Subscribe RSS

Posts Tagged ‘Uptake’

Photo Friday: Couples Getaway to Juneau Alaska, Day 1

September 10th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Alaska, Autumn Adventures

Mist Over the Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau Alaska

This week I was lucky enough to catch the last few days of summer in Juneau Alaska.  The cruise lines stop running September 15th, so it may be too late for you to head to Juneau this year.  Still, I would highly recommend putting this breathtaking vacation destination on your itinerary for 2011.  Ken and I had so much fun, we contemplated moving there. Not really an option however due to the house, the grandparents, the lack of jobs for Radiation Safety Officers…well you get the picture ;)

 If you are looking for an active outdoor family vacation that is completely different from anything you have ever experienced, Juneau is your ideal vacation destination.  Here are  some of my favorite pictures from our first day in Juneau.

Enjoying Breakfast at the Sandpiper Cafe, Juneau Alaska

 We started out our day with breakfast at the unexpectedly elegant  Sandpiper Cafe  in Juneau.  This cafe is connected to the Driftwood Lodge, an economy hotel with basic  comfortable accommodations located in the midst of downtown Juneau.  Ken and I felt like we were walking into another world when we entered this flawlessly decorated   Juneau oasis.  The menu was fresh and innovative with an Alaskan twist.  You could order venison, wild boar, and antelope burgers.  The specials of the day included a $150 dollar ostrich egg omelet.  Needless to say that wasn’t in my budget!    Still, I was very pleased with my delicious  Italian omelet, and I know that the kids would have adored the M&M pancakes.   The prices were mid level and generally reflected the price of a meal out in Juneau.  My Monday breakfast of waffles topped with fresh seasonal fruit and  a side order of sausage with  coffee ran about $20 with tip.

Captain Toni from Hi-Time Charters, Juneau Alaska

My husband Ken was determined to catch a big one, and we were glad we hired Captain Toni from Hi-Time Charters  to help us in our search.  Toni is one of the only female fishing boat charter captains in Juneau.  Her boat was clean and exceedingly well maintained.  Toni even loaned us  rain pants which came in handy during our blustery fishing adventure.  She entertained us with stories of her work as a boat captain , commercial fisherman, and cook for  the Alaska State Legislature.  We reeled in a variety of  fish including halibut and salmon, but unfortunately all of them were either too small or not good eating.  In September, the fish can be rather elusive  in Alaska, and we had a bum day.  Ken plans to buy some smoked salmon to bring home so we can enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor.  Toni  also does custom  whale watching and wild life photo charters, so be sure to keep her in mind if you are considering an Alaskan adventure.

My Little Salmon, Juneau Alaska

Despite our lack of luck in the fishing department, I wouldn’t trade that day on the water for any other adventure.  We shared our charter with  Becky, a student from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Our long fishing tour gave Becky and Toni plenty of time to talk about life in Alaska.  The scenery was breathtaking. Every moment you were out on the water begged to be captured on film.  Reeling in fish from the bottom of the bay was also a rush!

Eagle in Flight, Juneau Alaska

 I’m looking forward to sharing more of my Alaskan adventures  in the coming weeks.  I will be also contributing some posts to UPTAKE  with tips on how to make the most of your trip to Juneau and how to eat like a local.

I’m also playing catch up with my posts from summer vacation.  If you want a preview of our Washington D.C. adventures be sure to check out my UPTAKE post on  Exploring Mount Vernon with Tween.  For the inside scoop on the LEGOLAND  Water Park check out my review on Trekaroo.  Warm Carlsbad weekends mean this may be an ideal time for a visit to LEGOLAND

Family Adventure Guidebooks  is always happy to participate in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup .  This week Debbie has a beautiful picture of music on a Hawaiian beach.  Maybe that should be the Smith Family’s next travel destination?

Happy Trails,



Tags: , , , , , , ,

New Addition to LEGOLAND, California: “Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure”+ Legoland Ticket Giveaway Info.

May 3rd, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Legoland, San Diego Day Trips

Clutch and Friends, Clutch Powers 4-D Movie Legoland, California

This Spring my kids and I were invited to preview LEGOLAND’s newest 4-D movie, “Clutch Powers” and spend the day at LEGOLAND.  As usual LEGOLAND delivered a fast paced and creative 4-D movie experience that great for preschoolers and young school aged kids.  We also received a complimentary Clutch Powers DVD that was watched many times at home.

As long as your child can handle a darkened movie theater with lots of noise and some surprises, (mist, blowing air, etc), this movie will be lots of fun.  It’s a great way to take a rest after a busy day at LEGOLAND.

I enjoy Clutch Powers a lot because he is creative and solves problems using LEGO Bricks.  One of my favorite things about the LEGOLAND  movie is that the creations look very much like the models I see being invented at home.  They are interesting, show out of the box thinking, but don’t look like the slick LEGO models that you can buy in the store.  I think this encourages kids to think creatively and problem solve.  With a little imagination, it’s easy to become Clutch Powers saving the universe with their LEGO building prowess. 

The movie starts out with a lot of competition and infighting among Clutch and his friends, but ends with a message of cooperation.  It might be good  to review this lesson on your way out the door, since of course the competitive extremes are what get the big laughs from the kids.

If you think your kids would enjoy a copy of the Clutch Powers DVD you can purchase  LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers at Amazon using the highlighted link.

I was joined at the preview by my friend Colleen Lanin, from Travel with her daughter.   Our kids immediately bonded and we had a great time exploring the park together.  You can read more about the Family Adventure Guidebooks/ Travel Mamas adventures at LEGOLAND at Colleen’s Travel Mamas Blog.  She is also giving away free LEGOLAND tickets plus a copy of my excellent LEGOLAND Guidebook so be sure to stop by.

Summer is coming up.  If you want to make the most of your LEGOLAND visit, check out my UPTAKE post on beating the summer crowds at LEGOLAND, California.

Happy Trails,


*Photo Courtesy of Legoland California

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tags: , , , , , ,