gbtempleton's Passport


Member since:
10 January 2011

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13

Icon_pictureBeen to 57 Attractions
Icon_star56 Reviews
Icon_star122 First to Review
Icon_camera255 Photos
Icon_thumbsup27 Helpful Votes
About Me & My Family

I'm mom to a hilarious (I'm talking comedian-in-the-making) 5 year old and a cancer-surviving superhero 7-going on 27-year old. After our daughter's battle with an aggressive form of leukemia (AML), we decided to make the most of every minute. Our family's motto: Until further notice, celebrate everything! This means lots of trips. We try to incorporate educational experiences as much as possible, but our ultimate goal is to celebrate life and celebrate family!
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, rowdy, independent, energetic, spontaneous, easy_going, artsy
We Just Got Back From
the museum (any museum!)
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
do we have to pick just one? The Mountains!
A Place We'd Love To Visit
Hong Kong and mainland China
Favorite Vacation Memory
My daughter's Make-a-Wish trip... every minute of it. It coincided with her 4th birthday. We went to Disney World. Her bright smile lit up the park!
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Within an hour of arriving at our Villa at Disney, my very excited daughter started jumping on the bed. She fell face first on to the ground and her nose bled everywhere. Fortunately she recovered within a few minutes and was ready to head to the parks!
Websites I Like:

Reviews & Photos

56 Reviews

May 08 2013
0 families found this helpful
Hurricane Fleet Dolphin Tours | kids travel, kids activities
Hurricane Fleet Dolphin Tours
9975 Nance Street ,
(PO Box 4900),
North Carolina 28467
"Dolphin, Shrimp, and Pelicans... Oh My!"
The Hurricane Fleet Dolphin Tour: Dolphin, Shrimp, and Pelicans... Oh My!

As we boarded the Hurricane II, the excitement was palpable. There were at least 15 children on board and they were all ready to set sail. Peering out into the water, my seven year old squealed, “Look, mom, a pelican!”

As we pulled away from the dock, the captain explained that we would be following a shrimp boat. The dolphins follow the shrimp, so we’d be sure to spot some of the ocean’s most intelligent inhabitants. Because the Hurricane Fleet and the shrimp boat were owned by the same company, the shrimpers would share some of their catch for educational opportunities.

The trip from the Intercoastal Waterway out to sea was a little rocky, and it took me a few minutes to get my sea legs. Once we settled in behind the shrimping boat, the sea was calm and it was easy to move about the boat. My five year old was captivated as a pod of eight dolphins came up for air, flirted with each other, then dove back down into the waters. This went on for about half an hour, though we could have continued watching for much longer.

Soon the shrimp boat pulled up its net and shared some of the “dregs” with our boat. Shrimping nets catch sea life other than shrimp. The captain sorted through these animals while the children sat in a semicircle on the deck. With a captive audience, the captain passed around live spider crabs and a horseshoe crab. Even my shy five year old wanted a turn holding the spider crab, who gently wrapped its legs around my son’s hand. Once each child had a turn to investigate, any live animals were tossed back to sea. The dead catch, such as squid and flounder, were left on board for further examination. My children were enraptured. In fact, every child on the boat sat still and quiet, absorbing every word the captain said.

As the captain taught us about shrimping and ocean life, we sailed back to the dock. Before we knew it, our two hour cruise had come to an end and it was time to deboard. As we climbed back onto the pier, my seven year old asked, “Mom, can I write a story about this?” She enjoyed the trip so much that she is writing her own five-star review.

Disclaimer: We enjoyed a complimentary tickets to the Hurricane II, but the opinions expressed in this review are 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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April 30 2013
0 families found this helpful
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort | kids travel, kids activities
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
1000 W Buena Vista Drive,
Orlando, Florida
"A great resort for runners and families"
We stayed at The Coronado Springs as part of the Disney Marathon weekend with Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was my first full marathon and our family's third trip to Disney.

We instantly fell in love with the Coronado Springs. The room was comfortable and spacious, complete with a refrigerator. A wonderful pool and playground were located within a two minute walk from our room.

There is a lovely pond located at the center of the resort and one lap around is one mile. This was perfect for an afternoon run, which can be stressful and even dangerous on some vacations. Even though the resort was crawling with marathoners, there was plenty of space to run.

The restaurants on site were sparsely populated despite the resort being full of runners and other guests. This was great for grabbing a delicious meal without the stress of dealing with squirmy kiddos in a busy restaurant. The wait staff (as at all Disney restaurants) were fabulous with the kids and the food was great.

