7 Tips for Visiting Legoland San Diego, California in the Fall

As some of you may know, we visited San Diego, California at the end of October. While there, we planned to visit Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo/safari and LEGOLAND, so we needed to pick a specific day for each.

We ended up saving LEGOLAND for our last adventure and went on October 29th since the water park would still be open then.

One thing we didn’t realize was how far away it was from actual San Diego. We drove a good 35 minutes north of Pacific Beach, San Diego to get to LEGOLAND which is actually located in Carlsbad, California.

 

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5 Tips When Visiting SeaWorld in San Diego, California

We had a lot of things planned for our trip to San Diego, but SeaWorld® was our first adventure! Seeing my daughters face light up as we walk up to SeaWorld is one of the reasons I get joy from being a parent.

The first thing we did when we entered the park, grabbed a map. It has all sorts of useful info on them, like times for the dolphin, orcas and sea lions shows and directions around the park since it’s pretty big! Our first stop after we strolled around the park was the dolphin habitat area.

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Family Visit to Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, Oregon

I had plans to drive down to see one of my sisters for months in Albany, Oregon, but every time the time would roll around, something would always come up. One of the kids were sick, I was sick, kids were away with their dad, etc. So we finally decided to make a day of it last Sunday and stick to it, which ended up being one of the hottest days of the year so far at a whopping 100 degrees! We made sure that we found a place where we could get wet and cool off in the blistering sun and Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, Oregon was the place.

It was about a 2 hour and 8 min drive from here to there, which wasn’t too bad since it was straight freeway pretty much. I made sure to have snacks, the swim/sun essentials, a tablet for movie watching and all that good stuff for the two tots in the back seat since my other sister and niece were tagging along. We did end up forgetting the life jackets we just bought, but that was okay because they have plenty at Osborn Aquatic Center to be used.

We arrived there around 2. They seem to only be open from 1-4 pm on Sundays which kind of stinks, but I get it, people want to go home to be with their families too. But I feel like a place like this should at least stay open until 5 or 6 pm in the summer when people are looking for fun ways to cool off.

Their hours are something like this:

Closed now 

Saturday 10:30AM–4PM
Sunday 1–4PM
Monday 5:30AM–7:30PM
Tuesday

(4th of July)

5:30AM–7:30PM

Hours might differ

Wednesday 5:30AM–9PM
Thursday 5:30AM–7:30PM
Friday 5:30AM–9PM

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Winston Oregon Wildlife Safari Trip

Growing up, I never knew this place existed, let alone was only 3 hours from us. We never did much traveling unless our grandparents planned it. So my husband and I make sure we do things with our daughter so that she can have great memories and experiences with us to look back on.

After I purchased the Groupon for Winston Safari, my husband and I decided we should just make a weekend of it since it would be a long drive there and back in one day. So we planned our stay at the Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon as it was only about 25 minutes south of the safari.

Seven Feathers Casino and Resort

Has a pool/hot tubs/sauna, nicely updated rooms, a spa, an arcade, plenty of restaurants and cafes on site. It was almost like I was back in Vegas! I figured with all of these amenities at Seven Feathers Casino and Resort, we’d probably have the best time spending our weekend there.

The first night we arrived, checked in, and then found a grocery store to pick up some snacks. It was an actual Dollar General store. Didn’t think they had any in the state, but I guess we just had to go further south to see one. I was kind of excited about that since I see tons of people posting about Dollar General deals and campaign managers looking for people nearby one. Unfortunately, there isn’t any in the vicinity of me. /tears

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Mount Hood Trip: This Time With Snow

I should have known that Mount Hood in November was too early in the year for any snow to play in, but I am glad we were able to snag an open vacancy on his bosses HUGE cabin again for Jan 22-25th, because there was copious amounts! We didn’t think we would be able to since he’s trying to fight the association on not being able to rent it out for money.

Such a huge difference when there’s snow eh?

