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Glamping in a Tipi under the Stars in Joshua Tree

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in Autos, Featured, Joshua Tree, Kia, Road Trips, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 Vehicle provided by Kia My daughter and I love visiting unique and fun places. Recently, a listing on Airbnb caught our attention as a place that we wanted to visit, and we added it to our travel bucket list over a year ago. During the holiday break, I surprised my daughter with an overnight to Joshua Tree to go glamping in a tipi! Joshua Tree is just a short drive outside of Palm Springs, so we packed up our Kia Sorento and got ready for an unforgettable mother/daughter adventure in the desert. Before checking into our tipi for the night, we went into Joshua Tree National Park to look for “heart rock.” We went on a beautiful hike and were lucky to find the mysterious heart-shaped rock. As the sun started to set, we got back into the car...

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All-Inclusive Luxurious Escape at The Clement Hotel

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in Kia, Palo Alto, Road Trips, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the resort While on our way back to Orange County from San Francisco, we made a one night stop to experience the luxurious all-inclusive, The Clement Hotel. I had heard a lot about the exclusive hotel and couldn’t wait to experience the hotel after a week-long road trip up north. When we arrived at The Clement Hotel, we parked our Kia Sorento in front of the resort, and a bellman came out the front door to welcome us. He took our car key and welcomed us into the hotel for what was going to be a relaxing stay. Once we were checked in, we were given a tour of the beautiful hotel before taken to our suite. The room was spacious and luxurious – everything I wanted out of our stay at the...

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Dana Point Family Travel Guide

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in Dana Point, Featured, Kia, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored Dana Point is the perfect place in Orange County for families to create long lasting memories together. The city is home to some of the best beaches in Orange County and luxurious resorts. When looking for the best place to plan your next family staycation, Dana Point is one of the top choices to have a getaway full of sun and fun. Where to stay There are many resorts in Dana Point that each offer a different vacation experience. The DoubleTree Dana Point is just a few steps away from the beach. They have luxurious suites and guest rooms that offer beautiful ocean views. Your family can rent a bike and cruise around Dana Point when staying at the DoubleTree Dana Point. If you’re looking for a luxurious resort on the cliffs over the pacific ocean, The Ritz-Carlton...

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A ‘Suite’ Staycation at DoubleTree Doheny Beach

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Staycations are the best kind of vacations. Orange County is its own little paradise, and instead of traveling afar to find a beautiful paradise, we try to enjoy as much of the beauty of Orange County by having as many staycations as possible. Our favorite staycations are ones spent by the beach, and our recent staycation at the DoubeTree Doheny Beach was one we will remember forever. The weather was perfect the weekend of our staycation. We arrived on a Friday afternoon at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach and checked into our ocean view suite for the weekend. Within minutes of arriving at the resort, my children had changed into their swimsuits and were ready to go across the street to play at the beach. The beach is just steps away from...

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Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Olamendi’s Dana Point

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort mentioned One of our favorite places to get quick and delicious Mexican food in Orange County is at Olamendi’s. Olamendi’s is located in Dana Point right across from the beach, and was once a favorite dining spot of Richard Nixon. While on a recent staycation at the DoubleTree Suites in Doheny Beach, our family went sailing in Dana Point Harbor and then walked from our resort to Olamendi’s for lunch. The kids love the festive vibe of Olamendi’s Dana Point and always play a game of ISpy while we are dining in the restaurant. There is so much for the kids to see in the restaurant that it keeps them entertained so my husband and I can enjoy some quality time talking without being interrupted by the kiddos. After a long...

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Sunset Cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue While staying at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I enjoyed some romantic time before taking the kids to dinner, watching the sunset at MoQUILA Agave Lounge. The lounge is one of the best-kept secrets in Orange County because it is not super busy on a Friday or Saturday night and offers couples beautiful views of the sunset over the crystalline waters of Doheny Beach. Both nights that we stayed at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I had cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge during the sunset before taking the kids to dinner. The lounge features bar seating right along the edge of the roof, high top tables, couches and a large fire pit in the center. There was plenty of seating for couples, and it never felt crowded...

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Family Sailing in Dana Point Harbor

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Best of OC, Dana Point, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited a guest of the venue One of my favorite things to do as a child growing up in Orange County was to sail my sabot. Growing up just steps away from the water in Newport Beach, my parents got me sailing lessons at a very young age. Once I learned how to sail, my parents couldn’t keep me off the water. I spent every warm day out on the water sailing my hot pink sabot around Newport Harbor. I always thought that when I grew up and had children of my own that I would teach them all to sail, but life happens, and I never got around to teaching any of my children how to sail. I have taken them out sailing a couple of times when in the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica, but none...

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Coastal Breezes and Cuisine at Doheny Surf

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue When checking into the DoubleTree Suites in Doheny Beach, I noticed the chic restaurant off to the side of the lobby. I took a peek at the menu and immediately knew that I wanted to have dinner with the family one night during our seaside staycation. After a fun day creating family memories at the beach, we returned to the hotel to have dinner at Doheny Surf. The restaurant has a coastal design that is perfect for families to enjoy an intimate dinner together. The one thing that I noticed in the restaurant is that they have a wood fire pizza oven which is rare to find in a hotel restaurant. The menu had a wide variety of culinary options making it easy for everyone in my family to find something...

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Hilton Reinvents the California Road Trip

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  In California Summer starts in April. Travelers from around the globe will enjoy the ultimate Golden State adventure with Hilton’s “California Road Trip,” a destination package that inspires thrill-seekers and value-minded explorers. Discover an array of adventures and authentic experiences with rates starting at $149 per night. The package will highlight premier destination cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Anaheim and San Diego with special rates available through Labor Day Weekend 2017. The California Road Trip package features savings of more than $125 per night, with exclusive discount of up to 15 percent on Enterprise/Alamo and National Car Rentals, $25 food and beverage credit (available in MIX Restaurant only), complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, unlimited access to the hotel’s Health Club & Spa and a California Road Trip Road Kit featuring exclusive discounts on local entertainment and attractions. Room...

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The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Best of OC, Museums, Staycation | 2 comments

  “Oh, the places you’ll go.” That is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss, and so true about sharing the world with our children. One of my favorite things to do with my children is to go exploring, and when you explore, you find hidden gems just like we did while on a recent staycation in Laguna Beach. During our staycation, the weather wasn’t as sunny as we had wished, so we made the best of our little getaway and went exploring the different art museums in Laguna Beach. That was when we discovered an amazing hidden gem – The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery. The gallery didn’t have any signage to show us exactly what is was, but a piece of Dr. Seuss artwork that was in the window caught the eye of my younger son...

