In Real Moms

I’m a blog-writing, Pinterest-loving, college-professoring, non-practicing attorney married to my high school sweetheart and mom to two of the cutest little fellas. Our two boys, Charlie (age 3) and Jack (age 1) definitely keep us on our toes and you can track us over at The Peanuts Gang.

PeanutsGangButton1_smGrowing up, I vividly remember cross-country family vacation road trips filled with laughter, arguments and fond memories. We went everywhere from the Black Hills to Maine to Florida to Canada to Niagara Falls – all by car! Jim (my hubby) didn’t take nearly as many adventures, but we vowed to make treks with our kids that would create memories to last a lifetime.

Last summer, we debated long and hard about spending a vacation elsewhere just the four of us and decided to make the trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan. With a then two-year-old and seven-month-old in tow, we tried to plan, plan, and plan to hopefully have a relaxing time once we arrived! Although things didn’t always turn out the way we had hoped, we had a great time and look back with lots of laughs and some helpful tips for future trips.

DSC_0167_smSamantha’s Family Travel Tip

One of the best things we did in preparation for a trip was to buy a 1st generation iPad on Craigslist. This amazing technology doubled as our laptop & location guide as well as entertainment during those antsy meal times when mom and dad just want to eat without rushing and can enjoy a meal that doesn’t come in a box. The iPad also became an incentive for good behavior and assisted with the eight-hour car drive. I even compiled a list of favorite family and kid-friendly apps.

Samantha’s Top 3 Family-Friendly Chicago Destinations

The City of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs offer some fantastic places to take your kids while visiting. Here are my faves:

Enjoy and don’t be afraid to make a mess, be disorganized, but most importantly, make memories with your family!

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