Tag Archives: fun things to do with your kids

Sandbox Adventure List 24: Pinky Promises and the Not-So Rocky Mountains Adventure

3 Jan

A pinky promise is a sacred thing to a five-year old. It must be kept at all costs, even when things are out of your control, you have to make it happen.

Have to.

You’re mom: Creator of Sandbox Adventures, LEGO builder extraordinaire, Optimus Prime Transformer master, and CapriSun pouch straw pusher.

That’s me. I make things happen.

So in honor of 2014 I thought I’d keep the almighty sacred promise and make snow possible in California — Southern California.

It hasn’t rained and the average winter weather in my neck of the woods has been about 70 degrees, so I had a pretty good idea that sledding, snowmen, and snowball fights would not be easy.

Not impossible, but not easy.

But a pinky promise is a pinky promise, so I made the drive to the mountains in hopes of avoiding car sickness and making a Charlie Brown Christmas moment possible for my kids.

As we drove up the winding roads surrounded by rocky mountains and pine trees I saw this and wasn’t sure it would happen.

 

Beautiful right?

Beautiful right?

 

Yeah. I wasn’t sure. All I knew for sure was that we probably wouldn’t need the sweatshirts, thermal underwear, hoodies, gloves, mittens, beanies, or chains for the tires. We needed sunscreen and sun glasses. But like any mom I was prepared and had them both.

After another forty minutes up the mountains I finally saw some hope.

 

Some hope.

An opportunity to wear beanies.

 

I was happy our bathroom pit stop showed signs of winter life. People were actually wearing snowboard pants and I thought the further we drove up the better our chances for our snow day to happen. And even though it wasn’t Utah-Colorado-worthy weather conditions, it was still good enough for pinky promises to be possible.

I’d like to thank the makers of Pirate Booty, Goldfish Crackers, Cuties Oranges, Dora The Explorer Enterprises, Superhero Book authors, LEAP Frog LEAP Pads, and LEGO DC Universe Visual Dictionary creators, for making the two-and-a-half hour drive saner than usual. It helped this Sandbox Adventure List item definitely rise to the top of our list, because when it comes to kids and road trips you never know. Nervous breakdowns and George Costanza moments can happen at any time, so you’re thankful for the things that make the experience better than expected. So with a little help I was happy that I checked one off the list for my kids. And even though it was a Not-So-Rocky Mountain-adventure we had a great time and 2014 was looking good.

 

The sliding area, where we spent most of the day. My kids seemed to get the hang of it pretty fast, although for some reason I kept spinning around and going backgrounds.

The sliding area, where we spent most of the day. My kids seemed to get the hang of it pretty fast, although for some reason I kept spinning around and going backgrounds.

 

My daughter enjoyed chillin' down the kiddie slide.

My daughter enjoyed chillin’ down the kiddie slide.

 

My son decided to go the Superman route. It was the best Justice League adventure yet.

My son decided to go the Superman route. It was the best Justice League adventure yet.

 

 

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Sandbox Adventure List 23: Guats on Ice

16 Dec

He’d seen Charlie Brown do it.  He’d seen the L.A. Kings do it.

But considering I lived in The Golden State, I didn’t think this one would be possible. But when the Christmas spirit hits Southern California you can find a little bit of Winter Wonderland even in our 80-degree weather. So I took his Charlie Brown dream and made it happen. His sister was too small to remember Charlie Brown, but she’ll remember it this year.

I’d say we were like Kings on ice, but in truth there was a lot of falling and cold butts. We enjoyed every minute. In fact it was such a good Sandbox List Adventure it made me forget about the Parking War I had with this lady and her Chevy Suburban.

Normally I’m all for waiting, parking spots are hard to come by. But there are certain rules you follow when doing so and the number one common-sense-good-driver rule is don’t block traffic. Dude, just don’t do it. Don’t have the ass of your car hanging out onto on-coming traffic. Don’t stop your car in the middle of the lane, where you’re in the perfect position to take up the entire lane and nobody can squeeze by on the left or right of you. Don’t ignore the honking of multiple horns telling you to move your ass because your need for front-row parking may in fact get your tires slashed. Don’t wait more than ten minutes for someone to get into their car. It creates road rage for those trying to get to the parking spot four spaces down.

