Tag Archives: mbmtravel

Modern Boca Mom’s *Best Disney Trip Ever* Guide

Want to take the best Disney trip EVER? Here are Modern Boca Mom’s top tips and tricks for conquering Walt Disney World with your family…

Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide

10 Tips for the Best Disney Trip Ever:
  1. Take Comfortable Shoes  – This is likely my most important tip. From your personal walking-wear to your little one’s shoe of choice, making sure you have comfortable shoes is ESSENTIAL.  Be sure to choose a pair you have worn many times before without blisters or discomfort and that provide awesome support. Disney = lots of walking!
  2. Bring Snacks
    *PRO TIP* You can bring your own food and drinks into the park! 

    Bringing snacks can help keep your costs down and allow more time for play – instead of having to stand in long food lines with high prices.

  3. Bring H20 – Whether visiting in winter or in the dead of summer, I promise you and your family will get thirsty! Bringing your own water will save you big bucks in the park.
  4. Bring it all in a cute backpack – You’ll want to come prepared; snacks, water, sunscreen, Mickey ears – the works. But, you don’t want to lug it all around in a big, awkward bag! Splurge on a backpack. We also recommend bringing a stroller, especially if you have a baby or toddler who will inevitably get tired.
  5. Plan FastPasses in Advance – Plan your FastPasses well in advance and use them to organize the rest of your trek around the park. This will ensure you get on the rides you are dying to ride and see the characters you are dying to see! Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide
  6. Bring a Camera – Or, clear your phone so you have plenty of memory to snap pics! There are so many Instagram-able *and just downright cute* memories you’ll want to record when you are at the park.
  7. Don’t forget to put down your phone and your stress – You don’t want to miss any memorable family moments! Don’t be glued to your camera or your to do list– enjoy every second!
  8. If you are able, stay at a Disney resort– With so many amazing options, the confusion surrounding where to stay is oftentimes overwhelming. But, staying in a Disney hotel makes the experience all that much more amazing. Eat, breathe, sleep, Disney.

    *PRO TIP* Make sure your hotel (if it’s not Disney) has a shuttle. Parking can be expensive and oftentimes far from the park entrance.

  9. If you have little ones, make sure they have a segmented day. –  No one wants to spend 14 hours straight with kids under ten at “the happiest place on earth.” It can become not very happy at all! Go for a few hours at a time and don’t be afraid to break for your hotel pool.
  10. Use My Disney Experience – If planning isn’t your thing, this site/app can help you make an efficient and easy plan. It will help you to effortlessly manage the whole trip. Find it here: My Disney Experience.

Now that you have these tips for having the Best Disney Trip Ever, start planning your magical memories!

Here are some other Modern Boca Mom Disney Tips + Tricks!

Make a Day of it at the Newly Expanded Disney Springs

Best Places to Eat at Disney World- 2016 Update

My New Favorite Restaurant at Disney Springs


Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide

Cruising on the Disney Wonder with a Preschooler: Hit or Miss?

Is a Disney Cruise for preschoolers? That was the question I seriously asked myself as I accepted Disney’s wonderful invite to the 2017 Social Media Moms Celebration. I mean, CLEARLY Walt Disney World parks are perfect for preschoolers (as we took complete and utter advantage of our annual passes in 2016).

But a cruise? And without my mom for travel backup? I figured we’d take a chance and give it a shot anyways…

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Is a Disney Cruise for Preschoolers? Our Experience on the Disney Wonder

Like I explained in this post, Modern Boca Mom was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. #DisneySMMC (for short) is an invitation-only conference where digital/social media influencers and bloggers are asked to come together, collaborate and learn about their company as well as other likeminded brands.

This year’s conference theme was Land and Sea. The sea part? Yep- a 3-night journey on the Disney Wonder out of Port Canaveral.

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney Wonder Staterooms

#dailybocaavery made herself at home pretty quickly as you can see. The balcony staterooms on the Disney Wonder are a really nice size with two separate bathroom spaces. You can fit 4 people to a room easily. How cool is this bed conversion?

I read a ton of blogs pre-cruise and found that passengers like to decorate their doors with magnets. I got ours on Etsy (Little Mermaid Mickey), but I know other bloggers who totally DIY’d!

People went all out as you can see below. Many families also participated in something called a Fish Extender gift exchange. I couldn’t get it together to participate this cruise, but here is a little more info on what that is from one of my fellow #DisneySMMC bloggers.

I’m also proud to report: no seasickness! I knew #modernbocadad and I would be okay as we had cruised several times before, but we didn’t know how she would react on the high seas.

MBMom Tip: I hear drinking wine is really good for seasickness. 😉 And Disney Cruise Line allows you to pack 2 bottles of wine per person. Huzzah!

I knew in advance that I’d be pretty busy on this cruise. As soon as my family embarked, us bloggers were whisked away for lunch at the Animator’s Palate while our families were invited to dine on their own by the pool (be sure to pack your swimsuits in your carry-on, so you can start swimming right away!).

