An Entire Town for Kids at Mill View Ranch

Mill View Ranch, Camino, California

Whenever I travel with Athena, I always look for a park for her to play or a restaurant with an indoor play place. In El Dorado County, they have an entire old-west style miniature town made just for kids. It should be no surprise that despite the cold, I still made time for a visit with Athena.  Continue reading

A Day of Exploration at South Coast Plaza

Shops at South Coast Plaza

I love shopping with Athena at South Coast Plaza. It’s huge and filled with a world of bright colors, bold prints, and beautiful sights. It would be easy to go there and spend thousands of dollars and walk out with a couple bags though. Many of my favorite clothes in South Coast Plaza come with high price tags. It is possible to visit South Coast Plaza without spending a fortune. Here’s how Athena and I spent six hours at South Coast Plaza and only spent $60 while enjoying rides, dining, shopping, and taking in the sights. We explored, discovered, and experienced the magic of South Coast Plaza.  Continue reading

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

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

A Magical Night at Disney On Ice – Frozen

Disney On Ice - Frozen

Every little girl in North America loves Disney’s Frozen. It’s undeniable, especially on Halloween when there are more Elsa and Anna costumes than witches and ghosts. So when I heard that Disney on Ice was presenting Frozen it was immediately a must on our family bucket list. Athena dresses up daily as Elsa and Anna and has more than a handful of  costumes to choose from. It wasn’t a question of if we were going but how many times. Tonight we witnessed it for the first time and the smile on Athena’s face said it all – it was magical.  Continue reading

Water Slide Fun at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort

Water slide at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach

Today we arrived at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort and we had one of the best days of our trip. It wasn’t because we went on an exotic excursion or because we were immersed in the culture, although I do love those as well. It was because Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort and a 55 metres water slide and a huge pool. It’s like having a water park at the hotel.  Continue reading