The Fellman’s Go To Palm Springs

July 04, 2010 :: Posted by - Harris :: Category - Video

Roys in Pasadena – sans kids

July 01, 2010 :: Posted by - Harris :: Category - General, Video



Hiking with Kids!

June 22, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

 

LAMountains.com

A Trip down to Newport Beach!

June 15, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

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A few weeks ago we decided to take a little road trip down to Newport Beach even thought this is a simple day trip from Los Angeles (about 45 minutes from where we live)  we found a great deal on Hotels.com at the Fairmont for only $109 a night so we thouth what the heck, let’s stay the night!  The kids will be able to use the pool in the morning and we had no other plans that weekend.   I ran around the house packing and preparing for yet another last minute Fellman family trip and threw everything and everyone in the car and off we went! 

When you get to the room, naturally the first thing kids do is jump on the beds!  I’m sure the Fairmont would love to use this picture in their marketing!  Not to worry – they both landed safely!  We headed to the Beach and had heard from the hotel concierge that Balboa Island was a fun place for kids!  It is called the “Host of the Coast”  We parked and walked on the boardwalk and grabbed some lunch at El Ranchito Mexican Resturant, it was packed and pretty loud.  We ended up sitting in the bar area with the kids and probably one of the first times I didn’t have to tell our kids to “shhhh!”, or “Be quiet, we’re in a restuarant!”  Aside from the fact that we were the only ones with kids we felt fine.  The food was okay, typical mexican, but the Margarita was HUGE, but we had no problem finishing it!

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We walked down to the Beach and there was a wonderful park right at the entrance to the pier!  So the kids played there for a bit and swng on the swings.  Hudson and I wondered down to the water and McKenna chose to go walking on the Pier with Dad.   Sometimes when traveling with kids or just making it through life with kids in general, things can be much more pleasant if you “Divide and Conquer”  I really appreciated the park, pier, beach and bathrooms being so close in proximety to each other too! 

We knew we wanted ice cream so we walked a little ways north and found the Balboa Fun Zone, a quaint boardwalk type atmosphere with shops, galleries, ice cream and even a carousel!  It was old fahioned and very charming.  There is also a little Arcade for the kids to play some games – they had one of my favorites – Skiball!

The Fun Zone  sits right next to the water and you can even hop on the Balboa Ferry that takes people and cars across!  

 Ferry Rates:

Car and Driver: $2.00
Motorcycles and Mopeds: $1.50
Adult with Bicycles: $1.25
Children with bicycles $.75 cents
Adults: $1.00
Children 5-11  $.50 cents
Children under 5: free

 

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The Next Morning at our Hotel we wanted to just relax by the pool – yeah – with kids there is no such thing as “Relaxing by the Pool”  Our little people do not know how to swim just yet, but we brought our water wings!  When we were going throug the hotel lobby the conceirge heard us talking about heading out to the pool, he wheeled out a wagon filled with pool toys for otr kids to each pick something – loved that!   The Fairmont is right across the street from the airport, fast food resturants are near by and FYI: parking is hefty$30 or you can chance it and park at the bank on the weekends.  We had a fun, laid back beach weekend!

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Travel Tip Tuesday!

June 08, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

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Darn it we forgot to pack the Apple Slicer!

When you’re traveling with kids you need to think on your feet and be very resourceful.  If your kid refuses to bite into an apple because his pampered little booty has gotten used to the luxury of mom slicing them at home, you can use the room key to slice your kid’s apples!  You gotta pick your battles!

Got a Travel Tuesday Tip?

Travel Mamas

April 02, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

Travel Mamas ImageI’m hanging out over at Travel Mamas today,  check out my 5 Travel Picks for Kids!

Colleen Lanin is the creator of Travel Mamas and I think her and I must have been seperated at birth.  We have both lived in 3 of the same places Minnesota, Arizona and California!  We have never met IRL, but hopefully that will all change very soon!  The kids and I are headed down to San Diego and I hope to finally meet up with Colleen!  The Travel Mama was one of my first Twitter friends and the second I saw her name I got very excited “Someone like me, Someone like me!”  She was going to be my friend whether she liked it or not!  And now look, she even gave me the honor to do a guest Blog Post on her website:)  Go Read this Savvy Sassy Moms Feature on TravelMamas.com

Big Bear Mountain, CA with Kids!

