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Ever reminisce about the summer road trips you took as a kid? The ones with the terrible car singing, bagged lunches, moderate ac and fighting for space for hours on end? For some reason at the end of those trips, the final sights always faded into the background and what was left were the memories of those not-so-terrible car rides. That nostalgia led us to Niagara Falls. We’ve been there – multiple times as kids and new adults, but this time we wanted to create some of those same memories for our little girl Sofia (minus the bagged lunches) and to actually see the Falls.

This time around we went together with another ground of family friends. Probably one of the best decisions was to travel as a group. The hours driving melted away between the entertainment and chatter. Plus, being together brought more options for activities and experiences that we normally wouldn’t have considered alone. That being said, just make sure your friends share the same interest, and match your personalities or you will end up making some not so great memories 😉

Just at an eye level, the Falls are awe-inspiring enough. But, taking them in a thousand feet from above is something else. A lot of nice hotels offer the ‘falls view’ and we say take the plunge and get those rooms. We stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton and it offered breathtaking views of the Falls. At the end of the night, nothing compared to coming back to the room and just standing by the floor to ceiling windows gazing out. Or at sunrise watching the horizon come to life. Jaw-droppingly beautiful!

If the hotel view is not a priority, another way to experience the looking down option is to go for dinner at Skylon Tower. Arrive for sunset and stay to watch the fireworks. Situated along the lines of a fine dining experience there are many cool elements to the place such as the rotating dining room, the endless windows looking down at the beautiful imagery and the fact you have to take an elevator to get to the restaurant tower itself. Still, be aware the dinner itself can be mediocre so know in advance you are paying mostly for the view and experience.

One other thing that we did for the first time thanks to our friends suggestion was the boat ride into the falls. By far, the most fun part of the trip! If you feel that looking down at the falls is something extraordinary, wait until you are almost at the mouth of them and look up. Towering over you, the falls are enormous and can incite a good amount of exhilaration / fear. This experience really was something out of this world!

And of course if you have an extra day or two, head over to Toronto. About two hours away, explore the culture in this quaint city. A ton of dining, shopping, and exploring options set within a tight city radius. We had amazing lunch at this cute restaurant called Cibo a friendly local recommended. But with so many bars and restaurants, it looked like you could hardly go wrong picking a place.

So who’s ready to head north? Happy exploring friends!

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Niagra Falls

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A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

A fairytale family summer vacation in Cartagena Colombia

Every time we plan to take a trip anywhere in the world, the first question we ask ourselves is when is the best time to go there? What will the weather be like? Is it going to be the most picturesque at the time of our visit?

Our Cartagena trip was planned during the summer. We found that this time of they year opens up a variety of travel destinations complete with beautiful weather and ease of having our daughter off from school. Choosing Cartagena as a destination for summer was quite easy because average temperatures in Cartagena staying consistent throughout the year. It’s ideal for a beach and shorts getaway.

If you guys remember, last year we planned a trip with our daughter to Banff, Canada around the same time. However, this year we wanted to do something different for her and focus less of nature and more on culture. Cartagena was the perfect fit with old town charm, history, local air and extremely safe. Everything (almost!) could be walked to within the walled city. Or you could always grab an Uber or taxi.

We decided to split our stay with one closer to the beach for a couple of days, and the second half within the walled city of old town. I think it was one of the best decisions we had made. Our first stay was at Conrad Hilton Cartagena with walking distance to the beach, and only half an hour of drive to old town should you choose to go. The second part of our stay was the Bastion Hotel right at the heart of the old town with a gorgeous view of the town right from the pool. It was just magical.

There is so much to explore in the old town. The colors and sights are just amazing. Most photos we took in the morning hours and the rest of the day we would spend just soaking it all in as much as we could. We walked a hundred miles around the city over the course of the trip and ate at so many wonderful places, you really can’t go wrong no matter where you go or what you do! If you love ice cream, wine, fresh fruit, and seafood – this place is for you!

The old town of Cartagena inside the city walls is simply gorgeous. We recommend exploring the close by islands or head out of town on a nature tour. Throughout the entire trip, we never felt unsafe or didn’t meet a person who wasn’t ready to help us. We strongly approve a trip to Cartagena, Colombia with or without kids!

Send us a message with any specific questions! Happy Travels!

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Jamaica travel ideasJamaica Vacation Jamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideasJamaica travel ideas

Carefree afternoons filled with sun and sand fill my treasure trove of childhood memories. Growing up in Poland, we didn’t exactly have gracious beaches and luxury pools dotted with exotic palms. What we did have was a massive pile of sand deep in the woods where I’d spend hours shaping figments of my imagination into some form of reality. Cousins were nearby along with friends and that was all that mattered. That and the sand. So many hours, so many days where sand was in my hair, eyes, nails – some of the best times growing up!

If you’ve been following along for a bit, you’ll know that annual family vacations are a big thing. My goal is to bring my daughter to a place where she can be just as carefree as I was in my childhood. In a way I want her to have the best afternoons – carefree and full of sand! My goal is for us to  connect as a family in a fun, loving way. It’s a blessing to be able to do this, and I feel grateful that I’m able to add some building blocks of love in our family’s collective sphere of memories every year.

This year we packed up and headed off to Jamaica! Jamaica did not disappoint in any way (so if you are ever treated to some aversive recommendations, take them with a grain of salt!). Some of the friendliest locals we found in Jamaica out of all the Caribbean islands along with most mellow weather. Also, on a side note, a week might be a little long to sit by the pool and beach. We added to our trip some adventure excursions to see and climb waterfalls, take riverboat ride on the Black River to meet and greet (?!?) crocodiles and eventually relaxing on a catamaran ride alongside some scuba diving and serious rum punch.

Today I might not be a child anymore, but who can say no to sand and sun? Throw in some jacuzzi time, jerk chicken and that infamous rum punch, I’m the happiest as when I was diving headfirst into that pile of sand back in Poland. As they say in Jamaica, “Life is irie!”

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Jamaica with Iphone
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  • MarekApril 26, 2019 - 3:05 pm

    Thanks so much for this epic post of Jamaica!! I wasn’t sure I want to visit it but now Jamaica is on top travel list.ReplyCancel

    • fancyrulesMay 22, 2019 - 3:20 am

      Thank you so much, Marek! We had a wonderful time. Jamaica is a beautiful country you really shouldn’t miss it!ReplyCancel