THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd
Over the past few years, I've written at length about attempting to stay well, especially when juggling multiple plates. My wife and I are always on-the-go, and we, like millions of other parents, are constantly trying to balance our work commitments with our family schedules. My wife works in an office that's 40 miles from home. That means time on the road each day, and that in itself can add to getting run-down, especially as colder months arrive. I work from home, but travel a few times a month means early mornings, late nights (which can become early mornings) and interacting with a ton of people that we can call "variables" (who knows what germs they harbor!). Put everything together with getting our girls to-and-from school, along with Girl Scouts (Daisies and Brownies), karate, sometimes gymnastics, ballet/tap plus all of their off-shoot playdates, and there's a lot of people we're crossing paths with. Being sick puts a damper on all of that, and making connections with others can be a tricky thing when a cold comes on. It's uncomfortable on so many levels, but a reminder that as we spend most of our lives looking out for the care of others, you can't do that when you're not taking care of yourself. It's no secret that I reach for the Zicam® at the first sign of a cold, but now there's a new tool in my arsenal: Zicam® Cold Remedy Medicated Fruit Drops.
When I'm in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places to visit is Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Hollywood. Since I often stay at the Sheraton Universal, it's just a short walk up the hill and a place that comes with a couple of constant reminders: 1) I need to take my entire family to L.A. soon (my wife and kids have never been to California), and 2) we have to visit Universal Studios. In fact, ever since I saw construction of Hogwarts begin a few years back, the wheels on a trip have been turning, particularly since my wife is a massive Harry Potter fan (she has the wands to prove it). Now comes news that really gives me the bug because it taps into my unusually-high love of Christmas. This year, "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is happening, but that's just one piece of what's promised to be "a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy" at Universal this coming season. Here's the rundown on what visitors can expect for 2017...
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Considering the fact that California has practically become my second home, I feel increasingly bad that my wife and kids have never come with me to the west coast. That means that they've not yet been to Disneyland Park or Disney's California Adventure... which I have. Having done our first big Disney family adventure last year with a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, I'm setting sights on getting the family out west - probably around the time that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens in 2019, but maybe sooner if we can find a way to make it all work. For those who are headed west this year, Disneyland has a fresh lineup of new activities and attractions, and I recently had a chance to experience them first-hand during the Summer of Heroes!
I made my first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1988. It was a unique experience in that I went by myself - sans parents - at age 12, the winner of a contest held by the Star Newspapers here in Chicagoland. I was a paperboy - a "newspaper carrier" - and as part of a yearly push for great customer service and increased subscriptions, the top carriers were rewarded with a trip to Disney World. I was one of them, and the experience marked my first ride in a limousine, and my first big adventure away from home (under the guidance of two chaperones). The Magic Kingdom is, indeed, a magical place, and in 2016 I returned for the first time as a parent, my wife and I taking our girls on a Florida adventure. On the west coast, I'd never been to Disneyland until December of 2015, when I attended as a guest as part of the Global Media Event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Five hours in the park and I was hooked. I did return this week (more on that later), but at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim, I was on the show floor, live-tweeting announcements about what the future holds for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There's a whole lot of Marvel... a whole lot of Star Wars... a whole lot of Pixar... some new ships... new hotels... and a ton of magic to be experienced. Here's the full rundown...
It's become a yearly tradition, and this week the time has once again arrived to share the annual Summer Road Trip Playlist from my friends at Sugar Mountain PR. This 11-track collection is available as a free download for a limited time (through 6/11/17), but remains streaming on Soundcloud for the rest of the season. Artists featured on this year's playlist includ Dana's Music Playground,Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Jazzy Ash, Tim Kubart, Little Miss Ann and Amy D, Lisa Loeb, Red Yarn, Justin Roberts and the Danny Weinkauf Red Pants Band. Check it out in the player below!
Over the past few years, I've had the good fortune to have been invited to some fairly magical places that most of the general public will never have the chance to experience first-hand. Thanks to my friends at The Walt Disney Company, I've been able to go beyond the gates of several legendary facilities, including the famous lot of The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios and ABC. While I've spent a decent amount of time at all of those places in Southern California (even dropping by the Animation Research Library and the former Imagineering center), there's a couple spots further up the coast that I've always wanted to visit, and I finally crossed one of those off the list with my recent adventure inside Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. As part of the promotional ramp-up to the theatrical release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, I was able to get a look at the campus where some of the most iconic animated films of the past few decades have been created.