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We Loved Cirque Italia in Palmetto Florida!

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Cirque Italia Review

Last Saturday we had the opportunity to attend Cirque Italia in front of the Riviera Dunes Marina in Palmetto, Florida and it was amazing!

I had never been to a show like this before so I was excited to see what a water circus under the big tent would be like, and it certainly did not disappoint! 

When we arrived we grabbed some popcorn and light-up toys because, well, it’s a circus it’s a time for some extra fun.  Next, we went to find our seats, and because I was visiting on my own with the 3 kids I was very happy to see staff escorting guests to their seats as they entered the venue.  Little things like this make a mom whos hands are completely full’s life so much easier.

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As soon as the show started, and these two clowns came out, I knew it was going to be a great time.  They had everyone laughing from the moment they took the stage and came out between each cirque act with new shenanigans that the kids absolutely loved!

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The Cirque Performers were incredible, each performer had a unique talent that left us all in awe.  From tightrope walking to acrobatics, and even a cool rollerskating performance, this show was filled to the brim with amazing talent.

The water element of this show is something that makes Cirque Italia particularly unique, an ultra-modern water curtain surrounds the stage and controls every droplet that falls to the lagoon below, as words and designs are displayed on it throughout the performances.  

I can definitely give Cirque Italia two thumbs up!  They not only kept me in awe but also kept 3 kids entertained for the entire 2-hour show.  They were either laughing or staring with their eyes and mouth open wide in shock.

For more information and upcoming tour dates visit http://www.cirqueitalia.com and make sure to check all of their social media accounts below.

GET SOCIAL WITH CIRQUE ITALIA

Twitter: @CirqueItalia

Instagram: @cirqueitaliashow

Facebook: @cirque.italia

 

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Bloggin’ Mamas & Cirque Itallia to share this upcoming tour stop with my readers, and am being compensated for this partnership. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

5 Reasons Club Med Sandpiper Bay is a Family Vacation Paradise

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5 Reasons Club Med Sandpiper Bay is a Family Vacation Paradise

Have you ever left for a vacation with your family dreaming of relaxation and quality time with the ones you love, only to return home a week later just as tired and rundown as you were when you left?  As a family that travels A LOT, I can honestly say this has happened to me more times than I can count. 
As a parent of young children, most vacation spots require me to do most of the things I do every day, just in a prettier location.  However, after our first time visiting a Club Med Village, I now know a completely different way of family vacationing is possible.

Club Med offers an all-inclusive experience that is packed full of both relaxation and adventure for everyone in your family.  From relaxing at the infinity pool with a cocktail after a treatment at the spa to a trapeze lesson high above the ground, this resort gives you it all.

5 Reason’s Club Med Sandpiper Bay is the Perfect Family Friendly Vacation Spot!

1. The Mini Club, I can’t say enough about this amenity.  The Mini Club allows your kids to have fun and make friendships every day of your vacation so that parents can have an opportunity to relax and reconnect.  The staff was super friendly and all 3 of my children loved the Mini Club and talk about going back constantly. 

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Aidan and Lilly were in the Gators section which is geared towards 8 to 10-year-olds and they got to spend their days swimming, sailing, kayaking, learning trapeze and so much more.  I was given a schedule when I signed them in and was able to check up on them throughout the day, but honestly, they didn’t want anything to do with me after making new friends.

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Anthony was part of the Latitude 27 Teen Club.  Going into it, I wasn’t sure how my overly shy boy was going to handle a day full of activities with new people.  But I was so impressed when he came back the first day smiling and talking about what was on the plan for the next day.
It was a small group due to the time of year we visited, so it really allowed him to bond with the staff that was running the club and Anthony learned how to play chess, golfed, and even jumped way out of his comfort zone and did the trapeze.
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We picked the kids up from the Mini Club each afternoon, with enough time to get changed and ready for dinner and a nighttime full of family fun together.

2. The Food and Drinks, One of the hardest part of family travel is affordably feeding everyone what they like in a family-friendly atmosphere.  Club Med Sandpiper Bay takes this stress away completely.  With a breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet that is packed full of practically every type of food.
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Aidan is my pizza lover and he ate pizza to his heart’s content.  The other kids were happy with the burger station, mac & cheese, chicken tenders, but were really just trying to get through their dinner to get to the incredible dessert buffet.

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Us adults didn’t want for anything either with soups, salads, steak, chicken, and more.  Each night we found a different entree that we fell in love with.
Plus, I can’t talk about Club Med’s food without bringing up their White Chocolate Bread.  This stuff is amazingly delicious and addicting, a must try when you visit!
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They also offer drinks poolside at the Infinity Pool Bar, and with music and games at Slice bar and lounge.

