Family-friendly Theme Parks

Choosing a theme park for your family trip is crucial especially if you are travelling with your young kids. We have listed the top 10 best family-friendly parks around the world so that nobody will be left out on your next trip!

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Legoland
The name speaks for itself. What child (or even adult) does not want to play with Legos? This chain of Lego-themed amusement parks currently has seven spots around the world (Denmark, UK, California, Germany, Florida, Malaysia, Dubai) and is set to open in Japan and South Korea in 2017. This attraction has rides that are not too extreme, so they are suitable for the young ones. And of course, your kids will surely love the mega Lego creations in Miniland!

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Efteling
Based in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, this theme park features attractions and rides that are based on myths, fairy tales, and folklore. It’s a bit old compared to the other famous theme parks and is notably laid-back. Efteling is as magical as it is simple.

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Nickelodeon Universe
Unlike the other parks on this list, Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor theme park in the Mall of America in Minnesota. Due to space limitations, however, the park mostly has flat rides but also has a few of the obligatory roller coasters. It features rides like Splat-O-Sphere, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, and the iconic SpongeBob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge.

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Parc Festyland
This small theme park is located in Normandy, France. Because of its size, it also has shorter queues; it only had about 110,000 visitors in 2005. Your kids will truly love the Viking ship rides, bumper boats and water slides and you can dine in any of the four restaurants on the premises.

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Sesame Place
Located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, this wholesome theme park features the kids’ favourite characters from Sesame Street. Its main attractions are the Neighborhood Street Party Parade, Cookie’s Monster Land, and meet and greet with Elmo and Friends. Everyone loves Sesame Street!

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Universal Studios Orlando
Also called Universal Orlando, the theme park has Harry Potter studios, which makes it a winner for kids. It is every kid’s dream to own a wand from Ollivander’s. The adults can also try the butterbeer available on site. Aside from the Wizarding World of Potter, the park also features attractions like The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Nestled in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, this zoological theme park allows its guests to marvel at animals wander around the park. It received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which means they have met the conservation and research standards. The park is embodied Walt Disney’s philosophy of animal and environment protection.

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Disneyland
This theme park is famous for obvious reasons. The word Disney is a kid magnet. Scattered around the globe, Disneyland features Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Star Wars Land is also currently being planned. Disney princesses and characters are on site to usher guests and entertain the children.

If you have not give a thought to your family’s summer holidays, perhaps it is time to give us a chance to plan something magical for you and your children. Just askus@ladyredot.com today!


mish

Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

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Travelling with Kids

When I was small, our family was not rich and we hardly can afford a vacation as a family together. Yet my father never fails to bring us all for a trip, at least once every 2 years. I don’t remember much about the beauty or location, all I remember was the excited feeling of first time seeing the beach, first time get on that “xich lo”, first time tasting some special food. Those memories are still vivid even though I was so small.

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That’s why I believed that it is vital for the child to grow up, building the experiences and bonding with their parents during the vacations. For those family on an extreme budget like us, and think travelling is such a luxury, don’t be, start planning and get going.

Take this article as a humble idea sharing and I hope your family will have a wonderful vacation.

Budget Right
Don’t be spontaneous, carefully plan to ensure you have a smooth carefree vacation. We normally save money first, then match our budget. This normally gives us less stress as there isn’t specific target to reach. What my father did is we have a piggy bank, named “travel”, every day he would add about $3 in (well we are in Vietnam though, so monthly income is about $400).

Technically it was less than 1% of the total income. Apart from that mandatory “daily dose”, if any of us has a suggestion on how or what we want from the coming trip, we can contribute to the piggy bank with a small note attached to it (like this $ is for me to eat all the type of ice cream). Nobody can touch the amount in the piggy bank until the end of the year.

This gives the young kids like us the sense of being responsible and saving, we learned from very small age, to reach your goal, sometimes, you got to sacrifice. I also never forget the thrill when we “kill” the piggy bank and count the money, full of satisfaction.

So now you have some amount on hand, start planning.

