Knott’s Voyage to the Iron Reef

voyage-to-the-iron-reef-ride-knottsKnott’s Berry Farm has a new interactive 4-D ride called Voyage to the Iron Reef! We are so excited to experience it for the first time this weekend. This ride is located on the newer section of Knott’s, called the Boardwalk. We’ll embark on a 4-minute thrilling journey into the sea where we’ll find the Kraken Queen and battle creatures with our freeze-ray guns and score points along the way. This is sure to be a fun adventure for the whole family! “Easter eggs” of various iconic treasures from Knott’s past are hidden throughout the ride and interact with the blast of our freeze-ray guns. (Here’s a couple of hints: Look for the famous Roaring 20’s sign! Also, look for the hidden Snoopy in the all new ride dock mural.)

Another new addition is the all new Boardwalk Arcade, located beneath the Voyage to the Iron Reef. Stop by and check out all the new video, redemption and merchandise games. Later in the Summer, the laser tag compound will reopen with a whole new look and feel, which will compliment the steampunk-inspired design of Voyage to the Iron Reef.

Stay tuned for our recap of this fun attraction at Knott’s! The kids are super excited.

Marissa and Jessie at Knott's Boardwalk

Marissa and Jessie at Knott’s Boardwalk

 

The best way to check out Voyage to the Iron Reef and the rest of Knott’s this summer is to purchase a 2015 Knott’s Season Pass. They’re available for as low as $86.00 or four payments of just $21.50 (plus applicable taxes and fees) at Knotts.com for a limited time. Have a great summer!!! XOXO

-MaryAnne

 

Other ways to connect with Knott’s:

Knott’s Berry Farm app (App Store & Google Play)

Knott’s Facebook @KnottsBerryFarm

Twitter  @Knotts

Knott’s Instagram @KnottsBerryFarm

 

Knott’s Berry Farm
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Phone: (714) 220-5200
Website: www.Knotts.com

 

“The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.”

Summer is here!

Photo by Jim Wendt

Photo by Jim Wendt

Summer is here! It’s starting to warm up here in Orange County, California. This is where we start planning fun things to do! I love weekends with my family. We are mostly at the pool or any of the beautiful beaches which are just a short car ride away. I have been super busy as the chauffeur to both Marissa (13) and Jessie (7). Marissa has carpool to OCSA, voice lessons and commercial auditions in Los Angeles. Jessie has karate classes twice a week.

As we settle into our new home (we just moved last month, in the same neighborhood), I’m starting to think of fun things to do this summer.

Aside from the pool or beach, how will you spend your time with your family in the next couple of months? Let me know in the comments, below. I would love to hear from you! It’s been a while since my last blog post!

Five Reasons to purchase a Knott’s Season Pass

It’s no secret our family loves spending time at Knott’s! Conveniently located in the OC, we can get to Knott’s in less than 30 minutes and we’re ready for a good time! Over the years, we have collected so many fun memories that the kids will keep in their hearts forever. Every season, there’s something exciting to celebrate!

Having a Season Pass means instant fun, all the time… and with NO BLACKOUT DATES! All year long, you can visit the park and enjoy, without checking the calendar if your pass is valid that day. It’s the most affordable annual pass you’ll find of all the Southern California attractions. The entry level pass starts at only six payments of $14.00.

I just wanted to share our “Wendt Family Top 5 Moments at Knott’s” with you:

1. Halloween 2012 – Jessie and Marissa decorated the cutest pumpkin cookies for Halloween. Camp Snoopy is so much fun when it’s Camp Spooky! Non-spooky and perfect for the little ones!

Cookie decorating!

Cookie decorating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Grand opening of the Boardwalk Pier! June 2013 Knott’s opened a brand new area with family friendly rides! The kids loved the Coast Rider. With a minimum height requirement of 54″ it’s great for most school aged thrill-seeking children.

Opening of the Boardwalk Pier!

Opening of the Boardwalk Pier!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Our kids laugh so hard on the Timberline Twister at Knott’s. I will always remember their infectious giggle as they zoomed by!

Timberline Twister at Camp Snoopy

Timberline Twister at Camp Snoopy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Our 12-year old Marissa loves to sing and perform on stage. The best place to cool off and take a break from all the excitement is at the Calico Saloon. After the Calico Saloon Show, the singers came out to greet their audience. Marissa was all smiles as she met the stars!

