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Posts Tagged ‘Carlsbad California’

Library Adventures: Family Open Studios, Dove Library (Animal Adventures)

October 17th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in At Home Adventures, Library Adventures, San Diego Adventures

Destiny and Jared, Snake Charmers, Carlsbad Public Library

 Carlsbad, California is a a community that takes the arts and libraries very seriously.  I’m proud to live in Carlsbad and try to take advantage of their free kids educational activities whenever I can.  Frankly, there are so many that that would be impossible for our busy family. (Especially thanks to the giant homework load assigned K-12 by the Carlsbad City Schools, thanks so much y’all). 

World of Adonna Khare Exhibit, William D. Cannon Gallery, Carlsbad California

Once a month the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office puts on a Family Art Day in association with an exhibit presented at the William D Cannon Art Gallery.  Twice a year they do a “plus” Family Art Day which is even more spectacular than their usual events.  This month the gallery is hosting a very kid friendly exhibit  The World of Adonna Khare: Beasts, Backpacks and Curious Creatures filled with whimsical pictures of wild animals.

Destiny consults with Adonna Khare

Being a kid with roots in liberal Santa Cruz , Destiny was fascinated by the Lion’s nose ring and had to consult with Adonna Khare herself about the source of her inspiration.  The ability to talk with a real artist had a big impression on Destiny as she sees herself as an artist as well.

Jared at Work, Family Open Studios Dove Library Carlsbad, California

The highlight of Jared’s visit was the chance to create a beautiful hummingbird using water colors and oil pastels.  It was amazing to see how Jared’s skills  have evolved from scribbles to representational art within just a few months.  I love how the Family Open Studios program helps kids to see themselves as serious artists.  All the volunteers are so patient and respectful.  They really bring out the best in their young visitors.

Pacific Animal Productions Keeper Karla Majewski shares a Wallaby

The other amazing part of our visit was the Pacific Animal Productions animal show.  If you are planning a birthday party in Southern California and have money to spend (an only child perhaps?) consider this company.  Their show was amazing!  Destiny and Jared even got to assist with displaying a giant python.  Keeper Karla was unfazed by toddlers trying to rush the stage and my little guys concerns about the python.  They also provided an awesome petting zoo for the even that included a pig as well as soft bunnies and guinea pigs.  My kids were entranced!

If you live in the San Diego Area do yourself a favor and visit the kids events section of the Carlsbad Public Library website frequently.  Last week author James Guerney of Dinotopia fame visited the library.  I try to post these wonderful events when I can, but when I get swamped you miss out.  

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S.  Family Adventure Guidebooks Participates in Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursdays.  Stop by the Talking Trekaroo Blog  to see what other families have been up to.

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Photo Friday: South Carlsbad State Beach

June 11th, 2009 by bsmith | 8 Comments | Filed in Outdoor Adventures, San Diego Beaches, San Diego Day Trips, San Diego State Parks, State Park Sundays

 

Beach Cleanup, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

Beach Cleanup, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

Dear Readers,

Let me introduce you to my soul place here in Carlsbad.  South Carlsbad State Beach is the site of many wonderful family memories. This is where Justin learned to boogie board, and Ken learned to surf.  When we first arrived at this beach three years ago, Destiny was too timid to get anywhere near the water.  Now, on a good day, she’ll splash and be dragged along on a boogie board.

It’s where we bring our dear friends from Santa Cruz when they come to visit.  All the Northern California folk savor the warm water.  We break out the boogie boards and teach the kids to ride the waves.

On summer evenings our family heads down to the South Carlsbad State Beach to picnic and watch the sunset.  Every anniversary Ken and I head to the beach for burritos and boogie boarding until the sun goes down.

This beach is special to our family.  It is our beach and we care for it by packing our own trash and sometimes other people’s.  Twice a year we join our fellow Cub Scouts in a huge beach cleanup.  Happily so many people treasure this beach, that there is usually not much trash to find.

jared-explores-logs-south-carlsbad-state-beach

Exploring the Logs, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

All this may be changing at the end of the summer.  Due to budget cuts, South Carlsbad and many other state beaches and state parks are on a closure list .  Such closures be devastating on a personal level for the citizens of Carlsbad and other local communities.  It will also have a significant impact on tourism.  According to a  recent Sacramento State study California State Parks generates $300 million dollars in California sales tax for “park related expenditures”.    

