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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Day Trips’

Elfin Forest Adventures

March 12th, 2010 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in San Diego Adventures, San Diego Day Trips, Uncategorized

As my cub scout den was working on their Webelo Forester Badge, I set out to find  a forest in close proximity to Northern San Diego.  Good luck…we are blessed to experience a wide variety of ecosystems, but forests are not one of them.  Still, just a few miles away from our house I discovered Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve which is run by the Olivenhain water district.  The rangers kindly agreed to lead the boys on a hike and educate our scouts about the plants and animals of the reserve.

Elfin Forest Stream, Elfin Forest, Ca

 

When we arrived on site,  I immediately felt like I was home.  I love San Diego, but I really miss access to wild spaces for hiking and exploring.  So much of San Diego is about palm trees and immaculately landscaped yards, it was nice to discover a place with a rushing stream and plenty of oak trees.

Hiking Sticks are Available at the Foot of the Trail

Two of my favorite things about this hike:  dogs can hike with you as long as they are on a leash and there is a “hiking stick loaner box” at the foot of the trail.  I have found that my kids will go almost anywhere as long as they can have a stick to help them along the journey. 

Elfin Forest is the perfect place for a spring outing.  Pack a picnic, wear your hiking shoes, and get ready for adventure.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S. Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.  Click here to enjoy more great travel adventures.

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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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Photo Friday: Lavandaria Mission San Luis Rey

March 13th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips, Smith Family Adventures, Uncategorized
Destiny, Jared, and Justin Climb the Steps at the Lavandaria at Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside California

Destiny, Jared, and Justin Climb the Steps at the Lavandaria at Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside California

I have a lovely blog entry in my head about a weekend pilgrimage that Justin and I did right before Lent here in San Diego.  Now is not the time to write it however!  In the mean time enjoy this picture of the beautiful lavandaria (laundry area) at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside California.  I really enjoyed visiting this mission.  It had a great little museum, beautiful church, and this fun outside area to explore.  Justin particularly enjoyed the gargoyles and we had fun trying to figure out why the water spouts had these Incan looking gargoyles at a Catholic Mission.  If anyone has the answer let me know.

Since this is one of my more aesthetically pleasing pictures, I am entering in in my friend Debbie’s Photo Friday Roundup at Delicious Baby.  If you want to see travel photos by bloggers more skillful than I, please check it out at http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/mar/12/photo-friday-home-food-rome/ .

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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A Shout Out to Carlsbad My “New” Home Town

September 22nd, 2008 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips, Uncategorized
The Smith Kids Clean Up Carlsbad at a Ponto Beach Cleanup

The Smith Kids Clean Up Carlsbad at a Ponto Beach Cleanup

 

I want to take a minute to pay homage to my new home town Carlsbad, California.  I have lived here for less than three years, but already I can’t imagine raising my family anywhere else.  It is at once a wonderful, kid friendly community and a premier family travel destination.

Most of my friends who are newly relocated to Carlsbad, came here as tourists and decided to stay.  My friends who relocated from Orange County said that they came because here people say hi to you in the grocery store.  It’s a medium sized city with a small town feel. All the elementary schools get out early so they can participate in the Carlsbad High Homecoming Parade.  Where ever you go: the library, down town, the hiking path by your house you are bound to run into someone you know.   The seasons are marked by city events: Artsplash and Oktoberfest in the fall,  The Carlsbad Marathon in the winter,  The Carlsbad Village Street Faire and the Pointsettia Park Eggstravaganza in the spring, and Jazz in the Park all summer long.

The ocean provides a back drop to living in Carlsbad.  My neighbors jog down to the beach.  I drive along the water as I head to my son’s baseball game.  Carlsbad High offers surf P.E.  My kids love to walk the dog and watch the water birds at a local lagoon.

Visiting on vacation?  Legoland is Carlsbad’s main tourist attraction.  Kids love to see the elaborate Mini-land filled with models of most major US cities.  There is interactive fun for all ages throughout the park.  Don’t come to Legoland expecting to be passively entertained.  Plan to pump hard to win a fire truck race, build  race cars out of Lego bricks and race them down a track, and even participate on stage during a musical production about an Indiana Jones type adventure.  The new Sea Life Aquarium is pretty small in scale, but if you have little ones, they will enjoy the specially designed tanks that let them pop up in the middle of the fish!   Check out my Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook for more information about this outstanding theme park. 

If you come in the spring make sure you also take some time to visit the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.  They are stunning to behold, and also offer a Santa’s Village for the kids to explore as well as an extensive collection of rare poinsettias.

So go ahead, pay Carlsbad a visit.  Perhaps it will become your new home town.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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