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Tag: family vacation


EuropeExtreme Sports in the Scotland Highlands

HCWT 07.22.2012 20:40 0 0


Scotland Highlands – The Ultimate Family Outdoor Sports Adventure.

The Highlands offer the best of outdoor sports adventures - from the white-knuckle activities like white-water rafting, canyoning, and wind karting to the gentler gate of hiking, fishing, cycling and whale-watching.

You can book a single sport activity to a full week of sports adventures at several multi-activity centres located throughout the Highlands.  Popular family sport adventures include hiking, fishing, scrambling, climbing, canoeing, sea-kayaking, gorge-walking, wild camping, white-water rafting, cycling, skiing, mountain biking, quad biking, jeep safaris, 4 x 4 driving, horse and pony riding, abseiling, canyoning, paintball, archery, wind karting -  the family activities The beauty of the Highlands, Lost Valley.are endless

The Multi-Activity Centres can help with accommodations from self-catering, B&B’s and hotels providing a variety of opportunities to meet fellow families and swap your adThe Three Sisters in Scotland Highlandsventures of the day. Accommodations at or close to the multi-activity centres provide an early start and late finish to the day, with the benefit of participating in more activities at a fixed price for the duration of your stay.Self-catering offer private family rooms with shared public areas.


Read more of this adventure at Scotland Extreme Sports Family Adventure...

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Mexico & CaribbeanCaribbean Family Vacation

HCWT 04.23.2012 20:15 0 0


Turks & Caicos
Caribbean Family Vacation

    Complimentary snorkel and dive boat trips are offered in the morning and afternoon. Our daughter was excited, yet fearful. We all wanted to see if snorkeling in Grace Bay is as great as the magazine claimed. Our first trip was a boat ride out to Pink Elephant in the Princess Alexandra Nature Preserve. As our snorkel guide gave instructions, Lizzy placed a life vest over her head and readied her mask and tube. When the anchor was thrown overboard, she became frightened and begged to stay on the boat while we jumped in. After a pep talk from her dad and the instructor, she followed us and another little girl into the warm water. Holding my hand she finally put her face mask in the water and pointed to a sea turtle grazing on sea grass. At first I thought she might get scared, instead she swam above this friendly creature as it gave us a tour of its underwater home. Strawberry grouper swam among parrot fish and yellow fin. Colorful coral decorated the sea floor. It was a delightful snorkeling experience she will never forget.     

    After a buffet lunch at the Tex-Mex Cantina, we took a catamaran and sailed along Grace Bay in search of a playful bottlenose dolphin named Jo-Jo. Our snorkel instructor had told us that since the early 1980’s, Jo-Jo has been seen swimming near shore and sometimes with people along Grace Bay. The wind and sea were calm, but Jo-Jo the botMain pool at Beaches Resort.tlenose dolphin was nowhere to be found.

    Sailing back to Beaches Resort, we signed up for another snorkel trip. This time we bought a disposable underwater camera at the gift shop and went out to The Cut, a ten-minute boat ride to the outer reef. We jumped into an underwater fantasy of friendly stingrays dancing near our feet and schools of at least sixty red snapper swimming alongside us. Huge sea cucumbers rested on the shallow floor, next to beautiful coral shaped like a human brain. We decided the travel magazine was right!


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Central & South AmericaHonduras Family Adventure - Swimming with dolphins

HCWT 02.18.2012 19:11 0 0


Swimming with Dolphins in Roatan, Honduras

We arrived for the dolphin swim at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences in Sandy Bay, a short drive from West End.

We were early, so Mom and I checked out the Roatan Museum and learned information about the island and the dolphin study program.

    When mom made our reservations for the dolphin swim, they warned her about a certain dolphin that is still learning “appropriate behavior” with kids.  Not that she would ever mean to hurt you, but she is like a rambunctious over-size puppy

I had the best time getting to know Rita, a bottlenosed dolphin.

I had the best time getting to know Rita, a bottlenosed dolphin.

wanting to play.  I assured mom that it would be okay and I really, really wanted to swim with the dolphins.

    By boat we went to Bailey’s Key, where in a blue green lagoon we met Rita, a bottle-nosed dolphin and a mom, too.  In waist deep water alongside Rita and her trainer, mom and I learned some fun things about her. Like how she breathes, gives birth and where her calf drinks milk.

     She really enjoyed us petting her, her skin felt like slick rubber!  We learned that she doesn't like her tail fin touched.  She loved the attention so much that afterwards she gave us lots of dolphin kisses!
     We then put on our snorkel gear and headed into the deep water of the lagoon, where we rejoined Rita and met her male calf Enzo; Gee Gee and her male calf Boomer; and Cedana, the frisky, misbehaving female.
    At first everyone was a bit shy, but then guess who got very playful?  Yep, Cedana or Ced, as they call

After our visit Rita gave me a dolphin kiss.

