Cruise etiquette #2

Everyone I know likes to be liked. And when you’re on a cruise vacation, most people I know would rather make friends they can relive the good times with than enemies. Here are some more tips that will help you make friends easier.

  • Okay, no one is going to fault you for setting your beach towel down in a chair while you take a dip in the pool. That’s what you should do.. But don’t go set your beach towel in a chair first thing in the morning if your plan is to swim a couple of hours in the afternoon.
  • Would you like it if you were going to a show that you really wanted to see, and then someone right around you had this long, in-depth conversation, making it so that you couldn’t hear the show? Then please don’t do that to the people who are around you. There are plenty of other places on the ship where you can go and talk. Leave the shows to the people that will truly enjoy them.
  • Ships are always going to have designated areas where you can smoke. Those who don’t smoke, and maybe more importantly, those who have kicked the habit, do not want to smell your smoke. Take some body spray to put on once you are finished.
  • And don’t throw anything overboard, no matter how small it is. The ocean is home to all kinds of wonderful creatures. Please don’t mess that up for them. Besides, that just looks kind of sloppy.
  • I remember when we’ve stayed in a hotel, and Mom wanted us to keep our rooms straight, even though we had maaid service coming. Again, this is just the polite thing to do. The maids have a lot of rooms to clean. Make their jobs easier.
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Cruise etiquette #1

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you… This is a quote from the bible that most of us have heard all of our lives. But have you ever wondered what that might look like on a cruise ship? Today let’s look at some rules of etiquette for when we are on a cruise.

  • First, please hold the elevator door opened for the elderly or the disabled… For that matter, hold the door open for anyone getting on as you are getting off. That is just the polite thing to do.
  • And don’t jump ahead in the buffet lines. Wait until your turn comes. The crew makes sure there is plenty of food. And would you want anyone else to grab food with their hands? Then don’t do that yourself. Use the serving utensils that are put out. And if you don’t see anything, please ask.
  • “Please” and “thank you” always go a long way to make the other people feel appreciated. That goes for any staff who might be serving you. It also goes for any of your fellow passengers who might do something kind.
  • Watch how much you enjoy those adult beverages. You don’t want to be rude because you drank too much, right? And besides, drinking too much and being out on the ocean is never a good idea.

I think we are going to finish this up tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.

Traveling. ..With toddlers #2

Toddlers can be so much fun. They can be so cute and so much fun when they are playing and being silly. But it can be so frustrating when you can not figure out what they want, and all they can do is whine. Today let’s look some more about traveling with these cute little monsters.

  • You will probably not want to do vineyard tours with your toddler in tow. They probably will have no interest in the breweries. Museums? It depends. They will love children’s museums where they can play. However, they will not like stuffy museums where you can’t touch anything. Pool time they will love, but forget relaxing with cool drink. Instead you will be playing with your little one. They will also love zoos and aquariums.
  • Hey, did you know that they have podcasts for children now? Children are going to enjoy Sesame Street clips and stories. You can always change what is playing once they are asleep.
  • You may not think of this, but your child goes down around seven, you like to go to sleep around eleven. What are you going to do in the in between time? Get a patio where you and your husband can enjoy some alone time while the baby gets his rest. Traveling is the perfect time to introduce your little one to new foods. Have them try different things from your plates. You might be surprised at what all they may like. Food is a big part of the travel experience..
  • Surely as a parent you’ve learned to go with the flow? That museum you thought they would love didn’t go well? Leave before seeing everything. Are they absolutely loving that zoo? Stay all day.

Traveling…With a toddler #1

I think we all can agree that having a baby changes your life. Traveling with an infant is usually not a problem. All they need to do is eat and sleep. Traveling with a toddler can be a different story altogether. They can be pretty unpredictable. Today let’s look at some tips that might help make things easier on everyone.

