Category Archives: Travel

The Smart Way To Cart Your Stuff Around #Giveaway

If you are a parent, crafter, teacher, in direct sales or more, you will love the Smart Cart by DBest Products. It is the easier and less awkward way to transport your stuff. Easily haul and store your craft supplies, instructional books, presentation items and so much more.

The Smart Cart is an easy to operate, convenient, collapsible rolling cart with telescoping handle. The smooth gliding wheels lets you maneuver the cart easily, even in tight spaces. The cart is lightweight and can carry up to 110 lbs. It folds compactly for easy storage. The patented, ergonomically designed handle has a non-slip rubber grip.

Made of durable, flexible waterproof material, the smart cart is ideal to haul important files or electronics. Available in 3 colors (red,black and blue) the smart cart is perfect to bring with you to the grocery store and to use to cart bags from your car to the house. The handy front pocket lets you store items you want to have easy access to. 

I am loving these carts, they are ideal for so many things. Love to store my craft supplies in them because I can just roll the cart out to where I am working. When I am finished I just put everything inside and roll the cart right into the closet.

The carts are very handy when traveling, because I can load quite a few items inside, like my kids tablets, stuffed animals, books and toys and they can roll it in and out of the hotel or anywhere else we are staying. It also gives them a place to keep all their stuff while we are away from home, so less chance of them leaving something  behind when we leave.

Cart Dimensions:

L 11″ x W 13″ x H 17″

Handle extends to 41″

The smart cart makes a perfect gift and that is why we have added the Smart Cart to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. 

Giveaway: 2 Winners!!!

DB Products Smart Cart Giveaway (2 Winners) on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Discover Woodloch-The #1 Family Resort in the Pocono Mountains

Even though, we were knee-deep in our entire home renovation project, we managed to go on a quick getaway  at the end of August. Fitting in a special trip before school started was just what we all needed.  We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Woodloch, the #1 Family Resort in America according to Tripadvisor was just 40 minutes from our house!

From the first moment of our arrival, the staff was so friendly and made our stay so much fun. Woodloch is a true family resort reminiscent of the resort portrayed in Dirty Dancing. In fact, most of the families we met on our trip, return year after year to this pristine Pocono Mountain resort. It is no wonder why, there is so much to do and activities are plentiful for kids and adults of all ages.

The meal plan is spectacular and gets the family around the table 2 or 3 times a day. There is no shortage of food and everything we ate was expertly prepared and delicious. If you have specific dietary needs, all you have to do is let them know.

When you check in, you are assigned a table in the main dining room. That table is yours for the duration of your stay, and you will enjoy all your meals there, unless you chose to eat at one of the other restaurants on site. We had a table in front of the windows overlooking the lake.

As you enter the dining room for each meal there is a character meet and greet. That was a really nice touch and just one of the many things Woodloch does to make their guests feel welcome and entertained. Every morning at breakfast, a new activity sheet is placed on each family’s dining table.

The lake has a thrilling water slide, and our kids had to try immediately after our arrival.

They did allow us to stop off at our beautifully appointed suite that had all the amenities we needed. There are laundry facilities on site, perfect for ensuring you don’t return home with bags of dirty laundry.

Everything is very structured and you can literally be doing something from them moment you wake up until you go to bed. If you prefer, you can lay out by the lake or the indoor or outdoor pool. There is a very nice outdoor splash/wading pool for younger kids and the indoor waterpark type splash zone and slide was another favorite.

The indoor pool and water slide was perfect when one of the days we were there was unseasonably cold. My kids had so much fun in the large indoor pool, splash zone and water slide. Soft, fluffy towels are provided near every pool and by the lake.

Woodloch had terrific entertainment at night. We participated in a “Block Party” on the grounds complete with carnival type games that we could play with the coupons we were given and win prizes.

There were games even little kids could play and win. We saw an amazing Billy Joel cover band that was just phenomenal! The magician and dog trainer put on great shows that entertained kids and adults alike.

We loved walking the grounds from our room to the main dining hall and activities. Woodloch also has shuttles that run all day to transport guests around the property.

 

They have go karts for bigger kids and adults, as well as Jr. Go Karts my little ones could drive themselves. The Jr. Go Karts were a huge hit. The indoor bumper cars were fun entertainment for everyone in the evening. A pontoon boat tour of Lake Teedyuskung with a boat captain who was a riot, was another highlight.