Animator’s Palate

The food overall on the cruise was excellent, but this particular restaurant had something special…

Animation Magic (available on 7-night and longer sailings on the Disney Magic, but conference attendees were able to experience it on the Wonder)! Try your hand at drawing your very own character—and then watch in wonder as your creation becomes part of the show, dancing alongside some classic Disney characters!

This activity screams Disney Cruise for preschoolers! Check out this short video featuring my “character”:

Fine, I loved it too. 🙂 Coloring at lunch isn’t just for the little ones! After, we had a few conference activities that involved champagne (!!!). I learned that the ‘tale as old as time’ (a.k.a Beauty and the Beast) is going to be enchanting the stage for the very first time in a brand new musical production on the Disney Dream on November 6 (2017)!

Disney’s Oceaneer Club

While I was busy doing conference stuff, #modernbocadad took Avery on a tour of the Oceaneer Club aboard. Children 3 to 12 years old can interact with Disney characters—and each other—as they explore multi-themed magical lands like Toy Story, Frozen and Marvel!

MBMom Tip: Be sure to pack tons of costumes for your child!

I now know why parents love cruising with Disney: the complimentary child care!!! Disney’s Oceaneer Lab is about learning while having fun (for the older kids) and Disney’s Oceaneer Club is pure Disney fantasy for the little ones. Character-driven performances, special storytelling sessions, larger-than-life playgrounds (a HUGE hit with #dailybocaavery), dress-up opportunities and cool interactive activities make sure there’s never a dull moment for your little one.

Your child will be outfitted with a special magic band when you register them at the Oceaneer Club. They are always accounted for and can have a Disney cast member text you (of course there’s an awesome Disney Cruise Line app- they think of everything!) to come pick them up when they are done. It’s fantastic!

Night 1: The Golden Mickey’s and Tiana’s Place

Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner at Tiana’s Place and The Golden Mickeys!

We had the later seating for dinner each night, so that meant showtime was always first. I say this without hesitation: the shows were my favorite part of this Disney Cruise for preschoolers. They were excellent– even better than the ones in the parks.

The Golden Mickeys invites you to a Hollywood-style awards show. You’ll find out which Disney movie character wins “Most Heroic” or “Most Romantic,” and enjoy familiar tunes from Disney films like:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Tarzan
  • Mulan
  • The Little Mermaid
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Toy Story 2
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Tangled
  • The Lion King
  • Beauty and the Beast

Then it was off to dine at the brand-new Tiana’s Place, which was spectacular! You actually feel like you are IN the movie. How does Disney do that?!

Once seated at your table, Tiana herself stops by to welcome you. Then, the restaurant’s own band “The Crawfish Crooners” entertains you while you eat.

Feel free to get up and dance or even join the parade at the end of dinner! And don’t forget to order the beignets for dessert. So much fun!!!

All the kids menus are shaped like jazz instruments

Disney Princess and Frozen Meet & Greet

One complimentary activity on the Disney Wonder is the Princess and Frozen meet and greets. Be sure to register for this on the Disney Cruise Line website as soon as you book your cruise. Times fill up quickly to meet Ariel, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Belle, Elsa and Anna!

Night 2: Disney Dreams- An Enchanted Classic, Triton’s and Pirate Night

No, Disney Dreams isn’t about my daughter sleeping. It’s a musical about the power of dreams and family, starring a cavalcade of Disney characters! This live stage show features a dazzling procession of characters and songs from some all-time Disney classics like:

  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Cinderella
  • Aladdin

An award-winning musical, this show also includes stunning special effects—and a very special cameo appearance by Tinker Bell. All Disney productions are under 90 minutes, so they keep the attention of little ones.

MBMom Tip: You can bring a sippy cup of wine or order from the full bar at the theater. YES.

Dinner at Triton’s restaurant was delicious and it really felt like fine dining under the sea. Disney Cruise Line has guests on a rotational dining plan, so you eat dinner at a different restaurant each night, but with the SAME wait staff. It’s great!

This night also happened to be Pirate Night on the ship, a tradition on Disney Cruises. You will receive pirate bandanas to wear in your stateroom, but most passengers go all out with costumes and outfits. We certainly did on this Disney Cruise for preschoolers.

There is a pirate party on the deck after the second seating as well as fireworks over the ocean. Amazing!

Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island

Now for the piece de resistance! Castaway Cay (pronounced KEY) in the Bahamas, Disney’s own private island. Castaway Cay visitors will find an island completely outfitted for premium family leisure.

Amenities include sprawling beaches, sparkling lagoons teeming with curious sea life, splash-worthy water play areas, scenic walking trails, open-air BBQ dining locations serving complimentary meals, 2 shops featuring Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs, free tram transportation around the island and more.

You can book excursions for an additional fee, but honestly, we were there the whole day and were completely entertained by all of the complimentary amenities. It was heavenly!

MBMom Tip: There’s also an Oceaneer Club on the island that serves lunch in case you’re craving a bit of adult time.

