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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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British Columbia’s Tallest Tree House

Good lord, it’s November! Who else has seen Christmas commercials on TV and has broken out in a cold sweat?

This month’s guest post is a FUN one, especially if you ever had a tree house when you were a kid (or wished you did)! Tanya Bennett is principal writer at DrivingandDining.com, which features great places to visit and eat at on the road. Check out her most recent post, “Happy Fried Day,” for a tantalizing peek at a deep-fried Mars bar…mmm…

Where we went and who was coerced into going:

tallest treehouse

I'm thinking that's a lot of stairs...

We rented a 22-foot trailer and hit the road for 8 days, traveling around British Columbia, Canada. Our itinerary included The Enchanted Forest, home to  British Columbia’s (maybe even Canada’s?) Tallest Tree House.

The adventurers: my husband (and, it turns out, expert trailer-backer-upper), me (roadside attraction connoisseur), and our two daughters (aged 3 and 10 months).

The route: We arrived at the Enchanted Forest via Vancouver, Bridal Falls (DinoTown! – just in time to visit before it closed forever), Kamloops, Salmon Arm, and Craigellachie (Beardale Miniature Land!).

The Enchanted Forest roadside attraction is located halfway between Sicamous and Revelstoke, in South Eastern British Columbia, on the side of a densely wooded hill. You enter through a fairy tale cottage (think Hansel and Gretel) and then stroll along windy paths. You pass settings that portray favorite children’s stories from nursery rhymes, fairy tales and literature. Kids (and flexible adults) can actually enter most of the small buildings, where they will see tiny little beds for the seven dwarves or a table set with three bowls for the three bears.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

To see BC’s tallest tree house, of course! During a previous visit to the Enchanted Forest I was 8 months pregnant and unable (or at least, unwilling) to climb to the top of BC’s tallest tree house. I’d been complaining about it ever since, so this year my husband agreed to go again. My daughter didn’t need to be persuaded – her response was, “Are we going right now?” “No.” “How about now?” “Not yet.” (Pause.) ”How about now?” (You get the idea.)

Okay, what was so cool about it?

The surrounding forest sets the scene and then you feel like you are entering a very special, magical place as you climb the twisty staircases to the top of the enchanting multi-level structure. My three-year-old daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our exciting adventure to the top. The bunk beds there sparked our imagination as we pictured ourselves sleeping in the treetops, surrounded by the fantasy figurines below.

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World’s Tallest Inclined Tower, Montreal, QC

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

Parenthood puts a damper on a few things, one of which is international travel. Now, I know many will disagree with this, and there are several excellent websites dedicated to facilitating the process of crossing time zones with toddlers. I am not a fan of changing poopy diapers in the comfort and convenience of my own home, let alone in a tiny French bistro with a w/c the size of a phone booth.

This year, the Girl is finally old enough to travel beyond our border, and far be it for me to deprive the world of her tempestuous public fits triggered by the denial of ice cream / gelato / crème glacée / helado. We set our sights on Montréal, Canada for our trial run, since Matt had to go on business. We were accompanied by Matt’s cousin Stephanie, who’s our age and a favorite relative. Having three adults against handling two children is a much nicer traveling dynamic.

Montreal Tower

No sweat.

The very first attraction on our itinerary was the world’s tallest inclined tower, The Montréal Tower and Observatory, the world’s tallest inclined tower.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

From a distance, the tower looked innocuous, even tame. Which is an important consideration when three-fifths of you travel party fall under the category of “chicken.” The tower offers a nearly 360-degree view of the city, accessed by a short, easy ride in a funicular, which travels upwards at a 45 degree angle to an elevation of 574 feet / 175 metres.

Perspective is a funny thing. Standing at the base of the tower, watching the funicular cabin pacing up, up, up at a quick clip, we three chickens began to have our doubts.  It went…gulp…high.  This is what we saw:

Okay, what was so cool about it?

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Miscellany Monday

Some updates on our Go BIG travels, news, and links to sites we like!

We just got back from Montréal! I didn’t realize that I had the power to control the weather, but whaddya know, I do. It was perfect – sunny, warm but not humid, and breezy. The locals we met raved about how lucky we were. Over four days, we visited three sites which will be featured in future posts:

The World’s Tallest Inclined Tower, the Montréal Tower in Olympic Park. You ascend to the top in a funicular, at a 45-degree angle. Over 570 feet of “dear God, please don’t let today be the day those steel cables snap.”

The World’s Largest Underground Pedestrian Network. Nearly 85% of the city’s downtown is connected underground by“RÉSO,” over 20 miles of tunnels connecting malls, office and apartment buildings, hotels, museums, universities, metro and train stations, the convention center, and more. Over half million people per day use the network during the winter, which is quite a civilized way to stick it to Mother Nature.

The Montréal Botanical Garden, the world’s second-largest botanic garden, was a trip highlight, even for the kids. They loved acting like explorers along the pathways in the Alpine and Chinese gardens; riding the red tram around the perimeter, and blowing off steam in the playground outside the Insectarium.

Usually coming home from vacation is a BIG letdown. I, however, now get to enjoy the World’s Largest Pile of Laundry.


On Friday, we were oh-so-thrilled to be the featured guest blogger on Nerd’s Eye View, one of our favorite offbeat, sincere, amazingly written sites!!

GBOGH is now listed among an illustrious group of favorite blogs on Larry Cultrera’s Diner Hotline Weblog! Love retro diners? Check out this site!


I attended the BlogHer conference on August 6th, one of the oldest and largest annual events for professional bloggers, particularly women. I participated in a few seminars on creative writing and social media, networked with other bloggers, and visited the exhibit hall, where 100 companies vied for the attention of powerful, influential women bloggers like…the ones standing next to me.

Through a sea of some 2,500 attendees, I was fortunate to meet several great travel and lifestyle bloggers. It was reassuring to meet others who are equally enthusiastic about sharing their own unique point of view. I invite you to visit their sites and see what I mean: 

Anne from Hip Travel Mama

Glennia from The Silent “I”

Holly from The Culture Mom

Julie from Coffee with Julie…

Julie from Road Trips for Families

Lexy from KissMyCountry.com

Lisa from Frisco Mama

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