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YOU WENT WHERE? SAN FRANCISCO (With Kids)

During the toddler years, my family’s cranky moods  (mine included) disappeared with some creative distraction and a change of venue – if severe. Now that the tween and teen years dictate the mood in the house, when the bickering levels get intolerable, Mom offers a proportional change up – Roadtrip adventure!

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Photo courtesy of megabus.com

I’ve been dreaming of a trip to San Francisco since the last time we’d been almost 13 years ago. My teen son only remembers riding in a limo at 3 ½ years old (over riding his first cable car) and my tween daughter simply made it through the trip to her due date!  I love the energy of the city with its cool modern minimalistic hotels next to classic historic hotels with warm solid mahogany bars in the lobby. I love that everywhere you turn, distinct neighborhoods welcome you with their distinct charm, as do the piers decorating the waterfront!  So the three of us set out on an adventure blending history, new experiences, old favorites and of course something weird!

32 hrs in San Fran (with kids)!

DA, DA, DA – ANOTHER ONE RIDES THE MEGABUS
Always up for an adventure, the wheels in my head started turning immediately (The wheels on the bus go round and round)!  When you put things out into the universe, the universe responds! Amazingly, we received the opportunity to try Megabus.com for free in exchange for our honest opinion.  I immediately responded, “Yes, Please!” after a great first-hand testimonial from my office mate who used this bus line recently during her East Coast holiday adventure.

Planning a weekend getaway limited our time in San Francisco, so the idea of showing up only 30 min. early, getting on a bus with reclining seats and sleeping my way to San Francisco – then waking up refreshed at my destination – cemented the decision for me! The night we left, California disappeared under the rainstorm that my generation will retell vividly for generations to come. The Megabus travelled securely on the roads, unfazed by the elements. In fact, for both directions of the trip, energetic and helpful employees kept us on track. Their rates remain reasonable, only additional charge should you wish to reserve seats!  Check their site often for their $1 sales! I wish I’d known about this when I was a college kid – weekenders would have educated me! For a full review click here.


YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE FOR A FIRST IMPRESSION
As we crossed the Oakland Bay Bridge, the sun shone on the waking city and almost converted me to a morning person (Hah, you know how unlikely that’d be). The bus dropped us at the Caltrain station and Uber picked us up before we even stretched out our rested bodies! Everything feels closeby in San Francisco and in minutes we arrived at the Hilton SF Union Square – a hotel I’m super familiar with thanks to my Team In Training (TNT) years.  Though they aren’t the most hipster or historic place in town to rest your head, they consistently provide a comfortable experience that seems upgraded from the price paid (especially with their renovated rooms). Feels like dropping in for a visit with a long-time friend!  What cinched our future return was letting us check in 8 hours early! Thank you!

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Despite our welcome middle of the night snack from the roadside rest stop, we arrived to San Francisco hungry for adventure …and breakfast!  Wanting to set the tone for the weekend, and to fuel us for the day, we chose another favorite from my TNT days, Sear’s Fine Food

The moment you enter, you step into your grandparents’ era for some unconditional love delivered in a heaping serving of delicious warm food. With our bellies and hearts filled up, we left for our first adventure… except nothing was open yet. So we went to the hotel to plot our course, unpack, watch TV…

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THRILL OF A NEW RIDE
While the kids power napped, I navigated and doubled back cross-checking the Cable Car routes to deliver us to all of our desired locations. We opted for a single-day pass immediately opening up our access to the city. I purchased our tickets while the kids watched the city’s tradition of re-directing the cable car at the turn about.  We hoofed it 2 blocks to the next stop up from there (where 10 people stood in line vs. 100s at the turntable). For the first leg of our trip we jumped onto the outside of a crowded cable car and held on!  My daughter told me later that she got nervous – not that she’d fall off – that other people wouldn’t get out of the way.

One of the most memorable visuals of the city flashed briefly at the change between the Powell-Hyde and California lines as we looked downhill through the city.

Alcatraz is first on our list for next time!

