Archive for Travel

08 Nov 2015

Instructions for Grandma: How to Take Care of 4 kids for 3 days

No Comments Adventures, Kids, Lifestyle, Personal, Random, Travel

Dear Grandma (and Aunt Gina):

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for volunteering for the best three days of your life! Not only have you awesomely given me and Chance the opportunity to sit on a beach and do nothing for THREE FULL DAYS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, you have volunteered to lovingly take care of our not one, not two, not three but four beautiful children! Honestly, we can’t thank you enough and hope that you have an amazing time with the kiddos! (Could you please sign appendex 4 and return it with a notary stamp so that the contact is bound and we know that you won’t back out last minute? Thanks!)

I have put together a manual for you so that you’ll have a brief run down of events and schedules, important numbers, medical information, the children’s likes and dislikes, etc. so that way you are prepared for the three days you’ll be here! (It was all my pleasure and the least I could do!) I know you have a college education, two masters degrees and will retire this year from education, but things have changed since you raised me, and I just want to make sure you are properly trained to manage four kids…the right way.

It’s not too long (456 pages, single spaced with 10 appendices) and should be read prior to boarding the plane to visit! I have also taken the liberty to brief you here with some of the more top of mind things you should be aware of. I’ve made a brief outline of what is going on for the day, what your responsibilities are, the processes and procedures that take place so we won’t have many “Mr. Mom” moments…i.e “You’re doing it wrong.” Pretty straight forward really.

I’ve also included the links to instructional videos that you can reference if you have any questuons about how it actually should be done (what goes in each kids’ lunch, how to cut tomatoes, how to make an “Abby Grilled Cheese” or how to read “Pete The Cat” correctly (because if you don’t do it exactly right, Abby might just melt down and possibly explode!

If you remember correctly, I wrote you a four page letter abut 10 years ago when you had first offered to watch our first born child. I think we went to Vegas and I gave you an instruction manual for our then 9 month old. If I remember correctly, you told me you followed everything to a tee, so this should be like riding a bike!

So here it goes! Please make sure to print this out, take notes in the columns and have sticky notes readily available to be able to reference the items in the complete instruction maual that I have Fed Ex’d to you yesterday.

Wednesday

8am Arrival – Marisa to pick you up at airport

9:00am– Short breakfast meeting to go over any questions that may have arisen after reading manual. All notarized paperwork should be turned in.

10:00am– Short “how to go to the park” session with Abby to go over all playground rules and safety procedures when at said park. We will be going to one of the approved parks on the list (See appendix C for complete list of approved outdoor play spaces in Tampa)

11:00am-Return home to begin training. “How to Fix Abby Lunch” will be first on the schedule.

12:00pm– Training continues with “How to Put Abby to Sleep”. It is important to follow proper steps (on left side with blanket tag in hand) or the sleep process might not happen if not followed completely. We advise you take notes, pictures or video to remember.

12:15pm-Training continues with a house tour to guide you through where everything is.

12:30pm-Training continues with a “How to Cook Dinner” Tutorial. Approved menu options can be found on Appendix D in the Instruction Manual.

12:45pm- 12:55pm Lunch or Rest (one or the other)

1pm-Training continues as you prepare to get ready for afterschool pick up, homework, sport practices and afternoon chores.

1:15pm-Training continues with chore list expalniation. Please refernce appendex E for what chores are to be done daily.

1:30pm-Abby should wake up

2:00pm– Get ready to leave. Pack cooler with snacks for after school. Bring pencils to do homework in car.

2:10pm– Leave to start pick up routine

2:30pm–  Pick up #1: Shelby. Have a snack and do homework in car.

2:50pm-Pick up #2: Mia.

3:15pm– Pick up #3: Jake.

3:30pm– Arrive home.

3:45pm-Training continues with homework, dinner prep and after school activities.

5:00pm– After school activities begin. Please see appendix C for schedule of after school activities by day. Home work will need to be completed with each child individually. We find that the “new” homework takes twice as long and you might need to pour yourself a cocktail while assisting the children with their common core math homework. Should you need assistance in finding an answer (because you cannot understand the problem) we suggest you ask your Facebook friends for assistance. There is no other alternative.

  
7:00pm-Meal training. Please see list of organic, free-range and approved meal options. Dinner must be a 4-course meal, chosen from the approved list of meals and must be served at 7:00pm.

7:10pm– Training continues for clean up and bedtime routine.

7:30pm-Watch an approved show from the list of approved television shows (see appendix D).

8:00pm– Read books. The children may choose a book from the approved list (see appendix E). 

8:30pm-Bedtime. 

8:35pm-Laundry (washing, folding putting away), next day preparation-back packs, lunch prep, breakfast/ morning prep & house cleaning. Please see the checklists for each activity and follow accordingly.

11pm-Take Abby to the bathroom. Should you miss this step, there might be consequences as she is still potty training.

11:15pm-Sleep. But be aware that there might be middle of the night training as nightmares or accidents might occur.

