Aloha Maui- Travel Hawaii

I can’t believe it took me 13 years to get back to Hawaii..well yes, yes I do. That flight sucks. Haha But it may have changed my mind this time as we decided to fly first class. Game changer. I am looking forward to bringing my daughter back to Maui and exploring the island activities next time with her! This time was adults only 🙌 For those who follow me over on my Instagram page, I really loved all of your suggestions and comments! So helpful! You guys are seriously the best! I heard from so many of you that have not been to Hawaii yet or you have a trip planned in the near future. I hope this blog post serves you well and I hope to hear from you this time after your trip…or vacation if you are traveling without children! Am I right or am I right moms??

Our vacation was from Saturday to Saturday and actually the time difference had us arriving back home on Sunday afternoon. It is typical to fly back on an overnight flight so bring your comfy clothes! Believe me, we did not have time to do and see everything, mainly because we also wanted a few days to relax. I will share the activities that we did and places we ate and drank, but also I will list other suggestions from my followers and the locals incase you have extra time or want to check out something new too!

Accommodations:

We stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotel. The property and service was exquisite. The area surrounding the hotel is really nice and perfect for walking or running. They have trails and actually ran by myself most mornings and was completely safe. Running along with the ocean on one side and golf course on the other was probably one of my favorite views ever!

I also enjoyed the small village and restaurants all within walking or shuttle service range of the resort.

 View from the deck at The Ritz Carlton

View from the deck at The Ritz Carlton

First class flight TIP to Hawaii: Your bag can be up to 70 lbs checked AND you can check a 6 pack of Pineapple (in a box) for FREE!

Car Rental: It is very easy to get around the Island so do not be intimidated by getting your own car. I think it is the easiest thing and probably cheaper in the long run. Watch out for hotel parking charges too.

Luau: The most famous one is the Old Lahaina Luau. Unfortunately it was sold out because we booked it too late but in all honesty I am not sure how much more awesome ours could have been. We went to the Drums of the Pacific Luau. My husband booked it through our hotel concierge and we were upgraded to the “preferred” ticket, which is just fancy for you don’t have to wait in the line to get in, plus you are seated closer to the stage. Definitely bring your sunglasses because you are there as the sun is setting and it is still bright out! If you are one to get chilly at night, you should bring a light sweater because it was right off the water and the breeze can get cold. I was the complete opposite, sweating so much it looked like it was raining 😂 The food is ok. it is served buffet style and they had kid friendly buffet table with chicken nuggets. I may have grabbed a few. I think if you are going to be in Hawaii it is only natural that you attend one. Learning about the cultures and dance is actually very interesting.

Road to Hana van tour and helicopter ride. Simply amazing and my first helicopter ride. I would highly recommend this excursion. We used Temptation Tours and you must ask for Scott Ferguson as your guide. He knows how to use the iPhone camera like a champ, plus he has lived there a long time and knows the ins and outs of the road as well as the history of Maui. We did the morning tour and yet it was early, I was glad to do the drive first up the road to Hana and then fly back home. A lot of people choose to do the drive themselves but we wouldn't have seen all of the things and hidden spots without being on this guided tour. The van is super nice and you are a tour of 6 people or less. They do feed you a lunch and have beverages available. Don’t forget to stop off and grab some of the famous banana bread. It was definitely delicious and it was still warm! If you make a pit stop in Haiku, make sure you grab some of the Macadamia nut brittle at the little road side stand!! I loved it more than the bread. The helicopter company was Blue Hawaiian helicopter tours and our pilot was…..attractive 😬, ask for Bruno. You can thank me later ladies. It was only a 40 minute ride, but the scenery from above was to die for and totally worth not having to drive back down the road. The call it “divorce highway” driving back down for a reason 😂

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Snorkel to Molokini- I did this the first time I was in Hawaii and it was a lot of fun, although the water was freezing ( I went in December)! They do have wet suits available for an extra charge, which I took full advantage of. You take a boat out to the crater where you see the most incredible marine life including sharks 😳 Ok, they are reef sharks but it’s still a shark!