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Where to Eat, Sleep and Play in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 Sponsored Laguna Beach is our favorite place to getaway from the daily stresses of life and experience a family staycation right in our backyard. We always feel like we are in paradise when staying in Laguna Beach because of the beautiful waters, delicious cuisine, and fun children’s activities. We have made it easy for families to plan their upcoming Laguna Beach getaway with everything you need to know about where to eat, sleep and play in Laguna Beach. Where to Stay The Inn at Laguna Beach Looking for a resort with an ocean view? The Inn at Laguna Beach offers guests some of the best resort ocean views. The rooms are decorated beautifully, and it is centrally located within walking distance to the most popular Laguna Beach restaurants. They offer complimentary wine hour at their rooftop bar and cookies...

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Sun and Sunsets at The Inn at Laguna Beach

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Our favorite place to have weekend staycations is in Laguna Beach. When planning our recent Laguna Beach getaway, we made plans to stay at the highly acclaimed Inn at Laguna Beach. I have seen the hotel many times while walking along Main Beach or driving down PCH, and I couldn’t wait to stay and experience the resort. I picked up my kids early from school on a Friday afternoon and took them down to Laguna Beach. I parked my car in the resort parking lot and walked down to Main Beach to look at the tide pools. The tide was low, and it was the perfect time to see all the beautiful sea life living in the tide pools on Main Beach. After splashing our toes in the ocean, we walked...

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L’Auberge Del Mar Reimagined Guestrooms

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  The 121 guest rooms at L’Auberge Del Mar, A Destination Hotel, located in San Diego’s coastal North County region, have emerged with a fresh new contemporary look masterminded by renowned Los Angeles interior designer Barclay Butera. According to Bob Harter, director of sales and marketing for L’Auberge Del Mar, the room renovations are part of a recently completed refurbishment program, which also impacts meeting spaces and select public areas. “All our latest upgrades are taking a cue from the surrounding surf, sand and sun,” he added. Providing an inspired take on the hotel’s oceanfront location, the new guest rooms have been redone with Butera’s characteristic modern beach flair – marked by clean, transitional “coastal chic” decor. According to Butera, who first redid the resort in 2008, each guestroom now sports a calming backdrop of crisp whites and subdued...

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Dine Inside of a Life-Size Gingerbread House

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Christmas, Dining, Family, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue While our family was visiting Great Wolf Lodge this holiday season, we had the most memorable experience dining inside of a giant life-size gingerbread house. The gingerbread house is located in the lobby of the resort and is adorned with candy treats. The gingerbread house features: 663 pounds of gingerbread dough 5,635 Square feet of Gingerbread 70 Gallons of Icing 1,152 Peeps 450 pounds of Mike & Ikes 135 pounds of gumdrops 85 hours of icing 160 hours of house creation Everyone who visits Great Wolf Lodge during the holidays is drawn to the beauty of the life-size gingerbread house. Inside of the house is a circular table where families are invited to have an unforgettable dining experience. The second it was time for our family to dine in the gingerbread...

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Family Staycation at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored When it comes to staycations, families living in Orange County have so many options, but when it comes to a beachside getaway, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is a premier choice for locals. The historic vacation destination has recently undergone a major renovation and offers guests plush accommodations just steps away from the crystalline waters of the Pacific Ocean. As our children are getting older, it is becoming harder for all of our family to be able to come together on the weekends. The minute that I noticed that my high schooler had a weekend free of commitments, I planned a weekend getaway to The Ranch at Laguna Beach. We packed our beach gear into the car and drove down the coast to the resort. We checked into our room, and within minutes our kids were on a...

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The Great Wolf Lodge Howl-O-Ween Staycation

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Halloween, Holiday, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue When looking for the best place to have a Halloween staycation with your family this year, The Great Wolf Lodge is the place to have a epic Howl-O-Ween getaway. Last week, our family had a weekend getaway to the premier vacation destination, and it was one of the best family staycations we have ever had. We checked into The Great Wolf Lodge on a Friday afternoon, and then took the shuttle over to Disneyland for Mickey’s Halloween Party. Our kids trick-or-treated, enjoyed tasty Halloween-themed treats, and watched the fireworks twinkle over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Once the clock struck midnight, and Disneyland started to close, we made our way back to The Great Wolf Lodge where our children would dream of cake pops and lollipops. Our family would spend the weekend in...

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Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside Weekend Getaway

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue Staycations are my favorite kind of family vacations. It just takes a couple of minutes to toss a couple of outfits into a bag and be poolside at a hotel relaxing within minutes. Because staycations are always far less stressful than major vacations, our family tends to take staycations a lot throughout the year. It is a perfect way to stop, relax, and recharge as a family without a big cost or stress. We found ourselves overly stressed about the start of the school year, so we took our kids to San Diego for the weekend to stay at the new Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside and relieve some of their back-to-school anxiety. The new hotel is centrally located within walking distance of some of the best family attractions in downtown San...

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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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Best Family Hotel in La Jolla: Hyatt Regency La Jolla

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Last year, we started spending a lot of time in La Jolla. We created unforgettable memories kayaking into sea caves, whale watching, visiting the sea lions, and dining at cutting edge restaurants. The one thing that we have not experienced was staying the night together as a family in La Jolla until recently. Instead of making our summer trip a day trip, we made it a weekend getaway by staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla is located just a short distance from the crystalline La Jolla waters and activities. The moment that we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the charming staff. Our kids relaxed in the children’s lounge while I checked us into our room for the weekend. The moment that we...

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La Jolla Strand Beach

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed in La Jolla as a guest of the Hyatt While staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, I wanted to visit a beach that didn’t have the crowds that La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove have. The staff at the hotel recommended we visit La Jolla Strand Beach for the afternoon, and it was one of the most beautiful beaches I have visited. Since the beach isn’t overcrowded, parking is easy at La Jolla Strand Beach. We parked our car and carried our beach gear for just a few steps until finding a perfect intimate cove to spend the afternoon together as a family. There are lots of various rock formations along the cliffs that carve out the beach creating a lot of places for families to feel like they have the beach all to themselves....

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Family-Friendly Asian Cuisine at Cafe Japengo

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Dining, Family, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, we had an unforgettable dinner at Cafe Japengo. When we first made our reservations at the restaurant, I was concerned that it might not have enough kid-friendly options, but the staff at the Hyatt ensured me that it was the best choice for dinner, and they were right. After a day of fun in the sun, we walked across the street for dinner. The staff welcomed us and found a comfortable table for us to enjoy dinner. While looking over the menu, I was overwhelmed with the large variety of healthy options on their kid’s menu. From udon noodles to a bento box, there was something for all of my children to enjoy. We started dinner with the house made chicken potstickers topped...

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San Diego Staycation at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort San Diego is one of my favorite summer staycation destinations with the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina being one of the premier resorts for families. The resort is centrally located right on the waterfront and is just steps away from the popular Gaslamp Quarter. With summer right around the corner, I couldn’t wait to plan a family staycation at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, so we had a pre-summer getaway. I made plans to stay during my son’s birthday weekend so he could enjoy some relaxation by the pool and have dinner at a restaurant he had wanted to try, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. When we first arrived at the resort, we checked into our luxurious room that had beautiful panoramic views of San Diego. There was a small...

