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Archive for January, 2010

Photo Friday:Snowmen in South Lake Tahoe

January 29th, 2010 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Snow Vacations

Since snow conditions continue to be great up the in Sierras, I thought I would share a few pictures for our South Lake Tahoe Adventure over Christmas.  The snow was very powdery so it didn’t create optimal conditions for a traditional big snowman, but Justin and Destiny managed to put together these very cute ones using found objects and some dried cranberries that we had bought for snacks.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in South Lake Tahoe, a hotel I would highly recommend.  The patch of grass in front of our room had been transformed into a winter wonderland.  We could send the kids out, keep the curtains open, and keep an eye on the snowman building, snow angel making, and snowball fights, without getting chilly…awesome.  Our kids favorite part of this hotel is that it also offered doughnuts with breakfast.

If you have a long weekend head up to South Lake Tahoe for a fun ski vacation.  Checkout the prices at Sierra at Tahoe.  It was by far the cheapest ski resort a short drive from South Lake Tahoe, and for the most part  our experience was very good.  I’ll share more of our Sierra at Tahoe adventures and misadventures in a later post.

Please stop by Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.  Looks like she visited one of my favorite places in the world.  Makes me homesick!

Happy Trails,


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Photo Friday: Birthday Adventures

January 15th, 2010 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Free Stuff, Sea Life Aquarium, Sealife Bargains, Travel Discounts


I had big plans for my birthday this year.  I considered a trip to the zoo or a day exploring Torrey Pines State Beach.  I thought about taking a big family hike in some part of San Diego that we had never explored before.  Well, the entire family was recovering from colds and very tired.  We had alot of fun around the house, but weren’t able to get our act together until 4pm.  Even then, I was getting some major grumbling as I pushed three kids, one husband and the dog out the door.

I “settled” for a very short walk along Agua Hedonida Lagoon in Carlsbad and was rewarded with a spectacular sunset walk.  It was the perfect way to end my special day.  As you can see the kids ended up having alot of fun despite their grumbling.


Here’s a final glimpse of the birthday girl (ME).  My husband and I are leaving on a San Francisco getaway tommorrow.  Ken is a really thoughtful guy, and I’m excited to become reacquainted with the city that I used to visit when growing up in San Rafael.  Last time we spent the weekend there, my ten year old was only a few months old, and we came back to San Rafael in the middle of our getaway so I could nurse the baby to sleep ;) .

Since I will be on the road I will be missing the Underwater Parks Day Festival at the Sea Life Aquarium.  For more information about this great family event click here.  Receive two free child admissions to this exciting event on January 16th by clicking here.

Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.    I love Debbie’s Photo Friday Post on Unicorn Crepes .  Will have to try some next time I’m in Seattle.

Happy Trails!



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Photo Friday: What My Kids WON’T Be Doing on Our Next Vacation!

January 8th, 2010 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in Ski Adventures, Snow Vacations, Uncategorized

Is it just me or do the words “Snowmobiling Kids Drive” strike terror into any other parents hearts?  Maybe if you live on a Minnesota farm things would be different, but for my San Diego kids they will be licensed drivers before I let them get behind the wheel of a snow mobile. 

Anyone else see a funny sign on one of their adventures?

Happy Trails,



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Passports With Purpose: Everyone Was a Winner!

January 6th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Legoland, Passports With Purpose

Congratulations to the Passports with Purpose crew who exceeded their fundraising goals.  A town in Cambodia will have a new school with a school nurse.  The students will have access to better nutrition through their kitchen garden as well.  I am in awe of the amazing work of the Passports with Purpose Founders Beth Whitman, Debbie Dubrow, Michelle Duffy and Pam Mandel.  What an endeavor!  If you did not have a chance to participate in this amazing fundraising event be sure to get involved next year.

The winner of my LEGOLAND adventure turned out to be Jim Benning, one of the founders of World Hum an amazing travel website.  After Jim won the prize I paid World Hum a visit.  Wow!  What amazing insightful travel writing.  This is going to be one of my must visit sites in 2010!  Jim, if you’re reading this the LEGOLAND tickets are in the mail, and I will be stopping by the Sheraton tommorrow to pick up your prize.  I’ve been trying to find a moment when I could bring as few small children as possible.  Looks like the best I can get it down to is one crazy five year old.  Wish me luck.

Once again, thanks to LEGOLAND California and The Sheraton Resort at Carlsbad.  I approached these companies on a whim after I had heard about Passports with Purpose and they were very very generous.  The Sheraton has its own private entrance to LEGOLAND, so it’s a great place to stay if you are planning to visit.

I also wanted to give one more plug for a different school building fundraiser that we are doing with our cub scout troop.  If you missed out on Passports with Purpose, but still want to have your kids help “change the world” check out Pennies for Peace.  It’s a super simple project,. Put out a big jar at your kids, school preschool, cubscout pack, etc.  Collect pennies and send them in.  All proceeds go to building and outfitting schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  What a simple and powerful way for your kids to make a difference and give them a wider world view.

Happy Trails,


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