  • Most toddlers want to explore everything they can. This is kind of their job. They’re exploring and trying to figure out life. Of course, sometimes their explorations translates into destruction. Add to that the fact that you are going to want to do some exploring of your own, which often means that your toddler is going to be in a stroller or backpack most the day. They are going to want some time to to run around and play. The good news is that house sharing is becoming so popular, and that is true in a lot of places of the world, not just here in the United States. Having a house or apartment to run around in is going to help your toddler.
  • The other side of that is that a lot of cruises and resorts have great children programs. Some programs will accept two year olds, other programs want your child to be at least three. And with most of these program, you decide when the children go, and when they stay with you. Do you want to take them on certain outings? That will be no problem. Are they acting like they need some play time? Dropping them off, even at the last minute, should be no problem.
  • Do you want to take a road trip? Do you just want to get in the car and stop whenever you see anything interesting? That will work well for your toddler too. They love to explore, remember? The one thing you might want to be careful to avoid is not to interrupt naptimes.
  • Do you want to fly somewhere? Try to plan your flights around the times when your little ones will most likely be asleep. This will work well for them because they won’t get bored. That will help you. Who knows, you might actually get some rest yourself.. And those around you will also thank you.

Etiquette in the air #3

Let’s get back to looking at some of these annoying things do in the air, and how you can avoid doing these things yourself.

  • When you are in the middle seat, you have the right to both of your armrests. That’s just the unwritten rule. I guess they figure you have enough to contend with. I do not know what you do when there are four seats.
  • And if you are not in the window seat, do not lean over to take pictures, or open or close the window seat. That is their seat, they chose it for a reason. Please respect that.
  • If you are a person that is going to get up often, choose an aisle seat. No one wants to get up thirty times so that you can go to the bathroom or get something out of your carry on. Take a minute and think of anything you might need before you sitting down.
  • If you meet someone on the plane, that is great. Talk all you want, as long as they’re agreeable. But please try to keep it down. Not everyone wants to hear your conversation. Think of yourself as in a library.
  • When they put the seat belt sign on, please obey it. That mostly just annoys your fellow passengers. It could also hold everything up your flight.
  • Please do your best to keep your children in line. Everyone knows that babies cry. But please keep your other children as occupied as you can. Bring games and snacks. And this is not the time to fight over the Ipad.

Etiquette in the air #2

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It’s been a crazy day. I’m kind of checking into some different things. But let’s get back to our discussion about what NOT to do on an airplane

  • . Personally I think drinking adult beverages gives everyone bad breath. And there is only so much distance you can put between you and your fellow passengers. I know having one drink may be tempting, but drinking also never helps with jetllag, so just don’t do it.
  • And please try to get any messes you make cleaned up as soon as you can. Again, there is only so much room you have to yourself. People have to step over each other to get to the bathroom and things like that. Please keep messes to yourself.
  • Do you want other people sprawling all over your little space? Don’t do that to other people then. I know that it’s hard to get comfortable. But everyone is in the same predicament. Sometimes you can get an extra seat, or even a complete row, to yourself. That is nice.
  • Do not recline your seat. That is just rude to the the person behind you. They shouldn’t make seats that recline on airplane. They’ll just bother you when they need to get up anyway.

Etiquette in the air #1

I had a great weekend, lots of time to hang out with friends. But I’m finally settling into work, and I’m hoping by doing this first I will be able to concentrate on other things more.

Imagine this, maybe you had a great weekend that you didn’t want to end, or maybe your weekend was kind of rough and you’re frustrated about it. Anyway, it is now Monday morning, and you have to fly somewhere for your job that week. You’re frustrated, you may be tired because you didn’t sleep well, maybe you even had a fight with someone in your family before you left this morning. Here are some things that you will not want anyone around you to do. No, let’s change that. You’re happy to be getting away, but you never know who among your fellow passengers may be going through a rough time. Here are some things that you will want to keep in mind.

  • I’m disabled, I almost never wear shoes. For people that do wear shoes, wear sandals or flip-flops, so that no one around you smells your stinky feet. Can’t do that because you are going to a business meeting straight from your flight? Wear your shoes.
  • Did you know that at one time people dressed to the nines to fly? I didn’t. Boy, has this trend reversed? A lot of people seem to wear pajamas and things like that. Or maybe I see that because my flying is mostly done at night. But people don’t want to see your stained pants and tshirts. Wear something decent.
  • Wondering if you need to take that shower before you fly? Please do. Not only will the people thank you for smelling nice, showering will also help you feel better.
  • I know that airline food is rather expensive, but you will want to try to bring snacks that are not odorously offensive. That means that the airplane is not the place to enjoy boiled eggs or your favorite sardines. Instead think more along the lines of fruit and granola bars.

We are going to get back to this discussion tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts about any of this.

