Summer Travels: Top 10 Road Trip Songs

When I think of the best road trips I've taken, I realize that they all have the same things in common; conversation, laughter, and fun music. I will never forget the road trip to the mountains when I heard my daughters in the back seat singing along to Faith Hill's This Kiss with their little voices full of heart they belted out "BISCUITS BISCUITS". To this day, when I hear that song I can't help but sing the lyrics wrong and giggle. It was a beautiful vacation and it was made even better with music.

I recently heard of a peer to peer car rental network,, that is helping people make money by renting their own vehicles. I think this is a really cool concept and what struck me most is that many of the car owners are making playlists, and leaving CDs for the renters to enjoy music on their road trip. This got me thinking about what songs I would put on my road trip playlist. It took me awhile to narrow it down, because there are so many great songs that I love to listen to when I travel. I think for a road trip the music needs to be a nice balance of energy and mellowness; not too hard and not too soft. If it's too energetic it's hard to sit still, and if it's too mellow you'll just want to pull over and sleep. So, it was a struggle, but here it is: the top 10 road trip songs.

A Weekend Trip to Mall of America

Back in the early 90's, I heard about this mystical mall creature with 4 floors of shopping, an aquarium, and an amusement park all under one roof. An amusement park inside the mall! I knew that someday I had to go there and see it for myself. Last week that someday came. I went to the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.

As I walked past the Lego store and in to Nickelodeon Universe, I was instantly transformed into a kid again. This was a teenager's dream, so many stores to shop in, plus movies, rides, games, and oh so much more! Can you imagine growing up with this as your local mall hangout spot? Oh the fun!

5 Tips for Summer Travel With Dogs

Summertime is a great time to grab the leash and head outside. Take your dog hiking, head to the beach or even a road trip with your dog, you can enjoy all of these, just make sure you're following these 5 tips for traveling with dogs in the summer.

With school days coming to an end, temperatures rising, and vacation plans being made, there is no doubt that summer is upon us. Summer, is a great time to spend outdoors with family and friends, and it’s also a great time to grab a leash and head out for a trip with the dogs. I like to take my dogs on the occasional road trip, to the local dog beach, and to the coffee shop for their favorite treat; a cup of whipped cream.

No matter where you're traveling with your dog, whether it's weekend away or just a trip around the block, while you’re enjoying the summer with your favorite furry pets, keep these things in mind.

Water: Just like you get extra thirsty and can get dehydrated in the heat, so can your dogs, maybe even more so. No matter what you’re doing outside, make sure to have plenty of fresh clean water for both you and your dog. I suggest bringing a travel pet bowl to make it easy. Remember, if you do take your dog to the beach, that salt water is not any more drinkable for dogs than it is for humans.

Lunch at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, Disney Springs

We recently went to the newly named and revamped Disney Springs, (formerly known as Downtown Disney) for some lunch and shopping. We grabbed a small bite at the Indiana Jones themed Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar. This small bar is decorated with worldly items from Jock's many adventures including some pictures of our favorite snake hating archaeologist.

We enjoyed drinks on the deck overlooking the pond, but if your travel here is during hotter or rainier  it weather would be best suited for inside the hangar seating. Jock's has a great selection of specialty drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The "Cool Headed Monkey" is a refreshing fruity cocktail perfect for a hot Florida day. If you're looking to hold off on the alcohol, I recommend the Poisonless Dart, it's like a Shirley Temple with a twist.

Cool Headed Monkey, Anti-dote, Poisonless Dart

Let me tell you the food was delicious and the portions were big! I absolutely loved the wings, and the pretzels were the best I ever had.

Lao Che's Revenge, Spicy Asian sticky wings
Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar is great for drinks and small bites and we really enjoyed it. Something to keep in mind if you're traveling with small children: Disney has designed Jock's to have an old world dive bar feel so the food menu is not very extensive, and though children are welcome there isn't much for traditional kid's meal foods, so they may need to broaden their tastes a little; or just bring them a snack from somewhere else in Disney Springs.

A flight of pretzels with beer cheese fondue and spicy mustard.

Five Tips For Choosing Your Next Travel Destination

When I get back from a trip, I can't wait to start planning the next one. It's like I need to have the next destination planned so I have something to look forward to, something to work for. With so many wonderful places waiting to be explored, choosing what's next can be a challenge? Blakely Trettenero shares her tips for choosing your next destination.

Your Boston vacation was great, especially that side trip to Salem to learn all about witch trials.
The Grand Canyon lived up to its name and orca watching off the San Juan Islands was breathtaking.
That was all in the past, though. Now it’s time to plan the next big excursion.
But with so many places to visit, how do you choose the right one?

Blakely Trettenero, a world-traveling chef who has visited more than 30 countries, says her advice is to leave nothing to chance, which is the approach she takes for her own travels.
“It would be fun to say I just close my eyes and throw a dart at a map,” says Trettenero, host of the Hungry for Travels ( and Cooking for Bimbos ( websites. “But there’s a lot of planning and research that goes into every vacation.” When pondering where to go next, she recommends: