doubleadventure's Passport
 

Road_trip_09_2198

Member since:
17 December 2009

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 581 Attractions
Icon_star384 Reviews
Icon_star1206 First to Review
Icon_camera2873 Photos
Icon_thumbsup218 Helpful Votes
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About Me & My Family

We are a travel obsessed, outdoor loving, family of four living in Orange County, CA. I have six-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) and I try my best to expose them to as many new experiences as possible. We love hiking, beaches, and National Parks but we also enjoy some time by the pool at big resorts. I am the Editor in Chief of Trekaroo.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, independent, energetic, spontaneous, scheduled
We Just Got Back From
Peru with Adventures by Disney! Such a dream trip.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Any National Park
A Place We'd Love To Visit
Any National Park
Favorite Vacation Memory
Climbing up the side of a mountain to Inspiration Point at Grand Teton National Park with my then two year old twins. It was something nobody thought our children could do and the view fro the top was incredible.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Forgetting the portable dvd player on the way home from Yosemite National Park after exploring the park all day. Tired and cranky children with no source of entertainment make for a very loud car.
Websites I Like:
http://www.doubletheadventure.com

Reviews & Photos

384 Reviews


January 03 2012
0 families found this helpful
Crescent Moon | kids travel, kids activities
Crescent Moon
10600 East Crescent Moon Drive,
Scottsdale,
Arizona 85262
"Casual modern Mexican cuisine"
Families looking for a casual dining experience at the Four Season Resort should head to Crescent Moon. The restaurant features modern Mexican cuisine with entrees such as deliciously rich lobster enchiladas and creative pasilla braised short ribs with chorizo mac ‘n cheese featured on the menu. My son and I loved the queso appetizer so much that we fought over who could be closer to the bowl! And while the usual “safe” foods such as pizza are on the children’s menu, the focus is on dishes that compliment the adult menu such as carne asada tacos with rice and beans, as well healthy options like grilled salmon with rice and veggies (which my daughter left no trace of on her plate).

Of the three restaurants on the Four Seasons property, I would most recommend this one for families. The menu offered great food and the atmosphere was very family friendly. I like eating places where I don't have to worry about my five year olds dropping a fork a causing the whole restaurant to stop in it's tracks.

Disclosure: My family received a complimentary meal at Crescent Moon while staying at the Four Seasons on assignment for Trekaroo. The review is unbiased and all opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 03 2012
1 family found this helpful
Talavera | kids travel, kids activities
Talavera
10600 East Crescent Moon Drive,
Scottsdale,
Arizona 85262
"5 star dinner and 5 star treatment for the kids"
Most restaurants will throw a box of 3 crayons and a paper menu with nothing but chicken fingers, hot dogs, cheese pizza, and macaroni and cheese (because evidently that is all kids eat) at kids and be done with it. Children dining at Talavera, the resort’s upscale but casual steakhouse, are in for a first class experience. They are presented menus shaped like cows or pigs with the different cuts of meat highlighted in a mosaic on one side and the dinner options on the other. Simply stated, it is the most adorable and creative children’s menu I have ever seen. Kids also receive paper chef’s hat and crayons to create their culinary fashion masterpiece. While mom and dad are in heaven indulging in melt-in-your-mouth bites of Wagyu flat iron and sinful gruyere mashed potatoes, the children can enjoy their own appropriately portioned filet of beef. After dinner, my kids put on their newly decorated hats and headed back into the kitchen to meet the chef and help put the finishing touches on their dessert. If that isn’t a VIP experience, I don’t know what is!

Talavera is definitely a special occasion meal. Normally I would probably opt not to bring my children to such a nice (and expensive) restaurant but I am really glad that we did. Our meal focused on our entire family, instead of just being a nice meal for mom and dad with kids in tow.

