Japan is a great place for a family adventure. Besides being one of the safest and politest countries in the world, the kawaii culture is something to experience. From Hello Kitty trains to rows of gachopon toy capsule vending machines, kawaii is everywhere…and bound to make you and your kids smile. Another prevalent aspect of Japanese culture is the Shintoism and Buddhist influence. Besides the grand shrines and temples, there may be a little shrine in your AirBnB or a ceramic representation of an animal spirit (often kawaii such as the Tanuki) in front of a restaurant. Once your eyes are open to it, you can find them everywhere! Experiencing different customs and cultures with your children is the best education you can give them.
We were rushing through Universal CityWalk to get to the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood when we were stopped by a women in an American Express jacket saying something about free front of the line passes. I’m normally (always) a skeptic, but my friend had just mentioned their amazing experience with front of the line, so my ears perked up. I had looked into purchasing these passes, but found them to be cost prohibitive at ~$100 each…ouch! We listened to her pitch, and as it turns out, it really wasn’t too good to be true.
San Diego is one of my favorite cities, with a laid-back beach feel combined with the amenities of a great city. The best way to get to know a city is by walking it, making sure to stop frequently to try the local faire. According to my girls, you are also supposed to check out the shops. We spent a wonderful day exploring downtown San Diego by walking a 6-mile loop starting at the Embarcadero, strolling through Seaport Village, eating authentic Italian in Little Italy, meandering through the Gaslamp Quarter, and finally back to where we started for a sunset dinner.
The above quote was what the very stressed out front desk clerk said to me when I again went to see if our room was ready. This was after nearly 2 hours of waiting and 6 hours after our supposed check-in time. If we weren’t so tired, and it wasn’t so late, the hotel’s inefficiency would almost be comical. Keep reading for more great quotes and to understand your recourse in these situations.