Located just 2 miles from Disneyland is the all new Ayres Hotel, a European style boutique hotel. It’s located adjacent to the classic Ayres Inn.  I must say, there is nothing like staying in a practically brand-new hotel where everything smells fresh and clean.  We stayed there over night two weeks ago just before the CHOC Walk, which was so convenient to get to Disneyland early the next day.

exterior-ayres-hotel-orange

The new hotel features 136 rooms that all feature microwaves and mini-fridge.  The bed is extremely soft and the kids enjoyed the comfort of the pull out bed from the leather sofa.  Each room has DirecTV with every station you could ask for.  In the morning, my daughter and I had to leave before dawn, but the boys were able to enjoy the complimentary breakfast buffet. It featured scrambled eggs, country potatoes and sausage, as well as the other continental standards.

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This new hotel features natural materials such as rattan, limestone, a decorative teak root accent, and hickory wood, as well as an array of artwork consisting of hand-carved wall hangings from Indonesia. The unique decor continues into the dining area and multifunction room, which features an exposed concrete floor, raw timber beams dotting the ceiling, and community tables made of 100 year old reclaimed wood from Tennessee.

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After a good night’s rest, we had our batteries recharged and were all ready to head to the CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort.  We were there at the very start of the race and arrived bright and early at 5:15.  Along the route, there are many characters that will pose for pictures and give you a hug.

CHOC Walk
The Walk took us through Disneyland, California Adventure and ended with the finish line inside Downtown Disney. It’s an event we look forward to each year and is for such a great cause.  The final totals are not yet in, but so far the 2014 CHOC Walk in the Park has raised over $1.6 million dollars.  Each year the turnout is bigger and bigger!

CHOC Walk in the Park

Be sure to check out the great rates at the Ayres Hotels the next time you need somewhere to stay in SoCal.  The Ayres Hotels are all owned and operated by the Ayres family, who are Orange County residents.  We’ve stayed at several of their hotels over the years and always receive amazing service and a great night of sleep.  We always like to support local businesses when we get the chance.  Learn more about Ayres Hotel Orange here.

Categories : family hotels
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peltzer2

The Pig Races are a Blast!

Two years ago I had the opportunity to visit Peltzer Farms with my son’s kinder class. I had never visited Peltzer, and was excited to learn about this fun little place. I fell in love with the Farm, and can’t wait to take the kids again this year.  Petlzer Farms is located in the middle of Wine Country in Temecula, and it is an absolutely beautiful place.

peltzer3

 

Peltzer Farms is an authentic pumpkin farm, and offers plenty of fun. They are home to one amazing corn maze. I actually couldn’t find my way out! It took me some time to find my way out.  They also are home to pig races. The pig races take place every day, and they are so much fun! They are also free to watch. In fact, my two favorite attractions at the farm, the pig races, and the maze, are Free. Peltzer Farms is also the perfect setting for pictures. You have to make sure to take your camera, because the props are so cute! They have the vintage farm appearance, and you will find old pickup trucks, tractors, etc..

There is also a fun petting zoo, train rides, mining, and pony rides. Of course you will also find pumpkins of all sizes! They honestly have some of the coolest looking pumpkins, and had every size imaginable. It’s pretty safe to say, that you will find the pumpkin of your dreams here.

There is also a Blacksmith Shop on the weekends. You can watch Charlie Jr. make fun things using real blacksmith tools, such as authentic dog tags, horse shoe nail rings and other cool things. I’m telling you this place is a must visit!

Peltzer Farms is open everyday from 9am to 8pm, until October 31st. For additional info and directions, head here.

 

hard-rock-cafe

Hard Rock Cafe San Diego

I love sharing about fun places to take the kids and fun experiences for the entire family. I wanted to share about Hard Rock Cafes/Hotels are doing to make your kiddos feel like Rock Stars! The Hard Rock is introducing some new cool characters, 
Roxtars®, Razzi™, SirKingston™, Styler™, Buddy Jr™, and Skiddley™ are hitting the scene and bringing along
cool amenities for kids of all ages. Kids who dine at Hard Rock Cafe locations will be given the VIP treatment with
HardRock Roxtars swag and new healthy  menu options, such as Skiddley’s“Not-so-diddley” chicken breast and“Twisted ‘n tasty” cavatappi pasta.

