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Paradise found at Omni Puerto Aventuras

International, ROAM By May 4, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

Omni Puerto AventurasWas that Jen Aniston?  Maybe – if her people are in the know.  This place rocks.  Beautiful clientele, superior staff and the most gorgeous views on the Riviera Maya.  (But without the paparazzi.)  Located in a stunning gated town south of Playa del Carmen, the Omni is the gem of Puerto Aventuras, and is steps away from the dolphin lagoon that flanks the marina.  Yes – you can swim with the dolphins.  Or just watch the free show every night.  Be sure you feed the sea lions and manatees too (did you know they eat lettuce?). 

Upon check-in to the Omni, you are greeted with a cool towel and royal welcome.  Rooms sport outdoor bathtubs, natural stone finishes and pass-throughs for your breakfast which can be taken on your private patio.  Linens are soft, the complimentary water is lovely (after a few margaritas) and the lobby is one of the most romantic places you could possibly be in the evening.  Illuminated coconut shells hang from the bar as spa-like music wafts from the rafters.

For children, there are a few attractions that are guaranteed to excite.  The kid’s pool is warm and shallow, and friends are in great supply.  The beach boasts some of the softest, whitest sand imaginable, and canopied beds and large round sofa-chairs invite you to flop around the pool deck.  Naptime made easy.  BTW, you can hang at the pool bar with it’s grand staircase to the beach while you watch the kids play.  The staff never neglect placing a hyacinth in the curtain tiebacks, and pineapples are placed on the hot tub bar tables – complete with funny faces made out of fruit.

The MG Gym & Spa is exceptional and overlooks the crescent beach and blue-green waters.  If you hit the gym early, you beat the heat and stay in bikini shape.  Make sure you ask for Tarzan as a trainer.  (Yes. That is actually his name and he is the spitting image of Fabio. Honest.) Even if you’ve never seen the inside of a gym, he’ll run through the machines and tailor exercises to your body while entertaining you with his endless wit.  You’ve actually done 12 reps already and didn’t even notice.

Dive Aventuras, the scuba shop, is located right on the premises and is more spa than dive outfit.  Your tanks and snorkels are carried the short walk to the dive boat, and you have the opportunity to see incredible sea life and be back before the kids even miss you.  The stunning reefs are so close that your spouse won’t be ticked off at how long you’ve been gone.  Turtles, moray eels and tiger fish are easily found by the dive masters.  The best news?  Andreas is always very happy to oblige the little people who want to try on ‘tiny wetsuits’ and watch the pool divers practice.

Strolling around the Puerto Aventuras marina, there are many restaurants and great shops (corona bikini or wrestling mask anyone?).  Residents favour golf carts as a means of transportation, and deep sea fishing charters leave the marina regularly.  Both sights provide constant amusement for the kids.  Sun, great food, white sand, dolphins, five-star hotel and an endless stream of amusement for children.  The perfect Mexican vacation.

www.omnihotels.com
www.puertoaventuras.com
www.diveaventuras.com

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Kids’ Activities in Toronto

Canada, ROAM By May 3, 2010 Tags: , , , 1 Comment

Toronto Subway MapWhen it gets that cold in the winter, there’s no excuse for laziness during the good weather.  Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and has so many activities and special sights to offer for childrenKids in Toronto have lots to choose from.  You can pick any corner of the city and education and experiences will abound.  Here’s a fun list of stuff to do while you’re in the Big Smoke. 

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Visiting Peggy's Cove with Kids

Visiting Peggy’s Cove with Kids

Canada, ROAM By March 13, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Canadian Atlantic fishing villages can teach children so much about real life.  And this one is too good to be true.  Visiting Peggy’s Cove with kids is inspiring in so many ways. Peggy’s Cove was made famous by the tragic Swissair crash in 2001, and it’s where kids can mail a letter in the only post office in Canada located within a lighthouse.  Walking the rocks that roll dangerously into the rough waters makes you feel at one with nature, and also cognizant of the formidable power of the ocean.  Make sure your children listen well, and if they don’t stand well back from the water’s edge.  Enjoy every minute of visiting Peggy’s Cove with Kids.

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Skating at Robson Square

Canada, ROAM By January 21, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

In preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the city has done some pretty spectacular things.  One of our favourites is the GE Plaza at Robson Square, an outdoor skating rink complete with live music, a zamboni painted like an Orca, and free helmets for children.  Oh – and strollers are permitted on the ice.  What more could a parent want?  You can even rent skates (a la Rockefeller Plaza) for a romantic lunch date downtown with a working spouse (and the Bugaboo can accompany you as you glide together).  Robson Street at Howe, free admission, $3 ice skate rentals.  Open 9am – 9pm.

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What to Wear When Traveling with a Child

LIVE, play, ROAM By January 4, 2010 Tags: , , , 1 Comment

There are a couple of travel stories about me as a toddler that are often repeated in my family.  One is how when we were in Scotland, I dumped a chicken dinner on my mom’s lap when she was wearing her white pantsuit.  Another is how on a plane one time I spilled a full glass of orange juice on her lap while she was wearing her white pantsuit.  Now that I’m a parent and a traveling one at that, I have a question, “What on Earth was she thinking wearing a white pantsuit?”

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Carry-on Bags for US Travel

LIVE, play, ROAM, USA By December 28, 2009 Tags: , No Comments

In the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing on a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit, parents traveling with children and babies will have an even more difficult time carrying food and toys aboard for their flights.  The RCMP has put measures in place which restrict carry-on baggage on Canadian planes bound for the United States. Parents don’t have to cancel plans yet, though, as many baby-related items will still be permitted. 

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The Highline Park

ROAM, USA By December 17, 2009 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

Stretching 22 blocks from New York City’s Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to Chelsea, this old railway line 30 feet above the streets has been converted into a eco and family-friendly park aptly named ‘The Highline.  Using reclaimed materials already located in the area, New York now has a new green space.  Rolling lounges, gardens, and benches are well used by mothers, nannies, business people and joggers. 

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Sun Peaks Resort

Canada, ROAM By December 3, 2009 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Sun Peaks Resort BC Skiing with KidsI remember being in Europe and asking for warm milk for my baby.  It was scalding hot and the poor screaming child had to wait an hour for it to cool.  Not the case at Sun Peaks Resort.  Not only is the hot chocolate from Cafe Soleil lukewarm and perfect for kids (they asked), but it was covered in coloured sprinkles and whipped cream.  This family resort, designed after a Tyrolean village, is 40 minutes north of Kamloops, and easily accessible from Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle by plane, shuttle and train.  Not only is the resort friendly for families, but it has tons of terrain too.  122 runs (including 12 glade areas) will keep every member of your group happy.  (At there’s a hot terrain park if you have a shredder in your midst).

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