March 25, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

Big Bear 2010 197Most people plan a trip a little in advance, they schedule time off work and put it on the calendar.  The Fellman’s not so much!  I mean, big trips of course we do some pre planning but that is not how this particular trip went…

It was a gorgeous Friday morning, I dropped the kiddos off at school and was just getting settled into my writing.  Harris comes inside and says,” Its gonna snow on the mountain tonight, wanna go Snowboarding!”   It’s 9:30am.  This is just one of the reasons why we love living in Los Angeles, it can be 72 degrees at home and snowing up on the Mountain.  By 10:30 we had decided to do it and we went into travel mode to get everything we needed to get done by 4:00 to pick up the kids and hop right on the road.  Somewhere along the way we decided to stay until Monday so we would have 2 full days of fun.

The first thing we did was try to find a cabin to rent with immediate availability and Internet access:)  We found Big Bear Cool Cabins and searched the available listings.  While I hunted for the perfect cabin, Harris called some friends to see if they were up for a last minute swnowboard getaway, and sure enough our friends Christine and Kirk jumped on board.  So we rented the Black Bear Cabin which has 2 bedrooms and a fun loft with beds for the kids!  They loved having their very own kids space and it came with a pool table for them to play with.

Tip: When checking out rental rates online, find 2 or 3 that your want and then call to see if you can get a last minute discount!  Also ask them which one they think is a better location and which one is better for kids!

Next we needed to find out about childcare so we could both go snowboarding together.  Ski School is for ages 4 and up and Hudson is only 3 so we are waiting for him to turn 4 and have them learn to ski together.  Big Bear 2010 270So we needed a Daycare or Nanny service.  We called the one daycare, but they were full.  The nice lady recommended a Mom with 5 children that home schools and also has a daycare license for just this very situation. “Great!  She sounds lovely can we get her number please?” I know some people would be a little nervous leaving their kids with somebody they had never met before, but not us.  If the person has a pulse, seems responsible and requires some sort of paperwork to be filled out – then they seem safe to us!

Tip: Call hotels and ask the front desk if they can refer you to any nanny services or day cares, typically the people working are local (and possibly have kids) so they should know something!

The next morning we woke up early and took the kids sledding, sure there are the big snow play areas for serious sledding and they even cost some money.  Big Bear 2010 382Our kids are so little that it just isn’t worth it, and besides those hills are just too big for there little legs to walk up.  Growing up in Minnesota I kenw we just need to drive around and look for a school or a church, they usually have some sort of open space that will be just fine for our little snow bunnies.  Sure enough we found an elementary school that was perfect!  We were the first ones to discover our little sledding heaven, but soon the secret got out and we drew a crowd!

Tip: Schools and Churches are a great place for snow play and sledding, they usually have an open field or land that is just covered with fresh white snow.  A small incline or snow bank is all it takes!

We were able to have two half days on the mountain and both were so different from each other, Saturday was cold and it snowed all day so we were bundled up with hats, goggles and ski masks.  Sunday was all sunshine and a beautiful blue sky.  I actually got hot in all my layers, not mask or even a hat was needed.  It was a perfect day!  The views from the top of the mountain were incredible and I can never get over how breathtaking it is from the top! I could honestly sit there and stare at it all day!

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10 Travel Tips for a Distraction Free Family Vacation

February 23, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

This post was prompted by Alamo and TwitterMoms 10 Travel Distraction Free Travel Tips and written by Andrea Fellman of SavvySassyMoms

Our kids are only 3 and 5 so we have not gotten to the stage of our children being distracted by all technology has to offer, but boy are my husband and I sure distracted!!  We both work online and from home, our computers and phones are our lifeline, and when we  travel we tend to call them Work-cations!  So here are my helpful tips and tricks for really disconnecting and not missing a single moment.    

1.  Only allow e-mail to be checked once a day and only respond if it is urgent.  Allow the kids check theirs every other day.

2.  Set up outgoing messages on your cell phone and auto responder e-mails saying how long you will be gone and when they can expect you to return their phone call or e-mail.

3.  Decide before you go if this is a work free vacation, or a work-cation and set limits and expectations of how much work will need to be done alongside the vacation.

4.  Schedule a block of time in the morning or at night to write, blog, or get online and limit yourself to the specific alloted time.

