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What did one helmet say to the other?  I'll stay here, you go on a head. .
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What did one helmet say...

Let’s talk about family vacations... #gifted I struggled for years with the amount of time it took to pack up to go back home. There were always dirty clothes all over the floor and while I tried to pack it all into those hotel provided plastic laundry bags, 1) they were plastic and we are trying our best to do better for our planet and 2) they rip so easily, so we often wound up with dirty clothes spilling out in the car (yuck). A couple of months ago, I was watching a friend’s Instagram stories and she was talking about the @swoopbags she uses for her son’s toys. I immediately had an idea and knew I had to get one. 
On our last vacation, I opened up my large swoop bag and left it flat in the corner of our hotel room. We used it as our “laundry corner”. We instructed the kids (and ourselves) to drop our dirty laundry in the middle of the flattened Swoop bag. When it was time to pack up, I just swooped the bag, tied it and voila… it literally saved me all of the aggravation of finding and picking up all of the clothes and trying to find something to carry it all in. Don’t forget to check out the blog for more family travel hacks and a quick video on how I fit all 5 of our clothing into one small suitcase! I put the link in my bio! .
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Let’s talk about family vacations......

Anyone else super excited that today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day?! Elle will be going through a few wardrobe changes today. 🙈 What will your pet be wearing?
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Anyone else super excited that...

As a family, we road trip quite a lot. It's a ton of fun, but also a lot of work (for me at least)! Over the years, I've found a variety of ways to save time and money and I'm finally sharing those family-friendly travel hacks with you on the blog today! Click on the link in my bio or swipe up in stories! How do you save time and money when you travel?
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As a family, we road...

Growing up, I always wanted a sibling. I wished over every star and every birthday candle. I even asked my magic eight ball constantly if I would ever have one but as many times as it told me “all signs point to yes”, I remained an only child. I look forward to the days when my three girls appreciate that they have best friends for life... two women who will always have their back, lend them a hand or provide a shoulder to cry on. In the meantime, I make sure to create fun reasons for them to “work” together without bickering. So, I’m excited to announce that Iyla and Falynn are starting a new venture together, @thesuperkidlife and I hope you’ll follow along and show them some love. Although I will run the IG page for them for now, Iyla will be in charge of content and stories, so you’re in for a treat! They already have their first sponsored posts lined up! Stay tuned. . .
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📷 @jenpriesterphotography 
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Growing up, I always wanted...

C O L L A R D  G R E E N S 
If you’ve never tried them, this is your reason to. If you’ve tried them and aren’t really a fan, this recipe is going to change your mind! I haven’t met a person who wasn’t a fan after they tried my collard greens. After years of keeping this recipe all to myself, I’m finally sharing it to change the minds of all of those greens-haters. So no preconceived notions about whether or not you like collard greens. Instead, I challenge you to try this recipe out and tell me you aren’t a fan! The recipe is on the blog (link in bio or swipe up in stories). Will you try them? .
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C O L L A...

I was going through an old post on the blog, sharing funny love quotes and this one had me rolling. If @thesuperdadlife and I had to describe our text convos, this pretty much covers it. Swipe to see the proof 😂🤣😂 Do you and your spouse do this too?
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I was going through an...

Is it just me or is the weekend before the kids go back to school after a break, the absolute busiest?! AD: While it felt like we were go-go-go, we did make some time to visit our local park so Falynn and Iyla could play with their new favorite toy, Stomp Rocket! Have you seen this yet? Swipe to see it in action and check out our stories for even more fun! Stomp Rocket is pretty much the coolest toy and it teaches STEM principles, which is a huge plus! It comes with three different stunt planes designed by aeronautical engineers to do a variety of amazing tricks. The rockets soar up to 400 feet in the air, so it keeps them running after the rockets (amazing exercise)! @originalstomprocket reduces screen time with a toy that’s 100% kid-powered by jumping on the launch pad. The girls love to see who can make it go the highest and the farthest! I love that you can play with it in your backyard but it’s also portable and light enough to take with you. It makes the best gift and is available at your in @target stores and online! 
#gostomp #stomprocket #targetrun #targetfinds
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Is it just me or...

