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Posts Tagged ‘Family Adventure’

Photo Friday: Nana and Baba’s Anza-Borrego Adventure

March 20th, 2009 by bsmith | 5 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips
Nana and Baba Among the Wild Flowers at Anza-Borrego

Nana and Baba Among the Wild Flowers at Anza-Borrego

My kids are very lucky in that most of their Grandmas and Grandpas live near by.  My parents, affectionately referred to by the grand kids as Nana and Baba recently joined us in Carlsbad.  Even though my mom had been a Northern California girl all her live she has become acclimated some what to Southern California life.  Since they are retired they have the chance to take a break from watching grandkids and enjoy their own grown up adventures.  They fill me in on the beautiful places that I can not necessarily visit with small children, like the gardens at the Self-Realization Temple in Encinitas.  (My brood is apparently too loud for such a quiet, meditative locale.)   I’m keeping a list though.   As soon has these wild ones are tamed, we will be heading off on some of these great adventures.

Last week, Nana and Baba’s friend Karen took them to Anza-Borrego State Park.  Every March visitors are rewarded with a brief season of blooming wild flowers.  The rains were plentiful this winter and wildflowers continue to bloom in this area of the desert.   The location of the flowers is ever changing, however.  Check the Anza Borrego website for an up to date wildflower report http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638.  The visitor center which is staffed by local volunteers is also supposed to be very helpful, but also very busy during wild flower season.

I Loved the Colors on this Big Fat Caterpillar

I Loved the Colors on this Big Fat Caterpillar

Nana and Baba had a few set backs along the way.  At first the flowers were no where to be seen.  They were ready to head home when my Dad noted a few cars turning up a road.  They followed the road to the end and were  rewarded by a burst of color.   Karen’s favorite restaurant was booked solid, but they consulted with a local realtor and had an elegant lunch at a restaurant next to a golf course.  Just goes to show that a good adventure requires patience and creativity.

Flower season is almost over, so we may need to wait another year to try this adventure.  If you are free this weekend, the website reports that there are still some beautiful flowers tucked in the valleys.  If you have big kids who don’t mind the drive, it might still be worth the drive. Don’t delay, the flowers will be gone before you know it.

BREAKING NEWS!  Now we all have one more reason to take a family adventure to Anza-Borrego.  Dennis Avery, of the Avery label family has erected gigantic Ricardo Breceda sculptures of dinosaurs and other early inhabitants of the desert on his property.  Now that is art even my nine year old, Justin can appreciate!   Thanks to San Diego Travel Tips http://www.sandiegotraveltips.com/ for alerting me to this fun family adventure opportunity.  If you are ready to explore the quirky side of San Diego…these ladies have some excellent suggestions.  Sign up today!

The flowers in these pictures were so beautiful I just had to share them with you.  If you want to enjoy a multitude of beautiful travel photos, head over to my friend Delicious Baby’s website today at http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/mar/19/photo-friday-push-boats-luxembourg-gardens/.  She is highlighting a fun Paris tradition and also features links to a number of beautiful travel photos from all over the world.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Family Adventure Without Wheels

November 7th, 2008 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in At Home Adventures, San Diego Day Trips

My little ones are very jealous!  Big Brother and Daddy are going camping with the Cub Scous this weekend.  This is a favorite activity for the little ones.  Adding to the challenge, the big boys are taking our only car.  (Our old commuter car died and we are saving up for Dad’s dream vehicle…a used SUV.) 

What’s a family travel guru to do?  Here’s a list of adventures we may have this weekend to keep us all in good spirits until Daddy gets home.  Hopefully if I do one or two they will go to bed early and sleep all night!

1) Take the dog for a walk on a local wooded hiking trail.

2) Dust off the jogging stroller and walk to nearby BatiquitosLagoon-the kids can walk the trail when we get there.

3) Swim in our pool.  (Sure it’s November but this is Southern California…it’s still in the 70′s and 80′s)

4)  Walk to a local park.

5) Break out the Sidewalk Chalk.

6)  Dig out those frozen yogurt coupons and walk to the yogurt store for a treat.

7) Little Kids movie night with lots of popcorn.

8) Practice our tricycle skills at the little rock garden by our house.

9) Set up our own tent in the back yard.

10)  If I wasn’t on a budget, I would bum a ride to the train station and hop a Coaster Train to Old Town and have a picnic.

