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theater, broadway, mamma mia

Mamma Mia, last week was crazy and chaotic but absolutely fabulous. I had been at Mom 2.0 Summit, arrived home on a jet plane on Saturday, celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday and then on Monday, our wedding anniversary, we celebrated by taking the girls on a little road trip to go see the Mamma Mia farewell tour. I was exhausted almost to the newborn standard but it was totally worth it.

theater, broadway, mamma mia

See, I have been waiting to see Mamma Mia on stage for 8 years.

Since that one time Bella, then 4-years-old, told me that “slipping through my fingers” was “our” song while we were watching the movie. Yes, we watched Mamma Mia a lot in those days. It was during the horrible commuter years. The girls and I loved that movie because it was fun and about the mother/daughter relationship at a time when it was just us most of the time.

Anyways, if you have ever heard ABBA’s “Slipping through my Fingers,” you already know that this song can bring any parent to her knees. It was especially hard back then when I was looking at my 4-year-old and knowing that soon she would be leaving me, well, in 14 years or so. Still, her little face looking up at me with those eyes and her sweet face; I still can’t listen to that song without tearing up.

Childhood is fleeting. It just keeps moving on, whether we want it to or not. Believe me, I’ve tried to speed it up and slow it down many times but it never works. When it comes to time and parenting, we are all helpless suckers just trying not to blink and miss a single second. Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture and save it from the funny tricks of time.

The point is Mamma Mia has had a very special place in my heart for a really long time. Bella has been begging me to take her to see this production for years but I was just never sure they were old enough. I know my girls like musicals and theater (hello, have we forgotten the Moulin Rouge 5th birthday party?) but I also know that Gabi has fallen asleep during almost the last half an hour of every production we’ve ever been to because she’s still really young.

theater, broadway, mamma mia

But when the opportunity to see it came, I knew we had to take it. How could I not? It is the farewell tour and there was no way that I was going to miss experiencing Mamma Mia live with my girls. We had to drive almost 2 hours on a school night and missed a couple classes but OMG, it was so worth it. This is a memory that we will never ever forget. Every time we hear the music, we will be back in that theater, the four of us, singing at the top of our lungs like fools. Dancing, singing, incredibly happy fools. I will never forget this anniversary or that night!

theater, broadway, mamma mia

In case you have never seen or heard the story Mamma Mia, it’s about a mother (Donna), her daughter (Sophie) and 3 possible fathers. The entire situation comes to a head when Sophie is preparing to get married at the ripe old age of 20. Talk about a wild walk down the aisle.

Over 54 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia the ultimate feel-good show. The sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek Island Paradise. On the eve of Sophie’s wedding, her quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the island that they last visited 20 years ago with Donna.

theater, broadway, mamma miaThe story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship from a good time to the time of their lives. It truly does transport you to a magical moment and if you get the chance, I highly suggest you see Mamma Mia before it’s gone. Chances are it’s probably coming to a city near you soon.

The cast of Mamma Mia was so vibrant and perfectly cast. Betsy Padamonsky, as Donna, took the character to a new level. Her voice was pitch perfect and her big, beautiful personality shone through. Really all of the cast was stellar but I must give a shout out to Lizzie Markson, Cashelle Butler and Sarah Smith. These ladies brought the characters to life in a way that few can. We enjoyed every single second of the show and would love to see it a million times more.

I’m so happy we got to experience Mamma Mia together and before it’s gone. We will never forget it. And yes, I cried when I heard, “Slipping through my fingers.” I sat there in the theater between my two girls, holding their hands while they held my heart.

They aren’t that 1 and 4-year-old anymore. They are growing up so fast and that fact is not lost on me. I know they are slipping through my fingers. It’s like trying to catch sand or water but we will always have this moment, sitting in the theater together listening to this song on a warm night in May when nothing else mattered but being there with them.

I’ll probably never be able to listen to that song without crying and I am totally okay with that because that means I got to love in a huge, amazing way for that Mamma Mia will always have a special place in this mamma’s heart.

theater, broadway, mamma mia

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Disclosure: I was provided tickets to experience Mamma Mia on stage but all opinions and genuine love of theater are my own. 

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Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,

Last week was our spring break and we decided on a Disney World vacation with kids. I planned and researched for months. You knew it was coming. After the Frozen party and the making of the  Elsa dress ( because I assure you there are none available to buy anywhere, not even at Disney World), it was time to go all in ..Disney World style. We love all things Disney.

The Big Guy and I have been to Disney World many times but never with children for an entire week. In fact, my first trip to Disney World was 15 years ago on our honeymoon. Believe me when I tell you that Disney World is not just for children. It can be as romantic and magical as you want it to be. It’s all in the planning.  But this trip was all about our girls so I wanted to make it magical for them not like last time.

Here are 25 top secret tips that every parent should know to rock their Disney World vacation with kids.

1. There is a fastpass+ in Beta for the “you can’t get a reservation for the next 8 months” Be Our Guest restaurant. Yep. That is right. It’s not advertised and you are welcome to wait in line on Stand by for a couple of hours if you prefer but if you don’t….check out this secret squirrel beta testing link to fastpass+ for Be Our Guest Reservations. The food is great and reasonably priced and the décor is gorgeous.

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Anna, Elsa, Frozen, Epcot, Norway, Disney World Vacation with Kids

This is what heat stroke looks like. You have been warned. Sun hats & sunscreen are a must in a four hour wait line.

 

2. If you are planning to see Anna and Elsa, they are in Norway at Epcot until the end of April 2014 and then they will move to the Magic Kingdom. If you want to see them at Epcot, plan on arriving when the park opens and plan on standing in line for a minimum of 3.5 to 4 hours. My husband ran to Epcot when the park opened and we still had to wait for 4 hours. Even if you do the princess breakfast at Askershus Royal Banquet Hall 1) Anna and Elsa are not included only princesses before 1993 and 2) you get no line privileges other than starting out in closer proximity. Also, wear lots of sunscreen and bring water. You will thank me when your child doesn’t have a heat stroke.