3. Relaxation, from the Club Med Spa by L’Occitane to the cabanas lining the pool areas, Club Med offers relaxation at every corner.  We loved sipping drinks in the jacuzzi next to the infinity pool and lounging on the beach chairs watching the fish jump.  This resort truly allows families to recharge themselves.

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4. Activities,  Club Med Sandpiper Bay is the ultimate destination for active families!  I have been to hundreds of resorts and have never seen one offer the number of activities as Club Med.  They offer a full array of sports including sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, tennis, volleyball, golf, and so much more.  Plus, if you don’t know how to play and want to learn, they hold classes and clinics to help everyone get involved.
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They offer 3 pools and a children’s splash park to cool off in, have nightly shows, and a huge list of fitness classes.  Plus, they have a variety of both land and water excursions you can sign up for at an additional charge, including dolphin tours, horseback riding, and jet skiing.

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However, my entire family’s favorite activity at Club Med Sandpiper Bay is the Trapeze Lessons!  This is such a unique attraction that everyone who visits the village has to try!

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5. Accommodations, We stayed in a Deluxe Family Room which offered us the perfect amount of space for a family of 5.  The Deluxe Family Room has one bedroom with 2 twin beds, a king bed and a day bed in the main room, as well as 1.5 bathrooms, a mini bar that is stocked each day, a coffee maker, and many more accommodations to make you feel at home from the moment you arrive.  Our room also opened up to a beautiful porch area where we could sit and catch up with each other about the day’s activities.

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Club Med Sandpiper Bay is definitely a must visit resort in Florida for families.  We are already discussing our next visit with our extended family, and can’t wait to return.

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Have you visited a Club Med location before?

 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Club Med. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cirque Italia in front of Riviera Dunes Marina in Palmetto Florida!

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This weekend, I am excited to attend Cirque Italia in front of Riviera Dunes Marina. Cirque Italia now has two traveling shows and for the first time ever, the new Gold Unit is coming to Palmetto, FL! With it’s state of the art technology, it’s sure to be a show you won’t want to miss! Keep reading through and I will share how you can get your children’s tickets FREE!

Event Info for Cirque Italia at Palmetto

When: February 1-4

Where: 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto, FL 34221

At: Next to 711 Gas Station / In Front of Riviera Dunes Marina

Intersection: Haben Blvd/Rivera Dunes Way

—Under the stunning White & Blue Big Top Tent

  • February 1 – Thursday: 7:30pm
  • February 2 – Friday: 7:30pm
  • February 3 – Saturday: 1:30pm, 4:30pm, & 7:30pm
  • February 4 – Sunday: 1:30pm & 4:30pm, & 7:30pm

Here’s a bit more about the show:

Beginning in 2017, Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, introduced a second unit, the Gold Unit: a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Now for 2018, a brand-new performance has been created. With over 90% of their shows being sold out, they decided it was the best time to provide a substantial investment into doubling their presence at the national level.

This new performance features an ultra-modern water curtain that controls every droplet of water meticulously. Audience members can expect to see words and beautiful patterns as the water falls to the ‘lagoon’ below. Cirque Italia is ready to provide a breathtaking experience. This new stage by itself is enough to amaze the most demanding audience, and synchronized with the most creative display of superhuman talent – the result is simply out of this world!

The latest trends of the industry are challenged with every Cirque Italia appearance and this 2nd unit is not any different. A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world. This production will feature acts all the way from Russia to Mexico. Cirque Italia believes in multi-culturalism as one of their strongest assets.

Packed full of incredible acts, there is no room for boredom. The variety presented is exceptional. For those who enjoy whimsy, they have an Avatar and not one, but two mermaids. There is almost no bodily limit for their contortionist, Ricardo, as he bends in ways you never would have imagined. Their incredible wheel of death performance features a front summersault flip, something you will be hard-pressed to see anywhere else. If that doesn’t get your head spinning, perhaps their 5 roller skaters and their incredible tricks and turns will. And although Cirque Italia does not use animals in their performances, this year they will be featuring amazing life-like elephant puppets. They are so well made, you might just think they are real. Whether it’s a futuristic laser act or mesmerizing aerial performances, the show has something for all tastes and expectations. One thing Cirque Italia sets out to accomplish is to create a type of world-class entertainment suitable for all age groups.

This new second unit also follows the same strict animal-free policy that makes the Water Circus stand out from other circus entertainment shows.

The “magic touch” of the Italian entrepreneur Manuel Rebecchi, President and Owner of Cirque Italia, added to the flawless direction of the COO, Chanté DeMoustes, and has turned this once romantic project into a successful production known and acclaimed all over the country.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be amazed and transported to a fantastic realm where your deepest dreams can -and will- come true.

