Thursday, July 30, 2009

I found the perfect stroller built for two! - PRODUCT REVIEW

During a recent trip to Disneyland Resort, I noticed that many moms were using stand and sit strollers. For those unfamiliar with the concept (as I was), one child sits in the front seat just like a traditional stroller, and there is a platform between the seat and the handles for a second child to stand and ride. The idea seemed fantastic. I was eight months pregnant with my second child at the time, and wondered if this was a product I would need one day. With the summer travel season upon us, that day has arrived and with the amount of traveling that my family does (and the amount of visits to amusement parks), a stand and sit double stroll was on my list of purchases before our next trip.
After reading many reviews and trying several strollers at local stores, I settled on the Joovy Caboose Ultra-Light. As the name suggests, the Caboose Ultra-Light is a solid and well engineered stroller, but weighs only a modest 21 pounds, which my husband appreciates. It is much easier for me to load and unload from the back of the family minivan than other strollers we have used, especially when my husband is not around. The stroller is easy to fold and unfold, and stores easily. It also has a padded and sturdy platform where my son can sit when he gets tired of standing. Besides being well built, the best praise I can give this stroller is that my two year old loves it. Being able to stand behind his brother while we stroll gives him a sense of empowerment. When he rides, the look on his face tells me that he thinks he is the king of the world, and for me, that is the highest praise I can give any product. I found a great website that sells these strollers. They have the best price I have found, offer free shipping and they are part of CSN Stores, the third-largest online retailer of home goods in the U.S. (and my favorite online shopping websites). With active kids like mine, I'm so thankful that I finally found the perfect stroller! Click here for more info.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We want to hear from you!

Are you a military family that has recently taken their summer vacation? If so, we want to hear from you. We are looking for guest bloggers - military families - that would like to share their adventures with us. We want to know where you went, what you did, what cool things you found, where you stayed...we want to know it all! Email us at and let us know you would like to be a "Guest VA-cation Blogger". We hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Formal Introductions!!

We, at, are very excited to introduce to you our newest travel experts. You've met Katie, but here's a small introduction of her family written by her Air Force pilot husband Kent. Kent and Katie (and family) will be our outdoor adventurists and international travel experts. Welcome Kent and Katie! We look forward to you writing about your many adventures.

Here's their bio:

Katie and I are a young military family with two kids, a three year old girl and a nine month old boy. We met in Estes Park, Colorado in 2003 where we hit it off immediately. Ever since that first meeting the military aspect of my life was like the gorilla you try to discretely keep in the corner – it inevitably tramps through everything and eats all the hors d’oeuvres. Although I got her number, the first time I called her was from Germany a little over a week later, I was TDY for over a month. After returning we started to date, but then I had to deploy for a few months and we continued via e-mail. Eventually I came home and we had some solid time together, at least enough to realize that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and hoped to figure out the finer details later. Katie grew up a military brat, moving all over the world, so jumping right in was second nature, like finding your childhood blanky, familiar and comfy (though stinky and ratty in places). Since then God has blessed us with two children and Uncle Sam has taken us through Europe for nearly three years – so we’re anticipating a return to the states soon. We’ve had a wonderful time when I’ve been around, trying to go and see some great spots. The more cities we see, the more we realize that the mountains and the outdoors are what truly call to us and our family. Let it go on the record – the Alps are exquisite, I have yet to see other mountains that surpass them, having both the grandeur, the sheer size and magnificence as well as the charm, they’re really amazing. Off that tangent, back to us. You see, although we love the mountains we’ve felt an obligation to go and see many of the cultural sites, the tourist sites that are immortalized in every movie and book. Had we not seen them we’d forever ask ourselves “How could we have been so close and never seen them?” We almost look forward to being back in the states where this innate feeling of historical/cultural responsibility to experience doesn’t exist for us. Our guilt free quest to see all the national parks and as many fourteeners as a family can safely climb will resume in full swing or least a little bit of a swing, seeing how our next duty station will most likely not be within 500 miles of a national park – but that’s alright, because like you, we love to travel.

Here's a sample of our adventures for the last year:

Jan 08 Colmar, France – Baden Baden, Germany

Feb 08 Chamonix, France

March 08 Morocco, Southern Spain, Gibraltar

April 08 Amsterdam, Netherlands

May 08 Rhine and Mosel River Valleys

June 08 Normandy, France for D-Day Celebrations, Palace of Versailles, Monet’s Home and Smith Rock, Oregon / Olympic Peninsula, Washington

July 08 Lauterbrunnan, Switzerland Camping

Dec 08 Prague, Czech Republic

Jan 09 Seattle, Colorado Springs

Mar 09 Haute Route, Switzerland (Hut to Hut Backcountry Skiing)

Apr 09 Neuschwanstein, Ceramic Shopping Nove, Italy, French Riviera and Monte Carlo

May 09 Berlin, Berchtesgaden, Germany (Eagle’s Nest) and Vienna, Austria

June 09 ……

If we can answer any questions or if you'd like to send us a note, write us at!

Stay tuned for Kent and Katie's newest adventure!

Monday, July 6, 2009

How to get a good deal

As this blog is a guide, we thought it'd be a swell idea to guide our readers on how to find great deals. We will provide plenty of deals here on the blog and on our site, however, finding good deals is something that anyone can do for any vacation, but it does take some time. The biggest thing?

Do some research.

Google the heck out of any vacation plans and look past the first few hits that come up. Once you find something that you think will suit your needs (car rental, vacation home/hotel/B&B, attractions, etc) find a phone number and give them a call. In this internet-led world we sometimes forget to make a phone call, but all too often sites won't advertise family or military deals so it takes a little one-on-one to discover such deals.

Also, look into last-minute deals. "Last-minute" is often defined as a week or less from the determined time of vacation, and these can often be pretty unbeatable. Again, a phone call may be in order, but the deals are always worth it.

Some other great places to find fab deals?, a vacation forum of other vacationers sharing their great finds, similar to above

Just remember, those site are for research only. When it is time to book your trip, contact the companies directly. You can usually find a much better deal. If their price is higher, tell them about the rate you found online. I have NEVER found an instance where they didn't match the rate.

And of course, when planning a trip, don't forget to check out for the latest and greatest.

On another note:

**Anyone looking for a contest? Go find your greatest photo of your pet on vacation and we'll tell you what to do with them in a couple of days.

Happy travels!


Thursday, July 2, 2009


We, at, are looking for advice on the best "Stand and Sit" double stroller. If you have tried one, and want to tell us about it, leave us your comment. One of the comments will randomly be chosen to win a fun prize so tell us what you think!