 

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3. Wait for Anna and Elsa to go to the Magic Kingdom and fastpass them. Fastpass is your friend. Here are more tips for having the best day at Magic Kingdom.

 

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4. Speaking of fastpass, with the magic bands you are able to select 3 fastpasses per day. Take advantage of that feature. I suggest using them wisely on character meets and roller coasters. The  new Enchanted Tales with Belle is a must do for any Beauty and the Beast fan. The animatronic Lumiere was awesome.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Belle's Enchanted Tales, Walt Disney World, Beauty and the Beast

 

5. If not using the fastpass feature, hit the princesses and popular attractions first thing in the morning. It can mean the difference between a 15-minute wait and an hour and a half wait.

 

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6. Take advantage of “Magic hours”. If you are staying on Disney World grounds, you can qualify for extra magic hours which means the park is open an hour earlier or a couple hours later depending on the day and the park. I suggest using this tool when planning your stay. If you think it’s not worth it, look at the photo below with maybe 100 people in the park, at 9 am that would quickly become 85,000 people in the park that day.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, Magic Kingdom, Magic Hours, Walt Disney World

 

7. Schedule your trip ahead of time using your MyDisneyExperience.com. Honestly, you will be able to make sure that you don’t miss a thing and if you are a Type-A mom like myself, you’ll be thrilled at how much easier your days go knowing when things start and where to go.

 

8. Download the Walt Disney World app. With this app, you will be able to make reservations and check availability. You will be able change fast passes. Several times we got to an attraction before our scheduled time and rode the ride and either saved our fastpass to go again or changed the fastpass for a different attraction.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, Cinderella's castle, Walt Disney World, Happiest Place on Earth, Magic Kingdom

 

9. Schedule down time! I am so serious. Between the heat and all the walking, little ones ( and big ones too) will need naps or pool time. I took no less than 3 naps during our spring break.

 

10. Make sure to see the new for 2014 3 pm Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom. It has all the princesses and princes and is sure to delight children of all ages.

 

11. Hit the Kilamanjaro Safari at the Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning. The animals will not be as active later in the day when the sun is high in the sky and beating down on them. They will be resting and hiding in the shade.

 

12. Make sure to see the Wishes nighttime spectacular. It truly is a magical experience and you will all get swept away in the moment.

 

13. Soarin is awesome! I love to fly and this felt like I was flying free as a bird. My girls loved it too but be sure to fastpass it because the stand by line was never under 180 minutes the whole time we were there.

 

14. Get the Memory Maker. You know all those photographers that are standing around asking to take your photos? Well, just spend $150 for the Memory Maker and you get to digitally download all of those photos and bonus, YOU Get to be in the photos!! No more being the photographer. Your kids will look back and know that mama was actually on vacation with them.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, cinderella, my princesses, Walt Disney World

 

15. Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Rockin Roller Coaster and Splash Mountain are all must rides for us. The kids will love it and you will LOVE the photos, especially if this is their first experience on the rides. The faces are priceless.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Magic Kingdom,Memory Maker, Space Mountain

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Walt Disney World, Merry Go Round, tower of terror, MGM

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16. Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a once in a lifetime must for every little girl. Be warned it is pretty pricey for breakfast just under $200 for a family of four BUT to see my girls’ faces when the princesses came to our table was something totally worth the price. That magic and belief is a fleeting part of childhood so savor it and indulge while you can.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Jasmine

 

17. Meet Mickey and have your photo taken with him. Firstly, Mickey’s mouth actually moves know. Holy high-tech animatronic head and it’s actually a tradition we’ve been doing since our honeymoon trip and it’s kind of cool to see how we’ve changed and the girls grow over the years.

 

18. Be sure to enjoy a Pineapple Dole Whip (sold at the Dole stand at the Magic Kingdom), a turkey leg or a funnel cake from the funnel cake cart at the Boardwalk. I also highly recommend taking your family to Restaurant Marrakesh in Morrocco at Epcot. The food is fantastic. My kids loved it because who doesn’t love sweet and savory together. There is a live belly dancing show every hour on the hour and it is amazing to watch and there is huge chance that your child will get pulled onto the dance floor. Have your cameras ready!

 

Disney World, The boardwalk, Seashore sweets, surrey bikes, The Boardwalk bakery

 

19. Spend an evening at the Boardwalk. Get a pepperoni pizza from the Boardwalk Pizza Window and grab a seat on the Boardwalk at sunset. Take a surrey bike ride, get a family caricature portrait sketched and watch the street performers. It’s lots of good clean fun and my kids always seem to get pulled into the shows, so have your camera ready.  When the Boardwalk is all lit up at night, it is absolutely magical. End the night with dessert from the Boardwalk bakery ( my favorite is the Tiramisu) or if ice cream is your preference, check out Seashore Sweets. Try saying that 3 times real fast.

 

20. Late night, Sushi at Kimonos in the Swan is fun for the entire family. First, enjoy some amazing sushi and follow that with some karaoke on the Kimono stage. But be warned, if there is a large convention in-house, you may have to wait awhile to get your food.

 

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand,

 

21. The Flying Dumbo ride now has a gigantic indoor play area built into the line wait. It is amazing because kids are notorious for getting squeamish and whiney when in line for too long so how awesome that you get to the middle of the line and enter the play area. The hostess hands you a pager and you can play until it’s your turn to ride. Genius. Bravo Disney.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Epcot, Festival of flowers

 

22. Plan your visit during the International Flower festival and it will make your walk around the countries while you snack and sip even more breathtaking and the kids will love the topiaries of the Disney characters.

