Traveling

Paris: Eiffel Tower Tour

September 27, 2015

The one thing I had planned to do in Paris, other than sit at cafes and people watch, was to go up the Eiffel Tower. I had read all about the long wait times and didn’t want to be part of that. So, a week before our trip I began searching for our skip the line tickets. What I didn’t realize was how busy Paris would be that first week in August.

While I searched and searched, I finally found Fat Tire Bike Tours with a spot for us. Yes, it was way more than buying the regular ticket, but we would have a tour guide and best of all, we’d get to skip the lines. On our way to Paris, our flight was delayed. I quickly emailed the company, who promptly responded and scheduled us on another tour date.

Park in Paris

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Traveling

Three days in Paris: Day One

September 7, 2015

This summer we had the opportunity to travel to Europe. You see, back in 2004, we visited Europe for the first time and made a promise to return in ten years. Fast forward to 2015, eleven years later, we made good on that promise with our summer vacation to Europe. On the travel log: Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Paris

Delta Comfort – extra leg room, well worth it!

This was our first time visiting Paris and Brussels. We loved Amsterdam during our Honeymoon, but felt we didn’t get enough of it the first time around. Ok, so on to Paris. We loved it. We wondered around the city, stopping for coffee, panini, and wine. It was fun. So much fun, that I can’t wait to come back.

Day 1:

We were supposed to arrive in Paris around noon time. However, Delta changed our flight to go through Atlanta instead of Boston. This meant, we arrived in Paris about two hours later than originally planned. Not a big deal, except we had planned a tour for the Eiffel Tower through Fat Bike Tours. I immediately panicked. However, I notified the company via email and Facebook about our flight delay. Luckily, they were able to accommodate us on a different day. More about that later.

Paris

In a cafe somewhere in Paris…

FYI- most restaurants in Paris do not serve food between 3 and 6 pm. However, they are open for drinks. So, after walking around for a while, we decided to indulge and start living like a Parisian. Our first dinner in Paris was amazing. It was in a tiny little restaurant off the main roads. Thanks to Yelp! we found Bistrot de L’oulette. I ordered the fish, Jim ordered the beef and we ordered duck for the girls.

Paris

Wondering around in Paris.

After a full belly, it was time to explore Paris before bedtime. Remember, we just arrived a few hours later. We ventured over to the Palace de Voges area. Saw some soldiers with heavy machinery. I don’t think the girls even noticed. We just kept walking by towards our hotel.

Stay tuned for my next post: Day two in Paris!

Everything Else

Summer Camps: Are you ready?

May 20, 2015

summer camps

It’s almost that time again. School is almost out. I don’t know about you, but my kids are ready for summer.  Lately it seems like the girls’ regular bedtime has been slightly extended. First it was because of American Idol. Now, it’s mostly a product of having sunlight pass 7 pm.

If you are looking for summer camps in the Polk or Hillsborough County area, here’s a list I made just for you!

Bricks for Kidz

Last summer the girls attended this camp. I must say they really enjoyed it. They spent the day working with legos and making Minecraft arts and crafts! They even went to Legoland for a week. Totally worth it!

Bartow Bash

If your kids like to swim, this is the camp for them! Not only do the kids have free swim time, they also have instruction swim time. Last year, they had a field trip to Wet n’ Wild for the kids. Time is spent doing arts and crafts, playing board games and playing outside.

YMCA

This is another great option if your kids like swimming. Time is spent trying out new sports, doing arts and crafts, playing board games and being outside. Each week has a new theme with a new adventure!

Polk County Museum of Art

This camp is for your creative child. Camp programs are split in two week intervals with focus on three areas. I’ve heard great things about the program from other friends who have sent their kids here. By signing up your child to their program, you get a free museum membership which gets you free entrance to other museums like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Bok Tower Gardens and others.

R & R Ranch

Do you have a little cowgirl or cowboy at home? You might want to check R&R Ranch. Days are spent riding horses and taking care of them. Campers enjoy movies and popcorn, arts and craft, and lots of games.