Yes. I was behind that woman, and it almost soured the entire experience. But eventually I was able to off-road it, go around her, and leave my George-Costanza state of mind in the parking lot.  Once I got to the ticket booth all I could see was the Charlie Brown possibilities.

 

Mastering the ice one step at a time.

Mastering the ice one step at a time.

 

His sister getting a feel for the ice on a different level.

His sister was getting a feel for the ice on a different level.

 

IMG_2341

Confident enough to let go of the wall he moves to the next stage … hanging on to the sled and pushing his sister.

 

She decided to be brave just like her brother and stand behind the seal.

She decided to be brave just like her brother and skate behind the seal.

In the end we had a good time falls and all.

In the end we had a good time falls and all.

 

 

Sunscreen and Pumpkins

28 Oct

Three fall festivals, two pumpkin patches, one farm, seven goats, four sheep, three pigs, two llamas, one donkey, three haystack pyramids, five mini-me pumpkins, and one Howden-Biggie Pumpkin … yeah it was pumpkin patch harvest fall festival madness this weekend. But in truth the only thing we seemed to harvest was a nice tan in the 80-degree heat that is Southern California during Autumn.

In retrospect I could have saved time and money in addition to avoiding stress by just going to Trader Joe’s and buying a pumpkin there. However, there  would still be parking war madness because their parking lots are always so small, but there would be no crowds and no screaming kids. I think I’d prefer to battle the parking lot, than to witness the kindergartener’s meltdown and the mom’s frustration.

But if that were to happen I wouldn’t have traditions or memories. And you know how parents are …  always trying to have fun, make memories, and give our city kids the whole Great Big Pumpkin Farm experience. So … it was sunscreen and pumpkins for The Guat Clan. Sunscreen and pumpkins: that’s how we roll.

 

 

And this is how  we start ...

And this is how we start …

 

Checking out the scene before we start the pumpkin madness.

Checking out the scene before we tackle the harvest festival pumpkin madness.

 

Running through the hay maze was much better than the corn maze. They didn't get lost.

Then we discovered a maze that was just right for the Little Guats. Running through the hay maze was a much better experience then getting lost in the corn maze.

 

The classic pyramid was something we saw at all three festivals and something they often look forward to doing.

The classic pyramid was something we saw at all three festivals and something they often look forward to climbing.

 

The trampoline alternative meant no crowds and no crazy kids attacking my kids. It also meant the beginning of our tanning process and my kids catching some serious air.

The trampoline alternative meant no crowds and no crazy kids attacking my kids. It also meant the beginning of our tanning process and my kids catching some serious air.

 

 

But the best part of the day was not the jumping it was the awesome cow tractor train ride that zig-zagged throughout one of the farms.

But the best part of the day was not the jumping, it was the awesome cow tractor train ride that zig-zagged throughout one of the farms.

 

The second best part for them seemed to be the petting zoo.

The second best part for them seemed to be the petting zoo.

 

She was fearless during the petting part even though the animals were bigger.

She was fearless during the petting part even though the animals were much bigger.

 

We also got hands on with the milking stations. It being the first time he milked a fake cow, he seemed to be doing it well.

We also got hands on with the milking stations. It being the first time he milked a fake cow, he seemed to be doing it well.

 

The bulldozers, dump trucks and diggers seemed to be popular at this fall festival. I think it was the corn kernels.

The bulldozers, dump trucks and diggers seemed to be popular at this fall festival. I think it was the corn kernels.

 

We moved on to find our Great Pumpkin -- the one that would provide us with awesome pumpkin seeds and our Jack-O-Lantern experience.

