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Archive for the 'Family Travel' Category

TRAVEL Q&A: Special Needs Camping

Baby blocks (Stock.Xchng Photos)We’ve got travel guru Donna Airoldi, from the fabulous TravelMuse site, back with us and ready to tackle another set of family quandaries. Read on for special needs camping suggestions, then check back in two weeks for the lowdown on Olympic travel and, um, pinched fingers.

Q: We have a disabled child, and we’d like to go camping. What are our best options?
– East Bay Mom

Hot type A (Stock.Xchng Photos)Donna says: As with a lot of travel advice, it doesn’t hurt to begin by asking those around you for recommendations. Check with your doctors, teachers and parents of children with similar disabilities.

If you’ll be visiting a national park, be sure to review the National Park Service Web site to see what services are offered and how accessible the parks/campsites may be. Also, NPS has a National Accessibility Achievement Award Program, and you can view the list of past winners and nominees to get a better sense of the most accessible parks.
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Posted on Sunday, October 26th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Adventure in Venice

The Dupuis Family in Venice
What could be more fabulous than an Italian jaunt? One that includes Venice, of course. The Dupuis family tells us how they did it, from gelato to dueling orchestras…
THE TRAVELERS: Aida and Tim Dupuis, and their children, Zach, 12, and Maia, 10, of Antioch.

THE TREK: After a 12-day Mediterranean cruise from Spain to Italy, the Dupuis family spent two perfect days in Venice.
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Posted on Sunday, October 12th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Penguins in Patagonia

Joyce Lee and Patagonian friend
This Fremont, CA, couple is expecting their first baby in December, so this jaunt to the other end of the planet offered one last chance to get away as a twosome – but you can’t tell us the search for penguins in Patagonia wouldn’t appeal to any family. Here’s the scoop…
THE TRAVELERS: Shawn Tzeng and Joyce Lee, Fremont

THE TREK: “We explored Buenos Aires by ourselves for 2 nights before taking a 13 night cruise from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile. Our last big trip before we ‘settle down’ — and we’re expecting a baby boy this Christmas!”

BEST BEDS: The Hilton Buenos Aires in the heart of Puerto Madero, a rejuvenated trendy district just a stone’s throw away from La Casa Rosada — the pink Presidential Palace made famous by ‘Evita.’
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Posted on Sunday, October 5th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Lakes & Glaciers in Yosemite

The Kiels at Dorothy Lake, Yosemite
This California family retraced a favorite trek with cousins, grandfather and other relatives in tow. Here’s the scoop on their favorite Yosemite destination, Dorothy Lake.
THE TRAVELERS: Dannie, 10, and parents Dan and Nancy Kiel of Pacheco, plus Dannie’s grandpa, Joe Hammon of Carson City, Nev., and uncle Jim Hammon and cousins Jamie, 12, and Justin, 10, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

THE TREK: We went to Dorothy Lake, a glacier lake, says Dannie, in the northern tip of Yosemite National Park. The area along the Pacific Crest Trail — accessible only by foot or livestock — was a family favorite hiking area. Grandpa wanted his grandkids to see where their parents spent many summers. The trek began at the Leavitt Meadows Pack station and was a 13-hour round trip by horse.
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Posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008
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TRAVEL Q&A: Dishing on Oktoberfest

Our family travel guru, Donna Airoldi from the fabulous TravelMuse site, tackles the next tourist quandary: Munich’s famous Oktoberfest, the two-week festival that celebrates beer, good food and revelry on a meadow covered in huge, elaborate tents.

