Time to Mouse Up – Walt Disney World Tips from the latest Trip

epcot mission space monorail track

As this terrible Maine winter just got colder and it became harder and harder to miss our home away from home, it was clear it was time to Mouse Up. That’s right. My family packed up and went back to Walt Disney World. Tom Petty said the waiting is the hardest part, and he’s right. The kids were super excited and had been reading their Birnbaum’s books, making park bucket lists, looking over and over at pictures of the resort. Hell, my wife and I were making bucket lists of our own like a couple of kids. Our youngest turned his toy trains into a Walt Disney World monorail. We wanted it to be like the first time our family went in 2009, eager to recreate the magic of that visit. Our family had been twice since that trip, but we felt like we had two less-than-perfect vacations to make… read more

Moxie & whoopie pies. Summer, I dub thee FestivalFest!

Whoopie Pie New England treat chocolate flavored with powdered sugar

New England, and Maine in particular, is big on the summer festival. Summer is short here, and Mainers like to take the opportunity to celebrate! Moxie, whoopie pies, and blueberry anything can be had along with lobster and clams in huge quantities. Some things can seldom be gotten outside of New England (see the aforementioned Moxie and whoopie pies), and some are just Maine tradition. I know people who send Humpty Dumpty potato chips to friends and relatives because they just can’t be found anywhere else. Festivals are a great way to spend time together, get out and enjoy the outdoors, and most of them can be done on the cheap. They are a great choice for family activities. I look at it as good parenting to shake things up a bit and spend some family time away from the usual routine of home. My somewhat offbeat and geeky family… read more

New Hampshire bound, zero agenda

Family vacation plan checklist on a clipboard

New Hampshire wasn’t the first choice location for our family vacation this year, but we do love it and it has lots to see and do. I’ve written a lot about Disney, and while Walt Disney World is pretty much constantly on our minds, we just can’t swing it this year. Even though New Hampshire is adjacent to our state of Maine, it’s far enough away to escape real life and the tourist season for a while and have some fun. We’ve been to North Conway, NH several times and taken the kids to Storyland. We went to Kahuna Laguna and rode out Hurricane Irene while zipping down the indoor water slides there. This year we hope to take B to Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading Post, maybe even head north to Franconia Notch. So while we are enjoying some family fun in New Hampshire, set against the backdrop of the… read more

I Thought We’d Have A Disney Princess

Disney princess costumes at Hollywood Studios in Orlando Florida

When my wife was pregnant with our youngest son, we didn’t use a baby names book or choose a family name. We both agreed to think about it independently and come up with a favorite boy and girl name. A day later we both had our favorites. Both of us chose the same two names. It was as if B chose his own name. As Barney Stinson would say, “True story.” We were both convinced we were having a girl. So convinced, in fact, than when an ultrasound confirmed the opposite, my wife asked the tech, “Are you sure? Can you check again?” I wasn’t disappointed or sad. I just wanted our baby to be healthy. In my mind, though, all the snapshots of our child were framed in pink instead of blue and I found myself needing to imagine an entirely different kid. A different kid from some other… read more