Being a Total Rock Star!!

Being a Total Rock Star!!

Children who stay at select Hard Rock Hotel locations with their families can rock to their own rhythm, catch a live
HardRock Roxtars performance or take part in musical learning activities! ! Cafes nationwide will be
looking for rock star look-a-likes for their Halloween costume contest, “Does Your Child Look Like
a Rock Star?” For one night   during the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock   Star?” contest, kids eat free* at a Hard Rock Cafe  with a paying adult, and will have the chance to win a Hard Rock Cafe gift card or a 2015 birthday party* for eight of
their closest band members and entourage!  For additional info contact either the San Diego Hard Rock or the Hollywood Hard Rock Cafe.  
We had the opportunity to visit the San Diego Hard Rock and love what they have to offer.

The Hard Rock Cafe/Hotels want your kiddos to experience what it’s like to be a Rock Star! We’re giving away

  •  $50 Hard Rock Gift Card
  • 1 Hard Rock Roxtars Guitar-shapedPlate
  • 1   6” Plush Hard Rock Roxtars Character
  • 1 Hard Rock Roxtars Kid’s T-shirt
  • 1 Hard Rock Roxtars ActivityBook

All you have to do is comment and let me know, “Does your kiddo look like a Rock Star? “. That’s it! Giveaway ends on Friday, October 24th at 11:59pm. Winner will be selected at random. Good luck!!

 

Categories : Giveaway
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boobann

 

 

We love Halloween and love sharing family friendly events. Boo at the Zoo, is one of our favorite October outings. Boo at the Zoo, is a “merry not scary” family friendly event.  Boo at the Zoo takes place over 5 nights, October 18th-19th, 25-26th, and October 30th, from 5:30 to 8:oo pm.

Boo at the Zoo features:

  • Ten Prize Stations on the Trick-or-Treat Trail
  • Entertainment
  • Animal Presentations
  • Storytelling
  • Fun and Games
  • Costume Parade
  • “Teen Scream” Haunted House (a separate area, included in the price of admission)

Admission is $ 7 for members and $14 for Non-Members. Kiddos 5 and under are Free. For additional information or to purchase tickets head here.

Categories : Uncategorized
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Screen-Shot-2014-10-10-at-11.08.39-AM

 

This is part of a sponsored campaign with P&G and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I think we all know someone that has has been affected by cancer. My prima passed away from cancer when I was a teen. She was 38, the same age I am now, and even as a teenager, I remember how devastating it was to lose someone so dear to us, especially since she was a young mother and left children behind. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latinas and in the U.S., a Latina dies of breast cancer every 90 minutes!!

Orgullosa has teamed up with Liga Contra el Cancer, a center dedicated to providing free cancer services for underserved patients. They are helping Latinas to support one another in early cancer detection and prevention.

Adamari Headshot

I had the opportunity to participate in a Facebook chat, sponsored by Orgullosa, featuring breast cancer survivor, Adamari Lopez and oncologist, Dr. De La Rosa. I learned so much about early cancer detection. The one fact that I’ve thought about for this past week, is that if breast cancer is caught during stage 1, there is a 98% survival rate at the 5 year mark. It reinforced just how important our self exams and yearly mammogram screenings are.

Here are some other facts I learned about early cancer detection:

  • Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths among Latinas.
  • One U.S. Latina dies of breast cancer every 90 minutes.
  • For Hispanic women, breast cancer is detected at an advanced stage more often than in non-Hispanic whites. This difference has been largely attributed to lower frequency of and longer intervals between mammograms, and lack of timely follow-up of suspicious mammograms.
  • Make sure to look for any changes, discoloring, anything in your breasts. Get yourself checked out!
  • You should also make sure to check your neck and armpits during your monthly self exams.

During the month of October, Orgullosa will donate $1 to the Liga Contra el Cancer, for every new Facebook like. So what are you waiting for, go like the Orgullosa Facebook page and lets make sure we are all looking out for each other. Together we are #orgullosastrong .