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Below is a list of a few essentials for you to prepare in matching the budget. You can do research first and shortlisted a couple of options and present to your kids so you all can decide together (with your pre-set direction).

Accommodation
Kids love activities and they do not really care about the fanciness, well most of them. Just ensure the place is safe. Tent for camping, homestay (plenty on Airbnb or HomeAway), don’t opt for fancy hotels. So mix them up, few days in a tent, few days in the homestay, few days in a barn even if you taking the country road, variety is the key. You can even register to swap home so maybe if lucky enough, no accommodation fee to worry about.

Transportation
Depending on the distance, you can choose the bus, flight, boat or even a road trip if time allows. If you are planning a road trip, the easiest way to plant is using Google My Maps to roughly get an idea on the routes to take. If you are unsure which transportation suite best use Rome2Rio for a suggestion. Just make sure your children’s state of health is able to withstand the journey, if any of them have severe sea sick, avoid boat at any cost. While at the destination, travelling around as a family can be costly, some public transport modes do offer children a discounted rate, so do make sure you ask. There are a handful of apps you can use to compare costs of different transportations.

Food
Sometimes, kids are willing to try the new food. While other times, they may just want to have the usual ones. So, best to pack some comfort food such as cereal, snack bar, and instant porridge so that if your little ones don’t like the local food, they won’t be left hungry. Plus, this can save you some costs in case you travel to quite remote areas and have to pay like $5 for a simple cereal bowl because your kids won’t want to eat anything else.

Medicine
Another important thing to bear in mind, for any kind of travelling, everyone in the family needs a thorough check and get common medicine. A first aid kit is a must have when you travelling with young kids.

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Activities
The most headache for parents when it comes to travelling with kids is to ensure they are entertained throughout the trip. They are more creative and much willing to learn and adapt than you think!

Drop by the beach, bring along the swimsuits and your family can have an amazing bonding time. Zoos, Safari or getting their hand dirty with farm activities are something surely excite them too. Museums are also the best spot for you and your children to learn something new together.

Actually, the idea of being in a new place with unusual routines are already thrilling them to bits (to us as well), so don’t worry and just enjoy the moments. Stroll along the street, talk to local people, try new food.

Tip: do not treat them as your kids, treat them as your buddies, ask for opinions, share the stories… you will be amazed by learning about the world through their eyes.

Tip: do bring some light board games so your family does not get bored at night.

Alternative Planning
If things don’t go according to plan, your family still can have heaps of fun. As kids are sensitive, being disappointed can really ruin their holiday. Make sure you discuss with them beforehand, for example, the plan is to go to the zoo on that day but if it’s raining, what else do you think we can do?

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Rules
Finally, it is essential to teach and make sure your kids well understand these rules. Set rules of public behaviours like no screaming or crying, rules on what they can and cannot buy, rules on the minimum distance they should keep with their parent so you never lose sight of them.

Teach them how to find you in a crowd or who should they contact to if they are lost. Have a list of police station number on the cities you plan to go and always keep them with your child (bracelet or pocket) together with your phone number. All these are the extremely important while travelling to somewhere crowded, they should know who they can turn to for help in case of need.

All in all, travelling with your little buddy can be a reward if you treat them as your travelling buddies. Always discuss openly and get them involved in decision making because when kids feel that their opinions are heard, they tend to behave and cooperate.

So, don’t wait, go build the memories before they grow up!

We understand that a parent’s life is overwhelming and busy, juggling with kids, school and work. Here at LadyRedot, we can help to ease the frustrations of planning a trip aboard. Talk to us @ askus@ladyredot.com to find out how we can help!


 

june June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

 

Top 5 locations for Christmas

Christmas, a festive season for many families to get together and celebrate the wonders of Christ. Besides getting too commercialised and think Christmas is all about surviving the mad crowds and rush discounted shopping, it is also about giving and sharing, under the blanket of snow on a magical night, in front of a warm fireplace. Here are some of my personal favourite locations for Christmas.

