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I recently got the Utterly YoursPregnancy Pillow. I can’t believe what a difference I feel already. No pregnancy pillow really has done the trick, until now. The best part about the Utterly Your Pregnancy pillow is that it’s super portable and can go with you anywhere. Other pregnancy pillows are cumbersome and take up the whole bed. My dearest husband is so happy to see something that doesn’t swallow me whole, and leaves room to snuggle.
I have lots of back problems when I’m not pregnant. During pregnancy finding a comfortable position to sleep in is a nightmare. I love that one side of the Utterly Yours pillow is made to support your lower back.
Wiithin five minutes of using this pillow I knew I had found the support I would need to get through the the rest of this pregnancy. I started to think of all of the places it will be useful. I’ll take it with me to the living room to lay down on the couch. I’ll take it with me when I go to my parent’s house to vist. All of the sudden, the sleep I thought was lost – has been found!
Car & Caboodle Readers: Utterly Yours has offered us 10% off of your next order by simply using code: UYCC1008, expires 11/30/08. Happy Shopping.
Our family loves technology. Cell Phones, gaming systems, nav units, dvd players, walkie talkies, ipods,cameras and video cameras, laptops and gps units. These are a few of our favorite things…
Yes, of course we looked forward to spending some quality time together, to getting back to nature, to laying on a beach and counting how many seagulls flew by. But with over a thousand miles to travel in each direction we also looked forward to getting in touch with our inner geeks. Young and old alike, we had enough bluetooth, wifi, battery operated techno gear to get Gilligan, the professor and the entire cast of Lost off their respective islands. Sort of.
Packing all that gear meant packing a lot of batteries and car/wall chargers. Fortunately we were able to leave several bulky chargers at home by packing the iGo everywhere retractable charger . This is a device that needs to be in every car. One retractable cord set works (with the use of multiple tips) to charge any of several dozen devices. And it works both in the car and in the wall! It whittled a stack of more than ten separate chargers down to a single cord set and small bag of device tips. And it worked perfectly. The retractable cord is a dream come true. No more tangle of chargers cluttering up the glove compartment. I’m officially in love with iGo and it’s staying in my car. As my new Honda only has one charge port, this device also serves a peacekeeping mission – ending the ongoing car-charger turf war between myself and my husband.
For our picture and video taking we brought along our beloved Sony Alpha and Sony Handycam HD Video Camera. Just so you know, any great shots are all them. Not my expertise. They only make me look good. One mac ibook and one PC promised to keep us connected with a little help from the widespread Boingo network. The beauty of Boingo is that it lets you get online at over 103,000 hotspots all over the world, for one monthly fee. No more signing up for a daypass here and an hour of connectivity there. It’s especially great in urban areas.
But when wifi was unavailable (the majority of the trip on the remote No.Cal and Oregon coast) we had our iPhone to keep us connected. Good thing too. On more than one occasion we found ourselves tapping into Yahoo’s powerful mobile search engine. We used Yahoo mobile to locate food, lodging, hotel and restaurant reviews and more. If you have not had occasion to explore this feature of Yahoo, take a look around before you next hit the road. It helped us find great lodging at the end of our first day, by providing reviews that our Nav units could not.
No stopping for directions:
It may sound ridiculous, but we actually hit the road with three navigation systems. Four if you count the GPS in our iphone. As copilot I tested them all, pitting them against each other to see what would happen and whether the sound of three female voices telling my husband to get left, and slow down, might be even more annoying than that of one wife. Separate reviews are in the works for the Nav-U by Sony, the Navigon 2100 Max and Honda’s onboard Navigation units but to sum up the finer points:
The Sony Nav-u had the best lists of places to stop and turn by turn instructions to get you there. The unit was easy to program and read and saved us on more than one late night “we need a motel and we need it NOW” moment. The bluetooth cell feature makes it especially attractive for drivers in states that require hands free calling.
The Navigon unit was a pleasure to look at. The three dimensional display made sense and when it was on, there was no looking at the built in screen. Every turn in the road displayed beautifully and complicated highway interchanges, lane changes etc were stressless. Plus this unit was the fastest at the all important “display the closest Starbucks” challenge and was able to speak street names.
The Honda’s built in Navigation was the easiest to operate. Probably because it did not have cords that hogged the only power supply, suction cups etc and had a bigger screen. It also never lost GPS contact, and updated the fastest.
When all else failed, we found that the GPS on our iphone, combined with data from Yahoo Mobile guided us to the more obscure places we needed to be and provided detailed reviews of those places – but not without a cell connection! It was also the easiest to use for traffic updates when in an urban environment.
Plugged in, in the back seat:
Up until recently our kids have not been big fans of handheld electronics. But for this trip they wanted their own cameras. V-tech to the rescue. Each of our kids got to take their own pictures of the trip, with Vtechs sturdy and easy to use kidizoom camera. The cameras are fun and offer all sorts of amusing templates. Consider the following pictures that my daughter took of her siblings:
These cameras don’t have the very best picture quality, but they do capture both still and video images and are so much fun to use that we found ourselves begging for the kids to hand them over and give us a chance to take pictures of each other with devil horns and angel halos.
When they got sick of taking pictures with the cameras, the kids spent many miles playing the included games that the kidizoom camera has built in.
The latter part of our first day of travel took us across the Golden Gate bridge, and into Sausalito where we had lunch. While in Sausalito we drove by the offices of Cartelligent, the awesome online brokers that negotiated a stress free deal for us on our new car lease and waved hello. Then it was on to Sonoma before dark.