HCC Summer Camps

So, this one is a new one for us. I randomly found it this year. The camp is located at different locations throughout Hillsborough County. Each week is a different theme, whether your child is into photography, fashion design or chess, there’s something here for everyone.

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way, shape or form for this blog post. The information presented here is solely based on my experiences and what my children or friends have told me about these camps. I have physically visited all of the facilities except R&R Ranch.

Everything Else

Storytelling Festival: This Weekend’s Adventure

April 19, 2015

Sometime last month, the girls prepared for the Storytelling event at their elementary school. I was unable to see them tell their stories at school, but my husband had the opportunity to see Piper perform her story: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Zoe on the other hand, had been sick on and off, so we thought she had missed the opportunity to present her story, Zoe’s Room. Unbeknown to us, she was back to school and able to perform her story.

 

Storytelling Festival

Scholastic Book Fair at the John F. Germany Public Library in Downtown Tampa.

The girls received a “report card” of sorts from the event which indicated they had done a great job. I didn’t pay too much attention to it. Attached to the “report card” was an invitation to attend the Storytelling Festival in Downtown Tampa at the John F. Germany public library. It turns out, this was the first time the event was held at the Library. If you have children, and you’ve never been to the John F. Germany, I suggest you make a day trip this summer. The children library is beautiful. And not only that, but if you park at the William F. Poe garage (next to the library) there’s a skyway to get you from your car directly to the library without crossing through traffic.

 

Storytelling Festival

Is this thing on?

Through their school, we received some additional information later about the Storytelling Festival. The girls had done such a great job, they had been selected as Ambassadors! To our surprise, they had a photoshoot and a video recording section. Apparently their videos will be submitted to other Storytelling Contests.

 

Storytelling Festival

Sprinkles are for winners!

After the Storytelling Festival, we walked around Downtown Tampa and found Ashworth Chocolates. It’s a neat little handmade chocolate store with ice cream. After a much deserved ice cream break, it was time to head home. 🙂 Oh yeah, and if you ever go to Downtown Tampa, don’t forget the Curtis Hixon Park also has a great playground for kids. And the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art are both on the other side of the library. The Tampa Museum of Art has special free activities for children on selected days.

Everything Else

Influenster VoxBox Review

April 9, 2015

A while back I signed up for Influenster. Influenster is a community of people who regularly review products and share their experiences on social media. So far, it has been fun to try out new things.  The best part of Influenster? You get these fun surprise mail packages for free to test and/or review! So here is my review of the first VoxBox of 2015:

Influenster VoxBox

Influenster VoxBox

Beanitos: The Original Bean Snack. Seriously delicious. No joke. These “chips” are amazing. The Nacho cheese ones really tasted like Doritos without the “guilt”. I found some recently at our local Big Lots store, so I made sure to stock up!

Cover Girl Ultra Smooth Foundation: The color I received was not a perfect match for my skin color. However, it felt like a BB cream which I loved. While the foundation felt very light, my face felt like I just put moisturizer on.

Skinnygirl: Let me first say, that this was the second time I tried one of the Skinnygirl nutrition bars. Luckily, this Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate was perfect for me. It was crunchy, not overly sweet with lots of chocolate.

L’Occitane Comforting Creme: So, I’ve always been a big fan of L’Occitane products. Just love the feeling of being “transported” into Paris every time I walk into one of their stores. Mind you, I haven’t been to Paris yet, but in my head, it feels like Paris. Now, to the review. I really enjoyed this creme. Not only does it have a heavenly light scent, it did exactly what its supposed to. This has become my favorite night creme and I’m using it sparingly until I can get to the store to buy more!

Listerine: What can I see about these. They are great when you run out of gum. I remember when they had the cinnamon flavor ones. I wonder if they still have them.

Dentek: My husband is a big fan of these and surprisingly so are my kids. They really liked the cool designs and cheerful colors. Great to have in your bag for emergencies! I don’t know about you, but getting food stuck between my teeth drives me crazy!

Orgain: I haven’t been able to find the Orgain shakes so I can try them. From what I’ve read, they seem to have great ingredients, so hopefully they taste good.

Have you heard of Influenster?

Have you tried any of these products?