If you read my back to school post you know that our family didn’t do too much this summer in terms of vacations or excursions. We did, however, get to do a few day trips. It’s amazing what you can find to do in a day all within a few hours’ drive; depending on where you live of course. With the age of the internet all the resources are at the tip of your fingers or in the palm of your hand with all the mobile devices. It’s amazing what you can find if you just spend an hour doing a little research. If you live in the West, Sunset Magazine is a great resource for day trips. Every issue has some great features. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so there is tons to do within three hours in any direction. Living here my whole life I sometimes take things for granted and forget all the exciting places to visit around me.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning Kerry and I were sitting having our morning coffee and thinking of what we should do. We didn’t have anything going on and didn’t want to just hang around the house all day. We knew the kids would get restless and one, if not both of us, would just end up working. Kerry thought of the Pinnacles; a great park with great hiking and caves. What kid doesn’t like caves. As a matter of fact, President Obama recently made it a national monument. So we got ready and grabbed a friend each for the kids and off we went.
What a great day. It was on a weekend so there was a bit of traffic and a lot of people at the park but everyone had a great time.
It made me think of few things to pass along for anyone thinking of going for a day trip. These tips are for hiking but can apply to most day trips.
5 tips for a day of hiking
- Make sure to pack good energy providing snacks and plenty of water
- Bring sunscreen
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide good traction for hiking
- Let someone know where you are going just in case
- If you are going somewhere with caves, bring a flashlight – they cost a pretty penny at the ranger station
Ok all you experienced day trippers and hikers, I would love to hear about your day trips and tips for them as well as for hiking.
VP & Dad
With the release of the Mini Travelmate we get a lot of questions about the Mini Travelmate compared to the original
Original Travelmate (QRKIDZ)
Travelmate model QRKIDZ. The Mini Travelmate is designed to serve the same purpose as the original; turn your toddler car seat into an airport stroller. Therefore the function of both products are the same. The differences are in the design and how they function.
The idea behind the Mini Travelmate is to provide a more compact and economical version of the original Travelmate. To accomplish this the large plastic plate has been eliminated from the Mini and replaced with two smaller cross plates. This reduces the weight of the product and minimizes the amount of raw materials needed for production resulting in a lighter and more eco-friendly product. The two cross plates provide a mounting place or the quick-release ratchet strap that is used to secure the car seat to the Mini Travelmate. In addition, the cross plates provide strength and stability. The other major difference is the Mini Travelmate has a metal support bar that folds down to provide support for the car seat. Car seats today are getting bigger and bigger and the support bar is designed to address that.
The design modifications’ net result is a lighter more compact and less expensive version of the Travelmate that delivers the same convenience and maneuverability.
See our QRKIDZ vs Mini Travelmate comparison chart for more details.
Check out our Travelmate Product Comparison Chart to see the differences between all the Travelmate products.
VP & Dad
I just can’t believe how fast the summer break goes by these days. It seems to get shorter and shorter every year. At this rate the summer break will only be a month long in a year or two. Usually by the end of July I am begging for the first day of school to get back in to a normal routine and get these crazy kids to settle down. It’s not even the end of July yet and we have already received our school supply list for the upcoming school year. Are you kidding me? I haven’t even settled in to summer yet. But this year we went to get the supplies right away. When I say we I mean Kerry. I hate school supply shopping. It seems to take forever and the list is so specific I can never find everything. We usually wait for the weekend before the start of school and everything is gone by then.
Back to the point of this. When I was in school I didn’t go back until after Labor Day. Now the kids are getting out 2/3 of the way through June and go back the week before Labor Day. Come on, they hardly have a chance to relax and enjoy the summer. Like I said, usually I can’t wait for school to start just to end the summer shuffle and actually get some real work done. Running Go-Go Babyz takes a lot of work which never really ends when you own the business. Doing it as a husband and wife with kids makes it even more difficult, especially in the summer. That being said, summer is when we get to spend some quality time with the kids and go on some vacations and excursions we can’t during the school year. This break has gone by so fast I forgot to plan much of anything. I haven’t even had a chance to take the kids to the beach this year. I love the beach and am rarely able to get there and it looks like it might be a beach-less summer for me.
