Read Eileen’s travel diary and keep up with her travels. You might just pick up some ideas for your next family vacation!

Autograph seeking and a guided tour of Disney World
Hannah and Ethan with our guide Disney Maureen

Autograph seeking and a guided tour of Disney World

You better plan ahead if you want to dine with a princess. I learn that breakfast or lunch at Cinderella’s castle is such a hot ticket that it‘s booked six months in advance. We see lots of little princesses in glittery, fluffy outfits with their hair done just so at the new boutique…

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A trip to Walt Disney World with two little ones
Hannah and Ethan with Goofy at character breakfast

A trip to Walt Disney World with two little ones

DAY ONE -- It’s 3 p.m. and the pool at Disney’s Boardwalk resort in Orlando is packed with parents and kids, including a lot of little ones. “It takes patience…

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Chaa Creek — started small before “eco” was a word
Kids and caterpillars meet up at Chaa Creek resort in Belize

Chaa Creek — started small before “eco” was a word

Mick Fleming approached in a dugout canoe. “But there was something about the place,” he recalls more than 30 years later. His wife Lucy, who arrived on horseback the day after he saw the overgrown farm, agrees. “This place always had a certain amount of magic -- a pull. I felt it. We were young and crazy -- no money and decided to be pioneers.”

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Seeing Mayan ruins and tubing through a cave
Mayan ruins at Xunantunich in Belize

Seeing Mayan ruins and tubing through a cave

Right after breakfast, we head out with our guide, Wilbert Moh, to the Mayan site of Xunantunich, about 15 minutes from the Ka’Ana resort. It means Stone Maiden -- so named, Moh explains, because a hunter in the late 1800s claimed he spotted the apparition of a beautiful Mayan woman here. The structures -- including one that is the second highest in Belize – rise up to 525 feet.

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On to the Cayo District
Our bungalow at Kaana in Belize

On to the Cayo District

The 36-acre resort, which is growing popular with families, also has a terrific pool and a young chef who is said to be among the best in Belize. Most of the vegetables and herbs are provided from the organic garden -- everything from zucchini and peppers to cilantro, dill and parsley. (How about tipsy tequila shrimp or beef carpaccio, homemade pasta or tenderloin? Did I mention the wine cellar? The spa?

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Placencia and Sein Beit
Lolas Art in Sein Beit, Belize

Placencia and Sein Beit

The small (1200 people) town of Placencia is about a four mile cab ride from The Inn at Robert’s Grove. This isn’t a typical resort town -- not yet anyway. We don’t see many souvenir shops or much of any shopping. Some friends we’ve made at the resort lead us to De Tatch, a thatched-roof no-wall restaurant down a tiny meandering street, past one-room houses on stilts.

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The Jungle Cruise on steroids
The tiny town of Monkey River in Belize

The Jungle Cruise on steroids

This is no Disney Jungle Cruise! For one thing, our guide, Doyle Garbutt is driving the boat way too fast. Jungle Cruise on steroids, my husband jokes. The two little boys on the boat love it. For another, the animals don’t pop out on cue.

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A tiny island on the reef off Belize
Roberts Island in Belize

A tiny island on the reef off Belize

It’s just me and the two Pelicans. I’m watching them from my chair on a tiny island -- less than an acre around -- named Robert’s Cay that’s about 20 miles -- and more than an hour’s boat ride in a choppy sea with waves up to five feet -- from the Inn at Robert’s Grove where we’re staying.

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A Week in Belize (after a nightmare in the airports)
Roberts Grove resort in Belize

A Week in Belize (after a nightmare in the airports)

We arrived yesterday evening after typically frustrating flights. First, we had to get our flights changed because of the American Airlines MD-80 inspection mess. That took hours on the phone. We thought we were home free when we were able to rebook our flights on Delta but no such luck. At the airport in New York, we encountered incredibly long lines for check-in and security.

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