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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Cruises & All-Inclusive

Learning all about Junkanoo, the festivals kids love most in the Bahamas


Learn a little Bahamian culture with Junkanoo parade at grand Bahama resort where we stayed
What began with programs for school kids in the Bahamas in 2000, now attracts cruise ship passengers and other visitors for workshops in Junkanoo costume making. And what amazing costumes they are, put together with thousands and thousands of strips of brightly colored crepe paper adorned with feathers and gold and silver buttons. more
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Aboard the new Norwegian Breakaway — plenty to keep kids entertained


Norwegian Breakaway inside the kids club
If you’re on board the new Norwegian Breakaway, you—and baby—and grandma might all be joining in special “Guppies’ activities—maybe finger painting with special paints or using chalk or crayons made out of vegetables. "We want those younger families whose kids aren’t in school,” said CEO Kevin Sheehan –especially during times of year when there aren’t school breaks. more
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Two days on the new Norwegian Breakway – a ship made for New York


Norwegian Breakaway walking the plank
That this ship is home-ported in New York is such a big deal that Mayor Bloomberg was on hand for the christening. “New York is the number one cruise capitol in the Northeast,” he said welcoming 587,000 passengers in 2012—growing 32 per cent just in one year. “Breakaway will add to those numbers and it will be our pleasure to show them the greatest city in the world,” he said more
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Cruise lines keep innovating for family travel market


Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean wants you to know they’ve not only got your back but they’ll guarantee you an experience like none other on board a ship. That’s especially the case if you wait 18 months for the new Quantum of the Seas that will sail out of the New York area. more
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All-included bounty and excitement from the deep blue sea off Antigua


My second place Mahi Mahi
Today we’re back at Curtain Bluff and I’ve decided to take the 6:30 a.m. deep sea fishing charter. The best thing about Curtain Bluff, other than the beauty and just about every other thing, is that it is all-inclusive, so the fishing (along with Scuba, snorkeling, water-skiing and other activities) is part of the price. more
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Families enjoy the all-inclusive activities at Curtain Bluff on Antigua


Beautiful bougainvillea abounds at Curtain Bluff on Antiqua
Rod McCrea likes that Curtain Bluff is not only considerably less expensive in summer but that the all inclusive nature of the property means he not only knows exactly what he is spending but that all of his kids and grandkids can do what they like–tennis and sailing, deep sea fishing and snorkel trips, not to mention all the fruit smoothies the kids can drink—or that their parents will allow them to mix up with the bartenders. more
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Back to our honeymoon spot, three grown kids later


View of the surf beach from out room at Curtain Bluff on Antigua
Thirty years later, our room overlooks that same windswept beach. As I think about the three kids we did have—and the adventures we shared with them—I’m struck by how this 72-room all-inclusive resort is emblematic of how family travel has changed in the past three decades. more
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A special birthday and fashion show on the last day of the Barbie Cruise


Jude and Sydney owning the red carpet at the Barbie Fashion Show
On our final day of the cruise we had a jam packed schedule but most importantly it was our daughter’s 4th birthday! There is no way to sum up the amount of celebration that was had - it started with a round of “happy birthday” at the Madagascar character breakfast and ran all the way through to evening dinner with our whole dining room more
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Pink everywhere on Royal Caribbean’s Barbie Experience cruise


Getting some inspiration to start designing a Barbie dress for the fashion show
As we ate pink napoleons and cream puffs we discovered what a multinational group we were. Girls from all over the world had come for the Barbie Experience - New York, Utah, Toronto, Mexico City, São Paulo, London, Dublin and even Sydney! Barbie truly speaks the international language of fun for young girls of any culture. more
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Three days as special guest of Barbie on Royal Caribbean’s biggest ship


Getting some inspiration to start designing a Barbie dress for the fashion show
When given the opportunity to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas as part of their brand new Barbie Premium Experience, I felt like I had won the lottery. This cruise sounded amazing, especially since it coincided with our daughter’s 4th birthday. It was a bonafide vacation and I was sure there would be plenty of sun and at least one pool side cocktail involved. more
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