I almost wasn’t feeling like snow AGAIN since we just got over ours last week, but it was still fun and a totally different vibe and environment.

We decided to go up before check in time for some inner tubing at the adventure park but was completely thrown off on the price for 1 hour of tubing; $15 per person including small children so it ended up costing us $75 to slide down on a tube for 1 hour since my sister and her daughter tagged along too. Yes, it was fun and all, but that’s a bit steep for an hour of freezing your butt off!!

And then the tots didn’t even want to go down after the first time. It was way too big of a hill for them to handle at their age, so was basically $30 wasted. OH well, you won’t know what they’ll like unless you try it. So we didn’t get to go down as much as we had hoped since we had to take turns while watching the girls. Essentially, the tubing is a waste of money unless you’re going with big kids, so let that be a warning to you if you’re reading this and contemplating it.

After we were done there, we headed over to the house which is about a 5-minute drive with the snow. They both pretty much passed out at that time, which gave us a little bit of time to get the car unpacked.

Then we waited for a few people from my husbands family to arrive and played some games and had a few drinks. Well, they played games. I am not the type of person to play games that involve making a complete fool out of yourself because one, I am shy and two, I can’t act. It was funny to watch tho and eventually I got swindled into joining. Thankfully I didn’t draw any acting cards or I probably would have pooed my pants.

The next day we did a little venturing outside and walked to the general store with our crappy sled we brought.

We started heading back to the cabin and I decided to lay my niece on the sled and pull her since she would topple over while sitting up. She ended up passing out on the ride back! Cracked me up, but so cute.

We didn’t really do much the rest of the day since his sister was leaving that night since she wasn’t feeling well.

But the following day we went up to the actual mountain and took a couple photos. The girls passed out on the drive so we didn’t get to walk around too much, but that was okay, I mainly wanted pictures anyways. Only, I need to figure out the correct settings for such bright mountainous photos because it looks blown out and I could barely keep my eyes open for the photo. I was laughing so hard I was crying too!

After the girls woke up, we took them outside since they passed out before we could play in the snow for the day and ended up spotting a hill towards the left of the cabin. I wished we would have spotted it first thing since this was the highlight of our trip. Arya even let me take her down it with me, and we were going pretty fast as well. I think I even heard her say wee once, and heck, we could have saved 75$ too!

The girls were getting red and cold so we decided to come in and make lunch.

We ended up watching a movie that evening and went home the next day since my sister and husband had to work.

It was fun and I hope we can do it again with snow. In fact, my husband’s work retreat will be up there next month. Lol

We’re getting a lot of mountain time this year! But we love it.

Family Trip to Mount Hood, Oregon

A few weeks ago, we stayed at Mt. Hood in a lodge thanks to my husbands boss. He opens up his home at Government Camp on Mount Hood for his employees in the office since he can’t rent it out. It’s a nice way of saying thanks for working hard.

We enjoyed every bit of our 3 day mountain vacation, because being outdoors and spending time with each other is what we love best.

Government camp mount hood

We were hoping there would be snow in the forecast so we could go tubing, but our wishes were not granted. And even though there wasn’t much snow at all, we did get to enjoy the beauty of the mountain and be outside breathing in the fresh, crisp mountain air as we strolled through the woods.

Mount hood

We heard running water and found a little Creek running through the area.

Government camp mount hood

My daughter loved being outside seeing new things and exploring, but what child doesn’t? She’s been kind of dependent on TV and the tablet a little too much, so it was a nice change of scenery for her, and us as well.

