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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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Destinations

Breakfast with the Grinch and a visit to Universal Studios Orlando


The Sitzman family (cousins of Eileen's) from snowy Golden, Co., decided to let someone else decorate the tree this year and headed for Orlando, Fl. First stop: Universal Orlando and Breakfast with the Grinch! more
Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 12 Comments


This holiday season, take the kids out to see the lights — they’re everywhere!


Wherever you are this holiday season, take some time to see the lights with the kids. In most cases, it won’t cost anything (except for a hot drink afterward). If your family is anything like mine, you are guaranteed memories that will last for years — though they won’t necessarily be the ones you anticipated. (We still talk about that Chicago “ice kiss” every winter.) more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


Puerto Rico – a family friendly Caribbean destination where you don’t need a passport


You’re missing a lot if you ignore easy-to-reach Puerto Rico in favor of more exotic islands. And you’re still in the United States here — Puerto Rico, of course, is a U.S. territory — yet you have the opportunity to explore a rich culture that dates back more than five centuries. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


El Conquistador — a huge resort for families in Puerto Rico


Connor is on vacation at “El Con” as the gargantuan resort is known with his parents and younger sister from Syracuse, NY and his dad reports they haven’t even left the resort—not with four pools, (three more at Las Casitas villas where they are staying) the water park with its lazy river and water slides, and the resort’s private Palamino Island –100 acres a few miles off shore with snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, mini golf, beach volley ball and basketball more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Kayaking with millions of dinoflagellates in Puerto Rico


It is pitch black and we are kayaking through red mangroves, trying to dodge the roots, on our way to the Bioluminescent Bay Laguana Grande at Las Croabas, Fajardo in Puerto Rico—one of three on the island, I learn from our guide Joel from GSI Adventures. The bay is home to a large colony—more than a million—of dinoflagellates that light up and produce the glowing waters that make the water glow when we paddle. Crazy! more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Puerto Rico — such an easy destination to escape to


For many who turn up their noses at Puerto Rico in favor of more exotic islands, they’re missing out on a lot. First is the ease to get here. But beyond that is the fact that you are still in the United States—American currency—and that no matter what the weather, there is plenty to do beyond the terrific beaches. There is the rain forest, of course, the chance to kayak in the Bioluminescent Bay--home to large colonies of dinoflagellates that light up like fire-flies producing glowing waters. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


There’s no better time to see Yellowstone’s thermals and wildlife than in winter


We feel as if we’ve got the huge (2.2 million acres) park to ourselves. The last time we were here in the summer, there were so many people around the kids could barely see Old Faithful. Now we’ve got our pick of viewing spots and take a trail up to an observation point where we can see Old Faithful and all of the surrounding area. A small herd of Bison is in the distance more
Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Parks & Outdoors, Snow Vacations, Travel Topics | 6 Comments


God Speed Major Garay


Whether facing a deployment or just trying to make vacation memories, this village is a terrific place to start. Lanier Motes, who orchestrates the events here at Sandestin, explains there is something going on every holiday more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 2 Comments


Tennis anyone?


This program—you’ll find others around the country—is part of an effort designed by the U.S. Tennis Association to get more kids involved in the sport. They play with smaller rackets and on smaller courts. “It’s hand eye coordination, exercise, being outdoors,” Petty says, and the kids are learning a lifelong sport. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Get your own Santa visit at Sandestin


If you are staying at the resort, you can arrange to have Santa come to your condo or cottage—gift in hand (he presented me with a soft stuffed lamb complete with a tag that reads “To Eileen from Santa”) and read a holiday story to the kids more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments





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