 

23. Cool off at the new Casey Jr. splash pad in Fantasyland. It’s cute, it’s convenient and a welcome reprieve from the blistering Florida heat. Make sure the kids have swimsuits or a change of clothes on the day you visit the Magic Kingdom because they won’t want to miss the fun. If it rains and you take a day off of the parks, might I recommend bowling and pizza at Splitsville in Downtown Disney. It’s fun, indoors and very reasonably priced and the food is YUM!

 

24. Bonfire and s’ mores on the Boardwalk followed by a free outdoor movie by the pool under the stars.

 

DIsney World, La Nouba, Cirque du soleil

 

25. La Nouba is 110% worth the cost. My girls are 6 and 9 and they were enthralled with the entire experience. The trampolines and the diabolos were their favorite parts. Myself, the silk scarves and ariel ballet blow me away every single time.

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These are all things that I’ve learned over the years of visiting Disney World. The most important thing you can do at Disney World ( or anywhere for that matter) with your kids is just enjoy the moments, being there and remember not to sweat the small stuff because in the grand scheme of things…none of it matters. Make a plan but be flexible.

What is your best tip for having the best Walt Disney World Vacation with kids?

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Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

If you are looking for a place to squeeze in one last family vacation, a long weekend for Labor Day or a romantic getaway this summer, I would recommend Ogunquit, Maine. Believe me, you will not regret it. Summering in Ogunquit is taking a break from the chaos of your life. It’s getting back to basics without being eaten by mosquitos in a tent. It’s not forcing yourself to unplug in a world that’s always dialed in but relaxing just enough to be in the moment so that you forget to plug in.

I am a traveler. I have wanderlust in my heart and I can never learn enough about new places and people. We are raising our daughters to have an insatiable wanderlust. I spent my summers in Mexico as a child. I don’t mean we summered in Mexico. We weren’t holed up at some resort. We were on my grandfather’s ranch in the small town that my dad was raised in. Sure they had a lot of the comforts of home but we weren’t allowed to have them. My dad felt like when in Mexico, do as the Mexicans and he was right. He immersed the shit out of us. If we wanted to understand what our grandfather was saying, even though he did speak some broken English, we damned better well be paying attention.

My dad’s idea was that when he came to America, he learned English. When we went to Mexico, we needed to adapt. This was a lesson that shaped the kind of person I would become. That simple no became the foundation for my tolerance and understanding of cultures and people different than me. Who cares if there was a McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the next town over, he said no.

When I was little, I didn’t get it. Why wouldn’t he just let us have the damn cheeseburger? Why did we have to try everything? And believe me when I tell you that we did. I’ve eaten rattlesnake, cactus, tongue and most animals from head to toe because that folks is what you eat in a third world country and your parents give you no options but to immerse completely. And there was no complaining.

Well, there was that one time I tried to complain but my dad shoved a piece of rattlesnake at me (without telling me what it was) and simply said, “Come!” As in, stop asking for cheeseburgers and eat the damn food available to you. You can have McDonald’s the other 11 months of the year. He was not the compromising sort. So, I ate it and I spoke Spanish to my grandpa. There were no concessions made and I learned a very valuable lesson; all cultures are important and the only way to truly appreciate and respect them is to immerse. This is what we teach our girls. This is how we travel. We dare to live open to all possibilities because there within lies our destiny.

This is not just for international trips. When we travel within the country, our girls know that people are different in different regions. People talk differently, think differently, believe and eat differently. Differences are good. We’ve taught them to embrace and respect these differences and from these experiences carve out who they want to be; how they want to live. I don’t want them to be limited by their geographical constitution.

This summer we took a road trip to the East Coast. First a weekend in Ogunquit, Maine and next, 7 days in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s not immersion into a drastically different culture but it is a different state of mind and certainly, a different mentality from the limited experience one normally finds in these fly over states that we live in. If you are a long time reader of The TRUTH, you might remember that we’ve visited both Ogunquit and Boston before. Well, we loved it so much we had to do it again and this time we discovered even more wonderful places.

Let me start by saying that our 15-hour long road trip was saved by my Bracketron phone holder and charger. We use a navigation app on our smartphone so to keep our phones from dying it has to be charging the entire time but then where does that leave me and my iPad. God knows I can’t survive a road trip without access to Netflix and Hulu. Luckily, my phone holder can charge not only one but two devices!

Then there is The Anchorage Inn. We love this place. It is clean, the staff is helpful and friendly and not only is it located on the Marginal way with views of the Atlantic, it is located on the main street of Ogunquit and located in walking distance to absolutely everything of relevance. If you are ever headed to Ogunquit, like so many of my friends now are since I can’t seem to shut up about how amazing it is, it is definitely worth trying to get a reservation to stay at The Anchorage. Just make your reservations early because they book peak season pretty fast.

Places to Eat

ANgelinas Ristorante, Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Angelinas Ristorante Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille

If you like a nice quiet evening with great food, candlelight, delicious food and superb martinis…Angelinas is your spot. I had the chicken franchese with asparagus and linguini in butter sauce. It was some of the best Italian food, I’ve ever eaten and my exotic martini got me knackered. It’s casual fine dining at affordable prices.

Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Rose Cove

We ate here our first night there. We were all exhausted and crabby from the all day road trip but the casual atmosphere at Rose Cove was just what the doctor ordered. It’s a small unassuming place and, I won’t lie, we were lured in by the waiter giving out samples of the fudge from their confectionary shop attached to the restaurant. We sat outside under the stars, listening to the singers from the Front Porch piano bar as their voices wafted across the street, and we finally exhaled at our table with the mini fire pit in the middle. Nothing says beach holiday like a fire pit in the middle of your table, a fresh lobstah roll bigger than your head and an ice cold local beer. We came for the blueberry and the sea salted caramel fudge and we stayed for the lobstah.

