Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

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And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway for the fab “Get to Know Alamo” prize pack. The winner is…Marcia G.!

Remember, even if you didn’t win, you’re still entitled to an additional 10% discount on any Alamo rental, just for joining the “Alamo Insiders” program. Seriously, that’s like free money!



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A “Get to Know Alamo” Giveaway!


I spend an inordinate amount of time planning the GBOGH family’s travel, and while I love doing it, I’m always looking for ways to simplify the process! Alamo recently contacted me about its revamped website, and I’m now a fan of its new features, such as the Alamo Deal RetrieverSM tool, and the Alamo Insiders loyalty program. And – woo hoo – Alamo is working with us this week to give away a BIG prize pack to help spread the word!

When Alamo – part of the world’s largest car rental network — re-launched its website, it added the Alamo Deal Retriever system so you can find the best Alamo car rental deal with one click. It searches all valid Alamo deals and coupons on the web to find the best rates to meet your specific needs.

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We Have Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway for Michelin guides from Michelin Travel and Lifestyle!

I used Randomized.com to choose the five winners…and they are:

Pat, Shaun, Joe, Paulina, and AdventureBee!

I’ll be emailing you all to get your addresses. Happy Travels!



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Michelin Travel Guide Giveaway!

Call me “old school” – you wouldn’t be the first – but I love researching destinations with travel guides. Actual books that you can hold in your hands, thumbing back and forth between the chapters on food, hotels, shopping…and back to food.  I love their portability for those times when I’m waiting for my offspring at the dance studio/orthodontist/guitar lesson.

MichelinDo you use travel guides? Would you like to win one? Might be a nice holiday gift for someone, if you’re willing to give it away!

Michelin Travel and Lifestyle just sent me a collection of guides, and I’m already leafing through USA East, dreaming about our next road trip. They’ve offered to give five GBOGH readers the Michelin Guide of their choice from among these:

USA East

USA West

New York

The Yellowstone Park Foundation’s Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park

Like a Local New Orleans (Peter Greenberg is the Chief Contributing Editor of this series)

Each guide offers detailed maps, suggested driving tours, full-color photos, illustrations and plenty of new content covering shopping, hotels, attractions, landmarks and neighborhoods. And of course, food! Common among them is Michelin’s famed star-rating system. Why I like them: they’re compact, and can be easily carried with you while you travel. Plus, they contain GBOGH-approved sites like Gatorland in Orlando, the Mapparium in Boston, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

Enter by telling us in the comments below which guide you would like to win. And I would be very curious to know why you chose it…just because I’m nosy.

By entering your name below you agree to the Official Rules of this giveaway.

Official Rules:

Our winner for each prize will be notified on or before Thursday, December 13th, and will be asked to provide a mailing address. Guides — which are in English — can be shipped to any U.S. or international address, although international shipping will take at least two weeks.

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners’ names will be randomly selected using Randomized.com. All prizes will be awarded. Void where prohibited by law.


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We Have Winners!

A BIG thanks to everyone who entered our two “stocking stuffer” giveaways!  Special “props” to those of you who spilled your guts and told us who you’re least looking forward to seeing over the holidays. There now, don’t you feel better? I know I will…on December 26th.

I used Randomized.com to select the winners. Megan won the $50 Gift Certificate for Appalachian Outdoors, and Kerry won the BTB Sunglasses!

Thanks again, and stay tuned for more giveaways in the new year!


Stocking Stuffers Giveaway!

Okay, so I’m off topic. No BIG stuff to talk about today, other than huge amounts of pre-holiday stress. I’ll be wearing a harried, slightly crazed, Calgon-can’t-even-begin-to-touch-this look on my face until December 26th. Get used to it.

But I did want to spread some holiday cheer with “Go BIG” readers…with some fun giveaways which are great stocking stuffers. Read on, and enter below to possibly win one!

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Chiming In to Announce our Anniversary Giveaway Winner!

We’re excited to announce the winner of first anniversary giveaway prize!

There were three ways to enter this contest. Our winner, Elizabeth F., entered by posting a photo of a BIG attraction she’s seen. (the world’s largest wind chimes in Eureka Springs, Arkansas) on our Facebook page. Read more about her adventure here.

Congratulations, Elizabeth! You’ve won two pre-paid Go City Cards for the city of your choice, courtesy of Smart Destinations!

Go City Cards

I just had to look up more info on the wind chimes! Technically holding the record as the World’s Largest Tuned Musical Wind Chimes, they’re located outside of Celestial Windz Harmonic Bizaar, an art gallery and store. The chimes weigh 782 pounds, and the longest one is nearly 36 feet long!

wind chimes

Elizabeth's photo of the BIG chimes! Love it!


Thanks again to Smart Destinations for donating the prize for this travel giveaway!

Speaking of travel, if you’re headed to Florida or Vermont anytime soon, please check out my recent guest posts on some of my favorite family travel blogs, which provide information on Clearwater Beach, FL (TheVacationGals.com) and Burlington, VT (FamilyVacationCritic.com).