OFF TO EXPLORE – AH, TOUR – EE, YUM!
One parental benefit allows us to run alongside our kids, watching the world through their curious eyes, bright with wonder.  At the Exploratorium, everyone’s minds expanded and repeatedly blew as we flew from exhibit to exhibit, squealing like loudly deflating balloons!  Each new stop offered fascinating exhibits where you learn by interacting with the exhibit! This museum encouraged touching or climbing into and through exhibits!  My daughter’s and my favorite experience deprived us of our sight as we traversed through a maze in complete darkness. As a pair, we relied primarily on touch and sound while traveling through the Tactile Dome (slight additional, but highly recommended fee).  She turned out to be an amazing leader providing step-by-step directions as to what challenge I would find next.  My son’s favorite challenged him to learn Morse Code – harder than it looked considering it’s only dashes and dots! Totally exhausted though only getting a fraction of the experience done, we finally broke for dinner!

PEPPER MEAL WITH HISTORY
As a divorced mom, I haven’t shared a lot of their Dad’s and my history. At first I lacked an age-appropriate answer for their innocent questions, “So if you had fun, why’d you break up?” Later, out of respect for his new wife, and largely because I’d boxed them all away, wrapped in impenetrable box in my self. 11 years later, I realize that the generic statement “Even though we’re no longer together, you were created from love.” doesn’t carry weight if I don’t sometimes share proof.  Their Dad and I enjoyed The Stinking Rose restaurant a few times both here and the one in LA. One thing we actually agreed on was that only the SF one seasons the experience with a mythical bohemian feel – being that it’s the original location.  Also, honestly, this restaurant wouldn’t have teased my palate without his family’s cooking. The first time they opened their door, a rush of garlic took my breath away! The rest is history.


WALK RIGHT DOWN THE STREET
After dinner, though absolutely stuffed, we desired something light but sweet.  We calculated the distance we needed to walk to make enough room for Gelateria Naia (who are we kidding – there’s always room for gelato)! My kids stuck with classic flavors of mango, coffee and chocolate chip (though not all together).  They featured a whiskey flavor I’d never encountered before that blended smoothly with chocolate – the recipe for the perfect evening nightcap. 

I SPY… SOMETHING GOLDEN
The next morning, after we slept in a bit, we hunted for a meal large enough to rush us through the day and sustain us until we got on the bus to relax for the ride home to Los Angeles.  Originally, we went fishing for a fish and chips truck, but, they weren’t open when our stomachs started growling at us. The mist of the heavy fog led us straight to Tarantino’s Restaurant on the pier promising a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the top floor (talk about multi-tasking when on a limited timeframe).  The kids laughed at the names of boats in their slips, communicated telepathically with seagulls begging for the kids’ fries through the scenic glass window, and squinted to find the bridge through the fog. We raved about the crispy golden seafood (lightly battered and fried, without any recognizable fish features).  


LIKE KIDS IN A CANDY STORE
As we exited the restaurant, the bright red logo of Rocket Fizz served as a beacon from across the street.  My son’s sentimental side insisted that we go “support the company” so that they don’t go out of business (I doubt there’s any danger of that, he’s still sore we lost the location in Westchester). Your sweet tooth compels you to stop the next time you pass near this store. It offers many childhood or jumbo-sized favorites and hard-to-find imported candies.

WTF: WEIRD, TOTALLY FUN!
Headed towards the Pier, we pulled inside a doorway to briefly to plot our course …and never left.  We’d stepped through a door into the most fantastically freakish place – Musée Mécanique!  This features the personal collection of Edward Zelinsky’s arcade games, and other mechanical wonders, collected from 1933 on (though some originated from decades earlier).  This collection felt slightly unsettling only because we had no idea what to expect (or was it the large clown at the entrance). Uneasiness immediately yields to exponential levels of excitement as you discover each new relic from a player piano, to old-time picture machines, to Space Invaders and a steam motorcycle.  We completely fell into this parallel universe, lost track of time, and wish we could have stayed longer.
 

