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Cell Phone Wars {Surviving 13}

Kids these days seem to be getting cell phones at a younger and younger age. My husband and I always agreed that thirteen seemed a fair age for our kids to get cell phones. We aren’t anti-technology and they both have had iPods for years. The iPods can do almost everything that a phone can do, except send texts (when not on WiFi) and make phone calls.

My daughter turned thirteen a month ago and she still does not have a cell phone. She assumed and told us that she is getting an iPhone 8. My husband and I recently upgraded to 8s because he didn’t even own an iPhone. When he went to purchase his there was a B1G1F deal. We debated saving the 8 for our daughter, as I was perfectly happy with my 6s. However, my husband told me that I should have the 8 and I didn’t really want a 13 year old having a better phone than me. We told her that she could get a cell phone at 13, but never told her it would be a new phone.

We’ve heard countless stories from my our daughter about how many of her friends have broken their phone screens or even lost their cell phones. Since when did it become the norm to allow children to carry around these, several hundred dollar pieces of technology, that are basically mini-computers?!!

Some parents I’ve talked to have gotten phones for their kids because both parents work late and it’s easier to keep up-to-date with their kids whereabouts and activities. Others have children who, if they had had a cell phone, could have avoided an anxiety-filled experience.

I see a cell phone as just another distraction. And if I’m going to give my daughter a phone, there are going to be rules set in place. The first stipulation we put in place months before she turned 13 was that she wasn’t being handed a phone at 13. She would have to show that she is responsible as well. Responsible being – she doesn’t need to be asked to do things ten times before they get done, that she doesn’t hold the family up because she’s late, that she gets her homework completed and gets to bed on time…..nothing life shattering. And guess what, months later, she still has not shown us this responsibility. So, she still doesn’t have a phone.

I also admit we were a bit lax with her iPod use. We’ve been a bit stricter now with her electronic time, but once a cell phone is involved, we have a phone contract that will be in place. Again, if she really wants the phone, she’ll sign the contract and follow our rules.

I know that she’s the only one in her friends group, and possibly even the whole grade, who doesn’t have a cell phone. In the rare times that she has needed to contact us, she borrows a friend’s phone or use the school phone. Somehow, millions of kids, including myself, were able to survive growing up without a cell phone.

So, we will continue to have to withstand the fights and the tears until she shows us that she is responsible enough to handle another piece of technology. I hope as an adult she can look back and be thankful that we didn’t just give her what she wanted and made her show she could be responsible. But for now, we will have to withstand the sometimes daily arguments. #Surviving13

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Fun June Holidays to Celebrate with the Family

Although my teen would love to spend all of her time snapchatting, watching YouTube videos, binge watching Netflix shows and hanging out with her friends……my husband and I are big proponents of family time. As the kids get older it’s harder to find events and attractions that they are interested in going to. But, that doesn’t stop us from trying….even if we have to put up with some eye rolls and attitude! In just a couple of weeks, June will be here. Here are ideas to help your family celebrate some fun June Holidays!

June is Aquarium Month. Celebrate by taking a trip to your local aquarium.

June is also Candy Month. Surprise your kids with some of their favorite candy. Or, try MunchPak, a subscription box that includes candy and snacks from all over the world, for a monthly treat!

The first full week in June is National Gardening Week. Visit your local botanical garden. Plant some flowers. Or start planning your own garden.

Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month by taking a trip to your local farm, farmer’s market or grocery store. Have the family pick out a new fruit and/or vegetable to try. It’s also a great time to join a CSA.

Here are some other fun holidays to celebrate with the family in June:

June 1National Trails Day: It’s a Saturday this year, which means that it’s a perfect day to celebrate by taking a hike! For locals, Rockefeller State Park has some easy hikes. It’s also fun to do some geocaching while you’re out hiking.

June 4 – National Cheese Day – If you have cheese lovers in your family, pick up some new cheeses to try. Or, go out for some fondue at The Melting Pot!

June 6 – National Yo-Yo Day – Have your kids ever tried to yo-yo? If not, today is a good day to try! Have a contest to see who can do it the longest.

June 7 – National Chocolate Ice Cream Day – Visit your local ice cream shop or pick up a pint of chocolate ice cream. If you want to have even more fun, pick up a couple of different brands of chocolate ice cream and have a family taste test to see which is everyone’s favorite.

