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Archive for the ‘Winter Adventures’ Category

Photo Friday: Jared’s Birthday at Disneyland

December 11th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in Disneyland, Winter Adventures

birthday-cookie

“Mom,  mom!  Do you know this is the place where dreams come true?” , my five year old asked me as we  walked in the gates of Disney’s California Adventure. 

“So I’ve heard, Jared” I responded.  I had to laugh, because Disneyland has not always been the place where my dreams came true.  I have plenty of fond recollections of tantrums,  soggy shoes, long lines, and rude crowds.  Still, just for this evening I did have a dream.  I was dreaming for a perfect birthday visit for Jared’s fifth birthday.

Since Jared’s birthday fell on a school day our time was limited.  We arrived at about 3:30 p.m. I stopped by the ticket booth and picked up Jared’s birthday fun card worth around $60. (Since we are members we received the cost of admission  in Disney cash for Jared’s birthday visit.)

Jared chose a light up Buzz Light Year as his birthday present.  This simple toy turned out to be a  perfect way to keep Jared occupied in line.

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 It was a short visit, but we had a delicious dinner at California Adventure and hit most of the roller coasters appropriate for the 5-10 set.  Jared was so excited to finally be old enough to ride the Indiana Jones ride!   The Nightmare  before Chrismas was also a highlight of the evening.

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We used our $60 gift card to purchase some matching Micky Santa hats that will keep our heads warm and merry all season long!

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 Happy Holidays from the Smith Family to your family.  I hope that all your holiday travels are merry and stress free (ha ha).  I’m busy planning a pre Christmas trek to Lake Tahoe.  Outfitting three San Diego kids for skiing can be rather expensive-I highly recommend Play It Again Sports.

If you would like to start the new year off with a visit to Legoland including a stay at the lovely Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, please check out the Family Adventure contribution to Passports With Purpose here.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Undersea Fun for Martin Luther King Weekend

January 13th, 2009 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Legoland, San Diego Day Trips, Special Events, Winter Adventures

A three day weekend looms ahead.  What is the adventurous  parent to do?  Head to Legoland of course!  The Sea Life Aquarium is busy with special activities and a great discount offer.  Legoland is paying tribute to MLK with a Lego mural depicting Kings “I Have A Dream Speech”.  That must have kept those Lego builders busy for quite a while.

The weather is gorgeous here in Carlsbad right now.  It’s eighty degrees and everyone is wearing shorts.  Even though it is cooling off it should still be in the 70′s this weekend.  Perfect weather for some Legoland fun.

January 17th is Under Water Parks Day.   The Sea Life Aquarium has fun activities planned to help kids learn about marine protected areas and the world’s ocean ecosystems.  In honor of Under Water Parks Day the Sea Life Aquarium is offering a great coupon for free admission for up to four kids for each paid adult. I think that the Sea Life Aquarium is usually overpriced, so this is a great deal!  Find out more information here http://www.sealifeus.com/whats-new_2009_01_08 .

To get ready for your Legoland and Sea Life adventure, download my e-book The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook from Lulu.com

If you live near the coast, celebrate Under Water Parks day and head to the beach!  Find a great beach side playground like those in Oceanside, Ca and kick your heels up while the kids play.  The Ocean Institute in Dana Point is hosting a seaside hike and other activities.  Admission for kids under twelve is free at the Ocean Institute that day.

 Rumor has it the weather is also pretty nice up north. Head to Monterey and rent a kayak to explore the beautiful Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Go Whale Watching.  Explore a local tidepool. 

At either end of California you can take a hike on the coastal trail http://www.californiacoastaltrail.info/cms/pages/trail/complete_trail.html.

Finally, at the risk of being a little political.  As you celebrate Under Water Parks Day, look out and enjoy that oil rig free view.  Let’s try work together to keep it that way.  There’s a lot of political pressure  right now to develop this finite resource.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Pretty soon we will be back to dreary winter so let’s take advantage of the sunshine get out and have an adventure!

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Skiing Anyone?

November 29th, 2008 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Montana Adventures, Winter Adventures

 

Looking for a white Christmas?  Guest blogger Joanne Smith gives you the lowdown on family snow adventures in Montana.

So, I’ll admit I’m not a skier, but I did have good intentions when we moved to Montana to make it a part of my life.  Unfortunately life has thrown some curve balls at me.  I’ll probably try learning to cross country ski and/or snow shoe in the future instead of snowboarding or downhill. 

As a daily reminder of my inability to ski I have a beautiful view of Whitefish Mountain Resort, better known to locals as Big Mountain, http://www.skiwhitefish.com/index.php from the front window of my home.  We even watch the snow cats groom the trails each night.  Along with top notch skiing there are also world class restaurants and lodging in the area. 

For someone looking for good skiing and a few less people, travel 30 miles to the south, overlooking Flathead Lake, is another great place to ski in Lakeside, MT on Blacktail Mountain, http://www.blacktailmountain.com/index.php .   Tickets are about ½ the cost at Blacktail Mountain in comparison to the Whitefish Mountain Resort, which is one of the biggest reasons that this is the place to find families looking to ski on a budget. 

In addition to these two full service resorts, there are several area golf courses that offer cross country skiing, as well as a couple of wonderful secluded places to cross country ski off the beaten path.  One such location is the Izaak Walton Inn, http://www.izaakwaltoninn.com/index2.htm  in Essex MT.  Located about ½ way between the West and East Entrances to Glacier National Park on HWY 2 is this beautiful getaway.  We have friends who drive up at least once a month for a weekend of cross country skiing and they are constantly raving about the well groomed trails as well as the lodging.  For more information about skiing anywhere in Big Sky Country visit Montana’s official web site for skiing, http://www.skimt.com/  . 

Not into skiing?  Try snowmobiling on a guided tour.  Learn how to snow shoe at Glacier National Park, ice fish on one of our many lakes, or just come explore the winter beauty of the northern Rockies.

Thank You Bridget for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers this beautiful valley that I call home.  To get here by air, Glacier International Airport is located in the middle of the action in the Flathead  Valley.  Amtrak stops in Whitefish, MT as well as West Glacier, MT via the Empire Builder line.  If driving, plan on a long but scenic trip, where you can find this valley  by locating HWY 93 and US 2 on any map.

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