After all of our activities, we moved on to find our Great Pumpkin — the one that would provide us with awesome pumpkin seeds and our Jack-O-Lantern experience.

 

While investing the pumpkin patch, my son found the life cycle of the pumpkin and decided to educate his little sister.

While investigating the pumpkin patch, my son found the life cycle of the pumpkin and decided to educate his little sister.

 

Once we ran out of tickets and found our pumpkin, we made our way home.

Once we found our pumpkin, and finished educating ourselves on the farm life, we made our way home.

 

 

It Was a Team Effort

22 Oct

This race wasn’t about making it to the finish line. It was one of my slowest times ever, but I didn’t care. This one was about the people running and walking alongside of me and the reason why we were there.

This one was for my Dad.

Most of the time my competitive edge gets me and I nearly kill myself trying to keep up with the AARP Triathlon chick zooming passed me. But this time I was all right hanging back. In fact I actually walked some of it and for the first time walking didn’t seem to be an athletic failure in my jock-minded head. In fact, walking was supposed to be part of the race. It was in the title. But regardless of whether we were walking or running, I was glad to have shared this with my kids. I was glad they knew what we were doing and why. I was glad they took part in raising money for the American Lung Association.  I was glad they were doing it for my dad and for other people who were in my father’s shoes.

 

We started off with a little stretching

I wanted to hang back at the end, but The Little Guats decided to move to the front and join the warm-up party.

 

Then apparently some stretching.

Then apparently some stretching.

 

We said a little something about why we were doing it.

We said a little something about why we were doing it.

 

And then we were off ... after checking out the crowd I was happy that The Little Guats decided to move to the front of the line.

And then we were off … after checking out the crowd I was happy that The Little Guats decided to move to the front of the line.

 

A few participants needed a quick little break.

A few participants needed a quick little break.

 

As the race progressed my son developed a competitive edge. He saw a few boys ahead of us and decided to speed up our development.

As the race progressed my son developed a competitive edge. He saw a few boys ahead of us and decided to quicken the pace. 

 

In the end, my kids were happy to see the volunteers' signs and receive their high-fives on a job well-done.

In the end, my kids were happy to see the volunteers’ signs and receive their high-fives on a job well-done.

 

 

 

Sandbox List Adventure 14: Dynamic Duo, Plus One, Riding The Waves

6 Jul

I guess I’m on a roll. I hadn’t been on a roll in a while … a couple of months. But I’m on it. It felt good to be on a roll … to be rollin … to be keeping the momentum. It makes me think my life is less crappy. It makes me feel less weathered. It lowers my blood pressure. It stops the gray hairs from popping out … at least just for the day. I’ve come to realize that rolls are important and I need to make sure I stay on them as long as possible.

So I was thankful for the beach … again. It provided for another opportunity of growth, another opportunity of life, another stress reliever, another Dynamic Duo Bucket List and Sandbox List Adventure. Another opportunity for my son and I to cross off items from our wish list. And this time … my daughter joined in on the adventure.

In truth I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it. All this time hanging out like Gidget at the beach and I hadn’t tried it. I couldn’t believe it. It’s really a kid thing, I guess. All you see are these Nickelodeon-XBox loving kids hit the waves. But it’s never too late for an AMC-FX-HBO loving kid to represent the Pippi Longstock Generation on the waves.

So my Body Glove board shorts actually hit the board. The Boogie Board.

And it was awesome, so much so that my son and daughter decided to be awesome too. So we all had our first boogie boarding experience this week and it was better than expected. I had it all: The rush of catching the perfect wave and riding it all the way to shore, the Oh-My-God moment of seeing dolphins swim in the ocean while I was trying to swim too, and the most awesome experience of The Wipeout which allowed me to feel the wrath of the waves.

Sometimes waves don’t like to be ridden, luckily we found a few that didn’t mind it so much. And it didn’t matter that there were only a few … what mattered was that there were some at all and I was able to ride them.