Disclosure: My family received a complimentary meal at Talavera while we were staying at the Four Seasons on assignment for Trekaroo. All opinions are unbiased and my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 03 2012
2 families found this helpful
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North | kids travel, kids activities
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
10600 E Crescent Moon Dr,
Scottsdale, Arizona
"Desert luxury and family friendliness perfected "
Recently, my family had the opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and all four of us jaded travelers were blown away by our experience. Many luxury resorts take steps to make sure each adult feels like a VIP while staying onsite, but few give kids the same royal treatment that they deserve. The Four Seasons has consistently proven to be the luxury family brand that my family puts on a pedestal and our time in Scottsdale helped reaffirm our beliefs.
Overall, it is the little extra special touches that all added up to an extraordinary experience. Upon check-in, my kids were given stuffed coyotes (now named Wolfie and Batman) which now serve as permanent reminders of the vacation they spent in the desert. The special stones that the concierge had in a bin near her station were like treasure for my gemologists in training. A bellboy followed our car to our one bedroom casita, and helped us settle in to our spacious room with an incredible view of the rocky desert hillside which the resort buts up to. Inside every suite, including ours, is a telescope complete with custom constellation charts of the Arizona night sky which compliment the resort’s complimentary stargazing program.

The Room

The room featured two full bathrooms, one of which had a large sunken tub, and private outdoor shower. I attempted to use the outdoor shower (who wouldn’t!) but the cool late fall evening temperatures made for a chilly experience. I think that guests visiting during warm weather may find the experience more enjoyable. Luckily the indoor shower was quite nice! One nice touch offered at every Four Seasons resort I have had the pleasure of visiting is the complimentary children’s bath products as well as the kid’s names spelled out in sponge letters. It is beyond cute, quite practical (tear-free shampoo is always nice with kids), and makes the kids feel special. There are even pint-sized bathrobes hanging next to the adult robes in the closet.

The room we stayed in had a large living area with a comfy pull-out couch (didn’t know that was even possible) and cozy fireplace, quickly becoming my kids favorite evening snuggle spot. The bedroom was large and the beds were very comfortable. The large walk-in closet was great for storing luggage and hanging clothes. Outdoors on our patio, there was a private hot pool as well as a southwestern-style outdoor fireplace. It was quite relaxing (and romantic) to spend time enjoying the roar of the fire or the warmth of the pool with my husband while my kids slept soundly at night. Having such a spacious and luxurious one bedroom room allowed us to experience a family vacation and a couple’s retreat at the same time- the best of both worlds.

Kids For All Seasons

My kids visited the complimentary Kids for All Seasons program twice during our stay and both times they begged and pleaded to stay longer. What child wouldn’t want to spend all day in a club that features foosball, ping pong, a video game room with individual plasma screen televisions and gaming systems, a movie theater with leather recliners and an old fashioned popcorn maker, arts and crafts galore, and even a Barbie dream house! To be honest, my husband and I found it impossible to leave without sneaking in a few games of ping pong ourselves. My often shy daughter chatted away with Richie, one of the staff members, giving him her life story while they bonded over coloring pictures of Disney princesses while my son was happy to play games all day long with his new found friends.

Pool

The pool is always a focal point for any traveling child, especially in a desert destination like Scottsdale. This resort features three pools- a large main pool with its stunning views of Pinnacle Peak, a smaller lower pool which is reserved for adult guests, and a shallow wading pool which is ideal for children who have yet to master the art of swimming. Since my kids are still perfecting their doggie paddles, my husband and I opted to relax in one of the complimentary cabanas while my children splashed to their heart’s content in the wading pool. Luckily, the fact that we left their pool toys at home was a non-issue because the Four Seasons had enough water noodles and dive rings stashed in a big teak chest to keep an entire pool full of kids happy. We even spotted a shaded infant flotation device which would have been a lifesaver for a young family who left theirs behind (been there, done that). The poolside menu offered all sorts of healthy yet tasty treats including custom made smoothies which my kids especially enjoyed. Unlike most resorts, the pool was actually quite good and the prices were not obscene.

Dining

Most restaurants will throw a box of 3 crayons and a paper menu with nothing but chicken fingers, hot dogs, cheese pizza, and macaroni and cheese (because evidently that is all kids eat) at kids and be done with it. Children dining at Talavera, the resort’s upscale but casual steakhouse, are in for a first class experience. They are presented menus shaped like cows or pigs with the different cuts of meat highlighted in a mosaic on one side and the dinner options on the other. Simply stated, it is the most adorable and creative children’s menu I have ever seen. Kids also receive paper chef’s hat and crayons to create their culinary fashion masterpiece. While mom and dad are in heaven indulging in melt-in-your-mouth bites of Wagyu flat iron and sinful gruyere mashed potatoes, the children can enjoy their own appropriately portioned filet of beef. After dinner, my kids put on their newly decorated hats and headed back into the kitchen to meet the chef and help put the finishing touches on their dessert. If that isn’t a VIP experience, I don’t know what is!
Families looking for a casual dining experience should head to Crescent Moon. The restaurant features Modern Mexican cuisine with entrees such as deliciously rich lobster enchiladas and creative pasilla braised short ribs with chorizo mac ‘n cheese featured on the menu. Personally, I found the queso appetizer to be out of this world. And while the usual “safe” foods such as pizza are on the children’s menu, the focus is on dishes that compliment the adult menu such as carne asada tacos with rice and beans, as well healthy options like grilled salmon with rice and veggies (which my daughter left no trace of on her plate). The ambience was quite nice as well with outdoor seating, nice views of Pinnacle Peak, and crackling kiva fireplaces in the corners.

