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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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Travel Diary

Read Eileen’s travel diary and keep up with her travels. You might just pick up some ideas for your next family vacation!

Sitting under the star listening to ukulele music – it’s Disney


We’re sitting on woven mats under the stars listening to the best Ukulele playing I’ve ever heard. Rather than a huge luau with terrible food and hackneyed performances, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu has opted to celebrate Hawaiian culture with the Aulani Starlit Hui more
Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Spas treatments for all ages at Disney’s Aulani


Laniwai (the name means freshwater heaven in Hawaiian) is supposed to embrace the Hawaiian connection to nature. I think it can enhance family connections too both by encouraging families to enjoy the facilities together and on their own more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


There’s a lot do on Oahu but so too at the Aulani


There’s so much to keep kids busy right here at Aulani--the water slides and ides and lazy river, the Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, the chance to interact with the stingrays and play in the calmest lagoon I’ve ever seen. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Hawaiian tradition and culture blend with Disney at the new Aulani


Ready to learn the Coconut Walk? “Aunty,” who actually is well known Hawaiian entertainer Sonya Mendez, leads the children as they clap Coconut shell instruments together around the outdoor restaurant. In between songs, Goofy, Minnie and other Disney Pals—all decked out in Hawaiian gear—stop by for photos and hugs more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


A visit to Disney’s new Aulani resort and spa in Hawaii


What I like most is that this big resort—when it is fully open it will include 359 rooms and 481 two-bedroom condo units—is that it will up the ante for family resorts in Hawaii and elsewhere, improving the family experience in the process. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


In Rome a perfect hotel for a birthday celebration


The hotel was first built in 1620 for the Fonseca family and it has been a hotel since the end of the 18th Century when many wealthy Americans embarking on the Grand Tour stayed here. In 1891, a winter garden was built in the hotel’s inner courtyard and today, it has a crystal ceiling reflecting sunlight along with a statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and war. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


When in Rome consider a private tour


We’ve opted to tour Ancient Rome –the center of the Empire for some 500 years--with a guide both to maximize our time and to avoid the lines where we’d have to wait at least 45 minutes to get in. We start at the Pantheon with its giant hole in the middle (and drains in the floor for rain).. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Diary | 2 Comments


Exploring Sicily with a private tour guide


Aldo Valerio greets us with kisses, like friends he hasn’t seen in a long while. In reality, we’ve never met except through email. Valerio runs a tour company called ww.secretitalia.com and also works with a Canadian based company ww.toursbylocals.com that puts together guides with travelers—especially those who are cruising and don’t want to be limited to ship excursions. more
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On to the Amalfi Coast past the ghostly volcano on Stromboli


We are standing on the deck of the Wind Surf at 10 p.m. our eyes glued to a spectral cone rising from the sea ahead of us with occasional pulses of red and pink shimmering off the top. It is the island of Stromboli off the Coast of Italy. As we get closer we can clearly see the lava erupt—bright orange in the black sky. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Crab Cakes and more on a day at sea on the Wind Surf


I would assume the 240-plus adults on board the Wind Surf being attended by 187 crew would agree on this spectacularly sunny sea day. They are reading on deck, playing scrabble and cards, indulging in a leisurely lunch (everything from gyros to Greek beef salad, cold cuts, chilled cranberry soup, Asian fish curry… the list goes on and on. This is our only day at sea and I wish we had another it is so wonderful! more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments





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