5.  Stay at a hotel that doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi Internet access, make it less convenient.  Or make a commitment not to pay for Internet while on vacation.

6.  Set up a area in the room for all the electronics.  Do not have them scattered around the hotel room or car.  Out of Sight out of Mind!

7.   Only allow charging the electronic devices at night while you sleep, if someone is using their phone, laptop, ipod, etc.. all day and needs to re-charge by 3 pm – they’re out of luck.

8.  Put all phones in the trunk of the car, and the kids can check their phones at every rest stop/bathroom break.  They can read books, magazines or have a conversation with you!

9.  When you are out sightseeing for the day only bring one phone (for emergency) the rest can stay back at the hotel.

10.  Try to remember that most things can wait, these are memories you do not want to miss out on.  Spending this quality time with your kids and your spouse is irreplaceable, twitter can wait!

Visit the  TwitterMoms new Travel Channel

3 Hidden Travel Gems (with Kids)

January 12, 2010 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

I was tagged in a game of  Tripbase Blog Tag!  Travel Blooggers are revealing their 3 Hidden Travel Gems and my good friend over at  Travel Mamas nominated me to join in the fun and pick my 3 favorites!  I decided to include the kiddos on this one so these are my 3 hidden travel gems with kids!

#1 Mallorca, Baleric Islands

Mallorca is just of the coast of Spain and is apart of the Baleric Islands. It is the hottest European vacation destination and for good reason, it has over 200 Beaches! Unlike the neighboring party island of Ibiza, Mallorca is a great family dstination. In fact a lot of the hotels and resorts cater to families by offering playgrounds, club activities and childrens entertainment.

We stayed at Viva Cala Mesquida in Playa Mesquida home to the very popular Galactic Super Hero Bufo!  Oh yes, they have a mascot of sorts and he entertains the children nightly at the Mini Disco! They also have Bufo Kids Club , a drop off child care service during the day. We had quite the room with a view, most of the apartments are located beachside. It was a very short and easy walk down to the sand.

We rented a car from the hotel so we could drive into the beach side town do do some tourist shopping and found another huge playground swarming wiht kids!  We also drove to the Capital city of Mallorca, Palma. The city of Palma is very easy to push a stroller around, we literally walked around the entire city. It is the most charming city with cobblestone streets, cute cafes and some very historic buildings.  The most famous building is La Seu, the Cathedral, it is one of Europe’s tallest Gothic structures.

 


#2 Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is the earths natural playground for kids! (you can quote me on that) We lived in Scottsdale, AZ for a year and and so we took many day trips up to Sedona and the drive from the Phoenix area takes just a little over an hour. The kids loved to walk, run, jump and stretch over the rocks, it’s really a nice little workout for them.  And not to mention the fresh air and the beautiful scenary!  They thought “hiking” was so exciting and took exploring very seriously.

 

I highly reccommend the Pink Jeep Tours they are worth the price and you see some incredible views!  They allow children 18 months and up – however, one of the more rugged tours you should not take a child under the age of 4. We went on the most rugged, heart pounding tour with a 2 yr old and our 4 yr old – not the wisest decision we have ever made. The 2 yr old was pretty scared at some points and the bumpy ride was pretty hard for him to handle. They were locked securley in car seats but his head was getting knocked around too much.  So pick the more scenic tours if you have younger kids and save the true outback tours until their older.  And hold on tight cause it s a bumpy ride!


#3 Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica /Play Conchal

We rented a house for 3 weeks in Playa, Flamingo on the Guanacaste side of Costa Rica. This coastline is known for its unique string of beaches, each with their own personality. So naturally we set out to visit them all, even the most difficult one to get to, Playa Conchal.

Playa Conchal is truly a “hidden beach” it took me 3 tries to finally fiqure out just how to get there. If you are not staying at the fancy Paradisus Playa Conchal then the only public entrance is by driving your car down onto another beach and then 4 wheel driving it up a rocky path and praying no one is trying to come down at the same time. I was with the kids by myself on this adventure while my husband stayed back to get some work done. Needless to say I was a little nervous, but determined to find this beach! I was a Mom on a Mission!

