Image Map

30 April 2015

San Diego: Part 2

Let's wrap this up...

Now I have nothing against legos (I'm a big fan) and I'm definitely not against theme parks (Disney kid, born and raised) but taking a 3 and 5 year old to Legoland was probably not the best way to spend our money. It was included in the San Diego GoPass, but at their ages there wasn't too much for them to do, 2-3 rides for the little one, a couple more for the 5 year old. It really ended up being a glorified building legos day. My advice go back when your kids are a bit older- this place is perfect for 8-12 year olds. Otherwise the park is fine, the food selection was actually fantastic. They had a market at the beginning of the park with Stonyfield organic yogurt, Sprout baby food squeezes and Ben & Jerry's mini-pint ice cream. The rides were very much kid oriented- I can see why they may have not allowed adults into the park on their own when the place first opened.

Old Town San Diego:
Once upon a time San Diego was a blip on the radar, and they had this cute little town. You can now go "tour" that place. See some of the original buildings, or at least where they once stood. They give daily tours, just about everything is free. Pretty touristy but some decent Mexican food around. You can also go see the blacksmith or the general store. Worth a half-day trip. Another, kind of odd, place to stop while in the area is the Mormon Battalion Museum. Believe it or not, a large group of Mormons helped make the San Diego town the town. They helped build wells, taught the locals how to make bricks etc. The Mormons have made an excellent, hands-on, interactive museum to share this part of the story. At the end you can even pan for gold, work a well, and learn how to bake some bricks. Plus they have a nice tower that gives some great views of the city. Definitely worth the stop, no matter what your religion is.

this little one didn't actual want to go inside any buildings so we just ran around outside..

The New Children's Museum and Balboa Park (again):
I thought the Children's Museum was great, very hands on (as they should be) lots of places to run around, explore, craft. It is on the newer side (hence the new in the name) and a lot of local artists contributed to the different spaces. We enjoyed playing in the giant kitchen sink, making bubbles, and building some fun stuff out of clay. On this day we headed to the bay for lunch which lead to some boat watching and then headed back to Balboa to hang out at a few playgrounds, enjoy the science museum again and scooter around the sidewalks.

and they had a sand pit.. our favorite! 
The San Diego Zoo:
This place more than lived up to its name. The zoo is wonderful, well laid out, lots to see and do, pretty good food, and I could have spent the whole day watching the baby jaguar- who at our time of arrival was almost 4 weeks old. Swoon, gasp, omgee so so cute.  Go to the Zoo. It would be entirely silly to go to San Diego and not visit this zoo.

yep, that is a cheetah and a dog. They are friends- get over it. 

And that was the trip. I definitely recommend San Diego as a place to go. There is so much to do, great food, a lot of craft breweries around which means good beer, you can go to the beach, be a tourist or just walk the streets. A win in my book- would go back someday for sure.
Image Map

29 April 2015

San Diego: Part 1

San Diego. This was honestly a great trip, I mean it wasn't my best trip ever with work, but it definitely wasn't the worst and it was pretty nice to stay in the US.

Plus the last time I was in Cali I was 11. And I knew people in the area which also made things much better.

San Diego though, an awesome place to take kids. There are so many things to do, for everyone, and as I'm sure you've all heard before, the weather ain't too bad (I was actually wearing shorts!)

We did quite a lot while we were around, and we got our money's worth with the San Diego GoPass. I highly recommend this if you are going to the city for three or more days and plan to do all the tourist stuff, like us.

Break the week down:
Friday: SeaWorld San Diego
Saturday: San Diego Zoo Safari
Sunday: Balboa Park
Monday: USS Midway
Tuesday: Legoland
Wednesday: Old Town San Diego
Thursday: The Children's Museum and Balboa Park (again)
Friday: San Diego Zoo

All of these things were either free or included in the GoPass. Balboa Park is a very large park (surprise, I know) in San Diego that houses over 15 mini-museums, plus several restaurants, entertainment centers, playgrounds and more. And at the top of the park is the world famous zoo. You could spend several days hanging out at this place, which we did.