Sweet Peas

Our daughters love this place for the menagerie of ever changing flavors that they offer. I love it because the kids who work there have endless patience and always greet you with a smile. My daughters ask to sample no less than 4 flavors every single time we go in there and these youngsters have nothing but great attitudes and sunny dispositions to share. We go there every chance we get. It’s the perfect afternoon snack after a day at the beach. Some of our favorite flavors are Maine Black Bear, Coconut chip with Almond Joy, Coffee Toffee with Heath Bar and Phantomberry.

AMore Cafe, Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Café Amore

I’ve got one word for you BREAKFAST! Oh my, this place specializes in breakfast. Firstly, again, beach towns have the friendliest staffs I’ve ever met. Everyone is always smiling and seem genuinely happy to be there. No one seems put out or annoyed when you ask a question about the menu. This time we sampled the lemon and blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast, the Belgium waffle with strawberries and the Corned beef eggs benedict. I personally, sampled off everyone’s plate and can tell you that it was all scrumptious.

Bread and Roses Bakery

 

It has become our tradition to stop at this shop on the last night we are in town and load up on all the confectionary goodness and pastries we can walk back to our room at The Anchorage. The Big Guy had a praline and pecan bar, the girls had tiny mugs made of chocolate and filled with chocolate mousse and I had a chocolate cake layered with whipped peanut butter mousse. And oh yes, I did have my cake by the ocean. It was more decadent than should probably be legally allowed for people over the age of 30. My shorts fit a little tighter that day but it was worth every single calorie.

Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Ogunquit Beach

When we go to Ogunquit we have one mission in mind and that is to beach. If you’ve never been to an East coast beach town, you may have no idea what the hell I am talking about. Remember the immersion I was talking about earlier? Well, being in Ogunquit is simple. You just let go. There is no planning. You just take a deep breath, walk outside and live and it is glorious. It is perfect for our family because we are always over booked. We need Ogunquit to decompress and get back to normal. Ogunquit pulls my family back off of the ledge where we reside on a daily basis. It’s that good.

Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

We truly spend most of our time at Ogunquit beach. It’s a 5-minute walk from The Anchorage and our girls love to play in the ocean; swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing and building sand castles. Thank goodness for the Snapper Rock swimwear, beach pants and most of all the neoprene wetsuit jacket and vest because the water was freezing in June. Thanks to these cute and durable pieces are girls were able to frolic in the surf without their lips turning blue.

perkins cove.Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Perkin’s Cove

Perkin’s Cove is a short 15-minute walk down the Marginal Way in the opposite way of the beach. It is a quaint little harbor full of small sailboats surrounded by restaurants that serve lobster rolls of all varieties and offer stunning views at sunset. It’s also one of our girls favorite places to stroll after dinner bobbing in and out of shop after shop searching for just the right souvenirs and trinkets to commemorate each trip. If you are in Ogunquit, you have to walk to Perkins cove and look around.

The Front Porch

The Front Porch is a restaurant located at the busiest corner of Main street that has great food downstairs and a wonderful piano bar upstairs. Children are allowed downstairs but not upstairs. Upstairs is where the magic happens. You can hear the gleeful singing ringing out into the streets as everyone joins in singing along. It is the place to go in Ogunquit for a good time on your beach vacation.

If you are still looking for the perfect place to have your cake by the ocean this Labor Day, my recommendation is Ogunquit, Maine.

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cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

I’ve taken my family to the Cirque du Soleil live on three different occasions and we’ve seen every DVD available. The first time I saw a live Cirque du Soleil was on my honeymoon in 1999.Since then, Cirque du Soleil has held a special place in my heart and in our family so when I heard Cirque du Soleil Kurios was touring in Boston at the same time we would be there, I knew we had to see the show.

Cirque du Soleil KuriosCabinet of Curiosities is live under the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at Suffolk Downs from May 26th –July 10, 2016.

You can either get your tickets online or you can stop by South Market and pick up your tickets while spending the day at Faneuil Hall. Whatever you do, you don’t want to miss this show.

Cirque du Soleil “Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities” is about as close to a transporter device as you can get. Step into the Grand Chapiteau and you immediately enter a magical world. There are 426 props in the show, the most of any production in Cirque du Soleil’s history. Some 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment for KURIOS™ – Cabinet of Curiosities.

This world is simultaneously a retro and futuristic version of a mad scientist’s lab all at once. It’s a mechanized world of the future with people of the 1920’s, at once wondrous and nostalgic. The steampunk ambiance only serves to make this Cirque du Soleil even more astonishing.

From the moment we pulled back the tent flaps, we were transported to another dimension. The energy at a Cirque du Soleil show is palpable. I’ve had the luxury of going behind the scenes on occasion and I am even more mystified of the magic that happens on stage after knowing all the hard work and determination that goes into a show. The 116 tour members come from 22 different countries. Some have been touring with Cirque du Soleil for more than 20 years. All performers are responsible for applying their own make-up every show, which can take them between 40 minutes to two hours. These performers make the near impossible and gravity defying look easy.

When you walk in, the dull gleam of metal is everywhere, from the portal through which the performers materialize to the masses of industrial-duty gears ready to clank into motion in every direction. Towering automated music-making machines cobbled together from giant glass globes, metal bracing and junkyard’s worth of unusual finds adorn the stage defying reason and logic.

The Cirque du Soleil Kurios show, in the Suffolk Downs parking lot, reinvents the wheel.

Anyone who has seen more than one Cirque du Soleil knows that there are certain expectations that will always be met. For example, there will always be a clown who makes you simultaneously think and belly laugh on their witty commentary of society. There will always be amazing aerial ballet (one of my favorite acts) and there will always be incredible acrobats and a trapeze or trampoline act that will blow your freaking mind. This time, even the most familiar acts (13 in total) had new twists and left me gasping and clapping so hard in my seat that by the end of the show, my voice was gone from woo-hooing and my hands were exhausted and sore from extreme clapping. (It’s a thing, look it up.)

