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FtF 7th Annual Roadschool Fieldtrip to Legoland Florida

Kimberly No Comments

Join Fulltime Families as they take over Legoland, Florida for the 7th consecutive year!

Legoland Florida, is again offering Fulltime Families an amazing rate, with student tickets (ages 4 – 17) $16.29 per ticket (reg rate $87!) and adult rates of $32.27 (reg rate $94!).  That’s an ENORMOUS Savings!

Plus you get to go with all your FtF Friends!

To save your spot visit: https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/2018-ftf-annual-legoland-fl-field-trip/

NOTE: DEADLINE to reserve your spot with the group is Tuesday, Feb 1st, 2017.  Please reserve your tickets by this date.

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FtF Roadschool Field Trip to Legoland 2013

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FtF Legoland Roadschool Fieldtrip 2015

 

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FtF Legoland Roadschool Fieldtrip 2016

 

Also consider joining us for the Under the Sea Rally, March 2018 at Jellystone in Madison, FL!

Looking for Larry in Seattle

Kimberly 3 comments

I love bringing books into our touring efforts!  So when Seattle was on our route, I searched for just the right story and found “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle“.  Although I usually gravitate to e-books, I purchased the hard copy version so we could use it as a bedtime story.

The pages are filled with beautiful illustrations that follow Pete and Larry (Pete’s lost pup) through Seattle’s landmarks.  I decided to use this story book as our actual tour list and made a touring itinerary that incorporated as many of the Pete and Larry’s detours as possible.

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So when Pete and Larry checked out the flying fish at the Public Market, we did too!

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And when Pete and Larry stopped by Pioneer Square, we did too!

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Larry found a hammering giant, so we did too!

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And when Pete looked for Larry by the Space Needle, we did too!

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When Larry found a scary guy in Fremont, we did too!

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and just like Larry, we didn’t find these people to be so helpful with directions.

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We searched the Lake Union Houseboats, just like Pete and Larry.

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Some things we did that Larry and Pete missed were:

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Eating sushi off a conveyor belt at Blue C Sushi!

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Making our own contribution to the Gum Wall!

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And drenching ourselves in rainbows at the Chuhily Museum and Garden.

We loved following Pete and Larry’s footsteps through Seattle and still read the story nightly.  It warms my heart to hear DJ squeal, “we been dere” as we turn the pages.

You can bring this post to life by clicking play on our latest episode of “One Epic Adventure”.

And there’s even more good news!  In researching for this blog post, we’ve discovered that Pete and Larry have explored other cities!  Check out the whole list here and see if one of these cities is on your route: Larry Gets Lost Series

 

 

 

 

 

How to Park a Big Honkin’ Truck in Downtown Seattle and Get the best priced tickets to the Space Needle

Kimberly 1 Comments

City touring can be a pain when you need to consider finding a parking space for your big honkin’ truck.  Then there’s the issue of getting the best value out of the attraction tickets you purchase.

As a full time traveling family, we are not actually on vacation and can not afford to splurge on every tourist attraction on our route.  Therefore, we must be picky with our touring dollars and are always looking for the best bang for our buck.  This time was a total score and I’ll fill you in about the ticket specifics later in this post.  Timestamp of snap: 0:01.3

At this point, I’m pretty good at uncovering the value in attractions.  See this, skip that, I can make those decisions pretty quickly based on online reviews and facebook comments.

So when we were exploring Seattle and it came time to search out ticket options for the Space Needle,  I knew which websites to focus on to find the best deal.

Through my research I found that Sunday was the least crowded day to visit and specifically Sunday night yielded the best viewing opportunities.  A quick google search told me sunset would hit the Seattle area at 8:23pm, so I booked our elevator tickets for a 7:30pm viewing time.

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Sure enough, there were no real crowds to speak of at this very popular landmark when we arrived for our reservation time.

As an aside, I’ll tell you that right next to the Seattle Center, the downtown area that houses the Space Needle and several other well known landmarks, is a pay parking lot.  It cost us $15 to park for the evening.  Sure it was tight, but I live with “a dually drivin’ boss” so as long as there’s an open spot, he can make it work!

