Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • I was browsing through Overstock.com this morning and came across this interesting travel accessory for toddler car seats – a strap that attaches a toddler car seat to your rolling carry-on suitcase. First, whoever came up with this idea is very creative and innovative. And at around $13 in price, it seems pretty affordable. The pictures in the ad illustrate how a carry-on suitcase can double as a stroller through an airport.

    car seat travel accessory luggage strap
    Here’s the product description:

    Quickly and easily connect your toddler’s car seat to your rolling carry-on suitcase. By attaching the straps from the car seat to your suitcase, you create a stroller that moves smoothly through airports.

    • Straps attach securely for safety
    • When not in use slips in the pocket of your carry-on
    • Works with any LATCH, and top tether, equipped car seat (not compatible with European equipped IsoFix seats)
    • Heavyweight polypropylene webbing withstands up to 900 pounds
    • Do not use on stairs or escalators
    • Car seat not included
    • Product dimensions: 3 inches high x 3 inches long x 3 inches wide

    toddler car seat strapI’m all about making life easier when traveling with kids, but a few concerns came to mind when I saw this. There was one glowing user review on the site by a mother traveling alone with a two year old. She stated that it was very easy to use and convenient. I guess it really depends on the quality of your carry-on bag and the height of your child if it can actually be used. Adding all that extra weight to the front of the bag could cause some serious damage to your retractable handle. Also, you’ll have to make sure you keep the car seat at a high enough angle so the toddler’s feet won’t drag the ground, possibly causing injury. I went in search of this product on Amazon.com and found over 200 reviews! See our affiliate link: Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory

    I still think it’s very innovative, and as a mother who took two preschoolers through the Atlanta airport to catch a tight connection, I’d be willing to strap my kids to my suitcase if I thought I could get to my connection faster, easier, and safely. If I remember correctly, I carried the littlest one in front, while the older one hung off my back like a monkey as I ran (we did not have car seats to lug). They both giggled the whole way. I could see a toddler enjoying the strapped to the suitcase mode of transport.

    Do you have one of these car seat travel accessories? Would you use one?

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  • Have you always wanted to view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live in New York City? Macy’s and partners, Delta Airlines and Affinia Hotels are giving away a trip for four to see the 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade live and in person!  All you have to do is visit Macy’s Official Parade site and enter your personal information and your entered!

    Here’s what the trip sweepstakes includes (per Macy’s website):

    “One lucky winner and three guests will fly round trip to New York on Delta Air Lines, enjoy a 3-night stay at Affinia Manhattan hotel and receive a Thanksgiving Dinner for four at a New York City restaurant! The prize package also includes four exclusive viewing passes for the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, where you’ll see all of the action live, including giant balloons, fantastic floats, great bands and Santa himself!”

    Macy’s will randomly pick one winner around October 21st and travel must take place November 24th -27th 2010. Approximate retail value is $3,500. Must be 18 years or older and must be a legal resident of one of the 50 states in the US or District of Columbia.

    New York City is the most popular travel destination for Thanksgiving. We wish all of our readers the best of luck in this travel sweepstakes. If you don’t win and you’ll already be in or around the area for this popular American holiday, be sure to check out our tips for best viewing Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and take a look at our list of free things to do in New York City.

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  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City isn’t just a parade – it’s the official start of the holiday season for families all across America. Did you know that New York City is the most popular travel destination for Thanksgiving? I remember my Thanksgivings as a child of traveling to my grandmother’s or relatives coming to our house. I would watch the parade on television while my mom and grandmother prepared a feast for our entire extended family who would gather together on the biggest travel time of the year. It’s one thing to watch the parade on television, but just think of getting to actually view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the streets of New York City!

    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade flickr image (c) mjpeacecorps

    There are more than 3 million people who line the parade route and another 50 million who will be watching the excitement from home. The parade route changed in 2009 and we’ve updated our tips for viewing Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to reflect these changes, should you be lucky enough to be in or near NYC for Thanksgiving.

    1. Get there super early (like before 6:30am early). This isn’t your hometown parade and people claim their spots earlier than you think. The actual Thanksgiving parade kicks off at 9am on 77th and Central Park West, so bring some clothing to keep you warm. You could take turns holding your place if you need to, but you may annoy your fellow spot holders by doing this and get the stink eye from a viewing neighbor.

    2. Macy’s recommends the best viewing area as the area between 61st and 72nd Streets on Central Park West. While it will be crowded all along the parade route, we suggest between 66th and 77th Streets on Central Park West. It’s near to Central Park for a nice family stroll after the parade passes (one of many free things to do in NYC).

    3. Use the bathroom before you get there. Restroom visits are a given for any family with small children, but keep in mind that if you leave your spot, you’ll lose it. There are no public restrooms along the parade route and the majority of restaurants will probably only allow the use of restrooms for customers.

    4. Speaking of restaurants, you may be wondering where to eat and what’s open in New York City for Thanksgiving. Be sure to make reservations well in advanced through opentable.com. If you don’t drink too many warm drinks throughout the parade and time things right, you just might be able to utilize the restroom at the restaurant where you’ve reserved your Thanksgiving meal.