If you are looking to fill up a day or half day, I think you will love this schedule! First off, if you plan on eating at the famous Mama’s Fish House, get reservations early. Like before you even go on your vacation. They serve lunch and dinner, depending on what you are up for or where your plans take you. We stayed about an hour drive from the airport so it was best to do it all in one trip.

If you are in search of a new book, like I was, there is NOTHING! I couldn't believe it. So either bring plenty of reading material or hit up the Barnes & Noble on your way back to the airport (or on this little day trip like I did). There is also an Old Navy right next door to the book store so if you need a cheap pair of flip flops or grab something you forgot. Like I forgot my sunnies! Who even does that?? Mama’s Fish house is very kid friendly, open air so it’s either hot or could be chilly at night with the ocean breeze. I brought heels with me because I planned on wearing them to dinner but kept my super casual sandals on and was dressed appropriately. One thing you will find on the Island is that you can pretty much wear casual and comfy and get by at any of the restaurants. No coat or tie necessary. Ok, so after you pit stop for a book, head to the town of Pā’ia for a little shopping. It is quaint and a great place to grab a few souvenirs. A little shop called Maui Hands is all handmade right there on the island and not in China. Pop in! We grabbed a cocktail along the shopping route for a little happy hour. Next, stop up the road at Ho’okipa Beach. It is a must. Parking is free and make sure you go late afternoon around 3-4pm. The sea turtles are all just chilling right on the beach! So neat to sit and swim right next to them. We didn’t swim because we had dinner plans, but you can! Also a great place to see all of the wind surfers. Last stop of the day was Mama’s Fish House. The soup that they serve before the meal is delicious and I am pretty sure I ate half the loaf of bread on our table! So so good! Then head home after dinner!

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 The turtles on Ho’okipa beach

The turtles on Ho’okipa beach

If you are wanting some dessert and didn’t order any at Mama’s, stop off at Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop. They serve an awesome breakfast, lunch, and dinner too (kid friendly), but the personal size pies are delicious and perfect end to a yummy dinner! I had the banana cream pie and my husband ordered the apple crumb pie.

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Any of you craft beer lovers? I love a good beer but mostly I love trying something new and we did just that. Our first stop was to the Kohola Brewing Company. We sampled 6 of their beers. we liked them, but none of them were our favorite. The brewery is in a warehouse and kind of tricky to find, you will think you are in the wrong area….you aren’t. My favorite brewery was the Maui Brewing Company, hands down. They had this Coconut Wireless beer that was life! I seriously have more than 4 receipts from that place 😬 We would just pop in for a fish taco (so good and only $7) and a beer. Oh and you know it’s cool when you look across the bar from you and there is another fellow Iowa couple!! Small world. If you don’t love beer they have other beverages but it is a fun place to catch a game and grab a quick non-fancy lunch or dinner.

You KNOW I have to talk about shopping. Whalers Village in Lahaina is the where the high end stores are located along with a lot of other stores including and ABC store. Also known as a “catch all” store. So if you forgot something at home, I bet you can find it there! This is where I grabbed my favorite ginger chews for the road to Hana and the helicopter ride.

If you plan on shopping, I also suggest having them ship it to your home to avoid the taxes PLUS you don’t have to pack it home! Another tip is that if you are wanting to splurge on a new Louis Vuitton, do it there!! They price according to Europe’s pricing making things about $4-500 cheaper than the United States and only 4% tax. 🙌 I mean they don’t call it Maui Christmas for nothing 😉

Shopping in Lahaina is a little bit more time consuming than Pa’ia. It is more of a causal stroll with so much more to look at like the harbor, shops and of course more historical sites. We popped into Fleetwood’s one afternoon for a cocktail before dining at the Lahaina Grill. Fleetwood’s has 3 levels, the top being an awesome roof top patio with live music. Another day on our way to the airport we stopped back on Front street in Lahaina and had a cocktail at Captain Jack’s Bar and Grill. It was definitely just bar food but with live music. Definitely not something to put on your itinerary.

Nakalele Blowhole & Heart shaped rock: HERE is a link with all of the information and directions to get there!