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The views at the observation deck of the Space Needle were breath taking! Watching the sunset over Pugent Sound was a memory our family will cherish.

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Then, when the sun dipped below the horizon, the city skyline twinkled as far and wide as the eye could see.  The observation deck is open until 11pm on Sunday’s* and visitors can stay at the top as long as they like with their ticket so we had plenty of time to check out all the sights.

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We loved picking out other locations we have visited on sea level.  There were also a great number of interactive exhibits within the Visitors’ Center.  We learned all about the construction of the observation tower for the 1962 World’s Fair and that it was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude.

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So, wanna know how much this aerial tour of Seattle cost our family of six?  $144 (not including $15 parking) which is a real splurge for our family, but I should mention that we purchased a combo ticket and after we descended from the Space Needle, we headed right next door to explore the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit.  A visit to this museum was top on my list so the combo ticket was definitely the most affordable option available.  Separately the Space Needle tickets would have been  $86  and the Chihuly tix would have cost us $88.20.  By purchasing the combo ticket we were able to maximize our downtown Seattle experience, pay for parking only once and save $30.

Tune into our Seattle episode of One Epic Adventure to find more great things to do with kids in Seattle!


*Please check websites for actual times

10 Holiday Things to do in New York City

Kimberly 2 comments

10 Great things to do in NYC at Christmas time..

 

Well, of course there’s

  1. “The Tree” at Rockefeller Center – also there is Ice Skating, The Christmas Show with the Rockettes, The NBC Studios, and standing at the windows of the Today Show.
  2. You may want to attend a live taping of Dave Letterman or Saturday Night Live
  3. From 49th Street, stroll up 5th.  You’ll start at the American Girl Place and then head north to Saks, Tiffany and end at FAO Schwarz.
  4. From FAO Schwarz, you can enter Central Park West.  Take a horse and carriage ride, visit the zoo and have a bite at Tavern on the Green.
  5. Check out Times Square – in the middle you’ll see TKTS .  Here you can purchase ½ price tickets to same day Broadway shows.
  6. Get yourself to the top of the Empire State Building.  If possible, go on a Tuesday when crowds are the lightest.
  7. Visit Santaland at Macy’s Heraldsquare (34th Street)
  8. Check out the windows at Bloomingdales http://gonyc.about.com/od/christmassights/tp/christmaswindow.htm and grab some lunch at nearby Papaya King
  9. Check out the bling in the Diamond District on 47th Street

10. Go to Jekyl and Hydes in the Village http://www.jekyllpub.com/

 

Special Hints:

FYI:  NYC = Manhattan – They are one in the same.

If you can avoid driving into the city – do so.  Otherwise you’ll pay exorbitant parking fees and be stuck to touring around where your car is parked.

Instead, use NJ Transit Buses, or the NY Waterway Ferry (with FREE buses on the NY side to shuttle you around the city).

Don’t be afraid of the NYC Subway System.  It’s the cheapest and fastest way around NY.

Kimberly Travaglino is the author of “How to Hit the Road”, a comprehensive step-by-step guide for making your family’s full time RV dreams a reality.  She also serves as the Editor of Fulltime Families Magazine, a company that supports risk takers, pioneers, and enlightened families blazing their own path across the country.

The Great Wave Lottery

Kimberly No Comments

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The Wave. You’ve seen it on screen savers, calendars, post cards, coffee table books, it’s every where! But you have no idea the drama, the suspense, the intrigue that accompanies being one of the lucky few who can see it in person.

Did you know that this protected piece of Navajo Sandstone draws thousands of red earth adventurers every year to the Kanab, Utah Visitors’ Center but only twenty (2-0) hiking permits are issued per day?

Every morning at 8:30 am, a collection of hopeful hikers assemble at the Bureau of Land Management office and fill out applications for the highly coveted golden (or rather green in this case) tickets.

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You can register a max group of 6 hikers in your party, but with only 10 permits allotted daily (the other 10 are awarded to online applicants) your chances of getting permits for a large party are pretty slim.

Day 1, Greg Felty went to the permit office.  He filed the application for our then party of 6, and waited for the 9am drawing (more on that in a minute).  No dice.