Night fell as we pulled into Santa Rosa. A sleepy little town with a lot of heart, we were thrilled to find a cosy room at a historic hotel with amazing customer service. Sheer luck led us to the Hotel La Rose. Good luck! This gem is located across from a historic train depot and within walking distance of Santa Rosa’s downtown. The staff was friendly and courteous – bringing our children an unsolicited snack of fresh baked cookies, fruit and water soon after we checked in. Charming homey decor and fluffy down quilts on the beds made us feel right at home in our spacious room. Our kids marvelled at the vintage wc style toilet in our room, proving that even when travelling domestically, encountering a novel toilet is always a thrill.
A somewhat lavish continental breakfast , complete with fresh baked goods, was included in the price of the room. This inclusion makes the hotel one of the most affordable choices in the area. The staff at Hotel La Rose took good care of us weary travelling parents as well, sending up vouchers for two glasses of excellent local wine from the hotel bar. It was such a sweet pit stop that we wished we could stay longer. As we rolled out of Santa Rosa we glanced back longingly at a summer festival, complete with model trains, local artists and a puppet show. We’d have to return to Santa Rosa.
On day two we’d be cruising down the Avenue of the Giants. Many more miles and the massive silent redwoods awaited us.
Post your summer travel photos on Shutterfly’s Hit the Road website and you’ll also be entered to win a great selection of prizes. What I like most is seeing other people’s photos from the same places we’ve been too. Helps to learn how to take better photos too.
Our family is currently planning for a road trip and gathering supplies. We’ll be travelling in our brand new black Honda Odyssey van which we adore. Sadly, so do all the little birdies. It’s as if they were waiting for us to get as large and as black a vehicle as possible, so they could do their thing. Usually on the way home from the carwash.
Much as I adored the 101 Dalmations series I’d rather not drive around in a vehicle that looks like it should be chasing a firetruck. Which is why I was overjoyed to find the Red Hot Shop at Target, filled with road trip supplies for the month of July.
What a stellar find! As if I did not have enough reasons to spend time in Target stores and perusing their site, it’s brilliant finds like these road trip gems that have me writing less and shopping more.
We’re travelling to the Pacific Northwest on our vacation but we’re sure to make a few Target pit stops along our route for whatever we’ve forgotten to pack. Lets start a Target tally now. How many Target stores will we drive by and how many of them will we stop in?
And how about you? How many Targets did you shop at during your last road trip?
Since moving Zutano from New York City to Montpelier Vermont, founders Michael and Uli Belenky have gotten their big city fix by driving the quick 2-1/2 hour road trip to Montreal. Over the years, they’ve become major Montreal fans, and happily share their favorite places and tips for visiting the city.
First off, let me say that Montreal is a great choice for traveling with kids. It’s relatively safe, and it’s relaxed with an abundance of parks and outdoor cafes and cultural events galore. With Montreal being the second largest French-speaking city in the world, it’s like having Paris in your back yard. Everyone will have a great time, and… it’s never too early to expose babies to a second language.
Where To Stay We would recommend staying at Casa Bianca overlooking Mount Royal Park at the edge of the colorful Plateau neighborhood. It’s a grand historic white stone house that used to be the city’s first Jewish medical clinic. The rooms are quirky but elegant with high ceilings and a claw foot tubs in the middle of the rooms
Shopping: We love Trader Joe’s on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills. We love their fresh, mostly organic products that won’t break the bank. My toddler loves to grab a snack at the demo station. While I wish that they carried some mainstream brands (no Hellman’s Mayo here), but we love their salad dressings, frozen foods (samosas anyone?) and fresh, mostly organic produce. Their reusable shopping bags are reasonable (we stocked up) and now use them for all of our grocery shopping.
Dining:Dani’s House of Pizza right in the heart of Kew Gardens, NY, is a family-owned Italian joint that serves delicious pizza in the front part, and even more wonderful Italian classics in their small dining room. Bring your own booster seat (sorry, no highchairs) and stash your stroller in your trunk (it’s really a tiny place). The prices are a steal and we’ve never gone home unsatisfied! The waitresses are sweet and treat you like family. My son has his first taste of red sauce here.
Play: We love going to Forest Park - the third largest park in Queens. We can hit the playground, through a ball around on the grass, walk a trail, or even go horseback riding (we’re going to wait until my toddler is much older though!). The shady park makes it an ideal destination on a really sunny day (and you can find lots of parking on the street). Now that ther weather’s better in NYC, the frog sprinklers are on!
Educational: We absolutely adore the NY Hall of Science. The toddler play area is a great place to let your little ones run around safely. They have new exhibits constantly, plus a fantastic new outside playground. We are members and take full advantage of this museum. On Sundays they have a Farmer’s Market in the parking lot.
Entertaining Out of Towners: Since we usually entertain our friends with babies, we like to head back to Manhattan and hit either the Museum of Natural History or the fun Baby Loves Disco party.
Shopping: We go to Target at least twice a week. There are three of them within five miles!
Dining: Does the Starbucks drive through count?
Play: With such great weather, there is no end of places to play – but in summer my kids love to cool off and splash at the Ladera Ranch Waterpark.
Educational: We love to visit the Pacific Marine Mammal rescue center in Laguna Beach. We love animals and it’s a perfect place for kids to learn about how they can help care for the environment and help our flippered friends.
Entertaining Out of Towners: With Disney, Legoland and Seaworld in striking distance, it’s not hard to come up with suggestions. But our favorite way to share our surroundings with visitors is to take them to Crystal Cove State Park Beach for a leisurely stroll and lunch,dinner, or drinks on the beachfront patio at the Beachcomber restaurant. They even give you a blanket to stay warm when it gets chilly.