelers make the most of their time as a family.

    Order your copy now so that you can start planning your accessible vacation.

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  • I’m a television freak. If you add travel into the TV mix, I’m even more fanatic about it. That’s why I love Thursday night television. CBS has Survivor and ABC is airing new episodes of LOST.

    A few years ago I had an to visit Hawaii and a few filming sites from LOST. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Ala Moana Center – Take a ride up the escalator and shop at what was the airport scene for the Oceanic ticket counter.

    Hawaiian Tourism JapanWaimea Valley – This site is home to the infamous waterfall where Kate and Sawyer retrieve guns in the first season. There are also trails that are oddly familiar from the first season. As of February 1, 2008, this historical site has returned to the hands of the Hawaiian people. It was recently an Audubon Center. It is unknown at this time if the waterfalls are open to the public for a dip. I do know that the falls have something special in them for the skin. My skin was softer for at least three days after my swim. This is definitely a special place that should be visited while in the islands.

    Dillingham Airfield – During my visit, I snuck around back and found the storage for the fuselage. I also took a glider ride that provided a glorious view of the beaches. It is also the airfield setting for the episode “The 23rd Psalm” which gives some background about Mr. Echo.

    Mokule’ia Beach (Army Beach) – This is directly across from the airfield and was the beach setting for the pilot episode.

    Ka’a’wa Valley – The LOST survivors played a few rounds of golf in this area that was also a film site for Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and Pearl Harbor. Do you want to play on the course where Sayid shot the guy? Visit the 17th hold of Turtle Bay Palmer Course.

    Want to see more? Check out Lost Virtual Tours for pictures and videos of even more film sites. I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode. I wonder what crazy conspiracy will be revealed.

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    The Traveling Mamas are very excited to be named the Site of the Week at Away.com’s new family travel blog.

    You can read what the editor had to say about us here.

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  • Chanize Thorpe, a freelance travel writer/editor, is a Traveling Mama who lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has traveled the world and has agreed to share some of her insights on being a mama and traveling.Chanize Thorpe

    How did you first become a Traveling Mama?

    My dad was in the military so I’ve been traveling all of my life. Even after I left home for college, I had “itchy feet” and would find myself packing my suitcase to go somewhere every 3 months. That never changed, even when I had children!

    When you travel solo for work, how do you deal with leaving the kids and hubby?

    At first I used to be a wreck. I’d have this prolonged good-bye and then my children would start crying as if they’d never see me again. It was awful. Finally my husband told me that the more I make a big deal out of it, the worse it would get, so I stopped the drama on my end. I’ve got a good support system, my husband and grandma tag team it while I’m away, and they all know the routines I have in place, so I don’t worry any more.

    Is there any advice or tips you can give a Traveling Mama about to embark on her first solo/girls getaway?

    Make sure you leave a plan for whoever’s watching the kids. I make a menu for my grandma so she knows what to cook while I’m gone (that eliminates McDonald’s for dinner every night), we go over the girls’ chores for the week, I leave my itinerary with her as well as numbers for hotel, airline, etc. Leave no questions unanswered.

    You are a freelance travel writer, so you’ve seen a few places around the world. Is there a special place Traveling Mamas could go to renew their vows or for a second marriage?

    It’s no secret that I am in love with Aruba. I’ve written so many features on the island I’ve stopped counting. It’s really one of my favorites. To me, a vow renewal on an island with the sand in your toes and a tropical flower in your hair is the ultimate. Pick a place that has a vow renewal ceremony package so you’re not stressing out about all the details. You just pick package “A” or “B” and it’s easy peasy.

    If there were three things you could take with you on a trip, what would they be, and why?

    I take a tunic top that works for day and night, I take my gold Cole Haan Air Jane shoes for the same reason, and an exercise band because I’m trying to keep my routine going while I’m on the road.

    Do you have any final advice for a Traveling Mama about to embark on a journey?

    I think my best advice, is that mom’s should work really hard on not feeling guilty for being on the road. Children are more resilient than we think. I was the child of a military father and he was deployed sometimes for months at a time. I was able to survive that and I know my children are able to cope when mommy goes away for a few days, especially when they are surrounded by people who care about them.
    I believe in seizing opportunities when you can. You only have one life and in this game, things can change in an instant. If I can make it work, then you better believe I go for it!

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  • Today marks 50 years of The Daytona 500, a glorious day for race fans. This is the Super Bowl of car racing in the US, conducted at the birthplace of NASCAR. It is a day of honor and glory for men across our nation, a time where they can sit in their recliners wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, drinking beer and eating corn chips until the checkered flag is waved. But, for some NASCAR fans, this is not enough. They must make a pilgrimage to this Sacred Site of the Hemi.

    I took one such trip, trying to relive my teenage summers spent at Huntsville Speedway. I would sit in a plastic lawn chair, listening to the roar of the engines (and feeling it too) waiting until my uncle’s stock car lined the track. Heck, I even had a racing boyfriend at one time, so that I could get the full effect of the Race Car Lifestyle. It didn’t work out (alas!), but it did give me a glimpse of the people behind the races.

    Race car fans are not just your stereotypical redneck. The majority of spectators are business owners, corporate types, and even lawmakers. If one were to judge by the drivers themselves, NASCAR is full of pretty smart marketing people. So, when I was invited to check out the Daytona International Speedway and all it has to offer, I jumped at the chance.

    Daytona is not just a place to go to a race; there are beaches that visitors can drive on, restaurants galore, and luxury hotels. But in sticking with the theme of this post (MountainMama is going for a visit soon), I’ll educate you on things to do at Daytona International Speedway after the big race is over.

    The Walk of Fame – This is a free attraction along the sidewalk of Daytona International Speedway. Visitors can find their favorite driver’s tile and place their hands in the driver’s impression.

    VIP Hot Pass Tour – This includes admission into the Daytona 500 Experience (normally $24), a 2-hour personal tour of the speedway, lunch at the Budweiser Bistro, 2 Acceleration Alley vouchers, and a discount on merchandise in the gift shop.

    Ride-Along – Must be at least 16 years old. A ride-along gives you the thrill of the track starting at $135 per person. This is part of the Richard Petty Driving Experience and must be booked in advanced.

    The Daytona Experience – This is the grand-daddy of them all. You get to actually DRIVE a race car for 24 laps (after some training). This can run up to $2199 per person and is part of the Richard Petty Driving Experience and must be booked in advanced.

    No matter if you watch the Daytona 500 from your recliner or a box seat, the Daytona 500 Experience is waiting for you all year ‘round.Photobucket

    CajunMama at Gatorade’s Victory Lane, Daytona International Speedway

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