Absolutely Beautiful - Ritz Carlton


I live in Southern California and many times I drive by the Ritz Carlton. Never had I stopped in to dine or just walk around. The other day I got a great opportunity to visit the Ritz Carlton. What I got to experience was a breath taking view of the ocean. This is the view from the restaurant 180Blu. The food was great too! On some days there is live music. If you are close by you should stop and take the view.

One Ritz-Carlton Drive, Dana Point, California 92629 USA


Galvin Physics Forest - Kidspace Children's Museum

Kidspace Children's Museum

My favorite place of the week!!! It was loved by my kids, my husband and myself. We explored and discovered that science can be fun and playful. Make sure you take extra clothes and be ready to experience your childhood all over again.  Try it and let me know what you think?

The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest

Now open at the Kidspace Children's Museum, is the newly designed Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest.  This new outdoor adventure combines the beauty of the outdoors with a woodsie feel and the ever impressive laws of physics, enabling kids to run, jump and pull their way through learning.  This newly developed site focuses all on physics where kids can learn the effects of balls bouncing off one another and the creation of energy.

Equally, kids can wander over to place strings with magnets to a large metal pendulum where they have to work as a team to get the pendulum to swing without pulling their magnet off.  Careful consideration is the learning key and kids quickly find out why and how to overcome the challenge working together.  This exercise is great for adults' alike teaching teamwork!

Next, run over to the ball launcher where kids can see the effects of launching a ball with an air powered cannon manually vs. with compressed air.  One cannon has you load a rubber ball into the chamber and push down as hard and as fast as you can to create enough air pressure to launch the ball.  Kids aim the cannons at round circular targets to allow them to shoot through as well mark the distance of the launch.  The other cannon is pressured with an air compressor allowing kids to load the rubber ball into the chamber and push a button that launches the ball clear across the course.  A natural slope inside the experiment returns the balls to the side where children can collect around ball and repeat the event.  This experiment is surely the "bomb" with the kids.

Next, kids can enjoy creating a roller coaster with track and tubes.  Starting with poles, kids attach tubes and track pieces together at an elevated position and create a hill type ramp and course for a ball to roll down using gravity.  Be careful....too tight of a turn and too much speed and your rubber ball will fly off of the track.  Get enough momentum and have your ball complete a 360 degree loop de loop at the bottom of the course. This experiment is a great learning site for the laws of gravity and inertia.

Continue inside the Kidspace Children's Museum where kids can ride tricycles and buggies around a predefined course.  Enjoy a stroll through the forest and enjoy climbing on a rope spider web, through the vine tunnel, enjoy the river and waterfalls or simply investigate all of the plants, vegetables, trees, and shrubs labeled for your teaching.  Go inside the facility where kids can learn about rocks, fossils, and other natural wonders climb through the ant tunnel and up through a tree.  Learn about scorpions, spiders, millipedes and other bugs then venture over and create an artistic masterpiece that you can take home with you.

Kidspace Children's Museum is locationed at:

480 North Arroyo Boulevard  Pasadena, CA 91103

Hours are:
June, July, August M-F 9:30 AM - 5 PM
Sat - Sun 10 AM - 5 PM

Sept - May T-F 9:30 AM - 5 PM
Sat - Sun 10 AM - 5 PM

Closed New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas,and select Saturdays to accommodate UCLA football games at the Rose Bowl.

Kidspace Children's Museum has a full service cafeteria with salads, sandwiches, drinks and more for your hungry family or pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in the park where kids can run, jump and play at the jungle gym.


McDonald's Blueberry Oatmeal - New

 Being a parent of two very active kids, I sometimes don't have time to make breakfast.
As a busy parent, I am always trying to find new ways to eat a great breakfast.  Okay, the truth is I get tired and I need a little help.  I go to McDonald's to grab a bite to eat.  Before you stop reading, you should know that we have been given a rare and very special tour of the McDonalds' Kitchen as well as the opportunity to interview an independent 3rd party nutritionist who has done extensive research on McDonalds'.  As with all food consumption, moderation is the key, regardless of whether you are eating at home, a 5 star restaurant or a "fast food' restaurant. 

