The Magic of Mickey’s Halloween Party

mickey's halloween party i’ve posted before about how much our family loves Halloween Time at Disneyland. in addition to the fun you can have visiting Disneyland during Halloween, you can also attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. this separate ticketed event is a fun and festive Trick-or Treat party, that is only open to those who have purchased tickets. so, what is the difference between Halloween Time at Disneyland  and Mickey’s Halloween Party…well, let me tell you.

first of all, you get to wear Halloween costumes. this is so much fun for the kids, and actually for anyone of any age! here is my cutie ready to head into Mickey’s Halloween Party. he is a police dog in case you are wondering.


there are also things that are unique to Mickey’s Halloween Party that you won’t see at the park everyday during Halloween Time. like….Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade! a real fun Halloween parade that runs from a “The Small World” and to the Main Street Town Hall and back, with all your Disney favorites dressed up for Halloween. this is performed twice nightly.


you may even get a chance to see Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen on their magical Frozen float.

guests can get their pictures taken with Disney Villians who prowl the grounds on main street.


or attend the Monsters University Show and Dance Party at Tomorrowland Terrace. it’s a great place to show your Halloween dance moves. my kids had a blast dancing with their friends all over the dance floor. and they also have a Mike & Sulley spirited Monster Scare-Off which all the kids loved. it was a cute show.

and of course the Trick-or-Treating throughout Disneyland Resort is what brings many people to Mickey’s Halloween Party. there are lots of treat trails throughout the park with candy and even healthy treat options. this is one of our favorite things to do during the party, and the boys came home with loads of candy.


of course a trip to Mickey’s Halloween Party wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Haunted Mansion Holiday. it has been transformed with a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition. Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” this year, Jack’s return to the Haunted Mansion includes the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom, with special spooky surprises in this year’s design.


i would have to say the best thing about Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party is the “Halloween Screams” fireworks show hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington. it’s a boo-tiful fireworks spectacular exclusively for Mickey’s Halloween Party guests and is my all-time favorite Disneyland Firework Show.

along with Disney Halloween magic, all these festive Halloween activities, plus everything else happening during Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is available to guests at Mickey’s Halloween Party! it is not to be missed. we just love going each year, as it has become one of our family’s favorite Halloween Traditions. we stayed till the very end it was so much fun.


and lastly, don’t forget to get your picture with the giant pumpkin Mickey!


Tips for Disney Halloween Party
• you can arrive and enter the park 3 hours before the party on the day of your tickets.
• all trick-or-treat stations offer healthy snacks
• The Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain have been transformed into The Haunted Manion Holiday and Ghost Galaxy for Halloween, don’t miss this once a year transformation.
• pick up a special Halloween treat from one of the restaurants, snack carts or shops.
• wear a costume! this will make the night so much fun. everyone is wearing costumes.
annual pass holders can get a special Halloween Treat!

if you want to go, there are 14 Halloween parties happening this year. hurry and get your tickets now. there are already sold out nights due to it’s popularity.

{disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. we were invited guest of Disneyland Resort to the party. all thoughts and opinions are a gazillion times my own.}





Searles Dry Lake Gem Mining Field Trips in Trona, California

gem-o-rama-trona-californialast year, we had one of our best adventures to date, when we went gem mining in Trona, California. most people haven’t have never heard of Trona, CA, either had we until i saw someone post on instagram about this awesome trip they took were there family was digging crystals from the ground. it looked like something my boys would love, so i contacted that person and got the deets.

it turns out that this adventure took place in Trona, CA, a hundred year old town just north of Ridgecrest, CA on the way to Bishop. this is about 2-1/2 to 3 hours north of Orange County. each year on the second week of October, they hold an Annual Gem-O-Ram and Searles Dry Lake Field Trips. this equals and entire weekend of gem mining fun, and ended up being SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

our adventure started out around 7am on Saturday morning as we headed from Ridgecrest to Trona. to make our drive more manageable, we stayed at a VERY CHEAP hotel in Ridgecrest the night before. then drove about 20 minutes to the town of Trona for the gem mining filed trips.

trona-california-searles-valley-lakeonce you arrive at the Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society building, you line your car up in rows to get ready to caravan to the Searless Dry Lake to do one of the gem mining field trips. there are 3 different field trips you can participate in, and each one is a unique experience and costs $15 per car. they take place at 3 different times….Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. before you head out, you are able to buy any supplies you need for the digging and also purchase a pancake breakfast if you are hungry.

