A Look Back to Family Travel 2011

Although we are a few days into 2012, our recent family trip to Keystone resort is still fresh in our mind, the first ski experience on one of the best family ski resort in Colorado. So to keep up with our tradition, we have our review post looking back to our family travel last year. It was a fun year!

January: Snow in Atlanta

Atlanta Snow 2011 Snow Tubing

It’s not often or should I say NEVER that Atlanta metro area will get seven inches of snow in winter. So it was a real big treat for our kids to enjoy snow tubing (home-made style) at our own backyard. The snow storm in Atlanta shut down the whole city a whole week. For adults, the cabin fever started to set in but for kids it was like an unexpected winter break!

February: Indoor Water Park fun

Wilderness at the Smokies Tube Slides

We went up to Sevierville, Tennessee to help celebrate our friend’s birthday. An indoor water park at Wilderness in the Smokies is a great year round fun where kids (and adults) can enjoy swimming, sliding, surfing and more in the heated environment even in the middle of winter.

March: Mickey Memory with Disney Social Media Mom

Disney Grand Floridian Carriage

This month we drove down to our familiar vacation spot in Orlando to attend the Disney Social Media Mom 2011 where we learned, laughed and connected with bloggers. It was our first time staying at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa & Resort and it was an experience we won’t easily forget. Mr. Z also experienced a big kid ride and hooked on the roller coaster now!

April: Fun in Atlanta at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

In Spring, we stayed close to home and enjoy local  attractions in Atlanta like the Grand opening of new Dolphin Tale show at the Georgia Aquarium, the beautiful day at Piedmont Park for the Dogwood Festival

May: Birthday Celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest With Kids

This year we took another trip down to Orlando to celebrate Mr. Rojo’s birthday at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We hardly stayed at the Disney’s resorts previously because our family has a timeshare in Orlando but year 2011 we stayed in not just one but two property! And I have to say I understand why people keep going back year after year!

June: Summer fun in Seattle & Vancouver

Seattle With Kids - Waterfront

Our big summer trip this year was a two weeks trip to Seattle and Vancouver. It was a business/family trip combo. I attended TBEX 2011, the Travel bloggers conference, in Vancouver and we also enjoyed family vacation in Seattle.

July: Family Reunion in the Ozark & Side trip to St. Louis

St Louis with Kids Enjoy the Arch view

Our first family reunion was planned at the YMCA of the Ozark. It was wonderful for kids to meet and play with their cousins. We also took a little detour to visit St. Louis, MO. A fun day but not nearly enough to discover this gem in the Midwest.

August: Back to School

Summer time flew by when you had so much fun. Before we knew it, the kids were back in school. Yes, here in Atlanta we go back to school in August!

September: Myrtle Beach on Labor Day

Myrtle Beach with Kids: Kayaking with kids

Now, that kids are in school, we have to work around school holidays and take advantage of every holidays we can get. So we planned a short break during Labor Day weekend to visit Myrtle Beach. What a fun place for the whole family! We found that Myrtle Beach is not just a place for fun time at the beach or various family entertainments like MagiQuest but we could also enjoy nature like Kayak tour.

October: Fall Family Camping

In October, we had our first fall family camping trip with a group of our friends at Redtop Mountain Park. It was beautiful even though a bit too cold for this tropical girl. Kids, on the other hand, had no problem with the cold temperature at night when they had the whole park to explore. The water in the lake was too cold for anyone of us to dare going in. But we knew it will be a great place to camp again in the summer.

November: Legoland Florida

During the Thanksgiving break, we went to visit the recently opened Legoland Florida. Mr. Z was beyond happy to be able to ride in EVERY SINGLE ride at his height. Miss J loved being a big kid who could take her little brother on the ride without us. Ah!! A theme park where kids rule!

December: Ski & Snow at Keystone Ski Resort

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School near Denver

Our last but certainly not least family trip of the year was one of the memorable one for our whole family. It was their first time on ski and my first time learning to ski. One word, AMAZING trip! We certainly enjoyed our whole experience during our trip to Denver & Keystone. This will certainly be a place we would love to revisit again in the future.

Wow! I didn’t realize how much we have traveled this past year until I started this post. It certainly has been a blessing for us to be able to continue our love of travel and adventures. We are thankful for the opportunities we have been given and hope we will continue to be able to travel as a family in 2012. Here to more travel in 2012!

Photo Friday: Enjoy the St. Louis Arch View

St Louis with Kids  The ArchFamily trip to St. Louis will not be completed without a visit to the Arch, the landmark that stood tall above all other building by the Mississippi River. We had only 1 night in St. Louis as we were on our way home from our family reunion.

