Thursday 28 February 2013

Still Settling on Spring

I'm not really a "season" person. Summer is too hot, Winter is too cold, and I still have a personal grudge against Fall for making me go back to school all those years. Spring however, is the one season that I'm still withholding judgement on. I'm not willing to declare it my favorite season, but I'm still listing out the pros and cons of what it has to offer.

Pros: The weather is great for road trips...

Hwy 97 Peachland Summerland

Monday 25 February 2013

The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Teens

I've got another teenager this week. You'd figure this would be a point of great stress for me but as much as I joke about teenagers, I've been pretty blessed when it comes to having good kids. They're well behaved, they get good grades, and their classmates still view me as slightly unstable, which solves any issues that might arise among potential suitors for my daughters. It's really been a fairly easy ride, and the only real point of conflict in our day to day life is getting them out of bed, and their newly found opinions on our destinations for travel.

Florida Keys ocean shore path
Happy Birthday Neve!

Thursday 21 February 2013

5 Attractions We Skipped (Despite Being Right There)

Our family definitely isn't known as an "off the beaten track" kind of group. When we travel, we might see a couple of lesser known attractions, but in general we're hitting everything on a city's Top Ten list, usually in the order they're listed. In San Diego we focused on the Zoo. In Orlando we spent most of our time at Disney World, and despite knowing next to nothing about American history, we dutifully visited most of the major memorials on our trip to Washington D.C. It's quite possible that we're the exact family Fodor's talks about in their staff meetings when they decide to roll out a new city guide book.

Seattle Center family New Years Eve
Fodor's said to stand right here

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Hyatt Place Seattle - The Next Door Room's Thoughts

Long before we booked anything for our Pacific Northwest adventures, we used our points to reserve a room at the Hyatt Place in Downtown Seattle for New Years Eve. Battling the crowds to get to the fireworks didn't really appeal to us, so we wanted to be as close to Seattle Center as possible, and considering the walk to the Space Needle was less than five minutes, the Hyatt Place seemed like a perfect choice. It certainly made it easier to leave the Hyatt Olive 8 knowing that, since all Hyatt Places are essentially the same, we'd be finding ourselves in one of those large, comfortable rooms that our family really loves.

Seattle Center space needle hotel

Thursday 14 February 2013

5 Places I'd Love to Re-Propose

People credit me with creativity in a lot of areas in my life. My writing, my kids names, my financial management...I've been accused of following a fantasy based path in all of those areas and more. In fact just the other day my boss called my excuse for being late to work "One of the most creative things he's ever heard". 

Sadly though, the one area of my life I get no points for creativity in is my marriage proposal to my wife. I fully confess that at the time I didn't understand the importance of this moment in a relationship, and although I vaguely remember sweating through a couple of sleepless nights before popping the question, the truth is that I probably put more creative effort into meeting my wife than actually asking her to marry me. If there is anything in my romance with my wife that I'd like a do-over on, that would be it.

Disney Cruise porthole picture

Tuesday 12 February 2013

New Year's Eve at the Space Needle - What You Need to Know

When we decided to spend New Years Eve at the Space Needle in Seattle, we had some questions that needed to be answered. How big would the crowds be? Where was the best place to watch the fireworks from? How much second hand marijuana smoke would we be exposing our kids to considering its newly legal status in Washington State? Most importantly though, what time did we need to get there?

Seattle Center New Years Eve

Sunday 10 February 2013

Friends of MKTS - Monkeys and Mountains

Blog Address:
Facebook: Monkeys and Mountains
Twitter: @Laurel_Robbins
Pinterest: Laurel Robbins
Google+: Laurel Robbins

WHO ARE THEY? - Laurel is my designated crazy friend who I look to when I feel like my life is getting a little wilder than I'd like. She's from Alberta, but after going to school out here in B.C. she moved to Munich and married her husband who she met while shark diving in Costa Rica. In contrast, I met Lori at the church down the street from my house, although I do occasionally try and tell people we met while shark diving. Nobody has believed me yet.

Thursday 7 February 2013

How Canada Dropping the Penny Affects My Travel Plans

It's gone. As of Monday, Canada has stopped distributing the penny, and price tags ending in 99 cents (which we all know means another dollar added to the price) will become a thing of the past. Well, not exactly. All credit and debit purchases will still be charged to the penny. It's only the cash transactions that are to be rounded to the nearest nickel, and in all fairness we've been doing that up here for years now anyways. Truthfully, in the first four days of being a penniless nation, I haven't really noticed a difference. 

Big Bang Theory Sheldon Penny

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Getting Teenagers Out of Bed While Traveling

There's a lot of things about traveling with your kids that get better as they get older. As teenagers, my kids don't fight as much, they can pull their own suitcases, and the last time I ordered a child's meal at a fast food restaurant (for them at least...) was years ago. Add in the fact that afternoon naps are no longer required (again...we're talking about the kids here...) and traveling with my teenagers is becoming downright convenient. 

Monday 4 February 2013

What I Want Hotels to Know About Me (and What I Don't)

You know that comment you made on Facebook last week? No, not the one about your family that doesn't listen to you. The one about loving chocolate and hating rock hard pillows? (OK, truthfully I can't imagine an instance where you would mention both of those things in a single status update, but play along with me here.) Well that comment is being read. It's being read by your friends. It's being read by those people who you don't really remember but felt obligated to accept their friend request, and unless you've got your privacy settings down tight, it's also being read by that hotel you're planning on staying at next week. 

Plaza Hotel New York Fairmont
Shhh. They can hear our status updates!