Buy this $26 swimsuit through my affiliate link HERE.

#modernbocadad and #dailybocaavery both went on this slide! I took a nap!

Night 3: Frozen, a Musical Spectacular and Animator’s Palate

These are the faces of three people who had a great day at Castaway Cay.

How could this cruise get any better? Well, it could be 4 days longer, but that’s for another time. The only negative thing I have to even say about this Disney Cruise for preschoolers is that I felt it was too short.

Typically, when I cruise, it’s for 7 days minimum. Since I was so busy with conference activities, it felt even shorter, but it made us want to go again. That’s the point right? 😉

On our last night, we saw the new Frozen, a musical spectacular. I don’t know how they are going to do better when it comes out on Broadway! Traditional theatrical techniques, state-of-the-art technology and classic Disney whimsy make this original stage show a flurry of fun. Avery was absolutely mesmerized.

Our last dining rotation sent us back to Animator’s Palate. It was the first time my whole family got to experience Disney black and white drawings come to life throughout our meal. At the end, Mickey even made an appearance in his Fantasia finest!

Our experience was a great one and jam-packed for 3 nights! There were so many things I didn’t even have time to experience like the spa, Royal Court Royal Tea, Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, the adult bars and clubs and movie theater on the ship. Whew! And of course, the conference topics require their own separate blog post. 🙂

Now I want to hear from you. Do you plan on taking a Disney Cruise? Comment below!

Hosted: This Disney Cruise for Preschoolers post was hosted by the Walt Disney Company. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given exclusive experiences and branded merchandise for promotional consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions. This Disney Cruise for Preschoolers post also contains affiliate links.

Holiday Travel Gear for Kids You Can Actually Use Year-Round

After an exhaustive time traveling to/from the northeast for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, we vowed to stay local for Christmas. Well, easier said than done, especially when Disney invites you to come see their Candlelight Processional at Epcot two days after Christmas. You don’t say no to Disney when you’re a blogger. 😉 So, I was really excited when BubbleBum® reached out with some amazing recommendations for travel gear for kids– great for the car or on a plane/in transit.

travel gear for kids

BubbleBum is actually a family-owned company founded by mom of two, Grainne Kelly. Grainne was frustrated having to transport bulky, hard booster seats on planes and car rental companies not providing booster seats for her children. So, she designed her own portable booster seat and other travel innovations too!

The Latest in Travel Gear for Kids

BubbleBum: the First Inflatable Car Booster Seat

travel gear for kids BubbleBum

This is a must-have for road trips and all car travels (for kids 40+ lbs)! It’s an inflatable car booster seat for kids aged 4-11 years, weighing 40-100 lbs.

Weighing in at less than one pound, BubbleBum can deflate in minutes, making it simple to throw in a backpack or large purse. BubbleBum includes belt positioning clips in place of arm rests, so it’s possible to fit three boosters across the back seat of a car, minivan, or SUV. It’s available in black or pink chevron.

inflatable-booster-seat-black travel gear for kids

BubbleBum ($29.99) helps ensure that EVERY child has a safe booster seat on EVERY ride because they improve a child’s safety in the car by 59%!

BubbleBum Junkie

travel gear for kids BubbleBum Junkie

I set this up in my backseat on a recent trip to Vero Beach and this organizer is the perfect way to keep all entertainment and snacks organized! Especially if you have more than one child…

The BubbleBum Junkie ($39.99) features a tech sharing mount for tablets and other handheld devices. It also has stowable activity trays for backseat fun. The Junkie has an expanding compartment with a removable tote bag and organizes and carries your stuff from home to car.

It is a must-have for all of your family road trips and car rentals!

BubbleBum Sneck

travel gear for kids the sneck by BubbleBum

Don’t you hate watching your child’s head bob in their carseat?The Sneck pillow system ($14.99) is a travel pillow that converts into multiple uses. The innovative design makes napping in the car more comfortable.

The travel pillow’s micro-bead pods and cozy material allow kids to nap without getting a kinky neck. The Sneck easily attaches to the headrest with a Velcro strap. It stays in place allowing kids to rest without having to reposition the pillow. The Sneck’s stash pocket also allows kids to store MP3 players or small toys. Its three way design allows kids to manipulate and move the position for optimal comfort.

We are ready to hit the road (again) this holiday season and beyond with this travel gear for kids!

travel gear for kids

Hosted: This post was hosted by BubbleBum. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given travel gear for kids for consideration in a review post. That does not impact my views or opinions.

Introducing the Waterstone Manatee Mascot…

Did you know there is a NEW Waterstone Manatee Mascot at the Resort & Marina in Boca Raton?

Meet Morty, the Waterstone Manatee Mascot!

Waterstone Manatee Mascot Boca Raton

The 2016 mascot campaign, which includes a manatee-themed hotel package and an educational component, will allow guests to automatically support statewide preservation efforts through the Save the Manatee Club, a non-profit organization that will receive a percentage of proceeds from the program’s revenues.