St Louis with Kids Enjoy the Arch viewMr. Z enjoyed laying down and viewing the Arch from the base. I loved the space where they could run wild.

See other travelers’ Photo Friday from Delicious Baby.

St Louis With Kids: Quick & Easy Lunch @ Imo’s Pizza

St Louis with Kids IMO pizza

Pizza has been a staple food in our household. On a busy school night when I ran out of idea or time to cook, I typically gave in and picked up from our local pizza.

During our quick jaunt to St. Louis this past summer for our family reunion, we got a taste of St. Louis pizza style. After a quick search on Yelp & TripAdvisor, it seems Imo’s Pizza is one of the best choice.

St Louis with Kids IMO pizza  MeatImo’s Pizza is the local chain that serves up original St. Louis style pizza. They have several locations in the area so it’s very convenient for us during our visit to the City Museum (one of the best and most fun museum EVER and I promise to write about our experience soon). We took a short walk from the City Museum to Imo’s Pizza Downtown on Washington.

The place looks bright and clean, perfect for a quick bite. We ordered at the counter and waited for our food.

St Louis with Kids IMO's Pizza - CheeseFor Miss J and Mr. Z, they will only eat Cheese pizza so Cheese pizza it is. I have to say I’m in love with St. Louis style pizza. The super thin, cracker-like crust pizza with Provel cheese instead of mozzarella that is cut into square pieces made it easier for the kids to enjoy. Plus I am not a big fan of thick crust to begin with so this pizza style satisfied me without making me felt too full.

St Louis with Kids IMO's Pizza Cheese SticksWe tried toasted ravioli which unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to take picture before it was gone! We also ordered cheese sticks which was a big hit for the kids as well.

Overall, it was a great lunch before we headed back home. Definitely a place to visit if you love pizza.

Check out other travelers’ food around the world from WanderFood Wednesday.

Imo's Pizza on Urbanspoon

5 Fun Things to Do with Kids in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis With Kids

Photo Credit: Pedrosz

We do not typically plan a trip without any research on things to do with kids in certain location. It helps make travel with kids easily to know in advance what options we have in a city. Even with just a short list of things to do already make planning that much easier.

We have a last minute trip coming up to St. Louis, Missouri so I have to do a quick research on what are fun things to do with kids in Saint Louis.

So here are our picks for 5 Fun Things to Do with Kids in St. Louis

The Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Photo Credit: Wroemance

It’s without a doubt a must-see and must-do on our list. The symbolic arch that stands tall in Saint Louis is also a Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. For us, it’s a another stamp we will collect in our National Park passport book. The visit to the base of the Arch is free but to get a great view of the city we plan to purchase a ticket for a Journey to the Top. We will also see if we can join the free ranger-led guided tour as well. Also we will heed Sarah from WanderOff.com advice on tips to visit the Gateway Arch.

The City Museum

CityMuseum St Louis

Photo Credit: Janet

A museum in the city that is housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company with the eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects? We are definitely there! The bonus is with a location in downtown area near the Arch, it’s a perfect location for our short visit in St. Louis when we have limited time in the city.

Citygarden Sculpture Park

CityGarden St Louis

Photo Credit: Ron,Ron,Ron

A quick stop at this oasis in the downtown seems like a good idea. The Citygarden is a green space blends art, architecture and functions into a park that the whole family can enjoy. We love visiting parks with unique characters like the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle and we are looking forward to checking out the sculptures in the Citygarden park as well. Plus reading Jodi from FamilyRambling.com about the Citygarden, Mr. Z already pointed out and said ‘I wanna see that!’

The Magic House

Magic House St Louis

Photo Credit: tafkabecky

I have read a couple reviews on the Magic House children museum and from what I gathered this place is HUGE. So we will probably visit knowing that we won’t be able to do everything and see all the exhibits. It’s a bit further from downtown but we will have car so it’s not so hard to get to. I hope the kids will leave without fuss even if we can’t see the whole place. Mara from Motherofalltrips.com has a great review post on Magic House.

The Saint Louis Zoo

Saint Louis Zoo

Photo Credit: tojosan

This highly recommended place to visit with kids are St. Louis long time resident Sarah from Wandering Off is a good stamp of approval for us. We put this on the list but might have to see if we will have enough time to visit this trip or for our future trip. The best part about this zoo? FREE admission for all. For budget family travel, this is probably the best part. But free admission doesn’t mean you will get dingy zoo. The Saint Louis Zoo is a well-maintained zoo with many family-friendly activities for kids as well.