mcfam's Passport
 

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Member since:
27 May 2010

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 675 Attractions
Icon_star589 Reviews
Icon_star1352 First to Review
Icon_camera22607 Photos
Icon_thumbsup259 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

589 Reviews


October 21 2014
0 families found this helpful
El Torito Grill | kids travel, kids activities
El Torito Grill
951 Newport Center Drive,
Newport Beach,
California
"Amazing starters and drinks"
They don't serve you the boring chips and salsa here - no, try freshly made and hot tortillas with sides of butter and salsa. I could gorge myself on this - actually I have! That and a margarita seem like one of the most delicious combinations.

This is a very large restaurant with seating and rooms around every corner. I've seen many families here as there are large booths and tables to be combined. I haven't taken my kids, however, because the prices and the atmosphere make me want to keep this restaurant for date night or girl's nights out. It's a fun restaurant with delicious food.
 
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October 18 2014
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Islands Restaurant | kids travel, kids activities
Islands Restaurant
4020 Barranca Parkway,
Irvine,
California 92604
"always tasty"
We come to this Islands frequently, especially when the grandparents are visiting. There are large booths that fit our family of 6 plus 2 more. The kids menus are standard fare of mac n cheese, burgers, chicken strips, and more but the coloring pages are fun for all the ages of my kids: 6-13. The drinks are included and we keep those plastic cups for our own stash at home. Might be tacky, but now it's tradition!

One of my favorite things to order is the endless bowl of tortilla soup which is delicious and just spicy enough. It comes with a few chips that are perfect for dipping. Other delicious items include Chinese chicken salad, Yaki Tacos, and their burgers. Now everything comes with fries which makes for a filling meal. We'll be back to this Islands soon!

Tip - look for the dog/coyote prints on the tiles in the entrance. I don't know if this is true, but I heard that the tiles are made in Mexico and are dried in an outdoor structure. The dogs or coyotes come across them at night and have left their prints. The kids like looking for them!
 
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October 07 2014
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America Tropical Interpretive Center | kids travel, kids activities
America Tropical Interpretive Center
125 Paseo de la Plaza,
Los Angeles,
California
"Good but confusing"
When we walked into the center for "America Tropical" it honestly took me quite a while to figure out what the center was all about. I could see the large mural image in black and white on one wall that was obviously a large photo and there were banks of computers with headphones. The kids wanted to touch the interactive screens so we started there. I quickly got the idea that the center was about 1 artist and the murals he had painted.

The guides were welcoming and one handed me a very nice children's guide to the mural. 4 of them actually. There was lots of info inside and even activities to help them learn more.

I thought we were done after 10 minutes or so of learning about an artist we weren't really interested in and then as we were leaving, the guide asked if we wanted to see the actual mural. Now I was interested. It was all making sense. There was an actual mural painted somewhat over historic Olvera Street and that's what this center is about! We went up the elevator and stood on the viewing platform. Unfortunately the glaringly white roof top in front of us made it hard to see the mural that was several buildings away... but at least we saw it. My kids looked for 2 seconds and were done. Oh well.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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October 06 2014
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Avila Adobe | kids travel, kids activities
Avila Adobe
10 Olvera St,
Los Angeles,
California
"Great example of an adobe home"
This home lays claim to "the oldest house in Los Angeles," and it probably is! It was built in 1818 and is a true adobe with walls about 2 feet thick. It is smack dab in the middle of Olvera Street and it was delightful to tour it for free on our recent visit.

Each room is set up as it may have looked in the early 1800s with tools, furniture, and rancher gear of the time period. It is all roped off but was very easy for my kids to see. There were only peek-views about a doors-width into the bedrooms, which could make it difficult on a crowded day or with school groups. I took the time to talk to my kids about the things they saw (no electricity, how it was heated, no running water, how clothes were stored, no toys, etc) and I think I prevented some guests from seeing into the rooms because we stood there so long. I can imagine it being much more crowded on a weekend.

Definitely worth a visit. Took us about 15-20 minutes total to view.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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October 06 2014
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El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument / Olvera Street | kids travel, kids activities
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument / Olvera Street
Olvera Street,
125 Paseo de la Plaza ,
Los Angeles,
California 90012
"Great on a weekday"
We didn't arrive by train - like many of the other reviewers - but rather parked in the Old Post Office parking lot across the street for a $6 flat rate - not bad! It was our first ever trip to Olvera Street and we enjoyed the quaint and small area. The kids really liked looking at all the things for sale even though I cringed at the plastic toys from China and the merchandise that did not look authentic. The leather goods smelled wonderful and were plenty of great things on display.

It didn't take us long to walk down the street filled with little shops and restaurants and it was not crowded at all on a weekday at noon. We ate our lunch on a picnic bench and then toured the Avila Adobe that was free for guests. We ate a stuffed churro at Mr. Churro and then explored the Sepulveda Museum and saw the mural of art called "America Tropical."

I want to return again to this little gem of a cultural area with my kids to try some authentic Mexican food and soak in the leather smell again.
 
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