Country Living...Island Dreaming

April 29, 2016

Rainy Day Activity for Pre-Teens and Teens

At the end of our spring break week, a group of us took our kids to an indoor go-kart racing facility,  Speed Raceway in Horsham, PA.  It just happened to be a rainy day which was perfect for an indoor activity.  We just made sure we left early enough to beat any crowds.

Go Kart Racing - A fun rainy day activity

We bought our tickets ahead of time from Groupon and paid $55 for four rides - (2 rides for each of my 2 boys.)  Each ride is 12 laps long for the Junior cars.  Even though the older kids (ages 12 and older) qualified for the adult sized cars, we were all new to this, so everyone drove a junior car.  Plus, that way they could race each other.  The adult cars used a separate track and were supposedly a little harder to handle anyway.

The kids had a blast!  At first I think they (and I) were a little nervous about operating the go karts but they got the hang of it quickly and were speeding around the track in no time!

Go Kart Racing for Kids

The place was huge and as you can see, our group was lucky enough to have it to ourselves in the beginning.  More people did show up later but it  never got too crowded.

Go Kart Racing - a great rainy day activity

Their race times were recorded and each racer was ranked up on the scoreboard.  The kids loved seeing their names up there.  They even received a printed out sheet with their racing statistics!  Such fun!

As a mom, I liked that the facility took safety very seriously.  Obviously, we had to sign safety waivers but I felt very comfortable with the way things were run.  The staff was very professional and discussed all the rules with the kids before they went out.  Safety was always stressed and I was happy to learn all the strict rules they had in place; no bumping allowed, helmets must be worn at all times, etc.  These rules put me at ease and I felt a little more relaxed letting my kids drive these vehicles around.  I was even happy to see that they provided disposable head covers to wear inside the helmets.  If you have kids, you know that catching lice is always a worry!

After the racing sessions were over, we spent some time in the arcade and then headed out to lunch.  It was a fun day for everyone!  

Here are a few tips if you plan to head out to  Speed Raceway:

  • Check their website for specials.  Like I said, we got a better price from Groupon but you never know.
  • Register online before you go.  It will save a ton of time when you get there.
  • Wear closed toe shoes.
  • Go as close to opening time as possible if you want to miss the crowds.  We were the first ones there.

There are two locations for Speed Raceway - Horsham, Pa and Cinnaminson, NJ but I am sure if you look around, you could find similar go kart facilities where you live.  It really was a great activity for our pre-teen group but I can see adults having just as much fun!

Have your kids ever gone go kart racing?

A great rainy day activity for kids or adults!

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April 27, 2016

The Party Highlights

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Spring Break Link Party!  I was blown away by all of your amazing trips!  I think I need to really step it up on my own vacation planning...

Now it's time to check out all these wonderful trip reports!  You will truly be inspired!  Please remember to pin from the original sources.

Monaco with the Preppy Empty Nester
The Preppy Empty Nester took us on a breathtaking tour of Monaco!  Wow, just wow!

Cote Azur with White Grey Home
Speaking of breathtaking, how about White Grey Home's trip to Cote' Azur.  Just look that coastline...and that water!

Key West Trip with H20 Bungalow
More stunning turquoise water and a dream trip to Key West with H20 Bungalow.

Paris Trip by Classic Casual Home
Classic Casual Home dazzled us with the beauty of Paris and provided some valuable tips!

Aulani Disney Resort with Dixie Delights
A pinch-me-I'm-dreaming trip to the Aulani Disney Resort in Oahu with Dixie Delights makes me want to hop on a plane today!

Disneyland with Dixie Delights
And that was right after Dixie Delights spent time making magical family memories in Disneyland!  What a spring break!

North Carolina Lighthouses - From My Carolina Home
Off to North Carolina for some beautiful lighthouse tours with From My Carolina Home.  I am inspired to finally get up the nerve to climb one of these...one day.

Shopping Wilmington, NC - From My Carolina Home
And then some shopping in the historical downtown area of the charming Wilmington, North Carolina with From My Carolina Home.

Scottsdale, AZ - Mrs. B in the Bay Area
A fabulous mother/sisters getaway vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona with Mrs. B in the Bay Area.

Kauai - The Other Side of the Road
The Other Side of the Road showed us how to celebrate a 15 year anniversary - a trip to the magnificent island of Kauai!

Flagstaff, AZ - The Other Side of the Road
The Other Side of the Road also shared their family trip to the enchanting Flagstaff, Arizona.