There is just so much to do! They have the signature Woodloch game of skill throughout the grounds and my husband had to make sure he mastered it before we left. There are kayaks, sailboats, paddleboats and stand up paddle boards that guests can take out on the lake. Bingo games, lawn games, trivia games, mock game shows, arts and crafts and so much more are available to guests.

Bumper boats, petting zoos, a gymnasium where they have fun family activities, an indoor play structure, arcade and more make for very exhausted kiddies at the end of the night. There were so many activities, we did not even get to experience everything. I guess we will have to make another trip there. Now I see why families come back every year.

The resort makes you feel so at home, you do feel like family and returning is like going home again. They do not treat you like a number, their enthusiastic and friendly staff is so genuine and they really take time to get to know you. I cannot believe how lucky we were to have discovered this jewel so close to where we live. My kids are still talking about our time there, and asking when we can go back.

They have lovely gift shops and stores on site, there are other restaurants including a deli. We stopped off at the gift shop and picked up sweatshirts, Woodloch logo toy trucks, coffee mugs, t-shirts and more to remember and celebrate our time there.

Thank you so much to Woodloch for arranging this wonderful and much-needed mini vacation for our family. Erica coordinated our trip and no detail was overlooked. If you are looking for a fun, family resort to spend some quality time with your family, Woodloch should be at the top of your list. 

We have more videos on our YouTube Channel and will be adding even more.  Check them out, they will give you an up close and personal look at this spectacular family resort. If you have any questions please ask in the comments, I will do my best to answer them, and if I cannot, I will reach out to the staff for you.

If you would like to book your own family getaway at Woodloch, you will not be disappointed. They have fun activities no matter what season you plan to visit. You can learn more and book your stay on their website as well as, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPinterest and YouTube.

So, what do you think of Woodloch Family Resort? Let me know if you have great Woodloch memories of your own.  We certainly created a multitude of memories at Woodloch this past summer!


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Filed under Attractions, Family Fun, recreation, Travel

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament-An Exciting Family Evening

We recently went to Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ for Dinner and a Tournament. My husband had been to Medieval Times in another state years ago but, it was the first time for myself and our kids. We were greeted at the door and given red and yellow crowns which were the color of our knight.  After that, we were escorted to our seats and then given a “goodie bag” of special merchandise.

We had great seats at the front of the arena. We sat at a long desk type table allowing us to eat, while not missing any of the action. The waitstaff was great and brought our drinks, soup, main course, dessert and coffee to us. The food is selected so you do not need utensils to eat it. Being able to eat with their hands was a real treat for our kids.

There were also flashing swords and other things you could buy to cheer on your knight. We bought the kids 2 of the flashing LED swords.

When the tournament started all of our eyes were glued to the action. We thought our knight was going to win. Our knight did not win, but he made it to the very last battle. Regardless of the outcome, the evening was still entertaining and fun. Upon exiting the arena, we were able to take photos with the knights as well as buy souvenirs.

After buying some towels and other items, we headed home with great memories. Have you ever been to Dinner and a Tournament at Medieval Times?

As a blogger with the USFG, we received free tickets to Medieval Times. As always my words and views are 100% my own.


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Discover “Destination” Fun at Darien Lake

How is your summer going? We are in the middle of an entire home renovation. Thankfully, we live on a lake so afternoon swims happen daily when the weather is good. We have some small trips lined up for August when things should be mostly completed. Other than that, we are taking day trips and doing what we can, without totally coming unhinged.

Darien Lake is one of the places we are going as a family this summer. Their wide range of entertainment has made it “destination fun” since 1964. That is longer than I have been alive! Darien Lake is located just 45 minutes from Niagara Falls between Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.

Today the park boasts more than 50 rides, including six world-class roller coasters, dozens of family friendly rides, the regions largest water park complete with a wave pool and 20,000-seat performing arts center. Everything is operated by Live Nation; and  world-class in-park entertainment.

The Viper is celebrating its 35th year at Darien Lake. Okay, I am older than the Viper, but not anywhere near as old as Darien Lake.

Click HERE to schedule your visit today! Have you ever been to Darien Lake? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments.

This is a sponsored post, as always my words and views are 100% my own.


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Filed under Attractions, Family Fun, recreation, Travel

Help Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom Fight Childhood Cancer During June’s Lemonade Days

We have been having a lot of rain lately, so we really lucked out when we picked Saturday, June 3rd for our day trip to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. We planned this family trip to celebrate my birthday on the 4th. Originally, I had wanted to go on the fourth and my daughter suggested the third. It was a very good idea, because it was raining buckets on the fourth.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. During the month of June, Dorney Park is  joining Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in their Lemonade Days to help make an impact in the fight against childhood cancer. During their Lemonade Days a portion of the proceeds from online ticket sales will go to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. To learn more about this great cause click HERE.