June 7 – National Doughnut Day – If you don’t have chocolate ice cream lovers, celebrate National Doughnut Day instead. Pick up a doughnut from your favorite shop, or try making some doughnuts.

June 12 – National Peanut Butter Cookie Day – It’s a good day to finish up those Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos. Or bake a a batch of cookies to celebrate.

June 16 – Father’s Day – Today is all about dad! Find out what dad wants to do today. Make sure the kids have a card made. If you aren’t going to see your dad, make sure to call or send a card.

June 18 – Go Fishing Day – You may have to wait until the weekend to celebrate this day. But if you or your kids have never gone fishing, now is a great time to start!

June 21 – International Yoga Day – Celebrate by doing some yoga together.

June 21 – Summer Solstice – Today is the first day of summer. Make your family summer bucket list, if you haven’t already!

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Five on Friday {Ready for the Weekend!}

I am so happy that it’s Friday! This has been a long, busy week. It started out with Mother’s Day on Sunday. My parents had gotten in from a week long cruise to Bermuda that morning. So, we had them over for dinner. My husband and kids cooked us, at my request, eggplant parm, chicken parm, spaghetti, Caesar salad and garlic bread. It was delicious! Then, both the kids had their spring band concerts, in addition to their regularly scheduled activities. I am going out tonight with some of the moms from the neighborhood. Then tomorrow we are hosting our monthly supper club. It’s our annual Brunch theme and the kids are invited.

1. Reading – This week I finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Both my mom and a colleague recommend this book. It was a bit slow at times for me, but the overall story was very good.

2. Watching – This past week my husband and I finally watched A Star Is Born and The Favourite. I love the song Shallow from A Star Is Born, but I have to say that I liked The Favourite better! The Bachelorette also started again this week. I wasn’t a fan of Hannah B. during the Bachelor. I’m going to give the first few episodes a try, but I’m not sure it’s worth two hours of my time every week.

3. Cooking – We’ve been cooking up some tasty meals this month. One of the favorites recently was this Cornbread Taco Bake from Taste of Home.

4. Mother’s Day – The weather on Mother’s Day was rainy and cold. I knew that it was going to be a yucky day. But Saturday was beautiful! My kids had their NYSSMA music solos in the morning. Then my husband and son went off to volunteer at the Boy Scout car wash. My daughter joined me on a hike to Dover Stone Church. This place was an hour’s drive away, but I really wanted to visit. How beautiful is this? We were inside a cave, carefully avoiding falling in the water! Then we did a leisurely mile hike.

5. Walking – My office is having a walking challenge for May (wellness month). We are challenged to walk/run a marathon (26.2 miles) over the course of a month. I’ve been trying to walk a mile a couple of days a week during my lunch break. However, I’m not sure I’ll be hitting that marathon. It has been motivating me to walk and get more steps in though! Now, we have to see if I can keep this up after the challenge is over.

ICYMI this week I shared my April reads.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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April Reads {2019}

It’s time once again to share my April reads with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup. I read six books in April and unfortunately, only two of them were great reads. My reading hasn’t gotten much better, as we are almost half-way through May and I only have two books read. Here’s to hoping I can up my reading game!

2 Stars:

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All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding – This “suspense” book take a look at the world of online dating. The topic is relevant for today and I’m surprised that I haven’t read any other suspense type books that take on this topic. This book had a lot going on, however, I didn’t feel like there was any resolutions and was disappointed with the ending. I used to really enjoy Joy Fielding. However, I have not enjoyed her more recent books, including this one.

3 Stars:

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Outer Order Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin – Rubin’s latest book offers tips and strategies to help create order and organization. I am a huge Rubin fan, but this is my least favorite book of hers. I didn’t really learn anything new in this book. I listen to her podcast Happier and I feel like she’s talked about almost everything that’s in the book.

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The Me Without: A Year of Exploring Habit, Healing and Happiness by Jacqueline Raposo – Each month Raposo gives up one thing – social media, sugar, spending, etc. to see how it affects her. Suffering from a chronic illness and deep in debt, she wants to see if taking away things will help her. This was another okay non-fiction read for me this month.

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The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani – After her third miscarriage, Jaya decides to travel to India to see where her mother grew up. Her mom never talks about her family or childhood so Jaya hopes to learn about her family’s past. Through Ravi, her grandmother’s family servant, Jaya discovers, “the storyteller’s secret.” This book was slow at times. However, I enjoyed learning about the Indian culture.