I finally did it. It took me twenty-something years to do it, but I did it, and I was happy to share the moment with my kids. Although they didn’t really enjoy The Wipeouts. They didn’t find them fun at all. Saltwater isn’t too tasty and it burned their eyes. But they still got up and tried again. There we were The Dynamic Duo, plus one, riding the waves.

 

Testing out the waters before our adventure.

Testing out the waters before our adventure.

 

A little surprise from the sea just as he starts to paddle off,

A little surprise from the sea just as he starts to paddle off.

 

His sister learning the ropes.

His sister learning the ropes and definitely enjoying this adventure.

Plan B, Miss 166, My Non-Water Resistant Camera, and My Cartwheel-Worthy Moment

2 Jul

Did it turn out the way I planned?

No. It almost never does.

Plan B was in full effect Sunday, along with the 100+ degree heat. But as with any Guatacular adventure, Plan B is always in effect, always making an appearance. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Sometimes Plan B ends up being even better than the original.

Yeah … this wasn’t one of those times.

In truth it wasn’t all bad. It provided me with some stressful situations that turned into comedic moments, which turned into great stories. I think that’s what Plan B is about … providing writing material. And it all starts with your plans … your goals.

Just finish.

Don’t fall and crack your head open, ambulances are expensive.

Don’t get a cramp and drown, it sounds like a painful way of dying.

Don’t let the Cha-Cha girl wearing make-up beat you.

Keep up with the 60-year old IronMan lady during the run.

Don’t use all the IcyHot on your quads the first night, your butt muscles could probably use some from all that bike riding.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

All pretty high-achieving goals. I know. And this year an added bonus: Conquer Devil’s Canyon. As you might recall last year this bitch got the best of me and my back. It kicked my ass. This year however I swore I’d make it to the top without stopping and I had more than my pride and two months of yoga pushing me. This time I had extra motivation. I had to make it to my son’s race before it started.

So it was on.

The running went as expected. All the cover models wearing the right clothes, fancy triathlon watches and other expensive gear hauled ass at the sound of the starter’s pistol. By mile two, me and my Costco t-shirt and shorts made our way passed them.

I was doing well. I thought I got this! I made it to the bike transition, no worries. And then about five minutes into the ride, it happened. Plan B provided me with good writing material.

I mean how could I not write about how I almost fell off the bike and ate it because my dude actually did something nice for me. How does something nice go bad? When it’s too nice. He washed the bike the day before, but washed it so well that all the oil practically came off the chain, which then caused the chain to get jammed as I tried to shift gears. It was in a serious state of adhesion. I mean if I went up or down Devil’s Canyon like that, it would have been IT for me. Call the ambulance.

Yeah...this is where it happened. But no pictures of Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Yeah…this is where it happened. You notice how there is no one around … that’s because they all passed me. But no time for pictures with Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Luckily it happened early on. And I guess if it wasn’t for Plan B I wouldn’t have been reminded of random acts of kindness.

I didn’t even know her, but there she was … my savior wearing aqua blue nylon running shorts, a white breathable cotton tank top, shades,  and sporting the 166 ink on her triceps.

Angie. Oh Angie. My savior. Miss 166.

Since everyone was zooming passed me without giving me a second glance I thought I would jog with my bike to the water station and hopefully one of the sheriffs or volunteers would help fix the chain. You know, help me get back on track, because my grease stained hands were making no progress. But on my way there, I ran across Angie, who opened up her MacGyver tool belt to help me. I’m not mechanically inclined, so I had no idea how to unstick a jammed bicycle chain. But apparently  the “right way” was easier than the 15-minute method I tried.

But nevertheless Angie and I persevered. I gave her a Woo-Hoo high-five and promised to buy her a cold one once the race was done.

Triathlon 008

Devil’s Canyon … The Beginning

This 15-minute pit stop allowed for a lot of people to pass me, including some Cha-Cha girls in pink. It felt like last place had my name on it. However, this little setback inspired  a comeback. But I was a little worried because I hadn’t even encountered my nemesis yet: Devil’s Canyon.