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The show starts with the band parading through the audience. My daughters are obsessed with the live music (both being violinists) and fell fast and hard for the singer, Eirini Tornesaki. I know because I had the privilege of listening to the soundtrack for Kurios for our 15-hour drive home from Boston.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

A solo trapeze act is performed not from a bar but from a suspended bicycle (Anne Weissbecker).

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

 

Meanwhile, the Russian cradle duo perform 13 feet above the ground as the strongman turns into a human trapeze.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The rola bola, balancing atop stacked cylinders, is taken aloft on a levitating platform (James Eulises Gonzalez Correa).

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The aerial straps are commanded by muscular Siamese twins who magically detach when airborne yet perform in perfect tandem while synchronized with perfect timing (Roman and Vitali Tomanov). Every act more exciting than the last.

One of my husband’s favorite acts was the clown (Facundo Gimenez.) He is a miracle of transformation as he changes from a Lothario trying to seduce an audience member to a parrot, a Tyrannosaurus Rex ( our favorite) and ultimately into a feline which is given to hairball hacks and cat-box indiscretions.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

“Kurios,” like all Cirque du Soleil shows, inspires wonder, awe, excitement and suspense and will leave you feeling like the impossible is possible. My daughters have both decided that they want to run away with the circus…well, the Cirque du Soleil, anyways. I can’t blame them; I want to too. We are completely enamored with all things Kurios. I’m using it as an excuse to encourage them to practice their violin, ballet and gymnastics more.

“Kurios,” times vary, but generally 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1:30 and 5:00 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 10. Prices vary but currently are about $40-$165, not including VIP packages. (877) 924-7783 or www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios. Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes with a brief intermission between halves.

If you can’t catch this amazing show in Boston, fret not. Kurios is touring and I’m sure it will coming to a city near you soon. Next up, Washington D.C. opening July 21, New York City opening September 29 and then on to Miami!

Disclosure: I was provided media passes to see Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities but all opinions and love for all things Cirque du Soleil are my own.

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Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

Last week, my family went to the happiest place on earth, Disney World, and I was disabled. We were all very excited. We’d been planning this trip since last year; everything got postponed when my life came to a screeching halt thanks to my slip and fall in my sister’s wedding last fall. Come hell or high water, we were going to Disney World. There was just a couple issues 1) my broken leg is still recovering (it’s an 18-month process y’all.) 2) the week before we left, I was in the ER with a severe gallbladder attack. I was far from 100% but I was going to Disney World.

Here is how I navigated the happiest place on earth with a messed up leg. I can tell you that it was no fun but I figured out a way to get around all of those parks and not end up back in the hospital. This post is just about getting around if you are physically disabled, I will write a separate post about eating at Disney World when you are on a restricted diet because, you know, I couldn’t just be hobbled I had to do it starving.

My advice for anyone who has a broken leg, is recovering from a broken leg, a sprained ankle, a bum knee or broken hip or just doesn’t do well with walking in high heat because they are sickly, especially the elderly…rent a wheelchair! I believe it’s $12/$13 a day or you can get 3 days for $30, which is what my husband did for me. But get to the parks early, especially the Magic Kingdom. Also, the wheelchairs are located to the right after you scan in but before you enter the park (the same place as where you rent the strollers).

Disney, travel, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

I thought I could do it on my own. After all, I am 7 months out from the original break but I was wrong. I tried everything, ankle brace, ankle wrap, Kinesio Tape for the tendonitis, crutches and even took my walking boot. Nothing can make a recovering broken leg walk around the Magic Kingdom for 15 hours pain free, not even a strong will and multiple vicodin. Believe me I tried.

The first night we arrived, we went to Hollywood studios. We arrived around 4:30 p.m. we returned to our room around 10 pm, in those 5.5 hours, my ankle (that was firmly in a brace) had swollen up to the size of my calf and the pain was excruciating. I knew then and there that there was no way that I was going to survive the Magic Kingdom on foot.

A few things you should know about being physically disabled in a wheelchair at Walt Disney World:

Firstly, it’s not as embarrassing as you might think and don’t worry about your spouse or children pushing you around, they’d prefer that to hearing you complain and be in misery any day.

Secondly, if you do find yourself in a wheelchair, check with the cast members at each ride because some have steps and they will need to reroute you. Sometimes they just give you a fast pass and have you come back so you don’t have to wait in the long lines in your chair.

Thirdly, check when you go to the restaurants, some have special seating for people in wheelchairs and some you need to leave the chair outside but for the most part all the parks were very wheelchair friendly.

Fourth, check with cast members at each park about seating for fireworks and such. They are very accommodating and there are special seating locations for those in wheelchairs. It was very nice that they provide these spaces because it’s hard to see when you are at wheelchair level.

Fifth, and this is the important one, if you are not disabled do not rent the wheelchairs. Leave those for those people who actually need them. Laziness is not a disability. Also, don’t use the handicapped bathrooms; those of us who are actually handicapped need those larger bathrooms for a reason. A wheelchair does not fit in a standard restroom stall.

Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled, travel

I won’t lie, being at Walt Disney World in a wheelchair was a humbling experience for me but, like most of these past 7 months, it’s given me a new respect for the disabled and respect for their situations. Disney did a great job of making the parks easily enjoyed by the disabled as well as the able bodied.

If it hadn’t been for the wheelchair rental service, the entire trip would have been ruined. If you find yourself, physically unable to walk Disney World, don’t be too proud to use the wheelchairs. They are there for those of us who are disabled in some way and need them.

Have you ever been to Disney World when you weren’t 100% physically?

 

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Family travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

Family travel and exploring are two of my favorite things to do. In fact, if I could do anything in the world, it would be to show my children every square inch of the world introducing them to as many people, cultures, languages and lands as time would allow.