Breakfast in Maui:

The Gazebo. It is a must. We probably went at the busiest time, 8:30 am, but the wait was at least an hour if not longer. It is worth it. Food was delicious and it is one of those places that people talk about. If you want less of a line, go earlier! We split an omelet and banana macadamia nut pancakes…..to die for and way, way too much food! Very kid friendly, open air restaurant.

Dukes: Our concierge told us to grab breakfast here. It is a beautiful place to sit and eat, very kid friendly, and the food was great (we ordered omelettes). But for us the server was not that friendly and we felt rushed. I don’t like to ever be rushed, but especially when I am kid free with a hot cup of coffee! Haha

Honolua Store: This is actually a general store up the road from our hotel, The Ritz Carlton, and it had the best breakfast fried rice! It also had a great coffee bar in it too!

Lunch: (All kid friendly)

Honu: It is on Front street in Lahaina and has really tasty brick oven pizzas along with a variety of other foods! Also great for dinner too.

Lahaina Fish Co: Great fish tacos. If you have never had one because the thought of it sounds terrible, try it! I love just the grilled fish but they also have battered fish tacos too.

Paia Fish Market: If you are shopping in Paia and need a little bite to eat, stop here! Very quaint but yummy!

Dinner:

Sansei Seafood & Sushi Bar: The best sushi in my opinion on Maui! Also if you get there before 6pm for happy hour everything is 25% off! Perfect time to grab a drink and an appetizer. They also have karaoke on Thursday and Fridays 10pm-1am. Tell Jason his Iowa friend says hi!

Lahaina Grill: This was a suggestion that several of you (my Instagram followers) told me to check out! This was one of our most expensive meals. I did not see very many children in the restaurant, mostly older couples or honeymooners. It was good. My steak was not cooked how I ordered it but my hubby’s fish was very good. Maybe I shouldn’t order steak across from an ocean huh? If I went back to Maui, I probably wouldn't return.

Merriman’s Kapalua: THIS IS A MUST. I should actually have placed this first on the list so you don’t miss it. My favorite place we went to. Although it was the most expensive, it was under $200 and we had everything from appetizers, cocktails, dinner, dessert and coffee. So really not that expensive for 2 people. More importantly the view, the staff and the atmosphere are all so worth it. Make your reservation early and make it around the time of sunset. Trust me. Very kid friendly even though it doesn’t sound like it, there are places for you to even walk around with them, and the place was packed with families. Dress code is beach casual to semi-fancy if you wanted to wear that nice dress you brought. But I wore white shorts and it was perfectly appropriate. Get dessert and get the donuts or they call them malasadas. Save room for them.

**Attached to Merriman’s is the hotel Montage Kapalua Bay. It is gorgeous and one of the top spots to host a beach wedding.

 View from our table at Merriman’s Restaurant

View from our table at Merriman’s Restaurant

The Pour House: It is an Italian Kitchen and wine bar just up the road from our hotel so really easy for us to walk to! The food was great and the service was really fast…almost too fast. I had the meatballs and wine…duh.

There are so many things to do that we did not get to do and so many more recommendations on the internet but I am going to wait until I get back to Maui to do them and then write about those! I definitely want to do the sunrise tour at the volcano, even though it would be a very early morning trip! When in Maui right?

I hope this helps those who are traveling to the island soon and I look forward to all of your suggestions when you visit! Or, if you are traveling and visit one of my recommendations and love it, tag me in your stories so I can see it!!

Aloha friends!

Travel Chicago!

Chicago is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities to travel to for almost everything. The shopping, the food, and the people are so friendly! My girlfriends and I have decided to make it an official annual "girls trip" I have already been there 2 times this year and I am hoping it's not the last. I had a lot of requests for recommendations this time around, so instead of trying to reply to everyone individually, I decided to do a little post for you so you can use it and share it too. 

We have traveled both ways, flying and driving. I would fly hands down every time because I love to fly but I think it is actually easier to drive if you are taking children. When we have a group of 6 ladies traveling, it makes it easier to split the cost of everything like an Uber or a taxi or you can pay $50 to park your car at the hotel. Other hotels may have different rates or policies. 

