Lara DiPaola

Lara DiPaola

Lara DiPaola is the Director of Partner Relations for, as well as Scenic Route TravelingMom. The Washington DC/Baltimore metro area serves as 'Base Camp' for Lara and her family of six as they explore the world, often getting lost.. or as she puts it, "Taking the Scenic Route". Whether roughing it in a tent, relaxing in a luxury villa or exploring the unknown, Lara considers travel her life's journey. You can also find Lara penning the “10 Best Washington, DC ” series for USA Today Travel Media and on her personal blog; Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom.

Pi Day: Where and How to Celebrate Einstein’s Birthday

What was Albert Einstein’s favorite dessert? Why Pi, naturally. No matter how you slice it, the sum of Pi Day is fun. March 13 (or 3.14), the worlds of science and silliness come together to celebrate Pi (Greek letter “p”).  This annual event is a great excuse to get your family engaged in the infinite fun found in the exploration of science and mathematics. Also factoring into the 25th annual celebration of Pi Day is the fact that this year marks what would have been Albert Einstein’s 134th birthday. Talk about a teachable moment! Many science centers, museums, university...

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A Historical Tour of San Diego

Planning a trip sunny San Diego? Between the beautiful beaches, world famous zoo, and theme parks, there is certainly no shortage of family fun to be had in this city by the sea. But did you know that San Diego is rich with historical importance, making it a great destination for combining learning with your leisure? Come with TravelingMom on a Historical Tour of San Diego… San Diego is the oldest Spanish settlement in “Alta California”, so as you’d imagine, it’s got history by the bucketful.  Home to LEGO Land, beaches of legend and amazing Mexican food, it has...

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San Diego’s Family-Friendly Rancho Bernardo Inn

The place you choose to stay can shape your entire trip. Sometimes, that hotel “sameness” can detract from the overall atmosphere and even make it difficult to know what city you’re visiting once you’re inside for the night. Not so when you visit the San Diego area, and make the Rancho Bernardo Inn your shelter of choice. You may find it difficult to leave the property to sight-see – they make it too inviting! Nestled in the rolling hills of Rancho Bernardo, CA, the Inn has cultivated charm and facilitated memory-making for  the past fifty years. The results of...

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Discovering San Diego … Again

Memories are a powerful things. We carry them with us as we travel along in this journey of life. Reliving them through visiting places tied to important events can be fun — or folly. Tucked in my carry-on — alongside my trusty TravelingMom-recommended portable power strip — was the knowledge that perhaps revisiting the places of my youth in San Diego might be a little bittersweet. Any concern melted away the moment my nine year old son caught site of the “Welcome to San Diego” sign in the arrivals terminal at Lindbergh Field and promptly said, “You stay classy!”...

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Having Your Own Place in New York City Isn’t a Luxury at Hotel Belleclaire

Have you ever longed to live in a stylish New York city apartment, one tucked onto a picturesque side-street straight out off a movie set? You aren’t alone. Let’s be realistic though, is a move to Manhattan in the cards, or the budget? The Hotel Belleclaire offers the answers to your big city daydreams with luxury, service and space to move. Located on New York City’s chic Upper West Side, the Hotel Belleclaire is a mix of neighborhood charm and a Gatsby-like time travel. At first I thought perhaps the navigation system in the car was lost, it didn’t...

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The Unexpected Journey: A Mom and Her Hero

Sometimes the unexpected journey is the one we must take. The lake water is blue — a blue so deep it’s almost black. In its mirror-like surface, the surrounding trees reflect bright, jeweled ripples of red, green and gold. A single brilliant orange kayak glides across the glassy water, propelled by churning oars in strong hands. The skipper deftly guides his boat toward the dock, as he knows this day’s journey has reached its end. He is reluctant, though, to leave the freedom of the water. Stretching up with muscled arms, he is hefted from his vessel and gently...

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Glamping in Baltimore: A Four Seasons Experience

If lobster corn dogs, custom cocktails and wood fired ovens trump hot dogs, marshmallows and campfires in your book, you might be a Glamper. Having grown up in a family of “primitive” campers (aka tree-hugging hippies who’d never be caught dead in an actual camper, RV or anything providing creature comfort of any sort) I have many memories of roughing it. Frankly, I wasn’t ever a huge fan. The sooner I could get to a shower, blow-dryer and proper bed, the better. When I first heard the term “glamping,” I was intrigued to say the least. So, what exactly...

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Baltimore: Family Fun in Downtown Charm City

What do shrunken heads, sharks, and nanotechnology have in common?  You can find them all within walking distance of each other in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Downtown Charm City is packed with a plethora of family fun at any age. There are even some great things for that oft dreamed of, if all too elusive “grownup getaway”, which is one of the reasons I love living just a short drive away from Baltimore. Toddlers to tweens will have a blast with the hands-on learning experience at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. KidWorks, a three story urban tree house and Nano, an...

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Educational Travel: The Chesapeake Campaign

The battle for Baltimore –as immortalized by Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner– only tells the story of one of the many battles that contributed the fledgling United States’ epic victory in the war of 1812. In fact dozens of communities across the country played roles both large and small. Maryland’s contribution came to be known as The Chesapeake Campaign. Marking the Bicentennial of The Chesapeake Campaign, communities across Maryland are participating in celebrations, reenactments and bringing history to life a part of Star Spangled 200. My family and I were thrilled to be among the invited guests of...

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Family Friendly Luxury Travel: The Jefferson in DC

Washington D.C. is home to not only monuments and history it is also a city that boasts some of the world’s top notch luxury hotels. That said, finding a family friendly luxury hotel in D.C. can be almost as hard as getting congress to pass a bill. Recently, members of the Traveling Mom team, including founding mom Kim Orlando, Christian Traveling Mom Teronya Holmes and myself were hosted by The Jefferson in D.C. where we found a special sort of luxury family travel enlightenment. No trip to D.C. is complete without a visit to one -or all- of the...

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