Maybe you caught it on MBMom’s social media, but the manatee mascot campaign kicked off in early December, when Boca Raton locals and hotel guests were invited to cast their vote for the naming of the new Waterstone manatee mascot.

The 2016 #waterstoneblogger team
The 2016 #waterstoneblogger team

A grand naming celebration then took place on Dec. 20, where we celebrated the newest team member and enjoyed activities including a manatee cookie decorating table, various games and prizes and, a kids buffet luncheon. So much fun!

Waterstone Manatee Mascot Boca Raton

Waterstone Manatee Mascot Boca Raton

As a state marine mammal, the Florida manatee plays an important role in influencing the plant growth in shallow waters, bays, estuaries, canals and coastal waters they call home; and now, Waterstone Resort & Marina will play homage to the local gentle giants.

Situated on the Intracoastal Waterway, during migratory season, Waterstone guests often spot manatees from the outdoor patio. It was only natural to choose it as the Resort’s mascot!

Future guests interested in the Manatee Hotel Package should use promo code “PL2” when booking a stay at Waterstone via www.waterstoneboca.com, or call 561-368-9500 to complete their reservation. You can also find Waterstone on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway and one block from the beach, Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton is centered upon a bold design and name that celebrates its distinctive waterside location. Using locally sourced ingredients to produce a variety of dishes and cocktails, the two dining outlets of Boca Landing and Waterstone Bar & Grill, provide guests with a distinctive food style conveying “just off the boat” elements.

With on-site watersports, boating and sailing opportunities along with bicycle rentals, the resort also showcases modern meeting and event space that is uniquely water-oriented in location and views. All of the resort’s 139 guest rooms and 11 suites offer private balconies with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway. Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton is located among pristine beaches, championship golf courses, word-class dining, upscale shopping at the Boca Raton Town Center, Mizner Park and village-style shopping in downtown Boca Raton. 

Sponsored: Modern Boca Mom is a 2016 #waterstoneblogger influencer. Any opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was compensated by the Waterstone, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Seven Days with the 2016 KIA Sorento…at Disney

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to go back to my own SUV after driving the 2016 KIA Sorento SXL V6 AWD for a week.

Seriously y’all. This is the fanciest KIA I’ve ever been in. I give you Exhibit A:

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
2016 KIA Sorento leather interior (front seats)

The buttery leather interior matched my Michael Kors bag. When does that happen?!!!

Ok, I’m mostly kidding about the above, but there were so many amazing features included in the 2016 KIA Sorento that DriveShop USA lent us for the week. And, we were able to experience them here at home in Boca and on the road to…you guessed it, Disney World.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
Magic Kingdom or bust!

2016 KIA Sorento SXL V6 AWD

The 2015 Modern Boca Mom Thanksgiving holiday consisted of dinner out in Orlando and a family trip to Disney for #dailybocaavery to meet the Mouse for the first time.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom Disney
She came, she saw, #dailybocaavery charmed Mickey

Since we stayed off property this trip, the 2016 KIA Sorento came in SUPER HANDY when carting the 7 members of my family to/from the hotel and parks. This vehicle has an optional third row that has the easiest assembly possible (I think) with trunk room to spare.

AND, its own a/c controls. WHAT.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
See? Pull the strap and you’re all set. And check out the trunk space that’s STILL THERE.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom

Did I mention that the 2016 KIA Sorento was designed for road trips?

Not only does it have a killer built-in navigation and sound system (with XM Satellite Radio), if you need to charge your portable devices or laptop or want to use an electric cooler, there is a power outlet conveniently located in the second row for passengers.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
Welcome to the future.

Other fun stuff  in the 2016 KIA Sorento that must be noted. Built-in window shades whether you have a baby in a car seat…or a passenger in the sun.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom

A giant sunroof that actually opens. We loved this. #modernbocadad especially.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
Road trippin

Push button open/close controls for the rear gate. This came is so handy when I was packing and unpacking the trunk. Kids need a lot of stuff.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom

Three car seat latches. You have 2-3 kids? This 2016 KIA Sorento is for you.

2016 KIA Sorento Modern Boca Mom
Just need that monkey for the middle…

A complete listing of features can be found on the KIA website HERE.

I’m not sure what car is going to be able to top the road trip-ability of the 2016 KIA Sorento SXL V6 AWD, but I look forward to the journey in finding out!

2016 KIA Sorento SXL V6 AWD

2016 KIA Sorento SXL V6 AWD

P.S. #dailyboccavery’s 1st Disney trip was amazing! We took special care to meet Rapunzel and Ariel and experience the last year of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studios.

Check out our trip photo gallery below. 🙂

Learn all about the 2016 KIA Sorento on the KIA website. Connect with KIA on your favorite social media sites: Like on Facebook and Follow KIA on Twitter to stay updated on all of their latest car trends and special offers!

Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given the use of a 2016 KIA Sorento for the period of one week for the purpose of this review.

