Jul 012014
 

While we were in San Diego in April, you may remember that we took a morning and spent it at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.  As we pulled into the parking lot that morning, the kids couldn’t help but notice a really nice playground off in the distance.  Chris and I promised we’d head over there after the museum because we both know how much they love playing at the playground.

The Pepper Grove Playground is suitable for kids of all ages. It is separated into two main areas. The side designed for children younger than five has a giant sandbox, cushioned floors, slides and swings. The other side, designed for kids five and older, offers a large jungle gym, faux zip line and fun things to spin on.

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Jun 272014
 

While we were in San Diego in April, we had a chance to make a stop at the The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, which features more than 100 interactive science exhibits.  My boys love that sort of thing and I wanted to take them if we ended up having a little extra time, which we did.

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When I initially told my sister in law, who lives in San Diego, that I wanted to take my boys there, the first thing she said was that the Museum of Science in Boston was much better.  So, I actually read a few reviews about this place before we went because her statement had a me a little worried.

Many of the reviews that I read were by adults that went to the museum and didn’t enjoy it because it was geared towards children. Well, duh.  That sort of museum is intended for children, so those had me a little baffled.  And there were quite a few of them, which also made me scratch my head. But anyways, all the reviews that I read by adults that were also parents said that the Fleet Science Center was awesome, so we went. Continue reading »

Jun 242014
 

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Remember when I told you about our visit to the La Jolla tidepools when we were in California in April?  Well, while we were still in San Diego, my brother in law told us about another tide pool in the area that might be worth a visit and he was definitely right.  They were called the  Cabrillo tidepools and they are located on Point Loma in San Diego, which was even a little closer to our hotel than the tidepools in La Jolla.  Score.

In case you are unfamiliar, during periods of low tide, pools form along this shore in rocky depressions and you can see a  myriad of sea creatures in them.

The Cabrillo tidepools were definitley different than the ones in La Jolla simply because of the fact that there were lots and lots of cliffs there, so we really needed to keep an eye on the kiddos until we were able to make our way down to the bottom of the cliffs.  They weren’t like Roadrunner cliffs, but they were steep enough that if you fell off, you would most definitley be injured.

Not to mention that  there are no hand rails at all and the rocks/cliff can get slippery, especially when wet – so we were very careful.

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Jun 192014
 

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On our recent trip to California, we squeezed in a visit to the tidepools located in La Jolla Cove. The tidepools are part of shell beach, which is actually just south of the cove (under the cliffs of Coast Boulevard Park).

The tidepool is made up of all sorts of really cool rock formations and it’s definitley something we don’t see much over here on the upper east coast.  We spent several hours there because we got there right before low tide and I feel like I snapped a million pictures because none of us had ever seen anything like it and it was just so cool to see.

Although the rocks were a little slippery – especially that green stuff you can see in some of my pictures, my kids had a blast searching for sea creatures. They found a ton of hermit crabs, an anemone or two and a bunch of crabs.

Here are a few of the million pictures I took while we were there:

la jolla tidepool collage 2 Continue reading »

Jun 162014
 

Over Memorial Day weekend, we woke the boys up early and told them we were going on a mystery trip.  I had been jonesing to to get back to New York City and since the weather was supposed to be perfect, it seemed like a good time to take a bit of a day trip.

NYC Mystery trip

It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there, which wasn’t too bad.  There was no traffic, so the entire ride was smooth sailing.  Once we were in the city, we found a place to park and walked to our first stop -The Empire State Building!

I had two NYC CityPASS ticket books, which included one-time admission tickets, detailed attraction information, coupons and a map for 6 of the best attractions in New York City (including the Empire State Building).   When we arrived at the Empire State Building, it was about 11 am and there was already a 2-3 hour wait to buy tickets to get into to the observation level (the 86th floor) of the building.  With our CityPASS tickets, we were able to skip to the head of the line which was really nice and definitely something I would recommend doing because honestly, who wants to stand in line for hours for tickets to something like this when you can easily purchase something like a CityPASS booklet and blow past the line? Continue reading »

Jun 152014
 

One of the best features about the hotel we stayed at in San Diego was the pool They had the most gorgeous pool and we spent many of our afternoons poolside. The thing that I liked the most was that the boys were always having fun and spending quality time together while they were out in the pool.

