Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Starbucks Color Changing Cup Giveaway Plus Gift Card! #giveaway #starbucks #starbucksgiveaway

Enter to Win Starbucks Color Changing Cups & $25 Starbucks Gift Card

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sequoia, Kern River, Lake Isabella & More... Must See Must Do Travel Tips #FamilyTravel #sequoia #kernriver #KOACamping

Traveling to Sequoia, Kern River, Lake Isabella & Surrounding Areas with So Many Things To Do 

It was our first trip up to this beautiful area and we had an amazing time exploring. All opinions are my own.

Pretty easy to know where we wanted to stay. KOA and Thousand Trails are our preference for that perfect glamping feel. 

This trip we found a KOA at Lake Isabella just up from the Kern River. Perfect! Oh and they have a deal right now buy two nights get one free.. so good!

We started our 6 day trip leaving Orange County to head up to Bakersfield for a closer entrance point to Sequoia. Plus the Courtyard Marriott has a pool that keeps it's guests limited and COVID19 safe.

There are so many things that are changing by the moment that I suggest you check with your hotel, RV Park, Resort, Camp Site etc as often as possible for any COVID19 updates. 

Bakersfield was a great location to just rest overnight while we went out for some adventures into Sequoia during the day prior to checking in to our KOA. 

Sequoia is big, there is what I'd say is a north and south, to visit with plenty to see and do within each.

We decided to tackle the south end of Sequoia this visit and return for the General Sherman Tree another time.

On the south side of Sequoia we were able to see a lot of cool things. Entering though Camp Nelson and heading down the Great Western Divide Hwy was a perfect route for some sights to remember for life.

Points Of Interest we Stopped At From Sequoia to Lake Isabella 

* Natural Water Slides - this is exactly what I mapped out. Forest Rte 22S83, Camp Nelson, CA 93208 but the roads get bumpy and some have closures so check routes before you head out since there are a few routes to get there. 

Also wear water shoes, it's slippery and there is a 1.2 mile walk there and back with the return hike being much easier. 

Bring water and a towel. Enjoy! 

* Trail of 100 Giants - so cool. Do not miss this stop. Park across from the trail for $10, this parking pass will be good for daily parking use within paid lots too, and head into the forest of Sequoia Redwoods. Some standing over 200 feet tall and some with the most unique ways about them. 

These Sequoias are breathtakingly amazing. We stood in awe at the size of the roots at one point where an earthquake had taken the trees down just a few years ago. There are a few that have a hollow space inside, these were used as animal pens keeping their ducks and more enclosed. 

Crazy huh! My kids said this was by far cooler than they expected it to be. 

* California Hot Springs is a fun spot to stop and pay to play in the refreshing mineral pool. We did not stay for the play since we wanted to see more but we agreed we would stop next time. You can pay to enjoy the mineral springs pool per adult and child. Also there is a food stop inside with areas to sit and enjoy the views too.

* Heading down from Sequoia passing through and down Mountain Hwy 99, a fun stop at Whisky Flats trail, an old mining stop, is a great way to introduce yourself to the Kern River! 

Lucky for us we being our Teknetics Metal Detectors everywhere. We've been finding som random things, coins, metal etc.. 
Just down from here you are in Kern Valley and then you hit Lake Isabella.

Lake Isabella KOA.

We really enjoy staying at Kampgrounds Of America in their cabins. It's quaint, comfortable and my kids ask for these cabins each time we say let's go glamping. 

On site they always have plenty to do like a swimming pool, kids activities and on site things to do for all ages from lawn games to bikes for rent, just depends what location you stay at. 

Once settled in I knew there was a lot that we wanted to see and do from Lake Isabella down the Kern River so we got started right away. 

We stopped at Silver City Ghost Town and spent some time with the owner. He is wonderful and so full of local history. You can shop his old time things or pay to stroll the Ghost Town. 