Any more ideas????

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Why Family Adventure Guidebooks?

October 30th, 2008 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in Family Adventure Guidebooks

Hi Everyone,

Next week, I promise I’ll have a cute picture of Jared and Destiny at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.  For now, I wanted to take a minute to share a little “fairy tale” that my friend Deb wrote for me, after I asked her to envision  where my business might take me. 

I received  some great ”vision statements”  from many friends and family members through this exercise, but this one was certainly the most poetic.  I also think that it captured why I have embarked upon this venture (or misadventure as it seems at times) of blogging about family travel and writing travel guidebooks. 

Deb has given me a eloquent mission statement of sorts.  In the coming days, months and years I’ll be trying to live up to her high standards.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

 

 

 

Deb’s Dream for Me

 

Once upon a time there was a woman who, because of divine determination, destined herself to be the female steward for 3 amazing kids.  In her search to introduce said children to the wonders of this amazing planet this woman became perplexed.  Why, said she, did family vacations and adventures need to be so problematic.  Where were healthy eating places, kid friendly and affordable lodging, potties with toilet paper and smiles, no entrance fees, fresh air and natural sounds of birds and musical instruments rather than the clanging and crashing of all things battery driven?  

 

 

In this age of “Greening” why are interactive toys and games made with a seasonal expiration date.  If we are teaching our children to be saviors of the earth, she thought, why do we provide them with landfill?  What happened to literature for kids and art and singing and meals together and conversation and laughter?  There must be places, other than in my amazing home, where these values are truly valued, where the village is valued regardless of political bent, where the entrance fee isn’t an IZOD T-shirt, or where there’s no entrance fee at all, because of course God didn’t intend for His amazing handiwork to be inaccessible to anyone. 

 

 

“Wait”, thought the woman.   “God has blessed me with the gift of faith.  He has also provided me incredible brains, patience, hutzpah, and kindness. I also know that the rewards to me of using these “God gifts” will more than satisfy my needs.   And although at times I rue the day that Gates and Jobs were born, I have developed skills and a compatibility with computers that affords me an opportunity to enhance peoples lives in ways beyond one person’s ability to imagine.”   “I CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; ONE KID, ONE DESTINATION, ONE HAPPY MOMENT, ONE EFFORTLESS TRIP, ONE OVERWORKED MOM, ONE FRAZZLED DAD, ONE DAY AT A TIME”,   Bridget said.   And she smiled.

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Camera Disasters

September 23rd, 2008 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Smith Family Misadventures
Photo by Jared, 3 Year Old Stealth Photographer

Photo by Jared, 3 Year Old Stealth Photographer

After looking at the comments responding to the “Don’t Forget Your Shoes” post and talking with a friend over the weekend, I realized that most of us have probably had a camera mishap that has put a kink in our family adventures.

For my friend Inga, her adventure started with a fun visit to the local Japanese Tea Garden.  She has a new baby and a preschooler, so any outing is sure to be an adventure.  Still, the garden was a favorite, and Daddy was along…what could go wrong?  Well… Inga was nursing, her husband was videotaping her cute preschooler when suddenly said preschooler made a run for the water with still camera in hand.  He threw it into the nearest Koi pond and before Dad had time to fish out the camera , took off running in the opposite direction.

I was not terrible surprised to hear Inga’s tale of woe.  That sort of thing happens to our family all the time.  We are on our third still camera in nine years.  Camera number one was crushed when my husband Ken and our son Justin crashed a sled into a tree.  Camera number two was dropped in the middle of our Christmas festivities last year.  

What have I learned from my misfortune?  What words of wisdom did I pass on to Inga?  Buy a cheaper camera!  Our latest camera,  the Nikon Coolpix, cost about $100 on sale at Best Buy.  It takes pictures that are as good as or better than our first super premium Olympus camera.  It is not as small as the pricey Pentax that served as camera number two, but it still fits easily in my pocket or purse.  The best part is, when this camera inevitably gets smooshed, drowned, or dropped by my preschoolers I won’t be furious about having to replace it.  The photos taken with the Nikon have been used in $100 worth of newspaper articles and family calendars.  My conclusion after a long history of camera misadventures…keep it small, keep it cheap, enough said!

What’s your most tragic camera misadventure?

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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