It didn’t take me long to find my word for 2020.... COURAGE. Courage to try new things, courage to continue on even when I’m afraid of the “what if’s”, courage to grow as a person, courage to get out there more, courage to fight the anxiety that kept me locked up on most days in 2019, courage to make our dreams come true... this year, I’m going to let my courage shine. Make sure to check out our newest blog post where we are sharing our 2020 family goals and how many of our 2019 family goals we achieved. Link is in our bio or you can swipe up in stories. What is your word for 2020? .
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#courage #courageous #mentalhealth #mentalillness #anxietyrelief #depressionhelp #depressionawareness #anxietysucks #anxietyattack #mentalhealthisimportant #mentalhealthblogger #mystory #endthestigma #endthestigmaofmentalhealth #anxietyproblems #mentalhealthblog #anxietyproblems #dontsufferinsilence #mentalhealthhelp #changeyourthoughts #mindsetmatters #anxietyisreal #palmbeachblogger #southfloridablogger #kissimmee #gaylordpalms #orlandoflorida #splashpad #swimzip #newyeargoals

It didn’t take me long...

Our Family’s First Stay in an AirBnB

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After hearing so many great things from our friends about renting an AirBnB vs staying in a hotel, we finally took the plunge and rented one last week. I should start by saying, that I am super picky about places we stay, for a few reasons. First, it has to be family-friendly. When you have three kids, you have to take all kinds of things into consideration. Next, the decor has to be pretty. Unfortunately, when we go on these little vacations, it’s not a vacation for me. I still have to work. My job is to take pictures and write and I need a beautiful space to do that in. Finally, it has to be in a safe neighborhood. Obviously I don’t want to have to worry about crime when we are sleeping in someone else’s home.  So I downloaded the AirBnB app and started searching. It wasn’t long before I found the cutest home in Stuart, FL with everything we wanted!

The home was built in 1913 and was oozing with charm. They decorated it so thoughtfully, exactly how I want our home to look. The walls were white and bright and everything was very inviting. I was surprised and pleased to find a stack of Rae Dunn bowls in the kitchen cabinet. For those that don’t know, I have a tiny obsession with Rae Dunn. It’s amazing how something so small could make me feel so at home.

Entrance hooks at an AirBnB

Stairs and wooden floor at an AirBnB

Shelving and white walls with various books at an AirBnB

Kitchen table and dining area of an AirBnB

Was our AirBnB Family Friendly?

Under the stairs, we discovered a secret space with a play kitchen that Falynn was over the moon about. It was fully stocked with the cutest wooden food toys, plates, trays and everything her 6 year old heart desired.

One of the rooms had built-in bunk beds and a lego table with plenty of legos to play with.

Outside, was a beautiful pool, surrounded by a child-safe net so we didn’t have to worry about anyone accidentally falling in (though my girls are pretty decent swimmers).

Was our AirBnB Fully Equipped?

From cleaning products to soap, the closets and shelves had everything you may have forgotten, which was wonderful! While we didn’t forget anything because I’m an overly-thorough packer, it was nice to know that we wouldn’t need to make an emergency trip to the store, had we forgotten something.

The kitchen had just about everything you need, if you choose to cook. There was even food in the fridge and pantry, though I wasn’t 100% sure that was for us, so we didn’t touch that.

Rae Dunn Out of Office Mug on the kitchen table of an AirBnB

Beautiful bed and canopy decor in an AirBnB

Beautiful decor at an AirBnB in Florida

Beautiful headboard and decor at an AirBnB in Florida

Built in bunk beds at an AirBnB

Beautiful white and gray bathroom in an AirBnB

Was our AirBnB Worth the Price?

There is a specific hotel that we normally stay in when we visit this area. The rate for this AirBnB was basically the same as that hotel. So for the same price, you have an entire house (and pool) to yourself. I’d say it was a great deal. Our hostess was always available and answered any questions or concerns quickly. She really thought of everything that would make her guests feel at home.

Was our AirBnB Clean?

