THE ROCK FATHER has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd
Back when I started this website, I had no idea it would end up leading to more travel than I'd ever done before. After all, the whole idea was that I'd be a work-at-home dad and be spending the majority of my time with our daughter. Fast-foward a bit and that's still mostly true, but it's now daughters (plural) and the scope of things has totally changed. I'm traveling a lot, which means not only time spent in the confines of those flying metal tubes, but also a lot of time in airports... and the worst part: those dirty buses and trains that shuttle around the airports. A lot of people equals a lot of germs, and since I tend to get run-down, that means I get a lot of colds. When the folks at Zicam® asked if I'd throw down a few words about my ongoing war against colds, it was easy to say "yes" since I've been using their product for ages anyway.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a fantastic hotel - and I say that from experience, as I've stayed there. Indeed, I've sipped a few pricey drinks from the bar, while staying in a room that was close to, if not the exact room that Tony Soprano once stayed in an episode of HBO's THE SOPRANOS. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, SCARFACE and James Bond all have ties to the Fontainebleau, and for New Year's Eve, the legend will grow... and the property is offering up one exclusive, incredibly lavish experience in which guests can "indulge in the Miami Beach celebrity lifestyle with Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Marshmello." The news hit my inbox this afternoon, and if you've got $500K+ to spend on a five-night adventure, this is for you...
This weekend, the Chicago Botanic Garden officially opens the doors to the Regenstein Learning Campus, a beautiful, 7-acre campus built for learners of all ages, with the intention to "facilitate connections between people and the environment." The Rock Daughters™ and I recently had a chance to preview the new Campus and its Learning Center - a 26,700 square-foot building that features 12 indoor and two outdoor classrooms, a nature laboratory, early childhood classrooms, the ITW kitchen and spaces for wellness classes. Outside, The Nature Play Garden, with its rolling hills and series of multisensory gardens, provides areas for hiding, exploring, learning and gathering - a fine place for kids to run around and have infinite adventures. The Campus will be the home of the Joseph Regenstein Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, offering year-round classes, day camps and programs.
The Clown Prince of Crime will officially arrive in Lake County, Illinois next year as THE JOKER Free Fly Coaster comes to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee for the 2017 season. Continuing a long-running partnership with DC Comics/DC Entertainment, THE JOKER will also be built at parks in New England and Texas, while this year's JUSTICE LEAGUE BATTLE FOR METROPOLIS 4D will be installed at three additional parks and the WONDER WOMAN LASSO OF TRUTH at two. THE JOKER is touted as being "one of the most unique rides in park history," with riders flying high-above the park in "wing cars" that face other riders.
If “wearing many hats” is the metaphor for chronic multi-tasking, my virtual hat rack is full -- something that’s probably fairly obvious to anyone that’s followed my adventures on the social networks these past few years. On the surface, my #1 gig is being a parent - my wife and I raising The Rock Daughters™ with me as the (mostly) work-from-home parent while she maintains a career outside of the home. Thing is, as the years roll on, my travel has increased - the necessity of adventures in far-off locales… places where staying connected might not always be easy. On top of that, one of my lesser-known gigs involves my “other kids” - five of them. I serve as co-manager of the metal band Product of Hate - a gig that’s special to me as the boys are very much like my brothers, though on the artist management side there’s sometimes a “parental” vibe in looking out for their best interests, and part of that is helping to keep them connected to friends and family while out on the road. For their latest U.S. Tour, the AT&T Unite Explore by NETGEAR became a new tool in our arsenal - a Mobile WiFi Hotspot to put #RuggedWiFi* wherever the guys might be, as long as there’s a cell phone signal (4G LTE/4G where available).
Brand unity is something that the folks at Kia Motors USA have really nailed over the past few years. Whether you're driving an entry-level model, or a fully-loaded luxury vehicle, the experience is distinctly Kia, and there's a comfort level in that feeling that's hard to surpass - no matter if you're in a car, crossover or minivan. When I last found myself behind the wheel of their best-selling nameplate, the Kia Optima, it was the 2014 Hybrid model. While we enjoyed that car, the 2016 Optima has been redesigned, and I recently had the opportunity to do a little roadtripping in Florida at the helm of the SX Turbo Edition - the perfect family ride for rockin' the road.