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Sep 16, 2014

Family Weekend Getaway for the First Time

family getaway vacation
Family Weekend Getaway for the First Time
To finish off a great summer with lots of first, we took our first family road trip as our little one turned 6 months. We drove up to Pocono Mountains region in Pennsylvania where we enjoyed local fair and stayed overnight. It was an inexpensive family mini vacation.

First stop on our kiddos first road trip, was a winery. Of course.
We went to Mountain View Vineyard to sample some of their wines. They also have a distillery with flavored vodkas. We arrived there early, before the place even opened as we were planning to feed the baby before hand so she would be nice and full and less fussy. It worked at least for half of the visit. While waiting for the place to open and getting some food, we met a big dog that turned out to be quite friendly. And also met a rooster, which turned out to be the bad-ass of the place and we were warned, after the fact, to not let him get to close to us.

dog chasing chickens

There was good wine at this winery but no phone service. We have Verizon as the provider, and we barely had any bars. This rarely happened in many of our travel. We were trying to look up the address of the next winery and could not get to it. Since we were not too far from our home base, I didn't even think about doing the Google Maps offline ahead of time. We did get pointed to correct way by some of the locals and were on our way.
Next stop was the (Sorrenti) Cherry Valley Vineyard. Unfortunately, on their site and other marketing they chose to exclude Sorrenti from the name, hence why it was so hard to find.
The food there was great, we enjoyed our pizza with some sangria and bread sticks. The property is spread out and has a fountain, gazebo, and lots of sitting areas.
The wines are ok, though well made. Though the wine servers were impersonal and standoffish. Which dampened the experience quite a bit.


While in the car we had some kids gadgets along. A very helpful one that I use even on shorter trips around the town is the mirror that you can view in your rear-view to see your kin in a back facing carseat. The one we have, BRICA In-Sight Magical Firefly Mirror, also has entertainment for the little one with music lights and shapes. It comes with a remote, so that I can easily turn it on from the front seat. One caveat, is that it has to be manually turned on before starting the drive, which is actual an OK feature, though would have like on/off button on the remote.

Overnight we stayed at the Holiday Inn. At check-in we were able to upgrade to a Jacuzzi room for less than $10. The room looked great. It was huge, see picture below. Just enough room for 3 of us :)


holiday inn hotel room

The bathroom could have been cleaner. There were some hairs around it and some small stains left over. Overall, the place looked clean

The phone chargers came in handy. I was charging my phone throughout the trip via the Griffin Dual USB Car Charger in the car and my wife powered up hers with Pebble Smartstick 2200mAh Portable Charger and with the Griffin USB AC Adaptor in the room. It saved a lot of time and worry while traveling and not having to look out for the power remain percentage.

While those are great, I have updated our mobile charger just recently. We got the Mophie Powerstation that has 4000mAh

The next day, our first stop was a butterfly farm. I have never been to one of these, and we were both wondering what the kiddo's reaction is going to be since she is so little. It was quite an experience. There were a whole lot of pretty free flying butterflies. She loved every moment of it. It was fun for an entire family


The following stop was the Largest County Store. That was also an experience. A whole lot of space filled with all kinds of stuff






We had one more stop afterwards at a winery. This time at The Big Creek Vineyard, where we met one of the owners and had a nice sampling of their wines as well as a chat. We ended up getting a couple of bottles for the road home as their wine was good and their atmosphere was pleasant.

Other gadgets that we had with us in our trusted Lowepro Passport bag:
Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera
TP-LINK Wi-Fi Range Extender
iPhone cable
iPhone
Blue Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera for selfies and just quick shots

None of this is sponsored, except for amazon links. All opinions are my own

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Sep 9, 2014

Travel Gadget Video of the Week - 10 must have smartphones coming in 2015

10 Must Have Smartphones Coming in 2015



10. Window 9 Phone

9. LG G Flex 2

8. Android Silver Phone

7. 4k Smartphones - LG

6. Holographic Smartphone - Amazon Phone

5. iPhone 6 (5.5")

4. Samsung Galaxy S 6 - bendable display & latest video

3. Transparent phone - can switch between opaque and transparent

2. Foldable phone - Samsung

1. Google Project Ara - phone with removable and customizable parts


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Sep 2, 2014

New Cool Up-and-Coming Travel Gadgets - September



Text your friends even when you don't have service
It looks like a wand but it is actually an antenna. Antenna that can keep you connected even in the most secluded parts of your travel.
GoTenna is a device that lets users create their own virtual network on which they can communicate with friends and family. It connects to your phone via BluetoothLE. You will have to keep it within a certain range (20 feet) of your phone for it work well. The average range for the connection to work is around 2-4 miles. You would use GoTenna's app to type out a text message or share a location. Your smartphone will send the message to your GoTenna, which will then shoot it out, via long-range radio waves. The app also offers free offline maps and full messaging capabilities.

Stay Dry in a Jiffy

Funnel Eject|Wear backpack
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/884605357/funnell-eject-wear
awesome design for travel
We got caught in a downpour while in Mykonos greek islands. Thankfully, we did have rain gear with us, which was a couple of ponchos. Though as anyone who ever used them knows, they can be quite cumbersome to put on. They stick and when they get wet its hard to put them on or takeoff. This backpack is an awesome design for travel and those situations.  with pull out jacket is a great concept for those times.

The Solar Bikini

Its summer time, the sun is out and time to lie down and get a tan while listening to music or reading and web surfing, but you run low on batteries on your device. There is now a great solution - a solar bikini.  It is covered with solar panels. These panels provide current similar to that of a USB drive on a laptop, that will provide power for iPods and other devices. The bikini will cost upwards of $1,000 and the inventor says that he is working on a version for males that will cool off beer.

Samsung Galaxy Round: World’s First Curved-Screen Smart Phone
http://www.unfinishedman.com/samsung-galaxy-round-worlds-first-curved-screen-smart-phone

Skully, The Smartest Motorcycle Helmet
Innovation on standard helmet, Skully, puts heads-up digital display in-front of the rider. Similar to display that is being slowly introduced for cars, the helmet will display GPS, rear view camera with a near 180 degree viewing angle, and may display vehicle telemetry such as speed, gear, and tachometer.
http://www.skullysystems.com

LG G Watch unveiled
http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20140628/lg-watch-unveiled/
LG G Watch


Microsoft Smartwatch With 11 Sensors Coming This October
As per the latest, the company’s new smartwatch might be released this October.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2014/06/microsoft-smartwatch-with-11-sensors-coming-this-october/


Chargekey Keychain Phone Charge Connector
Portable USB charging cable for iPhone and Android. It does not look like much. It actually looks like a keychain size USB drive. However, this travel gadget can assist with charging up your phone. It is not a charger in itself. Chargekey allows for charging from any USB port in place of using a long and cumbersome standard phone cable

Earin's tiny wireless earphones recharge while they're in your pocket
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1629248706/earin-the-worlds-smallest-wireless-earbuds
ear phones


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