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Getting Prepared for Summer Camping

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Camp, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Shopping, Staycation, Travel | 66 comments

 Sponsored We have tried camping a couple of times with our children but was never able to have a successful camping trip because of being unprepared. We never invested in a proper tent, camping stove or camping light. The result was a terrible camping experience that left us not wanting to camp ever again. Well, as our kids have been getting older, they continually ask us if we can go on a family camping trip, so we made the commitment to purchase the proper camping supplies at Kohl’s, and give it another try. Kohl’s has a great selection of camping supplies from tents to stoves making it an easy one-stop shopping destination to prepare for our weekend camping trip. We invested in a really nice (and pretty) Coleman eight-person tent, a Coleman 3-in-1 propane camping stove, and a Coleman...

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36 Hours in Newport Beach Seaside Staycation

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 Sponsored We are lucky to have our own paradise right in our backyard and don’t have to travel far to enjoy a beautiful seaside staycation. Growing up in Newport Beach, it holds a special place in my heart, and is one of my favorite staycation destinations in Orange County. After a busy couple of days in Mexico with my children, we refreshed, recharged, and reconnected by spending 36 hours in Newport Beach, and created memories that will last a lifetime. We began our seaside staycation by checking into the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. The resort is one of the oldest hotels in Newport Beach, and yet always stays updated with the current traveling trends. After checking into the hotel, we immediately went to the pool where my children giggled, splashed, and played for hours. The resort features two pools...

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Epic Family Staycation at The Pacific Edge Hotel

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue It has been a couple of years since we last had a family getaway to the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, and when I noticed the temperatures were getting warmer, I immediately jumped at the chance to stay near the beach for the weekend. The weather was perfect, the hotel was plush, the food was incredible, which made our weekend one of the best family staycations that we have had in a long time. We arrived on a Friday evening after the kids were done with school, and my husband was done with work. We checked into our room just in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Pacific ocean. The kids squealed with delight while watching dolphins jumping in the waves while the sun slowly disappeared on the...

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The Hilton Garden Inn Old Town San Diego

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed at the property as a guest While we venture down south to San Diego multiple times a year, we haven’t gone to Old Town for almost ten years. It was while on a staycation visiting Old Town, that my son had his first allergic reaction at the age of two, almost lost his life, and we have never returned until recently. When we heard the news of the Hilton Garden Inn opening their beautiful new property right in the heart of Old Town San Diego, we felt conflicted at first about whether we should return. We made the decision that there is just too much culture and history that we are keeping away from our kids by never bringing them to Old Town, so we made the choice to book a getaway. We parked our car at...

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Sneak Peek Photo Tour of The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Orange County locals have been awaiting the time that The Ranch at Laguna Beach would open to the community for the ultimate staycation and for visitors to enjoy what we love so much about this beautiful place in which we live. Earlier this summer, we visiting The Ranch at Laguna Beach for breakfast and got a tour of the beautiful rooms at the boutique hotel. We spent many summer nights watching movies on the big screen of the resort lawn while our kids were soaking in the beautiful of the Laguna Canyon that surrounded us. We began our first visit to The Ranch at Laguna Beach by enjoying a delicious breakfast while watching guests playing a round of golf. Once we were done savoring the delicious cuisine prepared by the incredibly talented onsite chef, we jumped onto a...

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Five Things We are Excited about Great Wolf Lodge SoCal + 2-Night Stay Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Featured, Giveaways, Staycation, Travel | 165 comments

  The highly anticipated time has come for the Great Wolf Lodge SoCal to open their doors to the public. The family-friendly resort will be an epic Orange County Staycation getaway, and is centrally located in the heart of Orange County being just a short drive away from Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. With the opening just weeks away, we can barely contain our excitement, and these are the five things that we are the most excited about Great Wolf Lodge SoCal opening. The Water Park The indoor water park will feature 105,000 square feet of water play fun. Kids will scream with delight while sliding down one of the three-story body slides, go on a rafting adventure on the 476-foot long family raft ride or say “cowabunga” while spiraling down the Coyote Canyon pipe-style flume ride. The Dining...

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Exploring La Jolla Sea Caves with Everyday California

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 in Cool Places, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue After visiting the Holy Jim Cave in La Jolla last month, I couldn’t wait to plan a return visit to explore the La Jolla sea caves via the water. The one company that stood out to me amongst the others in the area was Everyday California. They share the same passion for preserving the ocean sealife and educating the community on the importance of our eco-system. We reserved our tickets in advance and stayed the night in La Jolla at the La Valencia. It was the perfect Mother/Daughter staycation overnight getaway. After a relaxing night in La Jolla, we woke up early in the morning and had breakfast at the Shorehouse Kitchen, which is directly next door to Everyday California. After my daughter and I had enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we...

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8 Reasons to Plan a Family Staycation at Hotel Irvine

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue Staycations are the perfect way for families to relax, refresh, and reconnect. While many families plan their staycations at resorts that are nestled along the beautiful Orange County coastline, Hotel Irvine offers a premier location for families to getaway from the daily stress for a weekend. When planning to attend the Hotel Irvine Block Party benefitting ISPS, we planned to spend the weekend at Hotel Irvine to see what OC families can expect when staying at the property. The hotel far exceeded our expectations for a family getaway destination, and these are eight reasons why your family should plan a getaway to this family-friendly hotel. Space One of the biggest struggles when traveling with a family of five is finding hotels that offer enough space for us to be comfortable. With...

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Descanso Beach Club at Catalina Island

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Catalina Island, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  One of the most popular destinations for families visiting Catalina Island to have a beach day is the Descanso Beach Club. The beach club has everything that families could desire for a family beach day. There are cabana rentals, luxurious beach chair rentals, kayaks, snorkel gear, turquoise water and ocean front dining. The beach club offers a complimentary shuttle from downtown making it easier for families to visit. Once you’re at the beach club, it is complimentary to sit on the beach surrounding the cove. The cabanas and beach chairs are available at an additional charge, and we recommend reserving them in advance (especially on weekends, summer and holidays). We arrived at the beach club after spending the first part of our visit touring the island on a golf cart. We found a table at the restaurant right...

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Ultimate Family OC Staycation at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the hotel The ultimate family OC Staycation is awaiting your family at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel. When we found out about the hotel’s Random Acts of Summer special, we couldn’t wait to make reservations to create unforgettable memories at the center of SoCal. Not only is the Hilton Anaheim Hotel centrally located to all the family fun in Orange County, but they are also offering the Random Acts of Summer package that includes: Over $300 in savings at top so-cal attractions Accomodations Daily breakfast for four (a $100 value) Wifi ($14 daily value) Access for two to their first-class health club (a $28 daily value) After being away from my family for a busy three days covering the Disney D23 Expo, we came back together to bond as a family with a staycation...