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Munich, Germany
The Bavarian capital- is a great way to spend a traditional Christmas. With the city dating back to 1158, there seems to be a story behind every building. The Christmas gem, what gives this place its charm during the holidays, is their famous city markets. Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square) is Located in the centre of Munich. The shops start on November 25th and lasting until the December 24th. At this century-old event buyers can find Bavarian wood carvings, local food, clothes, carved nutcrackers, homemade soaps and much more. Along with this, the scene is illuminated by a 100ft Christmas tree and during the afternoon live music can be heard.

New York, U.S.
With a population over 8 million, everyone can find their holiday niche in the big apple. For the more touristy people, Rockefeller Center Plaza should be the first stop. With their 80ft Norway Spruce decorated with over 45,000 lights topped off with a 550lb star, this iconic sight fills spectators with holiday spirit. Next take a trip over to a Broadway performance or check out the Rockettes at Radio City Christmas spectacular. For more local visitors, try driving through the city’s boroughs to check out neighbourhood competition for better decorations or if the weather permits, go to one of the many parks for some sledging.

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Napapiiri, Finland
Most popularly known for their midnight sun, northern lights and ski resorts, Napapiiri makes this fairy tale come true. With Santa Claus Village, an amusement park that opened in 1985, tourists can walk to the Arctic Circle, talk with Santa or visit their mail post where over 15 million letters have been received. For the older crowd, this place is great for skiing and snowmobiling or maybe you’re looking to take a sledge ride with reindeer. For the more laid back, trying spending the holidays with savoury finish food after a candle lit saunas out looking a snow white landscape. But be warned, this area only has 5 hours of sunlight during December and temperatures can reach far below freezing.

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By Benh LIEU SONG – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5984776

Paris, France
As the 3rd most popular place in the world to visit, the city of lights does not disappoint coming Christmas time. With the colourful carousels and markets that come to life and decorated stores competing for the best window displays, this location exudes the holiday charm. Some of the most recommended places to visit include making a trip to the Notre Dame Cathedral, exploring the dazzling light displays and ice skating on the first level of the Eiffel tower, at 200 ft. Maybe even stop at a before bakery to grab a famed pastry.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Christmas is not always the picture-perfect winter wonderland, but even so, places like San Juan still pull it off. This Spanish capital is known to have the longest Christmas celebration, starting the day after Thanksgiving and ending January 14th. The music is different, the food is different, the traditions are different, but the man in the red suit is still the same. One great tradition is the parrandas you might hear after night. Friends will gather together and surprise one of their buddies by spontaneously playing music. After they are done sometimes more will join sparking parrandas that last the whole night. Another, one of the day’s highlights occurs on Jan. 6th when the wise men, three locals riding horses, ride into San Juan, signifying the start of gift giving.

It isn’t too late to plan where you like to spend your Christmas this year. Leave it to us to create the perfect Christmas holiday for you and your family at asks@ladyredot.com.


 

josh-may

Hello! I’m Josh and I’m a journalism and business student from the U.S. I grew up near Boston but now I’m living in Thailand. In the past I’ve been a ski instructor, waiter, and camp counselor. Now I’ve taken up the pen and want to develop my skills as a writer. I got hooked on traveling last December. I found the microscopic image of my town and realized how much of the earth I hadn’t seen. Since then I’ve had a fire in my belly to see and do as much as I can. My experience here in Thailand has been so great and now I’m eager to share and inspire others to get out, it’s worth it! You can keep in contact with me at LinkedIn, Upwork or Facebook.

A Peek into China’s First Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney park resort in mainland China and the second in Greater China, after the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Open on 16 June 2016, the tickets have been in demand as per priced at RMB370 for adults and RMB280 for child or elderly.

“If you have been to one Disneyland, you have been to them all.” Is that true? After all, the Shanghai Disneyland is touted to be like the one in Tokyo where certain culture adaptation has been incorporating into the theme. I won’t be surprised to have Mickey greeting me in Chinese or Minnie wearing a cheongsam!

