Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Tote to the Beach We Go

Welcome to my second 
Tales of the Traveling Tote,
where twelve bloggers share the fun 
they have had as they take along their
MacKenzie Child's large travel tote.
And be sure to enter our MacKenzie Child's
giveaway at the end of this post.

My totes name is Miss Madi K.

Miss Madi K and I are of one mind and heart, 
we love to travel, and we love to go warm places 
so already 2018 has been a fun one for the
both of us.

For those who know me, you know that I
love to grow older on my birthdays in a warm
place and since my birthday is in January, it 
certainly isn't spent at home in the cold and snow. 

Last year for my big birthday I took all 20 of us 
to Hawaii, so this year I just wanted it to be hubby and me. 

We decided to stop on the way to Hawaii in Disneyland. 
They sure know how to greet you for your birthday 
in Disneyland.

Not only did I get tons of well wishes, but I even got free 
birthday desserts.

It had been a few years since I had 
seen Disneyland at Christmas, so we thought
it would be fun to stop there on our way to 
Paradise.  Miss Madi K and I are waiting to get 
checked into the Happiest Place on Earth.

Although I love seeing Disney through a child's eyes, 
I have to be honest, I love experiencing it with hubby 
only the best.

It didn't disappoint, but the crowds were unbelievable.
I thought the week after New Year's would be lower 
crowds, but in all my Disney trips, I have never 
experienced such huge crowds.  

We had a surprise visit from our son Marcus and 
ou granddaughter Goldie, as we had just settled 
in to order Monte Cristo Sandwiches at Cafe Orleans. 

It was revenge since he honeymooned at Disneyland, 
and just before he left, he said, "Meet you Wednesday 
at Bengal BBQ for lunch!"  Well, that was an invite
we couldn't resist.  I took my daughter and DIL and a 
couple of grandkids and called him Wednesday afternoon 
and said to meet us for lunch!  Of course, we only saw them 
for the afternoon and we stayed at another hotel.

I had fun introducing all of them to 
"getting cozy at the cone" with one of my favorite 
treats - chili and chicken green chili bread filled cones. 
How I could go for another one of those on this cold day!

One of my big financial weaknesses is that as soon as I 
go somewhere, I start scheming as to how I can take 
my family there.  We are kind of naughty, and send 
home lots of pictures to tempt them.  These 
holiday Mickey beignets were so amazing, that 
after we left, Marcus and Goldie stayed on for a few 
days and she ate these several times.

We had such a great time, that we upgraded 
our park passes to a year pass!  Alas, it was time 
to head out!
Miss Madi K was stuffed to the brim, and the vacation 
was just starting!  What a huge and wonderful tote bag,
but no matter how large, I can manage to fill my carry on! 

We all arrived safely in beautiful Maui, and Miss Madi K 
and I both approved of hubby's choice for a car.

She thought she looked pretty smart with the car!

Actually she looks pretty smart wherever we go! 

My birthday finally arrived and we were off 
to the other side of the island.

We dined at Mama's Fish house and of course I
had to have their famous dessert,
The Black Pearl.
It is a chocolate and passion fruit mousse
inside a cookie shell.  It is huge and easily
feeds two.

We also enjoyed this giant chocolate chip and macadamia
nut pancake at Charleys in Paia.

We were so disappointed last year that the
Grand Wailea's Molokini Bistro had 
dropped their Pineapple Banana Split,
but they brought it back.  I guess others
complained as much as we did.

Here is my copycat recipe for this dessert
for two.

The Five Palms Kihei is ocean side and outstanding.

This was their amazing dessert.

We also enjoyed Frida's for Mexican, and
The Grand Wailea's Humuhumunukunukuapa'a
for a sunset dinner.

All too soon it was time to go home.
Miss Madi K is my best friend on these long
trips home.  She carries all of my comfort items.

I am going to share with you some of my favorite

Special neck rest - which keeps my head in place
better than the curved one,
Gel seat - to keep my bottom from getting numb ,
Leg Rest/Hammock - so my legs don't go crazy,
and a stuffable down blanket to keep me warm
on cold flights.  I also keep my snacks and a pair
of slippers in my comfort bag.

We were home just about two weeks when we were
off to Cabo.  Those who have followed me for a while
know we have had a home there.  We bought that 12
years ago with the intent of tearing it down and
rebuilding, but then the economy crashed.  We 
finally tore it down a year ago and have begun

Of course, it has taken a lot longer than we were told,
so we were down checking on the construction.

Obviously we weren't able to stay on our property so we
chose La Villa Estancia to stay in.

We would run from there to the construction sight.

They have spent the last six months taking down the
hillside and building these amazing retaining and
support walls.

La Villa Estancia was beach front and of course Miss Madi K
loved bringing all of our beach goodies.

I also brought my money and room key in this adorable
clutch by Jenna at The Painted Apron.  She is so
talented and produced her art into useable items such
as pillows, clutches, phone cases, and many other adorable
items that would be perfect for a gift.
Click here to see some of her items which
are sold.

Of course we hit up all of our favorite foodie spots
in Cabo.  This is my favorite breakfast at Solomon's Landing.
Click here for a copycat recipe I developed.

Climb aboard and I will let you follow the crazy
construction process as it continues.

Now on to the fun stuff - our giveaway!

Hop on over to see Jenna at
The Painted Apron to enter our MacKenzie Child's giveaway.
Come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda G with Miss Poppy @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner

And mark your calendars for June 1st when we
have our next adventures of the Traveling Totes.