Calico Saloon Show

Calico Saloon Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. We have so many holiday memories at Knott’s Merry Farm. The entire park is always decorated beautifully. I will always remember the hot cocoa, cookies and snuggles with the kids during a holiday event that we attended. Jessie even sang and danced on stage with the Peanuts Gang! So cute!

Snoopy and friends for the holidays!

Snoopy and friends for the holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many fun memories! That’s just five of them. Five of many reasons why you should purchase a Knott’s Season Pass!

Check out this screen shot:

Knott's Passes are so affordable!

Knott’s Passes are so affordable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more info click here: https://www.knotts.com/ticket-category/2014-Season-Passes

And guess what? Knott’s is having a Season Pass Giveaway on Facebook! Click here for a chance to win a family 4-pack of passes! —>   http://a.pgtb.me/wpwgZn

Good luck and see you at Knott’s!

 

Info:

Knott’s Berry Farm
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Phone: (714) 220-5200
Website: www.Knotts.com

Halloween Fun for Families in OC: Knott’s Camp Snoopy #CampSpooky

Camp Spooky logo

Looking forward to spending time at Knott’s Camp Snoopy for Halloween! During the month of October on weekends, Knott’s transforms Camp Snoopy into “Camp Spooky” with plenty of fun activities for the whole family. This daytime, non-scare celebration is best suited for kids ages 3-11.

Highlights include:

  • Snoopy’s Costume Party – kids can show off their costumes and hang out with friendly monsters and the PEANUTS Gang.
  • Charlie Brown’s Spooktacular Show – at Camp Spooky Theater, enjoy singing and dancing to fun Halloween music
  • Monster Factory – the whole family can explore a fun interactive maze
  • Trick-or-Treating location throughout Camp Spooky – 5 locations to pick up some sweet treats
  • Creepy Crawly Critter Cave – check out slimy, crawly critters here, if you DARE!
  • Scary Stories at the Lodge – creepy, silly tales read by a spooky story teller
  • Kooky Cookie Painting – yummy cookie decorating (small fee for this activity)

You can enjoy all of the above plus exciting kid-friendly rides at Camp Spooky!
Our 5 year old daughter, Jessie just loves all the rides.
{{ Check out her happy face on every ride in photos from my blog post last year. }}

What’s even better than enjoying Knott’s for the day with the family? Access to the park all year round! 2014 Season Passes offers unlimited access to Camp Spooky, exclusive event invites that happen year round and other cool perks. You can purchase Season Passes online at Knotts.com. Prices are so affordable, starting at $72.00 or take advantage of the installment payment program of just nine payments of $8.00!

See you at Knott’s Berry Farm!!

Here’s my footage from Camp Snoopy 2012.. Enjoy!! XOXO

 

INFO:

Camp Spooky runs weekends October 5-27 and is included with regular park admission.
Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park hours are 10:00am-5:30pm.
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Phone: (714) 220-5200
Website: www.Knotts.com

 

 

Fun Things to Do: Pageant of the Masters & Festival of Arts

Pageant of the Masters opens on July 7 and runs until August 31 in Laguna Beach. It’s one of Orange County’s most anticipated annual events. This year’s theme is “The Big Picture” – a tribute to the history of motion pictures and the ways in which art has moved the industry. You’ll be amazed by unique recreations of classic and contemporary works of art accompanied by an orchestra playing an original score. If you haven’t been to Pageant of the Masters, it’s truly a unique experience. Get tickets up close if you can. Otherwise, don’t forget your binoculars. It’s incredible to see these forms of “living” art as models hold their poses and are part of each piece. With the lighting and how still they are holding their poses, each piece looks almost flat and three dimensional at the same time, depending on how you look at it. It’s kind of hard to put into words. You just have to witness it for yourself. It’s spectacular!

Media Preview of Pageant of the Masters

Media Preview of Pageant of the Masters

I attended a media preview last month and was given a sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes. The volunteer makeup artists, wardrobe and headpiece staff and models all worked together to complete each piece. There were even children as young as 11 years old siting still for long periods of time for makeup. I was very impressed mostly with the kids. Have you ever seen a kid still still for long periods of time, without an iPad or other gaming device in their hands? Wow!

