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Vacation Mavens

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Vacation Mavens

Kimberly Tate and Tamara Gruber

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Vacation Mavens is a family travel podcast offering destination inspiration and travel tips for traveling with kids. Co-hosted by Family Travel bloggers, friends, and moms Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara Gruber from We3Travel. Each week we chat about our recent travels and interview fellow parents and family travel experts about destinations or travel tips to provide the info you need to jumpstart family vacation planning and tips to get you out the door.
 
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Lynette Rice has covered Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning: as it became a culture-defining phenomenon in the 2000s, as it faced cast meltdowns and blowups, as it cycled through stars, as it killed off McDreamy, and as it aged into an old reliable in an otherwise uncertain network television landscape (18 seasons and counting!). She delves into it …
 
Nichole Perkins knows the power of pop culture: She has seen how Frasier’s Niles Crane inspired her to overcome her own professional hang-ups, how Prince taught her critical lessons about sex, and how Miss Piggy served as both a role model and a cautionary tale about modern femininity. She writes poetically about all of that and more in her essay c…
 
You know how you always hear people talking about getting free stays at hotels or status perks? How do they do that? Find out! This week on the podcast we talk road warrior Ed Pizza from the Miles to Go podcast about the best hotel loyalty programs for families and ways to earn status and free hotel stays. About Our Sponsor: Room Steals Today’s epi…
 
Denzel Washington, Serena Williams, Shark Tank star Daymond John, Mets World Series champ Ron Darling…those are but a few famous names who have entrusted author Daniel Paisner to help tell their personal and professional stories via ghostwritten memoirs. There are few ghostwriters more prolific, and with a more eclectic lineup of subjects, than Pai…
 
This week Kim and Tamara are catching up on their respective August travels. Kim shares what it is like to cross the land border between Canada and the USA right now, plus what you need to know before you go. Meanwhile, Tamara almost made it to the Canadian border on her Western New York road trip, but not quite. She tells us about her eating adven…
 
We all know Cancun, and maybe even the Riviera Maya, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen...but did you know there is so much more to the Yucatan Peninsula? This week we chat with Rossana Wyatt from Life is Full of Adventures to learn more about the Yucatan state of Mexico, Mérida, Mayan ruins, and other things to see on the Yucatan peninsula. ABOUT OUR SPON…
 
TV scholar Kathleen Collins grew up loving television before it was cool—while others fancied themselves sophisticated for digging film and music, she was unapologetically obsessing over Square Pegs. In her book From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole, she shares her nostalgic journey as a kid growing up with a four-channel, cathode-ray set, to her cho…
 
Wondering what it is like to visit Disneyland now that California is reopened? Want to hear about a fun place to stay near Disneyland that makes a great family vacation? Tune in this week while Kim shares her family's experience in Disneyland and Irvine, California. About Our Sponsor: Room Steals Today’s episode is sponsored by Room Steals. Listene…
 
James Tate Hill gradually began losing his sight while still in high school—and worked hard to hide this fact from the world well into adulthood. While he employed more practical tactics like filling his bookshelves with the selections he’d first read on tape or arriving to dates early so whoever he was meeting would have to find him, he also disco…
 
Tamara is just back from a trip to Greece and she tells us all about this dream vacation. Find out what it is like to travel to Greece right now -- plus what to do and where to stay in Santorini and Naxos! ABOUT OUR SPONSOR – ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES Today’s podcast is brought to you by Atlas Ocean Voyages. If you have ever dreamed of cruising to Greece…
 
Did you know that in 2016, Maryland ranked 4th among the top states with the most human trafficking cases per capita? Although the numbers have slightly decreased since then, Baltimore is still a hotspot for human trafficking. In this episode, host Jan Desper Peters and Dr. Kimberly Gordon-Achebe speak about common misconceptions about human traffi…
 
You know her from roles on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and particularly in Clueless as Cher’s nemesis Amber. Elisa Donovan thought she had her life and career all figured out until her father was diagnosed with cancer at the same time that Sabrina was canceled. In her book Wake Me When You Leave: Love and Encouragement from the Other Side, she tells …
 
Kim is back to traveling and this week she fills us in on her recent Seattle staycation and her mother-daughters trip to Vail, Colorado. About Our Sponsor - Atlas Ocean Voyages Today’s podcast is brought to you by Atlas Ocean Voyages. If you have ever dreamed of cruising to Greece or Egypt, now is the time to book! Atlas Ocean Voyages just introduc…
 
From his clever Vulture.com Real Housewives recaps to his newly launched “The Housewives Institute Bulletin” newsletter, Brian Moylan has certainly earned the nickname bestowed upon him by Kirkus: “The Bard of Real Housewives Drama.” Moylan is with Pop Literacy this episode for a super fun chat about the project that cinched his reality TV literary…
 