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Yes, I travel in heels 💁🏼 It is only a 48 minute flight (54 according to my friend 😜) and we hit the ground running once we arrive! Haha plus I am usually wearing heels. Our trip is from a Thursday to Sunday and I think that is the perfect amount of time for anyone! If you plan on doing more sightseeing you may want to add an extra day!

Hotel:

We stay at The Thompson hotel. We love it for several reasons, but the location for us is #1. Right in the heart of the Viagra Triangle (yes it is an actual location choice on Instagram 😂). No we do not stay there for that reason, but there are so many good restaurants and most of the shopping is within a 4-5 block radius! The hotel itself is very cool yet sophisticated with a great bar and restaurant on site, Nico. The staff are accommodating and definitely remember us each time we come back, yet I haven't decided if that is a good thing or not. ☺️

Off season pricing for our trip in May where we traveled with our 4 year old daughter was around $160 a night, so very affordable. During high season, you can expect that price to double.

 

Dining:

Portillo's- famous hot dogs, because when in Chicago!

Maple & Ash- upscale dining, cool bar scene and great food. I would say kid friendly if they are over the age of 10. Otherwise it is a great date night!

Turquoise- It is a Turkish restaurant about a 15 minute Uber ride from The Thompson, but the food is worth it. Two of my friends that I travel with are Turkish.

Hugo's Frog Bar- My favorite Key Lime Pie in Chicago but please only get one dessert there for a table of 4 or more. It is way way too much! This is also the fist place I tried frog legs 😳 We took our 4 year old here and she was fine so I would say it is kid friendly for the most part. The noise level is pretty high at peak dining times.

LuxBar- Across the street from The Thomson. The avocado toast is amazing, the truffle fries are yummy and it's also a great place for a patio happy hour.

Fig and Olive- Upscale with a cool indoor bar. I have been here for brunch and lunch and to be honest, the brunch was my favorite! I would say not very kid friendly either.

Lou Malnati's Pizza- I have not had the "other" cometetiors pizza, Giordanos, but the crispy, buttery crush from Lou's definitely won me over! I asked a local what his favorite pizza was and he suggested Pequods, so we will try that next time! 

Sprinkle's Cupcake Machine- I mean it's an ATM for cupcakes, definitely must try it!

Federales- Tacos and Tequila! Fun Mexican restaurant if you are craving it! Open roof and fun vibe weekend days!

RM Champagne Salon or Pops for Champagne- if you are looking for a fun place to sip some bubbly!

RL Restaurant- We grabbed lunch here this last visit and we were all concerned on what to wear but honesty it was preppy but not stuffy. It is a place to say that you have eaten at.

Spiaggia and Spiaggia Cafe- We had a cocktail at the Spiaggia bar waiting for our table in the cafe part. I loved the atmosphere and view much better than the cafe view. The food is very small portions, fancy, and I would say if you are a "foodie" you would love it. It is unique and the flavors are great.

Little Goat Diner, Duck Duck Goat & Girl and the Goat- These were also recommendations from a local and we will definitely be trying one of these on our next visit! All ran under same Executive chef who won Bravo's Top Chef title.

Gibson's Italia- Great rooftop bar for Summer, and the vibe and scene is hip and similar to Maple & Ash. This is different that the Gibson's across from the Thompson hotel.

Bellemore- A new Artistic American cuisine restaurant that my friend Jentry recommends in the West Loop. She said the food is amazing!

Monteverde- A great place for brunch or dinner! They hand roll the pasta right there in house and they have a great bar and rooftop patio open in Summer.

Tempo Cafe- We ate here for breakfast but a full menu is served all day long and you can bring your own booze until 10pm. 

The Pancake House- This is our go-to breakfast the day we leave Chicago! It is directly across the street from The Thompson. The omelettes are huge so you can share one! Obviously the pancakes are delicious.

Nightlife-

Nightlife in the Summer is all about rooftops! Probably because just like here in Des Moines, the weather is finally nice and people want to get out and enjoy it as much as possible. 

The Godfrey Hotel- A little older crowd with a nice rooftop bar.

