mcfam's Passport


Member since:
27 May 2010

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14, '16

Icon_pictureBeen to 809 Attractions
Icon_star727 Reviews
Icon_star1448 First to Review
Icon_camera23641 Photos
Icon_thumbsup294 Helpful Votes
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
Point Magu State Beach
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:

Reviews & Photos

727 Reviews

July 23 2016
0 families found this helpful
Epic Discovery | kids travel, kids activities
Epic Discovery
Vail Adventure Ridge,
"Epic summer fun"
At the top of Vail Mountain in the summer- there is an ultimate playground for families. All ages and generations can play or watch others take part in physical challenges and thrilling mountain rides. Kids can learn through play by exploring the nature center, taking a hike with a guide, or interacting with the educational signposts on the nature trails. Whatever the activity, the beauty of the surrounding mountains and Vail Valley is worth the ticket to ride the gondola!

For a set price, kids and adults can purchase an adventure pass that grants a gondola ride and unlimited "rides" and experiences on the adventure courses. No need for individual tickets for events or telling kids "no" when they want to go again. There are height and age limitations for many of the courses, so there is an Ultimate Adventure Pass and a Little Explorers Adventure Pass. Check website for details on prices and height and weight requirements. The best thing is that for every main activity, there is a smaller activity for the Little Explorers.

ULTIMATE ADVENTURE PASS gives unlimited all-day access to: Forest Flyer alpine coaster, Golden Eagle Zipline, Gore Range Adventure Course, Holy Cross Adventure Course, Eagle's Nest Tubing, Mountain Goat Climbing Tower, Bungee Trampoline, the smaller courses, and the gondola ride.

LITTLE EXPLORER PASS gives unlimited all-day access to: Mountain Goat Climbing Tower, Bungee Trampoline, Little Eagle Zipline, Pine Cone Adventure Course, Marmot Mini Tubing, and the gondola ride.

4 people at a time get to ride across the mountain top at a quick speed down to the platform below. After waiting in line for a bit (it's best to go first thing in the morning) we were helped into harnesses and helmets and securely fastened in. We rode the moving carpet (same as the tubing) to the top of the hill and then helped into the zip line. We put our feet onto the gate and were already sitting in the harness so there was no jumping off or being scared to go. All 4 gates opened at the same time and we flew across. The braking point was the only downside of the ride. It's a sharp and sudden stop and we were scared our faces would hit the metal harness - which is why they told us to lean back or turn our faces to the side. We were all fine, but it wasn't an easy stop.

This is like a roller coaster on a mountain hill side- but one which you can control your speed. We were seat belted into a car which was securely fastened to the track and we were told that even if you went full speed, you would be completely safe. That was good to know. But despite that, I pulled back on the brakes several times as I went around sharp turns and down steep hills. The speed was thrilling and so much fun. We noticed that there were several braking points on the ride which controlled us despite whether we used our brake or not, and the whole ride felt completely safe. Kids were proudly telling us they were going again and again - up to 20 times or more! It is definitely a favorite. Parents can ride with kids if they can't ride alone.
* This is not included on the Little Explorer Pass

2 separate adventure courses with logs to cross and rope bridges to navigate which cover 3 "stories" of crosses were ready for kids to navigate. After being harnessed in, kids would get on the "bottom story", learn how to hook in and be safe, and then start navigating the course. If they took a misstep, the harness would keep them from falling. It was great to see parents and kids working together to navigate the difficult crossings - as well as instructors helping kids know what to do and how to stay safe.
* The smaller Pine Cone Adventure Course has similar but easier challenges but is not high off the ground. Kids are still harnessed and clipped in.

We took our tubes to the base of the moving carpet and rode slowly up the hill - ready to ride down. The ride was smooth and FAST! So fast that I was screaming with laughter. I was a little afraid of my feet hitting the side of the channel, but everything was fine and thrilling. Kids were going up again and again.
* The smaller Marmot Mini Tubing has a similar thrill but is shorter and not as fast.