Pageant of the Masters
July 7 – August 31, 2013
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
800-487-3378
http://www.foapom.com/pageant-of-the-masters/

Cost: Tickets prices start at $15.00

Here are photos from the media preview of Pageant of the Masters. It was great to see Debbie Miller, Lori Moreno, Ted Nguyen, Joel & Anne Tanner, Reggie Escalante, Jen Ho, Craig & Tanya Salcido, Darin & Lisa McClure, Oscar & Helen Gonzalez, HoDa and many others! Dinner at Tivoli Terrace afterwards was awesome!

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Festival of Arts just opened on June 30 and runs until August 31 and has been showcasing beautiful works of art for over 80 years. It’s one of the nation’s oldest and most highly acclaimed fine art shows. Here you’ll enjoy all kinds of art created by 140 artists, using a variety of media such as paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, handcrafted wood art and furniture, ceramics, glass and more. What’s really fun is the atmosphere. Enjoy wine or beer, walk around, or get on the dance floor with your partner and dance the night away with the snazzy live band.

All kinds of daily activities will be available for the whole family to enjoy: Live music nightly, jazz concerts, wine and chocolate pairings, cooking demonstrations, guided art tours and art workshops. Sundays will feature a mix of music from Ethereal and Shill to Jazz/World/Classical fusion. From 2-4pm, Sunday in the Park will be the perfect atmosphere for a picnic on the green. Family Art Day is on Saturday, August 3. For a complete list of special events, visit the Festival of Arts website. There’s even a schedule of daily music.

Red carpet at Festival of Arts Opening

Red carpet at Festival of Arts Opening

Festival of the Arts
June 30 – August 31, 2013
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
http://www.foapom.com

Cost:

General Admission (Monday – Friday): $7
General Admission (Saturday & Sunday): $10
Students and Seniors (Monday – Friday): $4
Students and Seniors (Saturday & Sunday): $6
Children 12 or under, Military, & Laguna Beach Residents: FREE

Dining options: Tivoli Terrace Restaurant or Gina’s Alfresco.

Opening night was a blast, especially with Jim! We enjoyed hanging out with the #FestivalOfArts social media team. Lots of my favorite peeps were in attendance, tweeting and sharing photos & videos on Instagram & other platforms. It’s always great to see Calvin Lee, Justin Moore-Brown, Morgan & Erika Brown, Loren & Sondra Nason, Emily Crume, Ric & Pam Dizon, Bob Watson, Cindy Wang, Darin McClure, Eva Smith and many others. Thanks Ted Nguyen for organizing!

We even spotted TMZ‘s Max Hodges on the dance floor! That was awesome!

TMZ's Max Hodges supports the arts!

TMZ’s Max Hodges supports the arts!

Here are photos from opening night on June 30th:

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Of course, I’m drawn to any piece of art with use of PURLE!

These two were my favorites… the purple shirt was made with screws. So when I say screw art, I mean “art made with screws” not “screw art” as in – you get the picture. 😉

Love this purple screw art by Andrew Myers

Love this purple screw art by Andrew Myers

"Virtuous Woman" by Hannah Harris

“Virtuous Woman” by Hannah Harris

Festival of Arts is the perfect summer activity for a date night or family time. I grew up in Orange County and both the Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts were my first time to attend. How did I miss out on this all these years? Better late than never! I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to learn about these amazing events, right here in our “backyard.”

-MaryAnne

Fun Things To Do: Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm has a brand new area called the Boardwalk with three new family friendly rides. Construction is all done, just in time for Summer! I’ve been to Knott’s twice since their official Grand Opening Ceremony of the Boardwalk on May 30th. Pop culture guru and “Ambassador of America” Charles Phoenix was the MC for the event, serving up interesting facts about the Knott’s history and kicked off the ribbon cutting ceremony with a giant piece of taffy instead of ribbon! John Wayne’s son, Ethan Wayne was at the dedication and re-opening of the Timber Mountain Log ride with his nephew Duke! Ethan was at the actual opening with his dad when he was a young boy. It was incredible to see him up there, all grown up over four decades later. The log ride’s construction wasn’t quite ready for us to enjoy, so I waited until the blogger’s family event on June 15th.

While chatting with Sugar Jones near the log ride, she spotted Eric Lynxwiler, the ultimate Knott’s Guru. We were so excited to greet him. Turns out, he co-authored the book “Knott’s Preserved” with my Irvine High School classmate, Christopher Merritt! You can ask Eric anything about Knott’s and he’ll tell you everything there is to know. What a pleasure to meet him.