Day 2, Pieter Hartog went to the permit office.  He filed the same application and anxiously awaited our number, but again, left without a permit.

There is no weighting system.  Every day you go, you have exactly the same odds as everyone else anxiously biting finger nails and teetering on the edge of their seat.  The man I stood next too in the standing room only room attended the lottery EVERY DAY for THREE YEARS before hitting pay dirt (or should I say sand stone).

Day 3, I volunteered to go.  I left the camper at 8am with Tonia in tow.  Even if we struck out a third time, we’d at least have a lovely mother-daughter breakfast in bustling downtown Kanab.

At this point, two of our hikers needed to drop out as they were moving on, so I filed an application for 4 with a variety of back up scenarios, in the rare case our number was drawn when only 1, 2, or 3 spots remained.

Oh yes!  That can happen.  Depending on how the parties are called, with each roll of the bingo ball, the number of permits are decreased, so in the worst case situation, a party of 6 could be called, when only one permit remains and there could be bloodshed.  This alone, should entice you to at least try for a permit 😉

Bingo! <<<< Click Here!

So was it “third times a charm” or “three strikes and you’re out” for us?  Based on the attendance in the room, our odds of scoring a spot were 1 out of 112.

At 9:00am, on the dot, the ranger started spinning the balls and drew the first number…

Number 6 was a party of one, an older Asian gentleman.

Spin, spin, spin

and the next number pulled, 4, was OURS!  With 9 permits to spare, and the drop of a ball, we had just scored 4 of the most sought after hiking permits in the South West!

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The next number was for a party of 2 and lastly a party of 3… perfect alignment (no blood shed – but you can’t win ’em all).

And, then came Orientation…

Words, words, words, “death”, “people have died”, “unmarked trail”, “wilderness”, lots of superlatives and more threats of imminent death.

But We Won!  and so, off we’ll go!

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But we want you to come with us!  Be our guest and join us for our through the sandstone and over the dunes to the Wave we will go!  See how we prepare for this once in a lifetime adventure, what other beauty this untamed treasure holds, and how we hold up on this 6 mile journey.

You can follow along, right on this page as the widget below will automatically update, or on Instagram.

Come see one of the rarest formations in the world, from the comfort of your computer (where there is a significantly reduced chance of death).  We’ll pack some extra trail mix for you!

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Last Chance for Legoland Tickets

chrisadmin No Comments

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The 4th Annual FtF Roadschool Fieldtrip to Legoland, Florida is Officially SOLD OUT!

If you have pre-purchased your tickets from Fulltime Families, please check your PayPal Email for a confirmation from us.  If you have not received a confirmation email, please email kimberly@fulltimefamiles.com

Here is some info you need to know if you are joining us on Feb. 12th, 2016.

IMPORTANT INFO:
 
Please arrive at the main gate of Legoland by 9:15am. 
  • If you are attending the Tampa Rally: The Legoland caravan will leave LazyDays, from the front gate, by the office at 8am SHARP.
  • If you are planning on going to Legoland separately, be sure to be on-site by 9:15am
  • Legoland charges for parking and this is not included in your pre-paid tickets.
  • We will take a Group Photo at 9:30am
  • The Flash Mob Dance (see details below) will take place at the front gate.
  • The FtF Group must enter the park as a group so it’s important that everyone is on time.
  • You are welcome to pack a lunch!  If you have a cooler and/or lunch sack, you will be able to take those to a location for storage until needed for lunch.
  • This part of the day is time sensitive.  The rest of the day you’ll be free to enjoy the part at your leisure.
  • If you have a rally t-shirt, please wear it to Legoland.
  • FtF Bracelets will be passed out to all so that we can identify each other inside Legoland.
Be a part of FtF History!  Legoland Flash Mob Info:  Please start practicing this dance.  All roadschooler participants will be receiving a limited edition Lego Minifig for doing their part!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoTV0NGtrrM
We are sorry, but no refunds can be processed at this time and tickets are non-transferable.

Additional Fees for Parking apply.
You can bring your own lunch into the park. Legoland supplies a group lunch locker and covered picnic tables for our group.
This field trip is rain or shine.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

We are sorry, but no refunds can be processed at this time and tickets are non-transferable.

