Hi! I'm Carmina, also known as Nana. I love DIY projects, parties, crocheting, and traveling. I hope that you enjoy my posts and find them useful! If you have any ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear from you! Visit us at http://www.savvynana.com/
I'm fairly certain that when most folks think about Athens the first thing that comes to mind is the Acropolis, that world renowned hilltop city that is home to the iconic Parthenon. And why not? Almost all tours books about the city boasts a perfect shot of that famous temple dedicated to the goddess Athena on its cover.
Athens is more than just the Acropolis. (Tn case you're wondering Acropolis literally means city on a hill, it is not the name of the ancient buildings built there. The historic structures on the Acropolis each have their one name depending on their use, the Parthenon and Erectheion are the most popular.) Athens is a bustling modern city built around ancient historic sites. There are many things to see and do in this great city, specially if you're a history buff.
But what about kids? What you may ask does Athens have to offer kids? Well, we've taken our kids and grandkids to Athens many times and they love it! Traveling with kids is the best way to expose them to different cultures, cuisine, and people; and Athens is a great classroom. Not only do the ancient sites bring history to life for kids (that's what my grandson Dion tells me), it encourages them to learn more about the culture.
Here are 5 kid friendly activities to do in Athens. You might want to read a few Greek mythology books to the kids before you go, we always do!
Climb the Acropolis and let the kids scramble among the rocks. Just be sure they don't cross the barriers around the structures.
Take a tour of the Panathenaic Stadium. This stadium is built of fine marble. It hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and was one of the venues during the 2004 Olympics. Sports fans will love the tour. Not only do you tour the venue, you get a glimpse of all the tunnels under the stadium!
Visit the Acropolis Museum located at the foot of the Acropolis. This is a great museum to visit after a trip up the Acropolis. The museum is dedicated to all the artifacts that were discovered on the Acropolis. It is home to many of the statues that adorned the various buildings of the citadel. The kids will love the entrance to the museum. They'll love walking on the glass floors where they can see a current archaeological dig. Then peek over the sides to see more of the dig.
Grab a free Family Backpack from the museum and set of on the trail of exhibits to complete the challenges. It's fun and educational too! Our kids thought the Caryatids (6 statues of Maidens that supported the south porch roof of the Erectheion) were really cool!
Spend a couple of hours wandering thru the galleries of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The kids loved seeing the statues of their favorite mythological heroes. They thought the bronze fragments from the Antikythera mechanism and the golden death mask of Agamemnon were pretty cool too!
Wander around the Plaka! This historic Athens neighborhood is built of the slopes of the Acropolis. It's the historic heart of Athens that incorporates a maze of streets with ancient sites, neoclassical architecture and monuments, shops, restaurants, and more. The kids love browsing thru the shops and picking out their souvenirs; statuettes of Greek heroes for Dion, toy swords for Devon, and handmade wooden toys for Jett!
EAT! A trip to Athens, or anywhere in Greece for that matter, wouldn't be complete without sampling the region's delicious cuisine. You'll find many great restaurants, cafés, and tavernas in the Plaka and surrounding districts. Our favorite dish is Chicken Souvlaki!
What's your favorite family activity in Athens? Drop a note and let us know!
I just returned from a week visit in Humble, Texas. I've always thought that Texas, specifically the Houston area, is a restaurant Mecca. The roads are lined with a plethora of fast food joints, family owned eateries, and more. It's hard to decide what to eat, but I know for sure you'll never Humble. We had a busy week, between throwing up a last minute Cookie Buffet for my sister's birthday party, and food tastings for my mom's upcoming milestone birthday, I can't say I had much time, or room to wander Houston's food scene. I did however manage to eat, and drink at a few great spots. I'm not the biggest barbeque fan but dinner at Spring Creek Barbeque was great! This neighborhood restaurant on FM1960 in Atascocita offers up barbequed meats at generous portions and a self serve bar of sides that include delicious potato salad, cole slaw, green beans, and more. Not to mention the unending yeast rolls delivered to your table fresh from the oven. I had their marbled beef brisket, it was melt in your mouth goodness. Good food and friendly staff, this barbeque joint is definitely worth a visit next year. I love a good cheeseburger! I'm always in search of a good burger joint. I'm not a burger snob and don't care about ambiance as long as I get a great burger. From fast food to gourmet burgers I'll try them all. My recent favorite fast food burger is from In and Out, last week I had my first cheeseburger at Five Guys. It was love at first bite! This tasty greasy burger definitely filled my needs. Is it healthy? I'm certain it's not, but it sure tasted great. The fries were good too! For the price of about $5 for a small cheeseburger it's well worth it. I will surely be back there next summer. For some home style Italian dining we headed to Italiano's in Humble. This busy restaurant serves up Italian comfort food such as Canelloni, Pizzas, Parmagiano, and more. The generous portions, moderate prices (lunch comes with a salad and starts at $5.95), and friendly staff puts this on our list of places to eat when we're in town.