Mauritius - The Other Side of the Road
This family really knows how to travel!   I didn't know anything about Mauritius until I read The Other Side of the Road's travel report.  What a stunning and exotic place!

Fort Worth Stockyards - The Red Painted Cottage
The Red Painted Cottage took us on a wild west adventure to the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas.

Red Lodge, Montana - The North End Loft
And a peaceful road trip with The North End Loft through the majestic mountains of Red Lodge, Montana.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to join the party.  I had the best time reading up on places I have never been and reminiscing about some of the places I have visited!  I had planned to just put "highlights' in this post but I loved all the trip reports so much that I included everyone, (except the ones I added from my blog).  Thanks again for being part of my very first link party!

If you haven't yet, please take some time and visit as many of these posts as you can.  You just might be inspired to plan your next trip!

Once a year, go someplace you've never been before. - Dalai Lama
                                         
Where is your next trip?


Click HERE for the latest Travel Party news!

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April 24, 2016

Recent Happenings and Random Thoughts

Another busy week around here.  Then again, who isn't busy?  I don't know anyone who says, "What a slow and boring week."  I remember a teacher in high school who used to say, "Bored people are bor-ing people!"  He used to say it so much that it stuck in my head forever and I vowed to never say I am bored for that reason.  No problem there because I always have too many things to keep me occupied!

Anyway, last weekend I got together with a bunch of friends and attended our annual girls-day-out Broadway Show in New York!  Always so much fun!

Kinky Boots on Broadway

This year we saw Kinky Boots which was just as enjoyable as we had heard!  Such a fun, feel-good musical that kept us entertained from start to finish.

I love seeing musicals with my friends because my husband is just not into most of them.  I remember seeing Sunset Boulevard with him years ago and during intermission he says to me, "I am so glad that's over!"  Then I informed him it was only halfway through and he just about fell on the floor.  Luckily, he has gotten better and even loved Jersey Boys and a few others... It's still more fun to see musicals with my friends though!

Last year, the girls and I saw Finding Neverland and also managed to meet the cast.  Such a blast and you can read all about it - HERE.

After the Kinky Boots matinee, we stopped at a cozy little restaurant, The Blue Dog for cocktails.

Blue Dog Kitchen - Great restaurant in the theater district NYC

We all ordered the happy hour special of the day which was some kind of fresh squeezed citrus-y glass of yum.  We loved the overall vibe of the place with its fun decor, great menu and charming bartender.  If we didn't already have reservations for dinner, we definitely would have eaten there.

For dinner we only had to walk a few blocks to the restaurant, Thalia.  Since it was a beautiful, sunny day, we loved strolling around the city a bit.  The dinner at Thalia was wonderful.  Several of us had the shrimp scampi and were impressed with the generous portions of each dish.  Even my salad was huge...

Salad at Thalia - NYC

Another memorable day with friends.  I love our annual tradition!

This week, I also tried something new.  Just in case you missed it - last Monday I hosted my first ever link party!  One day, while thinking in the shower, (because that's where I come up with most of my ideas), I thought it would be fun to try.  I had been seeing so many vacation pictures on Instagram and various travel posts on different blogs.  I realized that there weren't many travel related link parties around so I decided to do one myself!  I always love sharing my vacation adventures with people and I thought it would be a great way to see where everyone has been.

Spring Break Link Party - great vacation ideas!

If you are interested, the party is still open until tomorrow (Monday the 25th until 6:00 pm.) - The Spring Break Link Party.  You can link up an old post or write something new.  Even if you don't have any travel posts to share, stop by to see where everyone else has been.  So many beautiful places to see!

Speaking of beautiful places, I just came across this link - Travelchannel.com - Top 10 Caribbean Beaches.  Fortunately, I have been to many of these incredible beaches but I still need to see more!  So many beaches, so little time...

Speaking of time, with the passing of Prince this week, I am reminded of this quote:

Buddha quote - "The trouble is, you think you have time"

Something to really think about and a reminder to use our time wisely.  We really do not know how much we have left.

I was so saddened by the news of Prince's passing.  He was such an amazing talent and so many of his songs bring back memories of growing up.  Such a huge loss.

I will end this post with a link to another amazing talent.  Just last night, Bruce Springsteen opened up his show singing Prince's Purple Rain  - Rolling Stone - Bruce Springsteen.  Chills...what a moving tribute!

What were you up to this week?


Linking to:

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April 20, 2016

A Helpful Tip for Bloggers on Facebook

Why is Facebook always changing things?