MY NEW PERSPECTIVE
After a relaxing and a more spacious ride home (less people on the bus so each person could take a row of seats), we returned home from vacation refreshed, a little exhausted from our adventures, and with new perspective.  Our Three-thumb review is 3 tired thumbs up.  My tween daughter loved the unique challenge of the Tactile Dome and a new appreciation for her vision. My teen son left for San Francisco believing that one beach town resembles the next one. He returned with an appreciation for the history and the varied terrain (and we didn’t even visit the largest or curviest hills) of Northern California.

I caught a glimpse of my children and how they treat each other when mom’s not around thanks to the water fountain experiment in the Exploratorium. It featured back-to-back water fountains and two buttons on each side: SIP or SQUIRT. Each sibling simply pressed one button and if they match, it happens, if it doesn’t match, it cancels each other and nothing happens.  I fully expected to need to buy new dry clothes, or that they’d cancel each other out.  My heart grew when I witnessed my kids gently lowering their heads (and dare I say they were both a little bit surprised) to get a sip of water.

If you want even more detailed reviews on each place we visited, check out the Yelp Reviews. Plus subscribe to check back when we update the list after future roadtrips!

Follow the blog to see where we go next!

What about you?
What is your favorite San Francisco gem?
What do you do to save your sanity on trips?
How do you remain present and not skip ahead to the next destination?
What changes in perspective do you encounter while traveling?
How often do you travel with your kids vs. on your own?
Where are you off to next?
Where should we go next?

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TOP 10 VIDEOS TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD (for the next Star Wars film!)

With tangible anticipation, the seduction tickles each of our 5 senses pulling us closer.  Whether we go full-body all in, or pulled in inch by inch, we feverishly mark the date on the calendar and before it’s upon us, already hope for multiple experiences. I’m not talking about the next 50 Shades of Grey,  I’m talking  

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At first I thought I was heading full-blown into a midlife crisis when I started buying t-shirts, light saber earrings, and my stomach was aching for the release date of the last film!  Then once we saw the film, Star Wars fever exploded upon us as we went to our first Convention (details to come soon). We’ve already purchased our tickets to go see the next film at El Capitan Theatre!

I never really realized how big a Star Wars fan lived inside me, but here’s why:

  1. As a writer, the fact that George Lucas started this whole thing out of his mind and created films, tv series, comic strips, etc. Just amazes me.  He and JK Rowling are my creative idols for what they’ve accomplished.
  2. Star Wars was something that I shared with and handed down to my kids. I still remember seeing the original in the theatre as a (ahem!) young girl!  To be able to share this world that still carries such weight and wonder in this generation warms my heart.
  3. In this instant gratification generation, this keeps them longing for more, anticipating something to come.  I loved to that the films inspired reading and now my teenage son could teach a college class in. He tests me before allowing me to move forward through each episode!  
  4. It’s something my two kids share in common – one of the few things. I love what makes them individual, but I love that they respect each other’s knowledge and affection for the franchise.
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WTF (Wow, they’re FUZZY!)           Get your own robe! thinkgeek.com

Almost as much as I love the films, I love the fan video snippets that are inspired by the film. With another film on the near horizon from that galaxy far, far away. Here are the Top 10 videos we love to help us get in the mood (in no particular order)!

I’ll NEVER JOIN YOU
Improv Everywhere shows just as much creativity and finesse as George Lucas to be able to pull off a live Star Wars scene on the New York Subway. I only wish I’d seen this live!


THAT BOY IS OUR LAST HOPE
You know how they say setting things to music helps you learn them? Weird Al’s song helped me learn about Anakin Skywalker’s branch of the Star Wars family tree.  He’s done a few Star Wars songs, but this is our favorite.


AREN’T YOU A LITTLE SHORT FOR A STORMTROOPER?

This projects my mind for the world to see. While I didn’t make this video, it’s exactly how I envision stormtrooper street dance crews battling. They’re the only crews I hope to see twerking ever again.
BONUS: I’m sure they opened the way for this Britain’s Got talent act.


LAUGH IT UP, FUZZBALL
Seriously, what is cuter than jedi kittens yielding light sabers?! 


YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS TO IMPRESS ME
With a chance to not be outdone by the kittens, the dogs come in with the song that gives me chills every time I hear it, with any lyrical style.


THESE AREN’T THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Since 1977 I’ve hoped that when I grew up that every house would come with it’s own R2 unit.  This parakeet budgie may be the best option until that day.


I HAVE YOU NOW!

In a great example of Star Wars coming to life, it’s easy to imagine how thrilling it’d be during the middle of your daily routine, to find yourself armed with a light saber and drawn into battle!


JUDGE ME BY MY SIZE, DO YOU?
For a brief return to the Cute Side, check out a day in the life if your Star Wars fantasies came true and instead of cats, people had AT-ATs!


…BORING CONVERSATION ANYWAY. LUKE! WE’RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!
Ever wonder what you would have these characters say if you were the word wizard? Bad Lip Reading cracks me up!!  ALERT: Some language will (hopefully) go over the heads of the young ones, some might not. You’ve been warned.


DIFFICULT TO SEE. ALWAYS IN MOTION IS THE FUTURE
Close your eyes and picture the motion of the ocean with this tune.  Remember, the original Star Wars film came from decades a long, long time agowhen Disco was King! 

ALWAYS PASS ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED!
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

What about you?
Do you have any favorite Star Wars snippets that get you excited?  Share links below!
Do you know what characters really said the above QUOTES?
What’s your favorite Star Wars film?
Or were you more of the Star Trek fan?
Is it possible to be both?
Which Star Wars character are you most like?
Do you already have your tickets for the next film?
Dark Side or Rebellion?

 

#StarWars #TheForce #RogueOne #R2D2 #Luke #Jedi #DarthVader #Skywalker #DeathStar #GeorgeLucas #WeirdAl #ImproveEverywhere #BadLipReading #Disco #StormTrooper #LightSaber #EpisodeI #EpisodeII #EpisodeIII #EpisodeIV #EpisodeV #EpisodeVI #EpisodeVII #EpisodeVII #Cat #Kitten #Twerk #Disney #rogueoneastarwarsstory
(C) DISNEY

HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD RUN AWAY TO THE CIRCUS

The next time The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus passes through your town, here’s why you absolutely must get up off the couch and see this show! I was fortunate enough to see the World Premiere in Los Angeles. While Feld Entertainment (producers of the show) promised it’d be better than ever, since retiring their trademark elephants, I am here to say they slightly missed their mark. They didn’t just “do better,” they launched their circus into a new dimension light years away! The show is truly Out of this World.  
The Ringling Bros. put on a tremendous show for a hometown price. From the first dramatic moment when the Simet Spacewalkers demonstrated graceful balance and agility while seemingly space walking in zero gravity, I held my breath. Their otherworldly skills drew us in for an unbelievable treat!   Suddenly the planets burst revealing contortionists inside as color, motion and music pulsed through every inch of the room, from floor to ceiling! Suddenly there are no rings, no boundaries, no pre-conceived notions!    To help us travel safely through this new uncharted outer space, we follow the story of Paolo who searches the galaxy in search of performers worthy of joining The Greatest Show on Earth®! However, he has an adversary in the form of an intergalactic circus queen who is keen on building The Greatest Show of any Galaxy!
 Immediately some stars take sides with dramatically different outcomes. Then the race begins to visit the many planets to round up the various stellar circus acts.   Many acts seem comfortably familiar and expected for a circus until you realize the performers blew the top off and flew to a higher level!


Trampoline acrobats and stilt walkers circle the ring… on ice skates; more motorcyclists than should fit together race… inside a small metal spherical cage; clowns juggle rings… while upside down; human pyramids form… while on horseback thundering around the ring.   Finally, their app! So fun, it lets you know what’s coming and entertains during downtime. My favorites are the photo booth and unscrambling games!

Me, fulfilling my life-long dream to be a circus clown! They ran the show!

Ringling Bros is near Los Angeles until August 7 so get tickets now! For a discount, check the events page

CIRCUS VARGAS: Be Present: It’ll Blow Your Mind!

