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Latino “papi” strives to create an epic summer family road trip

LatinaLista — For most fathers, celebrating this past Father’s Day meant a day to be pampered, barbecuing or resting watching the World Cup surrounded by their loving families.

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Well, for one “papi,” Father’s Day was far from restful, though he was surrounded by his loving family — and will be 24/7 for the next 40 days.

Cuban-American and bilingual blogger of the parenting site PapiBlogger, Manny Ruiz, chose Father’s Day to launch his 10,000 mile cross-country family road trip.

With wife Angela and 10-year-old Jonathan, 6-year-old Elena and 1-year-old Briani in tow, or more accurately, strapped in the backseat, Ruiz will be hitting the tourist destinations along a route that will start off in his home state of Florida and take him around the Gulf Coast to New Orleans into Texas’ Davis Mountains over to Roswell, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, California’s Disneyland up to the Pacific Northwest and across the northern section of the country with stops in places like Chicago, Niagara Falls, Martha’s Vineyard, Washington DC and end in the deep South’s Savannah, Georgia.

All in all, Ruiz calculates the trip will take from now until the first week of August to accomplish showing his kids just some of the sights that make the U.S. so unique. It will also serve as a time for Ruiz to show the rest of us, through his daily blogging and posting on Facebook and Twitter, how to survive with three kids on such a long road trip.

Lucky for Ruiz, who happens to be a former journalist-turned-PR, he was able to talk Chevrolet into sponsoring the trip by supplying him with the official “Papimobile.” A state-of-the-art 2010 Chevrolet Traverse. He also was able to convince McDonalds to provide free food for his restless brood, Sprint Nextel to supply smart phones so he and his wife can call their parents back home and from Sony a netbook to keep readers up to date with the family’s progress.

The PapiBlogger Family Road Trip has three key objectives, said Ruiz. “First, we want to have a genuinely memorable vacation that we’ll talk about the rest of our lives. Second, we want to show our children why they should love their country, its beauty and its diversity of cultures and languages. And third, we want to raise awareness about and the web site’s unique value proposition as the premier destination to learn and share creative parenting tricks in both English and Spanish.”

(Editor’s note: Latina Lista personally knows PapiBlogger and thinks the kids will thoroughly enjoy the trip in between their long naps but in the end PapiBlogger may find it hard to sit behind the wheel of a car again — or drive farther than his own driveway.)

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