The budget crisis is very grave here in California.  The Governor and Legislature have tough decisions to make that will have a significant impact on health, human services, and education.  Although State Parks are very important to me and my family, I feel somewhat guilty advocating for them, when there is so much need elsewhere.  Recently , however, I read a great idea from the  California State Parks Foundation that would free up some money in the budget, keep the parks open, and even promote in state tourism.  Last spring, in the midst of the last round of budget battles the foundation proposed the implementation of a California State Access Pass  program.  In exchange for a $10 fee on the California vehicle tax, all vehicles with valid California license plates would receive free admission  and parking at most California State Parks.  The fee would raise $282 million for the State Parks and the current allocation for the parks in the budget would be returned to the General Fund for the next four years in order to assist the State of California in resolving other budget concerns.

What can we do to avert this crisis?

Here are some steps that I have taken so far:

  • Signed the California State Parks Foundation Petition .
  • Joined the California States Parks Foundation Facebook Group as well as my friend Jade’s  Facebook Group Families for California State Parks.
  • E-mailed my City Council to express my concern regarding this issue and educate them about the California State Park Access Pass proposal.
  • Planned  to participate in Save Our State Parks Weekend.  We will head to Carlsbad State Beach on or before the weekend of June 20th and take pictures/ film a Flip video of my family holding the Save Our State Parks sign.   I’ll upload the pictures to the CSPF as well as my blog.

I am also starting a regular feature on my blog to raise awareness entitled State Park Sundays.  Every Sunday I hope to feature a profile of a different California State Park.  It’s a big project and I would love some help.  Spread the word about State Park Sundays.  I also welcome guest blogs about your favorite California State Park.  Let’s make sure that Californians appreciate the treasure that they have before its gone.

Thanks for your patience with my very word intensive Photo Friday Post.  For more Photo Friday Fun check in with my friend Delicious Baby.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Photo Friday: Library Adventures

May 1st, 2009 by bsmith | 8 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips, Smith Family Misadventures
Jared's Favorite Painting @ Canon Art Gallery, Carlsbad California

Jared's Favorite Painting @ Canon Art Gallery, Carlsbad California

Lately I have had several library adventures with and without preschoolers.  At first, this may not seem like an unlikely subject for family travel.  Usually travelers with children don’t head to the library when the reach their destination, but perhaps they should.

I became one of the most voracious readers the world  has ever seen because a kind librarian in Hawaii.  When my family spent a summer sabbatical in Hawaii the year after I finished second grade, she took the time to  find interesting books at my reading level.   I don’t rember too much about snorkeling or sandy beaches from my Hawaiian getaway.  What I do remember  are cracking coconuts with my Dad and the books about Blaze the valiant horse and his young owner that I read on my own summer.

Here in Carlsbad we are blessed with two great libraries.  Year round they offer puppet shows and story times.  The Dove Library also houses a small art gallery.  In the summer there are fun special events including an overnight campout in the library , magic shows, and a visit from lots of crazy critters.  Now that the kids are old enough to enjoy it all, I plan to spend the summer playing tourist in my own town and attending some of these events.

Last week I made three very different library visits.  One day , I was able to sneak away to the library by myself.  I took the opportunity  to pop into the art gallery and take some photos .  Later that week, I joined my two preschoolers for a preschool fieldtrip which included a  guided tour of the Cole library located just east of downtown Carlsbad.  Yesterday in a moment of foolishness, I attempted to take Destiny age 5 and Jared age 4 to the Cannon Art Gallery at the Dove Library.

Considering we arrived with 20 kids, the preschool library fieldtrip was somewhat successful.  We arrived early, but the Cole library has a beautiful grassy area  that invites running around as well as picnic benches and a little garden.  Here are some fun photos of Destiny and Jared getting their energy out before settling down for the tour.

destiny-in-motionjared-in-motion

The tour was a bit challenging with that many kids, but they did surprisingly well.  One of the highlights was the Carlsbad History Room . The librarian shared a letter written by Santa at the turn of the century.  Seems at that time he delivered presents by motor car…hmm. 

