Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Last year around this time, I enjoyed a day of shopping and visiting with my mom and aunt in Nashville. We walked through the Gaylord Opryland Resort, where I was astonished at the amount of Christmas lights that were on display. We spent hours catching up, admiring the various holiday scenes, and even enjoyed a few martinis at the Jack Daniels Grill. It provided the perfect spot for a girlfriend afternoon or even a family vacation for a few days. The horse drawn carriages in front of the resort provide the setting to make this a romantic escape, as well.

    The Gaylord Opryland Hotel’s Winter Wonderland will be one of the holiday “hot spots” for families and friends alike this year. Held in the resort’s Ryman Exhibit Halls, this beautiful wonderland features many activities for “kids” of all ages, like Photos with Santa, Treasures for the Holidays Crafts Show, Hall of Trees display and a charity fund-raiser, a Christmas train and the return of Gingerbread Corner with gingerbread decorating classes taught by elves. Winter Wonderland begins Nov. 23, 2008.

    Gaylord Opryland is the only place in the world where the beloved Christmas story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, is being retold in frozen form. ICE! featuring How the Grinch Stole Christmas! will run in its final year Nov. 14, 2008, until Jan. 4, 2009. Starting at the Grinch’s frozen mountaintop lair, to the 20-foot high slides for kids and built-in photo opportunity stops, down to the picturesque Who-ville, complete with feasting Whos, ICE! featuring the How The Grinch Stole Christmas!will make even the coldest of hearts grow three sizes.

    Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 25th anniversary of A Country Christmas and ICE! Vacation packages are available with two- to three-night options. To make reservations or for more information on A Country Christmas events, please visit or call 1-888-999-OPRY (6779).

    Gaylord Opryland has graciously offered a pair of tickets to ICE! for one of lucky readers. Just leave a comment telling us a special memory you have that involves ice. Leave your comment before Tuesday, November 4 at midnight. Must be at least 18 years old, US citizen, and not be an immediate relative of a Traveling Mama. Winner will be announced sometime on November 5.

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  • Wow. That’s all I can manage to say after reading all the great tips and tricks left by all of you for a Disney World family vacation.

    Some of the tips that really stood out include Charlotte Winters’ tip to UPGRADE. Jaclyn Reynolds advises visitors to study the park maps before exploring the park. Donna S says not to forget your suncreen.

    Congratulations to the following commenters who each won a copy of Walt Disney World with Kids 2009:

    Lisa Fosses -Recommends bringing a fold-up stroller.

    Jennefer Sweitzer – Has never been to Disney World but really wants to go.

    Nikki – Hasn’t been but is planning a trip in March 2009.

    Ruthann Rhodes – Hasn’t been either but is traveling to Disney World in March for National Cheerleading Competition. Ruthann, look for Nikki!

    James – He says that after several visits, always choose the lines on the left, as they tend to move faster.

    Don’t worry if you didn’t win. The guide retails for $17.95 at most major bookstores or you can order online here. Special thanks to Random House and the Fodor’s imprint for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway.

    Winners can email me CajunMama at TravelingMamas dot com with mailing address.

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  • I was recently contacted by my high school friend, Kristina, who wants to celebrate her 35th birthday with a Girlfriend Getaway. She lives in Frederick, MD and would like something close enough in case the kids get sick, but far away enough to relax. I did a little research and found out that she is only a 90 minute drive from one of the sweetest places on earth, Hershey, PA and I have two words for Kristina – SPAJAMA PARTY!

    I can’t think of a better place to celebrate 35, because not only do they offer decadent spa treatments and a place for all the girls to hang out, but there’s chocolate to make you feel better. For those of you who participated in GNO or TwitterMoms’ first wine-tasting event, the discussions included talk of chocolate and wine. So I searched around and found that if Kristina and her friends choose Hershey, PA as their destination, then she can include wine tasting at wineries on her route.

    If staying at Hershey Lodge or The Hershey Hotel aren’t your thing, then you can check out, which offers smaller places to spend a few nights with the girls, drinking some of that wine you picked up along the way and just giggling and visiting in front of a warm fire on a cold January night. Don’t forget to pack the bubbly too.

    This is what I would do:

    • Book one or two nights at The Hershey Hotel or Hershey Lodge.
    • Schedule a Hershey Hug ($220, 2 hrs) Includes a spa rain shower, hydrating body wrap, and 50-minute cocoa massage.
    • Enjoy a fabulous dinner with the girls at the Circular Dining Room.
    • Celebrate with a glass of Champagne, toasting the big 35!
    • And finally, just have a wonderful birthday spajama party. Happy, 35, Kristina!

    Where would YOU suggest Kristina and her friends spend an all-girls birthday celebration?

    Photos courtesy Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

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  • Our Walt Disney World for Kids 2009 Giveaway has given me Disney fever. I started to search around for great deals on planning a family trip during the kids’ winter break. I went to Orbitz and was excited to see that they are giving away all kinds of prizes, including five customized 5/day 4/night Grand Prize trips to Disney. They are also giving away 55 secondary prizes including 15 Disney vacation packages and 40 pairs of roundtrip airfare vouchers. Whoopee!

    All you need to do is visit and think of a special event to celebrate before January 4, 2009. So what could I celebrate at Disney with three other people right around that time? Hmmmmm. Maybe one year birthday? That would be awesome!

    Well, I wasn’t an instant winner, but I did have fun imagining seeing all the Traveling Mamas again and I was even awarded a $150 off Orbitz coupon. If you’re thinking of going to Disney World, don’t forget to enter our latest contest where you can win Walt Disney World for Kids 2009. Good luck!

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  • Congratulations to Chrissy who won our Preserve Family Travel Memories with a CVS Photobook Giveaway. She said in her comment that she’s like to document her birthday trip. Well, Happy Early Birthday Chrissy. We hope your trip is fun and full of memories that you can look back on for years to come. Thanks to everyone who entered and keep checking back at, where we love to share our travel tips and give things away.

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