REI Force of Nature: Outings, Classes, and Events for Women

Be a #ForceofNature !

REI is constantly encouraging everyone to get outdoors and right now they are helping in the push to show more women as inspiration for this. Force of Nature is a movement that is putting women on forefront in the outdoor community. Apart of this REI has created Force of Nature classes and events geared for women.

Whether you’re an avid explorer or a novice, REI is offering classes, events, and outings to enhance your adventurous side. These events range from night hikes, to learning how to cook while camping, rock climbing lessons, mountain biking, kayaking and standup paddle boarding to learning outdoor survival skills. Best of all some of these events/classes are FREE! While most of these do have a cost, they are reasonable especially for the experience they offer.

To kick off the movement REI is throwing a party! On May 6th at various locations REI will be hosting the Force of Nature Outdoors Women’s Party. This is a great way to connect and meet other outdoor women. There will be speakers, food and lots of opportunities to connect with other Forces of Nature.

To find more classes, outings, events and to register visit REI.com And get out there and explore!

Cruzin Mama

Star Wars The Last Jedi First Teaser and Poster!

Images courtesy of Lucas films and Disney

Breathe… just breathe…

I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out! Ok that’s a total lie I am freaking out! The first poster and teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII is here and it is AMAZING!
The next film in the Star Wars saga’s name was revealed in January which led to a lot of speculation and now this first look is only adding to it.

Currently Star Wars Celebration is taking place in Orlando, Florida. And like many I am watching from the sidelines wishing that I was there. I attended the Celebration back in 2015 when it was here in California, in Anaheim. It was a truly memorable experience and I can’t wait to go again (too bad we have to wait until 2019 for the next one). At Celebration a lot of inside information is given during panels about upcoming films, projects, tv shows and more. So it’s no surprise that during this years that a teaser for Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi was released since the film is set to hit theaters this December.

The teaser trailer starts with Rey who looks to be in the middle of her Jedi training. Just from this start you get the sense that this film is going to be much more intense. The rest of the teaser is nothing less than suspenseful. We see Finn in some type of chamber, Poe and BB-8 rushing to a ship, Rey training with Luke and (could it be) more of the Knights of Ren and why Luke disappeared!

“I only know one truth…it’s time for the Jedi to end”

This voice over by Luke is seriously chilling and I am already racking my brain for the meaning behind it.

Trying not to give away all the details so check out the teaser trailer for yourself below!

Cruzin Mama

Cars 3 Road to the Races Tour

All images courtesy of Disney•Pixar

Lightening McQueen along with Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez are hitting the road on a special tour to celebrate Cars 3 which is coming to theaters June 16, 2017! “Road to the Races” is a 27-city tour that features life-size characters from the new film. The tour has already kicked off in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and is making its way across the country. Best of all there will be quite a few pit stops here in California.

The tour gives you a chance to see the characters, catch a sneak peak of the film and family friendly activities that are sure to get your motor running. Oh and did I mention that it’s FREE! Yes that’s right this wonderful tour is free. You may register for you pit passes here. When you register for Race Lane Tickets you will be able to skip the lanes but there is a limited number of these passes for each tour stop so register early!

This event is sponsored by Dole along with Disney. Dole has even set up a Fuel to the Races site where you can check out some great smoothie recipes inspired by characters from Cars 3! Great way to ready for the races and the movie.

The full tour schedule is listed below and for more information be sure to visit Disney Cars 3 Road to the Races website.

Tour Schedule

  • Orlando, FL —
    Disney Springs (Mar 24 – 26)
  • Miami, FL —
    Bayfront Park (Mar 31 – Apr 2
  • Tampa, FL —
    Raymond James Stadium (Apr 4)
  • Dallas, TX —
    Texas Motor Speedway (Apr 7 – 9)
  • San Antonio, TX —
    Santikos Palladium (Apr 11)
  • Houston, TX —
    Memorial City Mall (Apr 14 – 16)
  • St Louis, MO —
    Ballpark Village (Apr 19)
  • Chicago, IL —
    Woodfield Mall (Apr 21 – 23)
  • Cleveland, OH —
    Public Square in Downtown (Apr 25)
  • Pittsburgh, PA —
    Southside Works (Apr 26)
  • Boston, MA —
    Assembly Row (Apr 28 – 30)
  • Allentown, PA —
    Mack Trucks Inc. May (May 4)
  • New York, NY —
    Citi Field (May 5 – 7)
  • Washington, DC —
    Downtown Silver Spring (May 10)
  • Philadelphia, PA —
    Cherry Hill Mall (May 12 – 14
  • Greensboro, NC —
    Mack Trucks Brand & Product Line (May 18)
  • Charlotte, NC —
    Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 19 – 20)
  • Cincinnati, OH
    Scene 75 Entertainment Center(May 22)
  • Kansas City, MO —
    Union Station (May 24)
  • Denver, CO —
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (May 27 – 28)
  • Salt Lake City, UT —
    Thanksgiving Point (May 30 – 31)
  • Phoenix, AZ —
    Desert Ridge Marketplace (Jun 3 – 4)
  • San Diego, CA —
    Belmont Park / Mission Beach (Jun 6 – 7)
  • Anaheim, CA —
    Downtown Disney (Jun 12 – 13)
  • Los Angeles, CA —
    Autry Museum – Griffith Park (Jun 14 – 18)
  • San Jose, CA —
    Westfield Oakridge Mall (Jun 22 – 23)
  • Sonoma, CA —
    Sonoma Raceway (Jun 25)