Absolutely! Aside from the freezer, which could have used a wipe down, the home was very clean. In fact, it was cleaner than our own home, if I’m being totally honest!

How was the Location of our AirBnB?

We were just outside of downtown, which was the cutest little area of shops and restaurants. We loved trying the local restaurants, one of which had the yummiest pizza. There were also a number of ice cream shops, coffee shops and chocolate factories in the area. We weren’t far from the mall and a number shopping centers either.  We had plenty to do! We even got to visit with some friends who happen to live just miles from the home.

The One Thing I Didn’t Realize I’d Love in our AirBnB

The home had only one television. It was in the living room, downstairs. For a family that is used to falling asleep with the tv on, on a regular basis, I thought this would be a challenge. But let me tell you what it did. For the first two days, I didn’t watch tv at all. I was able to read a couple of chapters of a book that I threw into our suitcase at the last minute. I rarely make time to read, so it was amazing for me! It almost made me want to get rid of our bedroom tvs in our home!

Beautiful girl wearing her SwimZip halter swimwear

Beautiful girl wearing a rash guard and swimwear from SwimZip on a porch

Beautiful girl wearing a swimsuit from SwimZip on a porch swing

Family wearing uv protective swimwear from SwimZip

What was the Outdoor Space Like at our AirBnB?

The outdoor space was much bigger than I anticipated. There was a swing on the front porch (something I dream about having in our own home one day). The girls spent a good portion of our time there. The property had a decent sized driveway with a covered parking area on the side of the home. In the back, was a back porch, a large pool and a garage which they use for storage purposes. There was plenty of space to entertain and a decent sized grill.

Although we have a pool in the house we are currently living in, the girls spent as much time as they could in the AirBnB pool. We were gifted some new bathing suits from our friends at SwimZip, so they were looking their best, even though the privacy fence kept anyone from seeing them. What I love about SwimZip (besides the owner Betsy, who I had the pleasure of meeting years before her Shark Tank appearance), is that not only are their swimsuits high quality, but they also offer UPF 50+ protection all day long. I’m completely in love with the new prints and styles!

Love their UV Protective Swimwear from Swimzip?

Here are the links to each of their suits:
Falynn: Oversized Dot
Iyla: Tie Dye
Lucia: Palm Leaf Halter Top and High Waist Bottoms
Super Dad: Cannonball King Rash Guard and Palm Leaf Trunk Shorts

Were There any Negatives to Staying in our AirBnB?

While our stay was memorable in all of the right ways, we did have a few issues. I’m a crazy-light sleeper. I have bionic ears. I could hear the train, which was at least a mile or two away, running throughout the night. Everyone else got a good night sleep, so had I brought ear plugs, I would have too.

The wood floor upstairs had a cracked area, which Iyla’s sock got caught on a couple of times. We did have some holy socks but our feet were unharmed.

On the second night, the fire alarm in the girls room went off at around 3am. We made sure there was no actual smoke or fire and once Super Dad got it to stop, we closed our eyes to try to fall back asleep and it went off again. That happened 3 times before he made the executive decision to take the batteries out.

There was no microwave in the home. I know that might not be a big deal to most (and we did have the oven), but when you have kids, sometimes they aren’t patient enough for the oven.

When you leave the home, they ask you to put the dirty towels in the washing machine and run it, and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it as well. We were required to pay a $125 cleaning fee, but found ourselves spending most of check-out morning cleaning the home and doing the dishes and laundry.

Would We Visit an AirBnB Again?

For our first AirBnB experience, we couldn’t have asked for more. I definitely think we will rent another AirBnB when we travel in the future. Have you rented an AirBnB before? What was your experience like?

If you're considering renting an AirBnB for your family, read about our first experience and whether or not we'll rent one again.