4 Stars:

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No Exit by Taylor Adams – Darby Thorne gets stuck in a snowstorm on her way home to Utah to visit her dying mother. She’s forced to take up shelter in a rest stop with a couple of other people. When she sees a young girl locked up in an animal cage in the van parked next to her, Darby tries to figure out how she can help her. With no cell phone reception, in the midst of a major storm, this proves to be a very difficult task. This was a fast-paced read, with lots of twists. This is one of those books that I think would make a good movie.

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The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan – My son is participating in our library’s Battle of the Books summer competition. I have been trying to read the books that he has to read to help quiz him. This was the first book that he read. It’s the first book in a fantasy/adventure series. In the kingdom, it’s time for the teens to be given an apprentice to study under. Will really wants to be picked for Battle School but is selected to be a Ranger’s apprentice. This book started slow for me, as it set up all of the background. But the second half of the book really picked up. My son wasn’t the biggest fan of this book and likely won’t continue the series.


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A Visit to Kalahari Resort {Poconos}

I’m not a huge fan of water parks. I have flashbacks of growing up visiting Water Country USA with my family. Not wearing contacts at the time, I just remember not being able to see anything and water constantly splashing in my face. Fast forward to today, where I am a parent of two kids, ages 10 and 13, who really like water parks. Our winter trip to Pine Ridge Dude Resort wasn’t as much of a hit as I had anticipated. So, during the kids February break we decided to take them to Kalahari Resort.

Kalahari Resort is located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. In the area is also Great Wolf Lodge and Camelback Resort, both of which we have never visited. My sister has visited both Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari with her two children and recommended Kalahari over Great Wolf Lodge, given the age of my kids.

As the name implies, the Kalahari is an African themed resort. This theme is carried out throughout the whole resort, from the names of the attractions to the decor.

We booked a one night stay at Kalahari, arriving on a Monday and leaving Tuesday. We surprised the kids and didn’t tell them where we were going until we arrived. While room check-in isn’t until 4 PM, you can arrive at Kalahari as early as 9:30 AM, when the water park opens, and enjoy a full day at the waterpark. The resort is approximately a two hour drive from our home in northern Westchester County. I didn’t think it was necessary for us to get up at the crack of dawn, but we aimed to leave our house by 10 AM. We stopped on the road for lunch before we arrived at Kalahari. But when we pulled up to the resort around 1 PM and saw the line of cars……we wished we had left super early.

I thought arriving on the Monday of February break wouldn’t be too bad. However, I stood in line for thirty minutes, waiting to check in. At check in we all received wristbands that were both our admission into the water park as well as our room keys. You can opt to have the ability to link a credit card to the wristband so you don’t have to carry around cash or a credit card, but we chose not do this. Our room wasn’t ready but I was told that I would receive a text when it was. In the meantime, we were free to enjoy the water park.

We had packed a bag with our swimsuits knowing that we could enjoy the water park before getting to our room. But first we had to drop our luggage off in the storage room. That also had a line and a bit of a wait. When we finally got the luggage dropped off and changed into our suits there were no large lockers available to store our bag and my pocketbook. I volunteered to stay and sit with the bags while my husband and kids went off to enjoy the water park. Unfortunately, we had to walk around the park for several minutes before finding an available chair!

The water park itself is humongous! It occupies over 220,000 square feet with more than twenty attractions. There’s a large play area for little kids, a basketball pool, and lots of water slides!

My husband and kids had a great time enjoying all the thrill slides. I think they rode ALL the slides, even the Tanzanian Twister, (the second to last photo on the right), that they dubbed “The Toilet Bowl.” Some of the extreme tube rides, like the Barrelling Baboon, required two or four riders, so I had to go. And just to note, these slides are a bit scarier at night in the dark!

The lazy river wasn’t quite so “lazy” when you’re packed in and pushed by kids trying to race by. When I finally was able to enjoy the water park my own kids enjoyed pushing me under the waterfalls!

There’s a large wave pool, an indoor-outdoor heated spa, a Flowrider wave simulator and more. If you’re hungry while at the waterpark, you don’t have to leave, as there are six different dining venues where you can purchase food or drinks. This includes two swim-up bars for adults 21 and over.