searles-lake-gem-mineral-societythe Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society also holds their annual Gem-O-Rama this weekend, and if you love gems and crystals, this is a great show. there are rooms and rooms filled with gems available for purchase. and the boys had a lot of fun looking at the THOUSANDS the different varieties of rocks, gems and minerals.
gem-show-trona-californiatrona-gem-o-rama there are many gem experts on site…you can even pick out a geode and have it cut right in front of you.geode-cutting-trona-californiaat 9 am sharp, the caravan left for the first field trip of the day. this field trip is called The Mud Field Trip. all the cars drive together across the Searless Lake bed to the first excavation area. the lake was so beautiful and peaceful. it is a dead lake because it’s much to mineralized for anything to live in it, so its water was still, untouched like glass.
searles-dry-lakeThe Mud Field Trip is were visitors can dig for a crystal called Hanksite. 15 -20 truck loads of crystal laden mud has been excavated and placed at this site for visitor to dig and find as much Hanksite as they want. the boys loved finding giant crystals that they could keep.
gem-mining-field-trip-searles-lake-tronahere is just a small crystal that i found inside the black clay and mud. there are thousands in there….big and small and you get to keep whatever you find and want.

searles-lake-gems-digthis first field trip will get you super muddy and dirty. but that’s okay…it’s all about the fun. we found that rain boots are the best because you can just hose them clean. supplies that are best for this field trip are: garden trowel, gloves, carpet square or cardboard to sit on, buckets for your rocks, scrub brush, and brine (which you can buy onsite for about $1).

trona-california-lake-field-trip the first field trip was a success. so exciting, as we had never seen crystals like that in the mud.trona-california-family-travelafter the first field trip, we went back into town and lined our car up for the second caravan to the next field trip. at this time we ate our picnic lunch (you can purchase food too), checked out more rooms in the Gem-O-Rama show, and walked around the town to explore. Trona in 100 years old, and pretty empty. all the buildings look like you have gone back in time. not many people still live there. it was fun to check out the old buildings. trona-california-market trona-california
the second field trip is called The Blow Hole Field Trip. it takes place after lunch and is at an area on the Searles Dry Lake. here they drill 25-45 ft underground and spray out crystals for visitors to excavate.searles-lake-gem-mineral-society-digyou definitely don’t get as dirty at this field trip. you can pretty much pick up any crystals you see without using tools to dig.
crystal-digging-trona-californiagem-mining-trona-californiathe best part about this field trip is the drilling demonstration. you get to watch them drill into the lake bed and them spray out the rocks and crystals. when they are done, visitors can collect them. it was really cool.
drilling-demonstration-trona-searles-lakethese crystals look different than the crystals we collected that morning. these ones were more square and cube like.
searles-dry-lake-gem-miningwe did not go to the third and final field trip. it takes place the next day on Sunday, and we didn’t plan on staying overnight. we could have gotten another night stay at the motel or camped in Trona, but we were dirty and ready to go home. the third field trip supposedly yields the best crystals call pink Halite. The Pink Halite field trip sound pretty cool. you get to wade into brine pools to excavate the pink crystals. one day we will have to try it out.

we had the best time gem mining in Trona. we will be going again this year. it’s coming up on the second weekend in October. and maybe you will join us! it is defeinly a great family experience that fascinates not only kids, but parents, grandparents and people of all ages.


for more information about the Searles Dry Lake Field Trips and Gem-O-Rama, click here. you will find all the information you need here. and if you still have any questions or need advice, feel free to email me. i will be glad to answer any of your questions. since i already have been, i know what to expect. last year we had no clue what we were getting into…and this year i feel better prepared and know what to expect!

Tips for attending the Searles Dry Lake Field Trips in Trona, CA
• make sure to arrive promptly at the designated time for you field trip, as the caravan will not wait for you.
• bring cash for souvenirs, supplies, food, pancake breakfast, field trip fee, etc.
• plan on getting dirty. bring extra clothes and shoes. rain boots are a great choice for the first field trip.
• cell reception is almost scarce. people with Verizon have the best luck with service.
• suggested supplies to bring: buckets, garden tools, scrub brush or dish scrubber, gloves, carpet square or cardboard to sit on, small shovel, sunscreen and camera.
• bring snacks and a picnic lunch. a pancake breakfast is available for purchase before the field trips in the morning, and there are a few places to buy lunch…but i highly suggest bringing plenty of food.

here is a short video of our time in Trona. if you are wondering what the field trips are like, this video will give you a good idea.