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. You know how to travel in style, you and Miss Madi K. Such a fun vacation and truly a magnificent birthday celebration. Disneyland looks great. All of the food you posted has my mouth watering. Maui is a great place to get away and take in some sunshine and relaxation. How exciting building your new home in Cabo. Can't wait to see it finished. So glad Miss Madi K and yourself could join our Traveling Tote group.

    1. Love being part of the Traveling Tote group! You ladies overwhelm me with all of the fun MC items you have. I feel rather MC impoverished!

  2. Jacqueline, I love how you travel, in comfort! I'm taking notes and I'm checking all your links for upgrades for my next trip. How fun to stop off for a Disney visit on your way to your vacation. I love all the fun snaps and the food, goodness it all looks so good. Your hubby sure chose a great car for enjoying the ride. What a great way to build, in a vacation spot. Your home will be awesome I'm sure and I look forward to watching the building through your blog. You really know how to celebrate a birthday! Sending hugs to you and Miss Madi K........

    1. Definitely get some of these comfort items. I really go crazy flying, I am so uncomfortable, but these have helped so much.

  3. Wow, Jackie, What a great post and way to break in Miss Madi K! I love how you used her for air travel - that's how I like to use mine too - and that footrest! I'm putting that on my Amazon shopping list - thank you, love that. Your home you're building looks grand, that amazing retention wall in and of itself - ! I would imagine the rest will go quickly once that's secure. Thanks for sharing not only the trips, but all that food - out of this world!

    1. Haha - will travel for food!
      Yes, you will love that foot rest!! Otherwise Miss Madi K would be acting as my footrest, and not as comfortable.

  4. In my next life, I want to come back as Miss Madi K! What a life. I bet your new home will be gorgeous!! Sorry to hear about the lines at Disney. Usually they have them under control. Have a wonderful weekend, Jackie.

    1. Yes, people can't believe we tore down the old one, but it was about 40 years old and something was always needing to be fixed, and it definitely didn't take advantage of the site. It will be exciting.

  5. Well, I wish I could fit into your bag!! We are planning on a Hawaiian trip next year (I dread the flight from NY) We have never been. Your home in Cabo looks like it will be amazing! What a view you will have. So happy you have joined our group so that we can all travel along with you through your blog!!

    1. Yes Hawaii will be more of a trip from NY. Definitely invest in some comfort items! I hate long flights.

  6. Wow Jackie, you really know how to celebrate a birthday! All your destinations sound amazing, and omg the food! I have been dying to ask if you were in Hawaii when the alarm went off, the first thing I thought about when the news broke was that you might be there! I would be crazy overseeing building a house from so far away, I am sure it will be incredible, and I'm sure your whole family is anxious for it to be finished! I am very impressed with your comfort travel items, you've got it down to a science! Thank you for the lovely shout out, I am so glad you joined our group, you are always up to something amazing!

    1. Jenna, we came home the day before, but we had friends who were there. It was pretty terrifying for a while for them.

  7. Wow, I think you and Miss Madi K win the travel prize. I have a January birthday too, but can't remember ever celebrating it at the beach. That may need to change. The Cabo home is going to be amazing. You are perched right on the cliff above the water. Looks like paradise! I admire the way you travel with your children and their familes. You are making lifetime memories!

    1. Sarah, I am sure your winters are not as ugly as ours! I have to escape and the birthday has been the perfect excuse.

  8. What a wonderful Disney...happy weekend love Ria x ❤️

    1. Yes, I think it is the magic that Disney creates that I love so much!

  9. My goodness! Your food was to die for! Thanks for taking us along with your great pictures of the sights.
    Your new home in Cabo will have a wonderful view. I know you can't wait for it to be completed. I look forward to a grand tour.

    1. Hoping it will start to move faster, but my daughter is building here and it isn't moving much faster!

  10. You crack me up standing in that construction "digger"! Wishing you the best with the construction in Cabo. Miss Madi K has found the perfect traveling partner and so happy that 2018 has been a fun one for both of you. I can't believe how big that pancake is! I'm slowly make the rounds to the Tote Group due to my hectic work schedule, but started with you first since I wanted to let you know that I appreciate one of your cake tips. I am making a three layer cake for a friend that is turning 60 tomorrow, and I lined the cake pans with parchment as you suggested. What a breeze getting the cake out of the pans! xo

    1. So glad that tip helped. My SIL was teaching cooking classes for a grocery store - they even had a theater made - but that has sadly ended with the collapse of the economy back in 2008 - and she taught me that one. What a difference it has made.

  11. Looks so fun!! And the food looks AMAZING!! Would love a giant chocolate chip macadamia nut pancake right now, so fun!!

    1. We could try and make them! I think I would need some giant pancake turner though!

    2. Hahaha yeah let’s try it! I’ll be on the lookout for a giant turner 😉

  12. You and Miss Madi K know how to travel in style, Jacqueline! I love how you show all the fabulous desserts and treats that you're a girl after my own heart! Your home in Cabo is going to be wonderful!!

    1. Yes, wish we lived next door so we could help each other eat the goodies!

  13. I was going to say the same know how to travel in style! I DO love the tips on what to pack for a trip. Most of our trips are day trips now that we've retired to Florida but we love to GO! Beautiful photos! Hugs!

    1. If I had retired to Florida, I would probably just stay there too!

  14. Love your travels! The reconstruction looks beautiful! Can't wait to see it finished! And your bag, thstvIS the perfect carry on! I need one I think! Love the green with the black and white plaid! So YOU!

  15. How fun. I love Maui and Mama's fish house-I did not know about that dessert-now I need to go back. That bag is so you. I love the checkered pattern.


Your comments are the highlight of my day! Leave a comment and then I can come and visit your blog. Have a wonderful day! Unfortunately I have had to block anonymous comments, hope you understand.

Follow me on Instagram