Reviews & Photos
December 23 2014
1 family found this helpful
125 W. "B" Street,
I have been waiting to see the candy cane demo at Logan's Candies for NINE years; something has just always "come up" and stopped me from making it. This year I finally did it. I don't think it will become an "annual tradition," but it is DEFINITELY worth seeing once.
The store is not located in the best part of town so we decided on trying for the earlier demo in the evening. A line was already forming 45 minutes before the demo was to begin. We walked inside the shop to look around and bought some candy cane ice-cream. The store is TIGHT. People were working behind the counter shaping candy canes and it was fun to watch while we waited. We were still inside when the demo began so I felt guilty that we "cut" the line, but there is seriously no crowd control here, and in tight spaces, I don't do well with that.
Most people watched from the outside window, others crammed up to the inside counter to see the candy maker stretch and pull the candy cane from it's sugared beginnings.The process is pretty interesting and if it wasn't for the incredible heat inside caused by numerous people and my introverted son wanting to leave, I would have stayed and watched the whole thing. My gang I went with did stay in and were given samples of warm candy cane which they said was the BEST thing ever. They bought candy canes shaped as hearts and if we had a little more patient kiddos we could have stayed and paid a small fee to shape our own candy canes.
Things I would do (as the shop owner) to make this experience better...Have someone placed outside to instruct people where to go, when they can enter, how long they can stay. There was a lot of elbowing. Pipe a speaker to the outside. The candy maker kept quieting people down (he was on a mic) but those watching from the outside needed a speaker too). They need another exit. There is one in the gift shop but it was locked due to theft prevention I assume, but so many people using one door was just too much.
All in all, this was worth doing...once. I have friends who go back yearly but unless my kids ask again, I can say I've done it and enjoyed it.
December 17 2014
1 family found this helpful
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
74855 Country Club Dr,
Palm Desert, California
Want to get away from the city? Here's the place to go. Conveniently located a reasonable driving distance from LA, San Diego, and especially the Inland Empire, the Desert Springs Resort offers a true retreat from it all.
This holiday season I wanted to go somewhere and not think of the stress that can occur. My kids and I ventured out to the desert and I purposed not to get back into the car until we were ready to return home. Success! We stayed put.
Positives: With the amount of restaurants (including a Starbucks!), we didn't have to leave the property to eat. The Rockwood Grill was our favorite.
The Views!!! Our room over looked the pool/lake/mountains. It was an exquisite view that I couldn't get enough of.
The boat on the lake. Yes, this resort has a lake! And little 12 passenger boats tour it regularly. We took the last boat of the night and had a magical experience of seeing the lights around the property and the gorgeous swans that call the lake home.
The "lawn activities." We woke up Sunday morning and enjoyed a round of putting golf in the front of the resort. How fun! There's also basketball, tennis, and a few other sports to entertain your kids for hours.
The POOLS. Enough said. FOUR pools. It was December, snow on the mountains, and my kids and i were laying by the pool in the sun. You can't beat that.
Extra entertainment. We saw the Rockin' Christmas Musical Review and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Negatives: I don't really have any. It truly was a great experience and my kids are still talking about it. The rooms were good; our room wasn't large but it held two double beds and our bathroom was sizable with separate bath tub and shower.
This will be another short get away when we need to leave the rat race of the city again.
Disclosure: I was an invited guest of Desert Springs. All opinions are my own.
December 17 2014
0 families found this helpful
Rockin the Holidays Musical Review
74-855 Country Club Drive ,
While staying at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort this holiday season, I wanted to give the kids a 'Broadway experience" and brought them to the 1st Annual Rockin' the Holidays Musical Review on the resort grounds. We were not disappointed. The show consisted of all the classic favorites one would expect, along with some twists with a new holiday spin. Seating is at round tables and performers move from a well lit (xmas trees and white lights) stage to a lot of crowd interaction and pop up stages placed throughout the room. The energy the performers possess and the band projects is contagious and I often found myself singing along or clapping my hands.