During the afternoon I kept checking my phone waiting for the text that our room was ready. After spending several hours at the water park we decided to ask if the rooms were ready. The check in line was just as long as it was when we arrived, if not longer. Luckily, there was a staff member standing in the lobby who told us that if we didn’t get the text, our room wasn’t ready. She gave the kids complimentary arcade cards to help keep them entertained.

The arcade at Kalahari Resorts is also huge. And it’s conveniently situated, so that you can’t get to the water park without walking through it. The kids enjoyed playing in the arcade on several different occasions, as there is almost any game there that you can think of!

By 6 PM we were getting hungry. Kalahari has several restaurant choices onsite. We opted to go to B-Lux, their most recent addition, which specializes in burgers, shakes and fries. I ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, my husband had The Cheese Head Burger (beer battered cheese curds, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and Wisconsin cheddar), my daughter the BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese and my son had the pepperoni pizza from the children’s menu. We all agreed that the mac & cheese was the best dish of the night. Service was good and the food was actually decent. We just wish that our room had been ready so we could have showered and changed before dinner.

After we ate dinner we got our bags from the luggage storage room. We made our way to our room to discover that our bands hadn’t been keyed properly and we couldn’t get into our room! My husband made the trek back down to the lobby and got his band fixed so we could get into our room. We stayed in a Desert room. The room was large with two queen beds and a sleeper sofa. It has a microwave and mini refrigerator in the room. We didn’t spend very much time in the room.

Besides the water park and arcade, there is a lot to do at Kalahari. There is an Escape Room, mini-bowling, Virtual Reality and 7-D Motion Theater and more. Before we left the next day we played a round of Black Light Mini Golf. There’s also a spa and salon and fitness center, which we didn’t try during this visit.

We visited the Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet for breakfast. There was a bit of a wait to get a table. Our server though, again, was super friendly and attentive, even with the crowds. The food at the breakfast buffet wasn’t impressive but they have something for everyone.

For lunch we shared a pepperoni pizza from Cafe Mirage. Again, not super impressed, but we reminded ourselves that we were at a waterpark. Double Cut, a steak house, and Sortino’s Italian Kitchen looked promising though. Hopefully, we will get to try those on a possible future visit.

We visited Kalahari in the winter. When the weather is nicer, there is a smaller outdoor waterpark and Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures which includes a ropes course, zipline, 36-hole miniature golf course and a Gorilla Express mini train ride.

As I mentioned, my kids really enjoyed our visit. There is a lot to do for their tween/teen age group. We are thinking of giving Kalahari another try, possibly in the spring or fall…..and NOT during a holiday weekend! We’d like to visit Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures and enjoy the waterpark when it’s still not outdoor pool weather.

I hope my review of Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos wasn’t too negative. My kids had a great time and loved our visit. As parents, after investing our time and money, we expected to have a good experience. Almost all of the online reviews that I had read about Kalahari prior to our visit were reviews by bloggers who had hosted stays. Our stay was not hosted and I hope I gave you a realistic review of the resort, especially during a holiday break.

The Details:
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
250 Kalahari Blvd.
Pocono Manor, PA 18349

Rates:
Room rates vary by date. They include waterpark admission as well as complimentary access to the fitness center.

Tips:
*Try to avoid going during school and holiday vacations.

*Check the website for deals and specials.

*Bring your own beverages (water bottles, juice boxes, etc.) and snacks to save money.

*Free towels can be picked up at a kiosk. However, they are small. We saw many people in the park who brought their own beach towels.

*Remember a waterproof phone case if you want to keep your phone with you.

*There are a limited number of cabanas and bungalows for rent, if you’d like a reserved area for your family to be able to relax in.

*When budgeting for your trip, keep in mind that all food and drinks and activities (minus the waterpark) have additional costs. The price of your trip can add up quickly!

*There are several shops where you can purchase souvenirs as well as water shoes and waterproof phone cases. Of course, these are priced much higher than if you purchased your own outside the resort.


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5 Things I’m Looking Forward to in May

I know, we are already six days into May. I’ve only recently started getting back into a regular blogging routine though, so please excuse my lateness! May means only two more months of school for the kids. It means summer is quickly approaching. It means life is crazy busy as the school year winds down. Here are 5 things that I’m looking forward to this May:

1. Asking For a Friend podcast – I’m not gonna lie, I loved watching Lauren Conrad on The Hills. I’m also a fan of her LC Lauren Conrad clothing line at Kohl’s. So, I’m curious to check out her new podcast that is debuting on May 8th. It may not be a winner, but the premise sounds good – advice on all things style, beauty, parenting, entertaining and more. Anyone else going to give it a listen?