Celebrating Every Season at Knott’s Berry Farm


as I’m sure you already know, we are big fans of Knott’s Berry Farm. over the last few years we have celebrated the start of many seasons in the park. we love the little changes they make each time to get everyone in the spirit. whether it be beautiful flowers and butterflies to ring in Spring…


or Christmas trees, ornaments and gingerbread houses that make Winter merry and bright.


of course it wouldn’t be an amazing Summer without a few trips to Knott’s Soak City to stay cool!


we’ve also celebrated amazing accomplishments such as my grandmother’s breast cancer journey.


and we can’t forget Halloween time, with the kid-friendly Camp Spooky, and the date-night fun at Knott’s Scary Farm.


no matter what time of year it is, we love being at Knott’s Berry Farm! they make it affordable for all families to enjoy a year of fun with a great low price on their 2015 Season Pass. it includes a visit in 2014 as well, plus discounts for additional 2014 visits and Knott’s Scary Farm, so you can make the most out of this year too!


the 2015 Knott’s Season Pass is available now for only 9 payments of $8.50! you can also add an All-Season Dining pass, which will get you one lunch and one dinner each day that you use your pass in 2015. if you’re a Southern California local looking for affordable entertainment all year long, you can’t get a better deal than that!


Celebrating The Holidays With The Peanuts Gang | Giveaway


it’s no secret that Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have a special place in my family’s hearts. while we enjoy them all year long, there’s something about Holiday time that makes us want to curl up in front of the television and watch one of our favorite Peanuts specials. it’s a long time tradition for our family, and many families before us – for the past 50 years to be exact.

Peanuts Worldwide is kicking off a year-long celebration of 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas! December 2014 marks the 50th year anniversary and 50th time the beloved special will air on television. To launch the celebration we were able to chat with another Jill, Jill Schulz, the youngest of Charles M. Schulz’s five children, about her personal memories of her Dad; the family Christmas traditions that she shared with her siblings Meredith, Amy, Monte, and Craig; and, of course, the way that A Charlie Brown Christmas has touched her life and the lives of millions of fans across the globe.


What was it like to celebrate Christmas in the Schulz family?

“We had a pretty typical Christmas, except that we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. Typically, we’d have neighborhood friends and kids coming over and my mom cooked a great big dinner. Then we’d wait for Santa Claus, I’d always sneak back down and open a window because I thought there was no way he could fit down the chimney. Once the TV show came out, that became a tradition: both Christmas and Halloween, they became something we’d gather around TV to watch. But to me, it just seemed like a normal family Christmas.”

What is Christmas like for your family today?

“After those big Christmases as a kid, I had to get adjusted to having Christmases with just my husband and my two kids. It felt so small. I tried to do the same traditions, watch the special, do the presents. One tradition I didn’t keep: My parents always put an orange in Christmas stockings, I switched that to chocolate.”


Did your Dad think the special would be around 50 years later?

“He wasn’t one to predict. The most important thing to him was drawing the comic strip. He’d always say, ‘I’m just a cartoonist.’ He was not setting out to make his cartoon famous, or sell merchandise. Those were everyone else’s ideas. One thing he never understood was when people would say to him, ‘Mr. Schulz, you’re so successful now, why don’t you retire?’ He’d say, ‘Why would I spend my whole life to become successful at doing the thing I love to do, and then not do it?’ He passed away immediately after he decided he could no longer draw the strip. To him, it was all about drawing the comic strip.”

Who’s your favorite Peanuts character and why?

“My absolute favorite is Snoopy because I like his imagination and his free spirit, how he imagines whatever he wants to be. I had a pretend friend as a kid that everyone teased me about. And because he’s a dog and I love rescue animals. Then it would be Linus, because I like how calm he remains, how philosophical he is.”

