mcfam's Passport
 

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Member since:
27 May 2010

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 652 Attractions
Icon_star566 Reviews
Icon_star1335 First to Review
Icon_camera22492 Photos
Icon_thumbsup253 Helpful Votes
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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

566 Reviews


July 21 2014
0 families found this helpful
Plan Check | kids travel, kids activities
Plan Check
1800 Sawtelle Blvd,
Los Angeles,
California
"Amazing burger"
Choosing the PCB (Plan Check Burger) off the menu was a no-brainer. Once having heard that it has been rated as one of the best burgers in LA convinced me that I had to try it. What made it delicious? The toasted bun, juicy burger, melted cheese, and that amazing ketchup leather. The leather seemed to melt in my mouth, but it didn't get the bun all soggy, which was the brilliance of the plan.

I ordered beer nuts to go with my house red wine (perhaps a strange combo) because the "happy hour" menu made it so affordable (free beer nuts with a check in). They were perfectly crunchy, sweet, and tangy, with a slight hint of wasabi.

The french fries were equally delectable with a perfect crunch on the outside and smooth flavor inside with no-over taste of oil. The sweet potato fries were pretty tasty too. We couldn't quite figure out the flavor of the ketchup because it had a sweet, almost marinara, flavor but we got used to it.

I found the donuts to be lacking in flavor beyond the sweet crunch of the sugar on the outside. The dough tasted plain and so did the cream. The strawberries didn't add much either.

This restaurant seemed upscale (with retro furnishings) yet very casual with outdoor seating and bar stools. We didn't see many kids inside yet it was family-friendly. The kids' menu looked appealing. The outdoor seating area was surrounded by a short metal fence, but the street and sidewalk were very close by.

All in all, a great, casual and fun burger joint with a cool, upscale feel.

Disclosure: I received complimentary dining with my Trekaroo team mates for the purpose of this review. I was not asked to present a particular point of view and all opinions are my 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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July 14 2014
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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum | kids travel, kids activities
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum
40 Presidential Drive,
Simi Valley,
California 93065
"Library/Museum with kid friendly displays"
It took us most of a Saturday to walk through the Reagan Library. (11 am - 4 pm) and even though we were going slow, my kids did not seem to get bored and they learned a ton about the history of Reagan and the US during his years.

What made this library great for my kids were the many video presentations about various topics during Reagan's years. It seemed that in just about every room, there was a video to watch. This brought it to life for my kids. They didn't have to just read displays to learn about Reagan, they watched him come to life.

Many of his artifacts from his early years to his ranch life (tons of awesome belt buckles!) were interesting to look at. Nancy Reagan's dresses were on display and they were beautiful. A highlight was stepping inside a replica of the Oval Office, decorated as it was during Reagan's time. A tour guide gave interesting facts about the desk, paintings, and decor.

The flow of the museum is chronological and takes guests through his life. There are a few tight spots that became crowded. There were exit spots that could take one outdoors but I was disappointed to learn that once you go outside, you can't just come back in where you left off. This happened to us around lunch time. We had only made it through ⅓ of the library and wanted to get our lunch from the car. When we were done with lunch, we had to walk back through the rooms and past all the people going slowly which was tedious. It would have been great if we could have reentered near the Air Force One building.

There are several separate places to eat or enjoy a snack. We brought our lunch and left it in the car and then ate at the very nice picnic area under the trees which was close to the parking lot. Halfway through the museum is the Air Force One building. Down on the 3rd floor is an "Irish Pub" which has sandwiches, sodas, and ice cream sandwiches. At the end of the maze of rooms is a cafe with a variety of fare and nice indoor/outdoor seating.