Now Get Your Tickets

Tickets can be purchased now, starting at $10.00 through$40.00 depending on availability. You can purchase tickets through their website (cirqueitalia.com/tickets😉 or by phone: (941) 704-8572. They also respond to text messages. Of course, you can also purchase them at the box office.

Box office hours:

The box office opens on-site on January 30th.

Non-show days: 10am – 6pm

On show days: 10am – 9pm

FREE Child Admission

Cirque Italia offers one free child admission with every full priced paying adult ticket in levels 2 or 3, using the code in the image below. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or deals.

For more information visit http://www.cirqueitalia.com and make sure to check all of their social media accounts below.

Get Social with Cirque Italia

Twitter: @CirqueItalia

Instagram: @cirqueitaliashow

Facebook: @cirque.italia

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Bloggin’ Mamas & Cirque Itallia to share this upcoming tour stop with my readers, and am being compensated for this partnership. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Best Way to Find and Book Family Attractions!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of TripAdvisor, all opinions are 100% my own.

The Best Way to Find and Book Family Attractions!

We are I the home stretch of holiday shopping, and I am a big believer in giving the gift of memories and experiences whenever possible.  For birthdays, often instead of parties my family opts for a unique mini-vacation, and for Christmas, I like to wrap up vouchers and tickets to local events and attractions that we can experience over school break.

I have used TripAdvisor for years to find hotels, restaurants, and local attractions.  It has always been my go-to spot to check out a business before making reservations or purchasing tickets.  However, it was always an extension of my purchasing process.  I would find a place and read all the amazing reviews that TripAdvisor offers, and then visit a secondary site to book my visit. 

Now TripAdvisor has created the ability to book attractions, tours, and experiences right on TripAdvisor.com!  As a busy mom who loves finding unique experiences for my family and making memories with my children, this service is perfect.  I love the streamlined process that TripAdvisor is offering, once I find the attraction that speaks to my heart I click the button, choose a day, and purchase my tickets, super simple!  Plus, they offer over 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide, so there is something for everyone.

We used TripAdvisor to book our Christmas in the Wild experience at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa last week and if you followed along on Instagram Stories, you already know what an amazing time it was.  From elves taking “elfies” and glow cotton candy to snow in Florida, this experience filled us with the Christmas spirit.

  Plus, the Lowry Park Zoo is one of my favorite zoos to visit, the animal exhibits are top notch and they offer so many other attractions for the kids, including rides and a sprinkler park. 

We will also be visiting the Florida Aquarium next week, so be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories to see all the great memories to be made there!

Why Book on TripAdvisor

  • Knowledge: They consolidate the options in one place, so you can easily search for what best suits your needs.  
  • Reviews: They show you thousands of reviews on attractions so you can make informed choices
  • Ease: They make booking online or on the free mobile app quick and easy – no hotel concierge, no guidebook, no ancient brochures.  
  • Whenever, wherever: You can book a month in advance, a week in advance, a day in advance, or a ‘skip the line’ ticket form the very line you’re standing in.
  • VIP access: They offer skip-the-line opportunities, behind-the-scenes access, private viewings and more.
  • 24/7 customer service: Book with TripAdvisor Attractions and you’ll have 24/7 access to our customer support team
  • Low price guarantee: If you find a lower price for the same tour or activity within 72 hours of booking, or if you arrive in your destination and find your activity offered at a lower price by the operator, let them know.  They’ll refund the price difference.

They basically take all hard work out of planning your family’s fun, so where are you planning to visit next?

The Ultimate Holiday Road Trip Planning Guide!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Holiday Road Trip Planning Guide

Are you thinking about taking a family vacation this holiday season? My family is. We have made it a family tradition to travel up to Kiawah Island, South Carolina each holiday season. My brother works on a resort up there, and because he is usually the one traveling down to visit us, we make it a plan to spend a week together during either Thanksgiving or Christmas in his world. However, traveling during the holidays is a lot different than any other time of year. From planning out dinners and trying to get gifts to the destination, a lot more goes into a holiday vacation. Here are my top tips for planning a holiday vacation!

Finding a place to stay: During the holiday season, you may want more than just your typical hotel room to stay in. If your extended family is going, you may want connecting rooms or a multi-room villa. Think about if you want to cook holiday meals, decorations and how much space you need for everyone to make magical holiday memories.

During our holiday trips, it is my brother, my family of 5, and my parents staying together. Plus, we host a lot of my brother’s friends for dinner, so it makes sense for us to rent a house for the holiday. This gives us a full kitchen for cooking, a living room to spend time together in and enjoy Christmas morning in, plus we all have our own bedrooms.

If you have seen my last few travel posts, you know I am all about using my Fuel Rewards® card as much as possible! You can earn Fuel Rewards savings when booking your hotel, so make sure you head over to the website or app and check out which hotels are offering great rewards.

