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Interview of Author Amy Suski of KidTrips Northern Virginia

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Last year, three of the DC area’s most prominent bloggers met and found that not only did they have a shared passion for all things local, but that they wanted to do even more.   One year later, KidTrips Northern Virginia was born.  Available in eBook or paperback, KidTrips is a complete resource of family friendly destinations and services in Northern Virginia.  We’re so thrilled to present this interview of Amy Suski, 1 of the 3 brilliant moms behind the book.

Last year, three of the DC area’s most prominent bloggers met and found that not only did they have a shared passion for all things local, but that they wanted to do even more.   One year later, KidTrips Northern Virginia was born.  Available in eBook or paperback, KidTrips is a complete resource of family friendly destinations and services in Northern Virginia.  We’re so thrilled to present this interview of Amy Suski, 1 of the 3 brilliant moms behind the book.

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How did you all meet and conceptualize this book?

It was actually a shared admiration and support of Mission Sleep that really brought us together.  All three of us were local mom bloggers (Micaela as SuperNOVAMommy and Claudine and Amy as DC Metro Mom) when Micaela reached out to DC Metro Mom to participate in a Mission Sleep fundraising and networking event.  Claudine had already blogged about the great work being done by Mission Sleep to help military families, so DC Metro Mom was very happy to support Micaela’s efforts.  From there, we continued to run into each other at local events and support each other’s sites on social networks.  At the time, Claudine and Amy planned on writing the book as a way to memorialize their local parenting experiences and thought Micaela would be a wonderful partner in the effort.  Happily, after luring her over for a glass of wine by the firepit, Micaela agreed and the writing began in earnest last summer.

What sets Kid Trips apart from other travel guides?

Kid Trips isn’t a slick corporate series — it’s written by moms about places we live around and have either been to ourselves or found out about through friends.  Between the three of us we’ve lived in NoVA for over 35 years and during that time have raised seven kids here…currently ranging in ages from infant to tween.  In addition, as local bloggers we’ve had unique opportunities to visit and review many terrific activities, performance venues, and stores so we feel like we have the “home team advantage” in helping families find the best the area has to offer.

What are your favorite tips for families visiting sites with infants?

Don’t be afraid to venture out when you have an infant!  We always encourage new parents to pack-up the baby and explore local destinations like parks, museums, and even baby-friendly movie screenings.  Some of the least likely places are some of the best places for infants.  For instance, crowded noisy restaurants are perfect.  In all that noise no one notices the baby and the hum of the crowd eventually puts the little one to sleep.  Of course the challenge of carting around diaper bags, bottles, and such can seem daunting, but if you keep a “go bag” in the car with extra clothes, diapers, formula, etc. you’ll be ready for anything — whether its meeting friends out for dinner or taking an extended stroll through a park. But do your research first: it’s always a good idea to know in advance if the venue is stroller accessible and whether changing and nursing rooms are available.  Resources like Kid Trips can help with that, but also check the venue’s website before heading out.

Did you learn anything unexpected about NoVA while doing all the research?

The biggest surprise was how many things there are to do here that are actually FREE.  On any given day you can find a free story time, tot-rocker, nature center demonstration, or visit a terrific playground.  In addition to joining parent website newsletters all families should register for nearby local town, city, or county park & recreation emails to stay current on all the great local performances, fairs, and events.

When did you find the time to do this?!

It goes without saying that we have very understanding spouses and tolerant children…to a point.  Our families had a blast visiting new places and researching fun things to do.  That said, actually writing the book was a big undertaking that took its toll on family time.   Were there burned dinners, missed story times, groggy all-nighters, and exasperated husbands?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely, and we hope you think so too!

Are there plans for other area family friendly travel guides? 

Northern Virginia is a highly mobile community with families moving in and out of the area all of the time. We ourselves have traveled extensively and moved in and out of other cities, so we have lots to say to our globe-trotting neighbors about other destinations too.  Stay tuned to our Kid Trips website blog for other family trip destinations like Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, London, Paris, San Diego, and Orlando.  Over the next year, we’ll be blogging about these family trips, spending some serious time with our families, and plotting our next book too!

For more information on this fabulous book and to order your copy, please visit www.gokidtrips.com or Amazon.com.

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