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End of Summer Staycation at The Mission Inn

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 The time’s close for the school bell to ring, and the perfect time for an end of Summer staycation at the historic Mission Inn. The luxurious resort is one the most highly sought after staycation destinations in Riverside making it a special place to end your family summer memories. Currently, the resort is offering last minute end of summer packages to make your visit unforgettable. Reservations are available by calling 800.843.7755 or online End of Summer travel packages at The Mission Inn: Disneyland Package – Starting at $560 · Overnight Deluxe accommodations · A $50 dining credit to spend at any of the hotel’s award-winning restaurants · Disneyland tickets for two adults and two children (one day/one park) · Complimentary valet parking Splash Kingdom Package – Starting at $268 · Overnight Deluxe accommodations · A $50 dining credit...

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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...

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Romantic Weekend Getaway at Maison 140 in Beverly Hills

Posted by on Aug 1, 2015 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the hotel When was the last time you had a romantic weekend getaway. For many moms, it is hard to find the time to getaway from their children to spend some quality time with their spouse. While I was in Los Angeles visiting Universal Studios Hollywood with my children, I stayed the night at Maison 140 in Beverly Hills. I discovered that it was the perfect boutique hotel to have to a romantic weekend away with my husband. From the moment that I drove up to the hotel, I fell in love with it. The front of the hotel has a clean, sophisticated look with a European flare. The hotel was built in the 1930’s and was once home to silent film stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish. Our evening at Maison 140 began...

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Exploring the La Jolla Sea Caves – Sunny Jim Cave

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

  I’ve kept seeing an online discount for kayaking into the La Jolla Sea Caves for years and decided to be spontaneous by surprising the kids with a visit for the first time this afternoon. The kids and I jumped into the car and made our way down the 5 freeway to La Jolla where we were about to embark on the most memorable day trip of our summer. One of the most popular ways to visit the sea caves is via kayaks, but since I was with the kids alone, I didn’t want to attempt to kayak without another adult to help ensure the kids were safe on the water. There is one place that families can visit the sea caves without water access, and it is hidden inside of a small store on the La Jolla Shores...

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Five Tips for Camping with Kids

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Camp, Family, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Taking the kids camping can be one of the most exciting, fun and exhilarating vacations you’ve ever had…or one of the most frustrating, annoying and miserable ones. It all depends on setting your expectations and putting in the time to properly plan it. The most important lesson can be lifted from the Boy Scouts motto, “be prepared.” Having interacted with families seeking a camping adventure at Newport Dunes for more than 20 years, I have witnessed, firsthand, the trials and tribulations they face and I’ve developed some basic tips that will ensure that your entire family will be “happy campers”: Get Involved Include you children in the planning process and try a test run in the backyard. Teach the children how to pitch a tent, help them become familiar with the sounds of the outdoors, point out constellations,...

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Royal Disneyland Staycation at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Disney, Featured, Staycation, Theme Parks, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the hotel Families can experience the royal treatment when taking their next Disneyland staycation at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. The hotel is located just a block away from Disneyland Resort and offers guests an interactive royal staycation experience. After celebrating the kick-off of the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration at the Disneyland Resort, our family was treated like royalty during our stay at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. Upon checking into the hotel, we escaped to our beautifully remodeled room that made our children feel like they were sleeping inside a real castle. The room featured bright, fresh colors with castle-themed accents. Our family of five was able to settle into our room comfortably with plenty of room for a rollaway bed while still having enough space for our children to move around....

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Romantic Getaway at Island Hotel

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the property When was the last time that you had a weekend getaway with your husband? If you’re anything like me…it’s been awhile. As my husband and I approached our 17 year wedding anniversary, we planned a romantic getaway at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. When the kids got out of school last Friday, the weather was perfect for an afternoon swim. Since their Grandparents were not picking them up until 4pm, I surprised them by taking them to the hotel to swim. We checked into the hotel, and were advised to take the elevator up to visit the Island Club. Upon entering the Island Club, the kids were in heaven and wished that they were going to have the opportunity to stay with us when they saw the all-you-can-eat candy and...

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Family Guide to The Ronald Reagan Library

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Featured, Museums, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the LA Visitors Bureau The Ronald Reagan Library has been a place that I have wanted to take my children to visit for many years. While it just seems like it is just a short drive to this part of Los Angeles, it can be quite a long drive from Orange County – especially if you’re driving with young children. When I found out about the promotional event, Culture L.A., where families could have a significant discount on a local hotel and museum tickets, I immediately booked a family staycation getaway to Los Angeles. We reserved a night at the Werner Center Marriott that is just a short distance from the Ronald Reagan Library. When we first checked into the hotel, the kids immediately dashed down to the indoor pool where they spent...

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A Fabulous Day at The Flower Fields

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Events, Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 We visited as a guest of the Flower Fields My husband, son and I visited The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. We were there as part of a special media tour. It was very fun and informative. We learned many new things about The Flower Fields that we had never known before today. These things were shared by Paul Ecke III (the Ecke Family started the flower fields) and also by the General manager of The Flower Fields Fred Clark. Our Journey through The Flower Fields started on an antique tractor ride. Once we boarded the tractor our tour began. We headed towards the field furthest away from the tractor start. The Ranunculus are planted sequentially so that the first bloom start all the way on the field to the left and then move towards the right as the weeks...

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San Diego Staycation at the Hilton Mission Valley San Diego

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the property San Diego is the premier staycation destination for families living in Orange County. With such a large variety of hotels in the San Diego area, it can be overwhelming when trying to find a hotel that best meets the needs of a growing young family. Recently, when planning a quick weekend getaway from the stresses of everyday life, we made reservations to stay at the newly renovated Hilton Mission Valley San Diego. The hotel is conveniently located near hotel circle within a short distance from Sea World, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. We started the weekend exploring the local museums at Balboa Park before checking into the hotel. Upon arrival, we were greeted by some of the friendliest employees we have ever come across while traveling. They helped us...

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Italian Romance at The Resort at Pelican Hill

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Featured, Staycation, Travel, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

 Rekindle your romance this Valentine’s Day at The Resort at Pelican Hill. During the month of February, the resort has luxurious and romance packages for the the ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day. Ready for Romance Spa Suite Experience Embrace romance with an aromatherapy oil blending experience for two, followed by a couple’s Duet Massage featuring Aroma Intentions Massages with your freshly blended Ready for Romance oil. Celebrate your love together in the private Spa Suite with sparkling Prosecco, chocolate truffles and spa cuisine lunch entrees for two. $510* Monday – Thursday, or $590* Friday – Sunday Dinner of the Senses February 14 An intimate and sensual dining experience, Pelican Hill’s popular Dinner of the Senses stimulates each of the five senses of sight, touch, taste, scent and sound. Created by Coliseum Pool & Grill’s Chef Micah, the seven-course menu for...