Visiting family #2

Happy Monday everyone. I have several different things going on. But first, I want to make sure this does get done. Today let’s get back to our discussion on how to survive visiting family.

  • First, if you are relatively [ha ha] close by, and have a difficult family situation, consider going for a very limited time. Maybe you could just go for a day. Keeping your visits short will help prevent baggage being brought up. It might be more relaxing for everyone involved.
  • If extremely short visits are not a practical option for you, remind yourself, and maybe more importantly, remind your spouse, that this visit is only temporary. You will return to your own home. You will return to the life that you love.
  • If it is possible, try spending some one on one time with the family member you have most trouble getting along with. Try to do this when no one else is around, so that others are not made uncomfortable. Is there anything you like doing together? Try doing that.
  • If you are the one who has left the family home, and the rest of your family lives right around there, take some time to be with each person individually, not leaving anyone out.
  • Just because you are visiting them does not mean you have to spend every second of every day with them. Take some time to enjoy the are area. Enjoy an old favorite restaurant. Visit your favorite haunts. Do some date nights.
  • They are your family, you know the hot spots. Does your mother think you’re too hard on your children, and your sister think you’re too easy? Try to avoid conflict when you can.

Disney tips #1

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I’d bet that if you asked your children where they would like to go on vacation, they would say that they want to go to Disney World. But unfortunately, the “most magical place on earth” is also known as the “most expensive place on earth”.. Today let’s look at some ways you might be able to save on your next Disney vacation.

  • When you go to Disney, you will pretty always want to stay on property. And yes, that is even true if you are trying to save money. There are some what they call “Value Resorts” that are pretty comparable to other hotels in the area. Some of these hotels are going to have their own entertainment. You will always receive free transportation when you stay at one of Disney’s resorts, and you will be able to take advantage of their “Magic Hours”. And one more advantage of staying at a Disney resort is that sometimes you can get a great deal on their din plans.
  • Disney has a whole lot to offer families, so much so that you will want to plan out your trip. You will want to decide which rides you want to use your Fastpasses. You can even book the time ranges that you want to go on these rides. Disney also has a lot of character dining experiences you can take part in. You will just need to figure out which ones would mean the most to your children.
  • Okay, yes, Park Hopper Passes are going to cost you a little extra, but getting these will allow you to get into any park that you want. You can actually switch parks several times a day. And this will probably allow you to stay fewer days. Let’s get back to this discussion tomorrow. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on any of this. I would also love to help you plan a trip to Disney.

Culinary trips for children

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Foodies love to travel to experience the cuisine of a certain destination. Today we are going to put a twist on that. Let’s look at some places you would want to go if you wanted to give your kids culinary treats.

  • Okay, personally I would eat a nice, healthy breakfast and lunch, and maybe grab a slice of New York style pizza before heading to the place known as the “Sugar Factory”, which is in Manhattan. This place will have every confection known to man, and probably some you’ve never heard of. We’re talking cotton candy virgin drinks, s’mores crepes, and something called insane milkshakes. You are going to think you’ve stepped into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
  • So maybe you don’t like feeding your children while you’re flying. They can make a real mess, they might not like what is being served, it can be a real headache. But in Colorado Springs they have turned an old Boeing military plane into a restaurant. It is simply called “The Airplane Restaurant”. You are going to be served American classics, and when the kids get restless, you can send them to the cockpit..
  • The DuPont Circle has one restaurant called the Firefly. You are going to start your evening by decorating your cookie while you are waiting on your orders. Don’t worry, you won’t be actually eating your cookies before eating your dinner. They are going to take your cookies and bake them while you eat. You probably want to explain that to your children.
  • We are discussing restaurants your children will love, right? You might want to go all the way and plan a whole trip around your children and go to Disney world. Have dinner in the Beast’s castle. You might even meet Beast if you’re lucky. What do they serve? The one thing I’m reading about is meatloaf serve in the shape of Mickey’s ears.
  • Do your kids like the idea of sitting at the table where your food is cooked, but don’t necessarily like Japanese food? You have to try Slappy Cakes in Portland, Oregon. This is a pancake kid place where you choose your batter, you’ll also choose what you put in your pancakes as well as what you put on top. You will be cooking your own pancakes right at your table.

Please let me know if you’re interested in taking your children on a culinary tour.. I’d love to help you plan something.