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Archive for April, 2011

Through the Darkness We Will Rise! Benefit for Japan This Saturday at the Moonlight Amphitheatre

April 25th, 2011 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in At Home Adventures

Through The Darkness We Will Rise, Benefit for Japanese Tsunami Relief

One of the the things I love about this big old crazy world is how very small it is.  Through the years, I have had the privilege of learning about the culture and people of Japan from friends and former students.  When I was a camper at YMCA World Camp,  two Japanese exchange students spent time in our home.  Their warmth and good humor were infectious.  I dreamt of visiting their beautiful country and was disappointed when I didn’t win a Rotary Club scholarship to make my dream come true.

Later I had the privilege of teaching ESL to several groups of Japanese girls.  They were a teacher’s dream: organized and eager to learn.  In our classroom exchanges they learned about US culture and I caught a glimpse of their culture.  They joyfully shared a Japanese popular song at their goodbye luncheon.  That memory remains a treasured part of my teaching memories.

My dear friend Naomi Shirashi Cooper is helping to organize a benefit this Saturday to benefit the US Japan Council, a non profit organization which is raising money to support NGO’s and the Japanese Red Cross who are assisting tsunami victims in Japan.  Naomi is from Japan and still has family there.  Luckily her family does not live in the affected area, but after the tsunami she had friends who were seeking out family members who lived in the areas that were hit. 

 I admire Naomi’s dedication to the country of her birth and want to support her in any way I can.  Please leave the kids home with Dad and join me for a Mom’s Night Out of great music and shopping in support of Japan.  100% of the proceeds will go to Japanese relief.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  Doors open at 4:30.  The show starts at 6:30.  No outside food is allowed, but the concession stands will be open so bring some cash for dinner. The show itself will be broadcast in Japan.  Let’s hope it brings some comfort to those who watch it. 

Visit the Through the Darkness We Will Rise! website to find out more about this outstanding event.  Invite a friend or two or twenty to join you for this Mom’s Night Out for a great cause.

See you on Saturday!

Happy Trails,



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Happy Easter from Family Adventure Guidebooks!

April 24th, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in At Home Adventures

A few photos of our at home Easter adventures:

Saturday Easter Egg Hunt:

Jared enjoyed the eggs, but not the bunny!
Much happier cuddled up to big sis!

Easter Egg Hunt at Nana and Baba’s After Church:

Easter Joy

Baba’s Easter Smile

Swimming and Crafts with My Sister In Law’s Family

Justin Splash Down

Destiny and Jared Hard at Work on Their Easter Birdhouse

The Final Product

 Hope you had a Blessed Easter with your family.  Stay tuned for Move it Monday…

Happy Trails,




Move It Monday: Mesquite’s Adventures, Using the Dog to Motivate the Kids to Hike

April 18th, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Camping with Kids, Dog-Friendly Travel, Las Vegas Adventures, Las Vegas with Kids, Road Trips, Smith Family Adventures, Spring Adventures, State Park Sundays, Traveling with the Dog, Uncategorized

Mesquite and Justin, Cave Explorers, Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas Nevada

Twelve years of parenting has taught me that bringing the dog along is one of the best ways to get kids hiking.  My friends and neighbors thought I was crazy to bring the dog on our last vacation, but Mesquite had an awesome time and provided the kids with motivation to keep moving.

Sniff Stop, Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas Nevada

My sweet eight year old puppy scaled rocks and hiked to the petrified forest at Valley of Fire State Park.  She reminded us to stop and rest in the shade from time to time. 

Even back at the swanky Oasis RV park, she motivated us to walk several blocks to get the the Doggy Park which provided an hour of kid friendly entertainment as the kids happily through ball and bones for the Doggy Park visitors while Mequite hung out in the shade and enjoyed being petted.

The great thing about Nevada State Parks is that they let dogs on almost all the trails as long as they are on a leash.  Because of this liberal policy Mesquite was able to join us for most of our adventures.  Something to keep in mind when planning a dog and kid friendly trip.

Happy Trails,



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Wave Water Park Vista Season Passes Half Off on Saturday, April 16th from 8am-5pm

April 15th, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Wave Waterpark Discounts

Looking for a way to beat the summer heat?  Well let’s hope there’s summer heat in Northern San Diego.  Wave Water Park Season Passes are generally  a great deal since they include four day passes to Wild Rivers , discounted swim lessons, and $5 tickets to Moonlight Stage Productions shows.

On Saturday April 16th the deal gets better for every pass that is purchased on this date, the buyer can get  a second pass for half of.

Happy Trails,



Have a little one who is ready to say “bye-bye” to Binky? Get Free Sea Life Aquarium Tickets!

April 14th, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Sea Life Aquarium, Sealife Bargains

The award for most creative theme park discount/ promotion goes to the Sea Life Aquarium next to LEGOLAND California.  On Friday the 15th of April it  is offering up to four free admissions in exchange for a child’s binky.  This promotion is in honor of the Octopus Garden exhibit that was supposed to open tomorrow, but has had its opening postponed..

However, Seal Life  has promised to honor the binky/free admission offer and also give families tickets to return to see the exhibit once it is open!

One thing I really enjoy about this little aquarium is the quirky fun activities and promotions that they offer throughout the year.  If your little one is having trouble saying bye-bye to their binky you might want to head over with the family!

Happy Trails,



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Move It Monday: Rock Climbing at Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas Nevada

April 11th, 2011 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Camping with Kids, Las Vegas Adventures, Las Vegas with Kids, Move It Monday

Rock Climbing Valley of Fire

 What’s a great way to ensure that your kids  get some exercise on vacation?  Camp next to a big old rock outcropping and let everyone explore.  We spent three days camping at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.  I’m sure the kids will look back fondly on the petroglyphs and the wild flowers, but their best memories will be of scrambling up the rocks next to our camp site with dog in tow. 

A Glimpse of the Climbers, Valley of Fire

 Everyone enjoyed climbing around until they found their own unique cubbyhole to take a rest.

Justin's Hide Out, Valley of Fire

 More pictures later.  As you can imagine we can hardly wait to go back!

Happy Trails,


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