XOXO
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55 Comments
  • Alice
    January 8, 2020

    I’d say this was an awesome Air BnB! My kids have been asking for bunk beds but I’m still not ready to get them becasue they’re 5 and 6 and both want to sleep on the top. So that means i have to get 2 of those beds that sit up high wiht no bed under them. And honestly, even when we stay at resorts, we always put the dishes in the washer and run it. We tend to clean up a bit before we leave anyway, even though someone is going to come in to clean up after us – that’s just us.
    Alice recently posted Setting Goals: Valuable actions from 2019My Profile

  • Justin
    September 25, 2019

    That sounds like an awesome experience! Except the fire alarm and the train running by…but these photos are so beautiful! I wish I could’ve taken these, but you did a fantastic job! 🙂

  • Martina Roy
    August 22, 2019

    This is very really unique helpful information. keep it up. Thank you so much!

  • Jennifer Prince
    August 10, 2019

    I love Airbnb. There are such unique places, normally at a great price. You found such a lovely one – I love how clean it is.

  • Courtney
    August 8, 2019

    Oooo looks like y’all found a fabulous AirBnB to stay in! I’ve been tempted to give AirBnB a try. It would be nice to have a house and not stay at a hotel on vacation

  • Cindy Batchelor
    August 8, 2019

    I have yet to stay in one, but will def consider it now after hearing about your experience!
    Cindy Batchelor recently posted How Can You Stay Away from Needing a Revision Rhinoplasty?My Profile

  • Pati Robins
    August 8, 2019

    first of al what a fantastic photographs ! the airbnb also looks like a fantastic place to stay with family

  • Agnes Dela Cruz
    August 7, 2019

    Reading positive feedback about AirBnB makes me want to book a slot this weekend. Happy memories!

  • Kara
    August 7, 2019

    We are converts to airbnb too, even after a couple of early teething problems. I love being in a home from home (although they are always nicer than my actual home)

  • alexandra cook
    August 7, 2019

    Your overviews of Airbnb are so thorough and they give so much good information. I will def consider this.

  • Arya
    August 7, 2019

    Loved the house you chose! I used to have my own in Barcelona and the people I met through that journey was absolutely inspiring.

  • dreaming.loud
    August 3, 2019

    Oh nice post, great place for family vacation. Thanks for sharing your experience, love reading it.

  • Geraline Batarra
    August 3, 2019

    This one is so beautiful..! Such a nice place for the whole family. Thanks for sharing your experience..!

  • Geraline Batarra
    August 3, 2019

    What a fun trip..! Nice decors too..! AirBnb is so great..! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Lyanna Soria
    August 1, 2019

    That place looks quite amazing and some of the houses in Airbnb don’t look this good. Looks like you had a great time during your Airbnb stay.
    Lyanna Soria recently posted House to Home ProjectMy Profile

  • Anna
    August 1, 2019

    Family-friendly and pretty are my main criteria as well! You´ve found such a nice place! Love the decorations!

  • Ashley Rice
    August 1, 2019

    I love going to Airbnbs!! This one looks so beautiful! What a fun trip!
    Ashley Rice recently posted VEGAN MARSHMALLOW LEMON BARSMy Profile

  • Louise
    July 31, 2019

    What a gorgeous looking Air BnB! We tend to always book these now instead of hotel rooms as they’re SO much more homely 🙂

    Louise x
    Louise recently posted 10 Fun And Inexpensive Summer Activities To Do As A FamilyMy Profile

  • Amanda m
    July 31, 2019

    Honestly. I’ve always been wary about airbnb. So I’m forever looking for success stories like this. Glad yous had a blast and I’d def reconsider booking one. Thanks for the post

  • Rosemary
    July 31, 2019

    I love Airbnb and I’m thrilled to hear you had a great time. I personally think having the benefit of the space, kitchen and laundy beats a hotel 🙂 Nothing is ever perfect though I’m surprised the fire alarm went off in the bedroom. Sounds like you solved it and had a great time overall. Glad you got back into reading. Exciting. Great review.
    Rosemary recently posted Comment on The Best Day Trips from Porto for Food and Wine Lovers by Authentic Food QuestMy Profile

  • Brittany Limberakis
    July 31, 2019

    We love Airbnb! We use it more than hotels. Mostly because we end up traveling a lot with friends and family. If it is just the 2 of us we get a hotel… but we love doing couple trips and when 6 or 8 of us all get together an Airbnb is essentially for the ease and comfort of our stay! We each get our own bedrooms but have communal areas that we can all spend time together which is the whole point of traveling together!
    Brittany Limberakis recently posted VBAC vs C-sectionMy Profile

