mcfam's Passport


Member since:
27 May 2010

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

Icon_pictureBeen to 783 Attractions
Icon_star700 Reviews
Icon_star1430 First to Review
Icon_camera23536 Photos
Icon_thumbsup290 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

700 Reviews

January 25 2016
0 families found this helpful
Lumberyard | kids travel, kids activities
384 Forest Avenue,
Laguna Beach,
California 92651
"Historic building with great steaks and seafood"
This historic building is now home to a fine restaurant known for fresh seafood, steaks, and major burgers.

There is a large bar area with TVs showing sports, a large dining area with booths, and a small patio. The dining area was almost totally dark with a few spot lights on tables and candles. It has a romantic feel, yet it is casual enough for families. I saw several families with kids, although they were all able to eat quietly.

The prices are high, but the taste and arrangements were of high value. I would recommend this location for lunch or a nice dinner out.

Be sure to check out the chimney just off of the patio. It is quite eclectic and kids may get a kick out of it!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 25 2016
0 families found this helpful
Sergio's Empanadas | kids travel, kids activities
Sergio's Empanadas
977 South Coast Highway,
Laguna Beach,
California 92651
"Perfect to take to the beach"
These light and flaky empanadas are made fresh daily at this location. Fillings range from traditional carne and cheese to Italian and Asian flavors. Pair an empanada with a greek or quinoa salad for a great meal. Desert options available.

At $4.95 an empanada- these can be a perfect lunch for a family. Easy to hold, they perfect to eat at the beach... which is just steps away!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 24 2016
0 families found this helpful
Big Fish Tavern | kids travel, kids activities
Big Fish Tavern
540 South Coast Highway #200,
Laguna Beach,
California 92651
"Fresh fish with an ocean view"
Lunch was a perfect time to stop here for delicious fish. The tables were open, the views of the ocean (across the street and down) were beautiful, and the staff was friendly.

I ordered the fish tacos with a side of sweet potato fries. My son ate off of the kids menu and enjoyed his fish n chips. The kids menu was affordable with each plate near $7 and included a soft drink.

There were a wide variety of fresh fish and raw options on the starter menu at prices less than $10. The fresh catch selections seemed incredibly delicious but ran closer to $25.

We loved the upside down key lime pie for dessert. It was clearly made with fresh ingredients and lime zest and was topped with a graham cracker crust and whipped cream. So delicious and creamy.

We will be back for fresh fish at lunch, or to enjoy the happy hour menu as adults. A great place that locals love and tourists will enjoy when they find it!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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January 24 2016
0 families found this helpful
Whispering Pines | kids travel, kids activities
Whispering Pines
18 Nevada Street,
June Lake, California
"Budget friendly and great spot to stay in June Lake"
This small motel is nestled at the base of some towering mountains in the midst of pine trees and the setting could not be more beautiful. The hotel itself feels outdated and run down, but despite that it was perfect for our family- and I think other families would appreciate it as well.

What we loved:
* Lots of space for our family of 6
* Full kitchen (only one unit has this- others have small kitchenettes with microwave and fridge.
* A hot tub to soak in after skiing
* Great location just 2 miles from June Mountain Ski Area
* Friendly and helpful staff
* Free WiFi
* Budget friendly pricing

What could be improved
* Pillows were hard and uncomfortable and bedding was old fashioned with blankets and bedspreads
* Outdated decor and not maintained walls, and broken blinds
* Rough towels that smelled strongly of chlorine
* No black out curtains - there was a lot of light in the morning- but incredible mountain views in exchange

We stayed in the deluxe 2 bedroom suite that is located directly over the lobby. It opened onto a living room with a full couch, TV, dining area that seated 4, full kitchen with dishwasher, stove, oven, fridge, and microwave, plus cupboards stocked with dishes, cooking tools, and settings for 5. There was a bedroom off of the living room that slept two (no doors), and then a separate bedroom with a door that slept two. Our youngest two slept on the couch- although we were offered roll-away beds. One bathroom had a large counter with lots of cupboards, toilet, and shower.

Our room had a full kitchen, but most rooms only have a small kitchenette. Only one other room has a full stove - most just have a fridge and microwave. A keurig coffee maker is in each room as well. Check with management to find out the details when making a reservation. Cabins and A-frame cottages are available in the summer season and these may have a full kitchen.

There are only a few restaurants in the June Lake area, a pizza place, and a small general store. These places are a bit more expensive and are nice - so to save money we were really thankful to have a stove and oven. We brought cup o noodles- but also purchased a frozen pizza and mac n cheese at the general store so we saved quite a bit of money on meals.

It would be great if the management could invest some money in upgrading and improving the major things at this place. Broken blinds, holes in the wall from removed window coverings, and old broken tiles in the bathroom to start - but I suppose that is what keeps the nightly cost down and is affordable.

The hot tub is located in a separate interior room and also holds a bathroom, shower, and dry sauna. The heater is on a timer and on our second night, it hadn’t come on. So when we went to enjoy it- it was only 85 degrees or so. The management came in and turned it on and it got heated after a while. It was great to soak after skiing.

Bottom line- Despite this place resembling more of a Motel 6 with outdated and broken blinds, it truly met all of our needs and was a very pleasant place to stay. The price is very affordable for families and because of the kitchen options, I recommend this place. It could not be in a more beautiful setting in every season with Yosemite, June Mountain and Mammoth Mountain nearby for all-season recreation.

Disclosure: We received complimentary accommodations for the purpose of this review. We were not asked to present a particular point of view and 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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January 24 2016
0 families found this helpful
June Kids | kids travel, kids activities
June Kids
June Mountain Ski Area,
June Lake,
"Best place to learn to ski and snowboard!"
June Mountain is known as one of the best places for families to learn to ski - and for families to go skiing. One of the reasons for this is their excellent ski/snowboard school. Teams of industry leading experts are there to help kids learn the fun sport.

The second day of our ski trip, our kids were not in lessons- and my daughter was a bit bored with me. She had learned fun things in ski school, and I was more of a cautious skiier who didn’t know all the fun things to do. During the day she showed me how she learned to ski through the trees, ride the rollers in the terrain park, and play games with follow the leader down a run. She was even trying to ski backwards like her instructor. She had so much fun in ski school - and that was the true magic and worth of the lessons!

There is ski school (ski only) for 3-4 year olds and then ski school for kids ages 5-12 for the whole day- both ski and snowboard. Kids try out the small bunny hill and then instructors separate them by ability and age and assign instructors.

We talked to several blue jacketed instructors who welcomed our kids, got them set up with tags and info, and got them separated into ability groups. Each person was friendly and helpful. I was especially impressed with one guy (Dan?) who told me the schedule of the day, what type of food they would have for lunch (including fruits and veggies), and where they might be. We were free to check in with them and even pull them from the lesson at any point. An incredible staff.

Our 7 year old girl was with the skiiers and she really loved it. I saw her riding the lifts during the day and I learned later that she loved her time. Our 9 year old was with a bunch of snowboard boys and we caught up to him at lunch- chowing on his mac n cheese in the chalet. He loved the hot chocolate snacks and improved in his snowboarding ability.

Bottom line:
It is COMPLETELY worth it to enroll kids in ski school. Even if they have already had some lessons and experiences, this amazing team keeps them improving and having a blast. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: Our kids received complimentary lessons as part of our visit to June Mountain. 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
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