Beyond Black & White » Travel Deals http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:30:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 This is Fifty: Swirl-Family-Friendly, Posh California Resort Celebrates with Style http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/fifty-posh-california-resort-celebrates-style/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/fifty-posh-california-resort-celebrates-style/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:42:24 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=23402 I turned 40. The place we celebrated turned 50. In my humble opinion, both of us look pretty darn good.

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When I thought about where I wanted to spend my 40th, one place came to the top of the list–the Rancho Bernardo Inn and Resort. The place is located in swirl-friendly North San Diego County. Not only is the place stunningly beautiful, it’s one of the rare places that is kid AND adult friendly. We’ve stayed at so many places, and it’s been two years since the last time we were there, but my kids IMMEDIATELY remembered this property because they had such a ball. And coincidentally, the resort is celebrating their 50th anniversary, and has all sorts of deals and specials going on this season (see below).

What we love most about the place is the “Kids Rule, Parent’s Drool” program, which for $40, kids eat completely free, are loaded with toys and goodies upon check-in, have their own clubhouse full of games, crafts and activities, their own pool, complete with adult supervision. Translation: Parents on vacation can actually enjoy their vacation by sneaking away a little while. You can’t beat the attention to detail, either. Each kid gets a tent, sleeping bag, and s’mores kit that they can roast by the bonfire at bedtime. Did I mention they have poolside movies at sundown?

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The Hubster carrying some of the kid-friendly fair at the “Kids Rule” area. There’s also a bar…essential medicine for the adults.

The Grounds

Getting to the Rancho Bernardo Inn may seem a bit strange at first, because it’s nestled within a neighborhood that belies the true grandeur of the property. You’d think that the place would be surrounded by mansions, but it’s mostly 1980′s track homes. Once you arrive and check in, you’re surrounded by countless gardens and fountains. The property has three pools–one for family and kids, one for adults, and another salt-water adults-only pool on the spa property. There’s a huge golf course and multiple restaurants, the newest of which is Avant.

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Me inside one of the spa cabanas. This was pure spoil-myself-rotten pleasure. I parked my laptop and did some work while the waiters gave me drinks and spa cuisine. Cabanas are available for rent at $75 per day, but unless you’re coming on a Saturday, don’t bother. Just get there early and plant your stuff. It’s first come, first serve.

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One of the many seated areas amongst the gardens

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This is an outdoor patio room along the front of the property passed the lobby.

This is an outdoor patio room along the front of the property passed the lobby.

Mike and Emma are looking out to an upstairs patio often used for small parties

Mike and Emma are looking out to an upstairs patio often used for small parties

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This is one of my favorite places on the property. Fancy rooms without any walls!

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The Babster was really getting into the grove of things…ah, the sunset was incredible from the second floor overlooking the Veranda restaurant.

The Rooms

Sometimes with resorts you can have beautiful grounds and “meh” rooms, sort of like a tradeoff. Not so at the Rancho Bernardo. The rooms are spacious, with nice bathrooms, a kitchenette with a sink, Keurig coffee maker, and mini refrigerator. If you get a bottom floor room, you’ll have French doors that lead out into a garden. Upstairs, you only get a small balcony. If you’re bringing kids, opt for the bottom floor so that you can use the patio as an extension to the room so that kids can run around and keep an eye on them.

If you open the front door and the French doors, you get a nice cross ventilation and a hint of an ocean breeze and give the noisy air conditioners a rest.

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The California Girl’s Guide to Having Fun (and not dying) in New York City http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/california-girls-guide-fun-and-dying-york-city/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/california-girls-guide-fun-and-dying-york-city/#comments Sun, 30 Jun 2013 23:00:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=22847 I say "California Girl" to be used interchangeably with any girl NOT from a huge city where no one in their right mind owns a car. For us suburban girls, a trip to New York can be quite the eye-opening experience. Some love it, while some, like The Hubster, hate it for all the hustling and bustling chaos. I'm kind of in the middle. I love to visit, but I dang sure wouldn't want to live there. Unlike the burbs, Manhattan is rich with culture, shopping, and 1,000 other ways to become flat broke and homeless. So here's a few pointers to remember so you can enjoy yourself, not die, or become a penniless pauper when you visit the Big Apple.

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I say “California Girl” to be used interchangeably with any girl NOT from a huge city where no one in their right mind owns a car. For us suburban girls, a trip to New York can be quite the eye-opening experience. Some love it, while some, like The Hubster, hate it for all the hustling and bustling chaos. I’m kind of in the middle. I love to visit, but I dang sure wouldn’t want to live there. Unlike the burbs, Manhattan is rich with culture, shopping, and 1,000 other ways to become flat broke and homeless. So here’s a few pointers to remember so you can enjoy yourself, not die, or become a penniless pauper when you visit the Big Apple.

Find a place to hide

To an outsider, New York is scary. Thousands of people walk on the sidewalk at once and almost never say “excuse me.” In fact, you should just drop that line once you get to the city anyway, otherwise you’ll be saying it every 30 seconds. Then there’s the sea of yellow taxis and those one or two dumb schumcks who have cars entangled in the streets. People passing out fliers. The endless construction. Those distracting and deliciously smelling corner hot dog stands.

It is absolutely a MUST that you find a quiet place to retreat when it all becomes just too much. And unless you have rich friends who can lend you a room to yourself, you’ll need to get a hotel. Problem is, it’s not out of the question to discover that hotel rooms in Manhattan can cost $400+ a night. A. Night. My favorite place to crash is The Benjamin, a boutique hotel in midtown. It’s classy but not gigantic, and the rooms are amazing. Each room has a fully equipped galley kitchen, work station, HD flat screen television, and an ahhhh-mazing bed with a sleep menu. What’s a sleep menu? Sixteen different pillows to choose from: soft, firm, memory foam, body, pregnancy, organic, you name it, they have the pillow so you’ll get good rest before you brave the sensory overload again. The bathrooms are also wonderous, with floor-to-ceiling marble.Screen shot 2013-06-30 at 10.40.41 AM

The Benjamin sleep concierge

The Benjamin sleep concierge

Throughout the remainder of the summer The Benjamin is offering a special, $279 per night. If they give you any guff about restrictions (they shouldn’t but you never know) just tell them Beyond Black & White sent you.

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Travelistas In Croatia–Yet ANOTHER Reason to Get My Bikini Body Right! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/travelistas-in-croatia-yet-another-reason-to-get-my-bikini-body-right/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/travelistas-in-croatia-yet-another-reason-to-get-my-bikini-body-right/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2012 03:33:03 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=4154 Measured my waist--30 inches. Two more inches to go. Will I then book a trip to Croatia? Nope. It's too late for me, but not for you, my little chocolates.

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Measured my waist–30 inches. Two more inches to go. Will I then book a trip to Croatia? Nope. It’s too late for me, but not for you, my little chocolates.

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