Cyndie's Rooftop- Located at the Chicago Athletic Club on South Michigan, this bar hits the younger crowd.

Untitled- It is called a "supper club" because you can eat there too and you will think it is bizarre when you first walk in but later on it livens up! We just went there for dancing and a lot of it! 

Underground- Exactly what it says. It is a nightclub that is underground. I remember it being fun but that is not saying much 😂

 

Chicago with a Toddler:

Shedd Aquarium- I think it is so much easier to get tickets online ahead of time! The line can get long. There is so much to see! If you want to do the shows, make sure to get tickets as well and plan your day round those times! Oh and parking was terrible because it was super busy the day we went but we found a parking garage not too far away. 

American Girl Doll- it is an experience....an expensive one at that, but you must do it at least once if you have a doll loving child. 

Lincoln Park Zoo- 35 acre zoo with FREE admission and open 365 days a year! It is actually one of America's oldest zoos too! Check out their website for other zoo events HERE. (If you have a Blank Park Zoo membership you will receive 10% off food and merchandise.)

LegoLand- This is indoors at a Mall in Schaumburg, but it includes lego themed rides and a softer play area for the littles. Booking your tickets ONLINE is actually cheaper!

Rainforest Cafe- I feel like if you have been to one you have seen them all, but if you haven't ever dined at one, you should go at least once. 

Maggie Daley Park- This park is so fun! Also fun in the Winter with an ice skating ribbon around the park. It also features climbing walls, tennis courts, open picnic areas and a 3 acre children play garden. It's open from 6am-11pm and features 6 different play areas, including: The Wave Lawn, The Harbor, The Watering Hole, The Slide Crater, The Enchanted Forest, and The Sea.

Chicago Children's Museum-  This is located at The Navy Pier! Be sure to check the dates and times for fun events and also a free family night.

The Field Museum of Natural History- (You can use your Des Moines Science Center membership here) It holds Dinosaur exhibits, Underground and Egypt adventures. I would say this is more appropriate for children over 5.

The Adler Planetarium- (Also included with your DSM Science Center membership) This is for those littles who are interested in all things Space! 

If you are planning on seeing a few of these sites on 1 vacation, you may want to check out the Chicago GO PASS for discounts! 

 

I hope this list of fun things to do gets you started on your Chicago vacation! If you have other must see things or restaurant recommendations please let me know because I will definitely be back! XO

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Travel- San Jose Del Cabo

Who could use a vacation right about now? I know that I am always up for one! Cabo is one of the vacations that is on our vacation rotation, if you will.  The weather is always great and the areas to explore are endless! I have traveled to Cabo previously with my toddler in tow, where met my family down there and we stayed in a VRBO. You can read about that vacation HERE. This time was very, very different, but a good different. So good that I am actually looking forward to going back there and exploring the rest of what San Jose has to offer. We stayed at our friends timeshare, which is a lot closer to the airport, so instead of being the last drop off in your shared van, you are the first! We stayed at the resort Cabo Azul. If you follow me on Instagram (@ladyandredstyle), you got a sneak peak into my trip through my Insta-stories and my photos. Our trip did not start out as well as I envisioned, but it definitely ended up being one of my favorites, and I am looking forward to going back!

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I flew out on a Saturday with my daughter and my husband was going to meet us there on Monday. His work schedule is crazy sometimes, so I did not want to loose 2 nights we were paying for. I normally travel light and feel safe in Cabo, so it was like any other vacation. We arrived at our resort around 2:45pm, but check in time was not until 4pm. I hate that...I really need to do better at checking times and coordinating them because I want nothing more than to check in, take off my shoes, and relax after flying, especially while I was doing it alone with a toddler. Now don't get me wrong, she travels like a rock star, but it is still stressful! So, in our sweaters and pants we took a seat on some loungers next to the pool where my daughter was begging to swim. I caved and let her swim in her dress, because who cares right? The pool was like 1 foot deep....but not where my daughter ventured. She ended up in the deep end, doggy paddling like crazy, causing me to freak out and jump in up to my thighs in WHITE jeans and grab her. Seriously I can't make this crap up. Then I sat there in what was now, see through white pants until our room was ready, an hour later. But our room was worth the wait, thank goodness.