A BIG Anniversary Celebration and a BIG Giveaway!

Rubiks Cube

Still one of our most popular posts!

It’s been a BIG year! The Go BIG or Go Home family travel blog has reached its first anniversary of chronicling what happens when our small-town family visits the “world’s largest…” whatever! To celebrate, we have a BIG giveaway prize!

The year began with reports from the world’s largest light bulb in NJ, and the world’s largest rotating globe in ME. Sometimes we were cultural and high class, with visits to one of the world’s largest botanic gardens, and the largest Buddha in the western hemisphere. But we know what the masses REALLY want, so we also ran reports of the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube and the world’s largest toilet!

Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has followed our posts from the beginning, and those loyal fans who contribute to the conversation with fun comments! Thanks to everyone who has shared their photos of BIG things they’ve spotted on the road! We love to see these on our Facebook page. We especially appreciate everyone who has contributed a guest post, sharing stories of BIG things in places our family hasn’t reached yet.

And now, the fun part! We’re giving away A PAIR OF TWO pre-paid, 3-day adult Go City Cards for the city of your choice, courtesy of Smart Destinations!

Smart Destinations is the premier provider of unlimited sightseeing and attraction admission passes in 15 major North American travel destinations. Smart Destinations’ Go City Cards and Explorer Passes offer pre-paid access to over 425 museums, attractions, and tours for one low fixed price. Smart Destinations products not only allow travelers to save money while seeing the sights but also allow them to skip the lines.

Go City Cards save visitors up to 55% off the cost of regular admission to top attractions and things to do in 11 major destinations including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Oahu, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. The Go City Card offers unlimited admissions to most of the popular attractions in each city for a pre-selected number of days, as well as local dining and shopping discounts.

Do you have plans to visit any of these cities in the next year? You can enter to win the Go City Cards in three different ways. 1) If you haven’t done so before, you can sign up to receive our e-mail notifications when new posts go live. All new e-mail addresses we receive from today through next Friday (7/22/11) will be entered into the drawing. Sign up in the box in the upper right column of this page. 2) Post a photo of a BIG attraction you’ve visited on the Go BIG facebook page. 3) Tell us in the comments below what your favorite Go BIG post has been so far.

Our winner will be notified on or before Wednesday, July 27th, and will be asked to provide a mailing address anywhere in the world. The prize will be mailed directly to them from Smart Destinations, Inc.

Good luck!


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PRIZE GIVEAWAY To Celebrate Summer Road Trips!

This photo makes me happy! Not too hard to figure out why, since it’s a warm, sunny beach. Virginia Beach, to be precise, and our home for the next five days! To be followed by a few more days in Williamsburg…AND the weather forecast looks AMAZING!

Virginia Beach, we're on our way!

It’s time for another GBOGH Road Trip! Please follow along for frequent updates on our Facebook page or on Twitter, hashtag #GBOGHRoadTrip.

On our itinerary:

World’s largest Wegmans supermarket in Fredericksburg, VA

World’s longest stretch of pleasure beach, Virginia Beach

The world’s largest living history museum (Colonial Williamsburg)

We’ll also be tracking down a giant gorilla, a giant statue of Neptune, and a giant sea serpent.

And … still up for discussion …the world’s tallest dive coaster at Busch Gardens. Early polls suggest that 0 out of 4 GBOGH family members are actually willing to ride this coaster, because of our shared “chicken” gene. To be continued…

In the meantime, we’re celebrating summer and the start of “Road Trip Season” with a fun GIVEAWAY!

Hullabaloo, an award-winning kid’s music duo, has just released their eighth album, Road Trip. There are 13 family car travel-inspired songs with traces of twang, funk, rock, folk and blues. Such an entertaining break from sappy children’s music! We test drove the CD on our trip to Rochester, and I cracked up when I heard the lyrics to the title song, which mentions the world’s largest ball of twine!

I have two copies to give away to residents of the U.S. or Canada! Want to enter to win? Just sign up to receive our e-mail notifications (see upper right hand corner). If you’re already a subscriber, just comment below and give me your funniest family road trip story, or share your road trip plans for this summer!

Two winners will be chosen — one randomly, and one based on how much I like your road trip memory!  You’ll be notified on Monday, June 6th, and will be asked to provide a mailing address.

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Giveaway Winner Announcement!

I’m still so excited to be giving away a copy of The Genius Files by popular children’s author Dan Gutman!  I almost faked an alias to win it for myself! But the real winner is: Sharon! (Hey Sharon, is your e-mail address msrigs? Let me know in the comments section below.)

Shaun Cassidy

Photo Credit: IMDB.com

I loved hearing about your favorite childhood books. They run the gamut from The Black Stallion to the Sweet Valley High series. We had multiple shout outs for Nancy Drew (I loved those), and even the Hardy Boys (remember Shaun Cassidy on the T.V. version? Me-YOW.)

Fave authors included Judy Blume (of course), Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Richard Scarry. What a fine group of literati we all are! (I could have just said “what a well-read group we are.” But I felt the need to use the word literati.)

Thanks for everyone’s participation!

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