I'm not sure there is too much to say about SeaWorld, it's a lot of fun animal shows, walk-throughs to see aquatic animals and some rides. The kids loved it, I hadn't been to a SeaWorld since high school so it was nice to go back to one, and we did just about everything we could do in a single day.

San Diego Zoo Safari:
This is an extension of the San Diego Zoo located about 30  minutes north of San Diego. If you've ever been to Animal Kingdom at Disney -this was very similar. You can walk around and look at animal enclosures, and take a little cart tour around the "African Plains". You can also add on with other safari expeditions that do other behind the scenes tours, all for an additional fee. The park was nice, for me the best part was a good friend of mine from elementary school drove down with her husband and son and spent the day with me. I hadn't seen her in about 3.5 years, and was able to meet her boy for the first time. And the kids were all super cute together!

it was really hot out..I don't blame this lady for just plopping herself in the pool.

Balboa Park:
We hit the first our of many trips to Balboa Park on a beautiful Sunday morning starting at their Air and Space Museum. The whole park is full of these little museums, each take about an hour to an hour and a half to walk through. Air and Space is, as imagined, full of airplanes, space related items and lots of other memorabilia related to the two. After Air and Space we made a stop for lunch at Panama 66. It was delicious and right on the edge of a sculpture garden the boys ran around in after they ate along with many other kids. They even had blankets available if you wanted to picnic. We also hit up the Model Railway Museum and The Science Museum. We took a ride on the mini-railroad and the carousel.
it's a mini Chupacabra! (if you have small children and have ever watched Planes, you will know what this means..)

we spent a lot of time playing with this contraption at The Science Museum
USS Midway Carrier Ship:
Monday took us to the USS Midway. This is a large naval ship that is now a museum filled with old planes and WWII and The Vietnam War Memorbila. The kids loved this and it was an all day thing. If you've ever been to the Intrepid in NYC, this is very similar, but much better. The layout is better, the information actual pertains to certain eras along with the actual ship and they had more kid stuff. And they had a free audioguide with many stops having a family friendly option. Overall a win. We were actually the last people off the boat that day. Not sure if that is good or bad..

That's the first four days! I think my highlights of the trip were getting to see my friends who lived in the area. I took many of my evenings off, instead of during the day, and this allowed me to grab some good local food and beer with people I actually wanted to hang out with. A friend of mine from college lives in San Diego and we went out for sushi, California burritos and she showed me all the great beaches. This made for a happier me.

Check in tomorrow for Part 2!
Image Map

27 April 2015

Hi, hello, how y'all doing?

Yeah it's cool, you can give me a pat on the back for really keeping up with this place... or not.

Some changes have been going on around these parts and honestly it was just a little easier and less stressful to even think about this space. Hopefully that will all change because (drumroll)...

I got a new job! Woo-hoo! Go me! Party time- throw your hands in the air!

In reality though it was a very emotional last two weeks as I basically said good-bye to two kids that felt like my own (if I had kids). I was and am very attached to J&J and I had countless meltdowns, crying sessions and second thoughts about making the change. Overall though, I think, for myself, I made the right decision and I am hoping and praying every single day their parents still allow me to be a part of their lives.

Happier notes, new job! yay! Still same thing I was doing before, just a new family now. And along with that is much better hours. Working until the same time at night but now don't start until noon. Or some days I'm working normal hours like 10-6, and sometimes I will have later day from 3-11. Either way it means I'm sleeping in, have the ability to run my own errands in the morning or watch the news, whatever. Even feel a bit better about going out at night with my friends or a date...

Summers will be in and out of the city but usually I will have off from Thursday evening to Monday morning. Boo-yah!

Basically, I'm pretty excited. Even if they end up being a little cra (which all families are in their own way), time-wise I think I will be a bit more relaxed and fun.

What this means for my hike... right now, I don't really know. I'm still planning on going, but my timetable might change. If I really, really, really, end up liking this position I am probably going to try and speak to them about maybe taking two summers off and hiking half of the trail one year and the other half the next year. Job wise summer is probably easiest to take off, and for their benefit they could probably pay someone less to work just the summer. If by Jan/Feb I think I'm getting over them, then I will probably just leave and do the trail as planned, just leaving a bit on the later side around beginning/mid-April vs. end of February/March.

