Thursday, July 30, 2020

Knott's Berry Farm Extends Outdoor Festivities with the All New Taste of Knott's!! #knottsberryfarm #TasteofKnotts #Knotts

We Loved Knott's Berry Farm Taste of Calico & There are More Festive Weekends to Come!

Hot off the Calico Gazette... the food and retail experience continues with Taste of Knott's!

To get an idea what its going to be like, check out our fun recap video from this past weekend experiencing Taste of Calico here!

The All-New Taste of Knott’s Features Classic Flavors from around the Park, for a Limited Time Starting August 21st


While the theme park remains closed, Knott’s Berry Farm is introducing another new outdoor dining and retail experience beginning August 21 with the all-new Taste of Knott’s


Expanding upon the popular Taste of Calico introduced earlier this month, Taste of Knott’s will celebrate classic flavors from around the park including new and one-of-a-kind  food, drink and merchandise offerings throughout Ghost Town, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk. With over 35 food and drink items to choose from, the Taste of Knott’s event will offer more food variety with the addition of Mexican-inspired cuisine, Knott’s famous BBQ offerings and classic Knott’s dishes pulled from the pages of the celebrated Knott’s Berry Farm Cookbook. 


In addition to dining, guests can shop at the 14 artisan booths or at select Knott’s retail stores to purchase special limited event merchandise. This special dining and retail experience is complemented by the unique Knott’s Berry Farm atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else.


The event will run weekends only, Fridays-Sundays, August 21- September 13. 


The only way to experience the limited time Taste of Knott’s is with a tasting card purchased in advance at knotts.com (a tasting card is required for event entry). 


Event hours will be Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm -9pm and Sundays from 12pm to 8pm. Regular tasting cards (ages 12+) are priced at $30 (plus tax) and will include five food tastings and Junior  tasting cards (ages 3-11) are $15 (plus tax) and include three tastings; children two and under are free. 


Tasting cards are date specific and must be purchased online at knotts.com or through the Knott’s Berry Farm mobile app prior to the date of visit. In order to manage proper physical distancing of guests, Taste of Knott’s tasting cards will be limited each day and may sell out.


As Knott’s Berry Farm continues to follow state, local and CDC health guidelines, these are the new safety measures and operational changes we are establishing to ensure the safety of their guests:

·       Tasting cards will be limited each day to ensure proper physical distancing

·       Upon arrival, guests will be required to enter a temperature screening and security checkpoint at the main gate

·       All associates and guests must wear a facial covering while visiting Taste of Knott’s or the Knott's California Marketplace store locations and restaurants – masks are not required while sitting at a table or bench to eat 

·       Frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected daily and sanitized frequently. This includes but is not limited to cash counters, scanners, EMV readers, pens at cashier counters, register screens, store fixtures, door handles, and shopping baskets

·       Signage is present to aid guests in the proper direction of travel and as a reminder to practice social distancing

·       Seating will be spaced out throughout the Taste of Knott’s event footprint

·       Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the event area

·       All associates will be screened, including temperature and symptom checks using CDC guidelines before being allowed on the property to work

·       Associates have been trained on the importance of handwashing, physical distancing, and overall hygiene

·       Separate entrances and exits will appear at some store locations

·       Store occupancy is limited to less than 50% of the normal building capacity Queue lines outside of store locations are marked with six-foot markers where needed.

 

For all details regarding Taste of Knott’s and the Park’s current health and safety screenings, please visit knotts.com.


Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, August 21 – September 13 Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 9pm and Sundays from 12pm to 8pm

Knott’s Berry Farm - 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

 

For more information on Taste of Knott’s please visit or join the conversation by using #Knotts #TasteofKnotts on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

Friday, July 24, 2020

Las Vegas with Kids During Covid19 .... A Success!

I forgot how much I loved this place... oh Las Vegas!

It's been a minute since we've been. About 4 years ago was the last time we were in Vegas for a quick 36 hour visit for a friends 40th.