We had the 2 bedroom villa and it was gorgeous. My dream house has an entire wall that opens up for indoor/outdoor living and this had that 🙌 I had it open every day and enjoyed every minute of it. Our room had a fully equipped kitchen, but going to another country and stocking up on groceries seemed to be a bigger hassle for me than I wanted to take on. I used a delivery service with whom I communicated with a few weeks before our arrival, filled out a form of what I wanted, and BOOM it was delivered to my room upon our arrival! I planned to fix breakfast & lunch in the room and then we would eat out for dinner. I used Cabo Kruzer and you can find there HERE on Facebook or you can directly email them here: cabokruzer@gmail.com. Definitely would do this again!

They do have a small grocery store on the property at Cabo Azul, but I found it difficult to find everything I wanted and needed, but it is such a nice amenity to have. 

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The above photo is the view from the balcony in the lobby where they hold weddings and concerts. It overlooks the main pool area. There are also 2 other smaller pools, plus a kids pool which is awesome with a slide and splash pad. Camp Tortuga is a camp available if you want some adult time. They have several times available from 10am-9pm making it definitely a kid friendly resort. But if you are wanting an escape from them, they have an adults only pool too.

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We caught the sunrise a few mornings, because it is stunning. There is something so magical about the whole experience, for me anyways. 

If you venture about 1/2 mile down the beach from the resort, you will find a hatchery where they are releasing turtles. Gosh those things are so darn cute!

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Across the street from the property are several restaurants, shops, and pharmacies so you don't have to venture as far as we did for dinner, but it is worth it. 

One of my favorite streets is pictured below. It was so festive, filled with the smell of fresh tortillas and people trying to sell bobble head animals, but I love it. We bought trinkets everywhere!

We ate at the restaurant Jasmin's that is right on this street. The staff are so friendly and treat you like family. We ate our weight in food, but they kept bringing us new dishes to try. Plus, just sitting on the patio soaking in the sights from the street with a glass of wine, was more than enough for me.

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A lot of construction was going on in the city center while we were there but when it is done, it will be so awesome. Pavers on the roads, quaint little shops and the cutest restaurants. We just walked to the city center from the resort. It is safe, but it is maybe a bit longer than some want to walk. You can take the city bus or taxi but, if you want to take it all in....walk. We didn't bring the buggy, which was not the best choice, so we took turns carrying her. Next time I will just buy a cheap one at Walmart.

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Oh my lanta this bowl of goodness is just that. Heaven. At a little hole in the wall restaurant called El Herradero where they serve the best molcajete bowls. I had never heard of them before this trip but they are so good. I mean we could never get by serving this in America because the bowl comes out so stinking hot it's boiling your food still 😳 but that is why I love Mexico. Don't let the photo angle fool you, it is a very large bowl and full of shrimp & spicy chicken, but I managed to eat it all! Duh. 

Other favorite spots to eat:

Don Sanchez

Guacamayas

Las Cazuelas del Don- this is not fancy and no alcohol is served (working on getting their license) but they have the BEST key lime pie.

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This girl is soooo my kid. I am thankful for this blog in more than one way because I have evidence or blackmail as I may call it later. In the photo above we were at an art gallery of a man named Ivan Guaderrama. If you are local to Des Moines area or have attended any of the Lutheran Churches of Hope, you may recognize the name. He was actually at a few of our services up in front, painting. You will find 3 Angel photos in the West Des Moines Lutheran Church of Hope lobby that he painted. But back to point. My daughter was complaining she wanted me to hold her because apparently 4 year olds are only able to walk where they want to go, so I told her that she had to smile for one photo by this painting and then I would carry her. This is what I got. Total turd.

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After wandering through the streets during the Art walk on Thursday, we ended up at this place called Mi Casa. Fitting, because it is an old house that was renovated into a restaurant with an open courtyard. Very cozy and the food was amazing. Always ask the waiter what they suggest before you order. They know and they just may make you step outside of your comfort zone. The kitties were just a bonus I guess and definitely kept my daughter busy! 

