Mom Central Travels

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Sky and Kelly the dolphin
Paradise Island Tourism Development Association sponsored this trip, but all opinions are those of Mom Central's. Thinking about going on a family vacation seems to be a good idea at first with the excitement of traveling, exploring and learning about new places and traditions and with new adventures and memories to create. Then reality sets in with the stress of it all. Packing for a family of three or a family of five, the amount of work always seems to be the same. For me, no matter what time of day or how many days in advance I start packing, I always find myself up to the wee hours the night before our trip, making sure I have enough (usually too much) of what I need to accommodate what seems like a fun family adventure.
Kia Cadenza
Mom Central was invited to attend an event sponsored by Kia Cadenza and Open Table at No. 9 Park in Boston to experience Kia’s new 2014 Cadenza Luxury vehicles and fine dining go hand in hand and Kia Motors America definitely got it right when they kicked off its eight-city tour named “The Cadenza Experience” in partnership with OpenTable and RGM Group. As part of the tour, influential tastemakers of Boston had an opportunity to dine at No. 9 Park, one of the eight Michelin Star Restaurants, and experience the all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza, which is the most tech-advanced and powerful vehicle Kia has introduced in the US.
Six Flags New England
Mom Central received two complimentary passes to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are our own. Thrill rides, water park, midway games – all in one place – is a great way to spend a summer day. A recent outing to Six Flags New England with my son is always a fantastic time and something we both look forward to every year. However, first I need to set the stage on two topics: My entire family loves thrill rides. We take to rollercoasters like ducks to water. I’m a huge fan of DC Comics – and Six Flags New England has a DC theme (more on that later)! I won’t bore you with a minute-by-minute recap of a great day, but here are some highlights of both the amusement park and the built-in water park.
image courtesy of JetBlue
image courtesy of JetBlue
Seated outside Terminal C at Boston’s Logan Airport we bided our time for a long-awaited trip to St. Thomas and SugarBay – excited at the prospect of experiencing JetBlue’s new non-stop flight from Boston to the sun-filled beaches of St. Thomas. Unfortunately, the check-in desk featured precious-little activity – never a good sign when it takes place 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time. But what happened next represented what sets JetBlue apart from so many other airlines. The pilot – yes, the pilot – stepped to the desk, picked up the microphone, and let us all know that the crew had identified an issue with the plane’s rear door. The plan? The hangar crew would either fix it, or if it couldn’t happen within a reasonable time frame, we’d get a new plane. He then let us know that he’d be happy to answer any questions we had. He and the co-pilot remained in the gate area, and a little bit later, the crew let us know we would, indeed, get another plane.
Entertainment Cruises Boston’s marquee vessel, the Odyssey
Mom Central attended a sponsored event to facilitate this review. The views expressed here are entirely our own. As Moms, we are constantly thinking of how best to provide for our families, ensuring that each one of our loved ones is living a healthy, safe, and happy life. We become so concerned with the wellbeing of others that we often forget about that of ourselves. While we may be gladiators at home and in the workplace, even gladiators need some time to rest and recharge, right? With its fusion of dining, dancing, entertainment and illustrious skyline views, Entertainment Cruises offers us Moms the venues in which to sit back, relax, and enjoy ourselves. With locations in seven cities – Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC – Entertainment Cruises boasts the title of the largest harbor cruise company in America. From elegant and sophisticated to fun and festive dining cruises, high-speed thrill rides to private charter yachts, and everything in-between, Entertainment Cruises promises a complete and unique cruise experience.
Remember the days when all it took was a phone call from your bestie for you to drop everything and hit the road for the promise of little adventure? The road “untraveled” was exciting, and a little mayhem didn’t cause an ounce of stress. Back then, road trips weren’t encumbered with “to do” lists, gear bags with rear-seat entertainment, mapping out of washroom breaks and the constant thought of “please dear God, let them nap!” These days, with two kids in tow, I’ve yet to attempt a car ride longer than a couple of hours, and I’m perfectly happy to keep it that way until my son and daughter are school-aged and a little more self-sufficient! When Honda Canada invited Cora (my friend and business partner) and I to hit the road to try out the 2013 Honda CR-V, we reminisced about the glory days before kids, immediately agreeing: “Road trip!!”
Visiting my son for Parent's Weekend at Perdue University, I found myself searching for something really fun we could do together - and came upon the Go Ape! Adventure Course in Eagle Creek park outside Indianapolis. We managed to get one of the few remaining reservations on a Saturday, so definitely call ahead! After in-depth instruction on putting on our harnesses and how to safely clip and unclip the double attachment lines, pulley, and green master hook, we ventured forth to the five different rope courses, each of which ends with a long zip line. The whole course is set in the wooded forest of Eagle Creek Park (about a half hour outside of downtown) and takes place about 50 feet up in the trees with periodic views of the park's large lake. Given all the protocol, instruction signs as you go, and being continually hooked safely to a platform, I managed to overcome my typical fear of heights. Instead, I felt the constant thrill of being way outside your comfort zone while having a blast. Plus, you instantly become friends with your group as we had about 17 of us venturing forth together.
Located in Montego Bay, RockResort’s gorgeous Half Moon resort stretches out for two miles on an expansive, secluded stretch of white sand beaches. Started by a small group of American, British and Bermuda families as an exclusive Jamaican getaway cottage community in the 1950s, it has gradually been expanded to include over 400 acres, and has hosted innumerable illustrious guests from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, to John and Jackie Kennedy for a month between the presidential election and inauguration. The charming and sizeable original cottages that reminded me much of Cape Cod still stand clustered around the main Half Moon beach. With luxurious Plantation-style mahogany furnishings, Old World Jamaican charm, and modern amenities in large marble updated bathrooms, the rooms with their generous patios and pristine beach views welcome deep relaxation from the moment your bags get dropped off. I stayed in an ocean front room close to the main hotel area – one of nearly 200 such rooms, along with one and two bedroom suites.
This fall, I experienced a glorious four days, courtesy of the Jamaican Tourist Board, exploring two of the top vacation spots in Jamaica – Negril and Montego Bay. Even though I’ve traveled fairly extensively in the Caribbean, I’d never visited Jamaica. So I eagerly anticipated the island’s combination of low-key vibe and upscale amenities. And did I ever find it! I discovered an island with an appeal for everyone – families and singles as well as those seeking simplicity and those with an eye for activity. I’ve included an overview here of my favorite memories: PART I, NEGRIL, JAMAICA Beaches Negril
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