The kids loved it so much they want to return to just hang out and look around. There are not many Ghost Towns around anymore so I'm glad we got to experience this together. 

Down the road there is a Vons, Burger King, Dollar General and some small shops. This is where we got most of what we needed that we didnt bring with us. Bring lots of water and the usual your family needs or wants to have on hand.

Points of Interest In and Around Lake Isabella and Kern - Always check local news paper or updates on the lake water for safety

* French Gulch Marina - you can rent boats here and head out to the lake for some fishing or a picnic on the water. 

* Lyme Dyke - this area was a nice spot to sit and hang out as well as fish. It is right off of Sierra Way. 

* South Fork Wildlife area - look over the wetlands and into the Lake. Nice hike and views just be safe.

* Along the 178 you can access random sights like Tank Park too.  A family friendly park with a few historical tanks.

* Sandy Flats Campground - a great spot to day use. There is a sandy beach type inlet that is safe to stand and play in along the Kern River. 

This spot is great to picnic at and hang out on the sand. You pay $10 here and use this parking pass for the day at any other pay sites.

* Up the road a bit you will find Hobo Campground. Day use here is amazing too. Find a spot to hang for a few hours right on the Kern River. 

This spot is a good one for fishing from the shore at it's bend when the water is calmer.

* Miracle Hot Springs - Hot Tip. Get to the Springs from the trail at the far end of Hobo Campground. The hot springs are HOT... some over 110° so use caution. 

It does smell like minerals and sulfur but the water is filled with minerals and comes directly from the mountains around you. Pretty amazing to see really. 

This is also where we saw the cows across the river grazing. So cool! 

* Black Gulch Trail - beautiful views of the mountains and Kern Rover all around you. Hike along the Kern and or up through the trail above.

Anywhere Along the Kern River - so many good spots we would explore take a drive and just stop to see what it was like. Hot tip that the Kern River is calmer on the bends not the straights. Look for spots along the Kern where it bends.

Watch your kids, wear life vests and always use caution when along or near the Kern. It changes speeds and currents rapidly. 

Heading back to OC Fun Stops

Since we wanted to take a different route home to see a few more sights we took the 58 to the 14 highways to the 5 freeway back down. 

* Off of the 58 there was our first stop the Big Red Barn Murray Family Farms. Fresh fruit and veggies. We also picked up some pies and mini chicken pot pie filled goodness. 

Their activities are closed for now but you can walk up to the fence to see the animals. Happy to support this cute family Farm. 

* Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Tehachapi - just amazing to see and walk the grounds of this memorial. The offices, his home and the large community house that was home to thousands who passed through to work as migrant farm workers. 

Cesar was an instrumental part of migrant workers historic progress in safetyand wages. I hope my kids remember this history and moment we spent there forever.

* The Musical Road - playing the William Tell Overture in Lancaster. A quick drive at 65 mph and you can hear the tune. Pretty neat! 

On our way up and back we stopped at Coffee Kiosk located in Santa Clarita! My favorite all time coffee spot. Swing by and get a caramel frame with extra caramel drizzle. Thank me later. 

This road trip was so much fun! 

Ever wonder how to find great points of interest in random places? Do what I do... use google maps and look for attractions or points of interest and see what comes up. 

We love to travel and can not wait for our next family travel trip! 

Catch our recap video here

Don't forget your must have on hand snacks, things and items... then go outside and enjoy! 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Tips & Review - Our Deluxe Cabin Stay with KOA Palm Spring Joshua Tree - Plus Their Pool is Open! #KOACamping #JoshuaTree

Who Else Needs A Break Away From Everything?!

We totally did and that is exactly what we found at KOA Palm Springs Joshua Tree.

Located about 2 hours from Orange County we felt it a perfect drive to feel like you are in another place completely. They offer RV, Tent Sites as well as lodging in a deluxe cabin.

Joshua Tree has been on our "want to visit list" for a while. But we thought... desert, hot, middle of nowhere, so we delayed.