I'm still planning on collecting gear this year and getting some practice hikes and trips in- am hoping to look at boots in the next few weeks along with sleeping bags!

Am going to try and put up some San Diego highlights this week and get back into the groove of this space.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Image Map

10 April 2015

can I get a what what?

Hooray! It's Friday!! That  means that a) it's my last day in San Diego and b) I will finally be home tomorrow!! Can't say I've been sorry about the weather though, I actually wore shorts a few times and it was glorious to see my legs again!

San Diego has been a lot of fun, the kids loved it, I've loved it and there is so so much to see. We hit Sea World, The San Diego Zoo Safari, Balboa Park- which is filled with a bunch of mini-museums, the USS Midway Carrier, Legoland, Old Town San Diego, the world famous San Diego zoo and so much more. Even better, this place is filled with delicious craft brews, and I've had a great time on my nights off testing them out.

Did you see that I had "lunch" with Llinos from The Lilac Linnet? It's her new weekly lunch series and was so much fun to participate in. stop by and check it out! 

One of the best parts about San Diego was getting to see some old friends!! My friend Nikki and her husband drove down with their son last Saturday to spend time with me at the Zoo Safari Park and for a bit at Balboa. I've known and been good friends with Nikki since 3rd Grade, but I never see her anymore bc she was living in Montana and now in California. I hadn't seen her in almost 4 years! It was wonderful to catch up and meet her adorable son, plus Big J and Little J got along great with him and it was nice to see them all be buddies! 

and I got to see a friend from college and meet her husband. They live in Coronado where the beaches are literally gold, or at least they look like a glittery world of love. They took me to see some local sites, introduced me to the California burrito (amazing- it has french fries inside) and some delicious local beers. 

I'm so excited to get home and put the finishing touches on my bed- while I was away the matching sheets and shams arrived! and hopefully my essential oils too- excited to try some things out!!

to the good stuff now- the friday link-up! oh hot damn, this my jam is still chugging along and I'd love to see you all link-up. Add your favorite song to your friday post and link-up below! 

grab button for Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles
<div class="blue-giraffes-and-concrete-jungles-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

Happy Friday!!

Image Map

03 April 2015

off to see the wizard,the wizard of San Diego

Actually I'm already in San Diego. Surprise! been here since last night. I'm here with work so it's not all fun and games but we are heading out to see the sites and hopefully I will be able to meet up with a friend or two.

will probably be m.i.a next week and retuning with news of the trip and tips.

on to the week in five...

I'm in official bridal shower planning mode for my friend Leah and having way to much fun picking things out! I can't wait to show everyone the end result come June. I know, so far away!!

 I've finally given into the essential oils trend and am now very much anticipating the arrival of my starter kit. So many great things have been said about them and I cannot wait to try them out. My hopes and dreams for these oils are less breakouts, a better sleep at night and maybe some help with my sucky sinuses? We will see!

 Just about every book I put on hold in January all became available at the same time a few weeks ago, which resulted in me speed reading my way through them before they all expired. Mission accomplished. But now I have nothing new to read!! Any one have any suggestions?? I recently finished The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard, Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, All the Light that We Cannot See, Big Little Lies, Unbroken, The Rosie Project, and Leaving Time. whew. it was a lot. all were enjoyable. Give me some ides!!

not to say I'm reconsidering my hike next year,but current circumstances might delay it a bit... have a bunch of things going on that I can't quite talk about yet- but contemplating splitting the hike in two summers and flip-flopping i.e starting at the half-way point later in the year and walking south, then the next summer starting around the same time at half-way point and walking north. Nothing is set in stone, nothing has really changed, but it may not happen quite like I had originally wanted to. At the end of the day though, whether I can do it in one year or five (I really really hope not!!), the entirety of the trail will be hiked!

did you see my post on Wednesday?! I've started a new Friday link-up, oh hot damn, this my jam! Add a song to your Friday post and link-up below!!

grab button for Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles
<div class="blue-giraffes-and-concrete-jungles-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Easter and Passover!!
Image Map