Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Have you ever heard of a Nordic Spa? I’ve found that they are very popular in Canada’s Quebec Province. Last year I checked out a Nordic spa near Quebec’s Ice Hotel and it was a screamer. This year, I found an indoor spa in downtown Montreal right around the corner from Le Petit Hotel on Rue Saint-Paul E.

    Nordic spas are also called thermal spas and treatment includes a series of visits at different areas. The first part opens the pores and starts with choice of a 10-15 minute visit to thermal bath, eucalyptus steam room, or Finnish sauna. The second step is the closing of the pores, which can be through a soak in the cold plunge pool or ice cold shower. The final step is relaxation for another 10-15 minutes. To get the full therapeutic effect, this process should be completed three times.

    A day pass to a Nordic spa is an inexpensive way to relax while on vacation. The cost can vary but is usually less than $50. Most Nordic spas also offer other services which should be booked in advanced and require an additional fee. Be sure to pack along sandals or Crocs and a robe. Robes are usually available for an extra fee.

    In this short educational video, I will take you through the process of a Nordic Spa experience in an indoor facility.

    Special thanks to Galavanting Gal Kim Mance for pressing the red button on my Flip and to Tourisme Montreal for hosting our visit.

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  • Tales of a Travelling Mum by Alice GriffinAlice Griffin is the author of the informative and inspirational book Tales From a Travelling Mum: Navigating Europe with a Babe-in-Arms. It is chock full of useful tips and advice on traveling with little ones. Alice was kind enought to answer a few questions for TravelingMamas.com readers.

    When did you first develop a love for travel?

    Growing up with parents who often spoke about travel and road trips they had taken with my siblings (I missed out there being the youngest!) I think my love of travel is deep-rooted. Really I have been dreaming of far-off places for absolutely as long as I can remember and when, at 23, I had the opportunity to spend six months in Japan – I was bitten. I haven’t looked back.

    Alice Griffin in the Spanish Hills of Almeria

    What inspired you to write this book?

    When pregnant with my daughter all I ever seemed to hear was that independent travel with babies/children was a nightmare. I didn’t believe and I didn’t see why I should give up my love of the world when I became a mother – I wanted to share my love of the world with my daughter! We did our first trip when she was 8 weeks and at one-year-old we sold our house, gave up our main income and headed off on a long-term road trip. We have had such amazing experiences that I felt I should share them with others who might feel a little apprehensive about travelling with children. The result is a story about all the trips we took during the first two years of my daughter’s life and covers Greece, Norway, France and Spain by plane, boat and road. I guess you could say it is a travelogue interspersed with practical advice and tips.

    Do you have one moment that stands out while traveling with your children?

    I couldn’t pinpoint a specific moment, but just seeing my daughter enjoy the world, watching her interact with so many faces, cultures and environments – it gives me hope that she will grow into a compassionate and fearless young woman.

    Alice Griffin and her family

    Do you travel without your children? If so, how do they cope when mum is
    away?

    As yet I have not travelled without my daughter.

    What items do you always travel with?

    A favourite comforter toy, a bubble cot and a small rucksack of toys and books to keep her occupied. Oh, and I always keep raisins on me for when all else fails!!!

    Last thought about travelling with children:

    Just that people shouldn’t be daunted by travelling with a baby or with children. Yes it’s different – but seeing the world through my daughter’s eyes has, so far, been magical. Embrace it and remember that if you manage to stay relatively calm you can defuse most testing situations. You will also be overwhelmed by the kindness and support of strangers when you travel with children!

    You can learn more about Alice Griffin by visiting her official website. Want to purchase her book, visit Amazon.com to purchase Tales of a Travelling Mum.

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  • Harry Potter fans will be excited to see the progress at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. This just-released image of Hogwart’s Castle will add to the anticipation of this soon to open theme park within a theme park.

    If this image has piqued your interest, then be sure to pick up a copy of USAToday on January 28 which will include an interactive augemented reality map to virtually explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You must have a webcam and internet connection to experience the augmented reality technology.

    Are you excited about this new theme park? I know I am!

    Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando

    Family Travel Tips on raveable

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  • The Whodat Nation will be showering Miami with black and gold goodness on Feb 7. New Orleans has cancelled Family Gras and fans all over will be watching the Saints at their first of hopefully many more Superbowl appearances.

    The Superbowl for the Whodat Nation isn’t just about football or a game. It’s about believing in something greater than us and having hope that we can dream and make things happen. I’m so proud of my state’s team and wear my Saints black and gold just as proudly as I do my LSU purple and gold. No matter if you are a Saints or Colts fan, here are a few tips to help you find your way to the stadium make the most out of this historic sports event:


    Parking Tips for Sun Life Stadium – Parking opens at 11:00am on Superbowl Sunday. Tailgating is not allowed onsite (boo on you Superbowl people). Permits for passenger vehicle parking in the far away lots can be ordered online for around $65 plus Fedex, taxes, and extra fees. Vehicle for hires (towncars, limos) are charged starting at $150 plus extra fees. These are for standard parking as the premium parking was sold out at publishing time. Bus parking is still available for around $300 per vehicle. Sadly, no RV parking is allowed onsite. Here’s a parking map for Sun Life Stadium.

    Shuttles – Tri-Rail is offering $5 roundtrip shuttle service to and from Sun Life Stadium. Board the train at any of Tri-Rail’s 18 conveniently located stations on Sunday, February 7, 2010 for Super Bowl XLIV. Take the train to Tri-Rail’s Golden Glades Station and board the shuttle bus, sponsored in part by Miami Subs Pizza & Grill, to arrive at the Wal-Mart bus drop-off and pick-up location. Shuttle buses will begin operating at 1 p.m. All Tri-Rail Super Bowl XLIV Roundtrip tickets may be purchased online no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2010. Tickets will be available at all Ticket Kiosk locations after these dates. One northbound and one southbound will depart the Golden Glades Station approximately 1 hour after the final play of the game. An additional northbound will depart the Golden Glades Station approximately 1 and ½ hour after the final play of the game.

    Taking a Taxi – Taxis are allowed to drop off and pick up customers near the Fan Plaza at Gate 4. Miami area taxis and phone numbers:  Yellow Cabs (305)444-4444; Flamingo Taxis (305)599-9999; Central Cabs (305)532-5555. Check out TaxiFareFinder.com for Miami taxi flat rates and more companies.

    Remember to have fun and don’t drink and drive. TravelingMamas.com will be supporting the Saints and the Whodat Nation as we bring home a Superbowl win. I believe!

    Note: Dolphin Stadium has been renamed Sun Life Stadium.

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