Q: What week is better to visit Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany? The first week, when it is just getting kicked off? Or the second week when things are up and running? I have just started planning our trip for next year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
– East Bay reader

Hot type A (Stock.Xchng Photos) Donna says: A friend who lived in Munich for five years, and has returned to Germany several times for Oktoberfest, has this advice to offer: In terms of the weekdays, it really doesn’t matter. But weekends are very different experiences. Opening weekend, there are two parades: The first one takes places on the Saturday that Oktoberfest opens and it is the parade of beer wagons. On Sunday, it’s the parade showing traditional styles of dress from different regions of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. She says this is amazing to see and definitely recommends it.
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Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Kauai & Quirky Food Fun

LeBlanc Family on KauaiHawaii-bound? Susan LeBlanc and her daughter spent six days on the Garden Island of Kauai this summer, and while Susan’s daughter Nicole is now all grown-up, many of their discoveries would do splendidly for any family headed for Hawaii. So here’s the scoop – the Lappert’s coconut-macadamia ice cream scoop.
THE TRAVELERS: Paralegal Susan LeBlanc and her daughter, sales rep Nicole Roulette, Oakland.

THE TREK: Six days of wonderful mother-daughter time in a tropical paradise.

BEST BEDS: The Sheraton Kauai Resort at Poipu Beach. The island is so small, says Suan, that any destination is only a few hours away. From our balcony we could even see humpback whales breaching and spouting in the distance.

MEMORABLE MEALS: We loved the Savage Shrimp Truck — a truck parked at the intersection of Hoonani and Lawai roads, not far from the hotel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2008
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TRAVEL Q&A: Big Family, Small Room

Questions have been pouring in for our new family travel guru, Donna Airoldi of TravelMuse, and we’re ready to launch this new series! We’re starting with a question about big families and small hotel rooms, and a funny but oh-so-true query about children’s attention spans aboard airplanes. Check back next weekend for the lowdown on Oktoberfest.

Baby blocks (Stock.Xchng Photos)With a husband, myself and three kids of different ages, I always have to reserve two rooms or a suite due to hotel rules and regulations. How can a family of five stay together in a great location?
– East Bay mom

Hot type A (Stock.Xchng Photos) Donna says: A growing trend has been for large or extended families to book vacation homes, apartments or condominiums for their stay. It keeps everyone in one place with more space and separate bedrooms, a kitchen for cooking meals (which saves money), and provides a more live-like-a-local experience. Among the many sites that cater to vacation rentals…
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Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Moroccan Adventure

Jessica Mullins in MoroccoGot an adventuresome family? A recent University of Idaho grad shares her Moroccan adventure tips on what to eat, where to stay and what to do.

THE TRAVELER: Jessica Mullins, Mill Valley

THE TREK: “I traveled to the gem Chefchaouen, Morocco, with six peers from my study abroad program in Spain. Half the excitement of Chefchaouen is getting there – a ferry from southern Spain across the strait of Gibraltar to Africa, a walk across the border to Morocco (and) a grand taxi, which goes from town to town for fares comparable to a bus, to take us on the hour drive.”
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Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Backpacking to Pompeii with Teens

The Davis Family in Italy
Remember way back when teens backpacked across Europe? They still do – and this family did it as an all-guys trip. Foothill Middle School teacher Ron Davis took his four boys on a month-long jaunt from England to Italy, with stops in Germany, Holland, Austria and France.
The Travelers: Ron Davis Sr. and his teenage sons Ron Jr. and Cody, both at Northgate High, middle schooler Kris, and little brother Clayton, Walnut Creek.

The Trek: A month-long backpacking and camping adventure through Europe, with stops in Venice, Rome, Pompeii, Florence and Pisa.
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Posted on Sunday, September 7th, 2008
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FAMILY TRAVEL: Hogwarts & London

Celia Baula heads for HogwartsGot a Harry Potter fan in your life? Here’s how to see London, with tips from this week’s expert, Celia Baula.

THE TRAVELER: Celia Baula, project management consultant, San Ramon, and her sister

THE TREK: “For my 30th birthday, I decided to go to Europe with my sister. The bulk of my birthday trip was spent in Paris, but I decided to spend a day in London on my way back to the U.S. to dabble in the magic of Harry Potter.”

: “We stayed at Hotel Russell in Russell Square. It was really convenient because it was close to the Underground Station, and the British Museum is a few blocks walk.
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Posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2008
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