Check out the additional Summer Events & Attractions below:

• Coca-Cola Share a Coke – June 9-10
• Father’s Day Beef & Beer – June 18
• Independence Day Fireworks – July 4
• Christmas in July Breakfast with Santa – July 25
• Food Truck Rally – August 26-27

My kids love Dorney Park, my older kids love the roller coasters and thrill rides. My younger ones love Planet Snoopy and so do I! There are rides we all love to go on together as a family like that Road Rally where you get to drive gasoline powered “race cars” on a track. That is a must-do attraction for all of us every time we visit. My son Ethan was so excited to drive all by himself this year!

 

We have such a blast at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom and make lifetime memories. Check out our video compilation of our day there below.

If you live within driving distance or will be visiting the area, you should seriously consider a visit to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. We can’t wait to go again. If you have been to Dorney Park, let me know what you love most in the comments.

This post is sponsored by Blog Meets Brand and Cedar Fair. As always my words and views are 100% my own.


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12 Retro Vintage Swimsuits – Something To Flatter All Body Types

March is coming in like a lion but many have their heart set on summer and shopping for swimsuits. The vintage or retro styles are very in and there are cuts that will flatter most body types. The swimsuits below are all handmade right in the USA and you can order different sizes for tops and bottoms on tankinis and bikinis, so you can get the best fit!  Here are 10 styles retro swimsuits I really like:

Classic Marilyn Tankini

This swim suit is the ultimate tankini! Gathered at the sides, this style is great for slimming your body and hiding any imperfections. Classic twist top will fit your bust perfect! Thick over the shoulder straps hold you in place and have you feeling secure and looking the best you possibly can. Mid-Cut bottoms are just the right amount of coverage to feel sexy and secure.

Sailor Stripes Bikini

This Sailor Stripes bikini is sure to get a seal of approval! Totally nautical, this swimsuit will get you ready for some fun in the sun or just when relaxing on your next boating or yacht trip around the waters. The mix of stripes with our solid navy creates a slimming, fresh bikini! This suit guarantees a perfect fit!

America Underwire Vintage Stars and Stripes Bikini 

Be an All American Girl in this vintage, patriotic, and body slimming bikini! This underwire top will support and lift a small or full chest while our body shaping bottom has a v-cut in front and back to make you look slim, trim and sexy. These will be your favorite bottoms since the fabric lays perfect on your hips without cutting into your sides! Show off your love for the USA in this underwire shaper bikini!

Marilyn Monroe Tankini

The Ultimate Retro Tankini! Be a 1950’s pin-up girl in this very flattering polka dot tankini. Gathered at the sides, this style is perfect for slimming your body and hiding any imperfections. Classic twist top will fit your bust perfect and elastic interior shelf bra helps gives you extra support. Mid-cut bottoms are just the right amount of coverage to feel sexy and secure.

Marilyn One-Piece

This vintage polka dot full coverage one-piece will make you look slim, trim, sexy and oh so Pin-Up! The twisted halter top supports your curves in all the right places while the body style is very slimming. Perfect for all body types and extra sexy on full figures.

Body Shaper Bikini

This super sexy bikini is perfect for a woman with curves. The underwire top will support and lift a small or full chest. The booty short has a banded waist for more or less coverage. You will love how you look and feel in this suit.

Navy Sailor Stripes Bikini

This Vintage Sailor Stripes Bikini is sure to get a seal of approval! Totally nautical, this swimsuit will get you ready for some fun in the sun or just when relaxing on your next boating or yacht trip around the waters. The mix of stripes with our solid navy creates a slimming, fresh bikini! Supportive sliding top fits amazing on all bust sizes while the vintage style high bottoms are fuller coverage but still super sexy! This suit guarantees a perfect fit!

Polka Dot Halter Crossback Swimdress

This Polka Dot Halter Crossback Swim Dress is fuller coverage and super vintage! Perfect for those who are a little more conservative but still want to look stylish. Sexy and short, you can even wear this out as a sundress on that next vacation of yours, to the pool for a more conservative look, or even as a top with a pair of leggings or jeans. Matching mid-cut bottom is available to complete this slimming swim dress. Made from Ujena’s fun black and white polka dot fabric.