For late night drinks in a laid back place The Tasting Room in King's Harbor is the place to go. The out door seating overlooking Lake Houston is a great place to hang out and chat over some good wine.
This wine cafe also serves up tempting dishes, but we were too full to try any this time around. Their peach sangria was yummy.
Proof Rooftop Lounge is a great bar scene. Located in Houston this rooftop venue has comfortable seating, pours great drinks, offers a nice menu, has dancing, and a great view of the Houston skyline. The atmosphere is definitely vibrant. A must visit when in town.
I know when you hear Hawaii images of beaches and palm trees swaying come to mind. I doubt you think “waterpark”. Yes, Hawaii is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. And yes when you visit or live on the islands you will definitely find yourself at one of our world famous beaches, it's what we're known for! But when you have kids to entertain, and even if you don't, a waterpark maybe just what you need. Hence a trip to Wet 'N' Wild Hawaii is a good choice.
Wet 'N' Wild Hawaii is Oahu's one and only waterpark. Located in Kapolei on Oahu's Leeward side the park isn't huge, but it's packed with slides, pools, and other fun water attractions.
My family recently spent the day at Wet 'N' Wild Hawaii. We took my twin grandkids, Sadi and Harper, 20 months old, their cousin Chase, 2 years old, and my grandsons Dion, 13, and Devon, 8. All of them had a blast! Wet 'n' wild hawaiiThe toddlers enjoyed the Keiki Kove, the children's splash zone. Keiki Kove was just their speed! It's filled with small slides, spraying water, and Sadi's favorite, the mushroom shower.
Devon loved the Water World Playground. It's got the giant water bucket that dumps water each time it's full, some fun slides, and other water activities. Dion and the adults had a great time on the moderate and extreme rides including the Tornado, Island Racers, and Waianae Coasters. And we all loved the Kapolei Kooler, the park's lazy river.
Here are a few things you need to know for your day at Wet 'N' Wild Hawaii!
From Waikiki – take the H-1 West towards the airport, it's about 20 minutes away from the airport so continue on H-1 to exit 1E. The entrance to the parking lot is on the right (mountain side)
From the Ko'olina Resorts (including Disney's Aulani) – Take HI-93E to exit 1B to HI-93W (in Makakilo) this will take you back to the parking lot, it will be on your right.
General Admission $49.99 + tax Junior Admission (under 42″) $37.99 + tax Senior Admission (ages 65+) / Handicapped $37.99 + tax Children 2 years and under FREE Local Residents with a valid Hawaii State or Military ID $34.99 + tax
Right now thru the August 31, 2016 there is a Ka'amaina Special – Wednesday only $25 for Adults & Juniors with a state ID. Admission tickets don't include parking, special events, cabanas, lockers, personal tubes, mini-golf, or the flowrider.
Parking: $8 for private cars
You may not bring outside food in to the park, they check bags before the gate. You may bring water. Windjammer Cafe has a variety of fast food choices (it's pretty pricey for mediocre food! Large Soda $4.99, french fries $6.99, chicken fingers with fries $9.47)
Carts around the park sell lemonade, ice cream, and snacks (Dip 'N' Dots ice cream small cup $4.99) Sweet Spot Flow Bar sells alcoholic drinks to adults, the smoking section is nearby.
Lockers are located behind the Guest Services Counter. You can rent them from the machines in front of the lockers. Small locker (will barely fit a backpack) $13, Large locker (2 backpacks) $18. You can also rent personal tubes at the counter. Look out for specials, they seem to be always running them! Or you can buy a season pass for the price of the General Admission. (you can upgrade this for $25 to include parking, mini-golf, and other things).
Mykonos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It's part of the Cyclades group of islands.
Mykonos is a popular cruise ship port and is famous for its glamorous party atmosphere made popular in the 1960's by Jackie Kennedy Onasis, Sophia Loren, and other famous icons of the time. Today it attracts the trendy crowd of Hollywood elite including Madonna, Tom Hanks, P Diddy, and Sara Jessica Parker, as well as famous designers like Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Mykonos is trendy and chic; it attracts singles who want to have fun in the sun in the many beaches that have lively bars and cafes. It's still a magnet for Greek and international celebrities who flock to the island in the summer, attracted by the trendy bars, stylish cafes, upscale restaurants, and fashionable boutiques in the cosmopolitan island atmosphere.
