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“I Want the Lobster, the Kind That’s Already Dead”

…   …   …   And my face drops in humiliation!

DSC_0600When traveling with kids you must be ready for a little of everything. You just hope you recognize that look in your kids face when they are fixing to do something truly & remarkably dumb. At least to give you the chance to defray the situation before utter humiliation is upon you.

We are blessed with a 17 yr old daughter and 14 year old son. We have always had a great time together.  Since they are getting older it has become easier to travel with them.  You start to notice their  maturity level rises each time. So when this conversation came up I was shocked.

August 2015 we took the kids to Beaches Negril Resort in Jamaica. Oh WOW is all I can say.  The resort boasts a fabulous kids water area with two huge water slides among many other kids activities. The life guards in charge of these areas are usually pretty laid back. I’m sure they’ve seen all kinds of stupid things that kids try to pull coming down the slides. I would walk over and check on Connor. Ask if he needed some “guidance?” I got a very casual “Yah, Mon he’s fine!” To which I was relieved and was able to settle back and enjoy my beach habitation. The glorious kids water park was right next to the beach and made it easy for me to keep an eye out. What marvelous planning on someone’s part!

This was truly a great vacation and everyone was doing what made them happy!

Truth is we like to eat!  We eat a good dinner then have a great room service for a 4th, 5th  or 6th meal of the day. We’re on vacation, whose counting?  This night we decided to go to the fanciest restaurant at the resort. Couldn’t help but think about how really uncomfortable this would have been on vacations in the past.  But I was feeling good about this and the vacation had gone well so far.

We walk in and to see a beautiful piano playing. It was an elegant domed shaped restaurant with dimmed lights. A very nice and upscale setting. Almost unexpected for a family resort.  Got to our seat and was started to look at the menu. A large family that we had eaten with the night before was already enjoying their dinner.  We had not noticed them until a loud man hollers, “Houston we have a problem!” This was due to the fact we were from Houston. Kind of embarrassing, but it was good to see them one last time since they were leaving early the next morning.  Time to order, and then it happened. Connor ordered the lobster.  Being unsure as to how it would be served, he then added with a cracking and unsure voice “the Lobster, you know the kind that is already dead.”

Because who wants to chase a lobster around your plate when you are starving?

I remember just closing my eyes and wondering what just happened. The waitress was very amused and so was the table beside us.  I knew exactly what he meant, we have all seen the live lobsters in restaurants where you pick out the one you want.

What do you say after that? Because something must be said…

So when you are traveling with kids, expect the unexpected.  Give them a little room to make mistakes and do something out of your comfort zone. If we have made a mistake, we learn from them. Then, maybe then we can’t call them a mistake call it a learning experience? When we travel we have these preconceived notions of how the vacation will be and the things we will do. But do those really happen every time? That is why it is called an adventure.  Don’t plan out every minute.  Take time to relax and just soak in the atmosphere.  Whether it is a beach with waves crashing or a fancy restaurant and your kid orders DEAD LOBSTER! Embrace the funny things, that is what your memories are made of.

Get out there, live, experience the world & order the dead lobster!  

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Studies Reveal Health Benefits of Vacations

Take that vacation to lower risk of heart attack and depression, or move near a park for better mental health.

Beautiful Sandy Beaches of Negril Jamaica

Traveling with my family on the beautiful beaches of Negril, Jamaica.

I have been saying this for years!

Underground of the Rose Hall in Jamaica

Wendi, Connor and Payton at the Rose Hall Plantation in Montego Bay Jamaica.

Recharging our battery!

Martin and Wendi enjoying a beautiful day in Jamaica. Kids are snorkeling and having fun while we relax. Everyone is happy!

We are all built with an “internal battery.” It drives us, excites us and inspires us.  When we live our day to day lives sometimes that passion needs a little recharge.  That is what vacation does for you.  Also, gives you insight and many learning experiences that you can’t find in a book.  Get out and see the world around you.  –Wendi

“If you want to be healthier, take more vacations and live near a large park, according to two separate studies. Vacations are linked to decreased risks of heart attack and depression and even promote brain health, says a study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies with the Global Commission on Aging and U.S. Travel Association. Moving closer to green space improves mental health immediately and is sustained over long periods of time, according to a University of Exeter Medical School study in Britain. “These findings are important for urban planners thinking about introducing new green spaces to towns and cities, suggesting they could provide long-term and sustained benefits for local communities,” the study said.”