Monroe Shaper Bikini

Shape every inch of your body while looking like a star! Our Monroe top is the best. Ties at the neck and back with a twist in front, you will look fabulous. Our body shaping bottom has a v-cut in front and back to make you look slim, trim and sexy. These will be your favorite bottoms since the fabric lays perfect on your hips without cutting into your sides!

Gauze Carlita Bandeau Ruffle Bikini

This is one sweet suit. Playful ruffles were added to this Bandeau Top and Low Cut Bottom. The stretchy Gauze fabric makes this bikini a must-have.

Polka Dot Halter Swimdress

This body slimming Polka Dot Halter Swim Dress is a must have for your next vacation. Full bust coverage has a slight crossover in front for minimal cleavage. Great for the more conservative woman who wants a slimming A-line swim dress with a slight retro edge! Paired with Ujena’s all black full coverage mid-cut bottoms, this is the perfect combination. Doubles as a perfect maternity swim suit or a cute summer dress or cover-up. Never feel self conscience again!

 

Vintage Polka Dot Underwire Plus Swimsuit

This 1950’s curvalicious bikini is the ultimate slimming bikini! Shape your body and look like a beach bombshell. Perfect for those that want a little more lift, coverage and shape. Underwire top will make you feel tucked in and secure with its wide straps and full cups. The high waisted bottoms have a small band without any elastic to make sure you are comfortable while offered enough coverage to make you feel totally comfortable. The perfect retro underwire is here!

Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.


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The Faster, Easier Way to Scrape Ice and Snow From Your Windows.

We are getting blasted with cold temperatures, snow and ice. It is not pleasant to be outside and yet after every storm comes the task of cleaning the windows on your vehicle. That was why I was so glad to find the Scrape-A-Round, this scraper is made of a softer plastic allowing it to conform to the curvature of your windows. It is comfortable to hold even if you have issues like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
I can clean my windows faster and get out of the cold quicker. The Scrape-A-Round has 18″ of ice scraping surface that lets me scrape the frost and ice off my windows faster than other scrapers. It also doubles as a funnel when you remove the cap! Watch a video of it in action HERE!
The Scrape-A-Round makes a very useful and practical gift this holiday season. We have added it to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide at Mommy Ramblings! Learn more HERE.
Mommy Ramblings’ readers get to save! Get FREE Shipping when you check out at the Scrape-A-Round Website and  Use code LU8FBEZREU2 at checkout. Hurry and order, this winter is supposed to be brutal!


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Reflecting Back on our Stay at The Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid

We had a very fun and exciting summer and visited many great places. Toward the end of August we went to Lake Placid.  Even though we live in New York State, we had never been  to Lake Placid. Living in the Catskill Mountains, I was under the impression that the Adirondack Mountains were more or less  the same. Living on a lake myself, I just never felt an urgency to travel up that way. I am so glad we did though because it is so very different.

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I was truly amazed at how traveling a few hours in my home state brought us to a place that we were  in awe of. As my husband and I started getting closer to Lake Placid we were so moved by the beauty of  the majestic mountains. I think as we get older, we appreciate the beautiful landscape  of our great country more and more. My husband had me snapping photos on the highway. Don’t worry I was not the one driving.

We made our way through the shop lined streets of town to The Mirror Lake Inn. Family owned since the 1930’s this resort has been owned and operated by Ed and Lisa Weibrecht since 1976. Their son Andrew’s Olympic medals hang behind the front desk. The Inn overlooks Mirror Lake and every room has a lake view. There are always freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby along with coffee and tea.

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The staff at the Mirror Lake Inn were so nice. Sandy Caligiore the PR Representative for the resort made sure everything was set up and ready for our arrival and helped us plan our getaway.  The staff was there to assist us with anything we needed and were always around to greet us with a smile. We were so grateful for the warm welcome, luxurious accommodations and world-class dining they provided for us during our stay.

Our room was comfortable with a nice sitting area overlooking the lake. Waiting in our room for us  was a nice fruit, cheese and cookie plate and 4 Saratoga sparkling waters.

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We had dinner at the Taste Bistro our first night and it was fabulous. The menu is full of comfort foods infused with French, German and Italian elements. We started with their signature Fried Brussels Sprouts served with fresh lemon and sea salt. Our boys had the Kilcoyne Farms Burger which is of a half-pound of local beef served on a house-made kaiser roll with house smoked bacon, caramelized sweet onion, lettuce, tomato and NY sharp cheddar cheese.