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Mt hood
Mt Hood Nov 2016

We love the smell and the freshness of the outdoors so much that we were asked to try out thymes frasier fir candles, and let me tell you, it brought me back to when we were staying up at the mountain a few weeks ago. Like the crispness of pine trees and the wood burning in the cozy fireplace. We only have a gas fireplace so the smell of fresh wood burning in a big ol’ log cabin was amazing.

frasier fir candles

I don’t celebrate Christmas now, but when I did, I loved the smell of the fresh cut tree in our home. We never did a fake one for this very reason, despite having to clean up and water it frequently.  Just something about a real tree to make the holidays seem real and magical. Frasier Fir candles also remind me a little of my past when I did holidays, because they smell like the outdoors have been brought inside!

frasier fir candles

They’re the perfect gift any time of year (not just holidays) for absolutely everyone! No need to package it up real nice either. They come elegantly packaged and ready-to-gift.

frasier fir candles

I also love the fact that they plant a tree when you buy a candle for their buy one, plant one campaign. That’s super important, because without trees, we wouldn’t be able to survive because we rely on them for oxygen.

frasier fir candles

Head on over to the Buy One. Plant One. Campaign page where you can purchase the Frasier Fir Northwoods and Limited Edition collections, or individual products, and redeem for a free Thymes Sample Set – over 12 fragranced body lotion samples with a purchase of $25.

Seaside, Oregon Beach Trip for Labor Day Weekend

This labor day, we decided to make an end of summer beach trip since we hadn’t been to the beach since Arya was like a month old. It was time to give her a new experience, one that she probably won’t remember when she’s older, but will remember right now in the moment.

My husband works a new job for a vacation rental place doing QA work. Well come to find out, they give their employees in the office a $250 credit on their birthdays, (his is Sep 1st) so we were able to use that towards a vacation house in Seaside, Oregon on top of his employee discount. It was a pretty decent deal! It had 2 bedrooms, a bath, and a nice-sized living area for a small family. To be honest, this was way better than paying for an overpriced hotel that’s the size of a sardine can with no fridge.

seaside oregon
View of the river from our condo.

We weren’t right on the boardwalk or oceanfront, but that didn’t bother me too much since we could either walk half a mile or just drive on over to the main strip.

Thursday when we arrived, it was pretty gloomy and rainy. It’s typical PNW weather, so it’s to be expected. Just always bring a rain jacket or coat with you while on vacation. Doesn’t matter what time of year, it can and will rain at any time. LOL

So the first day, we walked on the strip for a little bit and then stepped out on the sandy beach, but didn’t stay long since we didn’t arrive until after 5 pm and we needed to eat.

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Camping at Detroit Lake in Oregon

A few months ago, we decided to book a camping trip at Detroit Lake, Oregon since our friends had invited us. I was kind of hesitant since baby girl is walking around now and you know, campfires and dirt and uncomfortable air mattresses with a toddler just didn’t sound thrilling. So lets just say, I had to be optimistic.

It takes about 2 hours from here to there so I knew we needed to leave before she took her late morning/early afternoon nap. We got lucky since she ended up sleeping the entire way there.

We arrive and set up camp, which didn’t take nearly as long as it usually does since we bought an instant tent with poles already attached and ready to go. (Thanks Target cartwheel for the 40% off! Lol)

detroit lake campgroundI brought her playpen and a new camping play toy set on Amazon which kept her occupied while we set stuff up. Then we freed her, and all was fair game says the running rampant toddler.

She walked around part of the campground saying hi to the campers near us. She’s going to be a social butterfly like her dad. I myself like to avoid conversations with strangers since I’m a little socially awkward. I don’t know if I like her being super friendly since this opens up (in my mind) easy access for kidnapping. Hey you can never be too cautious with the sick people in the world today. But don’t worry, I’m a helicopter mom. I mean, you got to be when they’re this age…

The campground was okay, maybe a little too cramped for my liking since we had the extra parking spots right in our camp area. It’s almost as if we were in the city with very little yard separating us from our neighbors. I guess in a way it’s nice if you want to mingle with strangers, but i prefer more space when you have to pay to camp.

The lake last year was pretty dried up. It still isn’t where it normally is supposed to be, but it at least had a good amount.

detroit lake campground

We sat in our inner tubes in the lake for a little bit, but the current kept pushing us up to the shoreline in the 6 inches of water, so our butts were scraping on the rocks. Arya wanted to hop out of the tube and go play on her own. Lol she’s starting to become too independent… i just want my baby to stay little forever.

