cavalletta's Passport
 

Park_city_2011_157_thumb

Member since:
04 December 2008

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '11, '12, '13 Icon_founder_title

Icon_pictureBeen to 669 Attractions
Icon_star492 Reviews
Icon_star1387 First to Review
Icon_camera2351 Photos
Icon_thumbsup319 Helpful Votes
Compliments
About Me & My Family

We're a globe trekking, fun-loving, bilingual family always planning our next adventure. From art museums to alpine skiing, we're ready for anything. USTA rated tennis players, golfers, swimmers, skiiers, sailors, and more!
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, relaxed, simple, independent, energetic, spontaneous, sophisticated, easy_going, scheduled, artsy, social_butterfly
We Just Got Back From
The Longboat Key Club which is located on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Paradise!
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Wherever we go next! Thanks to Trekaroo, I always have a great group of reviews to help me plan a fantastic vacation!
A Place We'd Love To Visit
During the winter, anywhere with snow and easy airport access. Golfing, tennis, spa, ski, and culinary resorts are ideal!
Favorite Vacation Memory
One of my favorite vacation memories was the first time my daughter saw snow at the Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. She's still talking about ski school years later! The Innisbrook Golf Resort and Indaba Spa near Tampa Bay, Florida. What an amazing experience! A home exchange holiday in France.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Dangerous weather conditions, unexpected airport and security delays.
Websites I Like:
snowmamas.com tbparenting.com visitflorida.com condenast.com

Reviews & Photos

492 Reviews


March 29 2014
0 families found this helpful
Sea World's Just for Kids! Festival | kids travel, kids activities
Sea World's Just for Kids! Festival
7007 Sea World Drive,
Orlando,
Florida 32821
"Fun stations to explore"
In addition to all of Sea World's family friendly shows, trainer talks, and kid-sized rides in the Shamu Happy Harbor, Sea World added something extra special that's Just for Kids! only for a limited time.

Sea World's "Just for Kids! Festival" takes place on Saturdays from March 22-April 12, 2014. We had so much fun learning about Sea World's conservation, rescue, and rehabilitation efforts around the world in terms that kids can really understand.

First, we ventured to the Seaport Theater to see "Elmo Rocks." What a great way to jump start the day! Singing along with Elmo and friends gave us lots of energy and sure was fun.

At the all-new SEA Gardens, we interacted with animal ambassadors and their handlers. Mattie, the bald eagle, weighs about 10 pounds but the kids thought she looked much heavier with her regal pose and fluffy feathers. They also liked meeting Honey the miniature pony. She was so gentle! There was an educational and fun storyteller who engaged the kids by reading from an explorer's journal before introducing them to the animals. We tried to get the kookaburra to sing but he was not in the mood. Maybe next time!

The SEA Garden also includes found object sea creature sculptures that were crafted from materials found in the oceans off of the Oregon coast - mostly plastics but there were some auto parts and other oddities. Take some time to look at each piece. It's interesting to see what you'll find and amazing to see how discarded materials could be combined into something so beautiful! These sculptures show in real ways how important it is to take care of the planet by disposing of waste properly and recycling.

Be sure to have the kids take the Ocean Adventure Challenge! At four separate and clearly marked education stations throughout the park, the kids took part in hands on educational activities - the Ocean Adventure Challenge. By completing age appropriate activities, the kids collected stamps and earned limited edition Explorer's Cards at each station. It was impressive to see how the Sea World staff members catered the educational lessons to each child based on their abilities. The kids ran back to us to share their new found ocean knowledge. Learning while having fun is always a good thing to me. After they completed all four stations, the kids went to one of any number of gift shops to receive their special Junior Animal Ambassador Medallion. They were so proud and I was, too. We saw kids of all ages eager to complete the Ocean Adventure and thrilled with their final prize.

The Rockin' Rockhopper Party at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin was a super cool place to dance as the DJ spun tunes and snow fell from above. There are even special guest appearances by those adorable penguins! It was too wet to enjoy a face painting or caricature but these are available for an additional fee.

Finally, we joined Shamu and friends at a bubble filled dance party by the main entrance/exit. It was an ideal way to end the day. The kids left Sea World smiling and danced all the way to the car. The event might be called Just for Kids! but it sure was a hit with me, too.

Disclaimer: Just for Kids events are free with Sea World park admission. All views and experiences expressed are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
View 4 photos
 
March 24 2014
0 families found this helpful
Westgate River Ranch | kids travel, kids activities
Westgate River Ranch
3600 River Ranch Road,
River Ranch, Florida
"Rodeos, trail rides, and relaxation"
We drove about 90 minutes from Tampa for a weekend adventure at the Westgate River Ranch. The resort is located along the banks of the Kissimmee River which winds slowly through the resort's scrub palm prairies.

LODGING OPTIONS
The Ranch offers a variety of lodging options to fit any size family and budget. Tent, RV, and glamping campsites as well as traditional hotel style rooms and multi-bedroom cabins are available. We stayed in a spacious one bedroom, two bath cabin. The full kitchen was a great way to save a little and satisfy the dietary needs of our family. The cabin had a fireplace, an open floor plan with lots of wonderful, natural light, and rocking chairs on the wind around patios. The view overlooked a lake where we saw birds of all types coming and going. It was very peaceful and relaxing! We had a fabulous night's sleep tucked in the comfy beds. Although, the glamping tents made roughing it look super fun and comfortable.