We were a bit skeptical on how clean, Covid friendly and safe visiting would be during this crazy time. I had seen a few friends visit and it looked fun and like there were precautions being taken. So when my sil asked us to go we said let's do it.


Sooo...how was it?!

Well... it's the cleanest I've ever seen Vegas. We stayed at Delano at Mandalay Bay. 

It was so pretty and the beach club access is well worth the stay itself. The kids loved it and felt like they were in a tropical paradise waterpark. Winning! 


Hot tip.. you can bring anything not glass into the pools at Mandalay and Delano. Get there early like before 10:30am or there may be a little wait to get in since they too are keeping limited quantities in for covid measures.


* There aren't all the street hustlers with their naked fliers to the strip clubs. 

* There was the least amount of people in each space with distancing markers everywhere from in the hotel to the shops on the strip.

* Walking outside of your room and everyone is asking you to pull up and or wear your mask in all common areas.

* Some hotels took temperatures too. 

* We saw everyone in a mask... everyone. Inside the hotels they have them handy so if you forget or don't have one.. they have one for you. 


I actually have never enjoyed Vegas as much as this visit! It was a good time to get away from things safely and a great time to introduce my kids to it really.


What we did?!

There were so many fun things to do in Las Vegas. With kids there is plenty to do. We had so much fun exploring, playing in arcades and seeing sights that we wished we had a few more days to see more.

* Pools. Your hotel will have a cool pool. Use it enjoy it, the heat was 105 while we were there last weekend.

* Arcades at the hotels. We love the Circus Circus Midway arcade and game area, the New York New York arcade, Excalibur Hotel Arcade and your hotel will most likely have an arcade too. It's fun to play and let the kids win their suvineer.


* Walk the Strip. When I said this to my kids they were so confused but then I explained it all and they got excited. It is a lot of walking so it's best to use the tram system they have between hotels. They won't all connect and you may have to take a short walk from one to another or across a bridge depending on the route you want to take. Check with the hotel you stay at so you fan plan your tram and walking route of the strip.


* Bellagio Flower Garden is one of our favorites. Right now it's Hello Kitty themed and so beautiful.


We usually enjoy the buffet but since that's a no go we walked though spaced out and enjoyed the floral wonder! The kids loved it.


* New York New York roller coaster. If you have the Vegas Slots app and play it, you can gain points towards discounts and freebies. I used some points to redeem bogo tickets for the rollercoaster!


* The Eiffle Tower at Paris Vegas was one of the best things in Vegas we have ever done. My brother has been to the top before and he said it's a must do & let's go, so we did and it was breathtaking. 


We watched the Bellagio Water Fountain show from there, saw the entire strip and enjoyed almost 45 minutes until we took the ride down about 1 minute and 45 stories high. I really suggest this but be aware of the height and sensitivity to that for anyone you are with. 


You can find discount on vegas.com and Caesars group entertainment and sometimes on groupon too.

* M&M store and The Hershey store. Both are equally amazing so check them out. We had to get some specialty candy and sweets at each. 


Oh and my son had to have a Hershey lipsmacker... he actually wears chapstick on his own now 5 days straight! Winning from Vegas.. ha!

* Adventure Dome at Circus Circus. While the hotel is pretty old and run down, the Advebture Dome is the newest part and has a small theme park inside. The pricing is simple... if you want to ride and are over 48" you pay $40 for an all day wristband. I believe under 48" is $30 all day play. 

* A lot of the shows and sights are dark and not playing or open for viewing but that's ok there is still plenty to fine, discover and explore.. it's Las Vegas!


More to explore...

On our way out we stopped at Seven Magic Mountains just a 6 minute detour off on Old Las Vegas Blvd too! 


We want to head back and see a few more things like the Yellow Brick Road inside MGM Grand, Mirage Volcano erupting, Treasure Island and much more. 

Have something or somewhere we just have to visit or see next visit out... drop it in the comments please!!

It was so much fun and yes they really do have hand gel like every turn and I saw staff cleaning and wiping everywhere we stopped at in, on and along the strip hotels.

Our visit was really great and before we left we were already talking about what to do when we come back... soon.

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!!!