After our visit Rita gave me a dolphin kiss.

her.  She first came up behind me and grabbed my elbow in her mouth. It didn’t hurt, just surprised me.  Then, she circled back around and came from beneath, locked onto my leg and pushed me through the water.          
    The trainer grabbed my arm, pulled me away from Ced, and said, “If you ignore her and swim away, you’ll show Ced that you won’t play with her when she acts that way.”  
    I understood what the trainer was saying, but I still wanted to play with her. I was having fun, too. Like the times Ced would sneak up behind me and tap me on my head.  I’d twirl around to find her right in my face sporting a full dolphin grin!  Most of the time Ced spent swimming circles around me, unexpectedly popping up beside me and tugging at my arm or leg.  Not once did she hurt or scare me.  We had great fun!
    Rita and her calf, Enzo, swam side by side.  They would join mom in underwater acrobatics, although they probably thought mom silly for trying to act like a dolphin.
    “Cody,” mom said, “here, hold this blade of grass and watch Rita, she’ll take it from your hand.”
    Rita playfully pulled the grass from my hand, then immediately let it drop so I would chase it and play the game again.  Who was the smarter one, I wondered?
    It all went by too fast and before we knew it we were waving good-bye to our new dolphin playmates.

Back at the institute, a few other dolphins from the pod performed in a show. 
    I had the best time and I’ll never forget it, especially Ced.  In fact, we bought a video tape of our swim... Yep, there was Ced tugging at my leg--caught on camera!

Read more of CW's adventure in Dolphins of Roatan, Honduras.

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United States & CanadaHomeschooler's Adventure at Colonial Williamsburg.

HCWT 02.17.2012 14:24 0 0


A Homeschooling Adventure at Colonial Williamsburg

Thursday – We arrived late in the day at Williamsburg and met up with others for the evening Lantern Tour at Colonial Williamsburg. The kids had fun holding the candles and lanterns, as we walked about the town, stopping at the milliner and silversmith shops. 

Friday – Each day of the week at Colonial Williamsburg is a special day in history.  Today is May 15, 1776, when the Virginians declared their independence from the British Crown.  While visiting the capitol building, the delegation was discussing the vote that would take place that afternoon at 5 o’clock, which resulted in an unanimous vote in favor of independence! 

The kids liked the military encampment and jail.  A group of “slaves” was discussing the irony of their masters wanting freedom from England, however refusing their own freedom.  They thought they would be better off siding with the English, as they don't have slavery in England.

At Shields Tavern, one of three taverns in the historic area that serves dinner, we enjoyed tasting appetizers and other foods from the colonial period, while listening to a man performing on the colonial version of a guitar.  Later that night, the kids had fun catching fireflies.

Saturday – This morning we heard George Washington speak behind the Governor's Palace.  The Governor's Palace was surprisingly opulent, considering the time period.  Behind the palace is a cemetery with no markers, just a field where 156 men and 2 women are buried. We then watched a fencing demonstration in the theater.  The kids had a great time in Merchant Square dressing up in period clothing and having their pictures taken.

Read more of this home school family adventure at RV Travel Adventure - Orlando to Lake George.

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AfricaSouth Africa - A journey back home.

HCWT 01.27.2012 17:43 0 0

The Fairest Cape

    After a day of rest, we piled into the car and headed for one of Cape Town’s most famous southeasterly suburbs, the naval base of Simon’s Town. Here we visited the small markets that have cropped up all over South Africa in the last 10-15 years. Hundreds of these markets offer such items as wooden and stone carvings, statues, salad spoons, and chess sets along with hand-dyed fabrics; wire, metal and bead objects; and T-shirts. This is shopping at its cheapest if you’re using dollars or Sterling. The boys had great fun spending their pocket money on inexpensive, but not tacky, ethnic goodies.
    Near Simon’s Town is Boulders Beach, where a colony of African Penguins has settled in over the last 20 years. You can view the penguin colony from the boardwalk, or walk down to the small beach where you can climb the boulders and sit closer to the birds.
    A good day trip from Cape Town was to Cape Point the most southwesterly point in Africa, and near both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Actually, Cape Agulhas, a bit farther south, is where the two oceans merge. Cape Point is worth a visit for its romance, its beauty, and its baboons. The baboons are fun to watch, but they do steal and they can bite, so you have to be wary of them. We celebrated my husband Andrew’s birthday over lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant, which affords stunning views all around. It also offers a varied menu including some typical South African dishes. On the way home, we stopped at several ever-present roadside markets to buy carvings, pottery, and cool bush hats for the boys.
    We enjoyed a couple of good beach days at Fish Hoek, which offers a wide sandy beach with safe swimming for children, two restaurants (where we sipped G&Ts while watching the boys play on the sand), and a large car park. Like most beaches down the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, Fish Hoek is hot and sunny in the morning, but can become quite windy in the afternoon. The western side of the peninsula is less windy, but the Atlantic Ocean is almost too cold for swimming. If you want to swim at the beach, plan mornings at the beach and afternoons sightseeing.

Enjoy more of Marjie's visit back home to South Africa at Back to My Homeland.

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