Categories : Uncategorized
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I sent my Halloween-fanatic husband to go check out The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and report back.  He texted that he was going on their new Encounters experience, which takes you on a ghost tour of the back areas of the ship and requires a signed waiver.  He managed to send a few pics over before the last text. Apparently, he’s been swept into some vortex.  When you attend Dark Harbor this month, can you see if you can find him?

#QMDarkHarbor

#EvilLurksWithin

Queen Mary Dark Harbor is very unique in the world of big Halloween events around Southern California, as this ship is renown for being haunted anyway. Add in cramped and tight walkways full of spooks and eerie sounds and you’ve got yourself a real scary experience!

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Honestly, the event has evolved tremendously over the years and stands up wonderfully against Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal Halloween Horror Nights. Like the others, Dark Harbor is recommended for children over 12 but it is not nearly as gory as the other two parks and the monsters are a bit more fun and friendly here.  There is a lot of entertainment and many food choices, similar to what you find at the fair, but themed to Halloween!

#EvilLurksWithin

The Captain of the Grey Ghost

Queen Mary Dark Harbor runs most Thursdays through Sunday nights in October.  Admission pricing begins at $24 and VIP admission, which is highly recommended and gives you front of line access and a bunch of other premiums, starts at $76 on select nights if purchased 24 hours ahead of the event.  This year the event features 3 new attractions as well and the spinning swing ride that used to be part of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. I know, creepy right??

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airshow

Looking for something fun for the family this weekend? Head down to Miramar and check out the Blue Angels and chat with real Navy Air Pilots!

One of the highlights of this year’s air show is the Marine Air Ground Task Force demonstration. During this demonstration, many of the techniques and technologies used by Marines around the world will be on display. Among these technologies are the Marine Corps’ newest airframes, the “MV-22 Osprey” and the F/A-35B “Lightning II.”   For the first time ever, both aircraft will be on display.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy exciting aerial performances from all of these talented aviators demonstrating their incredible flying abilities. Also, the MCAS Miramar flight line will feature static displays of military equipment from past and present.

MAGTF

Since the show takes place at a real active air station, you can talk to the Marines and Sailors who are here to support the show. Many of whom have deployed numerous times to secure peace throughout the world. Visitors are encouraged to talk with the Marines and Sailors of 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Miramar, they represent America’s best and brightest.

Save $5 a ticket by ordering them online:

BOX OFFICE (Granstand)
FRI. Matinee: Adult $15, Child (3-11) $9
SAT. Matinee: Adult: $25, Child (3-11) $10 / NOTE: Saturday Matinee tickets are valid for both the Matinee & Twilight Show
SAT. Twilight: Adult: $15, Child (3-11) $8
SUN. Matinee: Adult $15, Child $9

There are other packages with better seating and viewing options that go up in price.

Categories : airplanes, San Diego
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Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park kicks off September 25th for another year of thrills and chills.  My hubby has been serious fan of Halloween Haunt at Knott’s Scary Farm his entire life. He has been attending annually since 1988 and has come up with some tips for first timers and even those that may have gone in the past.

Here is his list:

1. Go early in the run. In the first few years of The Haunt, the event was held only on weekend in October. In the 80s, this meant that you only had 8 chances to go. I learned back then that going on the first night was always the best bet. These days, Scary Farm often begins at the end of September.  The first weekend is always the best time to go, especially the first Thursday or Friday.  If you can’t make it during the first weekend, definitely try to get there on a Thursday during the rest of the run.  You can often get to experience all the mazes within 2 hours of rope drop and then you will have plenty of time to catch some shows and repeat visits to your favorite mazes.

Scary Farm Monster

2. Do not ride the regular rides. With the exception of the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Train (which is decorated for Scary Farm), you can experience the rest of the rides any other time during the year. Maximize your time by focusing on mazes and the special shows created just for Knott’s Scary Farm.  The rollercoasters will be there later, the mazes won’t.

Knott's Scary Farm

3. Be sure to see Elvira! She performs nightly in the Ghoul Time Theater.  This year, the show is called “Elvira’s Big Top.”  This show along with The Hanging are recommended for mature audiences, although I would say that Elvira’s show has become much tamer compared to The Hanging, which pushes the envelope more and more each year.  It’s best to catch the first Elvira show of the night, because many people will not have made their way to the back of the park by that time. There will be a small wait and you can get close to the stage. As for The Hanging, wait for the last show, which is typically the least crowded of the evening.