 

Johnson Space Center Review by Destination Editor Jen Holt

Kimberly No Comments

Space Center Houston, located on the southeast side of Houston, is the official visitor center for Johnson Space Center. Space Center Houston is an exceptional facility to support educational and entertainment needs and should be on your must see list when visiting the Houston, TX area. Over 1 million (30% international) visitors visited the facility last year and enjoyed learning about the emphasis that science, technology, engineering and mathematics have on our world in a fun and engaging way.

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

Now that you’ve made the decision to visit the Space Center, we’d love to give you some suggestions on how to make the most of your day at the Space Center. The number of hours that you have to spend will determine the things you will have time to see. The astronauts even have suggestions for how to spend your time!

We really feel like the tram tour of the Johnson Space Center is a must do, even if your time is somewhat limited. It’s the only way that you can tour the NASA Johnson Space Center. The 90 minute open air tram tour will take you around the grounds of the NASA facility and will allow you to see the anstorant training facilities which include many full size mock ups so that the astronauts can train for their space missions. One highlight for us was seeing the historic mission control where many famous visitors have been. We even sat in the same row as Queen Elizabeth did!

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

The tour will also provide you a look at building 9 and the International Space Station training facilities.

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

Once back in the Space Center Houston, it will be time to explore all of the exhibits. Everything is included in the price of admission except for the simulator rides. The Space Center Mock Up is a full-scale replica of the space shuttle orbiter. You can see just how many buttons is takes to pull off such a mission. After touring the space shuttle make sure you then go down to the special exhibit “Be the astornaut” exhibit where you can control your own space shuttle on your mission to Mars!

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

There are a variety of movies and theatre experiences for you to take part in. If you only have time for one I would suggest the Starship Gallery. It is a short 15 minute film about the history of the NASA program and you can see the actual podium that JFK declared we would make it to the moon! After the film, the theatre opens and leads you into the gallery where you can see replica space artifacts as well as real moon rocks. There is even one that you can touch! Now, how many other places can you touch the moon?

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

If you are there for most of the day, make sure you also catch one of the Blast off Theater shows and you will be able to experience the sounds, sensations and sights of a shuttle launch.

Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

A lot of the Space Center Houston will be a bit advanced for the younger crowd but they will LOVE the Kid’s Space Place! Its an action-packed area for children (especially the under 10 crowd). There is still plenty of learning here but there is a chance for kids to run around and get out their energy a bit!

Photo: Space Center Houston Photo courtesy of: Space Center Houston

Nuts and Bolts:

Information: Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058. You can reach them at 281-244-2100.

Parking: Parking is $6 and the surface lot is huge and easy to park in, even for those you us driving bigger vehicles. There is even Bus/RV parking in case you are just passing through and have your rig with you.

Eating: There is a nice outdoor sitting area with lots of picnic tables and even some under a pavilion just outside Space Center Houston if you would like to pack a lunch. Inside there is a cafeteria style area to eat and you can buy food at the Zero-G diner.

What to bring: Since you will probably be there most of the day, its a good idea to bring some snacks and something to drink (these are allowed inside just no coolers). A stroller might be helpful for the little ones and there is plenty of stroller parking for areas that don’t allow them.

Hours: Monday-Friday 10-5 ; Saturday 10-7 ; Sunday 10-6

Pricing: Save $3/ticket and buy online ahead of time! If you choose to buy at the door: Adults $23.95 (age 12-64); Children $18.95 (age 4-11); 3 and under: Free. If you plan to visit more than once the yearly membership is well worth the small up charge and includes free parking!

The Space Houston Center website is an incredible resource both before and after your visit and I highly recommend you take a “virtual” tour of the facility before you go and make a list of exhibits you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!

This review was created for FulltimeFamilies.com, the resource for Full-time RVing Families by Jennifer Holt of Free2Breathe.com

 

 

4th Annual FtF Roadschool Field Trip to Legoland is Scheduled

Kimberly No Comments

Legoland 2015

Fulltime Families Roadschool will be taking over Legoland again, for the 4th time and this time we’re bringing a mob… A flash mob to be more specific!

