Role Mommy’s favorite summer vacation spots

IMG_0032.JPGA good friend of mine just asked me for some great picks for summer vacations and within two minutes flat, I came up with the list below. ┬áIf you have great destinations to add, please feel free to weigh in. There’s nothing like finding out a great place to vacation with your family.
1. Celebrity Cruise to Bermuda – if you love great food and sea glass, then this is the trip for you!
2. Beaches Turks & Caicos – a bit hot but great for the kids – camps
for every age group. Plus fabulous restaurant choices – from French to Italian to Caribbean and many more.
3. Club Med Punta Cana – again – great for the kids but very hot. Buffet style food and great chocolate bread! Yum.
4.Nantucket – we stayed at the Harborside – has a pool right near the
dock – family friendly hotel. Beaches are fabulous, great bike trails, restaurants are pricey but delicious and brunch places galore.
5. Rocking Horse Ranch – down and dirty dude ranch with outdoor and
indoor pool, horseback riding and other fun activities for kids.
6. Block Island – great B&B’s, beaches are nice – water a little
rough; great restaurants but you’d need a sitter to go to the nice ones.
7. San Diego – a long trip but between the zoo, the aquarium and La
Jolla, it’s a fabulous family vacation
8. The Outer Banks – my friend raves about this one – I’ve never been
but she absolutely loves it.
9. Woodloch Pines – great family resort for summer
10. Royal Caribbean Cruise – I’m a sucker for cruises and this one is
great for families – they sail out of New Jersey and have great
cruises to the western caribbean – I was going to book it this summer
and then forgot to renew the kids’ passports.
I’ll be adding links in the morning, but in the meantime, enjoy!!!

The Summer Getaway

I’m so excited that school is finally over and we can take a few road trips this summer. There is nothing like living on the east coast this time of year. This weekend, we head to Block Island and then after that, we’re off to the Hamptons, then back to Westchester and finally to Delaware for a final trip before the kids go back to school.
But before we go, guess who is in charge of taking care of all our loose ends before we hit the pedal to the medal to catch our ferry tomorrow morning? Ummm, that would be yours truly. So as soon as I drop of my daughter at school this morning, my son and I will be racing to Gristides to pick up a huge bag of cat food so that my finicky feline doesn’t starve while we’re away. Then it’s off to the gas station to fix our minivan. Of course, that’s technically a man’s job but my husband is off at work and I’m the WAHM which means I work and multi-task at the same time. I’m hoping our trusty mechanic can fix my wheels today – otherwise, we’ll be driving to Rhode Island with our engine light on – a prescription for disaster if I ever saw one.
And speaking of prescriptions, I’ve also got to load up on sunscreen, pack everyone’s clothes, bring along towels, and find where I put my tennis racket – confession: I haven’t taken it out since last August. Then I’ve got to try on my clothes from last summer and get depressed because even though I lost some weight this winter on Jenny Craig, the moment I went off, I’ve gained more than half back. Ugh. I’ll be feeling really sexy this weekend in my bathing suit…not.
Hmmm, what am I missing? Oh, that would be paying bills, a bank and post office run, and let’s not forget the fact that I still have lots of ground to cover with my clients. Note to self – head to Verizon store so they can teach me how I can use my blackberry to make my computer go wireless while I’m away – yes I bought the service but have no clue how to use it. Oh, and if there’s time, I’m hitting BordersJane Green just came out with her latest book, The Beach House and I can’t wait to snatch it up and read it this weekend!
So with less than 24 hours to go, I’m heading into the pre-vacation mad dash. Hoping to get everything done in time before we start our four day getaway. Just think what would happen if we were taking a flight – no worries, I’ll share that preparation tale when the time comes.
Are you like me and do everything last minute before you head off on vacation? And…do you have any favorite summer vacation spots in the Northeast? Let me know because we still have several weekend getaways to plan!


I can’t remember the last time I visited a dude ranch. Wait. I can remember. It was high school, 1984. It was the dead of winter and I didn’t go near the horses or the bunny hill. So imagine my surprise 23 years later when my husband announced he wanted to give the dude ranch circuit a whirl with our good friends Dave and Alicia and their seven year old son, Carter. We loaded the kids up in the car, and off we went to what I have now discovered is nirvana for the the nine and under set…Rocking Horse Ranch.
I had visions of the place being totally dilapidated and reeking of manure and when we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The manure scent only permeated my membranes if the wind blew in the wrong direction and the ranch, seemed surprisingly updated. They even had some animatronic bear playing a guitar in the gift shop. Plus an indoor and outdoor pool with a water slide, rock climbing wall – which my daughter couldn’t get enough of, an outdoor bounce house (which Carter used to set a world record – 1000 jumps in under 10 minutes), water skiing, banana boat rides, game room, fishing, shuffleboard, kayaking, corny shows, and best of all…the Fun Barn – which had an indoor bounce house, another rock climbing wall and the craziest climbing structure you’ve ever seen where kids can shoot at each other with foam balls…need I say more?
But the best part of all didn’t take place on the horses – since mine kept on stopping to eat a bush, slosh through some manure scented mud (eew) or swat some flies; it didn’t happen at the pool where I got to read and relax and watch my daughter zip down the water slide at least a dozen times; it wasn’t at the cheesy magic show – it happened when I strapped on a pair of water skis and managed to not only pull myself up but I cruised around the lake for what seemed an eternity. You see, the last time I hopped up on skis, I was 15 and was a CIT at Camp Algonquin. That summer, I learned how to water ski for the first and last time since my momentary blaze of glory around the lake was quickly extinguished when I wiped out and the wake went right up my tush. After that day and the fact that the motor boat crapped out and no one bothered to fix it the rest of the summer, I pretty much hung up my skis and never ventured out again…that is, until this weekend.
My husband was pretty much stunned at my high flying water ski performance and is now ready to rent a lake house so we can spend the summer recapturing our youth. Even my daughter was shocked that I could ski – but not to be outdone, she managed to get up on the skis the first shot and even scaled the rock climbing structure and rang the bell. That’s my girl!
So all in all, while I usually enjoy a nice Cape Cod or Caribbean vacation, our side trip to a dude ranch was actually one of our best trips in years. The kids had a ball and surprisingly, we did too. So from Jamaica, to day camp, to Block Island to the Hamptons, we ended our summer on a high note with a high flyin’ dude ranch adventure. Nothing like a weekend surrounded by nature, good friends and water rides to put everything in perspective and make us realize that it is actually fun to act like a kid again.
To take a peak at the very first video I’ve managed to create from the pix I took with my iPhone, then click on the link below and enjoy! Happy Labor Day!


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