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I had the marinated and Seared Tenderloin Beef Tips served with mashed potatoes, farm vegetables and balsamic onions. My husband had the Kilcoyne Farms Pot Roast made from pasture-raised local beef, caramelized root vegetables, and local potatoes. The atmosphere, food and service was astounding. The boys had Shirley Temples and my husband and I had fresh lemonade. We even shared some chocolate cheesecake with fresh berries for dessert.

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The boys wanted to swim in the indoor pool so we made our way down to the pool inside them main Inn on the lower level. It was nice and warm and had a very large whirlpool tub and large pool with a waterfall and bridge feature. There were nice chairs and lounges around to relax on as well as loads of soft fluffy towels for drying off.

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They were pretty exhausted after swimming and we made our way up to our room where they promptly fell asleep. In the morning we had the Adirondack Breakfast Buffet at The View restaurant and it was so good. A very nice assortment of eggs or omelets cooked to order, french toast, bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, yogurt and so much more.

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After breakfast we had to go to Plattsburgh to get a battery charger for my camera. I have never left a charger home and this was a first. I could have kicked myself but we had to make the drive since there was nothing available any closer. When we returned we went down to the lake and the boys swam and then collected rocks that we are going to put in a jar as a memento.

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After that we had a dinner reservation at The View restaurant, a 17 time winner of the Wine Spectator’s Dining Guide Award.

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For appetizers, I had the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail that consisted of wild caught white shrimp, Marie Rose sauce, fresh horseradish, chardonnay vinegar, gelée and mustard greens.
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My husband had the Wheat & Greens Salad with Freekah green wheat, artisan greens, local fresh chevre and walnuts, shaved vegetables and raspberry-dijon vinaigrette. They were also doing tastings between courses. One of our little guys had the Italian Boboli Crust Topped Pizza with house marinara, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and topped with pepperoni. Our other little guy had the 7 oz. Black Angus Strip Steak char-grilled  and served with french fries and bordelaise sauce.
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My husband and I had the Prime Beef Filet grilled and finished with Maldon sea salt, potato pavé, baby vegetables, glazed cipollini onions, tarragon butter and pinot noir reduction. The filet was exceptional, my husband said it was the best he has every had and I have to agree.

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We both had Cappuccino and Cheesecake for dessert and the kids had Ice Cream.

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After dinner we all went swimming in the indoor pool.

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We had the breakfast buffet in the morning again at The View and enjoyed it just as much!
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Afterward Seth Dow, an account manager for Mirror Lake Inn took me on an informative tour of the Inn and all the different rooms available for guests. He was a very personable and knowledgeable, young man who provided me with a tremendous amount of  information about the inn as well as the area. I was surprised to learn that the inn actually burnt nearly to the ground in the 1980’s and the only things that were saved were the murals that were cut out of the wall and the grandfather clock. You would never know though because it was rebuilt to look exactly as it originally had when it was first built.

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The entire inn is full of wonder, from the stuffed bear and other animals that are situated around the library to the memorabilia, books, games and more that fill the shelves and tables. The lovely traditional Tea Time is at four o’clock and is served in the inn but can be enjoyed on the rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the lake or in one of the parlors or library.
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We went down to the lake, swam and then took a family paddle boat ride. Mirror Lake is lovely, if you are not used to the temperature of lakes in New York State you might be shocked but even though it is colder in Lake Placid than on our lake the water was only a tad colder. I appreciated that as on the lake I live on, they do not allow gasoline powered watercraft. This makes the lakes so much cleaner and nicer to swim and play in. There is a sandy beach area for kids to play, lots of lounges, fluffy towels and paddle boats and kayaks you can take out.

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After the lake, the boys decided it was time to go to the outdoor pool, so we ventured up and spent some fun time in there. There are plenty of lounges, tables and chairs around the pool and the view of the lake from the pool is beautiful. It is very peaceful and serene all around.

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The grounds of the inn are gorgeous with lush landscaping, beautiful flower gardens and great views. There have a huge, outdoor checkers set and plenty of relaxing Adirondack chairs to sit and take in the breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.
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The charming town is foot steps away and filled with nice shops, restaurants and a movie theater. A very popular attraction is Whiteface Mountain. We had a blast and a great workout climbing to the top of  Whiteface which is 4,867 feet above sea level. We took the elevator that is inside the mountain down. If you go to Lake Placid do not miss the opportunity to climb this spectacular mountain.
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The Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid is a beautiful resort and destination any season of the year! If you love to ski,  you will want to visit in the winter. The Olympic Ski Jumps need to be seen and they are training on them even in the summer. In the fall the turning of the leaves draws visitors as well. Anytime you go, you are bound to be as impressed as we were.
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There is a spa downstairs for full pampering as well as a gift shop where I picked up a Mirror Lake mug to reflect on our time spent there whenever I enjoy my coffee or tea. Our days at The Mirror Lake Inn were truly a grand experience that we cannot wait to repeat very soon. Next time we want to go with all of our kids to make some great memories!

