Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • I’m hooked on Key West. There. I’ve admitted my problem. I went for the first time in May and then decided I needed a return trip to make sure the magic of the Keys was real. So, I used a mother/daughter getaway as an excuse, and guess what? It is still awesome! Now I get it. Everyone I meet there is from somewhere else. It is one of those places that calls to the soul, begging you to return again and again until you finally move there for good.

    So, here are a few things to do in the Florida Keys that are family friendly.

    Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square1. Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square – Each evening at sundown in Key West, the area is filled with street performers, vendors, and palm readers. Families can stroll the pier and see sights such as a catch jumping through a ring of fire, or a kooky lady swallowing an entire balloon. Don’t try this one at home!

    2. Snorkeling – The clear waters of the Florida Keys are the perfect place to take the family on a snorkel trip.

    3. Feed the Tarpon at Robbie’s – This Islamorada stop is located at mile marker 77 and half at Lignum Vitae Bridge. This insane experience will make the kids squeal when dad dangles a cigar minnow and one of the tarpons jump up to get it. Be sure to take a picture of his hand INSIDE the mouth of the fish. And hold on to the minnows or the pelicans will scoop them up before you even know what happened.

    4. Kayak in Key Largo – Guide Bill Keogh shares his knowledge with visitors as he takes the entire family on trips through the mangroves or out in the ocean. Kids learn about the flora and fauna without realizing they are learning.

    5. Introduce the kids to Hemingway – I love Hemingway, so of course this is on the list. The Hemingway House in Key West is a must for lovers of literature and this larger than life author. You may even get a glimpse of the descendants of his polydactyl cat. If you look around enough, you might even see Hemingway’s “last” penny near the concrete in the pool. Be sure to ask Diamond Dave the story behind this coin.

    6. Buy a pair of Kino Sandals – Okay, I know how this sounds. Buy sandals? These are no ordinary sandals, my friends. I little birdie told me about this place (thanks, Sheri) where these cute little old ladies make sandals. Yes. HANDMADE LEATHER SANDALS from Key West. Wanna guess how much they are? Try less than 20 bucks a pair. They have sandals for the entire family and you can even watch the ladies sewing them.

    7. Feel like a fairy at the Butterfly House – This magical stop will have parents and kids gasping in delight. I know I sure did. When I walked in, all these colorful beings were flitting around. I felt as if I was in a fairy wonderland (or Lord of the Rings).

    Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West8. Eat breakfast with the chickens at Blue Heaven – This colorful Key West restaurant is open aired and a delight in the morning. Their lobster eggs benedict is to-die for, but the pancakes are pretty awesome, as well. The roosters and chickens hop around from roof to table umbrella. Every once in a while they hit the ground and walk amongst the customers. It is a delightful place to start (or end) the day.

    9. Take a fishing trip – There are so many charter services out there, but I did notice that Cheeca Watersports was taking out a lot of father/son groups and even a few families. I wish I would have had time to take LCM fishing when we were there.

    10. Enjoy the sunset on an evening cruise – This is quite simply, the ultimate way to enjoy a final evening (if not every evening) in the Florida Keys.

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  • Here are links to some of our road trip tips to help make that family road trip a bit easier on everyone. Be sure to visit GetRoadReady.com, a Prestone-sponsored site that has tips for getting your car ready and offers free road trip games to print out. You can also visit GasBuddy.com to search for the best gas prices in your area.

    The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TXLooking for healthy road trip snacks? We’ve got you covered! We also answered a reader’s question reagarding healthy road food options. Got a heavy foot? Here are some tips for avoiding speeding tickets on a road trip? Are you having trouble financing your vacation? In a past contest I shared some of my family’s secrets to finding money for travel and also our tips for taking a vacation on a serious budget.

    Remember that you can always use our search button on the righthand side. We’ve tried to make things easier for you, whether dreaming about travel or actually planning a family vacation. Check out our Approved section where we list only the products will REALLY like. Please feel free to add your own road trip tips in the comment section and check back daily at TravelingMamas.com for more travel information.

    Have a safe road trip!

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  • The other night I strolled along Waikiki Beach with my local friend Jeanne whom I met a few years ago. We watched the fireworks at Hilton Hawaiian Village that occurs almost every Friday night. I noticed a bunch of people on Segways and they looked like they were having a blast. So, I went ahead and booked a morning three-hour tour of Honolulu History and Culture.

    First I was given a helmet, which made me feel a bit dorky, but for safety reasons I was glad to have something to protect my super powerful rock star brain. Alan, Segway of Hawaii owner, gave me a training lesson before the tour. At first I was hesitant, because this thing is just two wheels. It doesn’t look like something I should step my chubby body onto, but Alan assured me the weight limit is 280 lbs, so I’m all good on that problem.

    I stepped onto the Segway, thinking it would tip over, but to my amazement the thing balances itself. Before long, I was gliding in and out of cones and able to stop on a dime (almost). Michael, my tour guide, felt confident that I was able to maneuver the streets of Honolulu, so off we went.

    We started off on Waikiki Beach, where people stared and pointed. Yes, I wanted to tell them, it is CajunMama in the flesh, don’t be intimidated. We were almost like street entertainers, performing a ballet of environmentally friendly, gas free transportation, and I was the star.

    Michael took Jeanne and I through bustling Chinatown, where I felt sure I was going to take out a pedestrian, but I did well, even when a store curtain blew into my face blocking my vision of the sidewalk baskets of fruit. Thanks to my pre-tour training, I was confident enough to maneuver around three baskets of bok choy and two elderly Asian ladies with canes. Whew! Crisis averted.

    We stopped for a breather at Iolani Palace and glided by the King Kamehameha statue. Our return trip provided an open area for me to glide open wide. In fact, I think I’m ready for the Segway races now. I was glad I took the time for this environmentally friendly tour of Honolulu. The price of $130 for a historic, cultural and fun three-hour tour is worth it.

    Now I can say, “This is how I roll.”

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