Couples in Cabo: Experience The Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Pristine beaches, immaculate summer sunshine, luxurious resort accommodations and carefree schedules to enjoy “freedom of expressions” are what we all desire during hard-earned workweeks. So take my lead and connect with couples that enjoy similar passions on the road and head to the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula for relaxation, exploration, mesmerizing ambiance and energizing entertainment. What are you contemplating? The capes patiently await your arrival. [Read more…]

Disney Wine & Dine 10K presented by MISFIT

 

Join the celebration and prepare to feast on an exciting menu of races during the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend presented by MISFI. This year, we are serving up a new 5K recipe, the Disney Fall Feast 5K, in addition to the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Disney Wine & Dine 10K, Disney Two Course Challenge and runDisney Kids Races. Plus, there’ll be plenty of surprises, Disney entertainment, and an exclusive Post-Race Party for runners and their guests.

[Read more…]

2017 Metris Passenger Van: Holiday Weekend Special

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s amazing how everyone was laughing at me when I pulled up in a Grey Metallic passenger van with smaller 20-spoke 17” light alloy wheels in Hankook Ventura S1s like a middle school bus driver. Yet, the joke was on them because the extended 4th of July Weekend presented various scenes of jubilation and the need to transport “Mobb Deep” crews around from birthday parties to shopping outings. So at the end of the week I was the savior along with my starship cruiser from Mercedes-Benz known as the Metris. [Read more…]

Star Wars Day at Sea Returns to Disney Cruise Line

In 2018, the epic day at sea returns to Disney Cruise Line with 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings to the Caribbean from January through April. Star Wars Day at Sea transports guests to a galaxy far, far away to celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga with Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and others during the special day-long celebration. [Read more…]

Daddy and Daughter Holiday Retreat: Hello Fort Lauderdale!

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Well, this is the second of such trips where I split my two girls up for a one-on-one session with their Fit Father to create individual memories and experiences. I leave all work behind while letting them choose the destination and timing, as well as their respective itineraries. It’s all about them. [Read more…]

Fun in the great outdoors at the Adventure Park at Long Island!

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There’s nothing like a day at The Adventure Park at Long Island! Within seven beautiful acres of woodland you will find our amazing “aerial forest park.” Come to the Adventure Park to experience “adventure in the trees” on your own or with friends, family and parties. Ages seven to adult. [Read more…]

Summer Road Trip to Six Flags Great Adventure

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I can still recall the fond and youthful memories of my 8th grade Spring Break trip with classmates to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. In fact I recently posted some of those classic photos on facebook to a cadre of the crew featured in the epic shots. It’s hard to believe we got away with that outlandish gear and crazy haircuts. Nevertheless, history does repeat itself as I witnessed equivalent energetic styles and innocent demeanors from today’s kids including my two daughters who had a blast at the amusement park.

It was Mika’s 13th birthday weekend and she requested Six Flags once again since this is her favorite summer pastime. Typically we take her out of the country for the celebration such as London and Paris in 2015. However, Mika wanted to honor her first days as a teen with friends and family. So I scheduled a 7-passenger SUV for the 4-hour road trip that just so happened to take place on the hottest Saturday of the summer with the heat index reaching 100 degrees. All I could think of was how much Vitamin D we would absorb from the sun.

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We arrived right on time at 10am since the parked opens at 10:30am on Saturdays. Right off the bat, Mika and her sister Aya begin screaming at the site of Kingda Ka, the world’s fastest and tallest coaster. Earlier in the week they bribed me into riding with them but I immediately tried to backtrack after witnessing the initial drop in person. Located in The Golden Kingdom, I was pretty thankful that it was closed during our visit. Their other favorite, The Joker, was also inoperable for reasons not disclosed so we focused on a few smaller rides while kicking it in Lakefront. The family crew jumped on the Buccaneer — my all time favorite boat ride — and then the spinning Swashbuckler. Everyone came off dizzy and wobbly. To cool off a bit more we entered the 242 foot-tall tower dubbed Sky Screamer which sends you 24 stories high and begins spinning your swing at a rapid 40 mph! Afterwards it was time for a water and bench break.

There was no need for the $50 Flash Pass since the weather kept many indoors so everyone got to enjoy more rides than initially calculated. Especially since a good amount of the top rides have 30-minute to 60-minute waiting periods. In the Plaza Del Carnival we warmed up on the El Diablo loop coaster before rocking the El Toro. I absolutely love classic wooden roller coasters since they are a reminder of my teenage years. Mika had us wait longer to hop in the front car and experience life in the fast lane. Wow! This bad boy has some of the most thrilling and fastest, twisting turns I’ve ever been on. Afterwards it was time for bean burritos at Macho Nacho while taking in the sounds of authentic Mexican music.