My New Favorite Restaurant at Disney Springs

The things we do as parents to see smiles and wonder on our children’s faces…



5 years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead eating at “one of the chain restaurants” that are prominently showcased at Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs– FYI). Yet, after a fabulous day at Sea World, I found myself Googling “best restaurants at Downtown Disney for kids.”

What I discovered? T-Rex Cafe.

2015-09-12 19.13.06-1

2015-09-12 19.57.24

From the website: T-Rex is a prehistoric family adventure at Disney Springs. From the moment you walk through the doors, you will be transported to a prehistoric world filled with enormous animatronic dinosaurs and delicious entrees cooked in the Kitchen of Fire.

The dinosaurs were impressive. Especially while enduring over an hour’s wait. But, once we were seated (in a frozen cave room), the food and experience were worth it.

2015-09-12 19.57.15

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#dailybocaavery went gaga over the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and “Meteor Bites for Two” (mini doughnuts you can dip in chocolate or caramel).

I loved the “Layers of the Earth” lasagna. There was even enough left over for lunch the next day!

2015-09-12 20.12.05

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At the front of the Disney Springs restaurant, there is an area where your kids can “dig” for fossils. It was pouring out the night we went, so I didn’t see it until after we left.

Definitely a cool way to keep your kids occupied while you’re waiting on your food to arrive!

2015-09-12 20.11.50

T-Rex Cafe is a fabulous way to cap off a fun day at an Orlando theme park. However, I definitely recommend trying to book a reservation in advance to avoid the wait…unless you plan to enjoy Disney Springs for a few hours.

Click HERE for more info.


The Perfect Weekend at DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld


EDITOR’S NOTE: I knew that the moment I posted, I would receive a fair amount of “Blackfish backlash” (and thus urge you to read THIS), but this MBMtravel post is meant to be about a positive (and very awesome) family vacation experience we recently had in Orlando, FL. 

MBMom was graciously invited to experience the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld earlier this month. Having never taken #dailybocaavery to a theme park before, I jumped at the chance!

For the trip, we were loaned a 2016 Mazda CX-5 (starting MSRP $21,795). Beyond being an ideal size for a family of 3, the CX-5’s capable performance, efficiency and boldness have made it a favorite in its class. I think they knew I was meant to drive something in red. Modern Boca Dad really enjoyed the 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

And clearly, trunk space was not an issue for our trip!

2015-09-11 13.07.59
Thank you Mazda USA for the car for our trip! #drivemazda

Safety is super important to me when on the road, having a young child and all. We felt extremely safe on Florida’s Turnpike due to several new 2016 Mazda CX-5 features:

  1. i-ACTIVSENSE, the Mazda Radar Cruise Control with close proximity warning. When you get too close to vehicle in front of you, the CX-5 automatically slows down! I loved that feature so much.
  2. The lane departure warning feature was also fabulous and warned you with a beep if a car was coming upon your blind spot area.
  3. Rearview camera. I don’t have this feature in my current car, so now I’m dying to get it.

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I am anti-minivan, so this sporty SUV is a great compromise for us, with lots of space, safety and entertainment features for our family (oh yes- did I mention it has a MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System with Sirius/XM, navigation and Bluetooth? It has a color touchscreen too…).

If you live in South Florida, I might forgo getting the gorgeous (dark) leather seats. The heat just isn’t conducive to enjoying that car feature. All in all, I didn’t want to give the Mazda CX-5 back at the end of the week. 😉 You can find out more information on this great vehicle HERE.

Spanning 28 lush acres, DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld is conveniently located adjacent to SeaWorld® and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, while just minutes away from Universal Orlando® Resort, Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks & The Orange County Convention Center.

The resort offers L’Esprit Day Spa, three large, palm tree-lined swimming pools, including a relaxing lagoon pool and two children’s pools. In addition, there is a kids’ lounge and game area, miniature golf course and putting green, recreation center and seven dining outlets and options to accommodate a variety of culinary interests with live entertainment.


Upon arrival, we were escorted to a fantastic king suite with adjacent double room. I HIGHLY recommend you book a setup like that if you’re traveling with additional family members…like grandma. We brought #dailybocaavery’s!

Our suite had a substantial living area along with a HUGE kitchen. It was wonderful to be able to stash wine, waters and snacks right in our room. Not that we needed to…


There are several dining options located on property including Laguna, where we had Sunday brunch (with SeaWorld characters!) and dinner. What a treat to meet Chef Alberto and have him personally create our meals!

Did you know that at Laguna, kids 12 and under enjoy FREE breakfast with a paying adult? Kids can order from the menu or partake in the buffet. Avery certainly did after meeting Puck the Penguin at brunch!

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Laguna serves a bountiful breakfast daily and specializes in serving an all day menu offering a wide variety of appetizers, salads, signature sandwiches, steak and seafood in a casual atmosphere. A kids’ menu is also available, making Laguna ideal for families.

There is also a handy Market that serves Starbucks (thank God!) and breakfast, so you can grab and go on your way to the parks.