ACTIVITIES
We got a golf cart for the weekend which was a great way to explore the ranch. The tennis and basketball courts were always available and even had lights for after dark play times. The ranch recently renovated their mini golf course but due to a lot of rain, we were unable to play. The kids had a blast meeting the animals at the petting farm. A goat even hopped in another golf cart! The pony rides were better suited for our youngest kids. While the guided horse trail rides are fun for older kids (there are age requirements so inquire at the front desk for details).

On Saturday night, the ranch hosts an amazing rodeo where competitors come from Southeastern states to try their skills at the cash prizes. The kids enjoyed participating in the calf scramble. Read more about the Westgate River Ranch Rodeo in my Trekaroo review at http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/westgate-championship-rodeo-river-ranch-florida.

The trap, skeet, and archery range were a hit with the older boys while the younger kids liked watching their parents fly overhead on the ziplines. It was too rainy for the driving range or a round of golf on the nine hole executive course but we hope to play during our next visit.

The catch and release fishing pond or dock fishing are great places for kids to learn to fish. The on site tackle shop can help with gear and bait. The swamp buggy and airboat tours depart from the Marina near the tackle shop. Spotting alligators on an air boat ride is pretty easy!

DINING
The Smokehouse Grill Restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual riverfront setting. Opt to sit on the screened in patio or indoors. The service is fantastic and the chili was delicious! Portion sizes are generous so you might have left overs. If you prefer to cook up your own meals, there is a well stocked General Store which also serves up ice cream, soups, salads, pizza, and sandwiches.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are my own. A portion of my stay at the Westgate River Ranch was provided at no cost. Thank you to the Westgate River Ranch for this experience.
 
 
January 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Anna Maria Oyster Bar Ellenton
1525 51st Ave. E.,
Ellenton,
Florida 34222
"Fresh, delicious, and affordable"
The casual, family friendly atmosphere and tasty food at the AMOB in Ellenton make this a family favorite! So much more than oysters, they offer fresh Florida seafood at very reasonable prices. They also have daily specials offering the best seasonal goodies. It's always a challenge trying to decide what to eat but we have come to rely on the fact that everything will be fresh and delicious.

The kids especially like getting measured near the host stand for the "Kids Eat for a Penny an Inch" off the kids menu promotion. It's fun to see the kids working math problems to find out how much more each child will cost their parents. Who knew this could be a fun math game?

The wait staff is friendly, professional, and delivers some of the best seafood in town.

The kids menu offers the usual favorites as well as fried or sautéed shrimp. Everyone finds something they like and usually end up sharing, too.
 
 
January 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
219 Westshore Plaza,
Tampa,
Florida 33609
"Excellent service and tasty food"
After a quick post holiday shopping trip to West Shore Plaza, we decided to eat at PF Chang's at the east entrance of the mall. We chose to sit at a table on the covered patio area. It was nice to be outside even though it was chilly. They have heaters which made our visit quite comfortable.

The menu offers a wide variety of typical Asian fare with a few unique and seasonal dishes. The food was good and the prices were reasonable for what we ordered. We had plenty of food to share and even had leftovers.

The wait staff was friendly, efficient, and took great care of us. We felt welcomed and appreciated.

This was a great choice for our afternoon lunch! It can be crowded around dinner time and happy hour so plan to wait if you want to eat around those times.
 
 
January 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Grimaldi's Pizzeria | kids travel, kids activities
Grimaldi's Pizzeria
218 West Shore Plaza,
Tampa,
Florida 33609
"Awful experience but good food"
Located just outside the West Shore Plaza shopping mall, Grimaldi's was a convenient choice for lunch one day....or so we thought! The restaurant opened in 2013 so it was relatively new and looked warm and inviting. The same cannot be said for the host, manager on duty, or wait staff. Since we were seated at the table closest to the entrance and host stand, we heard several customers complaining about their dining experience as well as problems with take out orders. We should have taken a cue from those conversations!

If you are hoping to get in and out quickly for lunch, forget it! It took over 30 minutes to get our food and when it finally arrived, they got part of it wrong! This was especially frustrating as their menu is very limited. It basically includes pizza, calzones, salads, and desserts. It was disappointing that they got one of child's orders wrong. One child in our party ordered pepperoni pizza but got cheese pizza. Not only did they not apologize for the mistake, they were hesitant to try to fix it. It took them another 30 minutes to bring out the right food for one person while the rest of us had our food. We shared our food during this long wait but it was just not right! no apology was ever mentioned, no price correction, no checking back to see if they could bring something in the meantime while the child waited, no manager coming to the table, nothing was done to make it right or even address it!

Our lunch combo included a salad which was just ok. The greens were fresh but lacked flavor and the dressing was bland. The pizza and calzone were ok but not really memorable. Overall, we were very disappointed and will not be returning.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
View 2 photos