Get you motor running and visit a Road to the Races pit stop! And don’t forget to see Cars 3 in theaters this June.

Cruzin Mama

Hiking at the Santa Rosa Plateau

Spring time is here and it’s one of the best times to get out for a hike. The much needed rains have let up here in So Cal and that not only means we will see a lot of green but also the vernal pools at the Santa Rosa Plateau have been filled! So it’s no secret that one of my go to hiking spots for my family is the Santa Rosa Plateau, the ecological reserve is located in Murrieta about 4 miles off of the Clinton Keith exit. The Plateau hosts plenty of trail options, a nature center, historic adobes, and of course the vernal pools.

The vernal pools are only really visible after the rainy season. So this year is one of the best times to visit them since California experienced so much rain to help get us out of the long drought we have been under. The vernal pools are a great way to see a lot of the wildlife that the Plateau houses. Just on our visit alone we saw tadpoles, dragonflies, butterflies, ducks, a few different types of birds, grasshoppers, a snake (more about this later!) and the teeny hard to spot fairy shrimp. Plus the rains have brought about a Super Bloom so along the trails you are sure to see beautiful wildflowers.

*A fun game for my kids was to see how many different colors of flowers we could spot.*

For our visit to the Plateau I parked at the trail entrance for the vernal pools which is the last entrance to the Santa Rosa Plateau trails off of Via Volcano Rd. As were not planning on spending the day hiking the trails since we had come off of a little morning adventure I opted on this closer parking location. When you park at this location there is a trail that leads straight to the large vernal pool. You are also able to pay the visit fee at the drop box at the entrance of the trail. If you are up for it from this trail you can head to the historic adobe buildings as well. It all just depends on how much time you want to spend exploring. The trails at the Santa Rosa Plateau are great for beginners in my opinion. My kids have been on several hikes here and have done great. We have hiked just around the nature center, we have taken this trail to the vernal pools (during an off season) and continued down to the adobes. My kids and I on the way back from the pools ventured down a little on the hidden valley trail this visit. I would like to go back and check this trail out a little more.

So a little confession, before I headed down to the Plateau I did a little snooping on Instagram under the Places tab to see if there was any water still at the pools. Since the heavy rain I have been wanting to take the kids to see the vernal pools, but I didn’t want to make the trip only to be disappointed. The last time we hiked this trail was during the off season so while it wasn’t entirely empty it just wasn’t what I was expecting to see. So some of the most recent “posts” were up to days before and I was a little apprehensive that they would still look as full since the weather has begun to heat up. But it was still a chance to see them with water so we loaded up some hiking supplies and made for the pools. I was so glad we went, they were still full and the weather was warm so the muddy trails were dry. The parking lot was pretty full when we arrived and we passed quite a few people on the trails but it was surprisingly not crowded.

There was quite a while that we had the vernal pool all to ourselves. It was so nice to just sit and enjoy the view. Of course the highlight for the kids was seeing all the inhabitants. I mentioned much of what we saw above but the most exciting one we saw was a snake. It wasn’t a very large snake but it was a snake and that was enough to make my kid’s day. We watched the little snake swim around the pool a bit and a fellow hiker informed us about how it was most likely hunting tadpoles. This went along well with what my daughter has been learning in school about food chains.

Our little friend may be hard to spot but he is located in the center of this photo. He wasn’t a very big snake so he camouflaged well amoung the vegetation.

Another great time exploring the Santa Rosa Plateau. I was almost tempting to go hiking further because of how picturesque the landscape was. In the distance we could even see a little snow caped mountain, this year the rain really brought it.

We only went a little ways down the trail to the Hidden Valley. I would like to go back and explore this area more. What was nice was once we got into a shaded area there was a bench to sit on and just gaze out through a window in the trees to the valley.

Hiking Tips

*Always pack plenty of water
*Bring some snacks
*Wear good comfortable shoes
*Take plenty of breaks
*Use Sunscreen and Wear a Hat

And remember to just enjoy your time outside!

Cruzin Mama

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve
39400 Clinton Keith Rd
Murrieta Ca 92562
Hours
Sunrise – Sunset
Nature Center • Tuesday-Sunday 9am to 5pm
Closed Mondays and all major holidays
Fees
Adults $4 Children 3-12 $3

Dr. Seuss Day!