We spent all day (and I mean all day) at SeaWorld on Saturday. It was the perfect park for a kid #dailybocaavery’s age…and our age for that matter!

We had the option of taking a shuttle directly to/from the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld or walking. We chose the latter simply because the park was so close.

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Penguins, dolphins, killer whales and fish fascinated our daughter all day long…while the roller coasters captured the attention of #modernbocadad and me!

What a fun day! We even made it back to our hotel in time for a little playground time (yes, there is a playground on property).

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And then the rain came…

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Sadly, we didn’t have enough time (or good weather) to spend at the DoubleTree by Hilton SeaWorld‘s three beautiful swimming pools, which include a relaxing lagoon pool surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping as well as kids’ pools. I was super disappointed. Here’s what we missed:


I guess we’ll just have to book a trip back! I hear the Resort is going to be doing some major renovations and upgrades coming up, so we’ll just have to go on a repeat trip to see it all.

What a problem to have…:)

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given a complimentary 2-night stay, dinner for 2 at Laguna and Sea World passes for consideration in a family travel review, but that did not impact my views or opinions.

Modern Boca Mom was also loaned a 2016 Mazda CX-5 for the period of one week for consideration in this review. Connect with Mazda on social media: Like on Facebook and Follow Mazda on Twitter to stay up to date on all of the latest car trends and special offers. #drivemazda

Waterstone Boca Raton, Your Vacation Zone

Sponsored by the Waterstone Boca Raton

Last week was one for the books. Between all of #dailybocaavery’s fall activities starting, work deadlines and the “will it/won’t it hit South Florida” Tropical Storm Erika, I felt like I was in constant G-O mode. I may be an MBMom, but I’m also human and by Thursday, I was completely exhausted.

Every once in awhile, us bloggers get invited to experience a hotel or vacation destination for consideration in an upcoming blog feature. I’m not going to lie– it’s totally fun, but coordinating these things along with childcare and work schedules can be complicated. Like any regular vacation or staycation.

Waterstone Boca Raton

Waterstone Boca

Boca Raton’s Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton invited our family for a little overnight and let’s just say I was pretty much sprinting to the car with my overnight bag by 5PM. We had Avery with us for a little at the Waterstone Boca while and then asked my mom to pick her up, so we could enjoy our dining experience at Boca Landing in peace.

Boca Landing Dining Room Waterstone Boca Raton

Keep in mind I personally think the Waterstone Boca, even though it’s marketed with more of a cool “South Beach vibe,” is child-friendly.

We stayed at the hotel (on our own dime) over Memorial Day Weekend and had a blast eating (and drinking) by the pool and even ordered food to-go and ate on the balcony of our room when it was Avery’s bedtime. There are even water sport options for older kids. So either way you slice it, I dig the Waterstone. I see it as my little Boca vacation zone!

Waterstone Boca Raton

Clearly, #modernbocadad agrees.

When we arrived at the Waterstone Boca, our Boca Mom car was valeted and we were greeted with champagne and cold drink options. Fancy!

And how beautiful is this Waterstone Boca lobby? Even if you’re not staying at the hotel and are just visiting for drinks or dinner, this artsy gorgeousness is what you get to walk through every visit.

Waterstone Boca Raton

Waterstone Boca Raton

From the lobby, we were shown to our beautiful room with a full view of the intracoastal AND ocean on the 9th floor. The last time we were at the Waterstone Boca, we stayed on the Lake Boca side of the hotel, which was just as beautiful.

We particularly enjoyed sitting on the balcony (#dailybocaavery too). It almost felt like we were on a cruise ship!

Waterstone Boca Raton

Waterstone Boca Raton

Once grandma picked up Avery for the night, it was time for cocktails and dinner at Boca Landing!

Waterstone Boca Raton

Using locally-sourced ingredients to produce a variety of dishes and cocktails, Boca Landing provides guests with a distinctive food style conveying “just off the boat” elements.

Waterstone Boca Raton

Executive Chef Matt Mixon (who met with us personally) brings a balance of superior cuisine, innate knowledge and a deep passion to the restaurant and culinary offerings of the hotel. With unprecedented, 180 degree views of Lake Boca, Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Boca Landing restaurant provides guests with upscale dining in an art-inspired, water-centric atmosphere.

Waterstone Boca Raton

Boca Landing features seafood caught off of Florida’s coast along with influences from Mixon’s French and Italian heritage. The menu showcases creative small plates, a selection of simply prepared fish and meats and delectable side options made to order and easy to share.

And you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to dine at this delicious restaurant- FYI. 3 hours later, this is what we sampled…

Our top picks? The Tuna Tartar, Sea Scallops and the Double Cut Pork Chop. Holy Moly. Chef Matt told us that the menu will be changing soon (for the season), but those items will stay on because they have been such hits. Thank you for having us Chef Matt!

After dinner, perhaps you might feel like having another drink al fresco at the Waterstone Bar & Grill or taking a dip in the hotel pool? We had big ambitions for the evening, but ended up heading back to our room and going right to sleep. I know. So boring. Our stay at the Waterstone went way too fast.