I am so sad we have not made the trip to explore much sooner! There is so much to see and do even now with some points of interest closed due to Covid19.

In and around Palm Springs and Joshua Tree there are family friendly things to do and places to see a plenty. 

We love to stay with KOA properties for so many reasons. I think my number one is that when we are on site we feel safe, entertained and there is always plenty to do.

We wanted to highlight what is open now for use while staying at KOA Palm Springs Joshua Tree and what we did when visiting Joshua Tree National Park. 

Things to do at KOA onsite...

* Mini Golf on property near registration. Enjoy a round or three or more anytime until 10pm. After 6pm you can use the set onsite outside near the course too.

* Pool and Natural Hot Mineral Springs Jacuzzi. The pool is so warm and it's open as of last weekend with the lift of some COVID19 restrictions. The natural mineral hot springs are not re open just yet, keeping distance is still standing true, that's too close for comfort right now. We will revisit when they open back up. 

* Local hikes. At check in you can get some information on local hikes and things to do. They even list some Famers markets and local hot spots.

* Activities Director. When Covid19 is not keeping us at a distance, the awesome activites staff member is on site. They usually offer kid friendly hikes, kids activities like rock painting, exploring and so much more. Another thing we want to return to let the kids enjoy when activities open back up.

* Playground and Dog Run. Since COVID19 the restrictions are use caution and Social Distancing. If we keep that up and respect that we are good here on site too. 

* Close to Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and surrounding areas. Also close to points of interest like Palm Springs Air Museum and Generl Patten Museum. A list is at the registration desk and in your cabin!

* 35 minutes from Joshua Tree North or South entrances

The Deluxe Cabin!

Perfect for our family. We've stayed in petite Retreats cabins like this before. So cute so comfy and perfect for what we do while traveling. 

The deluxe cabin has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with shower, full kitchen with stove and a fold oitvsleeper sofa.

We made dinner one night in our cabin and I brought some goodies for snacks too. It was easy to reheat some of what we brought as well as cook up a fresh breakfast when we wanted to.

A few must haves on hand for us.

* granola and snack bars great for anytime and on hikes 

* fruits for snacking or sides or on hikes

* cucumber and carrots anytime or on hikes 

* there is no bbq at this cabin so we bring our camping favorites we can cook indoors .. corn, baked beans, sausages, salad, dressing, croutons, pasta etc. Easy peasy.

* breakfast and lunch items like bread, eggs, pre cooked bacon from Costco to reheat, bagels, pb n j, cheese, tortillas, and some salt pepper everything seasoning and Pam spray.

* some sweets, candy, hot cocoa, coffee, water, orange juice, milk

* any specific foods... we have a picky eater so I always bring his wholegrain goldfish, crackers, pediasure, green juice and a few other items to be sure we have on hand.

Everything really feels like we are in a mini home away from home. We even had our own patio furniture to look up at the stars from. The sky is so very clear.

TIPS for Visiting Joshua Tree 

We loved being close but not right inside of Joshua Tree city. It was nice to be 30 minutes from the entrance. 

I noticed that there are two entrances that lead to the same point. Basically the top and bottom of Joshua Tree. Top is where you enter by Yucca Valley off of Park Blvd. Pay park entrance and head in. 

Once inside we followed the Park Blvd road loop that took us past all the sights we had marked to stop by. 

POI that we stopped at inside Joshua Tree along Park Blvd. 

* Smith Water Canyon 
* Samuelsons Rock 
* Hidden Valley Nature Trail 
* Barker Dam and Barker Dam Nature Trail 
* Skull Rock 
* Arch Rock 

Outside of Joshua Tree from the loop out to 29 Palms

* Sky's the Limit Observatory and this one is right outside of the national park and a wonderful place to stop 
* Oasis Vistiors Center
* Glass Outhouse Visitors Center 

On the South End of Joshua Tree Entering from the Salton Sea side of the map... enter near the General Patton Museum.  