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Here is the gruesome twosome doing cannonballs: Continue reading »

Jun 122014
 

One of the things we did while were at the the San Diego Zoo Safari Park back in April was to take a ride on the Africa Tram. The Africa Tram tour brings visitors out into the “Savanna” to see wildlife from different parts of Africa.

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We saw so many animals while we were out on the 40 minute tour, but we are regulars on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at The Animal Kingdom in Disney World because we go there so often – and because of that we weren’t as impressed as we probably should have been on this tour.

It did cost extra to go on the tram, but there are different ticket options at the park, so you can get a pass that includes the tram when you first buy your tickets for the park when you arrive. If you have never experienced African animals out in their natural habitat, this is definitley something you would want to check out if you are planning on spending time at the safari park. Continue reading »

Jun 112014
 

During our trip to California in April, we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  Last year when we went to California, we visited the San Diego Zoo, but this year we decided that we’d do something we hadn’t done before and headed to the Safari Park – which is a separate park from the zoo.

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My awesome sister in law, who lives in the outskirts of San Diego managed to score the four of us free passes to the park, which was so cool.  My SIL/BIL and nephew have a membership to the San Diego Zoo, which includes the safari park & they planned to meet us there that day.  As it turned out, my sister in law got the flu, so just my brother in law and nephew ended up joining us.

Before my in laws arrived, my boys just had to make pennies.  If you read my post about making pennies last year when we went to Disney World, you probably already know that I travel with a bag of quarters and shiny pennies in case we run into those machines.  And we always do. Continue reading »

Jun 102014
 

While we were at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in April, one of the things that the kidlets really enjoyed was the Condor Trail.  They have several California Condors on display on Condor Ridge at the Safari Park.

The California Condor is the largest North American land bird. This condor became extinct in the wild in 1987 (all 22 remaining wild individuals were captured) and through captive breeding, the numbers are back up and some California Condors have been reintroduced into the wild.

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The ones on display at the Safari Park live in this enclosure: Continue reading »

Jun 092014
 

While we were at the the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in April, we got the chance to check out a cool exhibit that they had going on:  The Butterfly Jungle.

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More than 10,000 exotic butterflies of all colors and sizes fluttered around us as we walked through an aviary filled with the flying creatures!  There were 30 different species from Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

I was able to snap a few photos while we were inside the aviary, but since most of the butterflies were flying, I had a hard time getting many clear pictures. Continue reading »

Jun 062014
 

While we were in San Diego recently, Chris and I decided to go on the San Diego Ghost Tour in Old Town.  Chris’s brother & his family live in the area and they were kind enough to watch the gruesome twosome one of the nights so that Chris and I could go out sans kids.  They did the same thing for us last year and we wanted to go on the ghost tour while we were in  Old Town, but it ended up raining that night, so we never got to go.  This year the weather cooperated and we got to take the tour.

If you don’t know this already, I love ghost tours.  I have been on many of the tours here in New England and when I get the chance to go on one in a different city, I am all over it.

The tour left from Old Town at 9 pm and our first stop  was the El Campo Santo Cemetery.

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May 302014
 

Minifigure trading at Legoland

During our recent trip to California, we got to spend an entire day at LEGOLAND®.  It was something that I have always wanted my kids to experience and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to take them. We actually went on Easter Sunday and I am glad that we chose that day because the park was not as crowded as it probably normally would have been on any other Sunday.

We had an awesome day, but today I am going to share a little insider tip with you if you are planning on visiting a LEGOLAND park. Trading minifigures is a big part of the fun of visiting LEGOLAND, although I don’t think many park-goers even know about the tradition.

Guests who bring a minifigure from home (or buy one in the park) can trade it for any of the minifigures that the park employees wear on their name tags.

Even though this was our first trip to LEGOLAND, we were told in advance about minifigure trading, so each of my boys brought a few Lego guys from home to trade.  And trade they did:

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May 282014
 

**Masshole Mommy and her family received complimentary admission to LEGOLAND® California in order to experience the park and provide an honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

During our recent trip to California, we got to spend an entire day at LEGOLAND®.  It was something that I have always wanted my kids to experience and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to take them.  We went with my sister in law, brother and law & nephew who live in San Diego and it was even better going to the park knowing that we got to spend the day with family!