Though I hope to try each and every Disney resort in future visits, I would definitely return to and recommend The Coronado Springs to friends and family!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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April 10 2013
0 families found this helpful
Sugarland | kids travel, kids activities
2031 Cameron Street NC,
North Carolina 27605
"Sweet Treat on Cameron Street"
Let's face it, I'm on the perpetual hunt for a sweet treat. On vacation, there must be at least one goodie per day. So, if you happen to be vacationing in Raleigh and you're anywhere near downtown or the NC State campus, you absolutely MUST visit Sugarland.

Sugarland features cupcakes and gelato. Their macarons, when on the menu, are to die for. They also offer a small selection of tarts, pies, or other desserts. For the adults in your group, you can order a glass of wine, beer, and or choose from a variety of iced martinis to complement your cupcake! Coffee drinks are also available.

Sugarland is sophisticated without being pretentious. Located in Cameron Village, an upscale, outdoor shopping center in the heart of Raleigh, it is conveniently located to shopping and a public library with a large kids' section (Cameron Vilalge Library).

Despite the upscale locale, Sugarland is kid-friendly in both concept and practice. Their staff is welcoming to kids and they offer samples of gelato. Take them up on this since some of the flavors, such as Mexican Chocolate, could be a bit extreme for less adventerous palettes.

The original Sugarland is in Chapel Hill, NC. I bet it's almost as good as the Raleigh shop!
kids travel, kids activities
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November 05 2012
0 families found this helpful
Broadway at the Beach | kids travel, kids activities
Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the beach,
Myrtle Beach,
South Carolina
"Broadway at the Beach - Play, Shop, Eat!"
Broadway at the Beach has something for everyone, whether you want to pick up a few souvenirs, take in a round of mini-golf, catch a movie, or grab a bite to eat.

Attractions include Ripley’s Aquarium, a carousel park, a movie theatre and an arcade. There were a number of restaurants, and we chose to eat at a delicious barbecue joint called Sweet Carolina’s. The hush puppies were amazing!

The kids enjoyed posing for pictures with dinosaurs and pretending to be dancers from the South Pacific. After that, we stopped by Wee R Sweets to fill up on Salt Water Taffy to bring back home to my husband who missed out on the trip.

We had a great time at MagiQuest, and the kids were begging to go to the movies, try the arcade, and enjoy some Dragon-themed miniature golf. Unfortunately, we ran out of time! Broadway at the Beach is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening whether you’re feeling hungry, adventurous, or you simply need a break from the sand.

Disclosure: Broadway at the Beach is a free attraction, but I did visit as part of a media trip from the Myrtle Beach CVB. All opinions are my own.
November 05 2012
0 families found this helpful
5300 N. Ocean Blvd.,
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
"Fun, Family-Friendly, Beachfront Resort and Waterpark"
When we walked into our two-bedroom suite at the The Village Dunes Resort, I was thrilled.
It had been a long night of driving in the rain and I was exhausted. The suite was warm, clean, and beautiful - I felt like I was walking into a home rather than a beach condo. Apparently my kids did too. They were delighted at having their own bedroom and couldn’t wait to test-drive the whirlpool tub in the master bath. The kitchen and dining area were both elegant and practical. We enjoyed stress-free meals in the condo and stuck to our vacation budget.

I have to admit, though, that we didn’t spend much time in the room. The real attraction at the Dunes Village Resort is the waterpark. With two lazy rivers, half a dozen hot tubs, and multiple pools, there was no reason to go to the beach! As a parent, I really appreciated that the layout of the water park allowed me to see my seven year old on the waterslides and in the pool, while keeping warm with my five year old in the hot tub!

Even with all of the fun at the waterpark, we eventually headed out to the beach. The Dunes Village Resort is beachfront, so a short walk across the boardwalk took us directly to a lovely stretch of shoreline. Having such close beach access meant we could literally go from beach to waterpark back to the beach. There was also a beachfront park for small children which my kids thought was great.

In addition to the waterpark, The Dunes Village Resort features a number of restaurants including a delicious breakfast buffet as well as a spa. They also have a variety of rooms - from studios to four bedroom condos - to fit any family size and any budget. This is the most family-friendly beachfront resort we’ve visited. I highly recommend a Fall trip, because they offer great off-season packages and were not at all crowded this time of year.

Disclaimer: The suite and waterpark passes were provided by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, but the opinions in this review are my own.