Playing and Staying in Big Sur

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Big Sur is one of the “must-see places” in  America and located on one of the most iconic road trips in our Country, Highway 1, a designated American National Scenic Byway. With approximately 85 curvy miles between San Simeon and Carmel, this stretch of highway hosts breath-taking views of both the mountains and the coast.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

You could definitely stay in the car and drive through Highway 1 and be awestruck by its beauty (I’ve done that) or you could spend some time there and enjoy it to the fullest. Big Sur has plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast. From hiking, to waterfalls, to the purple sandy beaches –  Big Sur is amazing!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

You can spend the day to discover Big Sur by stopping along the highway and visit places like Mc Way Falls, Pfeiffer Beach and the Bixby Creek Bridge. We wanted to go on some hikes, see the redwoods and feel the purple sand of the beaches in Big Sur.

AndrewMoleraBeach1We decided to camp in Big Sur and made our base at the Fernwood Resort. To make reservations you simply call them, that’s right – no internet reservations here. The friendly staff at Fernwood Resort, answers the phones (crazy right?) checks the dates your interested in and lets you know what’s available. Take note – campsites fill up quick as most of the campers I talked to while we were there book their camping spots a year in advance.

FernwoodResort10

Highway 1 is filled with gorgeous resorts, inns and camping spots along the way. The Fernwood Resort came as a recommendation to us and I’m glad we stayed here. We were fortunate enough to scoop up a couple of cancellations for our trip.

Fernwood16One the first night, we stayed at camp site #63 – This campsite is located along the river on the other side of the bridge after entering the campsite. My first thought upon pulling up to our campsite was that the space was small, beautiful but small. We got out, set up camp and realized there was plenty of space.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

As it turns out your campsite goes all the way down to the river, you can actually set up your tent near the river (just be careful if rain is in the forecast). Each campsite comes with a picnic table and a fire ring. All of the campsites along the river surprisingly have electricity and water and most importantly easy access to the river. You fall to sleep to the gentle sound of the river.

The campsites located on the opposite side are set among the Redwood Trees but do not have electricity and water. The restrooms, free showers, a dishwashing area (with hot water) and a coin operated laundry area are all conveniently located to all of the campsites.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

As for our second night we moved to “primitive” Tent Cabin # 8 – which means a cabin with no electricity or bathroom. The Tent Cabins sleep 4 are also located along the river, have a picnic table and fire rings.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

The Tent Cabins do offer a little more privacy as they sit between the Redwood trees. Our girls loved playing inside the cabin while my husband and I prepared meals and sat around the campfire with the sound of the river below us.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

There are trails that leads down to the river from the tent cabin sites, my girls had a blast playing in the river.

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com

The restrooms were a short walk from the Tent Cabins as well as private coin operated showers rooms. The downside for me was that the dishwashing station was located on the other side of the camp near the tent camping sites.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Fernwood Resort also offers Adventure Tents (a Tent Cabin with electricty, a bed, night stand, lights and bedding), a Motor Lodge, Fully Furnished Cabins with bathrooms and kitchens, RV sites and group camping spots. If you arrive here and realize you forgot something, don’t worry – they’ve got you covered.

There is a very fully stocked market (which includes vegan and vegetarian options), a very fully stocked camping supply store, a restaurant with an outside patio with heaters and a ping pong table, an Ice Cream shop (that serves very healthy servings) and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

A couple of things to consider – if were a camper, the camp sites are a little higher then your usually campsites (still far less than a motel room) and you can only get Wi-Fi service in the store/restaurant area, so be prepared to unplug during your stay.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Both Pfeiffer Beach and Andrew Molera State Beach are located within 5-10 minutes from Fernwood Resort. Staying here gave us the the perfect opprtunity to explore Big Sur, see the Redwoods, play in the oceans purple sand, play in the river, relax by a campfire and of course  – make s’mores! How perfect is that!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Fernwood Resort has a gorgeous walking trail (great for the littles) a hiking trail and also happens to be home to one of the very rare “Albino” Redwood.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I highly recommend Fernwood Resort, no matter what level of adventure your at. If your looking to stay in a room, relax in a cabin or rough it in a campsite, they have something for you. You can’t go wrong staying here while you while you discover this beautiful area of California.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Happy exploring!

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Zookeepers Appreciaton Day

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It’s time to thank our Orange County zookeepers for all their hard work caring for our zoo animals!

Kids activities include making thank you cards for our zookeepers, crafts, playing games, and a special scavenger hunt where you can enter to win a Zookeeper Shadow Experience!

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Kids are encouraged to come dressed in zookeeper attire/costume!

The first 100 children ages 12 & under will receive a free train ride ticket for Irvine Park Railroad!