However, setbacks have a way of pushing you so that you make it to the top, even without your Gatorade, which happened to spill everywhere during your pit stop. This setback pushed me to race up Devil’s Canyon in all gears — no stopping this time. And as I passed all the bikers walking up the crazy hill all I could think was … Yoga, you rock! My back made it.

As I reached the top I was so happy to see Harold The Rotary Club volunteer handing out water. I think everyone was happy when they saw Harold and not just because of the water. Harold meant the end of Devil’s Canyon.

After this sweet victory I could tell I was on empty and in desperate need of a banana or orange. So I zoomed down because I knew something would be waiting for me when I hit the transition area. As I approached I noticed the wall clock … I had ten minutes before my son’s race. And so when I dove into the pool it hadn’t even occurred to me to remove my trusty non-waterproof, non-water resistant Canon Powershot.

No it hadn’t occurred to me. All I was thinking about was my son’s starting line.

So after 25 meters in the pool it was done for, in truth after one meter it was done for, resting in peace. All I could do was take it out of my pocket, put it on the pool deck, and just keep swimming. The lifeguard assured me that it happened often, however I didn’t see any other water-soaked cameras dripping dry.

But regardless of my camera’s demise the swimming happened to be the best part that day. I wasn’t Michael Phelps, but I made it through without having to stop. The backstroke rocks. I know normal people enjoy freestyle, but as you all know backwards is the way to go for me.

However the best part … the best part of the whole day was not conquering Devil’s Canyon or crossing the finish line. I know I had made it and it felt good. But no that wasn’t it. The highlight of the day was watching my son cross the starting line. It was cheering him on as I ran alongside him. It was helping him during the bike transition and having him tell me “I got this mom,” as he pedaled away. It was helping him be the best Aquaman he could be in the pool. It was seeing his smile as he sprinted across the finish line. It was the hug and the high-five that I gave him as he got his medal.

Yeah … these were definitely cart-wheel worthy kind of moments that lasted all day.

 

The Tiny Tots take off ... my son included.

The Tiny Tots take off and I was so glad my son was able to avoid the 7-child pile up that happened right at the starting line. After a fall like that a few of the kids decided not to continue.

 

In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.

In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.

 

Running towards the finish line.

Running towards the finish line.

 

The Little Champion

The Little Champion … crossed off another item from his Sandbox List Adventures.

 

Sandbox List Adventure 12: My Little Aquaman

14 Jun

“Opens June 2013”

“Is it June, yet?”

“No.”

“Is it June, yet?”

“No.”

“Is it June, yet?”

“Yes, but it doesn’t open for a couple of days.”

“Is it a couple of days yet?”

“No.”

“Is it a couple of days yet?”

“YES! YES! It’s been a couple of days, and today is the day. Today.”

It was a year-long countdown for this Sandbox List Adventure to begin and it finally arrived this week. Construction complete, bulldozers no where in sight, and water slides included. My only concern was the fact that we signed up for the A.M. session. As you all know I’m not the greatest morning person on Earth. But this week waking up early didn’t bother me. I woke up with purpose, with excitement. I woke happy to check something off my son’s Sandbox List. He was pretty ecstatic, too, so much so that he didn’t need to watch The Sprout Channel, PBS, or Disney Jr. I didn’t even need to give him the customary multiple reminders to brush his teeth and get dressed. I spoke once and it was done. Magic.

I guess swim trunks do that for you.

Although his sister was not that thrilled, considering she couldn’t participate in this particular adventure she could care less how fast her brother got dressed. She was still wild, running around in her pajamas and throwing Kix everywhere.

But after all the morning routine craziness, I piled them in the car and off we went … to my son’s first swimming lesson at the newly constructed pool down the street. I was really happy to see him having a great time splashing around in the pool. I’m sure he’s going to do well in his Tiny Tots Triathlon. He’s been to swim school every day this week and seems to be getting more confident in the water. I think the SpiderMan goggles definitely help.