Let me know if you have ever visited The Mirror Lake Inn or Lake Placid? If not, is it a destination you are considering? Feel free to answer in the comments, I love to read your thoughts. You can book a reservation on their website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 


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Filed under Attractions, Family Fun, Outdoor Fun, recreation, Travel

Discover The Experience of Skytop Lodge

Skytop Lodge

My family and I recently returned from Skytop Lodge and I cannot say enough about the awesome days we spent there. Skytop Lodge is a stunning piece of history that sits upon 5,500 majestic acres atop the picturesque Pocono mountains.

Although this resort is only a 1.5-hour drive from our home in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, I never heard of it before this summer. Even though I have traveled to the Poconos more times than I can count, this was an entirely different experience. From the moment we arrived, until the moment we left, we could not look at the old world charm of the stone lodge without being in awe.

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Vacationing at Skytop means taking a step back in time. While they have all the modern conveniences we have come to rely on, it is the 4 pm afternoon tea time you look forward too.

Tea time is served in the main lobby or Pine Room and features an assortment of large, fresh-baked cookies, ice-cold lemonade and an assortment of teas. Once you have made your selections you can choose to enjoy your treats in the main lobby or as we did sitting in rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the grounds.

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My boys loved the little chipmunk that decided to join us for tea and cookies. He was very polite and ate a small piece of whatever cookie you gave him.

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Downstairs the arcade really takes you back to a time when families were unplugged and played games of ping-pong or went to the malt shop AKA the Tea Room where you will find an old-fashioned luncheonette counter reminiscent of an old-time soda fountain. Order up an egg cream or one of the “World’s Greatest Milk Shakes.”

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The halls are peppered with photos and artwork of the Lodge and the many events that have taken place there since 1928. The dog shows, sled races, golf tournaments, tennis matches and so much more. All around you will find pieces from the rich history of this historic resort.

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Climb the stairs of the Lodge all the way to the Skytop Observation Post  which was used for spotting and reporting enemy aircraft during WWII.  It was manned around the clock by volunteer staff, guests, cottagers and townspeople. for the duration of the war. The observation tower has views of Skytop’s 5,500 acres as well as the Delaware Water Gap and beyond. It is a great place to take photos and just imagine what it must have been like to be a lookout during the war.

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Skytop lookout view

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Spending time out in nature is something I think a person should do every day, whether it is a morning walk, having coffee admiring the birds in the feeders or a challenging hike, it is good for your mind, body and soul! Skytop has trails throughout the estate property that let you embark and gaze upon the peace and beauty of nature at its finest.

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All kinds of trails are available, guided tours, self-guided tours, trails suitable for strollers and trails that are much more challenging. They take you to crystal clear waterfalls, pristine lakes, mountain vistas, ancient forests and more.

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The forests are alive with all kinds of wildlife, downstairs there is chart where people list what they saw that day. While we were there, someone spotted a black bear on hole 11 on the golf course, a family of otter swimming under one of the falls and so much more. Beyond that there are blueberries and huckleberries galore.

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Downstairs in the lodge there are wildlife exhibits of live snakes and turtles, booklets about wildlife and guides you can take if you are brave enough to venture off on one of the trails yourself.

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One of the highlights of our time at Skytop was the time we spent with their naturalist Rick Koval. Rick took us on a tour of the butterfly house and a guided tour of falls. The butterfly house is new and you can take a tour where you will learn all kinds of interesting facts about butterflies and get to feed them. It is utterly informative and absolutely amazing. There are many great photo opportunities too! Check out the caterpillar that looks like he is smiling in the collage below.

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The hike with Rick was a real treat. After your first hike with him, you will be scanning the activities’ sheet to see when the next walk or hike with him is.  Rick kept parents and kids engaged with his wealth of knowledge about the trees, flowers and wildlife found in the northeast Pennsylvania region and hands-on learning and tasting along the way. Who knew sassafras smelled and tasted like Fruit Loops?

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He showed us some of the most poisonous mushrooms, we did not taste test those but took his word for it. We all got hands on with nature and wildlife like the adorable newts we met along the way. The highlight was the beautiful waterfall we all stopped to admire and as we reach the end of our hike we immediately wanted to know when and where the next one was.

