California Adventures: The Kidspace Museum

After a few months of braving the LA streets, I decided to get a little braver and take mini-man someplace a little further away – The Kidspace Museum in Pasadena.

While the drive was trickier – going on small roads up the mountains – it was definitely worth it.

The Kidspace Museum is a perfect place for kids. There are three distinct zones – outdoor science, indoor creative play, and outdoor exploring.

We got a three month pass and have loved taking mini-man here. If you have little kids I highly recommend checking this place out. 

California Adventures: Disneyland

As a self-proclaimed Disney geek (and proud of it) I couldn’t come to California and not visit Disneyland. Since mini-man was little we decided to just visit a couple of times.

Our first trip was when mini-man was six-months old. Looking back, he might have been a bit too young – but we still had fun. He really enjoyed the outdoor rides – the carousel and Casey Jr. He didn’t quite understand the dark rides – Winnie the Pooh.

However, it was a stressful visit – it was hot, crowded, and we didn’t really have goals to accomplish anything.

After this visit we waited a year to go back. The main reason we went back was so I could see Paint the Night before it left. But this time, I was more prepared.

After the first visit, I realized I couldn’t power through the park and try to do everything – kids just can’t do that.

This time I researched everything and made a loose goals for the day. I wanted everyone to have fun.

In the end, the goals worked really well and everyone had fun. What worked best was taking lots of breaks to let mini-man walk and explore in his own.

And I got to see Paint the Night (which was incredible!). Best of all, mini-man loved seeing it too. 

I am so happy that we got to go to Disneyland and create some great memories. 

California Adventures: The Los Angeles Zoo

As many of you know – I hate driving in Los Angeles. However, mini-man was getting bigger and I really wanted to started taking him places where he could explore. I decided to give the Los Angeles Zoo a try.

On our first visit, Damon drive with me so I could get to know the route. However, the route included driving on the highway and even during slow times, people in LA drives recklessly.

We had a blast on our trip to the zoo. Mini-man lived walking around and exploring. I really wanted to take him back but I needed to find a different way.

A few days later, I decided to take mini-man to the zoo myself. But this time, I avoided the highway. Instead I took smaller streets. It might have taken a few minutes more but it was way easier for me. 

I felt so accomplished for facing my fear of driving in LA and thrilled to take mini-man to the zoo.

Since then, we have visited to zoo at least once a week and gotten to explore this really amazing zoo. I highly recommend it to anyone with kids – it’s a great place to let them explore and see new things. And if you get an annual pass, you can come back often and not feel you have to stay all day of your kids get tired. I usually take mini-man in the morning and stay a few hours until he’s ready for his nap.

And be sure not to miss their Christmas Light-Up event – the while zoo is lit up with beautiful lights. Its a great, and affordable, holiday experience.

I will definitely miss having this zoo so close to us.

California Adventure: The Queen Mary

Over the holidays we won tickets to see the Christmas version of the Queen Mary. 

The area consisted to rides, mazes, an indoor snow tube ride, an ice exhibit themed to ‘A Christmas Carole’, and a tour of the Queen Mary.

First off, I am so Glad we went after Christmas as there were hardly any people there.

We started in the ice exhibit – beautfully themed to ‘A Christmas Carole’. The detail was exquisite. Mini-man was fascinated the whole time.

Next, we decided to go outside to warm up. We took mini-man through a maze and he had a blast! (especially in the ball pit).

Damon really wanted to try the snow tuning so we headed back inside of the ice tent. I skipped since mini-man was attached to me at the time and I felt I couldn’t leave him.

Mini-man was too small for any of the rides, so we headed over to tour the Queen Mary. I kid you not, I felt like I was on the Titanic. There should have been Lord’s and Ladies walking around the deck. I loved getting to go back in time on the gorgeous ship. 

I also learned that several scenes rom the first Love Boat were shot on board (eek!). And, as it turned it, this was the same port where the Love Boat docked and shot their in port scenes (double eek!)

The sun was setting and mini-man was tired so we decided to head home. I’m glad we got to experience this fun exhibit and ship.