Helpful Tip for Bloggers on Facebook


Here is a tip that you might find useful...

First of all, this applies to those of you who have a personal Facebook account with your blog Facebook page linked up as one of "Your Pages".


If you are set up this way, you are familiar with how you can switch back and forth from personal Facebook page to blog Facebook page.

Using this Crate and Barrel Facebook page as an example, I want to show you how LIKING another Facebook page has changed...


It used to be easy to LIKE another Facebook page just by clicking on "Posting as - blog name".  You would then click LIKE and be done.

You might have noticed when you do this now, only your personal page LIKES the page but your blog page does not.

I noticed this because while scrolling through my personal Facebook feed, I started seeing all these new blogs that I LIKED recently through my blog Facebook account.  Since I like to keep my blog separate from my personal Facebook, I knew I had to fix this.

What you need to do now is go to the page you want to like...


Then click on those three dots shown above (next to the Message tab).  UPDATE - Now click under "MORE".  The menu above will show up.  Click on "Like As Your Page" and you are done!

Now this new LIKE will show up in your blog page feed instead of your personal page feed!

Here is a link to my Calypso in the Country Facebook Page if you want to follow me and try it out for yourself!

Did you find my little tip helpful or is this old news?


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April 18, 2016

The Spring Break Link Party!

Welcome friends!  It's time to share those travel posts...

Spring Break Link Party - Link up vacation posts until April 25, 2016


If you don't have a blog but still want to share a vacation photo, please follow me on Instagram and tag your photo #calypsospringbreak.

We would love to see where you have been!
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April 17, 2016

Save the Date...

Remember to stop by tomorrow for my first ever...

Spring Break Link Party!


Link up your favorite vacation posts - old or new!  

We can't wait to see where you have been!





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April 14, 2016

If Your Kids Are Into Legos...

They would love the...
Lego Americana Roadshow!

Recently, we stumbled upon this fun and FREE event at the Bridgewater, NJ Mall.

Displayed all over the mall are large scale Lego models of famous U.S. Landmarks being shown through April 17, 2016.

Lego Capitol Building - part of the Lego Americana Roadshow!

Yes, this model of the  U.S. Capitol building is made entirely of Legos!  Amazing, right?  My son was completely captivated by every display.

Lego US Capitol - part of the Lego Americana Roadshow

The attention to detail is incredible!

Lego US Capitol - from the Lego Americana Roadshow

This picture was taken from the second level so you can see how huge some of these things are!

My son was also excited because we have seen many of the real buildings in person.

Lego model of Old North Church in Boston

This is the Old North Church in Boston and is one of the stops on the famous Freedom Trail.  Ironically, we just traveled to Boston a couple weeks ago and walked the Freedom Trail!  Unfortunately, we stopped for lunch at Stop #12 (Faneuil Hall) and didn't continue on to the end.  If only we had gone two more stops, we would have seen this in person!  I guess this Lego model is the closest we will get for awhile!


Lego Display sign from the Lego Americana Roadshow

As you can see, each model sits next to a sign which explains the historical significance of the building.  It also includes details about the model such as how many hours it took to build.   

Liberty Bell made of Legos - Lego Americana Roadshow

I loved the Liberty Bell.  I don't think my kids have seen the real one in person yet.  Time for a road trip to Philadelphia!

Lego model - Independence Hall - Philiadelphia

And while we are in Philly, we can stop by Independence Hall!

Lego Ski Resort

Our family has really gotten into skiing these past few years so we thought this one was cute.  This is just one of the smaller displays.  Almost everything else is a famous building or landmark.

Speaking of landmarks..


LEGO Statue of Liberty - Lego Americana Roadshow


And that's just a handful of what is on display right now.  If you are in the area, stop by the Bridgewater Mall and check them out.  It's such a fun family activity whether your kids are into Legos, or not!  (Mine of course, still are!)

Here is the website so you can see if the models are traveling to your area - The Lego Americana Roadshow.


Do you have any Lego fans in your house?




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April 11, 2016

Spring Break Link Party (Coming Soon!)

Happy Monday to you!  

I am loving all the spring break blog posts and the fabulous vacation photos on Instagram lately!  I already started making a list of all the places I want to visit!  You people really know how to travel!

Grand Cayman (from a few years ago)

Last week, I posted about our little family getaway to Boston on my blog.  I even shared my posts with a few Link Parties but I realized most of the blogs I read are home decor and lifestyle blogs.  I really couldn't find many Travel Link Parties.

