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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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Lodging

An old-fashioned family getaway in Maine


Enesi Domi and Captain Hebert show off his catch
Maine is the kind of place for an old-fashioned family vacation with the chance to learn something new, whether you’re going fishing, stand-up paddle-boarding for the first time or maybe learning how to catch — and eat a lobster. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


What to do when it rains on your family’s long-awaited vacation


Guests Strike Up Fun at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Sometimes when the weather interferes with your plans, it’s best to move on to Plan B. Rain has sent us racing to the nearest B-and-B when we were camping in New Hampshire. (A hot shower never felt so good!) We literally flew to Oahu when the forecast was better there than the continued wet weather we were experiencing on Kauai. more
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Water sports, bike riding and bringing home the lobsters in Maine


Andy (L) and Enesi (R) learning the basic of standup paddleboarding in Kennebunkport ME
Food, of course, is a big part of vacation and that’s certainly the case in Maine famous for its no-frills lobster “shacks” where you can get lobster rolls—lobster salad sandwiches typically served on a hot dog bun to restaurants in Portland, about 20 miles from here, known for serving food that have just come from local farms. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , | comments


Teaching a kid to fish with a “Wicked Tuna” star in Kennebunkport ME


Enesi with his first fish caught ever off Kennebunkport ME
“Sometimes the girls have more patience,” acknowledges Capt Bruce Hebert, known for his stint on the National Geographic Channel's Wicked Tuna reality show but here in Kennebunkport for his Libreti Rose II fishing charters that cater to families and is named for his wife and three daughters—Lisa, Brie, Tiara and Rose. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , , , , | comments


Three days in the Kennebunks (ME) over the Fourth of July holiday


Kids revving up for the fireworks on Colony Beach in Kennebunkport ME
It’s July 4th night and everyone is in vacation mode after a long day on the beach with teens setting off sparklers, parents nursing a beer or a glass of wine and everyone, for the moment, feeling all is well in the world, especially here in Maine where locals have been welcoming vacationers for generations—including the Bush family. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , , | comments


Good news: hotel industry is waking up to healthier kids menus


Hyatt Top Your Own Taco for Kids
In the past year, a growing number of hotel chains have revamped their kids’ menus to make them healthier with less fat and sugar as well as prepared with locally sourced foods. It’s terrific to see a travel industry contest that actually focuses on something families care about—healthier and better children’s menus--rather than giving them another toy or backpack they don’t need or want. more
Eileen's Blog, Lodging | , , , , , | comments


A weekend visit to Nantucket island, once the whaling capital of the world


Sign commemorating Nantucket as a center of world commerce
This small island -- just 14 miles East to West and 3.5 miles north to south -- is so pretty with its weathered gray shingle houses, roses climbing white picket fences and cobblestone streets in Nantucket town. There are more than 800 pre-Civil War houses on the island, which shares the name with a county and a town -- the only place in the country that all three have the same name. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , | 3 Comments


What if it rains when you’re in Orlando? No worries.


Making the most of it in the rain at Downtown Disney
This was supposed to be our day to hang at the pool. In fact, we chose the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando because it’s got a new water play area—big new water slide and 1500 acres with put-put golf, tennis, sandy beach with paddle boats, smores pit…the list goes on and on. But Tropical Storm Andrea put a wrench in our plan. more
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Better, healthier food choices are flouishing at Orlando’s theme parks


Emerils TChoup Chop at Universal Orlando
If you think all Orlando food is turkey legs, burgers and churros, think again. Sure you can get all that but you have plenty more choices—and healthier options—for the kids as well as the adults more
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Touring Universal Orlando like a VIP with a guide


Water taxi from Loews to the parks
Because we’re staying on property at the wonderful Loews Portifino Bay Hotel, just a short water taxi ride from both parks and CityWalk shopping and entertainment area, we could have entered the park an hour before opening to avoid the mad crush. But I had another ace up my sleeve. more
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