All the kids were at the same level, so it didn’t really matter that he was younger. All that mattered was that they all splashed the same way. I was pretty proud of him for not freaking out and containing his excitement long enough to listen to the swim coach. So when the first lesson was done I asked:

“So, how was it?”

“It was great, mom! Great! But next time I need Aquaman powers, instead of SpiderMan powers. They’ll make me swim better.”

 

Meeting his swim coaches and awaiting eagerly to dive in.

Meeting his swim coaches and awaiting eagerly to dive in.

 

Working on his kick.

Working on his kick, although he needs to work on staying completely in the pool while doing so.

 

Working on his diving formation.

Working on his underwater Aquaman formation. 

 

The Big Test ... floating. Everyone needed a little assistance on that one.

The Big Test … floating. Everyone needed a little assistance on that one. Even my little Aquaman.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Background

29 May

 

Checking out the background.

Checking out the background.

 

Trying to take a picture of my kid … then she realized that the background was more interesting than me, my broken down Canon PowerShot, and saying the word cheeeeeeeeeeeeese.

Background.

 

 

The Rematch Update 2: Getting To The Starting Line And I Think Yoga Is Going to Help Me

28 May

I don’t know why it seemed easier last year, but for some reason my body seems to agree with me. It was easier. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m one year closer to the big 4-0. It may be, a lot can happen to your muscles and bones in a year. But I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I’m checking a new age-range box on applications. I think it has to do with the fact that my one year old is going on two.

Have you heard of twos? They’re terrible.

You would think the sleep deprivation would have stopped after a year. But no … no. This kid is just psyching me out, waiting until I got a little comfortable and then BAM! the middle of the night drama happened again. Just randomly. Sometimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sometimes just Saturday nights. Just to mess with my head.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com

It’s this power struggle that probably effected my ability to function properly during the day. It’s this power struggle that probably has me looking for anti-aging cream at the CVS. It’s this power struggle that probably has me using the adjective “weary” to describe myself now. It’s this power struggle that has probably effected my training. My brains and bones are just not the same. No matter how many vitamins I’ve been acquiring, it seems to take me a lot longer to jump-start my battery. This is when I start to wonder about osteoporosis, arthritis, and sciatica. Is it possible to have all three before you hit 40?

Maybe.

But I do have to say … the yoga has been helping my back. Thanks to 13-letter word yoga poses ending in  “sana” I seem to be chugging along. The whole yoga stretching appears to be helping the training process. After doing them, I seem to have enough umph left to help train my son for his Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. He’s doing really well in the biking part, and I’m happy that he’ll be taking swimming classes this month to help prepare him for his big dive in the pool. In fact I think he’ll probably do better than me in the water. In truth I’m more excited about his race than I am mine. It’ll be our first race together and I’m feeling all “parenty” about it. I’ll probably be high-fiving him all day. And it’s the anticipation of these high-fives and his smiles that really keep me going.

Making sure that I’m there at the starting line to see him take off is inspiration enough to kick my own ass. My race starts at 7 a.m. his at 9 a.m. I’m gonna be there, camera in hand. So watch out Devil’s Canyon, I’m getting ready for you.

One of my goals this year is to conquer Devil’s Canyon without stopping or passing out. Now I don’t have a fast and light racing bike, which would probably help my time, but my Bianchi hybrid will have to do. Maybe I can add rocket boosters or something, you know for that final climb. But maybe I can do a few extra squats so that my quads won’t be burning up when I’m climbing all those hills. And maybe I’ll increase my bike rides through the park, so that I can go passed the stop sign and reach the heliport. And maybe I’ll increase my downward-facing-dog, cat-cow yoga involvement so that my back isn’t killing me while I’m going up the mountain. I’ve decided … I’m gonna make it to my son’s starting line on time, even if I fall off the bike and have to crawl there, which I hope doesn’t happen. But either way, I’m getting to the starting line and I think yoga is gonna help me power through … well I know it’ll help my back. And that body part seems to be very important. It connected to all the vital parts I need for the race.

