Two Days in L.A. with Kids (Part 2)

If you haven’t already read about our time at the California Science Center, click here.

Leaving the Science Center, we headed to our campsite for the night. We stayed at Anaheim RV Park. The staff was friendly and facilities very clean. I’ve never stayed at an RV park before so I have no comparison, but it was rather boring to look at. Just a giant parking lot, a few bathroom buildings, and a pool. It was too chilly to test out the pool but it looked nice! They also offer free coffee and a muffin for each person in your party in the morning. If you’re headed to Disneyland, a shuttle will pick you up from the entrance of the park. Overall, it was a nice stay.

Once settled, we made a quick dinner and called it a night. Both boys did really well. It was the first time we made it overnight in the RV!!

Wednesday morning we woke up, cleaned the RV, ate breakfast, and headed to Disney!! I love the Disney parks. February is a great time to go. The weather is generally nice and the crowds are low. We waited about 10-20 minutes for each ride, including Big Thunder Mountain. The only downside to Disney in February is that most maintenance is completed during this time. For us, Main Street was closed. You could walk along the sidewalks and go into shops, but there were no parades which my boys love. The Disney Marching Band was out frequently and all over the park which made up for the parades. The toddler loved watching them and didn’t mind the loud sounds.

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As for rides, we started with the train at the entrance. This is for two reasons: 1) both boys loves trains and 2) it gets us away from the crowds at the front of the park. We exited the train at Toon Town. My boys don’t care for that area so we skipped it but I know most toddlers and young kids love this area of the park.

We hopped onto It’s A Small World. The toddler was SO excited to be in a boat. If you have only been to Disney World, this ride is a little different. First, you start off outside. Second, except for one area, all the music is in English.

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From here, the husband took the 6 year old to the Matterhorn and I took the toddler to the Storybook ride. After Matterhorn, the boys headed to Pirates of the Caribbean and I took the toddler to the water. My husband and I switched off and I then took the 6 year old to Big Thunder Mountain. This was his favorite ride of the day. He went back later to ride it with my husband. 🙂

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While we were riding Big Thunder Mountain, the Toddler and Husband went on Winnie the Pooh and then to Tom Sawyers Island. I had never explored the island before. It was a lot of fun for all four of us. The boys loved climbing through the caves and walking along the unstable bridges. It’s also exciting for the Toddler to ride a boat back and forth across the water.

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After Tom Sawyer’s Island, we left and headed to Disney’s California Adventure. We walked straight back to A Bugs Land. This is the perfect toddler amusement park. There are a bunch of rides which both the 6 year old and the toddler enjoy. We rode Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, Francis’ Lady Bug Boogie, and Flik’s Flyers. I forgot to get any pictures of these. While we did this, the Husband rode Guardian’s of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! We both loved Tower of Terror and his opinion was that Disney should have done more to transform the ride. It is essential the same exact ride but with new decor and music.

It was after this that we decided to head home. It was a wonderful and quick vacation. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick getaway with kids. Both boys enjoyed themselves as did the husband and I. There is so much more to do in L.A. I know we have barely scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to many more trips!!

-KB

Two Days in L.A. with Kids (Part 1)

Last month the husband and I took the kids to L.A.! It was an awesome, quick trip which we hope to do more of in the next few years (if we remain in San Diego).

We left town at nine Tuesday morning and made it to the California Science Center around 11. If you’re ever in L.A., I suggest you visit the Science Center. It was a lot of fun for all four of us (how often does that happen?!).

The 6 year old wanted to start with the ecosystem exhibit. The exhibit features multiple rooms with different ecosystems. You can learn about the plants and animals that live in each and there are interactive elements in every room. In the arctic, there is a large wall of ice. There were a bunch of hand prints from people before us holding their hands on the wall long enough to make an indent. The River Room allows kids to make rivers through sand. I think this was the 6 year old’s favorite activity. We created dams and he watched the water create a lake. There is a kelp forest, island zone, and rot room. Both boys loved the Rocky Shore area where we could watch water rise and fall and touch aquatic life.

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After the ecosystems, we checked out the Space Shuttle. We’ve seen two before and it’s never that exciting for the kids. There isn’t much to do except gawk at how this large spacecraft made it to space and read about the history of space exploration. Boring for kids and as adults with kids, we had to watch them instead of reading. hC%wNC0WRO6n0Kq+mi19BQ

From here we headed to the RV for lunch. The Husband spent an hour and a half in the RV with the toddler after lunch while the kid and I went back in to explore.

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My older son is in first grade and they were learning about sound in school. I was really excited when we walked into Creative World and they had a few exhibits on sound. I took pictures and emailed them to his teacher.

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Creative World also featured hands on exhibits pertaining to earthquakes, magnets, designing towns, building large structures, and helping the environment. Some of these exhibits were very old and seemed out of date but the 6 year old still loved this area.

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When the Toddler woke up, we went to the discovery room. This area is designed for toddlers and young children. Both boys enjoyed this room but we had to cut our time short so we could get to our parking spot for the evening.

More on where we parked and day 2 coming soon!

-KB

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

I’m not a fan of beans. Like, I hate them. Blah! It’s a texture thing. I do enjoy a good beanless chili though and the one I threw together a few days ago turned out great. Bonus – I was able to do the entire thing in the RV!

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1.5 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Set the instant pot to saute. Toss in the turkey and onions. Cook until the turkey begins to brown. (You can use olive oil to brown the turkey but I forgot ours at home and it was still delicious.)
  2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients. Change the instant pot from saute to manual. Seal the lid and set for 9 minutes.
  3. When the timer dings, do a quick release. Serve over rice (or cornbread, mmmm!) and enjoy!

 

 

If you like a spicier chili, add in some red pepper. The vegetables can be changed around too. I used what I had on hand. Let me know what you think!

-KB

 

Our First RV Outing!!

Last weekend we were supposed to take Roxie out for her first overnight. Long story short, due to the Navy, the weekend didn’t go as planned (shocking, I know). We did still manage to get her out to a campsite where we had awesome family time.

On Saturday afternoon we headed to Sweetwater Summit Regional Park in Bonita, CA. We got to our campsite around 1630. After hooking up to power, the boys and dog headed to the park while I got started cooking dinner. I brought my Instant Pot and made turkey chili. I’ll post a recipe later because it turned out really well! They came back before dinner was ready and built a campfire and played on the bed. We enjoyed our delicious dinner sitting outside by the fire. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, except the dog who was a little freaked out about the whole situation. (She did enjoy the chili though.) After cleaning up, we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. This was probably the best part of our evening. The air was cool but the fire was warm. We sat around (as much as a 20 month old will allow) and talked and ate and laughed. Perfect first evening in Roxie.

Any tips or ideas for taking your RV out in SoCal with a toddler?

Roxie the RV

So…we went to Vegas and came home with an RV! (No, we did not win her, we bought her.) She’s a little thing, Class B. We are very excited. We’ll be taking her out tomorrow to spend the day at the beach. Look for her soon on Outdoorsy! We’ll be renting her when we don’t plan to travel.

Which, speaking of traveling, we are starting to plan our Yosemite vacation! Deployment is coming this summer so we will be taking the boys, dog, and Roxie on a two week vacation before the husband leaves. Any Yosemite travel tips? I’d love to hear them!

-KB