Image courtesy of Irvine Park Railroad
Image courtesy of Irvine Park Railroad

Zookeepers will be giving “keeper chats” throughout the day and giving out special treats and toys to the zoo animals.

Special talk on “So You Want To Be A Zookeeper” will be given by two of our zookeepers at 10:30 a.m. Visitors can learn what a zookeeper’s day is like, see some of the “tools of the trade” and meet some zoo animals up close! Reservations are not needed.

  • When: Saturday, July 23, 2016
  • Where: OC Zoo located inside Irvine Regional Park,  1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $2.00 per person, ages 2 & under are free, parking is $5 per vehicle

All About Snakes

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

OC Parks invites you to join local herpetologist Steve Bledsoe at O’Neill Regional Park to learn all about snakes that can be found in Orange County.

This family-friendly event will feature a live reptile display with local snake species. Come learn how to identify snakes, where they live and what to do when you encounter one on park trails.

There will also be an informative presentation on rattlesnakes of Orange County.

  • When: Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: O’Neil Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 – Meet at the O’Neill Nature Center and Amphitheater. Parking at the O’Neill Nature Center lot.
  • Cost: The event is free event, parking feess apply. .

From Dinosaurs to People

Image from JDCooperCenter facebook page
Image from JDCooperCenter facebook page

From Dinosaurs to People, Reliving Orange County’s Past is a FREE event being held at Heritage Museum of Orange County.

The Cooper Center is joining the Heritage Museum for a full day of archeology, paleontology, history, fossils, kid zone, demonstrations by blacksmith, guided hikes, Native American artifacts, and fun talks!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Also, don’t miss the wonderful Jacque Nunez of “Journeys to the Past” for one of the most enchanted presentation’s of stories and songs that encourage children’s “environmentalism” and what it means to be “keepers of the earth.”

  • When: Sunday, July 17, 2015 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Heritage House, 3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana, CA
  • Cost: FREE

National Hot Dog Day

So, tomorrow 7/14/16 is National Hot Dog Day. I know…contain yourself. Although I’m not really a fan of hot dogs, this FREE hot dog giveaway caught my attention because they serve Turkey AND Veggie dogs, who knew!

Hot Dog On A Stick will celebrate this glorious day by giving away 1 FREE Turkey Dog or 1 FREE Veggie dog per person. Great for a quick-lunch and I’m curious about the Veggie Dog. The last time I tried Veggie dogs was about 15 years ago and it was so bad, my dog didn’t even want it (true story) BUT I hear there have been major changes to veggie dogs since then. I’m willing to give it a shot.

To get your free corn dog – find a location near you by clicking here

Image courtesy of HotDogonaStick facebook page
Image courtesy of HotDogonaStick facebook page

Wolf Ambassadors

Image courtesy of FullertonAboretum.org
Image courtesy of FullertonAboretum.org

Spend a Tuesday Evening in the garden at Fullerton Aborteum for a family friendly event. The Project Wildsong Team will introduce the wolf ambassadors, Cael and Damu.

Learn about the ecology of wolves and why they are an important keystone species. The team will also be talking about foxes as they are obtaining an Ambassador Fox this year, which is an exciting new addition. Don’t forget your camera and be ready to pet the wolves.

  • When: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 from 7:00pm-8:00pm
  • Where: Fullerton Aboretum, 1900 Assoicated Road, Fullerton, CA 
  • Cost: $10.00 per person

Cinema Under the Stars

OakCanyonNatureCenter

Enjoy “Cinema Under the Stars” Movie Nights at Oak Canyon Nature Center! Each evening begins in the amphitheater with a twilight walk at 7:30pm led by their staff naturalists, followed by the feature presentation at 8:00 p.m.

Blankets or jackets are suggested. Admission is free, but a $5.00 donation per family is suggested. And what would a movie be without the snacks? Visit the Oak Canyon Snack Bar during your movie to get all your movie favorites, including: popcorn, candy, water, and more! All proceeds go directly to the Nature Center.

Oak Canyon Nature Center is located at 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

2016 Dates:

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Good Dinosaur

Friday, July 22, 2016

Big Hero 6

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hotel Transylvania 2

Free Movie Monday’s

Images courtesy of scfta.org
Images courtesy of scfta.org

Summer time means FREE movies at Segerstrom Center. FREE Movie Mondays, return’s for its tenth season on the Argyros Plaza.

Gather as a community for a casual evening of fun activities, picnic dinners or specialties from popular food trucks and watching five fan-favorite films on consecutive Mondays.

Set-up begins at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.). Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs or other easily portable seating items, snacks and picnic suppers. Barbecues and similar food preparation are not permitted but your  bring your picnic baskets and get ready to have a blast!