I believe that the key to being a good person is being a good citizen of the world and embracing and appreciating the differences in people and places, all the while remembering that at our core, we are all human beings; that is our shared experience and it all begins with family travel.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

This is the only tie we need to bond us to one another; humanity. It has nothing to do with where we were born, what we eat, what language we speak, our religion, who we love or what we believe. It has everything to do with decency, respect and human kindness. I feel it is my duty to instill this virtue in my children but there is only so much I can do from my neighborhood.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

Like you, I teach my children that they need to respect themselves and those they encounter in the world but, right now, their world is still pretty small. It’s home, school, ballet, gymnastics, church and repeat. It’s quite the little bubble.

Family travel takes us out of our bubble and that’s good.

I’ve realized that the more we travel, the bigger their scope for human understanding becomes and in turn the way they move through this world. I see them grow with each travel destination we visit. I see curiosity for knowledge of others growing inside them. I encourage them to go be a part of it, to interact and have new experiences. I demand that we have adventures because I don’t want my children growing up as bystanders in their own lives.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

I want to inspire my girls to spread their wings and venture outside of our comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I love 5-star hotels as much as the next person but there is a part of me that is filled with wanderlust and that part is hungry for adventure. I want to see things I’ve never seen and share those with the Big Guy and my girls. I want us to do it together.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

I want to be a part of their life adventure so that someday they won’t be afraid to take their children on adventures. I want to not only visit places that are familiar but I want to immerse ourselves in places and cultures unknown. I literally want to give my children the world. As a parent, aside from unconditional love, I think the gift of travel and the perspective it gives, the bravery that comes from unshackling yourself from conventional thinking and inspiring my children to see beyond borders is one of the most important gifts that I can give to them.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

On a recent call as a National Geographic ambassador, I was introduced to National Geogrpahic Student expeditions, summer trips for high school students and middle school students. My girls are still too young to travel alone but I like that they’ve put this program together.

More importantly, I was floored by the National Geographic Family Expeditions, Unique Lodges of World and National Geographic Journeys which just launched 70 Adventures because these are completely organized trips that you can take with your family. You choose your dream destination almost anywhere in the world and National Geographic does the rest. Trips range from 7 days to 22 days.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

I am most excited about the National Geographic Family Expeditions for obvious reasons. What better way to introduce my family to the wonder of world travel then through an unforgettable family expedition?

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

Set out on one of National Geographic’s family trips and experience the magic of discovery and exploration with your whole family. They’ve crafted their family expeditions to inspire and enrich travelers of any age, drawing on their global resources to create experiences in incredible places that are authentic, immersive, and fun. Watch humpback whales breach and kayak into remote fjords in Alaska; spot lions, elephants, giraffes, and more on safari in Tanzania; or go white-water rafting through Costa Rica’s tropical forest. National Geographic’s expedition leaders and local experts enrich your understanding of the culture, wildlife, and natural wonders of each incredible destination, and on many of their family trips, a young explorer leader facilitates fun learning activities for kids. This would be the perfect trip for our family of four to step put of our comfort zone and experience the world fully immersed. Now, I just need to start planning and saving for it.

Family travel, travel with kids around the world. Visiting new places, cultures and immersing in new adventures, National Geographic Family Expeditions, Journeys,

If you want to get your little ones mentally prepared to take a leap outside of their comfort zone and curious for adventure, why not watch some travel documentaries together like Wildest Africa, Wildest Arctic, Wildest Islands, Wildest Latina America, Wildest India and several more to ignite that wanderlust in those little hearts? Or if they are a bit too young for documentaries how about Netflix’s new series that’s packed full of adventure just for the little ones, Dawn of the Croods, now streaming on Netflix.

Where’s your dream family travel destination?

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road trip, Ford, #Exploremore, Canada, travel, platinum adventure tour

I am writing this on the plane as I head out for my epic road trip adventure with Ford to explore Kamloops to Calgary Canada. I am bound for an adventure through some of the most beautiful terrains in Canada. For the next four days, I will be driving the new 2016 Ford Explorer on one of six legs of Ford Explorer Platinum Adventure Tour.

What better way to introduce the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum – a vehicle that combines the best of Limited and Sport editions – than with a road trip trek through western North America to end all road trips.

Ford has created a one-of-a-kind adventure for an all-in-one SUV that is ready to #ExploreMore. Over the past 25 years, Ford Explorer has reigned as the best-selling SUV in the United States, with more than 7 million sold. Yet even with those numbers, there are countless adventures still to be had. That’s where I come in!

Road trip time to #ExploreMore

Ford, #Exploremore, Canada, travel, platinum adventure tour, road trip

I have the honor and pleasure of joining the Ford Explorer team as they carve a path from Vancouver to Albuquerque, with a fleet of 2016 Explorer Platinum models. There are six distinct adventures planned that cover more than 2,000 miles along some of the greatest roads in North America.

My leg of this epic road trip journey is the Calgary Stampede. I chose this leg of the adventure because I am into pushing the limits in my travels and a huge fan of some of the most remote landscapes on the planet. When I travel some place, especially when by car, I want to be surrounded by beautiful majestic scenery and when I saw the itinerary for this adventure, I knew this was the road trip for me.

Today, I am journeying to Kamloops, British Columbia to join my fellow Ford explorers on this adventure. Tomorrow morning, my chance to really explore more begins as I depart Kamloops, cross the Canadian Rockies and eventually find my way back to Calgary.

Tomorrow, I will overnight in Revelstoke, near majestic Glacier National Park, home to more than 400 glaciers where 12 percent of the landscape is covered by perpetual ice and snow.

Over the next 4 days, there will be cerulean Lake Louise and lovely Moraine Lake which boasts views for which there are no words, but I will certainly try to find the words to share this once in a lifetime road trip.

Who knows, maybe I’ll take a gondola ride in Banff or a scenic drive around Lake Minnewanka. One thing is for certain; I will be sharing this epic adventure and all the information on how the new 2016 Ford Explorer handles. Follow along on my social media channels; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope. Just keep your eyes on the #ExploreMore hashtag.

I brought the good camera, so expect some stunning photos of some of the most beautiful, majestic landscapes in the world.

