Category: Travel

February 16 2016

Our Awesome Six-Family Mammoth Vacation

On Thursday night, we took off for a four night, five day vacation up at Mammoth mountains. There were six families that went so we ended up renting two condos that were side by side. The six bedroom, six bathroom listing was almost 4,000 square feet so there was plenty of room for the kids to run around while the open floor plan allowed for the adults to mix and mingle in the kitchens and living rooms. By renting both units, you get the entire top floor to yourself. The two condos share a balcony where there’s a grill, a hot tub and a sauna. Here’s the VRBO listing.

The living room had plenty of seating and had that traditional yet modern cabin feel.

The kitchen was fully stocked with plenty of dishes and cookware. In fact, we only ordered pizza once during the trip. We ended up barbecuing steaks and Korean galbi on the grill a few nights.

Our family stayed in the master bedroom. It had a California King bed, a fireplace, a flat screen tv, a smaller daybed (where Parker and I slept), and its own bathroom.

The two condos shared a deck where there was a hot tub and sauna!

The best part was the location! You could walk to Canyon Lodge where you can hop on a lift to the top of the mountain or ride a gondola to The Village. This was a great place to stay, especially because of the location.

Sleds were available to take on short excursions. Here are some pics of Parker and Logan playing in the snow.

Parker all suited up. This picture is kind of grainy but I love Parker’s crooked smile and his subtle thumbs up.

We attempted to take the boys skiing but Logan started bawling when we tried to put him in a ski boot and Parker had such a bad meltdown we had to scrap our plans.

The next day we took the boys to some nearby mountains. Here’s Parker exploring the woods.

Since we didn’t bring a sled, that day, Parker decided to just slide down on his stomach. He called it “belly bopping.”

What’s a trip to the mountains without a snowball fight?

Logan wouldn’t leave Sam’s arms. I think he was a little scared of all the ice.

On the last day, Sam and Logan went sledding down a hill together. Logan loved it until he almost got ejected and then he was done.

Overall, it was a fun time had by all. Outside of Lake Arrowhead, it was our first major road trip. Not only did we survive, we would do it again in a heartbeat.

December 7 2015

Glen Ivy: A Getaway Spa That Has It All

Though only a half an hour from my house, I’d only driven by Glen Ivy Hot Springs, I never experienced it. (Little known fact: It’s been around for an astounding 155 years!) That is, until yesterday, when a group of us girlfriends decided to leave our men behind and come for some rest and relaxation. I’ve got to say, the four of us had the time of our lives!

First, to give you a bit of background about Glen Ivy, it’s located in Corona, California, which makes it about an hour drive from Los Angeles. Prices vary from $46 Monday through Friday to $64 Saturday an Sunday, that amount is just to get you into the spa.

You walk into the grounds and you notice all the lush gardens along with all the pools. There are a total of 19 pools and whirlpools! Included are naturally thermal mineral baths, a hot and cold plunge, saline pool, a lap pool and, of course, Club Mud, which is one of main reasons why you come here in the first place.

After jumping back and forth in the hot and cold plunge, we grabbed a bite to eat (yes, they have food, which is quite good), and then headed to Club Mud. Now for those of you haven’t experienced a mud bath, it’s quite a trip. You soak yourself into the murky looking water and then take a pile of mud and rub it all over your body. You then lay on a lounge chair and let the mud dry off on your skin. (You’ll notice it start to crack.) Then, you brush the mud off using your hands or a towel. Finally, you take a quick body shower to really get all the caked on mud off.

Though I’d like to say that the mud bath was the best part of our experience, what was even better was a free activity they provided, a yoga session. (Yes, the classes are free!) Called Yundalini Yoga with Gong Meditation, its focus is to open up and release the spine and muscles in your back, making you feel energized yet calm and centered. Not only did we stretch and perform yoga poses, we chanted and meditated. After, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace, happiness, and even gratitude.