Summer Film Showings Include:

  • July 11th – Grease
  • July 18 – Selena
  • July 25th – Elf
  • August 1 st – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • August 8th – The Labyrinth

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Toys and Treats for Animals

wpid-2014-11-25_21.15.11.jpgCome and help create “toys” and “treats” for the animals at the O.C. Zoo. Our zoo friends need toys to play with and treats to eat, be part of this special event and help the OC Zoo.

Each child should bring 2 empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls to class. Class includes meeting zoo animals up close. This event is for children ages: 5-8 years old only.

Registration is required, please call 714-973-6846 to register.

  • When: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 from 10:015 – 11:15 AM 
  • Where: OC Zoo, located inside Irvine RFegional Park,  1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: Program fee: $5 per child (includes ONE adult), Parking fee: $3

Be Safe this Weekend!

Please help keep families together and safe this weekend by designating a driver or call Uber for a ride. Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

Annette – ProjectRefinedLife

Michael

 

As the 4th of July  weekend approaches, the media will be entirely too busy reporting on drunk driving fatalities. This is one of the deadliest weekends throughout the year for alcohol-related crashes. During the four-day holiday in 2014, 164 people were killed in drunk driving crashes – a 50% increase over an average day.

MADD refuses to accept this as normal. And, this week, we are proud to announce an enhanced partnership we believe will save lives – begining this weekend!

MADD introduced the phrase designated driver to the American lexicon 30 years ago in 1986. This week, I am pleased to say that Uber has evolved the definition of “designated driver.” So, that in addition to your non-drinking driver or public transportation, Uber is standing by as well as MADD’s official designated driving app.

For almost a decade, MADD has put technology at the forefront of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  Two years ago, this July 4th, we announced a partnership with Uber to keep drunk drivers off the road. As a team, we have spent the last two years raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving by coordinating events with local and national leaders, participating in public service campaigns, and encouraging both riders and drivers to leave the keys at home and keep their communities safe.

Uber, like MADD,  cares about our cause of getting drunk drivers off the road. They care about rider and driver safety, and they are dedicated to research that helps reduce drunk driving.

This holiday weekend, like all weekends, we want Americas roads to be safe and rid them of drunk drivers. Please join our mission to end drunk driving by donating today. Uber will DOUBLE your donation.

Together, we will make a difference. Have a safe July 4th weekend. Thank you and God Bless America!

It’s Inventors Week!

Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org
Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org

Come to the Discovery Cube OC for a week of tinkering, building, and exploring while learning about electronic and robotic principles. You’ll get to practice your skills and test your knowledge with snap circuit building, Makey Makey invention activities, and an interactive stage show!

There will be an exclusive live video conference with NASA on July 7 at 1:00pm! Learn about the Orion and Space Launch System missions and how NASA plans to explore areas of space that more than 40,000 miles beyond the moon! An engineer from the Ground Systems Development and Operations team at Kennedy Space Center will be available by video conference to answer your questions about upcoming deep space operations.

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Meet the Makers Weekends | July 2 & 3, July 9 & 10

Saturday, July 2
Abu ZOTTZ (10am-5pm)
Joan Horvath: Nonscriptum LLC (10am-5pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Google X: Anthony Mack (presentations at 11am and 1pm)
Brain Builders (Time TBD)

Sunday, July 3
Abu ZOTTZ (10am-5pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)

Tuesday, July 5
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Wednesday, July 6
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Thursday, July 7
NASA Engineer Teleconference – Jerad Merbitz (1pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Friday, July 8
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
AirWolf 3D (10am-3pm)

Saturday, July 9
Wolf Corp. Robotics (11am-1pm)
Blind Children Center (10am-5pm)
R2D2 Club (11am-3pm)
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
Matter Hackers (11am-3pm)
OC Module Railroaders Inc. (10am-5pm)

Sunday, July 10
OC Scroll Saw Association (11am-3pm)
OC Module Railroaders Inc. (10am-5pm)

*All shows, presenters & times subject to change or cancellation without notice.
All activities while supplies last.

  • When: July 2nd – July 10th, 2016
  • Where: Discovery Cube OC, 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
  • Cost: included in admission

The BFG

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Last night we viewed Disney and Steven Spielberg’s movie adaption of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. This is my daughters favorite Roald Dahl book and we have been waiting (rather impatiently) the release of this film . The movie wastes no time on getting into the action to develop the story. It kept me and my girls entertained throughout the entire film.