She was having so much fun running around that she didn’t want to take a single nap and fought it pretty much all day until 5pm. And even then, she only slept 30 minutes and was up til 10:30.

She’s enjoying the world. And when she gets older, she’s going to wish she could nap, like I currently wish for myself…ha

Overall, Detroit Lake was fun, but it gets pretty cold through the night, so be sure to bring lots of blankets and warm clothes. I was freezing my butt off!

They have free showers to use, a free activity every day to do, AND toilets… No digging holes for me, yay!

So if you’re looking for a luxury style place to camp in Oregon, try Detroit Lake!

Traveling to Vegas With a Baby Part 1

Vegas was interesting to say the least

It’s like a whole other experience when you have to be a responsible adult. Hah.

The first day was pure chaos.

Theres so much extra crap you have to bring when you have kids.. like car seat, stroller, diaper bag, toys, food, etc etc. I felt like I was moving across the country with how much stuff we shoveled into the airport by ourselves.

The flight there was fine. No turbulence and only one loud outburst from baby. I thought she would end up taking a nap during the 2 hour flight since she usually does around that time, but, nope.

New environment, too much excitement… must stay awake mommy! She did end up falling asleep for the last 20 min we were in air. Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

So we grab our million items once we get off the plane and go catch the shuttle bus to the car rental place and wait in a long line. My husband was stressing cause his friend was the first UFC fight of the day which started at 3pm. We landed at 1pm and got to the shuttle at 1:30pm. We should have had plenty of time to grab the car and go. Nope. Apparently I scheduled the car pick up for the following day, so our car wasnt even there. It took an hour back and forth to finally get a mini van, which added $10 to our bill. My husband wasn’t happy about having a mini van when we booked a small suv, but we didnt have time to mess around. We finally get going and it’s like a little after 2:30 and he still has to drop me and baby off at Harrahs to check-in.

Needless to say, he didn’t end up making it there before 3pm and actually missed his friends fight which got stopped due to injury. This was kind of the whole point of our trip, but we had no clue when he’d be fighting, otherwise, we could have scheduled a better flight time for him to make it. It sucks, but what can ya do?

So I was alone with baby waiting to get the check-in email alert that my room was ready but nothing ever came. So I had to go stand in a line after all even though I attempted to avoid it by the email text check-in they sent the day of our arrival. Meh.

Once I got into the room though, it was great; nice and newly updated. Not the nicest room we’ve ever stayed in, but it was pretty decent!

harrahs las vegas

I basically just stayed in the room to nap with her and walked around the hotel a bit to get food.

Other than that it was a pretty boring first day…

Since this post is long enough, ill update with another.

Traveling to Vegas Tomorrow Morning

Tomorrow morning we leave for Vegas, and although I was a little excited when we first booked back in March, I’m now kind of worried its not going to be as fun. Mainly because it’s going to be a different experience with a child, but also, it’s going to be almost 100 degrees. I aint ready for that kind of heat yet!!

Im prepared though. We have tons of sunblock, new swimsuits and our hats to be protected from the sun. I’ll prolly be strolling around in the hotels most of the time since they keep the AC running, but they can also be smokey which I think is going to suck, especially having arya around that. Luckily though, thats mainly in the casino area where she can’t hang out anyways.

The first day (tomorrow) is just going to be me and Arya all day alone since daddy has the UFC event to go to as soon as we get off the plane and pick up our car pretty much. His gym friend is fighting again in the UFC, which is the reason we decided to go in the first place.

Hopefully tomorrow will go smoothly and i can check into the room early with arya so I’m not stuck lugging crap around all day or having to wait in a long line for an hour with a possible crabby baby. I wished one of my family members were going or even one of my friends, but I’ll survive… I hope.