The biggest highlight for our kids (and probably most people) was the Air Force One building. Just seeing that airplane inside a structure was impressive. We entered in on the side of the right wing and walked around to the left wing before we could enter. This gave us plenty of time to admire the plane and to interact with displays and photos about it. There was a 15-20 minute line waiting to go inside the plane but the wait was pleasant. Strollers and wheelchairs were not permitted on the plane but there were docents who were helping families by taking their strollers down an elevator to where the exit of the plane was located. Each group had their picture taken by a docent on the steps leading to the plane. We put our hands in the air to wave as if we were the president. There was no obligation to buy but my dad did because the picture of our whole family turned out well. The inside of the plane was less impressive than my movie memory of "Air Force One" had me imagining. No beds or plush seating although there were couch like chairs and separate rooms for the President. It smelled just like what I remember things smelling like from the 70s & 80s. Think "old school classroom" plus old metal and rubber wiring and that's about it. It was great to imagine the Reagans in that plane and using it for their various trips. We also walked through Marine One, the helicopter used by the president for short trips. It was small inside but interesting. His motorcade of limousine, police cars, SUV, and motorcycles was also on display.

We finished the tour in the gift shop (of course) and opted out of going in the special exhibit room which was all about baseball because we were tired!

Bottomline: My kids learned a lot about Ronald Reagan, his presidency, and world history during our visit. It was definitely worth the trip and admission and I hope to return again with my kids!

Disclosure: Wee received museum admission tickets for the benefit of writing this review. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to say anything in particular.
 
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 13 2014
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McDonalds | kids travel, kids activities
McDonalds
25192 Cabot Rd,
Laguna Hills,
California
"New with PlayPlace - Right off of 5 Freeway"
I don't normally review McDonalds because they are so common and familiar. But this one needs special notice because it has a fabulous PlayPlace and it is located right off the 5 freeway in SoCal.

This location has been remodeled in the past 5 years with modern seating and a clean feel. The PlayPlace is about 2 stories tall and all enclosed indoors. It is new and modern and my 7&5 year olds ran, jumped, and played hard for about an hour. I would guess that most 8 and older kids would be too tall to really enjoy it but it is still fun. Parents will appreciate there being no tunnels for little ones to get stuck in. There is a small area for toddlers with a few stairs and a small slide.

It's a perfect spot for a road trip between Disneyland and LEGOLAND for kids to stretch their legs and parents to use free WiFi!
 
kids travel, kids activities
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July 05 2014
0 families found this helpful
Chili's Bar & Grill | kids travel, kids activities
Chili's Bar & Grill
25 W. Cochran,
Simi Valley,
California
"iPads on the table"
Our family loves Chili's, and this one was no exception. It seems like a lot of families come here after visiting the Reagan Presidential Library and we were one of them.

The service was quick and friendly and our drinks were kept filled during our meal. The waitress took the kids order quickly and brought them food and drink and they were happy. They enjoyed the kids menu with crayons and activities. We loved our chips and guacamole and had a 2 person meal for $20. My margarita chicken was moist and delicious and I love the broccoli!

The one problem was that each table has a new iPad on it that had a menu and games that could be purchased for $1. Not something I want to encourage with my family. When we go out to eat, I want us to be talking with our devises put away.. not have more games encouraged by a device on each table. We paid our bill through that machine was was unique.

It was a great place to eat and relax after a full day of exploring the library but I wish the iPads weren't on the table.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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June 27 2014
0 families found this helpful
Huntington Beach Central Library | kids travel, kids activities
Huntington Beach Central Library
7111 Talbert Ave,
Huntington Beach,
California
"Library in a garden"
This is a beautiful library with a huge children's section. We didn't know what it would be like inside and were instantly mesmerized by the outdoor lighting (sky lights) and the huge walkway and fountain system in the center.

The main floors of the library were bathed in natural light and surrounded by an indoor garden. I wanted to sit right next to the plants and look at all the books on the shelf. But alas, my little kids started climbing in the plants so I tok them to the children's section.

The children's section is on the opposite side of the building from the main book floors which is always a genius design in my opinion. The noise from kids reading books and playing doesn't affect the quite adults in the other sections. Plus, the large fountain and trickling water in the center provided some great white noise. The children's section had an aquarium, a summer reading program, and tons of books. A play area with toddler toys in a ship was a fun attraction.

If we lived closer to HB, I would be at this library often. I loved all that they had to offer. The Friends of the Library had a permanent section in the center of used books for sale which always is fun to browse. We didn't check anything out (too far away) but came home with some cheap (but great) books and some puzzles. Loved it!
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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