These days live entertainment and family traditions find themselves competing with, and wondering how to beat, the virtual realities so many people live in. People shape their own ideal lives in social media or step into and succeed in any role in a make-believe dimension – how does one top that? Under the big top, Circus Vargas continues their tradition of impressing crowds daily with unbelievable yet true reality happening live right before their very eyes!  

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Leaving the real world outside behind, the mystical lights drew the kids in…

When you step through the Circus Vargas tent’s grand entrance into the dark interior, you can no longer see the rules and boundaries from daily life. Everything is possible!

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There are acts for everyone in the family! This one is for the ladies – tall, dark and handsome gymnasts!

Ticket takers and snack vendors have fanciful flirty makeup teasing about the magical evening to come. People are not defined by one role!

CV_Vova with cube_credit- Mike Rollerson

Juggling this 2-D figure was amazing but the magic started when he picks up the 3-D cube!

Encompassing the quaint one-ring circus stage, one can see hints of a stronger structure soaring into the upper points of the tent. There are no limits to Circus Vargas’ imagination!

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This show reaches new heights as your imagination soars with each new act!       WTF: Wow, They’re Flying!

The touring company is made up of the original Vargas family relatives, close friends, or long-time Circus Vargas family. Through the strength of their bond, you receive a thrilling and efficient show that keeps surprising you, act after act. At Circus Vargas, family comes first!

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A picture is impressive, to watch this unfold in reality is mind-boggling!

The show opens with a family-first reminder that when you unplug from your iDevices, you plug into the people and world around you. They warmed us up with mind-boggling contortionists! High-energy acrobats took the experience over the top with one press of a button, sending an electric pulse through the audience as their suits lit up! The show proves you can do whatever you set your mind on!

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Whether it’s hulahoops, motorcycling, or other daredevil acts, turning the lights off increases the danger and electricity!

The entertaining, well-choreographed show moved quickly through it’s breath-taking, sometimes dangerous, but always exhilarating acts, with a fantastic duo providing comedy and musical relief between acts.  Be present, it’ll blow your mind!

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Seeing two motorcycles travel the inner globe is exhilarating, but your senses will race when the lights go out!

Finally, Circus Vargas has heart! At every stop, they contribute to local charities. At our performance, Olive Crest was given the  time to share their mission with the audience and that opportunity is priceless – for real.

Circus Vargas Opens TOMORROW in Woodland Hills,, CA. To see when Circus Vargas’ big top will come to your town, check frequently at www.circusvargas.com

PARENT MUSIC FESTIVAL TRAINING PROGRAM – Part 3 of 3

Last session before your music festival event! You’ve trained for loud levels and longevity! You’ve prepped for festival fun.

Couch to Music Festival: Parents Training Guide

Again, while this applies to Wango Tango, the program easily adapts to Coachella, Stagecoach, or other festivals.

  • ATTIRE: Most music festivals take place outdoors during the spring or summer. Some experience significant temperature changes from day to evening – the more you dance, the less you’ll notice.
    • WHAT’S HOT: Crazy Loosey
      • Loose flowing clothes – Slightly stretchy, cut-outs. Clothes that won’t interrupt your groove but breeze blows through – all while fiercely flattering.
  • Accessorize – Hats or glasses required! Red sunburned faces or eyes aren’t cool – ever. Keep hats streamlined to not hinder people’s views.
  • Cute compression socks – Crazy socks are in! Concert-goers will applaud as your wild socks with cute boogie shoes outdance them
  • Comfy shoes – if you can find something in a boot or chunky heel, you’ll be above the crowd for best viewing!

WHAT’S NOT: Mom or dad jeans

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WTF Wango Tango Fangirls may change their minds about Mom Jeans – totally CUTE!

  • FUELING: Eat to stay strong for your music marathon:
    • HYDRATION vs RAGING – While there are tons of fun drinks in the festival, try to drink to hydrate:
      • Alternate – Every other drink alternate between water and soda or alcohol
      • Combine – Gatorade Margaritas, they’re real!
    • ALL-DAY FUELING – Eat a protein-filled breakfast with light carbs, preferably whole fiber. Consider bringing snacks to ensure your energy lasts all night long! The festival contains quick pick-me-up options but watch out for the crash!