Launch the holiday joy early, as you anticipate the 50th airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas!  The soft and huggable Snoopy plush brings cheer any time of day or night, while the charming Be Joyful book keeps you in a Peanuts spirit year-round.

snoopy-peanuts giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a Snoopy Plush and Be Joyful book! To enter, leave a comment below in the comments section AND enter via rafflecopter. Winners will be chosen randomly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Build Your Burger at McDonald’s SoCal | Giveaway


last weekend, the boys and i had the opportunity to check out McDonald’s restaurants new Build Your Burger experience. it puts the customers’ burger of their dreams right to their fingertips through an interactive kiosk in restaurant lobbies. Build Your Burger offers a variety of toppings, sauces and buns, including new items such as guacamole and tortilla strips. the custom burger creations are grilled fresh to order and delivered to the customer’s table for a unique dining experience.

right now, only a a handful of select Southern California locations offer the new Build Your Burger experience for in-store customers. two of them are in Orange County! the two locations are  27331 La Paz Road and 30305 Golden Lantern Street in Laguna Niguel.

here is my first experience ordering my burger. it was so much fun.

once you have ordered, you get your order number and take it to your table to wait for your #perfectburger that is made custom to your order.mcdonalds-build-fresh-burgerthat’s right each burger is made to order, one at a time with fresh ingredients! the burgers are 100% USDA beef and are grilled fresh on a grill. you can choose to put your burger on buttered, toasted breads, including an artisanal rolls, and pick from new toppings like tortilla strips, grilled mushrooms and caramelized onions – plus all the original favorites like premium lettuce and tomato. you can also top your burger with natural cheeses, including sharp white cheddar, pepper jack and American and savory sauces, like spicy mayo, guacamole, creamy garlic sauce, sweet BBQ and Big Mac Special Sauce. YUM!mcdonalds-build-your-burger-event shortly after, a friendly McDonald’s team member will arrive at your table with some tastily burgers such as these!mcdonalds-restaurant-burgers don’t they look so good?  because they are!!!! mcdonalds-socal-burger my boys and i LOVED the new burgers. they did not taste like fast food at all…they tasted like they came from a restaurant and so very flavorful with the new topping and cheese options. we especially liked the artisan rolls, the guacamole and tortilla lime chip strips. the boys already want to go back and wish the McDonald’s near us had the Build Your Burger option.mcdonalds-deluxe-fresh-burger Try Build Your Burger for FREE!!!!! Here is your exclusive invitation to try Build Your Burger for free! on September 27th, 2014 from  5:00 – 7:00 p.m. stop by either of the Laguna Niguel Build Your Burger locations and you’ll receive a Build Your Burger at no charge from McDonald’s. available while supplies last. limit one person. 27331 La Paz Road and 30304 Golden Lantern Street in Laguna Niguel, Calif. and check the McDonald’s SoCal website often for details on upcoming Build Your Burger events and specials at these exclusive Orange County McDonald’s locations.mcdonalds-build-fresh-burger-event giveaway 5 lucky winners will receive a $25 McDonald’s gift card! to enter, leave a comment below in the comments section AND enter via rafflecopter. winners will be chosen randomly. contest ends October 1st at midnight. good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. We were invited guests of McDonald’s to try out the new burgers. Gift Cards provided by McDonald’s}


Confessions of the Real Me: The Hottest Week of the Year

confessions of the real me

Confessions of the Real Me. just a series on my blog where i share the not so perfect bits and pieces of my life. because in reality…our lives are not always the perfect pictures that we share on social media channels. i know mine isn’t….but i’ll take it.

The Hottest Week of the Year

last week in Southern California it was hot. no joke. it actually ended up being the hottest week of the year so far. so hot that this was mondays weather….

yep. 108º flipping degrees!

108 Degrees in Anaheim

i just can’t believe it got that hot…and it lasted for days. dayzzzzzz i tell you. mother nature was seriously playing with us, and not in a good way.

it was so hot outside, we even tried cooking eggs on the hot asphalt. my boys thought i was the coolest mom…and pretty much figured that i had i lost my mind. yes….i did loose my mind. blame. the. heat.

cooking an egg on the sidewalk

BTW….it DIDN’T work. a big bummer for the kids. and on top of that, my littlest got the brilliant idea to start throwing eggs into the street. (i can bet that i’ll be getting a letter from the association about that.)

cooking an egg on the sidewalk fail

yep. after reading up on why it didn’t work, apparently the eggs needed to be cracked on a metal surface like the hood of a car since they cool down the sidewalk at first. yeah…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. i like the paint on my car.

during the rest of the heat wave i stayed indoors with my littlest while the big boys were at school. they didn’t get to go outside for recess during these hot days (bless their teachers) because of the heat risk. and the little guy and i played LEGOS.

yeah. LEGOS. all. day. long.

