Athena’s Mall of America Bucketlist

Carousel at Mall of AmericaMany of my trips include Athena and I try to incorporate fun activities that she will enjoy into my schedule, but my trip to Mall of America was all about her. From morning until night, I allowed her to choose every activity, every ride, every meal, every store, and almost every stop. (Sometimes I needed a bathroom break or to check in to the hotel, but the rest was up to her.) What resulted was one of the most amazing trips for both of us and a bucketlist adventure that we should allow our children at least once in their young lives. When she’s having fun, I’m usually having fun. Watching her make decisions also showed me how capable she is and how much she’s grown. Come along on Athena’s bucketlist version of Mall of America.  Continue reading

Inspired by Climbing in Chattanooga

Rock Climbing at High Point in Chattanooga

On our last day in Chattanooga, we were scheduled to go rock climbing at High Point Climbing & Fitness. I love rock climbing but I never thought Athena would be as interested at such a young age. It ended up being her favorite activity of the entire trip and she was fearless. I don’t know what I was thinking waiting so long to bring her but I’m glad we experience it now. Kids love to climb. They climb on everything. Why not bring them to a place where they can literally climb the walls and they have a safety when they fall? It’s genius!  Continue reading

Chattanooga Puts a Smile on Her face

Dancing at Rock City, Chattanooga

Athena is generally a happy child. She likes to sing and dance and play. She’s full of energy and life and she’s usually smiling. Since we’ve arrived in Chattanooga, though, it’s been a happiness overdrive. Our trip here has been the perfect combination of fun activities and good company. We’re traveling with two other families. One family has a little girl the same age as Athena. The other family has two girls ages 10 and 12. At Ruby Falls and Rock City, Athena explored with a friend her age and today at the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum, she hung out with the older girls and learned from their mature attitudes. It’s been one child-friendly activity after another and the smiles keep getting bigger.  Continue reading

17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula in California

17 Mile Drive in California

Today I had one of those moments where I said, “how the heck did I ever end up here?” And it wasn’t because I was in a bad place. It was because I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The 17 Mile Drive winding between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach offers so much beauty that I had to stop at every look-out point and marvel at the views before my eyes.  Continue reading

Super Bowl Heritage in San Diego

Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

With Super Bowl 50 just around the corner, both date and location, we’re discovering the Super Bowl heritage in California. Over the next week, we will road trip from San Diego to San Francisco exploring the history of the Super Bowl in California. We started at Qualcomm Stadium followed by the San Diego Hall of Champions and we already feel the Super Bowl fever.  Continue reading

Exploring the Wonders of Science at the California Science Center

California Science MuseumAthena loves science. She’s only three years old but it’s as easy to see that she loves science as it is to see that she loves macaroni and cheese. She’s inquisitive and always trying to figure out how things work. She asks millions of questions about things that I don’t even think about as an adult and she figures things out on her own that seem well beyond her age. Rather than just wondering where the heck it all comes from, I try to encourage it as much as possible. We buy her science kits and allow her to pick at things when they catch her attention. She’s very hands-on and enjoys interacting with her environment. Last weekend, we felt like it was time to visit the California Science Center. Filled with interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs, and awe-inspiring films, it’s the perfect place to encourage her curiosities.  Continue reading

Living It Up with Cloud 9 Living

Warbird flight via Cloud 9 Living

What did you do today? Oh I just did aerobatics in a T-6 Warbird around Mt. Baldy in California, topping out at 220 mph and 4 G’s. Just the typical Wednesday, right? That’s not even typical for an adrenaline junkie, but it way my afternoon. Today was freaking awesome. If you’d like a more humble Lesley, wait for the next post. If you want to hear about my epic adventure thanks to Cloud 9 Living and Aviator Flight Training…  Continue reading