California Adventure: Irving Park Railroad 

Last December was our first jolly holiday season with Mini-man and I wanted to take him to some fun holiday events.

Thanks to local mommy blogs, I was introduced to the Irving Park Railroad, which was hosting a Santas Village and Christmas Train.

We went early in the day – 1. to avoid crowds and 2. To not keep mini-man up too late. 

First we rode the train to the North Pole. We decided to skip meeting Santa – mini-man isn’t a fan of people in costumes and he freaks out (and I refuse to force him to do things that scare him). So we got back on the train and headed back to the village. The train ride was cute but mini-man wasn’t quite sure what to make of the whole experience.

Mini-man was too young to enjoy any of the games that were there but he had fun exploring the maze and just walking around.

After a while, we decided to explore the rest of the park. What we found was a beautiful park that’s perfect for families. I wish we could have gone more (it’s 90 minutes from where we are and that’s too long to keep mini-man in his car seat). 

California Adventure: San Diego

I was born in San Diego (die-hard Charger and Padres girl right here), so I made it a priority to visit while we were in California.

We managed to get two visits in. On our first visit we took a train down to San Diego. 

We had fun visiting the World Famous San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego.

Our second visit was a stop in one of our cruises and I set up a sailing excursion along the bay. It was a beautiful day to see the city and very relaxing.

However, fours hours on a sail boat is a bit resticrive for a one-year old. Fortunately, we found an amazing playground really close to our ship. Mini-man had a blast swinging, running around, and getting wet. 

San Diego is such a beautiful place. I am so glad that I got to share it with my family.

California Adventures: San Francisco

We spent a wonderful day in San Francisco as one of the stops on our cruise. Unfortunately, I was getting over a cold and Damon was healing from a dental procedure. So our first stop was a pharmacy. And, of course, along the way, mini-man fell asleep. On the plus side, it gave us time to get to the pharmacy and make some plans.

When we go on cruises, we try to be adventurous and not make concrete plans. We just make a list of goals and try to accomplish as much as possible. 

Our first stop was a trip on a San Francisco Trolley ( a must as Damon LOVES trains!). Unfortunately, that love doesn’t seem to have been passed on to mini-man. The gears on the trolley made loud noises and it freaked him out. He clung to me and cried a lot. 

Luckily, we got to the end of the line pretty quickly, which happened to be really close to a park. Mini-man loves being able to run around.

At this point, we were pretty hungry, so we headed to lunch. We stumbled upon a highly rated burger place and man were those burgers good! Mini-man loved the fries 😝

After filling up, we headed back towards the area where the ship was docked and managed to make our way to Ghirardelli! I think our adventure was a bit much for mini-man – he fell asleep again! But Damon and I were able to enjoy some amazing ice cream.

Once mini-man woke up, we were able to play in the grass with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Our next stop was the infamous Fisherman’s Warf, where we got to look at The Rock (I always think of Sean Connery). During this stops, Damon sat on a wooden bench to rest. At one point he wanted to get a picture and slid down the bench – and received a splinter!

Once we got back, Damon felt uncomfortable so we went in search of the onboard doctor. Much to Our surprise, we discovered that the splinter was an inch long! Thank goodness for the doctor.

Afterwards, we decided to walk around the ship and stumbled upon a gorgeous sunset by the Golden Gate Bridge. Silver lining – we got to see this beautiful sunset due to Damon’s injury.

A definite adventure for us but a fun time was had by all 💗

California Adventures: Food!

I am a huge foodie. Something I only discovered when I got to college and love spending time eating and/or making amazing food. In fact, when I was very annoyed when I was pregnant because my body only wanted healthy food. Any good with spice or variety made me ill.

So when I found out we were moving to Glendale I was thrilled. In Orlando, we have good food but it’s mainly large, chain restaurants. California is home to a wide variety of food and restaurants.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Porto’s Barkery (and dangerous since it was within walking distance)
  • Frida’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Sushi on Brand
  •  Trattori Amici
  • Everest Burger
  • Too many fast food restaurants within walking distance
  • See’s

I’ll really miss all these amazing culinary experiences.