we spent almost a whole day looking for a mini chainsaw….the GOLD one. NOT the GREY one. in this pile of no less than a gazillion lego pieces.

we never found the chainsaw. but when the older boys came home, they found it in 3.5 seconds. a whole day wasted! but at least i didn’t have to go outside into the oven….that is until….

stepping on legos

the boys had swim team. but, how bad could it be sitting by the pool for an hour watching the boys swim? i thought.

it WAS bad. i felt myself start to wilt…sweat, yes sweat was dripping out of my ELBOW pits! (what do you call that body part anyways?) i felt nauseous and terribly exhausted.

hot weather was really taking a toll on me. as we drove home, i decided that NO, i wasn’t going to cook. we were going to have dinner at Yogurtland. yep…MOTHER OF THE YEAR here!

the boys didn’t mind at all. of course they didn’t. and the husband….he just knew a happy wife was his best bet. so we all had Yogurtland for dinner. man it was good. and cold!

Yogurtland for Dinner

i did however, feel kind of bad when the kids started telling me they were hungry around bedtime. thank goodness for toast and OJ.

on wednesday it finally cooled down a little.

101º felt “wonderful” compared to 108º and i decided i would keep my promised to the boys to head over to Disneyland and check out the new Halloween Time decorations since it was a minimum day. i didn’t feel the best…kind of deflated from the heat, but hoped the park wouldn’t be very crowded due to the heat and we would get to go on more rides.

i guess the heat had already gotten to me, because while driving, and waiting to make a left-hand turn into the Disneyland parking area, i somehow missed the light.

i don’t know why i missed it…perhaps i wouldn’t have made it anyways, but the man in the car behind me was super angry. way more angry than he should have gotten. after all, it was just a traffic light. an accident on my part. i didn’t mean to miss it, but he proceeded to honk over and over and scream the “F” word repeatedly until our light turned green again, which took foreverrrrrrrrrrr.

“what’s he yelling at us mommy?”

geez. at this point i was ready to go home. what is it with the heat that makes everyone including myself grumpy.

luckily…we had a fabulous time at Disneyland. so much fun that i almost forgot how terrible the heatwave was.

Halloween Time at Disneyland


that was until i drove into my driveway an saw the cracked eggs all over my sidewalk. (luckily for everyone, thursday was much cooler. hallelujah.)


wanna read more Confessions of the Real Me?
Confessions of the Real Me: Picture Perfect Mom?  |  Free Printable
The Day I Got Stuck in a Museum Exhibit
The Best Meal I’ve Had All Year
Crazy Hair Day

Superhero M&M Blondies Recipe

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


to celebrate the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we made some yummy Superhero M&M’s® Blondies. these blondies are super soft, moist, and fast to make. it’s one of the easiest M&M recipes! the batter comes together in one bowl, in 5 minutes, without using a mixer. that means you’ll have plenty of time left to save the world. or just to watch the new Captain America movie!


to make these fun treats, you’ll need M&M’s, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour and butter.


first, melt your butter, then mix it together with the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. after that’s all combined, add in the flour. Mix thoroughly and then add in the M&M’s. 

Pour the batter into a 9×13 pan and make sure to evenly spread it out.


Sprinkle some red and blue M&M’s on top for a Captain America theme, then put them in the oven. bake for about 20 minutes for soft and chewy blondies. you can bake them a few extra minutes if you like them firmer.


now, take your beautiful blondies out of the oven and let them cool before slicing.


these M&M’s Blondies are fit for a Superhero! After all, #HeroesEatMMs too…




1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
2 large eggs
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups M&M’s Chocolate Candies, divided (or your favorite flavor of M&M’s)

• preheat oven to 350ºf. prepare a 9×13″ inch baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
• in a large bowl, mix the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla until fully combined.
• add the flour and stir until just combined.
• stir in 2 cups of M&Ms
• pour batter out into 9 x 13″ pan, smooth the batter until it is evenly spread.
• add more M&M’s to the top to make it look pretty.
• bake for about 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is set. it you like your bars firmer, cook a few minutes more.
• let the bars to completely cool before slicing and serving. store in an air-tight container.

makes 20-24 bars


are you hungry yet? head over to Walmart and stock up on M&M’s! You can find your favorite varieties in the candy aisle.