Today is beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’ Birthday! Also keeping in line with Seuss’ encouragement of reading it is also Read Across America Day. Many classrooms will be taking part in celebrating by having read-a-thons or having special guests such as local authors come in to read to students. But here are some ways you can participate at home and help encourage the love of reading in children!

Celebrate at home:

  • A hour of reading– unplug, shut off the tv and electronics, silence your phone and just read with your kids for an hour. Have you child practice their reading skills with you by having them read aloud. Share a favorite book with them from your childhood. Time spent together like this will do nothing but benefit your child.
  • Visit the library– many libraries will have events going on like special story times or even a crafting event. Events at the library are fun and free. And while you’re there it’s a chance to check out books.
  • Crafting– so speaking of crafts there are so many crafts that are simple and great to celebrate the day. Pinterest is such a wonderful source for ideas, and there are so many simple ones to choose from if you’re not the fully crafty type like me. Like the plate mask I made in the past with my kiddos.

    Cat in the Hat paper plate mask

  • Character Dress Up– this can be for at home or even for school, as with for my children who’s school was having a Seuss’ themed Character Dress Up Day. You could really do a few different ways with this as you could stick only to Dr Seuss books or do any storybook character. My daughter’s school has done a few different versions of this on Read Across America Day and has had a Whoville dress up day before around the holidays. This year though they went with choosing your favorite Seuss character. I was little nervous about this but it ended up being really simple and fun! We made all the masked/accessories/headbands out of cardstock paper or firm felt. The kids wore solid colors to help with the “costumes” and I personally think they turned out great! There are so many character ideas to be found with a simple google search or my favorite on Pinterest, that it can be really no hassle to do.

    Simple Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax Character Dress Up for Dr. Seuss Day

Celebrate at UCSD

California University of San Diego has a yearly celebration on March 2nd in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known more famously as Dr. Seuss. Theodor Seuss Geisel was a long time resident of La Jolla and even has much of his artwork, manuscript drafts, sketches, books, photographs, memorabilia and more in a Collectionat UCSD as well as a the Geisel Library named in his honor. (The Dr. Seuss Collection is usually only on display around his birthday and during the summer) Come on down to the Geisel Library and celebrate Dr. Seuss 113th Birthday with cake, seussian musical entertainment, an inflatable Cat in the Hat and see part of the Dr. Seuss Collection! For more information on this event visit ucsdnews.ucsd.edu

No matter how you choose to celebrate today it’s a great day to spark a love of reading in your children. Have a very fun seussian day!

Cruzin Mama

Great Wolf Lodge on Groupon!

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

For a limited time take advantage of a great savings deal for the Great Wolf Lodge on Groupon. Book a stay for about 40% off! Some options even include dinning credit which just adds to your savings. What the Groupon entails is a stay for six to eight guests (depending on your room selection) with daily wristbands for the waterpark for the maximum occupants of the room. There are dates available into April, great time to plan a Spring Break trip now!

This deal is only active for a limited time so grab it before it is gone! Below is a link to deals through GWL for future visits.

Enjoy your stay!
Cruzin Mama

Great Wolf Lodge Deals

FREE TICKETS TO LEGOLAND!

All images courtesy of Legoland Resorts

You are not reading the title wrong there is a way to get Free tickets to Legoland! Be amoung the first 500 guests to participate in making a human bat-signal this Friday, February 17th in front of the resort and receive a free ticket in return. There will also be a chance to take your photo with the Lego caped crusader, trivia for a chance at some great prizes and of course a fun Lego Batman mask. Registration will begin at 7am on Friday for this event but I can’t say how early people will be lining up. For more information about this event click here for the article on Legoand’s website. Below are some details so you can take part and earn your FREE trip for your family to Legoland California!

When
Friday February 17, 2017 at 8am (Registration begins at 7am)

Where
Plaza Park Entrance
1 Legoland Dr., Carlsbad CA 92008

What’s Happening

  • First 500 guests (ages 3 and up) to help with the human bat-signal will receive a FREE return ticket to Legoland
  • Photo opportunities with Lego Batman and trivia for a chance at awesome prizes!

Be sure to check out Lego Batman Movie Days while you’re at it! And don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity from Legoland California Resort.

Cruzin Mama

*Disclosure- this is not a giveaway from Cruzin Mama. This is a great opportunity that is through Legoland Resorts, check for all rules and information on legoland.com *

Lego Batman™ Movie Days at Legoland!

All images courtesy of Legoland Resorts

Batman Days are coming to Legoland California!