Waterstone Boca Raton

Waterstone Boca Raton

And how cool is this? You can borrow bikes to ride along A1A. I haven’t seen a bike sharing program in Boca yet! Great idea Waterstone!

Waterstone Boca Raton

Our little weekday escape did the trick. It recharged my mom batteries and reminded me why I love “staycation-ing” in Boca so much.

Why leave the zone if you don’t have to?

Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given a complimentary one-night stay at the Waterstone and dine at Boca Landing, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Boca Landing is open 5 – 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Waterstone Bar & Grill’s all-day menu is offered 12:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and until 11 p.m. on Sunday. Breakfast is served 6 – 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 – 11: 00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In-room dining is available 6 – 11:00 a.m. for breakfast and 11:00 a.m. – 11 p.m. for all day dining. 

Located on Lake Boca at the Atlantic Ocean inlet and one block from the beach, Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton will unveil a new pool area and waterfront promenade that is adjacent to both indoor and outdoor seafront dining and marina, offering boaters dining service to their vessels. With nearly 200 feet of linear dockage, Waterstone Resort & Marina welcomes vessels up to 80 feet in length With on-site watersports, boating and sailing opportunities along with bicycle rentals and a private beach trolley, the resort also showcases modern meeting and event space that is uniquely water-oriented in location and views. All of the resort’s 139 guest rooms, including 11 suites offer private balconies with panoramic water views.

To experience the various dining options at Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton, call 561.368.9500 or for more information visit www.waterstoneboca.com and www.bocalanding.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

For reservations at Boca Landing, please visit Open Table at http://www.opentable.com/boca-landing-waterstone-resort-and-marina-a-doubletree-by-hilton.

Palm Beach Marriott SI Resort & Spa: Our Review

Sponsored by Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa

If you read this blog even semi-regularly, then you know I love me a stay-cation. Whether it’s HERE or HERE, I’m totally down to avoid an expensive plane trip or lengthy car ride and take advantage of the many vacation options in Boca Raton’s own backyard.

I was thrilled to be invited by the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, the AAA Four Diamond all-suite resort and Trip Advisor’s number-one pick, to experience their property for the day.

Palm Beach County’s only all-suite beachfront hotel, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa boasts a prime location on its own private beach on Singer Island, a barrier island on Florida’s famed Gold Coast.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
Resort Lobby

My friend April, from AprilGolightly.com, and I brought our daughters to Palm Beach for the day and had a blast checking out the resort and hanging out (and eating our faces off) by their lagoon pool.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Pool

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Pool

I even brought my 5-year-old Goddaughter along to experience the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa‘s Kids Club. She had a blast!

The Club (located on the beach side of the property) caters to kids ages 4 to 12 with daily activities customized to each child’s age and interests. On the “menu” are crafts, sports, and seasonal adventures from sand art and hair braiding to water balloon games, treasure digs and sea shell expeditions. Sessions are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Children must be potty trained to play.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Kids Club

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Kids Club inside
How cool is the necklace she made?

While your kids are in “da club,” I highly recommend checking out the resort’s award-winning SiSpa, which offers sea-inspired pampering and wellness therapies.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort Si Spa

Named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 U.S. Resort Spas, Palm Beach Marriott SiSpa features:

  • Eight treatment rooms with heated marble beds
  • Private outdoor Jacuzzi
  • Men’s and women’s locker rooms and steam/shower areas with 12-head signature showers
  • Men’s and women’s relaxation areas stocked with a hot tea bar, antioxidant water and fruit selection
  • Separate manicure and pedicure area
  • Spa patio with private co-ed Jacuzzi
  • Fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights, medicine balls, and stability balls

Si Spa’s comprehensive spa menu caters to women, men and couples with a full array of body therapies, massages, facials, waxes and nail treatments.

Getting hungry yet?

Excellent dining is a hallmark of any Singer Island stay and options range from an exclusive five-seat Kitchen Table experience to sophisticated American regional cuisine at 3800 Ocean to casual bites and hand-crafted cocktails by the pool or on the beach.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Dining

Among the Palm Beach Marriott dining options:

