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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Unforgettable Santa Cruz Island Adventure

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in National Parks, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Ventura An adventurer at heart, visiting Santa Cruz Island was the favorite day of our journey in discovering Ventura County. Rising early was a breeze, just like a little kid off to play and the explore an island! Upon arrival at Ventura Harbor, we were greeted by Cherryl from Island Packers, the boat that will take us on the quick hour trip across the sea. Island Packers has been in business for 47 years, as we learned Cherryl’s dad owned the company which she enthusiastically continues to oversee. The boat will carry 100 people max, so make sure you reserve early. A few helpful tidbits to know before traveling on your island adventure, especially if you plan on staying awhile to enjoy the islands. You can purchase food and beverages on the boat,...

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Hiking Around Manzanita Lake

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in National Parks, Redding, Travel | 0 comments

Before leaving the Lassen Volcanic National Park to head into Redding for the evening, we enjoyed watching the sunset while hiking around Manzanita Lake. The lake is one of the most beautiful lakes to spend quality time with your family. It is also a popular place for families to camp when visiting the National Park, kayak, and fish. The lake was formed 350 years ago from glaciers and flourishes with wildlife. While walking around the lake, it was quiet and peaceful. My kids enjoyed looking at the abundance of birds in the trees and the reflection of Mount Lassen on the crystalline water. The hike is easy and perfect for children of all ages. While hiking around the lake, your family will see streams, plants, and animals. The hike took our family about one hour, and sunset was the...

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Hot Rock in the Lassen Volcanic National Park

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in National Parks, Redding, Travel | 0 comments

If you were not looking for it, then you could easily drive right past the Hot Rock in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. While at the visitors center, the guide had recommended that we stop to see this beautiful wonder while driving through the National Park. The Hot Rock is a giant piece of dacite lava that once filled the Lassen Peak’s volcano crater. The volcano blasted in May of 1915, and this giant rock came down the mountainside. The hot rocks touched off a snow avalanche, and the avalanche carried this 300-ton rock five miles from Lassen Peak. It has been said that the rock was first seen still sizzling forty hours after it ejected from the volcano crater. The rock was beautiful, smooth and massive. It was a great educational experience for our kids to witness while...

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Bucket List Travel Experience: The Bumpass Hell Trail

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Featured, National Parks, Redding, Travel | 1 comment

The entire reason I wanted to plan a stop in Redding during our summer road trip was to take the kids hiking on the Bumpass Hell Trail. Thanks to the internet, my travel bucket list has continued to grow because of people sharing pictures of magical places to visit around the world. When I saw someone post a picture of this trail a couple of years ago, I couldn’t wait to bring my kids to witness the incredible geothermal activity along this trail. The Bumpass Hell Trail is located inside of the Lassen Volcanic National Park (hence all the volcanic activity seen along the trail) and just a short drive away from Redding. When we arrived at the National Park, I stopped at the visitors center to get a map and find out more information about the trail. I...

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The Enchanting Emerald Lake

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in National Parks, Redding, Travel | 0 comments

While driving through the Lassen Volcanic National Park, we couldn’t help but stop to admire the gorgeous Emerald Lake. The lake was one of the most beautiful lakes that I have ever seen in my lifetime, and I was mesmerized by the sparkles from the sun glistening on the emerald green water. We parked our car along the side of the road, and we took our time walking around the lake and admiring the beautiful landscape. While we were there, there were other families kayaking and swimming in the lake, while other families were picnicking along the edge of the water. My kids changed into their swimsuits and had one of the most magical swims of their lifetime in the beautiful water. The water was warm and rich with sea life. There were logs for the kids to climb...

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Sulphur Works Trail in the Lassen Volcanic National Park

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in National Parks, Redding, Travel | 0 comments

While on our family road trip up the state of California, the highlight of our trip was visiting the Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park is just a short distance from the city of Redding and offers families an unforgettable experience. After entering the Lassen Volcanic National Park, our first stop was to explore the Sulphur Works Trail. It was our first time getting to witness real volcanic activity, and the smell was definitely a hard one for my kids to bear. (I recommend bringing a medical mask for your kids to wear when exploring this trail) It was the easiest trail that we explored in the National Park. There was a large parking lot, and the trail was flat while offering some amazing views of geothermal activity. There was bubbling mud, steam, sulfur smell and beautiful blends of...

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Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in National Parks, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

While we were staying at the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, the kids noticed a beautiful lighthouse on the bluff that overlooked the waters surrounding the resort. Their curiosity continued as they began researching the lighthouse on Google during dinner at Vessel Restaurant. What I somehow never realized is that the lighthouse was located at the Cabrillo National Park and is home to the historic Cabrillo National Monument. Excited to explore this National Park that is so close to our home, we woke up early in the morning to explore the National Park. Admission to the National Park is $5 (cash only). Before entering the park, we paid our respects to the many fallen men and women of our military at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Once we were inside of the National Park, we discovered that there...

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Fit for a King: Spending Time with the Sequoias in Central California’s Kings Canyon National Park

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Featured, National Parks, Road Trips, Travel | 0 comments

There’s a measure of explanation that most likely needs to happen when you tell people you’re headed off to Kings Canyon National Park. Specifically, you should be prepared to tell people where exactly it is you’re going. Even though Kings Canyon covers close to 462,000 acres and has been a national park since 1940, it is oftentimes lumped together with the more famous Sequoia National Park. This tends to render it invisible. As such, you’re probably better off telling people that you’re off to the Sequoias, to do Sequoias-related things. They’ll understand and be appropriately excited for/jealous of you. They’ll have every right to express either emotion. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as it is officially dubbed by the U.S. National Park Service, is an exceptional spot for outdoor adventure in Central California. This particularly rings true if...

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Day Trip to Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Featured, National Parks, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

I have always had a love for history. After bringing my kids to visit Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands last summer, I realized that the National Parks Service now owns the once privately owned Island, Santa Rosa. While Santa Rosa has been open to the public since 2011, it is still rarely visited, keeping it pristine, untouched, and a true island paradise off our local coastline. It is a true gem that was once a cowboy ranch, frequented by celebrities, and a legacy to a family who fought hard to keep the island and the ranch that their father had built. Before the island was owned by the Vail family, it was home to many Chumash tribes, leaving the island rich in history. When planning our first visit to Santa Rosa, there was not a lot of...

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Majestic Kings Creek Meadows

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 in Featured, National Parks, Redding | 0 comments

While visiting the Lassen Volcanic National Park, we couldn’t resist taking a break to relax at the Kings Creek Meadows. The meadows are located right across from the Kings Creek Falls, and it is the perfect place for families to stop, relax and refresh while visiting the National Park. The meadows are situated in a valley surrounded by massive hills blanketed with snow and have refreshing winding creeks filled with chilly water. We pulled the car over to the side of the road where there were two other families laying on blankets while enjoying picnic lunches along the creek. The minute the kids spotted the winding creek in the meadows, they jumped out of the car to explore. I sat on the grass while watching my kids frolic and play just like I once did as a child. There...

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