Food

  • MEDALS OF COMPLETION:
    • ROCK-N-ROLL VOICE: Even with voice training, you’re apt to get some sexy, smoky voice. Time to re-do your phone voicemail!
    • EVENT JERSEY: Not only do you and fellow jersey-wearers share an instant bond, it’s a badge of pride that you went the distance!
    • ASSUAGED STRESS/MIDLIFE SYMPTOMS: With great tunes, views, and artists you’re bound to recapture your youthful spirit and strengthen family/friendship bonds! Clapping and dancing blows away stress leaving you more centered. Adrenaline highs boost productivity

Stay loose and have crazy fun! Let me know if this plan gets you into the groove to go all night or makes you look forward to your event with renewed vigor!

Let me know if I forgot anything and what music festivals you will hit!

PARENT MUSIC FESTIVAL TRAINING PROGRAM – Part 2 of 3

First, we kicked off and ramped up music festival endurance training. Now, focus shifts to comfort during and after the event!  While this applies to Wango Tango, one can easily adapt the program to Coachella or Stagecoach or longer events.

Couch to Music Festival: Parents Training Guide (con’t)

  • VOICE CONDITIONING: Being an “adoring fan” may be tougher than a performer. They sing for a few minutes up to an hour while you consistently cheer for nearly 5 hours – without training.
    • USE YOUR GUT – Learn to push your voice from your core, through your diaphragm and control it escaping from your throat – Look
    • BUFFER – Practice while in your car, on the freeway – not even shower walls  provide enough buffer for those nearby.
Image titled Scream Sing without Damaging Your Voice Step 7

WTF: Wango Tango Fangirl checked out wikihow to Scream Sing without hurting her voice!

 

  • AVOID INJURIES: Avoid training too hard to prevent injuries. Here are the most commonly occurring:
    • 2 LEFT FEET – While you may not know how to Hit the Quan, just stay loose and move any parts of your body as you feel fit!
    • BLEEDING EARS – Increase car radio volume a little each day. Smart people, not old, buffer with foam earplugs.
    • GENERATION GAP – Wider than thigh gaps, navigating this seems trickier. Though every trend comes back around, the new generation still shocks us.  To infiltrate the crowd unnoticed, buy a few accessories at local teen stores. If you blend, youngsters are more likely to behave naturally. You may learn more social and behavioral cues for the next time you try to communicate with them.

  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Be prepared!
    • MUSIC – My daughter think I’ve invented this cool car radio game called Name That Tune where I quickly turn the radio on then off and they blurt out the title and artist of radio songs. While it’s fun for them, my music muscle memory kicks in from back in the days when I could remember any song lyrics but not algebraic equations.
    • FLASHCARDS – Music festivals, especially in Los Angeles, attract celebrities. So another game rises from the pages of tabloid/fashion magazines where my daughter and I verbalize what the star “must be” saying with their photoshoot poses. This will prevent me from calling a cast by the wrong TV show next time we cross paths.

How many can you name?

Coming tomorrow: Attire, Fueling, Medals of completion.

PARENT MUSIC FESTIVAL TRAINING PROGRAM – Part 1 of 3

Ecstatic, after buying 2 tickets to Wango Tango music festival for my daughter and I (for her birthday); Sentimental, having attended the same festival 17 years ago but now passing the torch; Thrilled, as every single artist tops our list of faves; Panicked, as mosh-pit concerns blind-sided me; Relieved, upon viewing my assigned seats; and Driven… I began training!

