Category Archives: Travel

Road Tripping with Kia

Extra special thanks to Kia for giving us this opportunity to test drive the car for the week, it really made our vacation that much sweeter!
“We will never be a minivan family.”,  I’m pretty sure this was in our wedding vows. Fast forward nine years and three kids, and Tiffany and I have been happily  stuffing all five of our cute little asses into a four door sedan, until recently that is…

This summer we were finally able to take the kids on a long awaited trip to Legoland California. While we were preparing for the 9 hour journey in our own little car we were offered the chance by our friends at Kia to test drive a Sedona  for our trip instead! Now I will state this again, we have always been committed to being a no minivan family, but to be perfectly honest, I had no idea how dumb that was until we headed off down the coast.

I packed the van, installed the car seats, and we were ready to roll, with extra room in the trunk I might add, despite Tiffany’s twenty-nine suit cases she had to bring along. First things first though, music. There was a USB plugin located by the stereo that allowed us to control our iPhones directly through huge in dash touchscreen. We loaded up our favorite heavily edited hip-hop playlist and turned up. Tiffany and I were both immediately impressed by the sound quality, so impressed it took us a while to hear the kids screams from the back telling us to turn the music down.

Once on the freeway one of my favorite features, hands down, was the super intuitive cruise control. Now this wasn’t your basic “set your speed” cruise control, it actually controlled your speed up and down depending on the traffic around you! Not only that, you can set how far you would like to stay back from the car in front of you. I felt like I was driving a space ship; “Captain Michael-Cruise Control Badass”.

Now for most families going on a long road trip can be a real relationship test, especially in tight quarters. On this trip space was a plenty,  yet another thing the Kia Sedona rubbed in our van hating faces. “Oh your brother is being annoying? Just move to another seat.” “Whats that? You’re actually willing to share your snack? Move on back.” Not only did the van provide us with the space to move and get away from whoever was being annoying or farting too much, you could also move the front rear row forward, backward, and more importantly, side to side, making loading and unloading the kids the thousands times they had too pee that much easier.

While I can’t say with scientific certainty that driving the Sedona for our trip made our normally perfect attitude angel babies who never, ever, ever fight, argue, or bicker, act any better, I  will go ahead and say it was one of the most pleasant long distance drives we have ever had. There was nary a complaint, the kids had plenty of space when they needed it, plenty of USB outlets to charge tablets and phones, two moon roofs, sun screens on all the back windows for nap time, and to top it all off, air conditioned front seats so I avoided all the disgusting back sweat I normally get driving for hours on end.

To sum it up, thanks to the Kia Sedona, the Reeses are now true minivan believers. It looks like we’re gonna have to rewrite those wedding vows.

 

 

 

 

 

San Francisco Family Adventure

Last month Michael, Jude, Ruby & I had one of our best days adventuring together. If you noticed Ozzy’s name was missing, that isn’t an error – we left him with his Aunt & Uncle since you know, toddler.

San Francisco is my favorite city in the whole world. Since we live about 1.5 hours from SF, we visit as often as our schedules allow. Our time together is limited due to 2 busy working parents, school and life. So we decided to try to maximize our time together by trying a different route of travel with this trip, using MegaBus.com.

If you haven’t heard of MegaBus.com, it is awesome. The bus has two levels, free wi-fi, bathrooms and awesome table-seating options. The kids LOVED it.

You can also download the Megabus RIDE app on your laptop, tablets or mobile devices to choose from dozens of movies, television shows, games, music and more while riding in California.

Riders can enjoy 30 movies, 10 hours of TV shows, 50 audio books/albums and 5 games – all for free. I really liked that we didn’t have to worry about driving, and the normal 3 hours there and back we’d normally have to spend focusing on driving, traffic and stopping to pee was used to spend more time together. We taught the kids how to play Uno for the first time, it was a blast.

Upon arriving in SF, we were pretty hungry so we took the kids to one of our favorite spots, the Ferry Building. It’s full of modern, artisan restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, stores, etc. I especially liked taking the kids there because we didn’t all have to agree on one restaurant to eat from. We can grab whatever we feel like, then come together to sit and eat.

My little Cupcake Wars addicts liked Miette Patisserie the best.

After we were full from lunchtime goodness, we took Lyft over to the Aquarium of the Bay. I’ve actually never been here over my lifetime of visits to SF, so I figured it was time. The kids LOVED this place and have been talking about it ever since. Our favorite parts were the touch pool (where you can feel stingrays, etc) and watching the River Otters get fed (and do tricks, omg so cute). It’s not a very large aquarium, we only spent about 1.5-2 hours there total. It is however conveniently located adjacent to famous Pier 39, so we got to walk through there and see the shops & Sea Lions. It was raining heavily this day so we were a lot more limited on walking than we usually are, but we made the best of it.

We hadn’t planned on it, but while at Pier 39, I realized that Rainforest Cafe was just right down the street and knew the kiddos would love that place. It’s not the best food (especially in a city like San Francisco where you can dine at some of the best restaurants in the world) but it is super fun for kids.

Last stop of the day for us was to the amazing (and free) Musée Mécanique, which is one of the world’s largest (over 200) privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. (You can play them!) Located on Pier 45 at the foot of Taylor Street in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Free Admission Every Day! Michael and I have come here tons of times over the years but it was so much more fun with the kiddos.

If you want to see more of our adventure, check out this video.

What are your favorite spots to hit when traveling in San Francisco with your family? I’d love recommendations for our next trip.

XO Tiffany

Thank you MegaBus for providing us with comped tickets in exchange for feature in this post.