So, I thought it would be fun to host a Link Party where you could come by and link up your spring break posts.  Actually, they don't even have to be restricted to spring break.  Any travel posts would be fun - new or old!  I love getting inspiration for future trips and I am sure many of you would too!

While I have thrown many real parties in my life, I have never thrown a Link Party.  I looked up some instructions this morning and it doesn't seem too hard, so I say - let's do this!

Here, I will even give you an invitation...



I am looking forward to all the travel inspiration out there!  Get those vacation posts ready and I will see you next week at the party!

Have you traveled anywhere lately?

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April 8, 2016

Boston with the Boys - Day Three (Boston Tea Party and Recommendations)

We woke up to another beautiful, sunny morning for our last day in Boston.  Luckily, the wind died down and it ended up being a perfect day to walk around.

I couldn't leave Boston without one more stroll through the Beacon Hill area, so for breakfast I chose a place a few blocks down on Charles Street.

The Paramount - Great place for breakfast in Boston!

Since I read up on The Paramount before our trip, I was eager to stop in for breakfast.  The tiny diner style restaurant definitely lived up to the rave reviews!  Quick service (the line was fast moving) and delicious fresh food!  A perfect place to fill our bellies for a day of sightseeing!

After breakfast, we took a taxi up to the inner harbor to tour the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.  
Boston Tea Party Ships

This was definitely one of my favorite attractions.

Boston Tea Party Museum - A Must See while in Boston!

Boston Tea Party

We took the guided tour which began in the Old South Meeting House.  We didn't know what to expect as we were seated and handed out cards with our 'new names' .

Boston Tea Party Tour - Such a fun and interactive experience!

We were then taken on a journey back in time as live actors reenacted the meeting to fight against unfair taxation.  We were all encouraged to yell out, clap and make discouraging sounds as Samuel Adams addressed the crowd.  

Boston Tea Party Tour with live actors - so much fun!

Then we headed down to tour the authentically restored tea party ships where the the kids were able to throw the tea boxes into the harbor just like the Sons of Liberty did on December 16, 1773. 

Boston Tea Party Ship - the kids loved throwing the tea overboard!


Boston Tea Party Ship tour

Boston Tea Party Ship

Afterward, we headed into the museum where we were able to view one of only two surviving tea chests from the Boston Tea Party and hear the story behind it..  While in the museum, we viewed a short film showing the events that lead up to the American Revolution and wrapped up the tour with some fun exhibits.

The hour long visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum was well worth it.  Not only were we entertained but we got to feel what it was like to witness the events that led up to the American Revolution.  What a wonderful learning experience for the kids...and all of us!

Because it was such a beautiful day, we walked around by the harbor for awhile and then headed back to Faneuil Hall for some lunch.

Boston Street

I hate to do anything too "cliche" when I travel, but we ended up eating in the Faneuil Hall location of Cheers.  The Beacon Hill location (previously known as the Bull and Finch Pub) was where they filmed the exterior shots for the show.  This Faneuil Hall location was added later...

Cheers Boston - Faneuil hall location

My kids of course, had no clue about the show so they were not amused by any of the names on the menu or the cardboard figures outside the restaurant.  What a way to make me feel old...

And that concludes our spring break trip to Boston!  We had such a fabulous time making memories with our kids!

In case you missed my first two days, you can click on the links below:

Here is a quick recap of where we stayed, played and dined...

Stayed:
  • Westin Liberty Hotel
Played:
  • Museum of Science
  • Freedom Trail
  • Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market
  • New England Aquarium
  • Walk through Beacon Hill, Boston Garden, Newbury Street
  • Boston Tea Party Museum
Dined:
  • Clink (breakfast)
  • Paramount (breakfast)
  • Clarke's (lunch)
  • Cheers (lunch)
  • 75 Chestnut Street (dinner)
  • Atlantic Fish (dinner)
  • JP Licks - (ice cream, tea)
Here are a few things we would have done given more time:
  • Taken the kids to the top of the Prudential building for a view of the city
  • Duck Tour of the city - We probably could have squeezed this in on our last morning but we decided to sleep in.  I am sure the kids would have loved this!
  • Boston Sporting Event - It was a bit too early for baseball season and the Boston Bruins (hockey) were not in town the week we went.
  • Museum of Fine Art 
  • Whale Watching Tour
  • The rest of the Freedom Trail ending with a climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument  (Like I said, we only finished 12 of the 17 stops)
Do you have any Boston recommendations?

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