  • Rachel
    July 31, 2019

    We are going to have to try out an Air BNB. I have wanted to go somewhere and hotels just are too expensive and tight for the whole family.
    Rachel recently posted 15 Realistic & Healthy Beach Snacks for KidsMy Profile

  • Ash
    July 31, 2019

    Looks like a great space!! And that you had a relaxing time! I’ve never tried Air BnB before, but maybe I should!
    Ash recently posted 4 Go-To Essentials For Your Summer Adventure!My Profile

  • Emily Fata
    July 31, 2019

    This was such a lovely Airbnb that you stayed at! I’m glad that your family had a great time on your trip.

  • Subhashish Roy
    July 31, 2019

    I have always thought about AirBnB as an option while booking my hotels but somehow never got down to doing it. As long as the toilet is not shared as I have noticed in many, it should be fine. This property that you all stayed in is very nice. Nice pics.
    Subhashish Roy recently posted Traveling on to Dubrovnik..My Profile

  • Amy-Lynn Denham
    July 31, 2019

    WOW! That is one HELL of an Air BnB! Looks like it was quite the experience, too. I would totally stay at a place like that.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    July 31, 2019

    I’ve been curious about this too. I’m also picky about the places we stay. I totally want to try an airbnb now!
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy recently posted Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop 339My Profile

  • We are staying in our first Airbnb this weekend. I love the idea of only one t.v. I definitely will be doing some reading.
    Tamara | This Mom’s Delight recently posted The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family DevotionsMy Profile

  • Catalina
    July 31, 2019

    I’ve heard about AirBnb a lot. But i am so glad to learn more about it from your experience! I think I should use this rental service too!

  • Kelsey
    July 31, 2019

    We love staying in Airbnb’s. They are always a great price and we love having all that extra room!

  • Wren
    July 30, 2019

    That is amazing! I have thought about trying an Airbnb but have been hesitant. I love your review, I may have to look into them more seriously!
    Wren recently posted Enjoying Dungeons & Dragons WednesdayMy Profile

  • Cinny
    July 30, 2019

    We are actually going to be in our first one soon too. It’s a bit nerve wracking!

  • Lohas Canada
    July 30, 2019

    The AirBnB home looks beautiful. I have stayed in a couple of AirBnB’s and it is always a gamble on the atmosphere of the house. Sometimes renting out just a room is amazing connecting with the locals but can also be an invasion of personal space. It looks like you had a great time relaxing and creating space to get out of your home routine

  • Kathy
    July 30, 2019

    I have never stayed there before. Looks like a really beautiful place though. I would certainly think of staying there sometime too.

  • joy
    July 30, 2019

    interesting how you weren’t sure if the food was for you guys or not. i think i’d have the same concerns if i did an airbnb aka what is off limits and what is for us.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    July 30, 2019

    I like the idea of having a whole house to vacation in. Sometimes hotel rooms make me feel cramped and uncomfortable, but this AirBnB experience of yours was just wonderful!

  • Amy Desrosiers
    July 30, 2019

    I have always wondered about AirBNBs. We have thought about buying an additional home to rent out as one but were not 100% sure what it entailed.

  • Terri Steffes
    July 30, 2019

    I think this AirBNB is a rock star. I love the decor. I wouldn’t have left, it feels so peaceful there.
    Terri Steffes recently posted Logistics and Location: New Home DecisionsMy Profile

  • It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. I haven’t traveled in several years but when I do we usually stay in a hotel. If I was planning a week-long vacation, I think staying in an AirBnB would make a lot more sense so that we had the comforts of home and a bit more privacy. I’ll have to keep in mind when booking one in the future so that I will ask if they have a microwave. Maybe this particular house didn’t because it is older.
    Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers recently posted Back To School Kitchen Essentials GiveawayMy Profile

  • My family and I have not stayed in an Airbnb. That looks like comfy house though and looks like you enjoyed your stay!
    Jocelyn @ Hip Mama’s Place recently posted Peach Arugula Salad + Summer Fruit Fest Event at Wegmans My Profile