Overall, I’d highly recommend this place as a nice getaway for yourself, you and your spouse, or with a group of friends. Though I’ve been to Burke Williams and Pelican Hill’s spa before, this was a whole new experience – once, because it was outdoors and two, because of that unique mud bath. As a mother of two, it was wonderful to have “girl time” where we could just relax and enjoy each others company. Don’t we all need a break from time to time?

Below are some photos taken from Glen Ivy’s website. By not only having to take photos myself, it helped me enjoy the experience to the fullest extent. (But believe me, the these pictures actually do this place justice.) The only one thing I’d complain about is that it cost $10 to rent a robe. (Let me just get that out there…shouldn’t robe rentals be free?) Overall, however, I was really happy about the experience and I know I’ll be back.









November 30 2015

A Sweet Alternative to Disneyland: Adventure City in Anaheim

Yesterday, our family met up with my sisters and their kids for a fun-filled day at Adventure City. Though it’s one of the smallest theme parks in California, Adventure City has lots of rides and attractions for kids, especially if they’re under ten. Opened in 1994, it’s an affordable alternative to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, in fact, you don’t even have to pay for parking!

There are a lot of great advantages to coming here over Disneyland, the first one being that it’s only about $17 per person whereas Disneyland will set you back about $100. There are enough rides to keep the kids busy. While the younger kids loved the “choo choo” train and the park’s version of “Autotopia”, the older kids had a fun time on the roller coasters. “Rewind Racers” is a roller coaster that goes both forward and backwards, a North America first. For a little downtime, the kids enjoyed the petting farm where they had a lot of goats just waiting to be touched.

The only complaint I have is that the food was a little pricey but that’s expected for a theme park. We spent between two to three hours there and we fit in a ton of rides, mostly because there were no lines. (Yes, no lines!) Also, the park was pretty well kept.

Parker giving his cousin Berry a warm welcome hug.

Logan getting a sweet pat from his cousin Bobby.

Uncle Burt walking around with cousin Riverton. Sammy taking the kids on the train.


My sister Carol riding the Crazy Bus with the kids.

Logan watching his cousins ride the Crazy Bus.

Parker riding the carousel with cousin Berry.



Parker and his cousin Riverton on Rescue 911, like Autotopia but with ambulances, fire trucks and police cars.

Cousin Riverton and Parker in the Thomas and Friends area.




Petting farm was a hit!


Logan in his favorite place, daddy’s arms.

Do you have any favorite places you take your kids? Where do you go instead of major theme parks like Disneyland?

November 23 2015

Santa Rosa Plateau: Our Hidden Hiking Gem

On a typical weekday night, instead of watching tv or playing games on an iPad, we try and take the kids out. One of our favorite places, outside of Disneyland, is this hidden gem inside Riverside County. Only a 15 minute drive from our house, the Santa Rosa Plateau is an ecological reserve that consists of 9,000 acres of protected land. There are more than 200 species of native birds there as well as 49 endangered, threatened or rare animal and plant species. A few times we’ve spotted deer and once we even saw a mountain lion. One of their coolest trails leads to vernal pools where fairy shrimp live. Vernal pools, for those not familiar, are these seasonal, shallow pools of water that alternate from being dry to being filled up, springing with life. They sit on rare volcanic soils, supporting endemic fairy shrimp and wintering waterfowl.

On our hikes, the kids love getting a little dirty. Now that they’re older it’s getting harder for us to keep them in their strollers so we all end up walking, which can take quite a long time. These two toddlers have a mind of their own! Usually, Sam holds Logan over his shoulder while Parker walks or runs ahead. Though our hikes are typically short, less than a mile, we love breathing in the crisp air and we make it a point to talk about how lucky we are to live so near such a breathtaking place.

If you’re looking for a nice day hike, you can even visit the Moreno and Machado Adobes, which are Riverside County’s oldest standing structures. They date back to 1846 and once served as a bunkhouse for cowboys.

Now, here are some photos, taken from the last year, of our trips to Santa Rosa Plateau. From everyone’s smiles, you can see just how much our family loves this place.












Newer posts