If you had the chance to explore anywhere in the world, what would be your ultimate road trip?

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sunrise, travel, traveling alone, traveling without kids

Leaving my children behind when I travel is the hardest thing I do. I travel and I love it. I travel a lot with my kids and the Big Guy. I traveled a lot before I had children. I was born with an insatiable wanderlust and it always begs for more. I don’t se it ever being satisfied. There is an ever growing bucket list of travel destinations because any place can be an adventure if you’re open to it.

Before I had my girls, I had specifically chosen a career path that would allow me the freedom to travel the world. I wanted to see the whole thing; every nook and cranny and hidden treasure of a culture. I still do; now, I just want to do it with my family.

Right now, as I type this, I’m watching the sun come up from 13000 feet. The view is spectacular. I only wish my daughters were here to see it with me. But they were left behind on this trip. Sometimes, we moms have to travel the road less traveled alone and that’s good because it allows us to grow and be better for our children.

I’m headed to New York City this morning. It’s my first trip there, which is ironic because this was the place I’d decided to call home so many years ago. But it wasn’t meant to be. Before my life plan could come together, I met the man I would marry and life took us in other directions, as life often does.

Still, here I am, like Icarus flying too close to the sun, heading for the missed opportunity trying my best to keep my hubris in check. I’m headed to BlogHer 2015. I haven’t been in a couple years but it seems kismet that I would find myself headed to my original destination with a plethora of opportunities before me on this sunny July morning.

We just returned from a family road trip on the east coast in Ogunquit, Maine. It was magical and more relaxing than any vacation I’ve ever had. My girls are turning into quite the junior travelers. I can see in them that the wanderlust is strong and that makes me happy. They are miniature foodies with an insatiable desire to know all the places of the world; to speak the language, eat the food and live amongst the people. This is my legacy.

Of course, this is the part I hate… Leaving them behind when I go on my travels. Since becoming a mother, the world is so much more wonderful and exciting through their eyes. Everything is new and wondrous to them and in so, born again in mine.

When I leave on a trip, we all feel a little sad about the separation. They miss me and I miss them but while I’m in Manhattan hugging necks and chasing dreams they will be with me like a couple tiny handprints on my heart. I hate to leave them but there is something absolutely magical about knowing that I get to return home to all that love.

What is your favorite travel destination to visit without children?

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Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

Last week, I was in Ogunquit, Maine.As my Instagram feed would have shared, I was on vacation with my family. Never heard of Ogunquit, Maine? That’s okay, neither had I but now, I will never forget this quiet, quaint coastal town. It’s the perfect east coast beach getaway and what I happily refer to as Xanax for my soul. It’s the first time in years that I’ve gone on vacation and actually come home feeling relaxed.

The Big Guy was headed to Maine for business and, as we sometimes do during the summer months, we tagged along and made it a family affair. I’d always wanted to visit the Eastern Coast and play on its beaches so I looked for a hotel by the sea. At the suggestion of a friend, I found the Anchorage Resort by the Sea. Just the name itself conjures up images of waves crashing into the shore and families building sandcastles.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast, Marginal Way

After a 15-hour road trip with children, sanity still in tact, we arrived at our destination and it did not disappoint. Upon first glance, it was everything I imagined it to be. Bluish-gray siding and white shutters just like in the pictures. The staff was friendly, well-versed in their small town and attentive. The rooms, while not huge, were clean and comfy. We stretched our legs, changed our clothes and immediately started exploring.

Our first introduction to the small town of Ogunquit was our walk down the Marginal way to Perkins Cove for dinner at Barnacle Billy’s. It was at dusk. The tide was low and families were still frolicking on the beach as we walked the mile or so down the path serenaded by waves crashing as day slowly metamorphosed into night. This was only the second time our girls have been to the ocean and the scene mesmerized them.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast, Perkins COve

Once we made it to Perkins Cove, after several stops for photo ops along the way, we made it to Barnacle Billy’s a local institution. Barnacle Billy’s is located right in Perkins Cove near the footbridge; you can watch all the boats come in to dock as you enjoy your dinner. It was quite pretty. Many people opted for the hour plus wait for a seat on the patio but we were starving and sat inside.

Quick tip: If you opt for sitting inside, you will be seated immediately, you can enjoy the scenery completely and you avoid the smell of “fish”. We sampled the crab cakes (which were amazing), the lobster roll ( which for the coast was a bit pricey but absolutely delicious), the fish and chips ( which were also delicious and some of the cleanest tasting I’ve ever had) and of course, the chicken tenders ( kid tested and approved.) They also offer an assortment of local beers and are known for their Rum Punch, I would not endorse the punch however. It was very strong, so if your goal is to be drunk, go for it but overall, it didn’t taste very well.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

The simplest way to describe Ogunquit, Maine?

If you were ever a fan of The Gilmore Girls, Ogunquit is  the Stars Hollow of coastal Maine and it is absolutely endearing nothing like the bustling cities we normally visit.

Day 2: The girls and I wandered down the shop-lined Shore Drive to the Ogunquit Beach, which was a 5-minute stroll from our room. Now, the beach in Ogunquit was different than any beach I have ever been to before in that the tide came in further and further back the shoreline about 20 feet every 20 minutes, so what started out as a huge beach at 11 a.m. ended up being about a 20 foot deep shoreline by the time high tide rolled around at 3:30 p.m. It was our first time, so we learned this the hard way by moving all of our belonging 4 times. Life lesson learned: invest the $25 in one of those little chairs to sit on the beach ( much easier to move than wet, sand filled towels). We also learned the hard way that you should always double check the SPF on your sunscreen and reapply frequently while spending the day on the beach.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

We had a lot of fun on Tuesday but learned a lot of hard lessons. For instance, if you build a sandcastle on a moving shore, you will have to build it several times and children and sunburn don’t mix well. I also learned what “Jimmies” were. Ever heard this term before? Apparently, in that part of the country, it means sprinkles on ice cream. Where I’m from, it means condoms so imagine my confusion when the girl at the counter asked me if I wanted “jimmies “on my ice cream cone?