The Nature Discovery Center is located in a yurt near the Gore Range Adventure Course. Inside are displays of local animals and flora which offer kids a chance to interact with the creatures of the Rocky Mountains. Hands on activities help kids learn about tracks, scat, and more. Animal pelts, horns, and other items allow kids to touch and learn. Daily guided nature walks are offered which are fun to take. Guides are knowledgable and eager to share their love of flowers and mammals. The two nature trails - Eagle's Loop Trail (.25 miles) and Fireweed Trail (1 mile) are fun ways to explore and offer scenic views. Story Stakes and Mountain View Finders give information on flora and fauna and the local ranges seen in the distance. Along the trail are Animal Ability Experiences which bring to life elements of mammals that are interactive for all ages. Try to take huge strides like a moose, burrow like a marmot, or see how high you can jump like a mountain lion. Kids will love these.

Dining is available at the top of Vail Mountain as well as many other activities such as jeep tours, bike clinics, and guided hikes. The Game Creek Aerial Adventure is a 3 hour zip line tour over Vail Mountain and requires reservations. The purchase of this adventure also includes all-day access to the Ultimate Adventure Pass.
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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July 23 2016
0 families found this helpful
Cucina | kids travel, kids activities
174 Gore Creek Drive,
Colorado 81657
"Patio dining option with a fire pit"
Breakfast here was incredibly delicious and comfortable. Indoor seating was warmed by the incoming sun and it seemed I was dining in a rustic chalet. Outdoor options centered around an open fire pit which was cheery.

This is a great place to eat while staying at The Lodge at Vail, or just getting off of the main gondola in Vail Village. Seating is comfortable for families and the menu options are great.
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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July 23 2016
0 families found this helpful
Mountain Standard | kids travel, kids activities
Mountain Standard
193 Gore Creek Drive,
Colorado 81657
"Delicious rotisserie chicken"
The chicken was delicious. Tender and flavorful. So delicious that everyone around our table of 10 ordered it - except for me. But the rotisserie chicken salad was pretty close to the same thing- and it was an amazing blend of spicy granola, mint, cilantro, and pineapple, plus the tender rotisserie chicken.

Other menu options looked good like the Rocky Mountain Trout (they were out), the salmon, or the pork shank, but the chicken won out.

The only downside was the incredibly long wait. We arrived at around 7:30 but we ate dinner closer to 9pm. Perhaps it was the late hour, or the 9 orders of rotisserie chicken. The waitress was apologetic and attentive and we enjoyed many sides such as shrimp and grits, southern pimiento cheese and bread, and southern style bruschetta plus our cocktails while we waited.

There was no kids menu and the prices were high, so take that into consideration. The atmosphere was lively and loud but there is a bar/tavern feel as well. Outdoor seating with a close glimpse of Gore Creek feels more suitable for families.
kids travel, kids activities
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July 23 2016
0 families found this helpful
Betty Ford Alpine Garden | kids travel, kids activities
Betty Ford Alpine Garden
183 Gore Creek Dr Ste. # 7,
Colorado 81657
"Beauty of Colorado"
On a sunny summer morning after an all-night rain storm, I got to walk through this garden. It was so beautiful that I just couldn't take it all in.

Stone stairs led to paths that meandered through the garden. The paths zigzagged down the hill allowing anyone in a wheelchair or stroller to be able to navigate the entire garden. Waterfalls flowed throughout it giving it a beautiful backdrop to flowering plants.

This garden is right next to a large playground, education center, the Gore River, and the amphitheater. It's definitely worth visiting - and it's known as the highest elevation for a public garden - pretty cool!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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July 06 2016
0 families found this helpful
Avila Beach Paddlesports | kids travel, kids activities
Avila Beach Paddlesports
3915 Avila Beach Drive,
Avila Beach,
"Friendly and laid back"
Renting a double kayak (or SUP or kayak) here was as easy and friendly as possible. We got the "CA surfer cheer" that sounds like "woohoo!" when we were ready to paddle out. The staff was incredibly friendly and ready to help us get all settled. Yet they weren't pushy and not at all grumpy (like we've experienced at other rental places.) Loved it!

We rented a double kayak and got some instructions on best places to go. We loved our paddle under the pier and out along the coastline to a quiet beach. We explored the area on foot, rested, then paddled back. The time started when we hit the water and we paid per hour based on when we returned. They were gracious.

There are very nice restrooms and changing areas in the pier parking lot so we were all set. Anything we may have missed was for sale in the small shop.

Next time we will pack a picnic and some drinks to take with us to the beach and really relax and enjoy the day. Or- like they encouraged us - we will brave a SUP next time!
kids travel, kids activities
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