Our Family Travel in 2012

Family Travel: Stone Mountain Park Atlanta

Happy New Year 2013

My favorite post that I love to write each year and I have been consistently keeping it up for all 4 years of blogging is our family travel year end review post. With a lack of posting in the past few months, it’s surprising for me to see that we have done quite a few adventures this year. I can’t say enough of how bless we feel to be able to afford the chances to explore the world with our family. I hope you will find this post not as a bragging on ‘hey-see-where-I-go’ but more of an inspiration to create your own family adventures with your family.

JAN: Appalachian Ski Trip, Blowing Rock, NC

 

Family Travel: Appalachian Ski with Kids

We continued our ski-bug-bite from the previous year trip to Keystone resort with family ski trip with a group of friends to Appalachian Ski resort in North Carolina. The ski resort is nothing compared to the Colorado mountain but it’s the companionship that made the trip. Kids enjoyed playing in the snow when we got snowed in for a day and had a blast on the slopes the next day. It’s a great alternative for us to get some ski time near Atlanta area.

FEB: Cataloochee Ski Trip, Maggie Valley, NC

 

Family Travel: Cattaloochee Ski with kids

Yet another short ski trip from Atlanta to satisfy the kids new favorite sport. For a beginner in skiing, the Cattaloochee ski resort in North Carolina area is perfect for us. The within-driving distance from Atlanta, low-key ski resort, more affordable lift ticket and ski rental are great for us to learn how to master our skill after learning from Keystone Ski school. But we know eventually we will need to plan a proper ski trip out West or even further up North for them to enjoy. But this trip was yet another successful fun trip for them. It goes to show that traveling with kids doesn’t have to be fancy.

MAR: Legoland Discovery Center, Atlanta, GA

 

Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta with Kids

In March, we explored our own backyard and checked out the newly opened Legoland Discovery Center in Atlanta. With a boy whose currently toys collection consisted of only LEGO, it was beyond happy for Mr. Z.

APR: Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL

 

Disney with Kids- Disney's Art of Animation Resort: Playground

This month, we were invited to attend Disney Social Media Mom celebration in Disney World and got a chance to get a sneak peek at their new Disney’s Art of Animation resort, a great new addition to Walt Disney World resort that we plan to stay on our next trip.

APR: Stone Mountain, Atlanta, GA

 

Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta with Kids

During Spring break, we stayed in town and visited Stone Mountain park to check out their new attraction, the Geyser Towers. Kids had fun on the hot day.

JUN: Month long visit to Thailand

 

Phuket with Kids, Phuket, Thailand

The summer of 2012, we spent 2 months in Thailand with my family. It will take us a while to write about our visit. We took several side trips from Bangkok to Hua Hin, Rayong, Phuket and Ayutthaya. It was one of the highlight for us to be able to spend a big chunk of time with cousins and relatives.

JUL: Hong Kong

 

Family Travel: Hong Kong with Kids

With our long stay in Thailand, we took advantage of cheap airfare from Air Asia and went to Hong Kong for a few days. We explored the island slowly and enjoyed our time walking, eating and sightseeing.

JUL: Singapore

 

Family Travel: Singapore with Kids

On our way back from Thailand, we had a stopover in Singapore for a few days. My family flew there with us and we had a great time checking out Universal Studio Singapore and eating chilli crab. It was a short yet sweet trip for us to end our summer in Asia.

SEP: Anniversary trip to Savannah, GA

 

Trip to Savannah, Georgia

We escaped for a couple trip to Savannah to celebrate our anniversary. I fell in love with this historic mossy town. We plan to bring the kids back with us later this year. After all, Miss J is a girl scout so she has been asking about a visit to Savannah for a while.

After that, we have been staying put in town. I guess the months long trip to Asia has done it for us. It makes me realized that I love to travel but I also love to be home in my own bed, taking my dog for a walk and having coffee with my friends. So the last quarter of the year was all about friends and parties.