Popsicle Blog Road Trip | Coral Pink Sand Dunes

coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utahduring our stay in Kanab, Utah, we really wanted to explore the area and find unique places to experience. one of the locals told us to check out the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, which is one of Utah’s State Parks. the Coral Pink Sand Dunes are located off a remote road between the east entrance of Zion National Park and a few miles west of Kanab.

we weren’t sure what to expect, and as we drove, we couldn’t see the sand dunes. we kept looking and looking, but they are nestled into the landscape. even when we arrived at the entrance, you couldn’t see how beautiful they were. it wasn’t until we walked down into them and started exploring that we realized how magnificent they were.

this is the area closest to the entrance. but this is just a small over look. once we started walking down into them, past the fences, towards the east where the dune buggies ride and then up one of the peaks….


that is where we had such a breathtaking view.

coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah_state_parkit was so peaceful and quiet. no sounds of the city, not even sounds of nature. just the quiet lull of the wind. as we walked along the main peak, we could look out and see the beauty of the Kanab mountains all around us…it was surreal.coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah

we played, jumped and ran around in the sand. it was a different experience than any of us have ever had. almost magical.

utah_state_parkcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utahcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utah_landmark it had to be one of the more special moments that we had as a family. just us. together. enjoying natures beauty and wonder.coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utah_landmark

of course by the end of our visit, our shoes were filled to the brim with coral pink sand. a small price to pay to experience the beauty of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.


tips for visiting the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah
• bring a water bottle
• bring snacks and drinks as there are located in a remote area.
• wear sun screen/sun hat
• if you bring a camera, make sure it is protected in a case or bag. flying sand will damage the lens.
• there is a small entrance fee (approx. $8)


and to read more about our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village - Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street - Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah



Popsicle Blog Road Trip | The Historic Parry Lodge

famous-parry-lodge-utah-kanab-hotelcontinuing with our road trip, after our time in Zion National Park, we headed east to the little town of Kanab. i wrote a little bit about Kanab here…which i am still dreaming about its beautiful scenery and unique mountainous landscape. i now want to share about the motel we stayed in during our time there.

we stayed at the historic Parry Lodge Motel. back in the days when the old westerns and the movie industry did a lot of filming in Kanab, it was known as the “Home of the Stars” in Utah’s little Hollywood. Parry Lodge is where the movie stars stayed when they filmed the movies.

parry-lodge-budget-hotelinside the Parry Lodge lobby, you can take a look at all the historic movie memorabilia, most of which is from the 20′s – 70′s. it was really cool to see the old vintage photos, and newspaper articles.
to see a fun list of all the stars who stayed at the Parry Lodge, and a list of the movies made in Kanab, click here.parry-lodge-movie-star-historythe Parry Lodge has a coffee shop where you can get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee…..

parry-lodge-kanab-utah-coffee-shopand also a restaurant, where you can get the buffet breakfast before enjoying the sites around Kanab.

Breakfast: from April 1st to October 31st, a full breakfast Buffet is available 7 days a week 6:30 am to 9:30 am, $6.99 for guests; from November 1st to March 31st, a free continental breakfast is available in our coffee shop. here is a menu available from 6:30am to noon. Lunch: offered Monday through Friday 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m.


the layout of the motel is open, so you can park right outside your room.

parry-lodge-motel-rooms-kanab-utahwhat is really cool about this motel, is that the names of the movie stars that have stayed in each room are displayed above each of the doors. you could get to stay in the very same room as Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. how cool is that!parry-lodge-kanab-ronald-reganduring our stay, we stayed in the same room Gregory Peck stayed in. he starred in movies such as “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” “Moby Dick,” and “Cape Fear.”parry-lodge-gregory-peckthe rooms themselves are quaint and vintage. you feel like you are going back in time. our room was had two queen sized beds and a twin.parry-lodge-motel-reviewparry-lodge-bathroomparry-lodge-kanab-roomthere was also a kitchenette located in one of the rooms which made it easy to prepare our picnic lunch and late evening snacks.parry-lodge-kanab-utah-kitchen

other amenities of the Parry Lodge include landery facilities, a pool to swim in….

parry-lodge-kanab-pool and best of all….The Old Barn Play House.  an old barn where each evening, you can sit back and relax while watching one of the old western movies that were filmed in Kanab. the boys were very excited to see the scenic landscape surrounding our motel, in the very movie they were watching. parry-lodge-motel-kanab-utah-old-barnparry-lodge-kanab-old-time-barn-movieparry-lodge-kanab-utah-old-time-barn
the Parry Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now owned by Kanab native Steve Heaton. it is centrally located to many Utah attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) National Recreations Area, Grand Staircase – Escalante and Pipe Springs National Monuments. these incredible natural wonders are all just a 90 minute drive or less from Kanab. they form a grand circle with Parry Lodge as its hub, which make the Parry Lodge a great place to stay when you want to visit these places.