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

That night, after what we thought was stupendous day at the beach, the family had dinner at another local establishment called Jonathans. The restaurant is in what used to be the owners childhood home. The décor is quaint, the setting is intimate and the service was excellent. The customer service was so phenomenal, in fact, that when I originally called to make the reservation (before succumbing to open table for reservations) no one answered the phone. Due to my impatience, after 3 rings I went online. While I was doing that, the manager called my phone to apologize for missing the call and left a message telling me that there were tables available. Who does that? I was impressed.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast, Jonathans

Once at Jonathans we ordered the lobster bisque (phenomenal), the Calamari Rhode Island style (which was supposed to be spicy but it was not, but it was very good) and I had the Seafood pasta with clams, lobster and shrimp (it was warm buttery goodness). The Big Guy had the Italian pasta which was also very good but the portion was very generous so, if you plan to have it, come hungry. I also tried the Bloody Orange Martini, which was absolutely delectable. I could have drunk those all night long. Also, we tried the chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese, again, kid tested and approved. Then, we all strolled back to the room with full bellies and happy hearts.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

There were lots more we experienced in this amazing little beach town in Maine but I will break this into two posts, as it is getting pretty long.

Ogunquit,Maine, Coastal Maine,Beach Getaways, East Coast

Bottom line, if you ever find yourself anywhere near Ogunquit, Maine, the beautiful place by the sea, do yourself a favor and stay awhile.

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Summer vacation, blues, travel, family,vacation,summer break, traveling with kids, Nashville, Charlotte, friends

I am just getting back from the first mini summer vacation; this one was 11 days. Not actually so mini.Our summer vacation started off with 7 days in Nashville, Tennessee and capped off with 4 days in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina with great friends (I’ll write you some great travel posts about that over the next few weeks but today we’re focusing on how hard it is to come back to reality.) I have to be honest, it was exhilarating but reentry is HARD! Really hard. Like I feel like I’m moving through molasses hard.

I barely looked at my social media except for sharing a couple of photos on Instagram (because my phone was out of actual storage space) and I went a little overboard on Periscope (@DeborahCruz you have to watch the video about the drive thru safari. There is nothing quite so funny/frightening as a Bison sticking his head into your car trying to eat your tiny people.) This vacation gave me a chance to decompress and look at things a little softer and less cynical. I saw the beauty instead of the time consumption.

I’ve been back from summer vacation for 24 hours and I just can’t get back into the swing of things. I miss exploring a strange town, hanging with great people and being unplugged. Coming home and back to my reality of cleaning house, obligations and deadlines is hard. Reentry into the real world and the summer vacation blues are real.

You know, getting caught up in the grind is what keeps us going. Every day we get up, do our thing and power on to the next. It becomes old hat and we do it because we are supposed to. We never step back and deeply inhale, enjoy the moment. We can’t because every moment precedes another moment. There is always something else pressing to be done; whether it be meeting with a neighbor, checking a status, writing a post or just getting dinner done. Life is full of obligations.

The problem is when you actually do take those moments to enjoy your life, the minutes, the days the people that surround you; then you realize what you are missing and this is what is causing my raging case of summer vacation blues. We left our bubble.

We were outside enjoying the summer weather, noticing all of the new sights and sounds around us. Trying new foods, talking to new people and doing new things. We were completely out of our comfort zone and I loved every moment of it. The girls were enthralled, in the moment and never stopped exploring and engaging. The truth is that if you stop to enjoy every moment of life, it goes slower and it is actually so good that you can’t help but want it to last forever. It usually is, we just never notice because we are stuck in the minutia.

My husband and I have had the conversation that when you are in your teens and twenties, you spend your life looking for someone to love and spend your life with. You just want that all consuming, never ending happiness but you never realize (until you have it) that THAT kind of love has a price. When you truly love and enjoy something so much, it can be your undoing. The same way slowing down and going on vacation can be your undoing. You change your perspective and you change your expectations and your limitations.

I married the man I love and I have my daughters but with that I learned that the price of that happiness, that gift, is that if I lose them, it’s not something I am sure I can bounce back from because once you’ve gone there, you can’t go back. Once you’ve seen the world in living color, it’s impossible to go back to black and white.

When you go on vacation and really enjoy it, it makes it glaringly obvious how unmagical your reality is. I know the purpose of vacation is to rest and relax but it makes the price of not resting and never relaxing almost too much to bear. I came home and it’s been raining since we returned, there are no new and exciting anything, there are no old friends to love and consort with and there are bills, responsibilities. Life seems less bright. Maybe we are gypsies but we all agree on this point.

The time with old friends was amazing, however now I am left feeling more than a little deflated because it reminded me of just how much I miss them. The places we stayed on our summer vacation were beautiful, vibrant and ethereal because we were in a dream. Reality is like a room filled with fluorescent light, it gets the job done but it is severely lacking the magic factor.

 

I have the summer vacation blues but there are some things I can do to cure them.

  1. Take more time to enjoy the moments. Consciously, make the effort.
  2. Explore your own town. There are a million places that I’ve never been or eaten or explored within 2 hours driving distance but I will.
  3. Go out of your comfort zone. Obviously what is comfortable is good but it makes us complacent. I am sick of complacency.
  4. Try something new. Introduce yourself to the new neighbor, visit a local gallery or the new Ethiopian restaurant that just opened. Go to see the live bands play in the park.
  5. Do it all while taking it all in. Don’t power through life, soak it in. Bask in it like the warmth of the summer sun.

Life might feel ordinary and boring after an exciting summer vacation but if you look, if you stop and breathe for a moment, you can always find the extraordinary right beneath the surface of the ordinary people, places and things.

 

How do you cure the summer vacation blues?

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