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2. Where the Crawdad Sings – I’ve only heard good things about this book. I am excited that it finally came in at the library and I’m going to be picking it up on Tuesday.

3. Spring Planting – We’ve had plenty of rain lately and the weather looks like it’s finally going to stay in the 60’s and 70’s….perfect temps for finally getting some planting done. We skipped the container gardens last year, but we are hoping to get those ready to hopefully have some veggies this year. I also try to do some spring flower planting outside and I’m always looking for new plants for inside the house. I’m loving this idea of planting intentions in a wish garden.

4. Memorial Weekend Getaway – We are planning to head up to my parent’s house in Rhode Island for Memorial Day weekend. It’s always nice to get away, even for just a couple of days. I’m hoping we have some nice weather for some beach walks.

5. Sandal Season – I’ve transitioned from winter boots to spring flats. But, I’m looking forward to soon being able to wear sandals. Sandal season also equals painted toe nails. It’s fun to look down at my feet and see a pop of color. However, I have no idea what is even in style this summer! Does anyone have any recommendations for versatile, comfy sandals?

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Cooking Lately {April 2019}

Life has been busy as usual, but I’m still trying to get tasty, homemade meals on the dinner table each night. I haven’t had the time lately to write a weekly meal plan post, but I figured a monthly spotlight post on the best recipes of the month is doable. As you will see, this month we had a lot of burgers! They are easy to make and quick to cook, which is helpful on busy weeknights. And it’s so much healthier to cook your own than get fast food/take out ones.

Baked Breakfast Taquitos – I apologize that there’s no picture – sometimes, the dish isn’t photogenic or we’re in a rush to have dinner…..regardless, breakfast for dinner is always a winner in our house. These taquitos are made with Italian sausage though, not the breakfast sausage that “breakfast for dinner” recipes usually call for. We had more filling than tortillas so my husband used the leftover filling to make breakfast burritos. We thought the sausage to egg mixture was off as well and would recommend using more eggs. Otherwise, this was a tasty meal.

Maple Bacon Beer Burgers – Another dinner that I didn’t take a pic of. We had a lot of burgers this month. They are so versatile and there are so many recipes out there to try! The maple syrup gives these burgers a slight sweetness. I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef and they tasted good.

Italian Rice Ball Skillet – I have to admit, I’m not sure that I’ve ever made an Italian rice ball. However, this skillet was quick, easy and tasty.

Broccoli Rabe Turkey Burgers – Here’s another burger recipe. I’ve actually made these burgers before. I like that there’s chopped broccoli rabe both in the burger and as a topping. Although I served these on buns, the recipe recommends serving on a piece of lettuce.

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas – I did not make the roasted pineapple salsa verde which the original recipe includes. However, the chicken was flavorful and this recipe is so easy. I’m not sure why I haven’t made fajitas on a sheet pan before. This was so quick and easy to make! We will definitely be having these again soon.

Apple Cheddar Turkey Burgers – This is another burger that I’ve made before and we’ve all enjoyed. They are tasty with the apple, cheese and cranberry sauce. I opted not to use the English muffins and served them on hamburger rolls.

What have you been cooking lately?

Time to Go to Bed! {Surviving 13}

When my kids were younger, bedtime was one of my favorite parts of the evening. Once they were in bed at 7:30 or 8 PM, I’d have a couple of hours to clean up, prep for the next day, blog and even get to watch an episode or two of a television show. Fast forward to today, where my now thirteen year-old, on some occasions, is going to bed at the same time as me!

My 10 year-old is supposed to be in bed at 8:30 PM and my thirteen year-old is supposed to be in bed at 9 PM. I am very aware of the research that recommends teens get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. If my daughter got to bed on time she’d be getting a good 9 hours of sleep, since she is woken up at 6 AM on school days.

However, between needing help on last minute homework or just being plain SLOW about getting ready, she is rarely in bed on time. If this was a one time thing it wouldn’t be a big deal. But this is an ongoing issue. We have her start the getting ready process at 8:30. Does she really need 30 minutes to get ready for bed?!