Well more specifically Lego Batman™ Movie Days are coming. This February there will be two action packed weekends in celebration of your favorite Lego caped crusader. Best of all is the fun is included with admission. Come take part in a scavenger hunt through Miniland, meet the dark knight himself along with his sidekicks, and of course complete a Lego build activity. If you can’t make it during these dates do not fear Batman and Friends character meet and greets will be going on throughout February and into March so there is still a chance to hang out with your favorite dark knight.

Lego Batman Movie Days

February 18th – 19th

February 25th – 26th

Batman Movie Days Fun!

  • Character Meet and Greets – Meet face to face with the Lego Batman or one of his friends Batgirl or Robin
    • Monday -Friday
      10:00, 11:00, 12:15, 1:45, 3:00, 4:00
    • Saturday-Sunday
      10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:15, 1:00, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15, 4:00, 4:45

    *Times are subject to change be sure to check on your visit to be sure of correct times*

  • Miniland Scavenger Hunt: The Villians Have Escaped! – Help track down the likes of Joker and his villains friends on a scavenger hunt through Miniland USA
  • Mystery Mosaic Lego Build – help in completing this build to reveal the mystery image
  • Build A Batmobile – Build and test out your own version of the batmobile
  • WB Family Gamespace- come and play all the Lego Batman™ themed video games
  • Character Lego Builds – help a Lego Masterbuilder complete life sized builds of Batman, Batgirl and Robin!

Don’t miss out on visiting the park during these action packed weekends! Also be sure to check out the new Lego Batman™ Movie which hit theaters February 10th.

Cruzin Mama

Legoland California
1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad CA 92008
Purchase Tickets Ahead at
legoland.com

National Parks FREE Entrance Days 2017


National Parks Free Days 2016

The National Park Service is back with its FREE entrance days for 2017! This year the National Park Service is offer 9 fee free days which are great opportunities to get out and explore. There are 409 parks in the U.S. , 127 of those normally charge an entrance fee ranging from $3-$30. So fee free days are a great way to explore on a budget. Also be sure to visit Find Your Park to see all the events happening in parks nearby.

*Fee free days waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation fees. Fees for reservations, camping, tours, and fees collected by third parties are not included unless otherwise stated.*

2017 FREE Entrance Days

  • February 20th  Presidents  Day
  • April 15-16th and 22nd-23rd National Parks Week (Weekends)
  • August 25th National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30th National Public Lands Day
  • November 11th-12th Veterans Day Weekend

Image courtesy of National Park Foundation

Park Passes

Can’t make any of the fee free day but are planning on visiting multiple parks, then an Annual Pass is what you need. There are actually quite a few different pass options for our National Parks.

  • Annual Pass   The cost is $80 for this pass. It is available to everyone and can be purchased at a federal recreation site, over the phone (1-888-275-8747 ext. 3) or online.
  • Military Annual Pass  This pass is FREE to all current members of the United States Military, Reserves and Guards. This pass can only be picked up in person at a Federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173).
  • 4th Grade Pass   Through Every Kid in a Park program all 4th graders are eligible to obtain a FREE Annual Pass. This pass provides free entrance to national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges for the 4th grader as well as all children under 16 years of age in the party and up to three adults. Paper passes accepted only no electronic passes will be honored. Pass is only valid during the school year (September 2015 – August 31st, 2016). For more information and to get the pass visit everykidinapark.gov

For full information on passes and to see all pass options visit nps.gov

California National Parks

Have fun exploring!

Cruzin Mama

Click here to find National Parks outside of California.

Cars 3 First Look and Trailer

All images courtesy of Disney•Pixar

During the last D23 Expo in 2015 Disney made many announcements for upcoming Resort and film projects. (You can see a recap of the announcements from that D23 Expo here) Amoung that announcement was that a third film in Pixars Cars series.

Cars 3 brings back racing legend Lightening McQueen who is now facing a new, younger, and more high-tech racing scene. He is no longer the young hotshot and is seeing himself as being aged out in a sport that he loves.

Owen Wilson is back as McQueen along with two new comers to the Cars world; Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm and Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez. Hammer’s character Storm comes in as newer generation of racer, slicker, faster and much more tech-savvy. While Alonzo’s Cruz Ramirez is McQueen’s new trainer who is here to help bring hope to the aging legend.

Cars 3 seems to be taking the series in a vastly new direction than the previous film Cars 2 which centered more on McQueen’s longtime friend Mater. While Cars 2 was fun and enjoyable and my son who is a big Mater fan loved it, it is great to see the growth and more serious tone in the new film. It reminds me of the Toy Story series, how they seemed to grow with their initial audience as the last film in the series felt like a send off for those of us who had seen the original in our youth. That is the same vibe I am getting from these first trailers for Cars 3. And of course my kids are very excited about this new film!

Here is the first teaser of Cars 3 from this last November

And below is the first full trailer of the film which gives a much more detailed look into it.

Cars 3 will be racing into theaters June 16th! Don’t be last to see it.

Cruzin Mama