The Art walk is a must. It is every Thursday and if you click the blue link above "art walk" it will take you to the main website for it and all of the information you need, as far as times and location. The art ranges from small photos to sculptures you couldn't quite possibly tuck in your carry on. Styles for every taste. I wanted this Art (below image) for my office. It was so much better in person than in the photo, but if I ever go back, I may make it mine.

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The hotel has a restaurant on site that you must make time for, Javier's. This photo was taken from our table as the sun was setting. A perfect ending to this vacation. 

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I have not had the chance yet to golf in Cabo, but when I do I will take the recommendations from my friends who visit this area several times a year. These are their top courses if you are interested in golfing:

El Cardonal

Palmilla

Club Campestre

Cabo Del Sol

Remember this resort is not downtown Cabo San Lucas, so they sights and restaurants you may be familiar with in Cabo are still there, but a short taxi ride away, if you want to still check it out. We have been to downtown Cabo several times, and honestly we never even thought to go downtown because there was so much to do here in San Jose. 

Always if you have any travel suggestions for me, please comment and let me know so I can try them when I return! I hope you loved reading about our vacation and in a few weeks we are off again to our other favorite place, Puerto Vallarta.

Cheers!

Airplane Activities for Your Toddler

We have been jet setting with our daughter since she was 4 months old! Lucky her right? I remember that first flight wondering how I would ever survive it, but somehow we made it through! Each stage is a completely different task on how to keep them busy, but now we have it down to a science! We do not travel with our car seat, never have. If we rent a car, I rent a seat, and if we are in Mexico, well she rides in my lap or next to me in the car seat belt. She rode on my lap until we had to pay for a seat at 2 years old, but honestly, it is so much better to have her own seat. She has freedom to stand and move her legs, and usually curls up in her seat for a nap! But do whatever you find works for you and your family! 

I pack her a BACKPACK, usually her school bag, small enough for her to carry herself, but big enough to fill full of goodies. A trip to TARGET usually does the trick for me! Here is what I stuff in her backpack:

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CRAYOLA MINI COLORING PAGES. These are found in the painting and coloring isle. There are a few versions of these like DORY but it comes with pages and markers to color with. If you want the mess free markers, they have those too!

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Scour the dollar spot and you will find all sorts of goodies! We love these crayon packs that come with stickers, crayons and more pages to color! My daughter really just loves the stickers.

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If you have any sort of handheld device, earphones are a must! These are under $20 but you can find some for less too like THESE. Bonus: Use these at restaurants too with the devices!! Sometimes it is nice to have a quiet dinner with your sig.other!

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WINDOW CLINGS I think this is the most brilliant thing I have ever thought of! You can find these almost every season and they are super cheap! They stick to the windows, seat, tray table and not clothing! Plus you can rinse them off if you want to reuse them, but if not, pitch them out! Total must have for any age!

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WATER WOW! Another must have! You fill up the pen with water, then you can color on the pages with no mess. Once you are done, the pages will dry, and you will be able to re-paint them over and over again! It also have several things to reveal upon "painting" the photo. 

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The best of the best. The iPad. Make sure you have a good case like this one HERE. I am pro- iPad but we definitely monitor the use of it! So for things like traveling, here are some iPad tips:

1.) Download some new Apps!

2.) Download or rent a new movie for your child to watch.

3.) Put on some new music for them. We love Pandora baby Einstein radio.

4.) Load some photos of them over the years or videos of themselves in your Photos App. My daughter loves watching old videos of herself as a baby.

5.) YouTube. Ugh I have no idea why my daughter loves watching people make slime or open eggs but her eyes are glued to that screen. Hence the need for timed iPad use in our house. (only if airplane has wifi availability)

We are off to Cabo this Saturday and her bag is already packed! Don't let them peek inside the bag until they are on the airplane! That way it is all a big surprise!

We also used those Dum Dum suckers when she was younger to suck on if it seemed her ears were bothering her, but honestly it was more of a bribe 😊 She can now chew gum without getting it on everything so that is another helpful thing for her.

If you have other suggestions that you love, let me know! I am always looking for new surprises to pop inside of her bag! XOXO