While going to sleep one night, Sophie accidentally encounters a giant, who scopes her away and takes her to his home in Giant Country. Although Sophie is initially scared of the giant, he turns out to be a kindhearted and friendly giant whose job it is to capture dreams, store them in dream jars and disburse them among the human “beans”. The BFG (big friendly giant) lives among other bigger giants who continually bully The BFG. Sophie and the BFG’s developed friendship inspires Sophie to come up with a plan to save the BFG from the other giants.

I thought the movie was kind and funny. The special effects were fantastic. Mark Rylance’s (the BFG) performance was outstanding. The use of digital technology and the live-action performance’s allows you to see and feel the emotions of the giant. I quickly developed a liking for the giant because you could see his emotions in his eyes, it was heartwarming.

My thoughts of this movie are based strictly off the movie. My daughter said that there are difference’s between the book and the film but she loved it and thought it was awesome. This is a great family friendly movie.

Projectrefinedlife.com
Projectrefinedlife.com

Here are two separate Dream Jar crafts you and your children can quickly put together to celebrate this special movie. Both equally cute but different.

The first comes with a cute story of a letter written to Roald Dahl telling him of the craft she made inspired by his book.

Thie second video is Disney’s version of the Dream Jar craft – very simple to put together and very pretty,

If making these crafts makes you thirsty try this Frobscottle recipe from family.disney.com

The Frobscottle in The BFG

It’s The BFG Contest Time!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

It’s contest time at Once Upon a Storybook!  If your child loves Roald Dahl’s book The BFG – they can Win 2 tickets (one adult, one child) to The BFG!

BFG

Children ages 15 and under just need to write up a one-page summary of the BOOK The BFG (no more than 200 words), and turn it in to Once Upon a Storybook by Friday, July 8 by 7:00 PM.

Any kid under age 15 who has read or had the book read to him/her qualifies! Remember to use as much Gobblefunk as possible in your summary.

The winning entry will be posted with The BFG by Roald Dahl at the store, and the winning writer will receive the two tickets on Saturday, July 9 to be used any time after that. Age/developmental level and creativity will be considered in the awarding of the prize. 

If you have any questions please call Once Upon a Storybook at 714-669-4377. Please share this with your friends!!!

Young Explorers Academy

Image courtesy of columbiaspacescience.org
Image courtesy of columbiaspacescience.org

This Saturday, the theme for this July’s “Young Explorers Academy” at Columbia Memorial Space Center is “Seed Growth”. The Young Explorer’s Academy is designed especially for children ages 3-5.

Children will EXPLORE, EXPERIMENT, and CREATE during hands-on and participant-lead activities based on various early childhood topics.

July is a time for summer picnics and celebrating the summer. Watermelons, strawberries, and cantaloupes are popular summer fruits, but how do we get them to our picnic tables from a small seedling? Come join Young Explorers Seed Growth workshop at the CMSC as they answer the questions of seed growth together.

  • When: Saturday, July 2, 2016 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Cost: $12 is per guardian and child pair (includes all day admission to the CMSC) or $7 for CMSC members. Guardian participation is required. Pre- registration is suggested as seats and supplies are limited.

To register – call  (562) 231-1200,  Tuesday-Saturday between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm or register at the door.

 

Weekend Hikes

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I thought I’d start the Weekend HIkes post early this week so you could pre-register and plan your weekend. It could be I’m just eager to get out there for some sort of hiking adventures. Remember the OC Parks guided hikes are always free just cover the parking.  Get out there and discover a new trail!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let’s Go Hiking! – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Do you want to take a hike with other nature enthusiasts? Enjoy a 3.8-mile, moderate (600-ft. elevation gain) hike through Laurel and Willow Canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. You will experience a variety of plant communities, from Coastal Sage Scrub to Oak Woodland and enjoy a view of the ocean at the top. Minimal interpretation, but questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven.

  • Participants should bring water, a hat, a snack, and wear proper hiking shoes.
  • Ages 15 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.


Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Walk with a Naturalist – O’Neill Regional Park

Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads.

  • All ages welcome.
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

Event is conditional on the weather.

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.  $0 $0Hike will be on paved and dirt trails. $0 $0Bring sun protection and water. $0 $0Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center. $0 $0Event is free, registration is not required.  $0 $0
Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Register Online

Date: 7/2/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  7/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Kumeyaay Family Fun Day

Image from sanelijo.org
Image from sanelijo.org

Get unplugged and head outdoors at the San Elijio Lagoon while you learn about the Kumeyaay. During this month’s Family Fun Day you’ll discover the Kumeyaay who relied upon the lagoon’s resources, through arts and crafts and activity-guided tours.

Family Fun Days are held on the 1st Sunday of the month. Rain or shine. Presented by Conservancy & County rangers.

  • When: Sunday, July 3, 2016 from 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Where: San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007
  • Cost: FREE