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waterfalls

After a nice hike it was time to hit the pool. Choose the outdoor or indoor pool or do both since they are connected. Relax and unwind on a chaise while your kids and maybe your husband if he is like mine, cannonball to their hearts desire. Then swim laps in the lap lane of the indoor pool. There is a kiddie pool and large hot tub for adults to soothe sore muscles in.

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outdoor pool

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There are plenty of choices for dining. In the morning there is complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby along with fresh fruit and some fresh-baked goodies. If you are looking for a full breakfast, you can eat at the Windsor Dining Room.

The Windsor Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their cuisine is innovative and supports local farmers and ranchers. Everything is served in a classic setting. Be aware that no jeans, t-shirts, hats or shorts are permitted. On Saturday evenings, jackets are required for men. Ladies and children are also required to wear proper attire.

We really enjoyed the Tap Room, it is more casual and nice for families. They serve a full menu of traditional pub fare including lunch, sandwiches and dinner. I had a BBQ brisket sandwich that was so good my husband could not wait until I said I was too full to finish it! There serve large portions and the food is amazing.

The Inn-Between Deli is conveniently located in the Inn at Skytop between golf holes 9 and 10. The deli serves a light sandwich and salad menu. We found the Inn-Between Deli to be very convenient when we were at the lake and beach with our kids.

Also located at the Inn is the Lakeview Dining Room. Enjoy your meal in a relaxed setting overlooking one of Skytop’s lakes and award-winning golf course. The menu is extensive and offers something for everyone. Jackets are not required but jeans, t-shirts, hats or pool attire is not permitted. The front desk staff can assist with any questions about dining options and make reservations for you.

At night enjoy a marshmallow roast around the campfire or have fun playing Bingo with the other guests, movies are also shown in the afternoon and evenings. There is even a Camp in the Clouds for kids and so many other activities.

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Even though in our first few days we had quite a bit of rain it was not constant and in the times of clearing we still were able to do so much. The last couple of days the weather was beautiful and while we did not believe the place could be more beautiful it was. Every time we went about we discovered something new and yet there was still so much we have not experienced.

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walking in the rain

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Besides The Lodge there are other choices for accommodations on the property like the Inn at Skytop, The Cottages and the Stream Side Cottages. We chose the Lodge because we wanted the full, rich experience that only staying in the Lodge can provide.

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The Lodge guest rooms were newly renovated in 2015 and the inspiration for their design was Skytop’s history, traditions and the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Incorporating that rich history with today’s modern conveniences led to the three signature designs of the Lodge guest rooms: Water, Garden and Mountain. There are also individually designed suites inspired by Skytop historical figures.

Our Garden theme room was gorgeous with a view overlooking the gardens, outdoor pool and the butterfly house.

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Three dormer windows let in the natural light and let us peer down on everything below. In the closet were 2 large umbrellas, 2 handcrafted walking sticks and 2 luxurious robes. Waiting for us when we arrived was a plate of fruit and cheese along with flatbread crackers and a note from the staff.  The housekeeping service was excellent and made sure we did not want for anything.

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The valets were so accommodating and friendly it really was like coming home every time we came back from an activity, hike or trip into town. Shay at the front desk is a real treasure and always had a smile on his face, upon check in he remembered speaking to me the night before and went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect for our stay. Christy, director of group sales worked her magic to make sure we had everything we needed. The smiles were genuine as was the desire to really help guests have the best possible experience.

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Down by the Inn, a short walk from the Lodge is a lake with a beach area. There is a large inflatable island of fun out in the lake that my kids just loved. There is a sandy beach area that is filled with lounge chairs, tables, beach umbrellas and more.

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Nothing is overlooked at Skytop, the pool area has stacks and stacks of soft, fluffy, cabana striped beach towels. Down by the lake there are sand toys galore kids can use as well as more stacks of soft, fluffy towels. There are ample lounges, chairs and tables at both pools and on the beach. In the pool area they have fun noodles, diving rings, balls and other pool toys.

The grounds are impeccable and off the porch you will find a nice large playground for kids, a lawn chess set, a kid size golf course and so much more. All kinds of lawn games are available like crochet, volleyball, badminton, lawn bowling and more. If you are the competitive type, there are tournaments you can take part in.

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If you are a golfer, you will love the award-winning golf course with spectacular views and the ability to see a variety of wildlife as you are teeing off.