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Romantic Getaway at Ponte Vineyard Inn in Temecula

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Staycation, Temecula, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of Ponte When was the last time you had a romantic weekend away without the children? For my husband and I, it has been since the birth of my third child who is now eight years old. With both my husband and I working long hours and the kids keeping us busy, we have found it harder and harder to find time to focus on our marriage. So, we sent the kids to the Grandparent’s house for the weekend and escaped to Temecula for a romantic weekend at the Ponte Vineyard Inn. The moment that we took our first steps into the picturesque vineyard and breathed in the fresh country air, a sense of tranquility came over us. The resort is nestled in-between miles of grape vines giving us a secluded feel in the...

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Five Best Places for Family Camping in Orange County

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Best of OC, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 4 comments

  Camping can be one of the best ways to reconnect with your family. Roasting marshmallows over a fire and telling campfire stories will create lifelong memories for your children. Families don’t have to travel far to have an ultimate camping experience with Orange County being home to some of the most beautiful campgrounds in the state. Campsites are already booking up for the summer months so now is the best time to start planning your trip to go camping in Orange County.   The Newport Dunes 1131 Back Bay Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660 (949) 729-3863 Not good at pitching a tent? Your family can still get the same camping experience while “glamping” at one of the Newport Dunes cabins. Bring your swimsuit because your kids are going to want to take a dip in the water or...

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Couples Getaway to San Diego

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  When was the last time you and your husband found time to getaway for an overnight without the children? For my husband and I, it had been almost 10 years. After having children, we found that we never wanted to be apart from them. Then we learned that we can be better parents to our children by taking time away to strengthen our marriage. We attempted our first getaway without the kids a couple of months ago, but being close to LegoLand we found ourselves quickly calling the Grandparents to bring them down to see us. We were eager to try another getaway, so we found that San Diego was close – yet far enough away for us to enjoy time together. I grew-up sitting on my dad’s lap watching baseball games since I was just a baby,...

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Where can Metrolink take you?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We traveled as a guest of the Metrolink Metrolink makes going anywhere, anytime Saturday or Sunday cost-effective and very fun. We recently took a trip on the metrolink to San Juan Capistrano using a special ticket they gave us to promote their Unlimited Weekend Pass. For 10 dollars you can get one of these Unlimited Weekend Passes. With this pass you can go anywhere that Metrolink travels.This was our first trip taking the Metrolink, and I will say we were all around very impressed. Finding our destination was very easy with their online site,it had great ideas on where to go. Once we chose where we were going to go, all we had to do was look up times and then drive to the station and board our train. Our kids found this very fun. They loved being able...

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Disconnect From the Crowds in America’s National Parks

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored If you feel like it’s time for a holiday with your kids that gets them away from their cell, tablet, or iPod, consider visiting some of the top national parks around the U.S. In this age of constant hyper-connectivity, there aren’t many places that allow families to properly disconnect and find serenity. Parks that stretch out for thousands of miles in every direction tend to be one of the best choices available, and with so many to visit around the country, you won’t be lacking for choice. Read on for some of the best national parks you can consider spending your next family vacation at. Rocky Mountain Well-known Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2015 and is a great place to get away from it all. The sanctuary spreads over more than 265,000...

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Holiday ‘Frozen’ Let it Snow Staycation at the Four Seasons Westlake Village

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the Four Seasons The holidays are a magical time, and they can also be a stressful time. It is easy to find ourselves wrapped up in shopping, baking, wrapping and celebrating but what is most important during the holidays is spending quality time with those whom you love. Every year, we plan a weekend staycation during the holidays to stop, refresh, relax and focus on enjoying magical moments with our children. While it’s hard to get away from work and all the holiday craze, this has become one of our favorite family holiday traditions. This year we planned a holiday staycation at the Four Seasons Westlake Village because of their holiday “Frozen” travel package. The package includes admission to their “Let it Snow” holiday extravaganza, luxurious accommodations, a character breakfast, photo opportunities and...

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Discovery Cube Comes to Los Angeles

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Activities, Events, Museums, Staycation, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Discovery Cube For more than 25 years the Discovery foundation has been impacting the lives of children in Orange County and now they will start with Los Angeles with the opening of the Discovery Cube Los Angeles. On November 13, 2014, families and school’s will be able to visit the Discovery Cube Los Angeles in the Hanson Dam Recreational Area in Lake View Terrace neighborhood which is the first major museum in the San Fernando Valley. Guests will be delighted to see some updated versions of the popular exhibits that are at the Discovery Cube Orange County, but they will also see some amazing new attractions. They like to say DCLA is not Your Grandmother’s Science Center, it is technologically more advanced. There are more than 71,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits for...

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Family Staycation at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Featured, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of Paradise Point Paradise is not a plane ride away, and can be found just an hour drive down the coast in San Diego. Over the summer, our family created incredible family memories at the waterfront resort, Paradise Point. While at the resort, we truly felt like we were on a tropical island enjoying water sports, activities, and more. When we first arrived at the resort, we were greeted with refreshing lemon flavored water and accommodating staff members who took us to our bungalow on a luxurious golf cart. After being personally guided to our weekend hideaway, we were given the key to paradise. The waterfront bungalow featured enough room for our growing family of five to have a relaxing weekend together in San Diego. It had a large bedroom, family room, two bathrooms,...

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Learning How to Surf at Paradise Point Resort

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Paradise Point While visiting the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, we signed our kids up for the Paradise Surf Academy by Mission Bay Aquatic Center. Our kids love the ocean, and we knew that they would love the opportunity to learn how to surf while on our summer staycation. When we checked into the resort, the staff gave our children a souvenir tote filled with all the necessary paperwork, release forms, towels and tickets for the ferry ride across the bay. The kids bursted with excitement when receiving the information, and could not wait until the following day to begin their surfing lessons. The morning of their surfing lessons, the kids put on their favorite swim gear and walked to the docks to ride the ferry to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center....

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Exploring Space at the Griffith Observatory

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Activities, Featured, Museums, Staycation | 0 comments

  My family loves our Funday Sundays.  It’s a day that we spend together doing something new.  For our most recent adventure we decide to head up to Los Angeles and visit the Griffith Observatory. Built after Colonel Griffith J. Griffith’s, the Griffith Observatory was constructed for the public and donated to the City of Los Angeles in order to help broaden human perspective. Opened in 1935, over 12 million people have admiring our solar system through the telescopes at the observatory. These amazing telescopes offer astounding views of the sun, stars and planets which cannot be seen by naked eye.  The architecture is incredible and definitely memorable. Fun Fact: Griffith Observatory was used to help train the first astronauts for the Apollo missions to the moon in the 1960s. Now many of you think that an observatory is something...