This story originally appeared on Fortune

Long Live “Road Worker Orange”

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Connor waiting for a flight in Miami.

Family Travel…

A couple of weeks ago we travelled with our family to Jamaica from Houston.  Being a parent I over pack and over think.  My 14 yr old son Connor loves the color orange.  It is just about ridiculous.  So the time came to lay out clothes for our early morning flight, he had all orange clothes set out (notice I was able to switch out the shorts.) I am talking head to toe!  It was late and not worth the argument.

We arrive the IAH airport and the lines are long, people are everywhere.  Multiple check in lines forced us to “divide and conqueror.” Here we go, we will NOT miss this flight.

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Waiting to take off. Have I told you I hate selfies? But had to do the airport check in thing!

I lost Martin (hubby) and I lost Payton (17 yr old daughter). In record time, they were missing.  But not my sweet little “Connor Mon” decked out in full orange.  He was easy to find and always where we needed him to be.  My theory on the “Road Worker Orange,” has changed.

It reminded me of a family that had gone to Disney World with us several years ago.  They all wore Lime green shirts the entire time.  We did not have to look hard to find them. Just look for a cluster of lime green and there they were!

Think about this post the next time you plan to travel to heavily populated areas.  Pick a color that is easily seen or everyone wear close to the same color.  People may look at you funny when you are all together but guess what? You are ALL together.  Not frantically searching for each other. Airports can be weird and stressful.  Kids with phones look down and never know where you have gone.  While they are aimlessly walking thru an airport, you are frantic! Not a good way to start or end a vacation.

 Wishing you 80° & Palm Trees

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Leaving Beaches Negril. It was so early and the camera was fuzzy. My babies were easy to find at all times!

Have You Seen The New Jamaica?

The main pool at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. (Photo credit: Playa Resorts & Hotels.)

Two Hyatt hotels announce their new opening dates and you’re invited to explore them.

The openings of Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, after an $80+ million renovation of the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall property, has been pushed back from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23.

The Basics
Hyatt Zilara, with 234 suites, will accommodate adults. Hyatt Ziva, with 387 rooms and suites, will serve couples, groups, and above all, families. Most rooms in these properties in Jamaica have an ocean view. Playa has almost tripled the former Ritz-Carlton’s beach area—there will be swim-out suites, nine restaurants, a staff of more than 1,000, watersports, tennis, a kids’ club, and some innovative firsts.

What Makes These All-Inclusives Different?
“This is not business as usual,” says Froemming, who promised “the first six-star product in the English-speaking Caribbean.” Here’s how he plans to make this resort different:

  • Island Routes personnel will greet arriving guests at the airport, expedite them through Customs, offer them snacks, register them while they’re still at the airport, and get out of the airport in 15 minutes. Yes, 15 minutes.
  • Zilara/Ziva will have exclusive use of a 100-ft. Island Routes catamaran for family, adults-only, and group cruises.
  • Adult guests will get a free round of golf at the legendary White Witch and Cinnamon Hill golf courses; this offer is good through 2015.
  • Carnivore alert: The restaurants will include the first Brazilian churrascaria on a Caribbean island.
  • Other restaurant news: Froemming aims to keep every restaurant open seven days a week. Evening options also include a one-of-a-kind rooftop Moroccan lounge.
  • “Zilara will have the only spa in the Caribbean that’s on the beach,” says Froemming. “A full-service spa, not just a few massage tables.”
  • Moving beyond the farm-to-table trend, Zilara’s beachfront spa will offer a “Table-to-Table” service whereby couples enjoy late afternoon treatments and then step out onto the sand, where they’ll linger over a candlelit dinner for two under the stars.

Modern and luxurious bathrooms at Rose Hall Zilara. (Photo credit: Playa Resorts & Hotels.)

Introductory Rates
“Travel Agents have as much importance than ever,” says Froemming. “Because our product’s extra value needs to be explained. We are not using price as a sales vehicle.”

This winter, Zilara and Ziva are offering introductory rates: At Zilara, a 480-sq.-ft. suite with a king bed, fully stocked bar, whirlpool bath, and terrace will range from about $480 to $540 per couple. At Ziva, a 493-sq.-ft. room will cost approximately $450 to $480 per couple, or $616 to $672 for a family of four. Rates include taxes and gratuities, and children under 3 stay free.

For more information, call Wendi 281-377-3488 x 101 or email Wendi@AiTravelHut.com

 

 

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