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Hey Laura, what are some family-friendly activities in Maui?

Michelle writes:

We are going to Hawaii in June - know of any family friendly must-do’s in Maui?

Well, Michelle, I dearly wish I was a true expert on anything about Maui. My first time to Maui (and the Islands in general) was last November. It was lovely and I can’t wait to visit again. I’ll link you to all the things we enjoyed, and hope that other readers can do the same in the comments!

We stayed just north of Lahaina, in Kaanapali, which is basically just a long string of beach resorts and condominium hotels. I’m not a resort-y kind of person and would probably try renting something through VRBO.com, if we go again. (Like, maybe this $220/night, 2 bed/2 bath cottage 200 feet from...

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Hey Laura, Can you mail me a sandwich?

Matthew writes:

I live in China and all I want for Christmas is a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a. I’ve heard that some people send food packages to soldiers on dry ice…How should we do that? Should we worry about some guy taking it and eating it at customs?


I feel your pain, Matthew. I’ve lived abroad and suffered from the homesick tummy syndrome. There’s no assuaging it!


While it is true that one can mail food on dry ice (which would flash freeze it, not just keep it cool), certain rules apply. (Sending stuff to soldiers has a whole set of rules unto itself; APO addresses get special treatment in a lot of ways, which is nice for our service men and women!) I honestly wouldn’t worry...

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Hey Laura, what to do in Chicago with a 2 month old baby?

Beth writes:

We’re visiting Chicago from Nov. 12-16 so my husband can go to a convention that won’t let my baby in (what?  they don’t want a screaming child interrupting the program?!).  What can I do during the day with a 2 month old that’s fun?  Shopping will happen, but I’m also interested in finding a vegetarian chinese restaurant and enjoying some other stuff.  I’ve been to the Shedd aquarium and the art institute, but thought maybe you could find me some other options.


Lucky you! Tagging along on business trips is always fun. Traveling with babies, however, can be a challenge. If this is your first time on the road with your newbie, be prepared for things to be very different from...

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Hey Laura, how do I prepare my preschooler for her first airplane ride?

Kathleen in Florida writes:

How do I best prepare my 3 ½ year old daughter for her first airplane trip.  We will be traveling from Florida to Michigan in October.  I’ve already had her watch the videos on the TSA website to sort of familiarize her with the security screening process.  However, I have no idea how to prep for the actual plane ride itself (other than stocking up on fun stuff to do during the ride).  She is a very cautious child by nature and does best in new situations when I can prepare her much as possible on what to expect.

Age 3 and up is a pretty easy age to fly with. They are interested and engaged in their surroundings, can entertain themselves quietly for greater...

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Hey Laura, find me healthy food near the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle

Okay, pushing my regular posting aside to help out my husband in need. He’s up at PAX this weekend, getting his nerd on. But since I’ve converted him to clean eating, he has a hard time at these things! Too much Mountain Dew and not enough salad!

Yeah, he could probably run his one Yelp search, but what are expert wives for, anyway?

Here goes, honey. (I never call him honey, by the way; that was just for the alliterative effect.)


The closest thing to PAX is actually in the convention center, on the second floor: Juicy Cafe has smoothies, sandwiches, rice bowls, soups, salads, breakfasts, and coffee. It looks very good and it is surprisingly affordable for convention center dining....

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Hey Laura, how do I pack for 4 months of international travel?

This series began with Katie’s first question when she was in the planning stages of her trip to Europe. Now that she has her itinerary nailed down, she’s hit me with a doozy!


I have lots of experience packing lightly for European travels, so that’s not difficult for me to answer. What complicates Katie’s situation is that she has a very wide variety of activities that she needs to pack for - enjoying the arts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, hard manual labor in the north of England for a month or two, and then galavanting without an itinerary on the Continent for 8 weeks or until her money runs out.

Katie has already purchased this backpack, which is probably about twice as big as...

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Hey Laura, where do I stay in Chicago?

Elizabeth writes:

I’ll be in Chicago a few days next month and wonder if you know your way around the city better than I do?
Or if you can find a clean, cheap hotel near the Oriental Ford Theatre for me (walking distance) ? Or if you know anyone in Chicago that might
like to host someone really sweet? :)


I’m very sad to say that I don’t have first hand experience with the great city of Chicago! However, I have done some internet sleuthing and I know at least a couple of our readers should have some of their own advice. Hopefully we can help you out!

Hotels in a reasonable price range are pretty hard to find in the part of town in which you want to be! However, if you are willing to...

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