I met Eric Lynxwiler!

I met Eric Lynxwiler!

Here are a few photos from the opening ceremony of the Boardwalk & Dedication of Timber Mountain Log Ride:

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I couldn’t wait to show my family the Boardwalk!

The 3 new rides:

  • Coast Rider — Jim and Marissa (11) loved the Coast Rider. This kid friendly coaster has lots of fun twists and turns, perfect for kids 44″  or taller and adults who enjoy easy roller coasters.
  • Surfside Gliders — You become the pilot as you glide around in a two-person aircraft, taking in the view of the Boardwalk from up high in the sky.
  • Pacific Scrambler — A classic midway type ride full of circles and spins. Sure to create dizzy laughs.
The kids enjoyed the Boardwalk!

The kids enjoyed the Boardwalk!

Another ride that we found that I haven’t been on before is the Sky Cabin, located near Coast Rider. I remembered vaguely as a child, screaming down a parachute ride with my dad and sister once we got to the top. I must have been scarred slightly from that experience because I’m a bit sketchy with heights. The Sky Cabin was once that same parachute ride years ago. The view from up there is amazing. When you check out the Boardwalk, don’t forget about the Sky Cabin!

We really enjoyed the Timber Mountain Log Ride! They spruced it up and added realistic animated log workers everywhere. There’s a nice drop in the dark that you don’t expect and the big drop at the end is the best! I shot video with a GoPro of the full ride. Make sure you watch it in HD to see the details!

We took a break from the sun and enjoyed some drinks at the Calico Saloon, just in time for a show!

The show at Calico Saloon is so entertaining!

The show at Calico Saloon is so entertaining!

Marissa met the entertainers at the Calico Saloon show!

Marissa met the entertainers at the Calico Saloon show!

Jessie (5) loves Camp Snoopy. There are so many rides there that are perfect for her! I love seeing her smile and giggle on everything.

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Summer vacation just started for most of the kids here in Southern California. Knott’s is the perfect place for family fun all day long!

Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park CA 90620
www.Knotts.com

Cost:

Online prices start at $37.99!
Click here for Tickets Page

Fun things to Do: Pretend City

I took Jessie to Pretend City this week and we had so much fun! I decided to take all the clips I shot of her & created a mini show called it “A Day With Jessie: Pretend City.”

You won’t find anyplace more kid friendly than Pretend City. Everything is kid sized and designed to let you explore your imagination.

Lots of pretend establishments to see:

  • Bank with ATM to withdraw pretend money
  • Ralphs grocery store
  • Farm
  • Construction Site
  • Amphitheater complete with costumes and a working sound & light board
  • Art Studio
  • Health Center
  • Post Office
  • Fire Station with Dispatch Center
  • Marina – fun water play area!
  • Cafe – Jessie loves to play restaurant!
  • Police Station
  • Gas Station
  • Beach

So much to do! Jessie spent about 3 hours visiting each area and was so entertained. Her favorite spots were the Marina and Cafe. She loved playing with the toy boats and fishing pole with magnetic fish. I loved watching her build the most amazing felt pizza for me in the Cafe too! She worked the kitchen like a pro while I sat at the table as her customer.

Pretend City is a “No Cell Phone” environment. There are signs everywhere to remind parents to put away their phones and just enjoy their children. This is such a good reminder as we begin summer vacation. While spending time with the kids, put the phone away for a while and just be with them 100%. They don’t stay little for very long!

Jessie is 5 years old. Pretend City is perfect for babies, toddlers, preschoolers & early grade schoolers.

Cost:

Adults & Children: $12.50
Infant to 12 months: free
Military & family members: $9.50
After 4pm: $4.75

 

Pretend City
29 Hubble Irvine, CA 92628
949.428.3900
www.PretendCity.org

Hawaii: Day 3 and 4

Aloha! We’ve been home for a few days now.. Just wanted to finish up our recap from Hawaii. Here’s what I can remember from Day 3 and 4. 🙂

Day 3:  We mostly relaxed at the beach house. It’s 3 hours earlier than California time, so we were usually up at 5:30am. We’d enjoy the view of the surf outside our lanai, sip on coffee and chill for at least a couple of hours before we’d have breakfast and figure out what to do next.

