mcfam's Passport
 

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Member since:
27 May 2010

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 702 Attractions
Icon_star617 Reviews
Icon_star1367 First to Review
Icon_camera22753 Photos
Icon_thumbsup266 Helpful Votes
Compliments
About Me & My Family

My husband and I have 4 kids... 3 boys and then our girl. We homeschool them all and travel when possible. We just started letterboxing and are finding ourselves a little obsessed with it.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, structured, relaxed, simple, independent, spontaneous, easy_going
We Just Got Back From
White Stallion Guest Ranch in Arizona
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Camping in Kings Canyon or Yosemite
A Place We'd Love To Visit
The Redwoods in Northern California
Favorite Vacation Memory
Walking the meadows of Yosemite with my family. The quiet, the sparkling water, the rustling grasses, and a dip in the river made for an amazing day.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Anytime throw up is involved. Especially when one kid triggers another. And when we are in the car. And when they choose to use the box that is holding all their library books and toys.
Websites I Like:
www.atlasquest.com

Reviews & Photos

617 Reviews


January 06 2015
0 families found this helpful
Bon Épi Patisserie & Café | kids travel, kids activities
Bon Épi Patisserie & Café
2750 Alton Pkwy, C-101,
Irvine,
California
"Deliciousness"
We tried our first macaroons at this patisserie and fell in love. I never knew the delectableness of a macaroon! These were flaky/crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside with a small middle of cream. There were tons of flavors and colors but we settled on chocolate, nutella, and coconut. We even got a few samples which was very nice. Macaroons are about $1.50 each and are also sold in packs.

There were lots of other amazing bakery treats and we sampled a few others. We picked up a tray at the start of the line along with tongs and put a few things on our tray. It was a help-your-self kind of line - but the danger was that things were right at eye level with my small kids - and their sticky hands. There was a lot of mommy control that had to be enforced so they didn't touch anything (or breathe or cough on anything!)

There was no line on a Tuesday afternoon but there probably is a bit of a wait in this busy dining center on a weekend!
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Lily Pad Lake Trail | kids travel, kids activities
Lily Pad Lake Trail
Ryan Gulch Road,
Silverthorne,
Colorado
"Great trail with good destination"
This was a perfect trail for our family to adventure on during a summer afternoon in Colorado. It started straight uphill on a gravel path past the water tower and we were concerned it wasn't going to be great when our 5 year old started crying, but she made it past that tough stuff and was great.

There was an open section with cleared trees and the view of the Dillon Valley was spectacular. Then the trail entered the trees and no more views were available. The trail meandered through forests, meadows, and over a couple of small creeks. There were roots on the paths and several log bridges that would have been difficult to traverse with a stroller, but it could be done with a good jogger. The trail follows an old trapping trail and knowing some of these things makes for an interesting discussion while hiking - check out a trail guide for details.

We felt like we were nearly done and might have just missed the lake after hiking a good hour and a half so we decided to give it just 5 more minutes - and sure enough we found the lake. It was obvious why it was called Lily Pad Lake! We hiked just a further bit past the lake and found another larger and more beautiful lake. We returned through a rain shower and were filled with a hiking high while we sat in the car and laughed at how wet we got. It was a wonderful hike!
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Jucy Van RV Rental | kids travel, kids activities
Jucy Van RV Rental
15318 Hawthorne Blvd,
Lawndale, California
"Camping in a van!"
I felt quite conspicuous in my purple and green van driving down the freeway - but it was totally fun! I've seen RVs for rent and they always looked a bit big - but when I saw the Jucy Vans, I thought it would be a much better size to rent. And it is! For the right size family, that is.

We have 4 kids - so a standard Jucy van doesn't work for us as it has seatbelts for 5 and sleeps 4. So, we left our two youngest kids at home with grandma and grandpa and took our 12 and 14 year olds on a road trip to San Francisco from LA. It was a great fit for driving, and our stuff stowed away in the under table compartment and in the sleeping berth - but it was a bit of a puzzle.

Driving the Jucy Van felt like driving our own minivan. Easy peasy. I liked not having a big bulky RV going down the congested LA freeways. The kids watched movies on the DVD player and we appreciated the good gas mileage.

Setting up camp was a bit tricky because we needed to take all of our stuff out before we could set up beds, and then we wanted to have our stuff back inside for changing clothes. My hubby and I slept in the top berth the first night and we were a bit cramped. It would be too small for anyone over close to 6 feet tall. I felt claustrophobic in the night but was thankful for the easy zip windows and vent to get some air. The second night we slept in the inner bed which felt like sleeping on a foam mattress. Again, it was a bit tight but longer in the foot room and more space to sit up.

The kitchen was great. Loved having a working refrigerator (runs on a separate battery that recharges as you drive) and kitchen utensils. The pump sink was nice but it wasn't easy to wash dishes in it - it was more for just a quick wash. And you don't want to drink that water. The pull out cookstove worked really well and I loved the convenience of an easy way to make meals.

Overall my hubby and I split the vote on whether we loved the Jucy Van. He would prefer setting up camp with tents and kitchen supplies while I would prefer having it all in a mini van. Although the question really is a moot point until we can rent a large van (I hear they are in production and may come out in 2015?) A Jucy Van would be a perfect way, and a cheaper one, to travel on a road trip and make daily stops at campgrounds for the night. If we were traveling to a campspot and staying for several days and then going home, it wouldn't be worth it.

Bottom line - Jucy Vans are an economical and excellent way to rent a traveling home to see the country! I would totally recommend them.

Disclosure: We received a free rental for the purpose of this review but paid for our own gas. All opinions are our own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Mirabel RV Park & Campground | kids travel, kids activities
Mirabel RV Park & Campground
8400 River Road,
Forestville, California
"Beautiful trees and creek access"
We camped in Jucy vans and tents in lower section of Mirabel Park. The upper section was chock full with large RVs and seemed to be people who were staying for more than a couple of weeks. It was in a beautiful location with large trees and open spaces by the creek. The campground was quiet, although we made a lot of noise on our end with several families camping together. The fire pit was large and had concrete sides that were waist high - very safe for small tots. There was grass and then a hill down to a small but dry creek.

We rented canoes and kayaks in the afternoon and took them out via the small, and almost overgrown creek. Then it joined the larger Russian River and we paddled upstream along beautiful trees to where the water was dammed. Then we floated easily back with the current. The water was barely 2 feet deep in the upper section of the river but where it joined the creek it slowed and was quite deep and my kids went swimming a bit. Who knows how clean it was but they had fun.

The bathrooms were simple and could be classified as clean with cement walls and floors. The showers looked quite questionable with some kind of matting on the floor that made me curious as to what might be growing there. yuck. This was a nice spot in the lower section but I'm not sure we would want to camp or RV in the upper section because it was crowded and seemed very dark under the trees.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 30 2014
0 families found this helpful
Pittsford Park | kids travel, kids activities
Pittsford Park
21701 Pittsford Drive ,
Lake Forest,
California
"Great park"
All my kids ages 5-13 love this park because the play options seem endless. There are ramps to run up, slides, things to climb, and swings. The area around the park has huge hills to run up and down. There is plenty of shade and places to sit for parents so its a win-win situation! The restroom isn't wonderful, but there is one and it is relatively clean. That works.
 
kids travel, kids activities
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