I know that the 8-10 hours is a recommendation. Some kids can deal with less sleep. My kids, however, take after me and NEED a lot of sleep. Otherwise, they get extra irritable and aren’t pleasant to be around. Plus, if she was getting enough sleep, I would think it would be easier for her to get up in the morning. I wake her at 6 AM before I go into the shower. Then my husband checks on her ten minutes later to make sure she is up and moving.

So what are we doing to try to get her to bed on time? I realize one of my mistakes was not taking her iPod away a certain hour before bedtime. I know this plays a huge role in her being distracted and slow. As we now are getting into phone discussions (post coming soon!) this is one of our non-negotiables. It is much more difficult to take something away once you’ve already allowed it for so long. Since she has no concept of how long things take her to get done, we are also thinking of resorting back to a timer and giving her limits on how long she can take to do something.

As infants and toddlers, and even in elementary school, both of my kids have been good sleepers. Now the problem is currently getting one of them into bed on time! I’m trying to instill healthy sleep habits now for the kids. I know as they get older, they’ll get more homework, be involved in sports and extracurricular activities and possibly even have jobs. I think a regular sleep schedule will help them perform at their best.

But seriously, girl, it’s time to go to bed already! How do you get your teens to bed at a decent hour?

The Roxbury Motel {A Hidden Catskills Gem}

The Catskills are a region in the Hudson Valley, approximately 100 miles northwest of New York City. It is made up of four counties and is home to the Catskill Mountains and the 600,000 acre Catskill Park. The town of Roxbury is located at the eastern end of Delaware County and has a population of less than 3,000. As you travel on state Route 30 and drive into the town, it looks and feels like you are stepping back in time. The entire Hamlet of Roxbury is on the National and State Register of Historic Places. And right off state Route 30 on Bridge Street is the Roxbury Motel.

I first discovered the Roxbury Motel while searching for lodging in the Catskills. When my husband and I decided to go away for a couple of days to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, I thought the Roxbury Motel would be a great place to stay. It’s an easy trip and not too far from home, a little over two hours away.

When you hear “motel” please do not envision rundown or cheap. The Roxbury Motel is anything but! Owners Greg Henderson and Joseph Massa first opened the motel in 2004. After several expansions, it now consists of two main buildings, North and South. Altogether, there are two studios, five themed studios, five big king rooms, seven kitchenette rooms and eight suites, plus the Digs. As you will quickly discover during your visit, lime green is their signature color!

What really drew us to the Roxbury was the themed rooms. Inspired mostly by television shows and movies from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, each room has a different theme and a unique name like Fred’s Lair (Flinstones), Samantha’s Cloud (Bewitched) and The Wizard’s Emeralds (Wizard of Oz).

I told my husband to pick the themed room that he wanted to stay in and he chose Maryann’s Coconut Cream Pie (room #27). For fans of Gilligan’s Island, this room is a reference to an episode (episodes?) in which she bakes a coconut cream pie. Greg and Joe really put attention into ALL the details of the room. From the round bed with the whipped cream pillows, the three framed and signed Maryann photos, to the SOS spelled out in shells. Every room detail is on theme. However, the real piece de resistance is the pie crust and meringue ceiling, which makes you feel like you’re in a pie.

Even the bathrooms carry out the room theme. The toilet is in its own room. There are double sinks and a deep tub with double showerheads. The Roxbury provides a selection of bath toiletries from the LATHER aromatherapy collection. This line of products are 100% vegan and contain no animal by-products or parabens. If you really enjoy them, full-size products are available for purchase in the main office. Staying in the Maryanne’s Coconut Cream Pie room, we also received a tub of coconut body cream to take home with us

The kitchenette rooms come with a mini fridge and a microwave. This is great if you want to store leftovers, pop some popcorn to have while you watch a movie, or chill your hard cider (or wine) that can be purchased from Roxbury Wine and Spirits down the street, which is what we did! The refrigerator is also stocked with wine and champagne for purchase.

The Roxbury serves a Continental breakfast, which during our stay included cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, cold cuts and cheese, croissants with a variety of spreads, fruit and several different pastries. There’s several different seating areas to enjoy breakfast. There are chairs and tables inside the office and in the enclosed porch area. When the weather’s nice, you can dine outside on the deck. There’s also a small dining room in the Roxbury North.

Coffee, tea and hot cocoa are available throughout the day in both the main office and the dining room in the Roxbury North. They also put out cookies and other snacks in both places that you can nibble on throughout the day.