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Los Angeles Food & Wine Getaway at the Westin Bonaventure

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the Los Angeles Food & Wine Event The highly anticipated event of the summer, The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, is starting this weekend. It is the perfect time to send the kids over to the grandparents for the weekend, and have a romantic epicurean weekend escape with your husband at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites. Or even better yet, surprise the grandparents by bringing them along for the weekend to help play with the kids by the pool while you and your husband enjoy delicious cuisine, fantastic entertainment, chef demonstrations and more during the four-day event. Last weekend, we spent a couple of days in Los Angeles exploring some of the incredible restaurants that will be featured during the festival and stayed at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites. The...

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Palm Springs Air Museum

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

  Are your kids interested in airplanes?  Mine weren’t, but once they visited the Palm Springs Air Museum (PSAM) they were enamored.   If you haven’t heard about the museum here is a little back story. The Palm Springs Air Museum is a non-profit educational institution, dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of WWII aircrafts.  The museum opened on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1996 and contains two 20,000 sq. ft. hangars and a 15,700 sq. ft. hangar, which is home to the museum’s flying B-17. Many of the museum volunteers are veterans who have flown and are willing to share their experiences.  Quite a few of the aircraft on display at the museum are fully restored with complete engines. Three to four airplanes are licensed to fly and regularly make flight exhibitions at the PSAM and at air shows each...

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Dana Point Staycation at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa A vacation doesn’t always have to be reached by an airplane or long road trip, sometimes the best vacations are those we call a staycation.  I checked into the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, perched on top of the hill over-looking the Dana Point Harbor boasting gorgeous views.  I was impressed with the vintage Woody that welcomes guests upon arrival, and surprised to learn it’s in working order.  The Woody was the perfect accent to give me that relaxed feeling that being near the beach provides. If you’ve haven’t traveled to Dana Point, its an quick drive from John Wayne Airport and easily accessible from Interstate 5.  Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa recently refurbished 378 guest rooms, plus 15 suites with coastal-inspired designs and casual elegance. Once my luggage was unloaded by...

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Downtown Staycation at the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of Omni If you’ve read my other travel blog posts, you know that I am a huge advocate for traveling with kids and exposing them to as much as possible.  One place in particular that I have wanted to introduce my kids to is Los Angeles. I know you’re probably thinking Los Angeles what does that have to do with travel it’s only 45 minutes away (with no traffic).  That’s the amazing thing about LA, it’s only a few miles away and yet it can be a destination for a family vacation.  The first thing that I did was research child friendly hotels.  Once I narrowed down my search I had to decide on what part of LA to discover.  I love history and old LA so for me it wasn’t much of a...

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Looking for whales? Let Captain Dave in Dana Point Show the Way

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Events, Featured, Staycation | 2 comments

 We attended as a guest of Dana Point Whales are incredible creatures, to see one is an amazing experience for young and old alike.  Dana Point is the whale watching capital of the world, here, in our own “backyard”!  Its harbor offers some of the most unique ways to view these majestic mammals, as well as, herds of migrating dolphin, sea lions and other sea life.  I was fortunate to cruise the coast with Captain Dave and learn about his passion, marine life here in Orange County. Dave Anderson, better known as Captain Dave, is an experienced marine naturalist, award winning author and filmmaker, photographer and conservationist. He truly cares about the whales he seeks and their safety.  His boats are equipped to rescue whales that have become tangled in fishing nets and began Orange County’s first disentanglement program.  Captain Dave organized...

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Top Family-Friendly Things to do in Dana Point

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

   Dana Point offers 7 miles of continuous coastline with many activities for locals and visitors to enjoy.  Recently, I had the pleasure of seeking out some favorites among the locals and maybe some new adventures you may not know about.  Join me for a guide to Dana Point. Ritz Carlton Eco Adventure Center Did you know that the Ritz Carlton Laguna has an Eco Adventure Center that is open to kids, youth and families?  Did you know that the Eco Adventures at the Ritz Carlton are available to guests of the hotel AND to those that live locally wanting to experience their amazing programs?  It’s true! It wasn’t until I toured the Ritz Carlton Laguna in Dana Point that I discovered it hosts many wonderful eco adventures for kids (ages 5 to 8), youth (ages 9 – 16) and adults and the programs...

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Ultimate Summer Adventure: Catalina Night Zip Lining

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Is your family looking for an ultimate summer adventure this year? Just a short boat ride away from Orange County, the Santa Catalina Island Company, has recently launched night zip lining! Families will have a thrilling experience zip lining at heights of 300 feet and speeds up to 45 mph under the stars with the Island’s longest-running and top-rated zip line eco tour. Beginning at the Hog’s Back gate, high in the hills near Avalon and descending through Descanso Canyon, guests will pause at several eco-stations along the way where they will be given a presentation on some of the unique and interesting aspects of Catalina Island, its wildlife, history and the local areas. There’s minimal lighting on the course for this thrilling adventure, so participants are outfitted with reflective strips and head lamps. Create and unforgettable summer...

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Dana Point Harbor, The Perfect SUP Destination

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We attended a media trip as a guest of Dana Point Many of us in Orange County take for granted the pure beauty of where we call home, including the vast activities that await us.  I am guilty of putting off stand up paddle boarding, something that I really wanted to try.  It wasn’t until I received an invitation that I made the time to take to the water, and I am glad I did. I’m sure by now you’ve seen many people on the Coast of Southern California or in our own Dana Point Harbor, a perfect location for first timers, gliding through the water on a stand up paddle board wishing you were out there too.  I was excited to experience SUP (stand up paddle boarding) because of the calm waters Dana Point Harbor offers and the spectacular views.  My group was filled...

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FLOE Lounge at the Irvine Marriott

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Dining, Featured, Staycation | 0 comments

  As I walked through the sliding glass doors, the first thought that popped into my mind was, “THIS is a Marriott?!” It was so far removed from what I was accustomed to for a chain, I stared in disbelief. Their lobby area resembled living rooms only seen in catalogs, with oceanic hues and natural textures. A Jason Mraz-esque crooner performed on his electric guitar. And this was just the entrance. Our experience flowed through a bar and lounge area, informal dining room and outdoors. These flexible spaces offered options for guests seeking refuge from their everyday surroundings. One couple pushing a stroller was being seated, while a nearby trio celebrated girls’ night out. I spotted business travelers decompressing on the chic patio after surviving a day of meetings. It was an assortment of people-watching, although what stood out...

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Ultimate Family Staycation at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of Newport Beach With the Newport Beach Film Festival starting next week, it is the perfect time to plan a staycation at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. I have been coming to the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach every Easter Sunday for brunch since I was just a little girl, and for the first time, my family planned a staycation at the resort over Spring Break. I could not wait to arrive at the resort for the weekend, so the kids and I arrived early for a little pool time before my husband was done at work. The kids were greeted from the front desk staff with warm chocolate chip cookies and sippy cups that they could use throughout the resort for unlimited drink refills. Then it was time to check-out the pool! The resort...