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Mom, You Rock from afavoritedesign

Don’t laugh, just follow along:

Couch to Music Festival: Parents Training Guide

  • SET CLEAR GOALS: We have 5 weeks to train for:
    • DANCING OUR ASSES OFF for at least 4 ½ hours straight
    • CLAPPING THUNDEROUSLY for every encore
    • YELLING for each amazing artist loud enough so they respond “I love you too!
      …all with minimal bathroom/snack breaks

 

Are they Over-Excited or Under-Trained? WTF: Wango Tango Fangirls

 

  • START SMALL/BUILD SLOWLY:  With one step, we’ll begin and celebrate our high notes!
    • TRAINING PLAN – Start with one step, increase by 10 min. a day. Just focus on the build, not the full distance!
    • FESTIVAL LENGTH – We chose a 1-day festival but this training may be adapted for weekend or 3-day concerts as well – just allow more time to train.
    • Advanced: Build from previous concert experience of 2-3 hours

  • ENDURANCE TRAINING: To avoid dancing muscle fatigue:
    • SHAKE IT – Grab ear buds, start dancing everywhere! In your living room, while doing dishes or brushing teeth!
      Advanced: Make your kids teach you dance moves – fun(ny) for all!
    • CROSS-TRAIN! – Swimming and cycling build endurance but for a simple weight-bearing exercise – walk or jog!

  • STRENGTH TRAINING: To avoid jello arms and legs that may inhibit your ability to drive home:
    • SQUATS – Strengthen the quads and glutes to jump up for each new act with renewed vigor. Bonus, they help your core!.
      Advanced: Hold a squat position with slight bounce to Whip the crowd into a frenzy!
    • ARMS/BACK – Push ups, bench presses, and curls strengthen and amplify clapping.
      Advanced:  Shoulder and upper back strengthening ensures your clapping remains fanatically “Above-the-head” and your Nae Nae won’t look like a no no.
    • CALVES – Calf presses lift yourself above the screaming crowd to lock eyes with your favorite artist. No need to add more than your body weight – unless someone will be seated on your shoulders.

 

Advanced: Crowd Surfing – see Wikipedia how-to

Coming tomorrow in Part 2 of 3: Voice Conditioning, Avoiding Injuries, Know Before You Go

DISNEY ON ICE: The Biggest Treasure

Click here for 30% off Discount Codes!

Disney animated films represent a memorable, magical rite of passage!  Most of us remember our first favorite Disney character that leaped from the screen, welcoming us into their world – mine was Cinderella.*  As we grew, we became more complex characters, our crowds changed and new favorites joined our immediate Disney family!

Tiana & Naveen

The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana and Naveen

As with every family gathering, we enjoy our time immensely with our Disney family – build fond memories – but then return to our less magical daily routine.  While one may visit characters at their theme park homes, or rewind and re-live the films at our home, time with our Disney family remains limited.  Disney realizes that most of us do not share fences with a Disney theme park, so they’ve packed up their treasure trove of characters and are gliding into your home town!

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Disney’s Treasure Trove of memorable, magical characters

Disney chose their 50 most memorable characters from eight classic animated films to share their stories through figure skating in Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove – presented by YoKids!  By adding the elegance and athleticism of ice skating, the levels of romance, suspense, comedy and antics increase by leaps and bounds! The films span the 50-year legacy that Walt Disney started!  Every guest will reunite with one of their favorites!

ALICE

Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice and the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army of Cards

Hit the ice with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they embark on a fun-filled treasure hunt. Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn. Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail with Peter Pan, sassy Tinker Bell and cantankerous Captain Hook & his pirate crew! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon to discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock! Set a playdate with Woody and Buzz Lightyear – the toys are back in town!

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As with anything that Disney touches, the performance sets the gold standard!  This breathtakingly magical experience creates unforgettable memories for you and your family to treasure!

*While I enjoyed the Princess mind-set for a while, what I really loved about Cinderella was her resilience and creativity on how to get to the ball, her dignity in doing a job well-done and grace when facing down her obnoxious step-sisters! #DisneyStrong

CLICK FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE

#DisneyOnIce   #TreasureTrove  #IBelieveInDisneyMagic

All images (c) Disney

SHARE CAVALIA ODYSSEO WITH THOSE YOU LOVE

For me, one of the best parts of special events comes from sharing it with others. The thrill of experiencing events through their eyes gives me insight to what makes their hearts sing. Plus, shared memories stay with people longer than things, so it’s important to me to build history with those around me.