If you're looking for romance there are many ocean view restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can have a drink or a meal with your significant other. Or if you prefer a quieter spot there are many places in the island's picturesque towns. If you're a family looking for ways to entertain kids of different ages read on! Here are some kid friendly activities for the whole family on the island.
Everyone, or nearly everyone loves beaches! There are many on the island. But if the kids are with you opt for the family beaches such as Platis Gialos, Psarrou, or Kalafatis just to name a few. All of these beaches have restaurants, watersport rentals and activities, and lounge chair and umbrella rentals.
Most beaches on Mykonos can be easily reached by bus or taxi. If you're on a cruise ship and only have a few hours on the island you can book a shore excursion from the ship that will take you to one of the family beaches. Or you can catch a taxi at the main square in Chora, the town closest to the ports or a bus from the local station. Taxis are very limited on the island and if there are several ships at port you may find a long cue for a cab.
Older kids and adults might enjoy a visit to Delos. Delos is another island of the Cyclades group. Today it's a important archaeological site that encompasses temples, markets, houses, and the famous Terrace of the Lions statues. The island's archaeological museum houses many of the artifacts found from excavations of the site.
If you've had enough of the beach and are looking for something to eat you don't have to go far before you run into a cafe, restaurant, or snack bar. There are many restaurants along the ocean front in Chora, but for a quick gelato we like to take the kids to one of the snack bars in the middle of town. That way the kids can have their gelato while the rest of us shop.
Speaking of windmills, the kids love hiking up to the windmills on the other end of town. The like to run around the wide open space by the windmills. It's a good spot to let them burn off some excess energy.
For the more adventurous how about renting some quads? My daughter and her husband love to run around the island on these vehicles. Last time they took my grandsons Dion and Devon while my husband and I stayed in town to hang out with then 10 month old Jett. The rental company is located at the end of town, one street up from the main street that runs along the coast. You can rent them hourly for by the day. Helmets are provided with each vehicle.
Whatever you decide to do on Mykonos save some time to relax! It's a wonderful island filled with friendly people, and delicious food!
Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is arguably one of the greatest cities of Europe. Walking around this city is like walking thru an outdoor museum filled with iconic sculptures, paintings, and architecture. Every where you look I'm sure you'll catch a glimpse of something beautiful.
Florence is definitely an art lover's dream. Works by the great Renaissance Masters are housed within the museums in the city; the most famous being Michelangelo's David in the Galleria dell'Accademia and Botticelli's “Birth of Venus” at the Uffizi Gallery. And let's not forget the Duomo whose magnificent red dome by Brunelleschi dominates the nearby skyline.
There are many things to do and see in Florence, but what about the kids? Sure it's a great time to introduce the kids to the great masterpieces, but realistically just how many museums can you drag them thru before their eyes glaze over and they get bored? I know even I get museum overload after visiting more than 2 museums, that's why we like to mix it up with other fun activities, specially if the kids are with us.
But don't worry, Florence is fun for kids too! Here are 6 activities you can enjoy with the kids while you're in Florence!
Go ahead introduc e the kids to the Masters in the Uffizi Gallery, then walk over next door to the Children's Museum in the Palazzo Vechio.
The Children's Museum brings the renaissance city to life with demonstrations of how the Medici lived and ruled. Or opt for a visit to the Palazzo Strozzi. The museum is designed to be very family friendly and offers tours and activities geared for its young visitors. You can pick up a free Drawing Kit from the information point or download a Family Kit before you go. The kit has games and activities you can play as it guides you thru the exhibits.
The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum is another museum the kids will enjoy. The small museum not far from the Duomo have interactive reproductions of some the machines and vehicles designed by the great renaissance genius Leonardo.
Skip the museums in the Pitti Palace and head straight for the Boboli Gardens. The Boboli isn't your ordinary garden. Here you'll find grottos, fish ponds, sculptures, and lush lawns. Before you go grab some paninos and drinks from the nearby delis and have a picnic lunch in the garden.
Climb to the top of the Duomo or the neighboring Bell Tower for some fabulous views of the city. You can buy a combo ticket that gives you access to all the attractions of the Duomo including the Baptisery, Crypt, and Dome. Reservations are mandatory if you plan on climbing the Dome, they are recommended if you plan to climb the bell tower.
Ride the antique carousel at Piazza della Repubbica. The kids and adults love it! I can't even remember how many times we rode it, the kids wouldn't get off! You can buy tickets at the carousel.