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Orange County Family Staycation at the Wyndham Irvine

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Before life got busy, my husband and I would go away once a quarter for some R&R. Then we had our 2 children and it went from once a quarter to a yearly vacation. Between long work hours, school activities, birthday parties and of course the kid’s extracurricular activities who can get away? Once in a while we have a random day off and decide to go away, but after experiencing a 2 hour gridlock on the 5 each time, that option was scratched. I was talking to my friends about our dilemma and one mom asked way we don’t have a staycation. In my mind staycation meant staying at home, cleaning and cooking while the rest of the family relaxed. My friend explained that sure we could do that or we could go away to a local...

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Blue Skies Ahead at The Wyndham Irvine

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Events, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  It’s “Blue Skies Ahead” for the newly renovated Irvine Wyndham Hotel.  I was invited to attend the launch party for the 10 million dollar complete renovation of the Wyndham Hotel in Irvine, so I took the opportunity to make it a girls night out.  My friend Simone and I enjoyed incredible food from local vendors, hand crafted cocktails and jaw-dropping performances! The Wyndham has been transformed into a hip and modern hotel that rivals its local competitors. 335 guest rooms have been stylishly updated with soothing tones and all new furnishings including Beautyrest pillow top mattresses which were truly cozy. Rooms have work stations, 40″ flat screen HDTV’s and complimentary wifi in case your visiting and still need to be connected. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to/from John Wayne Airport, offers a business center, meeting rooms, complimentary wifi throughout the property, full...

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Guide to Whale Watching in Orange County

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in Best of OC, Events, Staycation | 0 comments

 I remember my first whale-watching trip off the coast of Morro Bay in the Central Coast at age 10 with my grandfather. With binoculars in hand and the wind blowing, we spotted several whales just feet away. The crowd gasped as the mist from the whale’s spout rained over our little boat. This brief, quiet interaction of these majestic creatures would be a moment I would never forget. Whales are on their annual migration from feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to breeding and mating spots in the lagoons off Baja – and what a season it has been. According to Dana Wharf, one of the most popular whale watching tour companies in Orange County, this has been a record season for spotting whales with more than 549 sightings of gray whales alone. With just a few weeks left...

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The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Eco-adventure Center

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  One of the biggest things that drew us to want to plan a staycation this winter at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is the on-site Eco-adventure Center. At this center, families can learn about the environment surrounding the resort through tours, activities and educational walks. The resort offers two complimentary excursions daily for guests staying at the resort. There is the garden tour that is offered daily from 9am to 10am. While, on the tour, guests will visit the resorts garden where the executive chef hand-picks fruits, vegetables and herbs. The guide will also educate families on the benefits of sustainable gardening practices encouraging families to start their own backyard garden at home. The other complimentary tour is the Connect the Dots excursion. My children loved this tour as their learned about environmental practices and how they impact Mother...

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Staycation Adventure at The LegoLand Hotel

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Featured, LegoLand, Staycation, Theme Parks, Travel | 1 comment

  Is your family in need for an adventure? Looking for somewhere unique to have a staycation together? Then the LegoLand Hotel is the perfect destination to take your family on the adventure of a lifetime. From the moment that we drove up to the Lego adorned hotel, a fire-breathing dragon made completely out of Legos blew a steam over our car. Then once we stepped foot into the hotel, we were swept into a magical world made of Legos. The LegoLand Hotel is a thee-story hotel where every floor has a different theme. There are the pirate themed rooms, the adventure themed rooms, and the kingdom themed rooms. Since we were on a quest for an ultimate adventure, we stayed in the adventure themed rooms. There are two types of rooms on every floor that includes the standard...

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Family Staycation at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

  One of our favorite places to retreat for a family staycation in Orange County is The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. It is like our own little private paradise right in our backyard to getaway from all the stress of daily life. With the holidays in full effect, we found our family in need of a break from our busy holiday schedule, so we packed our suitcases, and headed to the ocean front resort for the weekend. From the moment, that we arrived at the resort, we left behind all of our holiday stress. We were greeted in the inviting atmosphere with the kindest staff who offered the children a bite of salt water taffy, and whisked our bags up to our home away from home for the weekend. The staff shared their genuine and gracious hospitality as they walked...

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Win a Night Stay at Pacific Edge Hotel and NYE Tickets

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Dining, Events, Holiday, New Year's Eve, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 Sponsored The hottest New Year’s Eve party in Orange County is happening at The Deck on Laguna Beach, and the Bungalows at the Pacific Edge Hotel this year. The “A Roaring Affair NYE 2014” party is going to include a cocktail party, late night soiree, tasting dinner, and more. The Pacific Edge Hotel is hosting a giveaway for a one night stay at the hotel and two tickets to the NYE party for one lucky couple to win. There are just a limited amount of tickets left to purchase for the party – so I recommend getting them today so that you don’t miss ringing in the New Year at this fun celebration. The party will include: 7-10 p.m. – Cocktail Party & Tasting Dinner at The Bungalows The Bungalows will hold a highly-fashionable progressive cocktail party dinner. Guests...

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Photo Tour of the LegoLand Hotel Holiday Decorations

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Christmas, Holiday, LegoLand, Staycation, Theme Parks, Travel | 0 comments

  The Legoland Hotel first opened their doors in April of 2013, and this is the first year that guests can spend the holidays at this kid-friendly resort. The three-story, 250 room hotel brings children’s imagination to life with its themed rooms and Lego models. There are 3,422 Lego models in the hotel created out of more than three million Lego bricks! Your family will experience an unforgettable stay when visiting the LegoLand Hotel this holiday season. The entire hotel is decorated for the holidays with holiday shaped Lego structures, garland and more. We are thrilled to share a photo tour of the unique holiday decorations at the LegoLand Hotel this holiday season with you. Inside of the lobby of the hotel is a giant Lego Christmas tree. Your family will be able to take incredible photographs in front...

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Hollywood Getaway with Loews Hollywood Hotel

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 Sponsored Hollywood is just a short drive from Orange County, making it a great place for a Hollywood getaway staycation. Hollywood is home to some of the best theater, dining and entertainment in Southern California. I recently visited Hollywood for the World Premiere of the Walt Disney Animated Film “Frozen,” and enjoyed a fun staycation at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The hotel is in the process of a major renovation, and much of the hotel is already complete. From the moment that you walk into the chic lobby you’ll feel like a Hollywood starlet. When whisked up the elevator to the room, guests will be in awe over the beautiful panoramic views that include city lights and some of the famous Hollywood sign in the hills. The hotel has 632 guest rooms and convenient entrance to the Hollywood and Highland Center...