Since Everything is Awesome when you live on the road, we’ll be singing and dancing our way through the gates of Legoland, Feb. 12th, 2016.

Rates start as low as $12 per student and Legoland will be hosting some educational classes just for our kiddos.  This event is open to everyone, so if you’d like to join us, get your name on the by getting your spot here: 4th Annual FtF Roadschool Field Trip to Legoland, FL – Feb. 12th, 2016

 

Fall Fun by the Bushel at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm – Thomas Family Reporting

Kimberly No Comments

Recently, the Thomas Family (FtF Charter #46) went on assignment to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, PA.  Here is their report about the agritainment experience.

 

We had the pleasure of visiting Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania recently and absolutely enjoyed our experience.  The farm, which is open from May through November, is situated on over 15 acres of pristine land and there are over 50+ activities – there is truly something for everyone in your family!

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We visited on a busy Saturday ~ there was already quite a crowd at 11am, but parking is free and extremely well organized.   We quickly parked and made our way to the gates.  There were two small lines at the entrance that moved quickly and before we knew it, we had our bracelets on and we were ready for our adventure!

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What an amazing place Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is.  We were greeted with the sights and sounds of happiness!  Colorful signs, maps and staff pointed us in the right direction…The only challenge was trying to agree on what fun activity to try first!  The farm has a great “flow” and even though there were many families enjoying the day at Cherry Crest Farm, we never felt rushed or crowded.  Almost all of the activities encouraged parents and kids to play together!  We loved this aspect of the farm adventure– instead of watching from the sidelines, we were able to participate right alongside our boys.  From pedal kart races to the “Music through the Decades” themed corn maze to the Farm Tour Wagon Ride, we smiled and laughed all day!  We even made butter at the Discovery Barn!  We especially enjoyed the interactive (and educational!!!) exhibits throughout the farm and really appreciated the fact that the farm had so many activities for our tweens.  It was refreshing that all age groups had been considered when planning this farm experience and that many of the experiences really got our blood flowing!  My boys (11 and 12 years old) could have spent the next two weeks playing in Corny’s Ball-Cade (think soccer, baseball, basketball & footballs flying!)  We will be going back soon to ride the Strasburg Railroad Steam Locomotive that steamed through the farm while we were visiting.  It was so cool to see and hear the train power through the field!

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Cherry Crest Adventure Farm has really thought of everything!  There was a wide variety of food concessions to choose from throughout the farm and prices were reasonable.  (Our family discovered the Apple Cider Donut Shop and it was love at first bite.)  There are wagon rentals, a roomy picnic area, shady spots to rest and regroup, and also plenty of restrooms.  They have a Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin area and they even rent out Gathering Barns for special events.
We would wholeheartedly recommend Cherry Crest Adventure Farm to anyone who is looking for a fun, educational, and active adventure this fall!

Top 10 Family Hikes in the USA

Kimberly No Comments

When you’re living full time in your RV with kids, hiking is a great way to see the natural treasures in this country.

Full time rving kids love to stretch their legs and the temperate days of spring provide ample opportunity to connect with nature and get your hike on!

Here are the Top 10 Family hikes in this country.

Ten Best Family Hikes

  1. Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia
  2. Chimney Tops Trail, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
  3. Woodpecker Trail, Big Shoals State Park, Florida
  4. Ohio & Erie Canal Trail, Ohio
  5. Illinois & Michigan Canal
  6. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Colorado
  7. Muir Woods National Monument, California
  8. Will Rogers Historic State Park, California
  9. Horsetail Falls Trail, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
  10.  Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington

If hiking with little ones, Catherine Ercanbrack of HikingChix.com reminds you to look for family hikes with High Wow to Low Effort ratios, targeting short hikes with big payoffs and stretching distances gradually on subsequent hikes.

Recent Roadschool Moms guest, Survivalist Expert, Gregory Davenport, shared his tips for safely exploring the great outdoors in an episode called, “Preparing Your Family for Outside Adventures”.  Be sure to catch the replay so you can be prepared for a great family adventure!

 

 

 

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