* General Patton Museum just a mike or so outside the park

* Enter through Cottonwood Springs Road 
* Cottonwood Visitors Center
* Cottonwood Springs
* Mastodon Peak

* Lost Palms Oasis Trail 
* Cholla Cactus Garden 

This takes you almost to where we went through on the top half. We felt telhe top half of Joshua Tree had a lot more points of interest that we could see, hike and or stop at to explore.

Joshua Tree is wonderfully beautiful. Make sure you catch a sunset inside the park!

After exploring and miles of hiking for hours,  my kids were super excited to get back to our KOA campsite to chilax. They loved playing mini golf until 10pm or taking a late night swim.

The onsite staff are wonderful and the team that is there during the day are all friendly, helpful and excited to share exploring tips.

We loved our visit and can not wait to return. Oh and until June 30th they have an amazing deal on cabins and sites. Check out the $99 cabin sites here.

Also just a tip if you will want to return... we spent the $33 to purchase the KOA Value Kard and there are many ways to take advantage and save.

Check out a recap of our trip here with more photos too. 

Check out our video vlog here

KOA Value Kard Rewards Program

Do more of what you love - camping - and reap the rewards when you join KOA's Value Kard Rewards program! From camping discounts at KOA campgrounds to additional savings offers from our partners, you can quickly see how the $33 pays for itself and more!

Exclusive Benefits:

  • 10%* off your daily registration rate all year long at 500 KOA Campgrounds throughout North America
  • Rewards points that accumulate for cash off future KOA camping stays
  • Free** night of camping during Value Kard Rewards Appreciation Weekend at participating KOAs
  • ...and Much more!

We love supporting KOA.. all of their locations are privately owned and we are supporting small business too. 

For reservations and more details click here and happy travels!!! 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

SCOOB! See SCOOB Movie this Friday... at Home!

Movie night idea! Beat the COVID19 Blues

Yay! On Friday May 15 everyone is invited to the Twitter #ScoobMovieNight premiere event!

Deets.. at 7pm hosted by Scoob! Let's all celebrate the release of the brand new, fully animated, full-length action adventure feature “SCOOB!” on Premium Video on Demand or Premium Digital Ownership.

Also you can learn the #ScoobDance on TikTok from celebrity dancer, Jalaiah Harmon and try it out too.

So fun!

Since we can't go to the theater right now and our "local to us" drive in theater isnt open this is a great option!

 “SCOOB!” will be available for a 48-hour rental via Premium Video On Demand for $19.99, or premium digital ownership for $24.99, beginning on Friday, May 15. 

Available on participating digital platforms. 

For more details, please visit to preorder your copy now.

Enjoy the movie & some time together with a fun family activity pack too!

#moviesathome #movienight #scoob #scoobydoo #familytime #movienightin #familyfun #COVID19 #thingstodo

Monday, April 6, 2020

Easy Homemade Funnel Cake Recipe - Eating Our Way Through Quarantine #Covid19 #FunnelCake #missingKnotts #KnottsFamily

Surviving Quarantine with Kids & Sweet Treats - Easy to Make Funnel Cake

We miss Knott's Berry Farm a lot. Here is a fun easy to make at home treat that will remind you of being in the park.

I've been baking, cooking & making over here with the kids during lock down stay at home orders.

It may be months of indoor activities, who knows, but we're definitely exploring our sweet and savory options in cooking and baking. 

We made homemade bread ths other day.. my friend Sam's recipie, and we just can't stop.

Tonight after dinner we decided on funnel cakes. We are missing Knott's Berry Farm so much we thought, hey let's make funnel cakes, so here goes... video here.

Easy recipe this made 5 decent size single serve personal funnel cakes. 

Here is the recipe... enjoy 

  • 1 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Oil for deep frying medium hot not to burn and when brown on one side flip to fry other side and lay on paper towel when done... add..
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Whipped Cream
  • Ice Cream 
  • Anything else you want to add to make it your own.