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Family Suites at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  When traveling as a family, we prefer staying at hotels and resorts that offer suites. That way our children can stay in their own room and my husband and I can get a bit of quiet time in the mornings and evenings while the children get the full rest they require.  Whether traveling to Laguna Beach hotels in Orange County for a vacation or staycation, family suites at Pacific Edge Hotel make family travel easy. Family suites at Pacific Edge Hotel offer a wonderfully spacious main room for parents that is right on the ocean.  This room features a long desk and dresser with a king size bed and a mini bar.  We walked down to Gina’s Pizza Restaurant and brought our leftovers back to the mini fridge; accommodations like these help make family travel comfortable. The simple...

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Beachside Bungalow Daycations at Pacific Edge Hotel

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Traveling with a family does not always have to mean large expenses and a ton of travel arrangements.  It truly is possible to escape for a bit with daycations; it is amazing what just even a few hours can do for your mind and spirit.  We discovered truly beautiful beachside bungalows that make for the perfect daycation at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach. Valet parking is available for guests at Pacific Edge Hotel which is a comfort in the congested beach areas.  After you park, you walk down a few steps to find a beautiful long private deck available to the guests staying in the bungalows for the day.  We immediately fell in love with how spacious each bungalow’s patio seating area is. The bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel are each individually decorated to offer their own...

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Photo Tour of Hyatt Regency Newport Beach $15 Million Renovation

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

  The 1962 classic Orange County resort, the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, has just completed an impressive $15 million renovation with special amenities for families. There are all-new guest rooms and suites, three pools, and an enticing restaurant. The 407 room resort began the renovation in November of 2012 and encompassed all aspects of the property. With the renovation came the addition of two new suites for added luxurious comfort for families visiting the property. The resort offers families three different pools including a water slide and sandy beach area. Guests visiting the resort can now enjoy the delectable cuisine from SHOR American Seafood Grill. The restaurant features indoor dining, and an outdoor patio with a relaxed and family-friendly ambiance. The restaurant offers guests the best seasonal seafood and ensures that only the freshest, local and organic ingredients are...

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Family Travel Guide to The Grand Del Mar in San Diego

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 We received a media rate for our travel to The Grand Del Mar. The Grand Del Mar is the ultimate family luxury staycation destination for families living in Southern California. Families can enjoy all the amenities of a luxury vacation where children are welcomed with open arms. Since having children, we have had to travel to resorts that are “family-friendly” and it is hard to find a resort that is still as luxurious as our pre-children travels. Before booking your family’s next staycation read our full family travel guide to The Grand Del Mar in San Diego. Location. The Grand Del Mar is just a short drive from Orange County. We were able to arrive, and start enjoying the luxuries of the resort in under two hours. The resort is just a few short miles from the coast and...

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The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Spa

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Whether you live in Orange County or are just visiting, there are so many wonderful places to visit.  You may find yourself looking for a spa to get some well earned rest and relaxation. Named among the top 100 spa resorts in the US by Condé Nast’s 2012 reader poll, the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel spa offers all of that and more.  From the moment you enter the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, you are pulled in through all of your senses.  Beautiful colors that are rotated for holidays and seasons greet everyone throughout. The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Spa features 12 spa treatment rooms and have amazing therapists to take care of your needs.  I personally love the soft tones that are found throughout the spa…they inspire peace and tranquility. Upon entering the locker room, you will find...

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Top 3 Things to Enjoy at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Staycation, Travel | 1 comment

 The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is a gorgeous resort that captivates visitors and those who call Orange County home.  It is also the home of the Mom 2.0 Summit 2013.  Regardless of what brings you to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, there are so many wonderful experiences to enjoy during your stay.  Here are our top three thing to enjoy when visiting the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel…assuming you don’t have time for everything of course.  Enjoy a Meal at Raya Resting 150 feet above sea level, Raya, named “Restaurant of the Year” by Riviera Orange County in July 2011, is a restaurant with a stunning view.  Acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval features dishes for everyone, including children. We have dined with our children there multiple times and they truly love it.  Raya showcases Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, organic and natural meats...

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A Local Guide to Visiting Del Mar

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Del Mar is a city best navigated in the mindset of a local. A costal community located twenty minutes north of Downtown San Diego, Del Mar teems with restaurants, beaches, and activities beloved by residents who know where to be and when. This intimate guide to discovering Del Mar sheds insight on how to capitalize on everything this beach town has to offer. The Beach, But Not Where You Think:  The anchor of the Del Mar coastline is Powerhouse Park, which provides spectacular views, rolling grassy hills for picnics, and playgrounds for the little ones. But for a more authentic, private excursion to the shore, make like a local and head to the right or left of the park. This will allow you to experience total peace and relaxation, away from crowds. Here is where you can lay out your...

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West Inn and Suites Among Top 10 Hotels in the World

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Staycation, Travel, Uncategorized | 1 comment

  Located just two miles from LegoLand, West Inn and Suites celebrates being awarded one of the top ten hotels in the world for families based on reviews from TripAdvisor. The 86-room boutique hotel is located in Carlsbad in North San Diego County. The hotel was ranked fourth on the list for the U.S and eighth in the world based on millions of reviews. To celebrate the award, anyone who books a room at West Inn & Suites for travel between April 8, 2013 and May 23, 2013, will receive a collapsible cooler filled with drinks and snacks from West Inn & Suites to enjoy while visiting Carlsbad and a chance to win a two night stay and four complimentary tickets to LegoLand California Resort. For reservations, go to and enter booking code: TCCool. “Winning this award is...

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Big Bear Spring Break Freebies for Kids

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Big Bear, Events, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Planning a Spring Break ski trip in Big Bear? Parents can enjoy a fun ski trip in Big Bear with discounts for kids. The program is called Kids Ski/Ride for free, and gives kids the opportunity to ski for free at Snow Summit and Big Bear Mountain weekdays now through April 14th. This special offer does require an overnight stay Sunday through Thursday at the time of booking. “Spring break is just around the corner, so this special offer makes it the perfect getaway for families,” said Big Bear Lake Resort Association Director of Operations Rebecca Hrabia. “Free tickets for the kids and great skiing for everyone in the family! What more could you ask for?” The Kids Ski / Ride for Free package must include lodging at one of Big Bear’s participating lodges. One free kid’s lift...

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Kids Ski or Ride for Free in Big Bear

Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Big Bear, Events, Featured, Staycation, Travel, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  Big Bear is giving families a “Lift” with free ski tickets for kids. The new program in Big Bear gives children the chance to ski or ride for free at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. The program is available on weekdays all season long, including spring break. We recently shared an article with Anaheim OC on tips for bringing your children to the mountains for snow play! The Kids Ski / Ride for Free package must include lodging at one of Big Bear’s participating lodges. One free kid’s lift ticket voucher will be given for each paying adult lift ticket. Free kids tickets are valid for kids 12 years and under. Lift tickets are good for either or both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Packages are good for lodging arrivals Sunday through Thursday and skiing or snowboarding Monday...

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