But was it "kid-friendly"? Ive been taking my 10-year-old to Broadway reviews for three years now and my 7-year-old has a slight obsession with Elvis, so I know they are not the "typical" kids. But they very much enjoyed (and stayed entertained), the traditional songs. Some of the more spiritual songs were arranged to have the Jesus-parts played down a little, but I appreciated that they were included. My daughter squealed with delight when the opening note of "Let It Go" began and continued to gleam as snow fell from the ceiling to make the song even more magical.
But there's always "Santa Baby." Every musical review is going to have some "adult" parts and I was pleasantly surprised how they were handled. The Santa Baby costumes were low cut but the girls dancing remained appropriate. One song had two women pulled from the audience to sit in chairs on stage and I thought "Uh oh." But no lewd dancing occurred (thank goodness). After the song, my son announced "That was weird." But really, it wasn't.
We had a great night at this musical review and it made the holidays start to feel like the holidays. Being at JW Marriott, we went and rode the boat on the lake later at the resort and that capped our night off as a night to remember.
We also took pictures with the cast afterwards and they were so sweet to my daughter. It was a very fun night. The show runs until the end of the year, so if you are in Palm Desert, be sure to catch it and be ready to sing and smile.
Disclosure: I was an invited guest of the show. All opinions are my own.
November 15 2014
0 families found this helpful
Adventure to Santa
12505 North Mainstreet,
Every year it is a Christmas tradition to have the kid's pictures taken with Santa. Most often, the photo happens at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga so that I can combine some Christmas shopping with the photo op. This year, Dream Works has spun a new twist on seeing Santa and my kids loved it. From November 15th to December 24th (2014), DreamWorks DreamPlace has created an animated experience to find Santa.
Located in the Chaffey Town Square (where the dancing fountains usually are), our experience began entering Santa's domain, but discovering Santa was missing. Shrek appeared on the screen and let us know we would have to help him to find Santa. Our Dream Guide led us into a room to create our own sled on a tablet. Once our sled was designed, we were brought into another room that contained a large, plush Santa sled, that we promptly entered and began our ride to Santa. The sled stays still (except for some minor rocking), but the screen brings the rider down a track and up, up into the air, along with Shrek and his friends. Wind blew our hair and there wasn't anything scary throughout the presentation (except of course, if your kid just doesn't like ogres).
We stepped off the sled and entered a room where the kids could play elfish games on more tablets as we waited for our turn to see Santa. The backdrop is a beautiful red library, tastefully decorated and the Santa is our favorite. He's been the mainstay Santa at VG for years. Super friendly and could pull an answer out of my introverted 6-year-old and my "too cool for school" 10-year-old. Our photos turned out great; another year of my favorite tradition checked off the list.
The greatest part? The Adventure to Santa is FREE! Reservations required and can be done so here http://www.victoriagardensie.com/info/santa2014. There is a chance to purchase photos with Santa afterwards. This is a great way to change up the unbearable "wait in line for Santa." The biggest proof? My tweener asked to do it again!
Disclosure: I was an invited guest of A2Santa. All opinions are my own.
November 05 2014
1 family found this helpful
3435 Del Mar Heights Rd., Suite D3,
"Puts the hip in hipster"
When I asked the front desk at Hotel Indigo where to go for breakfast in Del Mar, she quickly responded that Snooze is the MUST breakfast place to go to. I didn't necessarily want to go inland as I was at the beach and wanted to stay at the beach. But her enthusiasm for this place got me curious and Im glad I drove East.
This place is super cool. From the decor which is a retro, kid-friendly rat pack style, complete with circular booths and garage door style walls, along with morning alcohol selections, such as a Brewmosa, Snooze screams on trend. But I don't trust anything too hip, so the food would have to prove itself. And boy did it.
I usually go savory but I couldn't pass on trying the Brioche french toast stuffed with marscapone cheese and covered with salted caramel sauce. Divine. The kids menu included a drink, side of fruit, side of hash browns, and then a main choice. Mine chose the chocolate chip pancakes and were pretty impressed. The kids menu was also cool as they were educational without being too pushy and I even learned some facts from it.
This place was hopping even on a Monday morning, so to appease the crowds, there are board games scattered throughout the restaurant and coffee for those waiting. When I was ready to go, the waitress asked if I would like more coffee, after I paused, she offered it in a TO-Go cup! Can you believe it?! That won me over right there.
This place was definitely worth leaving the beach for and a must eat if in the area.