I am lovin' it!  The new McDonald's Blueberry Banana Oatmeal is a quick easy way to get good, healthy, quality food for a price that won't break the bank.  See the nutritional comparison below.  This data is just an estimate and with all things is hard to compare apples to apples as McDonald's does not disclose all of the ingredients that go into their oatmeal.  For comparison, we took the Oatmeal nutritional data from the Quaker Oats website and added the nutritional data for 2 oz of fresh blueberries.  Please note, most people add, butter, salt, and milk to their oatmeal during the cooking / pre-consumption process.  In addition, McDonald's oatmeal also has banana in it which our comparison does not include.  All and all, you can see by adding these items in, your homemade oatmeal would be very close in comparison to the McDonalds' version.

Honestly, we love to share a big breakfast.  My little guy eats one pancake and half of a sausage. I eat one muffin with jelly and the other half of the sausage. My older son eats the last piece of muffin with jelly, bacon and some egg.  We usually have eggs left over, however now that my oldest is eating a bit more, I am replacing my portion of the meal with an oatmeal.

Our tour of the kitchen was quite impressive.  The staff and nutritionist took us back to the refrigerator where by our surprise we were welcomed by a host of fresh eggs, mangos for the fresh fruit smoothies, and lettuce & tomatoes for their hamburgers.  The walk-in refrigerator was as cold as the arctic and packed full of great ingredients.  The kitchen was super clean...I can say that the McDonald's kitchen was cleaner than most home kitchens I have seen.  On behalf of Field Trip Mom, I want to Thank the people of McDonalds' for hosting this incredible tour and nutritional knowledge lesson.  If you have never tried McDonald's host of new menu items, drive on down, you will be glad you did!

I want to say "THANK YOU" to everyone involved in providing us with a great experience. Mr. Robert Nibeel, owner and operator, provided us with access to the Mcdonald's kitchen and great food. The staff, Adrian and Juan who walked us through the kitchen, were great hosts. Bonnie Modugno, MS, RD, nutritiontist who guided us through healthy choices and answered all of our questions. Alexis thank you for inviting us!!!!

McDonald's - 15459 Culver Drive Irvine, CA 92606  (949) 552-5959

Shopping for a tent and fishing gear...

I look better with the hat on then without. I think I need to get one.

Loved the big bag for all my camping and fishing stuff. (warning I am not Indiana Jones)

Bass Pro Shops has great clothing with lots of style. I really loved a few of their pieces.

I was inside the display case. The employees thought I was part of the display?

Trying to blend in with the display! My son thought I was a little nuts.

This is a tiny store. It only has three floors, a huge fish tank, boat sales section, food section, gun store, camping equipment, hunting gear and much much more. I had lots of fun exploring Pro Bass Shop in Ranch Cucamonga.



Field Trip to the USS Iowa - #USSIowa

On July 7th, San Pedro Harbor opened its amazing new museum, the USS Iowa battleship. Teaching our children about the armed forces, experienced construction technics, history and live visual measurements, we ventured off to our latest field trip. Berth 87 is now the new permanent home for the retired USS Iowa battleship and is an amazing sight. If you have not taken a tour of a military ship, I suggest you head down to San Pedro for this amazing visual display of US history.

We crossed the bridges of Terminal Island and the city had placed plenty of signs for easy navigation to the berth.  Directly off highway 47, we turned left into the parking lot and easily found a very large area ample for the crowds.  We parked and the boys were OOOOHHH’ing and AAAAHHHHH’ing at the massive size of this battleship. 
From the street and parking lot, you get an excellent visual sense of the ship.  We walked up to the ticket line and waited for 10 minutes as the staff ran through 100 + people waiting to buy tickets.  