This week we dive into Tamara's recent Maine road trip and explore how to get off-the-beaten path in the Downeast Acadia and Maine Highlands regions. ABOUT SAFE TRAVELS KIT Our sponsor this week is Safe Travels Kit. Founded by New York fashion executive and avid globetrotter, Adriana Martone, the Safe Travels Kit is a patent pending, first-to-marke…
 
His books and lectures on storytelling are so iconic that he was portrayed by Brian Cox in the Oscar-winning film Adaptation, and guest starred as himself in an episode of The Simpsons. This week we’re thrilled to chat with Robert McKee about his newest book, Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen. Joining his classi…
 
This week we are catching up on Tamara's recent travels around New England -- from a girlfriend getaway in Vermont to glamping in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. About Safe Travels Kit Our sponsor this week is Safe Travels Kit. Founded by New York fashion executive and avid globetrotter, Adriana Martone, the Safe Travels Kit is a patent pending, f…
 
Jeff Goldblum’s career is a unique reflection of our times: He’s a character actor who eschews attention outside of his films, yet he’s more popular than ever, thanks to a quality that can only be described as memeability. He’s also ageless, timeless, and stylish, and prefers magic and jazz to acting, all of which just makes him seem … perpetually …
 
This week Kim gives us the download about her West Coast road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles, California. Planning a West Coast Road Trip Driving from Seattle to Southern California takes about three days if you want to take the scenic routes and make stops along the way. Ideally you will take 10-14 days for this trip. However, if you have less t…
 
Prepare to be entertained, enlightened, and entranced in this week’s episode of Pop Literacy, as we welcome Tony and Emmy-nominated actress and singer Tovah Feldshuh, who talks to us about her engrossing new book Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played. Lilyvilleis part memoir, part ode to Feldshuh’s late mother, Lily, who lived to…
 
This week we tackle on of this year's most popular road trips -- the Grand Circle road trip in the Southwest USA. And we have the perfect guest! Anne Howard from Honeytrek shares her insights and tips after having spent weeks in this region over multiple trips. About Anne Howard Anne is the co-founder of the couples adventure travel blog HoneyTrek …
 
Dawnie Walton’s debut novel The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is getting terrific reviews: “Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite,” said The New York Times. “One of the most immersive novels I’ve ever read….This is a thrilling work of polyphony—a first novel, that reads…
 
Sometimes we want to avoid technology when we travel, but other times tech can actually make travel easier and more enjoyable. Stay tuned this week as we chat with Scott Tharler, The Family CTO, to get his recommendations for family travel. About Scott Tharler Married with three children, Scott Tharler is a gadget expert with over 20 years of exper…
 
She’s a Pop Literacy returning guest. And though fans of her delicious, Netflix drama-inspiring thriller series of books about handsome stalker Joe Goldberg might not think it possible, we’re telling you: You Love Me, the latest and third book in her Joe series is the best one yet. We’re not spoiling anything major, but in our chat with Caroline, s…
 
This week we check in with Tamara about her family's spring break road trip to look at colleges. Find out how the trip went and why her visit to the Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado was the perfect spring break retreat. College Road Trip Stops The first stop was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to visit Lehigh University. This historic town is popular at Ch…
 
In 1974, Los Angeles crackled with astonishing creative output: movies such as Chinatown, The Godfather Part II, Shampoo, and Nashville; seminal albums from Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and the Eagles; and the TV series All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and M*A*S*H. Not only were these great works of art, but they also…
 
We all know Betty White from her years on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. But decades before she was making us laugh in primetime, White was hosting a daytime TV talk show that saw her improvising more than five hours of programming every day. Yep, she’s not only one of our most beloved funny ladies, she’s also a TV pioneer. She is …
 
Dreaming of sunny skies and palm trees? Us too. Before you plan your next vacation to the Sunshine State, be sure to listen to this week's episode with Joella Doobrow from RovingJo. We break down the best Florida hotels and resorts up and down both coasts (and a few in the middle) for families, girls' trips, and romantic getaways. About Joella Doob…
 
Director Mike Nichols lived an extraordinary life: He immigrated from Berlin to America as a young boy in 1939, lost his father at age 12, and was bullied throughout childhood because of a condition that had rendered him permanently hairless. But his difficulties only fueled his rise to comedy, Broadway, and Hollywood success. He became a comedy se…
 
Needs some tips for stretching your vacation budget to go further? This week we chat with dad and tech entrepreneur Nate Ritter, from RoomSteals and learn some new tricks for finding hotel deals. About Nate Ritter Nate is a travel expert, who first got started in 2007 when he was able to fly & stay in Paris for $300 (accommodation included). This f…
 