Sandbox List Adventure 11: One Small Step For Man, One Giant Step For The Guatkind

17 May

He’s a firefighter. A secret agent. A doctor. A baseball player. A superhero. An astronaut … and sometimes he’s my Lego-building partner.

Most of these identities are imaginary and we do our best with our makeshift costumes and equipment made out of recyclable materials. However today I thought I would step it up a notch and provide an experience where I didn’t have to use an old Gatorade bottle or paper towel roll. Today we finally made our way to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour, something he’s been wanting to do ever since it made the long trek through the streets of our city and found its home at the California Science Center.

It was something we were so jazzed up about that I got advanced tickets so that we wouldn’t have to wait in the crowded line. I never get advanced anything but when it comes to kids’ activities I totally learn. I don’t want to get caught by every parents’ worst nightmare … The Public Meltdown. So you do whatever it takes, which includes the strategic planning of a genius … of a Mission Impossible agent … of a mother of two.

You get advanced tickets that give you an entrance time well after morning traffic, but before nap time. You plan it to get an awesome three or four-hour block of engaging entertainment. You check for the closest parking lots and always bring cash because you never know when the machines could be down. In addition you pack whatever it takes … granola bars, Goldfish Crackers, grapes, cheese sticks, fruit wraps, pita chips, an arsenal of juice boxes, books, learning toys with all the Disney, PBS, Sprout Channel, and Nickelodeon characters, and the master savior … The Ritz Cracker.

You walk out the door with your two kids and five bags and you think … I got this. I got this!  You slip in the Jack Johnson CD and know you’ll be there by track five or six. The morning rush hour should no longer exist.

And then you’re zooming passed the cars until disaster hits. Traffic. You don’t understand it. There shouldn’t be any. Did you expect big rig trailers and trucks … yes a few, but not a massive traffic jam filled with SUVs and sedans. You don’t understand it. And then after an hour-long trek, which really should have lasted twenty minutes, it hits you. Caps, gowns and Hawaiian leis. Graduation. College graduation.

By the time I finally parked, I was down to my last Ritz cracker. But once we got inside, I didn’t need the emergency reserve.

It was one small step for man, one giant step for Guatkind.

 

Our astronaut experience awaits.

Our astronaut experience awaits.

 

The cool art/display that caught are eye at the entrance.

The cool art/display that caught our  eye at the entrance.

 

My son intrigued by the mysterious white smoke coming up from the display.

My son intrigued by the mysterious white smoke coming up from the display. He’s discovering the power of science.

 

The journey begins, everyone was so excited that the juice boxes were not completely finished.

The journey begins, everyone was so excited that the juice boxes were not completely finished.

 

Checking out the amazing space stuff and educating ourselves before heading over to the exhibit.

Checking out the amazing space stuff and educating ourselves before heading over to the exhibit.

 

This is where we pretended to be Mission Control engineers. My son did a great job with his countdown.

This is where we pretended to be Mission Control engineers. My son did a great job with his countdown.

 

One of the best parts of the day was the simulator. Where he got a chance to blast off into space, fix a satellite in outer space, hang out on the moon, and then land the shuttle. He was a good astronaut and so was my daughter, very brave during the take off and landing.

One of the best parts of the day was the simulator. Where he got a chance to blast off into space, fix a satellite in outer space, hang out on the moon, and then land the shuttle. He was a good astronaut and so was my daughter, very brave during the take off and landing.

 

After our awesome astronaut experience we headed over for the main attraction.

After our awesome astronaut experience we headed over for the main attraction.

 

Definitely worth the traffic. Definitely.

Definitely worth the hour-long traffic. Definitely. The Holy-Crap Moment of the day happened right here.

 

The experience had such a "wow" factor that we had to take home a souvenir.

The experience had such a “wow” factor that we had to take home a souvenir. And this one entertained them all the way home. No need for Jack Johnson or emergency reserves.  Outer space rocks.