We decided to check out our “secret spot” which is called Kawela Bay. (Yes, Adam & Adrianne: Same spot we discovered in 2005!) It’s just a few minutes down Kamehameha Highway, across the street from the fruit stands. When you see the fruit stands, you have to park across the street near a fence and walk to an opening where a dirt trail will lead you through a lush tunnel of Banyan trees. Big winding vines hang down. It felt like we were in a jungle. The curvy branches reached up to the sky and over to other trees, creating all kinds of shade. The sun peeked through and warmed us as we followed the path to paradise. This spot was once a film location for the show “Lost” among other TV and film projects. It’s a very secluded and gorgeous lagoon with gentle baby waves. This makes for a perfect place for kids to enjoy the water. (Unlike the pounding 20 footers at our beach house near Pipeline.) Marissa and Jessie were all laughs as they splashed around.

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Our stay at Kawela Bay was short. We packed up and headed for Turtle Bay, less than 5 minutes down the road. Another beautiful place, only more inhabited with tourists. The resort is lovely, with a golf course and many towers of condos and cottages. We found a place to have lunch overlooking the beach called Ola Restaurant. There we enjoyed salads, burgers, pasta and Mom and Dad had a cocktail. Blue Hawaii for Jim and a Banana Lava Flow for me. Yum! We didn’t go in the water at Turtle Bay. We planned on going back the next day for more beach time.

Blue Hawaii and a Banana Lava Flow at Ola

Blue Hawaii and a Banana Lava Flow at Ola

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort

Off to Ted’s Bakery to try their famous Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie. At least 4 friends who knew were were going to be in Hawaii including 2 locals suggested we try this pie. The place was packed with locals and tourists, lining up for food and delicious baked goods. I heard lots of Tagolog in there. (My family is from the Philippines.) Maybe that’s why I’m treated with warmth in Hawaii. It makes me giggle when I’m treated like a local. We picked up a couple of slices to go. I paid for them and said “Salamat” (thank you) to the nice Pinay at the register.

How did the chocolate pie taste?  Devine!!! It was chocolate heaven! So good. I’m just happy we only bought a couple of slices and not an entire pie.

Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie from Ted's Bakery

Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie from Ted’s Bakery

After our stop at Ted’s Bakery we hit the nearest surfboard rental place  for Jim. By the time we got back to the beach house the waves were big again. Jim waited for the right time to get out there. Meanwhile we relaxed and the kids played in the yard. They would disappear for hours, laying in the hammock or running in the grass. Marissa prepped the kitchen for her SugarNomsTV Hawaii Edition episode. She baked a beautiful Pineapple Upside Down Cake! She’ll post her video as soon as she finishes editing.

Marissa's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Marissa’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Of course, Jim cooked a delicious dinner.

Steak and scallops with veggie kabobs.

Steak and scallops with veggie kabobs.

The evening ended with a beautiful sunset.

Sunset at North Shore

Sunset at North Shore

Day 4:  Back to Turtle Bay for some swimming! We brought a boogie board and a water noodle from the house and some sand toys. Marissa and Jim put on their snorkel gear and headed out for a swim. I stayed with Jessie.

Jessie had so much fun riding the waves on her water noodle. I floated on the boogie board and stayed close to her. The waves were small, but the current started to pull us further out. I didn’t have my glasses or contacts on. I was a little nervous about these dark images underneath us. I wasn’t sure if it was kelp or rocks. I hurt my foot as I tried to kick and steer us away. They were rocks – sharp rocks. Ouch! Soon after I cut my foot, Jessie was hit in the face by a wave and her water noodle was knocked away from her. *Cue mommy’s moment of panic*  She was treading water with no floatie. I pulled her onto my boogie board and managed to get away from the rocks by paddling with one hand. I was too afraid to kick after hitting my foot on the rocks. Jessie was crying because she wanted her noodle back. The current pulled it too far for us to grab it. I wanted to yell, “Wilson!” as the noodle drifted out, but Jessie was very sad and she wouldn’t get the joke.

It took a while, but the waves eventually pushed the water noodle to the other side of the bay and we were able to retrieve it in between some rocks. Whew, Jessie was happy again. 🙂

Off to explore the island in the Jeep and find a place to have lunch…

Exploring the island!