11:30pm-Set alarm for 5am. Sleep

5am-Wake. Begin morning routine training. Coffee is mandatory. Please be showered and ready at this time and meet in the kitchen.

5:15am-Begin to finalize lunches and backpacks.

5:30am- Begin to prepare the children’s breakfast or homemade organic waffles, fruit, freshly squeezed juice and grass-fed bacon. 

6:15am- Wake the kids. 

6:30am– Make sure everyone is up and getting ready.

7:00am-Hair. You’ll have had to complete beauty school training in order to complete the desired French braids and fishtail braids that the three girls will need preformed on their hair. (This training should have been completed prior to arrival.)

7:30am-Final check.

7:35pm-Leave for school. 

8am-Drop off. Begin day with Abby.

REPEAT

———————

But in all honesty, none of this really matters.

  
 As long as my kids are in your care, you have my blessings to do things your way. You raised me just fine and I know you’ll have the most amazing time with these kids doing whatever it is you want to do.

I Hope you throw this list away. I hope you make memories with your Grandkids and that you have a most amazing time just hanging out. Take them out of school. Give them donuts for breakfast. Let them sleep in your arms. Let them know that you love them and make memories that they will cherish forever. I cannot thank you enough for watching over them. I love you to the moon and back, Mom. Have a great time with the kids.

Love, 

Marisa

19 Oct 2015

Fall in Florida

2 Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Travel

“It’s the most…wonderful time…of the year!”

We love October in the Fall! To be honest, it is trylu the best time to visit the state. It isn’t too cold. The skies are always bright blue. There is a slight nip in the morning air, but summer weather by the afternoon. No real rain storms to ruin your plans. I would highly recommend planning a vacation to anywhere in Florida in the fall.

We live in Tampa, obviously, so I’m sharing my favorite things to do in fall in my neck of the woods. We often travel to Orlando and Kissimmee too, so I’ll throw a few Central Florida things in there as well.

What to do first! In Tampa, there are so many options that I often get overwhelmed with what to do on the beautiful weekends. With so much to choose from, you’ll have to weigh your options and figure out what is age appropriate first, and go from there!

Family Fun

My top picks for the whole family are places and some events that happen each October in the Tampa area. The weather couldn’t be more beautiful, so it’s definitely a time to get outside and enjoy it!

Halloween Fun

If you have little ones and want to head out and experience this fun time of year with the kids in costumes, I love these events! You are sure to have an amazing time!

Adult Halloween Fun

And now for all you grown-ups that want to have some scary fun too, here’s a few more places you’ll love to visit (and I definitely will not be going with you.) Now, I will disclose, that I have had friends take their adventurous tweens to these, but that is your choice. I haven’t been in a long time, and my kids are not into scary. We will stick with family fun for now!

Hope you and yours have a Happy Halloween!

29 Jul 2015

Tampa Mama is Your Urban Insider for Tampa Bay: Tampa eBoats in Tampa’s Downtown

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Family Travel, Florida, Tampa, Tampa Bay, Travel, Travel Tuesday

  

I love showing off MY city! Knowing Tampa inside and out, I often have the opportunity to give an insider perspective for place I love to visit. I live close to Tampa’s Downtown and many know I can be found hanging out with my kids at events, museums or on the water.
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08 Jul 2015

Tampa Mama Named Top Florida-Based Mom Blogger

No Comments Family Travel, Lifestyle, Professional, Travel, Travel Tuesday

Flip Key Award Winner

Very excited to announce that I was selected as a “Top Florida-Based Mom Blog” by Trip Advisor’s Flip Key! Expert advice, great travel ideas always com from FlipKey blog where everyone can search for travel inspiration, destinations we love, insights for owners, and so much more! The FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 300,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home. Recommended by Travel + Leisure in the annual Villa Guide, you’ll definitely want to check them out the next time you are ready to book a vacation!

I’m excited to be a travel expert {soon} contributing about Florida travel for the Flip Key Blog so be on the look out for some great Florida travel content!
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27 Jun 2015

Tampa Mama on Vacation: Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine are Historic Florida

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Sponsored, Travel, Travel Tuesday

A beautiful place to visit on Florida’s Historic Coast. Ponte Vedra is just north of the historic St.Augustine, the oldest city in Florida. An escape to a beach less traveled and a wealth of history to learn about. A few pictures of what to expect when you visit. More to follow about our travels as we explore this luxurious historic coast, as a couple and with kids. Follow along with us as we travel for Trekaroo to this coast and learn more about its beauty!

Featured: Ponte Vedra Inn and Club

Beach: Ponte Vedra Beach at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club   
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18 Jun 2015

New York City at Night

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, New York City, Travel, Travel Tuesday

It’s the city that doesn’t sleep. Probably why we get along so well. It’s just so cool to walk around at…

Night. Bright lights will inspire you… They always have.
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03 Dec 2014

Christmas in NYC

4 Comments Family Travel, Holidays, New York City, Travel, Travel Tuesday

A weekend in pictures. Must visit places. Best if you sit back and enjoy New York City while you are here.

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For great travel deals to NYC click HERE!