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With so much entertainment and a plethora of rides to enjoy time flew by like it does when you’re having fun. When planning a trip visit https://www.sixflags.com to ascertain you don’t miss out on any alluring activities. Choose between Hurricane Harbor while relishing water activities, SeaFari Theater, Wilderness Theater, Adventure Theater or the Safari Off Road Adventure to commingle with more than 1,200 animals. Or you can simply focus on Six Flags’ specialty themes like Holiday in the Park and Fright Night.

Whatever thrills you seek in life best believe Six Flags Great Adventure has the antidote. It sure did for the Rawlins Family as we ended summer 2016 with a bang!

BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST WOODEN ROLLER COASTER COMING IN 2017

Verbolten®, Busch Gardens’ thrilling multi-launch roller coaster, takes passengers on a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest with multiple launches, environmental-theme elements, sound and light effects and high-speed turns that must be experienced to believe. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Verbolten®, Busch Gardens’ thrilling multi-launch roller coaster, takes passengers on a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest with multiple launches, environmental-theme elements, sound and light effects and high-speed turns that must be experienced to believe. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

   Busch Gardens announced today a new wooden roller coaster is coming to its collection of world-class thrill rides in spring 2017.  The family thriller will be the Virginia theme park’s first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total – and will be designed as the world’s first “crowdsourced” ride.

     In an unusual industry move, the park is announcing the new attraction much earlier than typical so that fans will be able to help “decide the ride” including opportunities to vote on attraction details, contribute to theme elements and shape the marketing campaign.  The first such opportunity kicked off today, inviting fans to select the ride’s name.

     “Busch Gardens has a reputation for creating unique ride experiences, and our new family coaster will certainly continue that tradition,” said Larry Giles, vice president of engineering.  “The dynamics of a wooden coaster, combined with the many ways it will interact with the terrain and nearby attractions, will make this a one-of-a-kind thrill.”

[Read more…]

Healthy Vibes at California Roots Festival

We needed to hear more of the band Slightly Stoopid after their Cali Roots set on the opening evening so we ran 8 Monterey coastal miles to the vibes of “2Am” on repeat. The Fit Fathers team is now feeling refreshed, energized and recharged for today’s roots rock performances by Tarrus Riley, Stephen Marley and Damian Marley. Yes, it’s a movement!
#30for30 #FitFathersDay

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Family Vacation

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to the palatial villas at the idyllic Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California for a fun, family spring break getaway with the all-new and innovative 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan for new age families. Tooled with a vehicle that set the standard for group travel with its myriad of infotainment features, cozy seats, European-like drive and storage for days, Team Rawlins set sail for an extended weekend full of excitement, entertainment and bonding. Suffice it to say life was amazing on the West Coast for four glorious days with my wife and two daughters who absolutely adore the Golden State!

As always we flew from Washington Dulles Airport on United Airlines in route to Los Angeles International Airport where we were transported 45 minutes to Orange County for the Pacifica family test drive held at Pelican Hill. Nestled just south of Newport Beach, the resort is ideal for leisure and relaxation, spa treatments, golfing, hosting friends or going all out with the kids and the endless amounts of activities available. You can choose Camp Pelican as the foundation which features an ocean-view clubhouse and pool, games, movie nights, crafts, yoga and daily themes such as Space Exploration Fridays, Murdock’s Carnival Mondays and Safari Sundays.

The first day on sight was left for travel adjustments, unpacking and becoming familiar with the Northern Italian environment and array of Pacifica activities available on the itinerary. Inspired by 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, the resort was full of vigor and splendor from the cadre of olive trees, rows of lavender, cypress, fig, pine trees and the Canary palms that made the landscape as wondrous as a direct visit to Aquileia or Modena. After all, the mind must be enthused and aroused for enjoyment of long days replete with extensive time behind the wheel. With that, I was provided a set of keys to a 2017 Billet Silver Chrysler Pacifica Limited endowed with 20” aluminum polished wheels, a Black/Alloy interior, the astounding 20-speaker Harmon Kardon audio package and Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system. After settling into our 4-bedroom Villa and running five miles to the beach we all joined the welcoming committee for a gourmet Indian dinner at the magnificent Coliseum Pool and Grille.