We actually went on Easter Sunday and I am glad that we chose that day because the park was not as crowded as it probably normally would have been on any other Sunday. In case you are unfamiliar, LEGOLAND® California is a 128-acre family theme park located in Carlsbad, a seaside community 30 miles north of downtown San Diego and one hour south of Anaheim.

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As soon as we got there, the kids  couldn’t wait to get on some rides.  Explore Village was our first stop and the Safari Trek was our first ride. Continue reading »

May 272014
 

**Masshole Mommy and her family received complimentary admission to LEGOLAND® California in order to experience the park and provide an honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

During our recent trip to California, we got to spend an entire day at LEGOLAND®.  It was something that I have always wanted my kids to experience and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to take them.

We actually went on Easter Sunday and I am glad that we chose that day because the park was not as crowded as it probably normally would have been on any other Sunday.   We spent most of the day going on rides, but after lunch, we decided to check out the LEGOLAND® Water Park for a while.  My boys love water parks, so I don’t think they would have let us leave without stopping there for a while.

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LEGOLAND® Water Park is located at the north end of LEGOLAND® California adjacent to  Fun Town. The entrance is located between the Factory Tour and the Adventurer’s Club. Continue reading »

May 202014
 

The Hollywood Walk of Fame
When we were in California recently, we made the two hour drive up from San Diego to spend a few hours in Hollywood.  Aside from seeing the famous Hollywood Sign, the other thing we really wanted to do was to see some of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In my mind I pictured the stars all neatly lined up in corded off section of the sidewalk, but the stars were literally part of the sidewalk that all the foot traffic/tourists used.  The stars are spread all up and down the sidewalk on both sides of Hollywood Blvd for about 15 blocks or so, but we just walked up a few blocks.  Here are some of the pictures I took while we were checking out the stars.

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May 192014
 

One of the things that we knew we wanted to do when we visited Hollywood was to get a map of the star’s homes and go out & stalk a few of them.  Chris saw this along the side of the road as we were walking and bought one:

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After we had lunch and walked around looking at the walk of fame, we sat down to look at the map and see whose house was located nearby to where we were.  Once we had a plan, off we went to take a ride though the Hollywood Hills to see some celebrity homes. Continue reading »

May 132014
 

Grauman's Chinese Theater

While we were in Hollywood, we wanted to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  As we were walking along, we ended up walking right into Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  I am not entirely sure why I was surprised when we came to it, but I was.  I totally forgot that it was near where we were going to be, so when we did accidentally stumble across it, of course I had to snap a few pictures.

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May 092014
 

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When we were in California in April, despite the fact that I kept telling people we went to San Diego, the truth is that we stayed on the island of Coronado.  Coronado is actually a separate city from San Diego, but it’s located just across the bay from downtown San Diego.

Coronado is most notably known for two famous structures, the historic Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, both of which you’ll see in this post.

Every time we wanted to head into San Diego (which was at least once every day), we found ourselves crossing the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge and here are a few of the pictures I took from the passenger seat. Continue reading »

May 082014
 

I don’t have a huge bucket list, but there are a few things that I want to do at some point during my lifetime.  Things like climbing the Eiffel Tower, going to Hawaii and seeing the famous Hollywood Sign!

When we were in San Diego recently, we took a little day trip up to Hollywood so that I could cross seeing the sign off of my bucket list.

I had no idea where to go, so I Googled “best places to see the Hollywood sign” and came up with this address: 3000 Canyon Lake Drive, Hollywood – so that is where we went.

And without further adieu, here it is:

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May 062014
 

Last month, my family and I took a trip out to San Diego, California to visit some family.  One of the days, we decided to make the almost two hour drive north to Los Angeles  to see that infamous Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and maybe spot a celebrity or two.  We didn’t necessarily plan it, but somehow in our attempt to stalk some celebs, we ended up driving down the famous Sunset Strip.

I’ve heard of the Sunset Strip, like most of us have, and I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting to see, but it was literally just a city street.  Here are a few of the pictures I took as we were driving.

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