Category Archives: Dad Takes A Break

Almost 24/7/365, but not quite.

Finding a New Balance at Disneyland

25 years ago…15 years ago…even 3 years ago, our approach to a theme park vacation resembled a battle plan.  We (whether there were 2, 3, 4, or 5 of us) were at the park gate by opening and we pushed ourselves all day.  Our goal:  to maximize time for rides, shows, and sometimes even parades until it was time to leave, often after the fireworks.  Then I would usually carry whoever had fallen asleep from the shuttle bus back to our room.  Sounds relaxing?  Of course not.  Even though we had a GREAT time, afterwards we needed a vacation to recover from our vacation.

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Checking out the map

Now the kids are 18, 15, and 11.  And I’ve been making a conscious effort to slow down, to appreciate more & chase less.  So when Mrs. DadKnowsBetter was invited to attend this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Disneyland, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.  The conference was set up to include a mix of participant activities, family activities, and free time.  Our plan:  Mrs. DKB would focus on all of the conference activities, and we would all be together for the family activities and for free time in the parks.  While she was conferencing, I would manage the herd.

We still got to the gates more or less at opening each morning.  But with 4 days to visit 2 parks, we tried a slower, more comfortable pace.  For the first time ever, we even went to the room one afternoon for re-charge time before heading back to the park for the evening.

I am in no rush for my kids to get older–something upon which I am reflecting quite a lot with only a few months before our oldest heads off to college later this year–but that does not mean I can’t appreciate how much easier this trip to Disney was compared to travelling with younger kids.  Maybe the kids aren’t the only ones who are growing up….

Good times.

Autotopia

Autotopia

Note:  I did not receive any compensation or consideration related to any part of this post.  Mrs. DKB paid the standard registration fees to participate in the DisneySMMoms Conference; the rest of us accompanied her to Disneyland from April 10-14, 2014 at our own expense.

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Filed under Blogging, Dad Takes A Break, Places to Go, Vacation & Travel

We Know Snow Days

Living in Maryland, in a typical year we have 2 or 3 days when our local schools are closed due to snow.  In rare, disappointing years, we have none.  But every few years the snow days just keep coming.  This has been one of those years!  (Note my exceedingly rare use of an exclamation point…..)

Personally, both as an educator and as a dad, I welcome the snow days…at least until we use up the number allowed for in the school calendar and face sacrificing 80 degree June days to make up the time.  Sleeping a little later than usual.  Slowing down a little for a day or two without homework, practices, or other evening activities.  Getting outside to build snowmen or sled.  All of these strike me as a healthy change of pace for my students, for my own children, and even for Mrs. DKB and myself.

This year the timing of one storm was perfect, giving us two days at home during the Winter Olympics, and my 10 year old and I were inspired to create our own skeleton-ish experience.  [Apologies for the rotation of the video.  I’m looking at this as a learning experience.]  

I will miss these days now and then later in the year.  Not necessarily on one of those 80 degree days, but certainly at other times.  Good times.

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Filed under Appreciation, Dad Takes A Break, Living Well

Axe Me About A Cravebox

(See what I did there?)

I don’t expect to look quite like James Bond walking into M’s office when I leave the house, but I was raised to believe that a clean, neat appearance is important.  My father worked for almost 50 years in heavy construction, and whether he was an equipment operator (before I was born), a superintendent (when I was a kid), or the head of an entire division (for the last 20 or so years before he retired), he always left the house clean-shaven, with his somewhat limited hair neatly cropped & combed, and wearing sharply pressed clothes.  In fairness, my mother deserves part of the credit for that last part.  Anyway, like my dad, I very rarely even run out to the store on a Saturday morning without shaving and getting my fortunately-much-more-considerable-to-this-point hair under control.

So I was intrigued when I heard about something new this week:  A service called Cravebox is offering a collection of AXE hair styling products for $12, including shipping.  There are 3 AXE ‘looks’ from which to choose:  spiked, messy, or clean cut.axe_logo_hair_black_vertical

Sounded great, but I had no idea what a Cravebox was.  It turns out Cravebox is “a fun product discovery service that brings you fabulous products in beautiful, themed boxes.”   Each Cravebox is designed around a central theme, and includes 4 to 6 specially selected products.  The price is right for trying out something new:  $12-$18 each.  Craveboxes are themed around dozens of categories, such as:

  • cooking, entertaining, and grilling
  • kids, babies, and family
  • home products and home solutions
  • health, wellness, and beauty
  • hobbies, pets, arts & crafts

This video explains what the AXE Cravebox is all about:

For anyone, like myself, who is new to Cravebox, it gets even better:  There’s a contest.  For information about how to order and about the contest, read on….

  • To order the AXE Cravebox, click here.
  • The contest is for new members.
  • Enter Promo Code AXEMen on the Registration Page.
  • Don’t miss the Promo Code field. It’s right next to Zip Code, so don’t skip it.  (If you submit without it, there’s no going back to add it.)
  • The first 50 people who order an AXE Hair Styling Cravebox Kit will receive a Credit for a FREE future Cravebox.
  • If you’re not one of the first 50, you have a second chance to win.  Cravebox will also randomly pick 50 other people who purchase an AXE Hair Styling Cravebox Kit to WIN a credit for an upcoming Cravebox.

A few final thoughts that might be helpful:

  • Joining Cravebox is free.
  • Quantities are limited, so I would invite you to order today.
  • You can also join Cravebox online to learn more, rate products, and join the fun with Twitter, Facebook and Blog contests featuring cool prizes!

This is an amazing first: I was compensated to share information contained in this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Filed under Cool Products & Services, Dad Takes A Break, Living Well