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Before the Pacifica technology introduction on Day 2 I fueled up with energizing healthy delights at the Villa Club House since the day would consist of extended drive time. Now in its 6th generation, the latest van from Chrysler is geared towards today’s modern family. It welcomes eight passengers comfortably, is engineered with more than 100 safety and security features and is remarkably different than the vehicle it replaces. Prior softer edges have been rounded off, a second, lower grille adds character along with tall body sides, hard crease lines, larger wheels, wrap around taillamps, HID “cat eye” headlights, tailgate spoiler, hands-free, power sliding doors and two-toned mirrors. Typically, minivan sliding doors are an issue for automakers due to decreased rigidity, but Chrysler has reversed that conundrum to make them the most structural aspect. The vehicle looks good and feels good. Chrysler left no stones unturned when they invested $2 billion to build the Pacifica (replaces the Town and Country) from the ground up. The Pacifica Hybrid (a minivan first) will be introduced a bit later with unique 18″ wheels an altered grille, 30-mile all-electric range, specific hues and hybrid badging.

Chrysler also extracted nearly 250 pounds from the existing Town and Country by using an aluminum hood and sliding door, aluminum outer and magnesium inner power tailgate and by implementing 72% high-strength steel in the vehicle’s construction. So now the Pacifica is lighter but more efficient. Powered by the venerable 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 287-horsepower the Pacifica is paired with a TorqueFlite 9-speed automatic transmission and achieves 28 highway mpg and 18 city mpg. Acceleration is good and handling is superb. Never has the steering on a minivan felt so taught when aggressive maneuverability was required. Top-quality ride, handling and quietness were key goals from an engineering perspective. The suspension bushings are lax for road absorption and an easy ride while steering rack bushings are firm for more precise steering of course. The drive around San Diego County in route to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and back to Pelican Hill was very comfortable.

Friday evening’s dinner consisted of a 30-minute boat ride from the Newport Beach Harbor, which is a very large, small craft harbor between the Balboa peninsula and charming Balboa Island that houses 10K to 12K boats. The captain of our little boat let the girls take the wheel for a few minutes each as we traveled around 5 knots. It was interesting seeing which stars owned each of the precious, multi-million dollar homes. We also passed by the impeccable Bay Island, the only natural island in the harbor since the rest have been man made. Tenanted by 24 families, vehicles are banned here to adhere to the innate purity of the habitat. After a chilly ride we finally reached the Cannery Restaurant for an immaculate vegan buffet dinner.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

On Saturday morning Team Rawlins rose early to catch the sunrise and enjoy the fresh Pacific Ocean aroma. After a 3.7-mile run we loaded up our Pacifica for an exciting journey to Universal Studios Hollywood. My youngest Aya loves Paul Walker and was looking forward to the new Fast and Furious Supercharged attraction. Disney California Adventure Park was much closer but the girls have had their fair share of Disney locations and actually wanted to drive longer while watching movies from the van.

Our vehicle was loaded like a baked potato and came with Nappa leather seats, a power third-row seat, 3-D Navigation for the 8.4” flush-mounted Uconnect touchscreen, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, Stow ‘n Go seats that can be easily flipped within the floor and an integrated Stow ‘n Vac vacuum so the kids can clean up their own mess. Our oldest Mika chose the titling third row to herself and had me stow one of the middle chairs. USB connections are omnipresent in the Pacifica including the far rear so no one had to worry about dying batteries. Aya connected her iPod to the Uconnect Theater 10” screens (rotate up from the seatback) through HDMI to watch a movie and play games. The Pacifica even has an app for arrival times so your kids never have to ask “are we there yet?”

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The Pacifica’s interior themes were inspired by places such as Sonoma County, Santa Monica and Alaska for the Hybrid’s ice blue stitching. Chrysler’s contrast concept pairs bright stitching on black leather for example, blue moonlights on the black tachometer and silver knobs on the dark head unit, as well as the two-toned steering wheel. Safety technologies include 360-degree Surround View Camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus. Needless to say we arrived to Hollywood safe and sound!

At Universal Studios Team Rawlins enjoyed the dynamic and exhilarating Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem virtual ride which transforms humans into minions. Not until then did I realize the little guys love bananas just like me! The Shrek movie was good and the Revenge of the Mummy ride was an actual roller coaster that scared our pants off. It even spit mummy juice on us. The Animal Actors Show was hilarious and the newfangled Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed attraction was brilliant. For extra burn Aya kept challenging me to a stair workout up each of the four steep flights. Of course we were both laid out on the ride back down to Orange County. What a massive day!

With five models to choose from — Chrysler Pacifica LX, Chrysler Pacifica Touring, Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L, Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Plus and the Chrysler Pacifica Limited — the minivan ranges between $28,595 for a LX and $42,495 for the Limited. Our Limited model was jazzed up with options that tallied the vehicle to $49,450. In addition, Mopar offers a litany of authentic minivan accessories including sport and cargo carriers, pet kennel, spare tire kit, front air deflector, Mopar Connect WiFi (although our signal was pretty weak), electronic vehicle tracking, bodyside molding, remote start, foldable cooler and much more. So feel free to objectify your family’s passions and adventures by way of one of the cooler minivans on the market.