5 must-haves for your vacation home (great housewarming gifts!)

must haves for your vacation home plus great housewarming gifts

For me, this always happens at the last minute. Everyone is finally packed, the car is completely loaded (like... completely), and the kids are belted in for our multi-hour road-trip to a fun destination, when we realize I haven't yet purchased a thank you gift for our host and hostess. While stopping for a bottle wine is usually a doable fallback, after spending two weeks vacation at our family vacation home  in Maine, I created a new list of gifts to help me be a bit more creative the next … [Read more...]

Flying With Baby? 5 Tips to Be a Courteous Traveler

tips to consider before you travel with your baby

Sometimes, there's no way around traveling with a baby. Lucky for you, your little angel is always so well-behaved that no one on the plane should worry. It’s all good, right? Wrong. Babies are unpredictable, period, but especially when it comes to traveling. Some babies’ ears hurt from air pressure changes and totally freak out, while others take it in stride and suck on a pacifier to pass the time. But when the person fated to sit in 12A boards and sees you there in 12B with your … [Read more...]

Vacation planning adventures, dreams and possible realities

planning a family vacation -- it can get more difficult with kids' opinions and interests, but it can also become far more enlightening and powerful when you listen to their input on julieverse

When it came to travel planning, my  husband and I usually try to relax by a fireplace on a cold day in the winter, tablets in hand, opening our electronic calendars, discussing open weeks for vacation and family events. Our goals are to share what we want to do for our vacation time, what our vacation objectives are and try to fit in as much as possible. We brainstorm for a bit. We vaguely look at prices and budgets. Then, I usually go home to research and, in time, bring it all back … [Read more...]

5 tips for visiting historic Philadelphia

visiting historic philadelphia

When visiting Historic Philadelphia, most visitors plan their trip around The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and then reach out on Facebook or through email, looking for must-see spots in Philadelphia. We take our kids to Philly a few times a year (we live in the suburbs) and I’ve lived here nearly all my life. I’m also an educator and was a 4th grade teacher (we study PA history in 4th grade.) I've seen many local suggest skipping the Betsy Ross house, but I have to argue. It’s a … [Read more...]

Winter Travels: The best vacation destinations in America

5 top winter travel destinations in America -- isn't it time to try a new travel spot- (1)

The winter can be gloomy, so it can be nice to escape the monotony and head out on the road for some adventure. Whether you’re skiing the Rockies, visiting Disneyland, or heading south for some fun, it's a good idea to do some homework and think about what you might want to do on a winter vacation. Look no further, because some of the best winter vacation spots in America are right here:   A Phoenix Escape If you want to get away from a dreary, snowy winter, both Phoenix and … [Read more...]

Learning life in the 1700s: Philadelphia without a Cell Phone

what happens when you misplace your cell phone on a field trip to the city?

I'm so not a religious person. It's really rare that I discuss G-d or Faith or anything ever, let alone on my blog. But, this story? Fate had a hand. We were due to school at 8:15 that morning. After a quick run to Wawa for coffee and donuts, we arrived about 2 minutes early, parked and began walking towards the school so that I could, against my wishes, chaperone a field trip as for this unique trip, every child was required a chaperone. As always, I checked my bag about 10 steps from … [Read more...]

Things to do in Philadelphia with kids: Christ Church Philadelphia


While we're a mixed religion family, it's rare we attend a place of worship. Recently, my 10-year-old and ventured in to Christ Church, a place where I certainly didn't think I belonged. While I was figuring we'd quickly walk through, friends who were with us had other plans. And, so. We attended a brief information session (seated tour) that surprised me. It made me feel welcome in a religious establishment so different from my own. Which, of course, is exactly what our forefathers had … [Read more...]

Memories of Maine 2014


I have to tell you, there is nothing as sweet as a good vacation. You know how I love big, busy trips (hello! Disney and Universal both come to mind) but hiding away from it all in a lakeside cabin in Maine with intermittent reception just can't be beat for true relaxation. A few highlights I don't ever want to forget:   Driving up to Maine, about an hour or so into the trip, the sky turned an ominous dark, dark gray. We watched, as we continued north, the gray clouds take over, … [Read more...]

The Julieverse Best of Maine Awards


A few of our favorite spots in Maine are definitely worth passing on to you. Booth Bay Harbor, Maine Best Popcorn and gifts: Coastal Maine Popcorn -- great for snacks and gifts Best lobster lunch: Fisherman's Wharf Inn -- one of the best places to enjoy the freshest Maine lobster and the beautiful views of the harbor. Best family-friendly adventure: Balmy Days Cruises -- my boys (all three of them) had a great time cruising the Booth Bay Harbor and surrounding area on The Bay Lady, a … [Read more...]

The benefits of vacation home rental

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wyndham Vacation Rentals. As I finish up a relaxing one and a half week summer vacation, one that went off the grid (conversations included "What?! There was a hurricane three nights ago?!"  and "Huh?! Everyone is evacuating the island we're making our way to because it's shut down!?"), I'm reflecting on what made it so peaceful, relaxing and far too quick. I love a great theme park trip, or a vacation full of exploring big cities, but a truly … [Read more...]