Bottomline: I absolutely fell in love with this resort. The Southwestern adobe-style architecture blended seamlessly into the immaculate desert landscaping and surrounding hillsides dotted with Saguaro and cholla cacti. The rooms carried the upscale Southwestern atmosphere was carried into the rooms and common areas like perfection. The children’s program was top notch and my kids felt like VIPs the entire length of our stay. The staff was gracious, helpful, and not stuffy or pretentious. All in all, it was an incredibly memorable stay. My family has stayed at dozens of hotels and this one is definitely one of the best, if not the best, I have ever experienced.

Disclosure: My family received a complimentary stay in order for me to complete this review and future stories for the blog. All opinions are unbiased and my own.




 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 03 2012
1 family found this helpful
MacDonald's Ranch | kids travel, kids activities
MacDonald's Ranch
26540 North Scottsdale Road ,
Scottsdale,
Arizona 85255
"Great place for your child's first ride"
Located in north Scottsdale, Mac Donald's Ranch’s 1300 acres of level Sonoran desert landscape are ideal for first time riders. My children recently went for their first real horseback ride here and had an incredible time.The ranch prides itself on its gentle horses and enthusiastic guides which help make any rider’s experience out on the trail an enjoyable one. The youngest riders, 5 year olds, do ride their own horses, but they are lead via rope by experienced employees on horseback. Although the horses know the trail so well they could probably walk it blindfolded and never stray, the rope helps children and their parents feel comfortable by having a trained professional cowboy lead the way.

My daughter fell in love with Sheik, her handsome white horse with a sweet disposition, and was incredibly charmed by Cowboy Mikey, the “silly” cowboy who kept her entertained the entire ride.My son loved riding Cloppy, who he determined was really a super hero horse in disguise, sent to the ranch to protect us In between laughs, Mikey pointed out a red-tailed hawk perched on top of a tree, bones left behind from the ranch’s cattle days, and a Saguaro cactus shaped like Vanna White (the similarities were uncanny!). My husband and I were just as entertained as the kids. After the one hour ride, we took time to visit the animals in the petting zoo, go for a run in the hay bale maze, and have our turn at some of the ranch games. My son was drawn to the lassos, and after seeing his unsuccessful attempts at trying to rope a mounted steer, a friendly ranch hand was happy to spend several minutes teaching him the tricks of the trade. Eventually, my boy not only roped the steer, but Daddy as well!

If you happen to be in Scottsdale during October, be sure to stop by the ranch for the pumpkin patch. Families climb aboard a wagon which takes them on a ride through the desert to a makeshift pumpkin patch. This is the busiest time of year for the ranch and while I have not had the pleasure, friends living in the area speak highly of it.

Disclosure: While working with the Scottsdale CVB to write stories about the region, my family received a complimentary horse back ride. Both the CVB and the ranch did not ask that any particular opinions be expressed and all opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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October 19 2011
1 family found this helpful
Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Roundup - Disneyland | kids travel, kids activities
Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Roundup - Disneyland
1313 Harbor Blvd,
Anaheim,
California
"Cute little corner of Disney and fun place to meet Jessie and Woody!"
I have been to Disneyland dozens of times and it wasn't until our most recent visit that we headed back to Big Thunder Ranch. I always thought it was just a dining spot but in actuality, they have a nice little petting zoo with goats, a place to meet Woody and Jessie of Toy Story fame, and the iconic presidentially pardoned turkey! During Halloween the ranch is decked out in fall harvest style with some very cool carved pumpkins. Head on back here when you want a break from the madness, you won't be disappointed.