Exploring the island!

Our favorite town: Haleiwa!

Our favorite town: Haleiwa!

Jim took photos and shot video while I drove. The girls passed out in the Jeep. I looked back at them and thought, “Life’s rough for them.” 🙂 I was really craving some garlic shrimp, but held off because Jim was cooking up some scallops for dinner. Back to Haleiwa for lunch. Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican and margaritas? Why not! Everything was yummy. We had fish tacos, enchiladas, homemade chips and kickin’ salsa. Jim had a margarita and I had a mojito. We sure worked up an appetite from playing at the beach all day. Afterwards, we hit some of the cute shops after lunch. I really love the Haleiwa Shopping Plaza. Lots of cool surf shops, jewelry, gifts and restaurants there. The kids wanted more shave ice for dessert! This time we tried San Lorenzo. A little pricey. I think it’s because it’s the first shave ice you see when you first get to town. Next time I want to try Matsumoto. I don’t know how we missed it.

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I haven’t even shared any of Jim’s awesome wave shots yet! Here are a few… these were taken when we first arrived at North Shore, Day 1 and 2:

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We spent the rest of the day at the beach house. I did some laundry and we cleaned up the house. Jim got out twice! Once on the surfboard, and the other with his fins for some body whomping.

Jim getting ready to paddle out.

Jim getting ready to paddle out.

Marissa shot another episode of SugarNomsTV. This time she baked Mango Beach Cupcakes. This recipe and video will also be on her website soon.

Marissa's Mango Beach Cupcakes

Marissa’s Mango Beach Cupcakes

And.. another amazing dinner by Jim!

Lobster and crab legs!

Lobster and crab legs!

 

I can’t remember which night it was, but after the kids went to sleep Jim and I watched a couple of episodes of Dexter. When you pack DVDs for the kids, don’t forget grown up movies/shows. What an odd mix in our luggage: Harry Potter, Rise of the Guardians, Puss and Boots, Blue Crush, and Dexter Season 6.

I was really sad to leave the North Shore house, but looking forward to Waikiki Beach and staying at the Royal Hawaiian!

What a great house. Here are a few interior shots:

(Click on thumbnails to view gallery)

For more info about the North Shore house, check my other blog post from Day 1 and 2.

Hope I can recall Day 5 and 6!

 

 

 

 

Hawaii: Day 1 and 2

Checking out the surf

Checking out the surf

It’s our 3rd day in Hawaii and I wanted to recap Day 1 and 2 while it’s still fresh in my mind… What day is it? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday, April 7th. Funny how the days just blur together when you’re on vacation. I can barely remember the past 2 days. (Hence the recap now or I’ll never get it right!)

Our view

Our view

Day 1: We flew into Honolulu from LAX on Friday April 5 at 11:40am and grabbed our giant bag from Baggage Claim. Why the giant bag? We packed dry snacks, cereal and Silk Soy Milk in the room temperature cartons. And of course – Marissa’s baking supplies. She’ll be shooting a SugarNomsTV episode Hawaii Edition! We rolled our giant bag and 3 hand carry pieces to the car rental place to pick up our Jeep.

Exploring in the Jeep

Exploring in the Jeep

After we loaded up we were ready to head out for Haleiwa for some lunch and shave ice! We found a cool place called Grass Skirt Grill. The kids shared a plate of Teriyaki Chicken with rice and Jim and I shared the Grilled Ahi. Delicious! Then we drove down a ways to find some shave ice at Aoki’s. Soon it was time to meet the property manager at our North Shore beach house rental.

Shave Ice at Haleiwa

Shave Ice at Haleiwa

We’ve been dreaming about this house for months. (Check it out here: http://www.vrbo.com/327140) It’s a 2 BR house right on the beach, in between the world famous Pipeline and Rocky Point. The house is on a large lot with plenty of grass and trees. The waves were 15-20 feet when we arrived! We unpacked and settled in. The girls had fun playing hide and seek in the yard. We spent most of our first day relaxing and enjoying the house.

Marissa at North Shore

Marissa at North Shore

Day 2: Off to explore the town and look for a place for breakfast. Breakers Restaurant & Bar looked like a nice place. Marissa had a local style breakfast with spam & eggs. French Toast for Jessie & Jim. Acai bowl for me. After breakfast we stopped at Wyland’s Gallery. We saw beautiful art of Wyland as well as other local artists. We picked up groceries at Foodland (Yes, it’s expensive there!) and headed back to the house. We spent a lot of time on the beach and met another family who rented the same house we were in. They were staying a few houses down, closer to Pipeline.