There are two different hotels, Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel, with the latter as the more affordable one. As usual, there are quite a number of different lands to awe and amaze: Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, not forgetting the Enchanted Storybook Castle, the largest and tallest Disney castle ever built.

Without further ado, I’ll let the video and the photos to speak for themselves.

Enjoy the ride!

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Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

 

 

Family Friendly Restaurants in San Francisco

Those who have travelled with family know the joys and challenges of such a trip. Everything – the good and the bad – is amplified. A warm wait staff, a kitchen open to the flexible whims of a child’s palate and a room of diners tolerable of tantrums all add up to a winning formula for feeding your children outside of the home.

Greens Restaurant

Looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge and a boat harbour, Greens Restaurant is only steps away from the Marina Green and offers vegetarian food even non-vegetarians rave about. Between the child-friendly menu options and the produce grown at Green Gulch Farm in Marin, the restaurant is as good as the décor is fun.

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Park Chow

Mums in the neighbourhood love bringing their kids here for weekend brunch. This eatery is very kid-friendly with lots of high chairs and serves food made of only the finest local organic ingredients. If you look around during your meal, I guarantee you that half of the tables in the restaurant will be families with young children.

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Pig & Pie

Pig & Pie is a hip neighbourhood eatery in the Mission with a farm-to-table menu focusing on pork & pies. They host family night every Tuesday from 4:30 to 7 with the occasional guest storyteller or artists to make the night that much more special. A great place where the kids can let loose and parents can have a glass of wine or a pint of beer and let their kids run around and play without getting dirty looks.

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La Briciola

It is a romantic and kid-friendly restaurant that serves Northern Italian cuisine. Mixing the flavours of Tuscan and Piedmontese, La Briciola creates some delicious dishes. Besides their excellent menu and cosy environment is their attitude about dining and the family. They provide a peaceful environment and are openly friendly to the children of the family. They provide crayons and paper for colouring, never hurry the dining experience, and make everyone feel at home.

Mel’s Drive-in

Balloons and crayons are given free to children here. In this casual dining restaurant, guests will hear music played from the 1950s and find items on the kid’s menu such as hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, meatloaf, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The kids can wash down their food with a soft drink or milkshake.

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Park Chalet

With a great mix of indoor and outdoor seating, Park Chalet gives you the experience of eating in a garden (without all the allergies). The menu includes items like chicken wings, Caesar salads, and cheeseburgers for the pickier eaters, and fun options like lobster leek sausage and kale salad for the more adventurous.

Seesaw

A kid friendly café with play props, books, board games and a play studio. Seesaw is a café that’s Scandinavian inspired, design conscious and aimed at appealing to parents with small children.

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Rigolo Café

This easy-going French-style bistro serves cakes and cookies, breakfast favourites, sandwiches, salads and more formal dinner entrees. The staff is friendly and happy to sweep up after your toddler has toppled her bowl of mac and cheese all over the floor. The kids menu includes classic and more adventurous entrees and small mix-and-match sides for picky eaters.


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Things to Take Note When Booking a Hotel When You have Kids

As we move towards summer holidays, this is usually the best time to bring your family together for a well-deserved break. If your children are under the age of 13 years old, you might like the following tips that I am about to dish out regarding things to take note when booking a hotel when you are bringing young children out on a holiday.

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Need not be a five star

Staying in a hotel, need not be excessive five stars with royal treatment, there are equally good family inns and hotels that cater to your need. One thing to be sure when you are trawling the hotel’s reviews is to make sure that it is preferably kids friendly hotel. The staff will be more patient when you child starts bawling his eyes out while you are waiting for your turn to check in.

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Location, location, location

Having a hotel up on the hill when the places you wanted to visit is all at the bottom of the hill is tedious for the parents and tiring for the kids, no matter how beautiful the view is. Take all of the ‘must see’ venues you are going and find a hotel within the vicinity of those venues. If possible, try not to move more than 2 hotels within a week.