Playa Conchal is made up of millions of crushed shells! I thought for sure there would be sand and just a lot of shells, but nope, no sand – all shells! I kept running my hands and feet through the shells and it was as if I was having an exfoliation treatment at a spa. I am still a little mistified by this secret piece of paradise. It was also some of the bluest water I have ever seen. I was so glad that I didn’t give up and forged ahead on finding this hidden gem. In all my travels, Playa Conchal is my favorite beach so far!

CostaRicaOnlineTravel.com has a Great Costa Rica Family Vacation that includes Conchal Beach!

HaveKidsStillTravel.com
What are your 3 favorite Hidden Travel Gems?  Please leave a comment below and tell me where you have been or where you are going? 

I would like to nominate:

Kim Tracy Prince of The House of Prince
Shanna Coady of My Favorite Everything
Summer at teamjessee.com
Nancy at Kidsintowtravel.com
Lee Vandeman of momswithoutblogs.com

TAG you’re it!
Trip Base Blog Tag

Barcelona, Spain

October 28, 2009 :: Posted by - Andrea :: Category - General

Have Kids Still Travel!  That is our Motto! Both of our kids had their passports by the age of 2! We’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, but our favorite trips have been our two month-long trips, the first being to Barcelona, Spain, which was an amazing family experience!

We figured out that when traveling with kids you want to make it as low-stress as possible. Rushing around with jam-packed itineraries would never work with a one year old and three year old in tow. So, we figured that by staying a month, we could really embrace our surroundings and not miss a thing.

Something that many people don’t realize is that renting an apartment for an entire month allows for better negotiating on the price. We’ve typically experienced 30-50% discounts for a longer term stay. Now, even if you’re only staying for a week or two, you’ll still want to consider these kid-friendly amenities when looking for a rental apartment.

1) Bath tub (in Europe they are often hard to come by)

2) Elevator (another luxury not all European buildings have) But don’t expect it to be big enough for your stroller. Speaking of strollers DO NOT bring a double stroller (side by side seats) because they will not fit through the metro stations entrances, or in some elevators) You are much better off with two single lightweight strollers.

3) Balcony (is it safe for children?),

4) Laundry Facilities (kids will be kids, but don’t expect a dryer)

5) Kitchen Necessities (ask if there is a microwave, highchair, or booster seat)

6) Extra Bed Linens (2 words: Bed Wetting).

7) Bunk Beds (Ask if they have a safety railing or if they can be separated)

We found our apartment at Apartime Barcelona and we were very pleased with everything! The first night our 3 year-old daughter sang from the Balcony “Barcelona, Barcelona, I Love this City!”  Once you have settled in I would recommend walking around your new neighborhood a few times just to get your surroundings and have a better sense of direction. While walking around you’ll want to locate the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Bank, Hospital, and Metro Stations and take note on the hours they are open and closed.

The greatest resource I found while planning our trip was Anglo Info Barcelona Life in Barcelona.. .in English.  This will have everything you need while you are in Barcelona! It is a great guide and resource for local news, weather, events, nanny, shopping, entertainment, nanny services, schools, parks etc.

My highest recommendation is finding out if there is a School or Daycare your children can attend (contact them before you go). We put our kids in Kinder Barcelona for 3 weeks from 9am -1pm , so we were able to explore the city and do all the not so kid friendly things in the morning. Our kids loved it, but we loved it more! I honestly didn’t think that they would say yes, but they had room in the English speaking class with an English speaking teacher so they let us enroll them! Our daughter McKenna learned the all the days of the week and the months of the year while attending school there and our son Hudson who just started walking was happily running and jumping by the 2nd week!

Call a Nanny Service, I found Tender Loving Canguros in Barcelona and most of them will have someone who speaks some English. You may even get lucky like we did, the Nanny they sent over was an American girl from New York City and had been living in Barcelona for 5 years. Her name was Gabby and was totally fluent in Spanish and it was like having our own Concierge!  The few nights we had her come to babysit she pretty much planned our night for us, telling us where to go and the best way to get there. Because of her we went places of the beaten path, where the locals go and was able to skip all the overpriced tourist traps. This was an amazing added bonus to our trip!

A part of me is still shocked that we took a 1 year old and a 3 year old to Barcelona, Spain to live for a month. Traveling with kids is not impossible, but it is not for the weak either! My husband asked me on the flight home.  Would you do it again? To which I replied, Absolutely! And we did, a month in Costa Rica was our next adventure!

SEE THE WORLD

http://havekidsstilltravel.com