    5. Keep your little ones close to you. Many parents opt to place their children on their shoulders for viewing. While the kids enjoy this, the viewers behind you may not like it so much. If you opt to get a spot at the front of the crowd, keep a tight hold on your loved ones so no one gets lost. It may even be a good idea to place your cell number on your child by writing it on their arm or using a SafetyTat.

    Here’s the current Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route:

    The parade starts at 77th Street and Central Park West
    Heads South down Central Park West until it reaches Columbus Circle at 59th Street
    Turns East at Columbus Circle along Central Park South
    Turns South at 7th Avenue, continues along 7th Avenue through Times Square until 42nd Street
    At 42nd Street the route turns East on 42nd street for 1 block until 6th Ave.
    Turns South onto 6th Avenue
    Continues south on 6th Avenue to finish in front of Macy’s in Herald Square at 34th Street.

    There is a parade hotline: (212)494-4495

    Secret Tip: Don’t want to brave the crowds for the actual Thanksgiving parade but still give the kids a thrill? Macy’s balloon inflation takes place the day before the parade on 77th and 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Public viewing takes place from 3pm-10pm.

    No matter how you choose to spend your Thanksgiving, we hope you enjoy making memories with your loved ones on this American holiday. Stay safe and have fun watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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  • It’s no surprise the holidays are my favorite time of the year at Disney World. For the past 4 years, my family has kicked off the fall season with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It’s the perfect event to put you in the spirit for Halloween time!

    Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom is a hard ticket event. This means that the park closes at 7pm to regular guests and only guests with a ticket to MNSSHP are allowed in for the party. Ticket prices are $59.95 (ages 10+) and $53.95 (ages 3-9) for all dates except Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 when tickets cost $64.95 (ages 10+) and $58.95 (ages 3-9). Advance purchase (prior to event day) savings of $6 per ticket are available for the parties on select dates.

    The big question I often hear from first-timers is “Is the party worth it?”. The answer is a resounding YES!

    If this is your first time attending Mickey’s Not SO Scary Halloween Party, then you’re in for a real treat.

    The Magic Kingdom is transformed into Halloween!

    Besides the awesome theming for the event, the main value of the ticket comes in the form of crowd control. There are a limited number of party tickets, and you will find that wait times are often next to nill. We walked on Thunder Mountain twice in a row with no wait time! Another perk is the Magic Kingdom is open until 12:00am, giving you time to enjoy the park in the evening instead of spending all day under the blazing Florida sun (Yes, it’s hot here even in October!).

    Though the party officially begins at 7pm, MNSSP ticket holders can enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm. This is a great chance to grab a bite to eat before the party and ride a few rides as regular guests leave the park.

    Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party provides treat bags to all guests (even adults!) to Trick-or-Treat around the park. Treat stations are designated by Goofy’s Candy Co. balloons. Make sure to hit Alice in Wonderland’s Treat Trail along the pathway from Mickey’s Toontown Fair to Tomorrowland.

    Whatever you do, don’t miss Mickey’s “Boo to You” Halloween Parade. In my opinion, this is the best parade in Disney World. “Boo to You” circles the park twice per evening of the party. Get a spot early to see the Headless Horseman!

    If characters are what you’re after, you won’t want to miss the Special Disney Character Appearances. This is just about the only time I’ve ever seen all of seven dwarfs out for a photo opp. Cinderella’s Coach is also available for pictures.

    No party would be complete without a little dancing! Character Dance Parties are set up around the park giving kids a chance to dance with their favorite Disney Characters dressed in Halloween costumes. It’s an experience they can’t get everyday and one they’ll definitely remember.

    Finally, not to be missed are Disney’s Villains Mix & Mingle, a fantastic stage show where the villains take center stage and Happy HalloWishes, a special Halloween fireworks spectacular just for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party guests.

    It’s a night you’re family won’t forget! Guests are encouraged to dress up in (not so scary) Halloween costumes. Be creative! This year I saw an adorable family dressed up as the characters for 101 Dalmatians.

    Party dates in 2010 are: Sept. 14, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30; Oct. 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31; and Nov. 1.

    Visit www.disneyworld.com/halloween for more info.

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  • I was extremely delighted to find a delivery of wine samples, which included a bottle of Clean Slate 2009 Riesling, a German wine from the Mosel River Valley. It is a blend of grapes found throughout the Mosel region. The Lower Mosel grapes provide mineral notes, the Middle Mosel grapes add a hint of spiciness, and the Upper Mosel grapes supply the fresh, peach flavors. 

    I chilled the bottle and waited for the late summer sun to dip beyond the horizon, settling the area into a rosy glow of evening. I sat on my back patio and ended up experiencing one of the most wonderful Rieslings to ever pass my lips. The ripe peach flavors balance any acidity and there was even a hint of lime. It is truly a clean wine. Clean Slate Riesling pairs well with Asian dishes, spicy foods, sushi, fish, poultry and pork. I personally think it would go well with a light meal or dessert. This is definitely a great value wine, with retail between $10-$12. Find out more about Clean Slate and where to purchase in your area at www.CleanSlateWine.com

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    Watch on posterous

    Sent from a Traveling Mama while she’s on the go. Please pardon any grammar or spelling mistakes.

    http://cocktails.travelingmamas.com/clean-slate-2009-riesling-wine

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