If you’re staying with family or friends decide on a great thank you gift and schedule it to be delivered or picked up along the way, the less packing the better.

Consider attractions in the area. We visit Kiawah island which offers a ton of fun activities all week long over the holidays. Check out your locations tourism board or call the hotel to check out what events they have planned, and if advanced reservations or tickets are needed.

Driving:

Driving up to South Carolina from Tampa only takes about 6 hours, which is the perfect amount of time for a fun road trip in my book. It’s enough time that you need to stop and eat, explore a couple welcome centers to stretch your legs, and still not have to break for the night anywhere. However, even when we lived in Massachusetts, we would drive to holiday vacations, and it was about 20 hours of road time.

With a family of 5, driving has always been a cost-effective travel option for us, plus with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program, we are saving even more at the pump now! Also, with holiday travel there is extra luggage that is easier to transport by driving. When we spend Christmas on Kiawah, we wanted to have a Christmas tree, so that meant packing a tree stand, some ornaments, and of course our elf.

Quick Road Trip Tips to Keep the Kids in the Holiday Spirit: Pack holiday snacks to minimize stops! grab some holiday cookies and treats to keep the kids happy when you hear “I’m hungry” from the backseat.

Keep the kids entertained with small new toys from the dollar store. Wrap them up before you leave, and hand them out every couple hours for the kids to unwrap along the way.

Stop in each state to collect postcards as souvenirs! When we would travel from Massachusetts to Florida, we did this! It was a great way to mark off a chunk of travel and keep the kids excited. In the northern states, we were stopping every hour or two, but once we hit Virginia it is easily a 4 hour of travel time to check off.

Gifts

Are you traveling to visit family? Shop online and have gifts sent to their house instead of having to load your car with gifts, especially if your little ones still believe in Santa. Plus, make sure you check out the Fuel Rewards® site for some awesome stores to shop at for extra Fuel Rewards savings!

No family in the area? Try shopping online at stores that allow store pick up. Order all the gifts you need, and when you arrive at your location head over to the local department stores and pick everything up.

We did this for a Christmas in South Carolina and it was fun having an adult wrapping party after the kids fell asleep.

Also, think about local gifts if you are arriving early enough to go shopping. My son loves golf, so I make it a point to stop at the Kiawah Pro-Shop and grab him a Kiawah branded item.

Holiday Dinner

There are many restaurants and hotels that offer large delicious holiday dinners, however, my family loves cooking together and being around a family table to laugh and talk for as long as we’d like. We enjoy the relaxing feeling of a homey environment and on Thanksgiving, the guys want to be able to watch football.

However, that means shopping for a large meal in a new city. Make sure you’ve looked into the closest grocery stores and know their holiday hours. Plus make a list, and check it twice! A couple years ago, my husband was out looking for brown sugar late Christmas Eve and ended up spending about $10 for it at the resort store.

Also think about bring some extra bowls, mixing spoons, and disposable pans from home. Most hotel rooms with kitchens are advertised as fully stocked, but when it comes to cooking a full holiday meal it’s unlikely they’ll have enough items to cook everything comfortably.

Packing

Packing for a holiday trip requires a lot of items you wouldn’t need on an average road trip. For Christmas, talk with your family and decide how you’re handling a Christmas tree. Some hotels provide them, or you can bring your own fake one, skip it all together if your kids are older, or pack a tree stand and find a local tree farm.

One year we did this along with purchasing a bunch of dollar store decorations and making handmade ornaments. The kids still talk about that being their favorite Christmas tree ever.

Other items such as stockings, traditional holiday books, plus cookies and reindeer food needs to be added to the list along with your normal vacation packing list. Make sure you put a list together of all the holiday essentials you don’t want to make memories without.

Extra Savings with the Fuel Rewards Program!

The easiest way to save right now is by taking advantage of their limited time offer: Instant Gold Status. This savings has helped me stay on a budget during every fuel up. With the Instant Gold Status offer, everyone who joins gets a 5c/gal savings (up to 20 gallons per visit) every time you fuel up at a Shell location for at least the first 6 months from signup.

Plus, there are additional ways to save on fuel with the Fuel Rewards® program. When you link your debit or credit card to your Fuel Rewards® account you earn additional savings each time you shop or dine with participating merchants, like hotels and restaurants.

By stacking all these potential rewards, you can really save at the pump and stay on your holiday travel budget! Best of all it’s free to sign up!

Make sure to head over and sign up for the Fuel Rewards® program and start saving at the pump now!

After signing up send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station after registering with your link, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal (up to 20 gal). There’s no limit to how much you can save!

Are you traveling over the holidays? Follow our Thanksgiving road trip adventure this Thanksgiving on Instagram! What is your favorite travel tip?

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period.” If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period.” The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period.” You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period.” During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473

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