Tag: campfire

Playing and Staying in Big Sur


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


Happy exploring!


Family Drum Circle


Spend an evening at the Environmental Nature Center  for a family Drumming Circle. As the sun is setting, come and gather around the campfire while surrounding yourself with trees and living things, listen to the sounds of daytime as nature is going to sleep and the nocturnal denizens of the Nature Center awake.

 As the stars begin to appear in the night sky the campfire will be lit and the drumming will begin. The Drumming Circle is a fun entry-level learning experience that is accessible to anyone who wants to participate.

Drum Circle participants express themselves collectively by using percussion to create a musical song together while having a great time. Dancers are welcome too! Join facilitator Laurene Keane who will be providing drums for those who don’t have one. Cocoa will be provided, but bring your own reusable mug. Register online.

  • When: Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Environmental Nature Center,  1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Cost: $6.00 per person ($5.00 for members) 



Get Wild Tonight!


Here’s a line up of some wild events that will get you outside enjoying nature in our great OC Parks tonight.

Sunset Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
6: 00 – 8:00 p.m.Hike with Ranger Adam Martinez as the sunsets over Laurel and Willow canyons. Observe the changes as day turns to night. Hear the last bird songs. Light interpretation with questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven.

  • Participants should bring water, a snack, a flashlight, and wear proper hiking shoes.
  • Ages 12 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.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration 

Smiling Rock in Laguna Canyon

Wildlife Walk: Bats – Yorba Linda Regional Park

7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Learn some of the myths and truths about these fascinating creatures. Come learn how bats communicate, what they eat and why they are important to our ecosystem. Then we will take a short walk near the lake to see if we can spot some of our resident bats.

All ages welcome
Event is FREE!
Parking is $5 per vehicle

Email to register:
Please leave your name, phone number, number of participants in your group and ages of participant(s) in your email.

(This event will be outside. Please bring water and dress accordingly.)
Click Here for more Info


Bats of Orange County – Laguna Niguel Regional Park
7:15 p.m. – 8: 30 p.m.Join Park Ranger Brad Barker as we learn about those mysterious creatures of the night – bats!Ranger Barker will lead a 45-minute presentation about bats that can be found in Orange County. After the presentation, join us for a 30-minute walk to the nearby lake as we look for bats and listen for their echolocation using a bat detector.Meet at the amphitheater. Come early to look at a bat skeleton and skull.

  • Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel.
  • for questions call: 949-497-8324.
  • Parking: $5/vehicle.
  • Program is free; donations appreciated.
  • Registration encouraged using link below.

Online Registration


Ranger Led Campfire Program – O’Neill Regional Park
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Join us each Saturday Night at the amphitheater for this Ranger led talk on local animal life, set to the glow of fire light. This event is only open to those camping at O’Neill Regional Park. No access for day use after sunset.

  • Ages: All Ages Welcome
  • Fee: Free

(Event is outdoors and dependent on weather conditions.)


Campfire Program – Caspers Wilderness Park8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Every Saturday night, join us for a campfire program that may include a slide presentation, wilderness safety, games and activities for children, animal adaptations, skins and skulls, a live animal demonstration and a chance to visit the Nature Center. Topics may vary weekly.

  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • All ages welcome

For information call the park at 949 923 2210

Images from OCparks.org


August 10th is National S’mores Day!!!


Image from Hersheys.com

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A s’more (sometimes spelled smore) is a traditional night time campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada, consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.[1] National S’mores Day is celebrated yearly on August 10 in the United States.

S’more appears to be a contraction of the phrase “some more”. The first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the publication Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts of 1927. Although the exact origin is unclear, reports on the group as early in 1925 describe them. Merriam-Webster marks 1974 as the first use of S’more, though recipes for “Some Mores” are in various Girl Scout publications until at least 1973.

Since the Girl Scouts popularized S’mores, it has been a long standing communal tradition around the campfire. No Campfire in site, not to worry – you can make them in the microwave. People have S’more’s dessert tables at dinner parties. Some people skip the food and have S’more parties. A couple of months ago, my local Girl Scout Council staff had a S’more’s competition. That’s a tasty competition.

Go and get your ingredients and get ready to celebrate National S’more’s day with your family.

Here’s the basic S’mores recipe from Hersheys.com


  • 4 marshmallows
  • 4 graham crackers, broken into halves
  • 2 (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bars, broken into halves


    Place 1 graham cracker half on paper towel; top with chocolate bar half and marshmallow. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) in 10 second intervals until marshmallow puffs. Immediately top with remaining graham cracker half; gently press together. Repeat for each serving; serve immediately. 4 servings.

    OUTDOOR S’MORES: Place 1/2 of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar (1.55 oz.) on graham cracker half. Carefully toast marshmallow over grill or campfire (supervise the kids if they’re doing this); place over chocolate. Top with second graham cracker half; gently press together.

    For some interesting takes on S’more’s check out my S’more’s Pinterest page .