Jessie found a coconut!

Jessie found a coconut!

Soon it was time for us to get ready for our date night. I booked a sitter through Happy Kids Oahu so that Jim and I could meet up with friends who live at Hawaii Kai, just past Honolulu. We met up at Kona Brewing Company at Koko Marina. I was so excited to meet Kelly Mitchell for the first time IRL (in real life)! We met through social media 3 or 4 years ago and have been tweeting ever since. Her and her husband Vince took us on their boat with 2 of their friends for a sunset cruise. We had a blast together!

On a sunset cruise w/ friends!

On a sunset cruise w/ friends!

So much fun w/ Kelly!

So much fun w/ Kelly!

Vince & Kelly

Vince & Kelly

While we were away, the kids picked flowers from the garden and learned how to make a lei for me. So sweet and pretty! Our sitter happened to be from Dana Point/Orange County and was wonderful with the kids. Marissa and Jessie woke up very happy this morning and said she was awesome. That made me so happy. Date nights are so important, and it’s not always easy to pull off with family travel. Pick a reputable nanny agency and have fun with your spouse at least one night of your trip!

The kids made a lei for me!

The kids made a lei for me!

It’s 9am and we’ve already had breakfast and we’re in our bathing suits and shorts, ready to explore! I think we are going to hit a more kid friendly beach. It’s not safe in the water at North Shore with these giant waves. We’ll be at the Royal Hawaiian in a couple of days so the kids can enjoy the smaller gentle rolling waves of Waikiki Beach.

Day 3: That’s today! More updates later… Aloha!

My office.

My office.

Follow us on Instagram!

MaryAnne — http://instagram.com/maryannewendt
Jim — http://instagram.com/jimwendt
Marissa — http://instagram.com/marissaangelina
Jessie — http://instagram.com/jessiedelmar (yes, Jessie too!)

Snoopy’s Costume Party at Knott’s #CampSpooky

Our little Pumpkin and Rock Star!

The kids got up bright and early  for an exciting day at Knott’s for Snoopy’s Costume Party. We couldn’t wait to get to Camp Spooky! Marissa (10) put on her black leggings, boots, hot pink and black net shirt and spray painted her hair bright pink to complete her rock star look. Jessie (4) wore her cute pumpkin dress with green and orange striped leggings and green stem headband. Off to Buena Park we went!

After checking in at the Knott’s entrance, we headed over to the Grizzly Creek Lodge for breakfast with the Peanuts Gang. The kids loved being greeted by Snoopy and friends! Everything was yummy – scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, and a danish. Juice for the kids. Coffee for me and Jim. Perfect! After breakfast the girls decorated cookies.

After cookies, the kids followed the scavenger hunt list for candy. (Lots of sugar today!) There were trick or treat stations all over the area. After a quick walk through the Great Pumpkin Hay Bale Maze we spent the rest of the day on the rides! Jessie loved Charlie Brown’s Speedway! She couldn’t stop laughing each time the car whipped around on the turns. Jim screamed and laughed with Jessie, too. This made it even more funny. *mark as favorites in my mental hard drive*  Cherishing these moments big time….

Charlie Brown’s Speedway

Timberline Twister

We had fun on all the little rides at Camp Spooky. The kids did the Timberline Twister roller coaster twice, Jessie enjoyed the Rocky Road Truckin’ Company and tired herself out on the self-powered Huff and Puff ride. Jim honked the horn more than the kids did on the truck ride. Haha!

Jessie worked hard on the Huff and Puff!

Rocky Road Truckin’ Company

Our favorite ride at Knott’s is the Timber Mountain Log Ride, located past Calico Square near the railroad track. We saved that ride for our last ride.. We ended the day happy, tired and soaked from the log ride. Marissa got the brunt of splash since she was sitting in the front. Good times!

Thank you Knott’s for a fun day!

For more info about Halloween festivities at Camp Spooky: www.Knotts.com

VIDEO

Song: “Ghostbusters” by Ray Charles, Jr.

If you have trouble viewing the video, click here: http://youtu.be/6X4x-GkPXs8