Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: The Perfect Family Beach Town

We just returned from one of our two favorite places on Earth:  Rehoboth Beach, DE.  (The other is Walt Disney World)  My wife and I have been spending at least a week down there every June since before we had kids - more than 10 years.  It really is the perfect place for a family beach vacation - small enough to walk or bike almost everywhere, nice boardwalk, clean water, great sandy beaches, family friendly atmosphere, a nice little amusement park on the boardwalk, and great food.  Rehoboth has a much nicer family feel than more famous beach towns like Ocean City, MD and Virginia Beach.
On the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

During our week we spent lots of time in the ocean and on the beach.  Water temperatures for this last week in June were in the low 70s.  We saw many dolphins swimming off the coast, and even a sting ray.  We biked and walked the mile from our rental house into town and the boardwalk almost every morning and evening to eat, which was good because we got ice-cream every night.  

I was hoping to get a couple of blog posts up while we were on vacation, but due to incredible beach weather and the great time we were having, that didn't happen.  I did take lots of pictures, though, and I'm going to be putting up posts on a few different aspects of Rehoboth Beach and our vacation over the next week or so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Kids Are Excited for Europe

Both my 9 year old daughter and my 6 year old son are excited about the trip we have planned to Europe this summer.  We'll be flying to Venice from New York for just a night (a 24 hour stopover there was the same price as a short stopover in Rome), then spending 6 days in Sorrento, 2 1/2 days in Rome, a day in Orvieto, 4 days in Munich, and 3 days in Paris before ending our trip with three days at Disneyland Paris.

Since both my wife and I are teachers, we naturally wanted to make sure that this trip is a learning experience for the kids as well as a great vacation.  I'm hoping that introducing them to different cultures will open their eyes a bit and allow them to realize that people in other places may do things differently.  And that "different" doesn't mean "wrong."

To build their excitement and make the trip more personal for them, we are going to have them learn about some of the places we will be visiting and have them share what they find.  Our daughter has her own blog where she'll be sharing what she finds.  She just finished a post on the Eiffel Tower tonight. (She's always excited to get comments!)  At dinner she told me she wants to learn and share about the Basilica San Clemente in Rome next.

Our son is really interested in volcanoes, so he is excited that we're going to the top of Mount Vesuvius.  He wants to draw a picture and write a bit about what he learns underneath his drawing.  I'll take a picture of it and post it here when he's finished.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

16¢ Waterproof iPad Case

For our upcoming trip 3 week trip to Europe I've decided to leave my laptop at home and travel with only my iPad.  Naturally, the two things I worry about most with this plan are theft and damage.

To mitigate the chances of theft, I'll be carrying a Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 bag.  I found a great deal on REI's website a few weeks ago and got one for less than $45 with free shipping.  The bag has many great security features including slashproof eXomesh lining.  Along with a cheap travel combination lock, I'll be able to lock the bag to a piece of furniture in a hotel room and keep the contents safe.

When it comes to damage, my #1 fear was rain.  Obviously electronics and water aren't a great combination.  When I looked on-line, there are a couple of different companies that make waterproof cases for the iPad.  Prices seem to start at $20 and go up from there.

Being an avid hiker and photographer, I've often had to keep my equipment safe in rain.  I've found that gallon sized Ziploc bags have always worked well.  It turns out that the iPad fits inside one perfectly.  As an added bonus, the touch screen on the iPad works just fine through the bag.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Take-Off! Our First Post

Here's my travel philosophy:

Convenience and enjoyment on vacation are great, but they'll cost you.  You can either pay with money, or you can pay with time by doing research.  I over-research, over-analyze, and overplan.
Flickr: Weapon X

This philosophy works great for trips to places like Disney World and Europe.  Not so much for a week at the beach.  (I've learned that waking your wife at 6:30AM in order to get to the French pastry place on the boardwalk before 'rope drop' and thus get crepes without waiting in line isn't exactly a recipe for marital bliss.)

As a family we love to travel.  My wife and I are blessed to both be teachers, mostly because of the awesome opportunity to shape the future generation, but also because we have our summers to spend with our kids.

I'm starting this blog so that friends and family can share in some of our travel experiences, but also as a place to share tips, ideas, and cool things that I come across during my sessions of obsessive, neurotic planning.