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    Sharing the recipe for fun family vacations

Today’s post is brought to you by North Dakota Tourism

With my 46th birthday less than a month away, the big 5-0 seems to be looming just on the horizon. As I think about that milestone birthday that is quickly approaching, I’ve set a goal for myself…which is to see all fifty states by the time or I hit fifty (or at least before 51!) Can I do it? Well I’m already at 35 states, so that just leaves 15 more to go. And in my “rulebook,” visiting a state ideally means staying overnight, but should at least include having a meal in a state – and airports don’t count. But no one is going to take those hours I spent driving west to east across Kansas and tell me that it doesn’t count as having been to Kansas, even if my only meal was some crackers from a gas station convenience store.

So that means visiting three new three states a year (if I want to give myself that fiftieth year.) Seems doable, right? This year I already know I’m adding in Montana and Wyoming. But as I look at the states that remain (Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, New Mexico, Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Alaska), I need to ask myself, what do I really want to do in these states? Some are easy (New Mexico, South Dakota and Alaska I’m thinking of you!), but others I just don’t know enough about.

When North Dakota Tourism approached me to write about planning a roadtrip through North Dakota I was happy to take up the charge. I’ve wanted to research this anyway for my 50 by 50 challenge. And one glance through North Dakota’s Instagram feed was enough for me to say yes…this is a place I want to visit. Bison roaming, Northern Lights glowing, starry skies shining, stunning sunsets, rocky vistas, dinosaurs, cowboys, and more saying…come explore.

Luckily the Northern Dakota Tourism website makes planning really easy as they have tons of ideas for themed road trips from National Parks to outdoor adventure to golf or family fun. Read More

This is a guest post from my friend Jen Reyneri, founder of the Faith & Family Travel Community, WordTraveling.com. Jen says “I’m so grateful to guest post here on We3Travel for the 31-Days of “Vote for Travel” on Word Traveling. All month, you’ll have the chance to hear from some of the best authorities on family travel and to win an incredible getaway for your family to the gorgeous Beaches of Ft. Myers/Sanibel

We’ve visited and lived in wine regions all over the world, many of them with one or both of our boys in tow. I’m grateful to share with you my top tips for visiting wine country with kids, wherever in the world, or the States, you may roam.

You see, I’ve spent nearly half of my years in the wine business. Except, I’m not in the wine business. My husband Luis is. He is deeply rooted in his passion for the art of winemaking. And with almost twenty years together, over ten of those as his study partner for some excruciating wine exams, you could say I have a developed palate. He’s always said, “behind every successful man is a strong woman.” I guess that makes my wine knowledge strong, kind of an expert by osmosis.

Through his oenological pursuits, Luis is the most well-rounded man I’ve ever encountered. His knowledge of world culture, history, geography, geology, business practice and even weather patterns and conditions is worthy of a Ph.D. in global studies. He’s funny, articulate, compassionate, entertaining, driven, a polyglot, and he’s taken me, and our family, around the world because of wine. Perhaps it’s even how I became a travel writer. (Can you tell I love my man? Today marks our fifteenth wedding anniversary, and this article is for him.) Read More

If you are visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park near Philadelphia, you are probably there for a little history. Maybe you’ve combined your trip with a visit to historic Philadelphia or nearby Lancaster or Gettysburg. But if you can add an extra day into your trip, there are some hidden gems that are worth getting off-the-beaten path. Here are some ideas for things to do in Valley Forge Pennsylvania. Read More

When you think about theme park food, you think hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and various fried and sweet treats. Granted, some theme parks have jumped onto the healthy food wagon recently. Quite literally at Universal Orlando where you can find fruits and veggies on wagon carts throughout Harry Potter’s Wizarding World. But dining…at a theme park? Not a term you would usually associate with amusement parks, but dining at Universal Orlando can be a treat, especially if you step outside the park to eat at Universal CityWalk.

As you may have picked up on with previous posts, food is an important part of our vacation experience. We try to find local favorites when we can, but sometimes convenience is key. During our trip to Universal Orlando last year, we stayed at Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort to maximize our time in the park so we really didn’t want to waste time heading into downtown Orlando for dinner. Since we were all about the Harry Potter experience, a meal at either the Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron was a must. But we wanted to have one “special” meal during the trip and luckily CityWalk at Universal Orlando has plenty of options. From quick service to fine dining, CityWalk has over a dozen options including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food and more.  Read More