These days, life happens so fast it’s hard to hold a meaningful conversation with people, but experiences like Cavalia Odysseo allow one to pause while igniting every sense so you connect with the show and those around you on a significantly deeper level.

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Visually, this show is magnificently elegant, strong and intimate! While the feats of horses’ speed matched with humans’ strength astound you, this relies on an unseen trust between them.  The horses represent the most elegant breeds with flowing locks and sharply defined features. The costumes mirror this emanating a regal, ethereal feel. All pictures and videos aside, one cannot experience the full power of Odysseo without witnessing it live.

The music guides your emotions softening the beat of the thundering drums and hooves that drive your pulse.  As each acrobat performed their jaw-dropping stunts, my heart leapt with anticipation. One could smell the gentle perfume of horses, mixed with other fun flavors of a circus show.

Our Three-Thumb Review was actually Four-Thumbs up.   My 5-year old niece added new perspective to our usual tween, teen and mom-review. Though she loves and rides horses, I worried about the length of the show but she sat glued on the edge of her cousin’s lap (and intermission arrived in perfect time)!

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Despite my initial prediction, the trick riders, not just the horses, amazed her. My tween and her teen brother found rare common ground loving the physicality of the acrobats, their drums and the kangaroo stilts!

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I relived the best of my youth days spent horsing around, plus reignited my belief in beautiful fairy tales come true (including mine).

  Couple Odysseo with dinner for an unforgettable date night, or follow Odysseo with the most acrobatic carousel ride at nearby Irvine Spectrum.

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Odysseo extended their stay so get your tickets and please wander back and let me know how it touched you!

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I think it’s safe to say they loved it!

 

#OdysseoOC #ThreeThumbReviews

SET SAIL FOR THE LA BOAT SHOW!

Close your eyes, imagine yourself at the helm, captaining your ship. Wind blowing your hair, sun warming your face with the course set for the horizon!  For once, I’m not speaking hypothetically, I’m talking about real boats!  What’d your boat look like? A sailboat, a motorboat? A yacht with champagne?

Boating whisks us away, instantly freeing us from our land-dwelling ways, promising adventure, relaxation, nature, and romance. This form of travel rebuffs the usual constraint of staying within the lines and muffles the visual and auditory clutter of our neighborhoods.  The tension melts away with each wave. Realizing how small we are resting on the water’s surface resets our center.

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I’m blessed with a marina view from my office. Every now and then we’ll see the tall masts of some super-huge luxury vessel, wonder who owns it and wish we could see it up close.

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Now is our chance!  The west coast’s premier boating event, the 2016 Progressive Insurance Los Angeles Boat Show cruises to town in a few weeks!  Whether you are looking to upgrade or just get your feet wet, it will offer hundreds of boats for sale: entry-level family cruisers, pontoons, wakesport boats, personal watercraft, inflatables, sailboats, catamarans, cruisers, to million-dollar yachts!  Plus, GEAR – it’s all about the gear!

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I’m so excited that Progressive offered me tickets to the show. I LOVE shows like this so I can submerse myself in all things nautical!

This show lasts four days (February 25-28), in two locations: The Los Angeles Convention Center and Burton W. Chace Park in Marina del Rey! The Marina will be a sailor’s delight with on-water lessons, sailing seminars and simulators!   There will be tons of Boat Smart activities and a high-energy kids zone where kids build their own sailing fantasy! Personally, I can’t wait to check out the Float-In Theatre!

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Buy tickets now: $15 for adults; Youth 15 and younger, with an adult, and active military are FREE. Save time, purchase tickets in advance at losangelesboatshow.com (Day-of-event tix sold at the box office).

Congratulations to our winner Christina Faulkner! She receives 4 tickets good for any day of the show, good for both show locations. Hope you enjoy your boating adventure! Thank you for wandering by! 

Check back every day (until the show starts) to see new boating songs you’ll be humming!
SAILING Christopher Cross
IF I HAD A BOAT Lyle Lovett

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR RAFFLE WINNER:  Christina Faulkner!

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