Cole Librarian Reads a Vintage Letter from Santa, Carlsbad California

Cole Librarian Reads a Vintage Letter from Santa, Carlsbad California

 Emboldened by the success of the Library fieldtrip, I decided to stop by the Cannon Art Gallery with Destiny and Jared later in the week.  I have always been a big fan of Chicana Artist Carmen Lomas Garza.  The kids have her children’s book Family Pictures .  I knew that my preschoolers would enjoy the bright colors of  Cardinal Points:Puntos Cardinales, the exhibit of Mexican and Chicano art on display at the Dove Library until May 8th.  Well they did enjoy it…way too much!  They loved the paintings so much that they wanted to touch them, much to my chagrin and that of the gallery employee who shadowed us throughout our visit.  They  were so enthralled by each work of art that they rushed from painting to painting.    With one child I might have made it work.  With two wiggly preschoolers, I gave up after a short visit.  I have read that other  travel bloggers prep their kids by role playing art gallery at home.  We may give that a try before our next museum outing.

Off to Seattle on business next week, so you may not hear from me for a while, dear readers.  Until then enjoy a few more beautiful works of art and be sure to check out Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday http://tinyurl.com/dxmpjo when you have a chance.

The Carmen Lomas Garza Work That Inspired Our Visit

The Carmen Lomas Garza Work That Inspired Our Visit

The Kids Loved the Whimsical Shapes and Colors of the Houses and Trees

The Kids Loved the Whimsical Shapes and Colors of the Houses and Trees

As you enjoy your summer, make sure you make some time for your own library adventures.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Photo Friday: Carlsbad Flower Fields

April 16th, 2009 by bsmith | 9 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips, Spring Adventures
Carlsbad Flower Fields in Bloom, Spring 2009

Carlsbad Flower Fields in Bloom, Spring 2009

I am exhausted.  It has been a very busy week playing tourist with our friends from Watsonville.  Adventures with 5-6 kids are a little harder than with just three.  Still, we’ve had lots of fun, and I have plenty to blog about when I catch my breath. 

In the mean time, I hope that if you live here in Southern California, these pictures will inspire you to visit the Carlsbad Flower fields.  I get to drive by these beauties several days a week. 

The admission is affordable.  Keep your eye out for coupons or bring your AAA card.  While you’re there pick up some discount coupons for Legoland (Free Child admission with paid adult)

There is a fun playground for the kids and a sweet pea maze.  The Poinsettia collection is fascinating  with numerous varieties of this symbol of Carlsbad. The fields themselves are breathtaking.  You can enjoy them by tractor or on foot.  If you go, you are in for a treat.  Stop by soon. The season is very short.

Destiny and a Friend Explore the Sweet Pea Maze

Destiny and a Friend Explore the Sweet Pea Maze

 

See more fun travel photos on Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/apr/16/photo-friday-arc-de-triomphe-baby/

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Photo Friday: Mugging for the Camera at Legoland California

April 2nd, 2009 by bsmith | 6 Comments | Filed in Family Travel, Legoland, San Diego Day Trips, theme parks
Justin Makes a New Lego Buddy

Justin Makes a New Lego Buddy

In honor of my friend Delicious Baby’s trip to Legoland, I decided to publish some of my favorite Legoland pictures.  One thing that makes Legoland, California such a great themepark are the giant Lego creations that you find around every turn.  Something about them makes my usually reticient kids want to strike a pose!  Best of all, you usually don’t have to wait in line to take your picture as you do with Disneyland Characters.  (Thomas the Tank Engine, Darth Vader, and Santa’s Sleigh are the exceptions to this statement).

Having a Squealing Good Time at Legoland California

Having a Squealing Good Time at Legoland California

Check out more cool travel photos at Delicious Baby’s, Photo Friday blog roundup http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/apr/02/photo-friday-persian-new-years-no-ruz/.  While your visiting, scroll down and read about Delicious Baby’s adventures in Carlsbad California at : Legoland,  The Sealife Aquarium, and the Four Seasons Aviara .  That woman travels in style!

For more great information about Legoland  see The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook  which is available in paperback or affordable download.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Valentine’s Day Discount for the Sea Life Aquarium

February 14th, 2009 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Sorry this is so late, but it just arrived in my inbox yesterday, and I was at Disneyland.  The Sealife Aquarium in Carlsbad California is offering free child admission for each paying adult today.  They also have a fun craft making valentine’s on recycled paper and plenty of fun facts about how the sea-life “love” each other (sounds rated G…don’t worry).  Kids can also leave love notes for their favorite sea creature. 

Kudos to the Sea Life for providing some affordable family fun and promoting literacy at the same time!  While you’re visiting stop by Legoland California.  Looks like today would be a great day for it.  There has been a break in the storm.

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