It is the five year anniversary of the Vacation Mavens podcast! To celebrate, we are talking about one of our favorite topics -- wine (and travel)! This week we are joined by Mary Jo Mazanares, from Traveling with MJ, to talk about how to go wine tasting and some of our favorite wine regions. About Mary Jo Mazanares Mary Jo is an avid traveler with…
 
“Video Killed the Radio Star,” as the song and video that launched MTV in 1981 told us, and Millennials, among other pop culture deaths they have been accused of, killed the music video star at the end of the TRL era. It was replaced by reality series on MTV … though many current viewers may not know that before reality TV was the thing on MTV, it …
 
“To be a women’s wrestling fan, particularly one who patronizes WWE … is to be constantly disappointed,” Scarlett Harris writes in her book-length critical essay A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment. In this episode, Harris walks us through some of that harrowingly sexist history—God he…
 
Budget is often cited as a top reason why families don't travel. Given how many of us are having our budgets squeezed right now, how can we start to save for a future trip? This week we talk to Danielle Desir from The Thought Card podcast and get some insights on turning your dream vacation into a reality. About Danielle Desir Danielle Desir, and s…
 
“The narrative of the NBA’s rise to become arguably the world’s second-most popular sport is frequently summed up as a rapid-fire afterthought: BirdMagicMichaelStern,” author Pete Croatto writes in his stellar new book From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA. He’s talking about superstar players Mag…
 
The cost of a family vacation is one of the top factors preventing many families from traveling. When travel is safe, I know many families will be excited to take the skies and get away. This week we chat with Lyn Mettler from Families Fly Free to get her tips about saving on airfare and earning points to fly for free. Lyn Mettler is a longtime tra…
 
So many of us are dreaming about a tropical escape right now, but is it possible? This week we talk with Amber Mamian, from Global Munchkins, about her recent family trip to Hawaii. Find out what to expect in terms of testing, travel restrictions, and hotel and activity protocols when you are visiting Hawaii during COVID. About Amber Mamian Amber M…
 
Like everything, skiing is going to look a little different this year. This week on the podcast, Kim and Tamara talk about what to expect if you are planning a day trip or ski vacation this winter. Be prepared to make reservations, limited capacity, longer lift lines, and new lodge and shuttle procedures. Get the scoop! What to Expect at a Ski Reso…
 
Bingewatching every TV show ever produced isn’t the only way we’ve survived 2020. We’ve also read a whole mess of books, and among our favorites have been a stack of truly delicious celebrity autobiographies. Yep, famous folk did not disappoint with their literary endeavors this year, dishing up deep, headline-making revelations from their personal…
 
Lake Tahoe is a great outdoors destination with plentiful vacation rental homes perfect for social distancing. This week we chat with Leslie Harvey from Trips with Tykes about her family's experience visiting the Lake Tahoe area in the winter and the summer. Find out her favorite ski resorts for families, the differences between North Lake and Sout…
 
The Back to the Future films were among the most popular choices on Netflix this year, and for good reason: We can all use a few extra doses of Michael J. Fox right now. As he publishes his fourth memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, we look back on his truly iconic career, from Reaganite teen Alex P. Keaton on Family T…
 
Wondering what it is like to visit one of the Florida theme parks during these COVID times? This week the Mavens chat with Rob Taylor from 2TravelDads to get his take on the safety protocols at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Find out what you need to know to decide whether or not now is a good time to visit Orlando. ON THE PODCAST This po…
 
Are you intrigued by the music, food, and culture of Cuba? Find out what it is like to travel to Cuba with kids as we speak to Deborah Haile, author of a series of children's books about traveling with kids. ON THE PODCAST This podcast is sponsored by Moon Travel Guides. Learn more about The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA. All opinions ar…
 
Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for families during all seasons. This week we talk to Preethi Harbuck from Local Passport Family about her many trips to Yosemite. We cover the best places to stay, good hikes with kids, and fun things to do in Yosemite. Tamara also fills us in on her most recent glamping experience at the KOA in Linc…
 
Would any of us being surviving the pandemic without binge-watching comforting old TV and finding some new favorites along the way, too? We certainly wouldn’t, which made us want to catch up on all things streaming TV, with our friend and the go-to guy for the scoop on the streaming business, Vulture.com West Coast Editor and Buffering and streamin…
 
Whether you are a frequent camper or a newbie, our guest this week, Catherine from To and Fro Family, offers up some great tips on camping with kids. We talk about how to find campgrounds, packing tips, and great ideas for entertaining young kids at the campsite. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking about Tamara’s Huttopia glamping trip 16:13 - Talking w…
 
This week on the podcast, Kim fills us in on her summer family vacation to Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park in her home state of Washington. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim about her recent vacation 02:50 - Olympic National Park 08:08 - Waterfall Hikes 10:45 - Where to stay 23:20 - Mount Rainier 29:38 - How long to spend …
 
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