Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • You know you’ve been there and done that. One moment, you’re minding your own business driving down the road, and before you realize it, you are sporting an unfashionable bruise on your upper arm. PUNCH BUG! You’ve been hit and you didn’t even catch a glimpse of the vehicle in question.
    There are many variations of this road game. I know, as my children make up their own rules. So here is a list of rules you can refer to when playing Punch Bug.
    1. You can make up your own rules.
    2. The vehicle must be a VW Beetle, either vintage or new.
    3. The vehicle must be driving on the road, parked bugs do not count.
    4. A punch can be saved, but must be used by the end of the road trip and cannot carry over.
    5. Punches are like boomerangs (and Karma). It will come back to you. Be careful how hard you punch.
    6. There are various ways to be exempt from a punch, but it must be announced out loud, such as: If you are wearing flowered underwear, then you can’t get punched. So then, if you happen to be wearing flowered underwear, then the punch will be served to someone else in the vehicle.
    7. Mamas can always trump the rules.
    8. If you are paying a note on a bug, then you are exempt from getting punched. If in doubt, refer to Rule #1.

    There are a few places on the internet that list their own rules of Punch Bug, and it is even referred to as Slug Bug or Punch Buggy. Many of these sites list point values for various VWs. I prefer the Traveling Mamas version.

    No matter what type of road trip game you play, the most important aspect is to have fun.

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  • Cafe Brulot is a New Orleans favorite. It is an after dinner coffee drink with a little flair. Here is a video of this potent libation being prepared tableside at Galatoire’s Restaurant in New Orleans. It was taken with my Kodak Easyshare, so please excuse the quality.

    Click Here to See Video

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  • Houmas House

    I’m so proud to be from, and live in Louisiana. One of the things I love about my state is the preservation of history and the gentility of the South. One place that is preserving the history of my state is Houmas House. It is a River Road Plantation that was purchased about five years ago by Kevin Kelly, a true southern gentleman. He took this old grande damme and gave her a facelift and love and turned her back into the great beauty she once was.

    Houmas House is the site of numerous films including Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, Fletch Lives, and television shows like All My Children and K’Ville. It is also reportedly haunted by a few ghosts of days gone by.

    I like to start each visit to Houmas House with a stop at the Turtle Bar for either a mimosa or a mint julep. The Turtle Bar is located in a garconniere, which in Antebellum days housed the single males of the household. It was a place for cards and raucousness, so it is fitting that this historical building is now a cozy place to sip libations.

    Apple Gallette from Houmas House

    The resident chef, Jeremy Langlois, creates Nouveaux Creole dishes that are “to die for”. On my last visit, Chef Jeremy prepared a multi-course meal consisting of Bisque of Curried Pumpkin, Crawfish, and Corn, a Cosmopolitan Sorbet, a Community Coffee marinated rack of lamb served on top of potatoes, and dessert of Apple Gallette topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. Mmmm!

    An after lunch stroll through the gardens and walkways is a nice prelude to the tour of the house itself. I could imagine myself living in grandeur once upon a time. It’s a good thing I keep my bookshelves stocked with romance novels. I can see Houmas House as the setting for a few of them.

    This week’s giveaway is a gift pack from Houmas House. The pack consists of a nice crystal paperweight, coffee mug, and silver-plated sugar pack holder in the shape of a garconniere. These come in a handy reusable logo bag.

    Houmas House Gift Pack

    So how do you win this fantabulous gift pack? Post a comment telling us where you live and why you like to live there. Contest is open to US residents only and immediate family members of Traveling Mamas are ineligible. Contest will close at midnight EST April 1, 2008. Yes, this is April fool’s day, but we’ll announce the winning comment on April 2, so there’ll be no fooling around.

    Good Luck!

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  • Schmooze

    There’s a saying among the women in my family, “Tan fat looks better than white fat.” Well, tanning season is upon us and there are a few things to remember when tanning your fat.

    The sun can dry you up and make you look like a prune.

    Old tan skin looks like leather. Didn’t you see There’s Something About Mary?

    Sun damage can cause skin cancer in your later years.

    The sun can dry out your hair, too.

    Exfoliate BEFORE tanning, not AFTER. Trust me, it really hurts after.

    A good self-tanner is worth its weight in gold.

      Spray tanning can be a good thing. See your dermatologist for a recommendation.

      Be sure to wear a good sunblock if you do go out in the sun. Don’t forget about the kids’ skin, too. Be sure to cover their lips, ears, and underarms with sunscreen, not just the obvious places. And, if you are really ticked off at your husband, make some nice artwork with sunscreen on his back. It sure will give you a chuckle later when the rest of his back gets pink.

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    • Traveling Mamas is putting together a collection of stories written by parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone who has a story related to motherhood (or even just being stuck sitting next to a mother and her crying child).

      If you have a heartwarming, funny, or inspirational travel story you would like to share with the world, then check out our submission guidelines on the Anthology page.

      We are so excited to bring our stories, and yours, to print. So, get out there and write your own travel story and submit it to us before the September 1, 2008 deadline.

      We wish you all the best during this upcoming travel season.

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