  • Shelly Dixon
    July 30, 2019

    I am a light sleeper too. That train noise would wake me up for sure. Such a beautiful room to stay in though!
    Shelly Dixon recently posted Summer Reading: The Killing Tide @danipettrey #sponsored #PlungeIntoAPettreyBookMy Profile

  • Emman Damian
    July 30, 2019

    Lucky You! It looks like a great place to stay. My First Stay in an AirBnB was not so good. I’m glad you had one with your family!
    Emman Damian recently posted House Moving And Food: The Foodie’s Guide To Snacks On The GoMy Profile

  • Cherishingflo
    July 30, 2019

    This is pretty awesome! I wouldn’t think I would enjoy only one TV either but the benefits actually sound like I may try and look for that specifically in the future for this purpose! I have never rented and air bnb myself so I loved hearing about this experience before doing so!

  • Ladena
    July 30, 2019

    We stayed in a vacation rental from Homeaway for the first time during our recent trip to Europe. It was great. I loved having more room and being in a residential neighbourhood. I’d totally rent a house or apartment again!
    Ladena recently posted Experience Big Cities with Big Bus ToursMy Profile

  • Carol Bryant
    July 30, 2019

    Your family is beautiful for starters. I have not stayed in an AirBNB yet but seeing your experience makes me want to try it. You really covered all the details I want to know about.
    Carol Bryant recently posted How To Easily Diagnose and Treat Colitis In DogsMy Profile

  • Mila Clarke Buckley
    July 30, 2019

    This sounds like a really great and affordable way to take the family on vacation and stay somewhere cozy. Great Ideal
    Mila Clarke Buckley recently posted Daily Harvest Review: Dragon Fruit and LycheeMy Profile

  • Beth
    July 30, 2019

    This house looks beautiful! I think renting a home or apartment is the best way to go if you have more than 2 people. We’ve stayed at over 10 places and all of them were great except for one. (The non-ideal one wasn’t booked through a national agency.)
    Beth recently posted Dog-friendly Engagement Photos With English BulldogsMy Profile

  • Sarah
    July 30, 2019

    We love AirBNB! They are a staple down on 30A where there aren’t hotels to stay at. This house is decorated so nice!
    Sarah recently posted Box Tops for Education are going digital and we are excited!My Profile

  • Julie Hood
    July 30, 2019

    What a gorgeous space!!!! I LOVE those bunk beds. We are never going to be able to stay in a hotel again after doing Airbnbs with toddlers who need their own rooms to fall asleep! haha

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    July 30, 2019

    We usually rent a house through AirBnB when we go on vacation. I love the many advantages of the service. We haven’t had a bad experience with the service!

  • Paula Schuck
    July 30, 2019

    OMG that house though!! It looks amazing. Love the bunk beds and the Cape Cod kind of feel that it has. Very peachy. Everyone looks like they had an amazing time too. I need to try Air B N B. We haven’t done this yet as a family which is surprising given how much we travel. I just needed to hear from someone else that it is good and reliable.
    Paula Schuck recently posted Fishing, Flying, Golfing and Food – Fun Things to Do at Lake of the OzarksMy Profile

  • Tara Pittman
    July 30, 2019

    I have never stayed in an Airbnb but this looks nice. I like all the space but no free breakfast is a deal breaker for me.
    Tara Pittman recently posted CBD For The BedroomMy Profile

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    July 30, 2019

    This is an awesome experience! I’ve never done it before. Your place looks superb!

  • Amber Myers
    July 30, 2019

    This looks like a great home to stay in. I always hear about AirBnb but I haven’t tried it yet. I need to! I’d prefer it to a hotel.
    Amber Myers recently posted Hey, It’s OkayMy Profile

  • Melissa Chapman
    July 30, 2019

    Other than the alarm going off which is unusual it sounds like the accomodations were great. The pictures look like it was very clean and comfortable and the smiles looked like you had fun.
    Melissa Chapman recently posted Get your Back to School Season On With The Staten Island Family and WIN $100My Profile

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