There were plenty of staff on site waiting to answer questions and direct you to the correct line as well as telling the next in line when the next window was available for assistance.  The museum had 3 open windows for daily trip tickets and a membership window if you decided.  We quickly bought our tickets and walked to the entrance of the ship where staff members take a family portrait of you for purchase in the gift shop if you so desire.
Upon walking up the ramp, we boarded the ship.  In amazement, the three of us stood on the deck and could not believe how truly massive this ship was.  We were welcomed aboard and told to follow the yellow arrows on the deck of the ship to guide us to the next area of display.  We walked around the deck of the ship witnessing the nine 16” turret canons.  The boys were amazed by the size of the chain for the anchor with links the length of our 8 year old is tall.
We next were allowed to walk through the captains’ quarters seeing the area where they completed their work, the bedding quarters and bath facilities.  The tour guided us through corradors where other officers bunked.  We walked up to additional levels on the ship.  
Unfortunately, there are many flights of very steep stairs and low ceilings so it would be difficult if not impossible for the handicapped to get the full experience.  We recommend contacting the museum ahead of time to ensure they have other means to assist disabled persons around the ship.
Inside the ship, sailor recreation areas and mess halls have ceiling heights of 6.5 feet and bulkheads cause one to step over threasholds in the doorways.  Additionally, decks have several steps and stumbling places however the museum has done an excellent job of labeling these areas with yellow paint to ensure people notice them.  
The tour walks you through the captains’ battle chamber which consists of 13” steel walls for safety in battle.  Next you are guided through the control room then passed several more weapons including harpoon missles.  The tour is semi-guided however leaves persons to take their time and enjoy the experience without being rushed through by tour guides.

We spent 2 hours on board the ship looking at all of the different places on the ship.  The end of the tour takes you to the mess hall and an area that has been converted into the gift shop, history of the ship displays as well as the sailors theater that plays movies on the history of the USS Iowa.  To get an excellent experience, plan on 3 to 4 hours to complete the tour.


Namesake:                   The State of Iowa
Ordered:                      July 1, 1939
Builder:                        New York Naval Yard
Laid down:                   June 27, 1940
Launched:                    Aug 27 1942
Commissioned:             Feb 22 1943
Decommissioned:          Oct 26, 1990
Nickname:                    The Big Stick
Honors:                        11 Battle Stars           
Displacement:               45,000 tons
Length:                         887 feet 3 inches
Beam:                          108 feet 2 inches
Max Speed:                 33 knots (38 mph)
For more information on this trendous battleship, visit:


The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM with the last tick sold at 4 PM.  Adults are $18.00, Seniors and active/retired/reserved military are $15.00 with ID, children 6 – 17 are $10.00.  Children under 6 are free.

Address:                      Pacific Battleship Center
                                    USS IOWA BB-61
                                    250 S. Harbor Blvd
                                    San Pedro, CA 90731
Website:                      Pacific Battleship

There are many places to eat in San Pedro near the harbor at Ports of Call as well as across the bridge in Long Beach at Seaport Village and surrounding downtown Long Beach.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy eating by the water edge in Long Beach.

Post written by: Tim Bosek 


Dog Days of Summer at the Discovery Science Center

Field Trip Mom was given the rare opportunity to see first-hand the latest exhibit and show at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, CA.

Now through Sunday, The Discovery Science Center is offering the dog days of summer show.  This exciting show introduces the crowds to the .  Kyra has appeared on The Tonight Show, Ellen, ET, Worldwide Fido Awards, Animal Planet's Pet Star, Showdog Moms & Dads, and Disney’s Underdog stage show at the El Capitan theater in Holly Kyra Sundance Stunt Dog Showwood. Kyra and her dogs performed a command performance in Marrakech for the King of Morocco.  Kyra demonstrates her incredible training abilities and the intelligence of her Weimaraners, Chalcy and Jadie.

The DSC has set stage outside bringing in bleachers and overhead shades and created the course for Kyra and her dogs.  The show is an incredible display of how Kyra teaches her dogs dynamic tricks bringing laugher and amazing feats.
Kyra’s show will be running through this Sunday the 8th and is a must see for all dog owners, kids and adults looking for a great time.  On behalf of Field Trip Mom, we want to thank Kyra and the DSC for inviting us to this amazing show.  Head over and see for yourself this amazing show.