we personally really enjoyed our stay at the historic Parry Lodge. being able to share in some old time history was pretty cool….and something we will always remember.parry-lodge-motel-rocking-chairs

 { Disclosure: We received our stay at the Parry Lodge complimentary. As always, all thoughts and opinions are a bazillion times my own. }


Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day in Orange County

oc talk like a pirate daytomorrow is “Talk Like A Pirate Day,”  which is actually an international holiday….can you believe it?!  it’s just a fun holiday to get your pirate talk on, and maybe even dress up. you can even make this a fun day for the kiddies because there are a bunch of different pirate themed activities happening in Orange County that you can attend to celebrate “Talk Like A Pirate Day!”

Free Donuts at Krispy Kreme for Talk Like A Pirate Day
dress up like a pirate and head over to Krispy Kremeif you dress up like a pirate, you get free Krispy Kreme donuts! and not just one donut….a box of a dozen glazed donuts. YUM. and if you are too shy to dress up like a pirate, you can talk in pirate dialog and get one free donut to enjoy. click here for some easy costume printable ideas from Krispy Kreme. we do it every year as a tradition, our costumes usually consist of fabric sashes, bandanas on our heads, striped shirt, rolled up pants with socks pulled up, and pirate eye patches. it is easier than you think to get dressed up like a pirate. 

Free Krispy Kreme Talk Like A Pirate Day Free Krispy Kreme Talk Like A Pirate Day Donut

Pirate Party at Pretend City
It’s a Pirate Party! visit Pretend City for a swashbuckling adventure to celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” special pirate themed story times will take place every hour and facilitated activities throughout the day, this will be a journey you won’t want to miss.
Lil Me Morning: Pirate Island Game: This “Hear! Think! Do!” activity will have children utilizing their listening skills, making connections, and moving.
Engaging Afternoon: Pirate Rules – From pirate pets to pirate activities, your child will use their imagination and creativity to work together with others to write the rules on how to be a pirate.
Smart Art: Pirate Play – decorate a miniature pirate ship and creating their own pirate argh-ttire.

Pirate-Party-Pretend City

Play at the Pirate Park (Box Canyon Park)
one of our favorite parks is Box Canyon Park in Yorba Linda. it has an awesome playground include one that looks like a giant pirate ship. pack up a picnic and enjoy the last days of summer at this fun park. there are great sidewalks for bike riding and also a shade area with picnic tables if you need some time out from this hot weather.

pirate park orange county

Pirates Dinner Adventure
have dinner at Pirates Dinner Adventure! you will set aboard an authentically replicated 18th-century Spanish galleon anchored in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon with night sky lighting. surrounding the lagoon is a six-sided showroom of six additional ships where the audience is seated to begin the show.

voyagers on each of the six ships have their own pirate mascot whom they will cheer on as the adventure unfolds with a cast a dozen actors, singers and stunt performers engaging in a bounty of action-packed exploits, accompanied by cannon blasts, pyrotechnics and plenty of laughs. in addition, more than 150 guests will have the chance to play an actual role in each dinner show as the evil Captain Sebastian the Black leads his crews of renegades on a swashbuckling adventure before your very eyes!


Get Transformed into a Pirate at Disneyland Park Pirate League
at the Disneyland Pirate League, they will transform recruits of nearly any age into scurvy seadogs with a Pirates League Package. from September 12 through October 31, 2014, come face-to-face with veteran Pirate Masters as they apply pirate beards, scars, eye patches and other access-arrr-ries to give you the ultimate marauder’s makeover! this year’s Pirates League is located in the Festival Arena in Frontierland at Disneyland Park. available packages range from $29.95 to $34.95, plus tax.

and while you are at Disneyland, don’t forget to travel by raft to the Pirates Lair, and ride Pirates of the Caribbean!

disneyland pirates leagueWatch a Pirate Movie
so maybe you’re not into free donuts or dressing up, then how about a nice relaxing movie with the kids. the Rockin’ Boys club has a great round up of the best pirate movies for kids around. you can check it out here.