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Peace & Quiet

With young kids around, having a late night bar at the foot of your hotel is a big no no. You’ll be sure that the noise will travel up and keep your kids wide awake all night while groggy the next morning when you take them to Disneyland.

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Room Service

Having a hotel that comes with room service is important when you are travelling with kids. Better to have an expensive meal up in the room in the middle of the night than to go around on the streets finding a café or a restaurant that is open that late in a foreign place.

Check on excess charges on kids under 12

Some hotels don’t charge if you have kids under 12 staying in the room but some do. Instead of getting a bill shock, it is better to check with the hotel before you place a deposit. Some hotels even require your kids to have an extra bed. Extra bed means extra charge.

Nearest Medical Care

Maybe it is the in-house medical doctor, or the pharmacy across the street from the hotel, or the hospital around the corner, you need to know where is the nearest medical care you can seek in case of emergency. It is your responsibility as a parent rather than the hotel.

If you take care of these issues when you book a hotel, you should be well taken care of. One important thing to note is to make sure you childproof your hotel room once you checked in. Nothing is more important (not even unpacking your kids’ toys) than to ensure that the room that your child is going to run in, jump in and sleep in is safe. Call the housekeeping department to remove anything you think might cause an accident, rather than to make you pay for the damages, I am pretty sure they are glad to remove it in a jiffy.


 

Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Things to do with Kids in Tokyo

One of the biggest headaches a parent can have is to bring their little ones on a holiday. However, if you choose to go to Tokyo, you are in luck because it is a fantastic city to take kids and it is by far the most interesting destination in Japan for families. Don’t brush it off as another big city like the rest of the world’s, Tokyo surprisingly has an incredible array of attractions and kid-friendly destinations that could easily keep a family very busy for a week or more. I may not be a mummy yet but many of my female friends choose Tokyo to be one of the top destination countries to bring the little ones around. Stick around and I will tell you more.

The National Museum of Science and Nature
If Science and Nature fascinate your children, this is the place to be. Popular among parents because this place not only occupies your child’s attention but creates a positive environment for learning. Located in Ueno Park, the building is one of the best Tokyo attractions to enjoy with the kids on a rainy day. Check out the dinosaur, animal and space exhibits. Be sure to visit Theater360 where you stand on a bridge in a sphere and watch a movie in 3D, this creates a floating sensation.

Imperial Palace Gardens
The beautiful grounds and gardens of the Imperial Palace are a great destination to wander with the kids! Let them run about and enjoy the stunning views of the palace. There are lovely shady spots, perfect for a family picnic!

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Tokyo Disneyland
Disneyland wins hands off as one of the best Things To Do with Kids in Tokyo. There are seven theme parks in Disney Japan, and if that isn’t enough Disney Sea which is right next to it. The best time to visit Disneyland would be during the theme holidays as you would get to enjoy the special parades during these periods, however, be sure to book your tickets online and in advance, as their tickets are known to sold out pretty fast! Be expected to be in a queue all the time so have your iPad in handy. On a good day, you would probably be able to squeeze in 5 rides with kids.

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Skytree
It is the highest structure in Japan offering the highest observation deck at 450 meters. Tokyo Skytree is popular with families, elderly and children alike. The base of the building has an aquarium, planetarium and 300 shops and restaurants

Tokyo Toy Museum
One of the coolest kid’s spot in Tokyo is the Toy Museum, housed in a gorgeous elementary school in Yotsuya. First established in Nakano in 1984 by an avid toy collector, the name “museum” is a little misleading because the museum proper only occupies one and a half rooms. The rest of the place is a huge hands-on play area for kids to explore.

MegaWeb Toyota City Showcase
Toyota, the well-established brand that every family in Japan knows and here you can see the latest and future of Toyota products. Located at Palette Town, there are simulator rides and a mini playground for kids to run around.

Join LadyRedot at Twitter (@LadyRedot), FaceBook (LadyRedot) and Instagram (LadyRedot)! Let us bring you around the world through our eyes!


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com