Among the beautiful perennial flowers the gorgeous butterflies and birds. A white gazebo adorned with flower boxes filled with vibrant, red and white geraniums awaits. Take a seat in one of the comfortable rocking chairs and spend some time listening to the calls of area birds like the Northern Cardinal.

gazebo

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The SkyLites Activity Newsletter informs you about all the different activities happening each week. There are daily activities, 7 days a week and an activities desk to register for the things you want to do.

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For the adventurous, the Adventure Center has a 3-hour treetop adventure course with challenging obstacles including elevated bridgeways connecting tree platforms, logs hanging from ropes to walk across, ladders, a cargo net and 7 different zip lines. This is not for the little ones, you must be a height of at least 5’11” with your hands above your head and must have a waist size of less than 41″ to participate. Other activities include paintball, rock wall climbing, archery and more.

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Skytop Stables in on the property and you can take a western style wilderness ride to the top of the west rim tail for a picture perfect view of the property. The horses are well-natured and there are professional guides to make sure everyone has a great experience.  Pony rides are available and you can also go on a hay ride.

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If you are in need of pampering, look no further than the Skyview Spa. The Spa offers a wide selection of stimulating, healing, and innovative spa services that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.

Bring your dancing shoes because every Saturday night following a tradition from the early 1940’s, children and adults of all ages celebrate the tradition of the Grand March accompanied by the Doug Smith Orchestra. An elimination dance is held right before the Grand March.

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Shuttles are available to take guests to different activities and hiking trails from the North Porch.  A beautiful gift shop will let you take home memories in the form of a beautiful pottery mug, silver-plated Christmas Ornament of the Lodge, Skytop logo clothing and more.

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Skytop truly is a hidden jewel atop the Pocono Mountains just beckoning to be discovered. Spending time at Skytop is not a vacation it is more than that, it is an extraordinary experience that I feel blessed to have discovered. I know why people return every year to Skytop, it is the perfect blend of past and present where you will create memories to last a lifetime. I know we will be back, next time with the whole family!

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If you would like to make reservations at Skytop you can right on their website You can also stay in the loop with them on Facebook and Instagram. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and let me know if you have experienced Skytop, I would love to hear all about it.


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Filed under Attractions, Family, Family Fun, Nature, Reviews, Summer, Travel

Save During Lemonade Days at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Here in New York, the last day of school is tomorrow. If you are thinking about fun family trips to take with your kids, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA is a great choice! Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has been bringing thrills and fun to visitors for 132 years. If you like roller coasters the historic ThunderHawk that originally opened as “The Coaster” back in 1924 has been refurbished for the 2016 season. The ThunderHawk has all new trains and is totally repainted to resemble the original design. The outline of the classic wooden roller coaster is outlined in bright, white lights to remind riders of timeless American wooden roller coasters of days past.

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Don’t despair if you are not a thrill rider because Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom truly has something for everyone. Whether you come for water slides to seek relief from the summer heat, love the thrill rides, want to try your hand at games of chance or skill,  live events, Dinosaurs Alive or kid’s rides and fun in Planet Snoopy, you will find it!

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Our family just spent Father’s Day there and we had a blast!  If you have little ones, KidsFest is taking place in Planet Snoopy on Saturdays and Sundays from June 17- 26 from 11 am- 5 pm. There are lots of fun activities like craft stations, science demonstrations, a petting zoo and special character opportunities. Our kids loved the trivia contest where they each got a Dorney Park mini fan after answering some fun questions about the Peanuts Gang and Dorney Park. Schroeder also had a sing-a-long and Lucy, Charlie Brown and Linus were there donned in their camp attire! There are plenty of character photo opts too!

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Planet Snoopy is full of fun rides like the Kite Eating Tree, Snoopy’s Moon Bounce, Peanuts Road Rally, Woodstock’s Express and much more! Woodstock’s Express is a runaway train kid’s coaster that our kids just loved!

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This June Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom wants everyone to feel like a kid so everyone pays the kids price for tickets and a portion of online ticket sales goes to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer. Now you can spend the day riding heart-racing coasters and waterslides, knowing there’s a heartwarming cause behind all the fun.

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If you do take a trip to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom by June 30th, share your photos online with the hashtag #OneDorneySmileAtATime and Dorney Park will donate $1 to help make an impact on those children battling who are battling cancer.  Now that is a great reason to capture and share those smiles!

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You can learn all about the events going on at Dorney Park HERE! Keep up with Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have any questions, please ask me in the comments. If you do go to Dorney Park, let me know how you liked it in the comments too!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. As always my words and opinions are my own.”

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Filed under Attractions, Family, Family Fun, kids, Review, Sale, Travel