The good news is I write this on the eve of our annual vacation with the whole family where we head to the hills for a while for some good old summer fun. The bad news is, it looks like this year the trip marks the end of summer. I guess if the summer breaks are going to get shorter I better start planning ahead better in the future.
Gotta go, gotta pack!
Happy Back to School!
VP & Dad
Source: Find A Babysitter
Riding the school bus can be a fun and exciting experience for kids who are getting their first taste of independence by making their own way to school. It can also be a dangerous situation for little ones that aren’t aware of the proper safety rules governing school bus transportation. Before walking your youngster down to the bus stop for that first big day of getting to school without being driven by a parent, make sure that she understands these ten safety rules.
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Good article on bus safety.
VP & Dad
Choices, choices, choices. No matter what you are shopping for these days you are hit with so many options that it can become overwhelming. I think choosing a baby product makes the process even harder for the simple fact that your baby is involved and everyone wants to make sure their baby is happy and safe. When Kerry and I were researching baby strollers for our first child we were overwhelmed with the different strollers. Not only were there so many different types of strollers but there were so many different brands with what seemed like a million different features, colors, etc. To make it easier we came up with three factors we thought were the most important for us to consider; budget, safety and function. We thought about these and came up with criteria for each category and continued our research. This allowed us to quickly eliminate many of the options out there. These three categories are, of course, not the only ones to consider but they served as a good starting point for us and think they will for you as well.
The particular order of each category is defined by your own personal needs and situation. Obviously, safety is an extremely important factor but may not be the first category to filter your search. For example, if you are working with an extremely tight budget then that might be the first step in narrowing your search. There might be a stroller you love and is one of the safest on the market but if you can’t afford it then it’s off the list. So to start, simply prioritize your categories then define your criteria for each. Below are some ideas for the criteria.
Budget – this should be pretty easy, just figure out the max you can spend on a stroller.
Safety – consider the following
- Safety Ratings
- Safety harness. Is it 5-point, adjustable, padded, have a safety release feature?
- Is it prone to tipping? Some strollers, especially 3-wheeled strollers can tip easily. Put some pressure on the exterior points of the stroller with your foot. Does it feel stable or like it might tip over?
- Is the canopy sufficient enough to protect your baby from the sun?
- Can the front wheels be locked or do they always swivel?
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea.
Function – consider what you will be using the stroller for most of the time so you can choose one that will serve you well. Consider the following questions:
- Will you be jogging with it? If so, make sure you buy one designed specifically for jogging.
- Will you need to transport it in your car often? If so, you will want one that folds up nice and compact and is easy to put in your car.
- Will you be taking it on most of your errands? Make sure it handles and maneuvers well and has storage.
- What style will best serve your needs? An umbrella, 3-wheeled, a double, etc.?
As I mentioned this is not an exhaustive list but should help as a starting point. The most important thing to consider is what your needs are in a stroller; What purpose you need it to serve most, what can you afford, what features are must-haves. Just starting with a few categories and some criteria for each you should be able to easily cross many stroller choices off your search list. Once you do a first pass, review and adjust as necessary. In the end we actually ended up with a few different strollers. We just couldn’t find the one stroller that did it all for us. We bought specific strollers to serve specific functions for us whether it was for our everyday stroller, our travel stroller or what we used on our local dirt trails. That is actually one of the reasons we at Go-Go Babyz designed the Travelmate Deluxe & Cruizer and the Wagon Stroller. These products were not designed to be the only stroller a family ever bought. They could be but we designed them to serve specific functions we wanted in a stroller when our kids were younger.
Good luck and I hope this helps. And as always, if you have any comments or suggestions we I would love to hear them.
VP & Dad
Kids are adorable sources of endless amusement, so much so that a long running television show chronicled the “darnedest things” they’re wont to say. They’re also, however, notorious for saying the most embarrassingly inappropriate things at just the right moment for peak mortification. These are some of the more common themes explored by kids at the top of their lungs, made all the more embarrassing by their penchant for discussing them in public.
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Shhhhhh! Don’t say that! Kids sure do say the darnedest things. They truly speak their mind. Good article on what kids say in public. Can you relate?
VP & Dad