The Roxbury’s Shimmer Spa consists of a spa in the North building and a spa in the South building. We pre-booked a couple’s massage before our we arrived, so we enjoyed complimentary access to both spas. Otherwise, it’s a $10 fee per person, per stay (not per day!) to enjoy both facilities.

When we entered our motel room on arrival, two fluffy bathrobes and slippers were waiting for us along with the spa key. Since we don’t frequent spas very often, we have very little to compare it to. The website notes that the Shimmer Spa isn’t a huge full-service spa. The South spa has a jacuzzi and sauna. While the North spa has a steam room, a reading library and is where the massages take place. The Shimmer Spa is appropriately named, with lots of shimmer and sparkle! The painstaking attention to detail that went into the room designs, was not forgotten at the spa.

The spas are both pretty small. We had the jacuzzi and sauna to ourselves. We spent part of the day in the North spa reading books and enjoying the sunshine (and snacks) before our massage. There was another couple using the space as well. We visited during the week in March, but I can see the spas getting crowded during peak times.

Although there isn’t a restaurant on-site, Cassie’s (during the day) and Chappie’s (at night), is a short walk right up the street. We visited for lunch one day and dinner another and can say that the food is good. Otherwise, the Roxbury provides a list of restaurants in the area in the info binder in your room. They include driving distance and type of food served.

A stay at the Roxbury is just plain fun! There tend to be a lot of repeat guests, which I know we will soon be. A couple of miles down the street from the Roxbury Motel, Greg and Joe are currently building the Roxbury at Stratton Falls. This property will consist mostly of themed cottages and a larger spa with a pool. You can bet that we are planning to visit this property when it opens!

The Details:
The Roxbury Motel
2258 County Highway 41
Roxbury, NY 12474
(607) 326-7200
Check the website for more information!

Rates: $90-$698 depending on room choice and date.

Tips:
*For suburbanites like us, the Roxbury Motel felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. Be prepared to drive to any area attractions.
*Cell service is basically non-existent. My husband had to take a work call on the room phone. The wi-fi worked well though.
*Every room has a DVD player. The office contains a DVD collection of over 400+ movies that you can borrow. Or, like us, knowing there was a DVD player in the room, we brought our own movies that we wanted to watch (BlacKkKlansman and Outlander Season 1!).
*The office also has a game closet if you are looking for something to do.
*For more photos of of the Roxbury and of our trip, check out our “The Roxbury” instastories!




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Five on Friday {Weekend Celebrations}

Happy Friday! The kids have been relaxing and enjoying their Spring Break. It’s been a slow work week as well, with school not in session. We are gearing up for a full, busy weekend. First, we are celebrating Passover with my husband’s family tomorrow. Then Sunday we will be hosting Easter while also celebrating my daughter’s 13th birthday with the family. Monday, my daughter is celebrating her birthday with a party with her friends. Here are five from this week:

1.Supper Club – Last weekend we had our monthly supper club dinner. This month’s theme was grain grab bag. At the last supper club we each wrote down two different grains, for a possible of twelve different selections. We folded the papers up and each chose one. I got corn and my husband got buckwheat. So for this supper club I made a Corn and Poblano Lasagna and my husband made buckwheat pancakes topped with roasted tomato, baby spinach and gruyere. I was surprised at how tasty, but filling this meal was!

2. Birthday Celebration – My daughter turned 13 on Sunday. We went out to dinner and she had the macarons she requested for dessert. Stay tuned….more birthday celebrations are coming.

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3. Reading – I am currently reading The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani. I picked this book from its high ratings on goodreads. However, it’s been a pretty slow read for me.

4. Friend Trip – My daughter just got back from Savannah, Georgia last week. This week she spent Wednesday through today at Camelback Resort, an indoor waterpark in the Poconos, with one of her friends. Lucky girl!

5. Lunch and Arcade Date – With his sister away, my son got a special lunch date with my husband and I this week. We took him to the Palisades Center Mall where he enjoyed a sushi lunch a this favorite restaurant East. This is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant where you can pick the dishes you want as they pass by. We then went to Barnes & Noble and Dave & Busters (arcade). He was a very happy kid!

This week on the blog I debuted a new weekly post called Surviving Thirteen.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend! Happy Passover and Happy Easter!