It has been yet another blessed year for us that we can continue to pursue our love of travel and adventures with our children.

So here come 2013, we are excited to the new adventures. What are you most exciting about your 2013 plan?

 

And if you have free time, you can check out our family travel in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

 

Photo Friday: Ruinas De Sao Paulo

This photo could have been taken in anywhere in Europe. But the truth is this ruin is in Macau – The Asia Sin City. It’s amazing how history has different trace of how small our world is. This is part of the old ruin of St. Paul church in Macau. We visited here during our trip to Hong Kong and Macau in 2007. It was one of the fun and crazy trip for us. With 6 children and probably 15 adults, I felt like we just flew by this amazing city.

Macau has a lot of Portugal influence as we can see it throughout the city. The food, the architechture, the culture.. A small city but very big personality. It’s called ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ for a good reason. They have several big casinos throughout the city. One big difference I would say is the smoking. This is not by any mean a family-friendly city. The casinos are full of smokers. The restaurants mostly have no separate rooms for non-smoking. You pretty much have to walk pass the smoke-filled room to the corner of the restaurant.

However, the other aspect of the city is amazing. It’s a great city to walk around and learn about Macau history. So I will think a family with older kids would really appreciate learning how East culture meet West culture and co-exist nicely.

Check out other Photo Friday participants around the world at Delicious Baby.

WW – Night Life in Macau

The Sin City of Asia – Macau. This is the famous Casino Lisboa. I was told that half of the casinos here own by only one man!

Check out other WW participants here.

Our Trip to Macua and Hong Kong

This year we will not be going back to Thailand since we just went there last year (Feb 2007). But it seems like a lifetime ago that I went back. With a family of 4, it’s very difficult (financially mostly) to make a trip every year. I would love for my kids to be able to go back every year to see my mom, my sister, my brothers and their cousins (2 so far and 1 on the way). All my family members are in Thailand so that’s why I make it my goal that we will be going back at least once every two years.

Last year trip was a blast. We made a plan to have a small trip within that trip to also visit Hong Kong and Macau. My sister and my brother took care of all the arrangement with the tour company from Thailand. It was probably the good idea for us since it was like a family reunion trip with all ages range from 60 something to about 6 months old. So having a tour guide that provides transportation, accomodation and food made the trip more manageable.

We spent our first night in Macau. With the jet lag and small kids, we didn’t go explore too much. I think it’s one of the place for more adults than kids. Also one thing that hinder my fun is smoker!! They are everywhere… In the restaurant, public place… So needless to say, I don’t plan to go back to Macau again anytime soon.

Don’t get me wrong. There are other stuffs to see around Macua as well. There are several nice architechtures from the old day during Portugal influence.

Ruinas de Sao Paulo is the old ruin of St. Paul church. It has some history behind it but when you traveled with 2 young kids with less than 5 hours sleep then the history went out the window. So just search online to get more info for any history bluffs who want to know more.

Then there was also Largo do Senado (in which we visited at night). It was at the square with a lot of historic building. We went there during Chinese New Year so we got the good advantage of the decoration. The Chinese New Year is probably one of the most celebrated for Chinese people.

And you can’t talk about Macau without mentioning Casino. Macau is considered the Vegas of Asia. The casino here is as fancy and as big as in Vegas. But I think the people who come here are different. Vegas has both true gamblers and tourists. But in Macau it seems to be serious business here. We didn’t get into the casino because I can’t tolerate the smoke. But we did walk along the street to take in all the lights and unique structures. Everything in Macau is built based on the belief of Feng Shui. There are stories about how each building is designed in order to utilize the belief to bring in the most money.

By the way, traveling with tour guide has one downside. We tend to not paying attention on where you stay and where you eat or even where you go. After some digging, I just remember the name of the hotel that we stayed in Macau. It’s the Golden Dragon Casino. It’s right in front of the Fisherman Wharf. Very nice area…