  • 3800 Ocean: Ocean views share the spotlight with South Florida’s abundant harvest at the resort’s signature restaurant. The 3800 Ocean menu reflects a “collective kitchen” inspired by the cultural backgrounds of each of its chefs – from New England and Long Island to Mexico and Jamaica – who bring their own personal influences to a rich bounty of local seafood and produce. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Kitchen Table: This one-of-a-kind experience, for groups of no more than five, takes diners with adventurous palates into the 3800 Ocean kitchen for a five-course menu created on the spot by Executive Chef Larry LaValley and his team. The dinner typically spans three hours and is priced at $69 per person, with cocktail and wine pairings on request. Available Thursday through Saturday evenings; reservations required a minimum 24 hours in advance.
  • 3800 Ocean Lounge: An inviting gathering spot for guests and locals, the lounge serves a casual lunch menu daily, exotic cocktails and bar fare every evening, and happy hour Monday through Friday.
  • Reef Tiki Bar: A casual menu of Pacific Rim cuisine is offered on the beach, complemented by cocktails handmade with fresh juices. The resort’s signature Coconut Island Breeze is served here in a fresh cracked coconut and is a popular choice at the bar’s Bubbles on the Beach happy hour. Open for lunch and happy hour daily.
  • Lagoon Cantina: Fresh-made margaritas, Mexican specialties and grilled fare are the draw at this poolside, Caribbean-style cantina. Open for lunch to resort guests and spa members/guests only.
  • Ocean Breeze Café: Starbucks drinks, pastries, salads and wraps are served to guests seeking a quick bite on the go.

Last, but not least, the rooms! I mean suites.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa Suite Tub

The resort’s 193 one- and two-bedroom guest suites provide ample space for families of all sizes and are furnished for living, dining and sleeping in stylish comfort.  Windows are generously sized for breathtaking views, while sliding glass doors lead to private balconies overlooking the ocean or resort.

All suites offer:
  • Fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and European cabinetry
  • Beds with luxurious down comforters and duvets and cotton-rich linens
  • Marble bathrooms with a deep soaking tub and separate shower
  • In-suite washer and dryer (!!!)
  • High-speed wired and wireless internet access
  • Flat-screen television with DVD player and premium movie channels
  • Bose stereo and CD player, iPod dock
  • Coffee/tea service

So MBMoms, when are you headed to Singer Island? Book your next stay-cation HERE.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa suite lobby with #dailybocaavery

Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions. I was invited by this property to visit for the day and was provided with complimentary food and drinks.

Toddler Travel: A Comprehensive Survival Guide

If you follow MBMom’s toddler travel on Instagram, then you probably saw about a million Maine vacation snaps throughout the month of July.

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Sorry not sorry?

It was pretty darn nice to cool off for a couple weeks up north and #dailybocaavery got to spend some quality time with her Daddy’s family, cousins et al. But getting ready for this trip was unique. You see, it was the first plane ride where I actually had to purchase Avery her own ticket.

You mean, I could finally bring my car seat on board and strap my daughter in for the whole flight?! Perhaps have an overpriced cocktail and read a few pages in the new Judy Blume book? (FYI- SUCH A GOOD BOOK, but don’t read it on a plane. Trust me on this…)

But how to do toddler travel? I was traveling ALONE. My car seat is HUGE. What do I do with the STROLLER? How will I keep my daughter OCCUPIED for two flights and a layover?

I’ve done the toddler travel research and now I’m sharing my key learning with you, MBMoms!

Your Guide to Surviving Toddler Travel:

#1: Buy this amazing contraption aka the Brica Roll ‘n Go Car Seat Transporter and check your stroller. It’s only $63 bucks and turns your car seat and toddler into a stylish piece of luggage. #winning

There’s also a handy video on Amazon.com that shows you exactly how to use it.

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MBMom Toddler Travel Tip: In retrospect, I should have worn a backpack versus a shoulder diaper bag. Ouch.

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#2: Protect your gear. I don’t know about you, but my stroller was not cheap and I don’t trust the baggage handlers at Delta…or any airline for that matter. Since I was committed to checking my stroller, I made sure to get the Angel Baby Travel Gate Check Bag for Umbrella Strollers.

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MBMom Toddler Travel Tip: Angel Baby also sells one for car seats that you can use if you decide not to carry on.

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They are great for toddler travel because the bags are durable, a bright color (aka easy to find on the baggage carousel) and have multiple handles to…well, handle them. The bags also fold up as small as a paperback book when you aren’t using them for easy storage!


#3: Pack snacks and distractions. If you have an iPad, you obviously want to charge it, stock it and bring it on-board (with headphones preferably), But, there are other options for toddler travel entertainment too! Like the AWESOME Melissa & Doug Water Wow books!

It’s a no-mess paint book that uses water to melt away the “paper” on the book, showcasing the colored designs underneath. Then the paper dries in minutes and you can paint the pages with the re-fillable brush all over again.

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I also brought along coloring books, triangle crayons (so they didn’t roll away) and a few random surprises to keep things interesting.

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MBMom Toddler Travel Tip: Your toddler car seat will prevent the use of the plane’s tray table. Make sure all activities can be done on your child’s lap in-flight.

#4: When in doubt, take selfies. Hey, you know your phone will keep your toddler happy…at least for a few minutes. Let the vacation selfies rip!

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#5: If your luggage gets lost…make sure your child’s most beloved comfort toy is in your carry-on.

Yep, we didn’t follow this toddler travel tip. Lesson learned.

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Safe travels MBMoms!

What are your essential toddler travel tips, MBMoms? Comment below!

Disclosure: I was given samples of both Angel Baby travel bags for review. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product or service free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

The links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase by clicking thru to Amazon.com.