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4. The best way, in my opinion, to experience all the mazes and not miss any, is to move about the park in a clockwise pattern.  That is to say, start by heading south toward the mazes by Ghostrider.  These days there are 4 mazes in that direction.  From there, you can cut through Ghost Town and hit the two by Bigfoot Rapids, from there you can watch Elvira and then go over the Boardwalk for it’s maze.  After that, you can ride the mine train and log ride or go straight to Fiesta Village to experience the Fiesta De Los Muertos scare zone and then head to Gunslingers Grave.  For 2014, a new experience has taken over Camp Snoopy, Special Ops: Infected.  Groups of 12 will be taken through a path for a laser-tag experience with zombies. The best part is there is no up-charge for the experience, the bad part is you should try to make reservations for a time when you get there. There is a standby line as well, but it can be quite a long wait.

Knott's Scary Farm

5. If you cannot make it on a slow night and have no option but to attend on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, I highly suggest getting the Fright Lane pass, which come with an optional Skeleton Key – giving you access to a special room experience in several of the mazes. This way, you will guarantee yourself a chance to see everything.  I’ve heard from far too many whom have gone on busy nights and only made it through 2 or 3 mazes, which is frankly a tragedy for the time and money spent.

Knott's Scary Farm

Lastly, eat funnel cake and drink boysenberry punch. It’s simply a must! The event is best for older children (13 and up) or it can make a great date night idea.  This year you can also buy a Scary Farm Pass, giving you access to the park on every night. I highly recommend it!  Check with the Knott’s website for more information.  See you in your screams!

#OrgullosaStrong_Invite

 

 

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored partnership with Orgullosa and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions are my own.

October is a special month for many reasons, but one very important one is because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Did you know that 1 Latina dies every 90 minutes of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women. As part of Orgullosa’s continued commitment to celebrating the strength and inspiration of Latinas, Orgullosa has launched an initiative aimed at mobilizing Latinas to take charge of their health and spread the message that Together We Are Stronger (#OrgullosaStrong).

Join celebrity host, Adamari Lopez and oncologist from the Liga Contra el Cáncer, Dr. De La Rosa for a LIVE Facebook Chat on Wednesday, October 1st from 9 -10pm ET.  Join us as we share how to encourage our fellow Latinas to learn about the early detection of breast cancer because early detection is the key to remaining together.

Don’t Forget to RSVP to be entered to one of the amazing prizes that will be given away during the chat.  You can register to win here

Facebook Chat Details:

What: Orgullosa “Together We Are Stronger” LIVE Facebook Chat

When:  Wednesday, October 1st at 9 PM EST-

Where: https://www.facebook.com/orgullosa/app_142371818162

Hashtag: : #OrgullosaStrong

 

Special Guests: Adamari Lopezand Dr. De La Rosa

Moderators:Latina Mom Blogs (http://www.facebook.com/latinamomblogs)

 

Brand:https://www.facebook.com/orgullosa

Website:http://www.orgullosa.com/

 

Prizes: Four (4) prize packs as follows:

 

Prize Pack 1 (ARV: $137)

 

  • iPod Shuffle (RV $49)
  • Tote Bag filled with P&G goodies, candle, bracelet, and inspirational book (RV $88)

 

Prize Pack 2 (ARV: $187)

 

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • iPod Shuffle (RV $49)
  • Tote Bag filled with P&G goodies, candle, bracelet, and inspirational book (RV $88)

Prize Pack 3 (ARV: $237):

 

  • $100 Amazon Gift Card
  • iPod Shuffle (RV $49)
  • Tote Bag filled with P&G goodies, candle, bracelet, and inspirational book (RV $88)

Prize Pack 4 (ARV: $337):

 

  • Mini iPad (RV $249)
  • Tote Bag filled with P&G goodies, candle, bracelet, and inspirational book (RV $88)

 

Rules: For the official rules, click HERE.

 

RSVP:To be eligible to win prizes, you must RSVP via the Latina Mom Bloggers Facebook Invite HERE.

 

Categories : Uncategorized
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Mickey's Halloween Party is one super fun partay!!

Mickey’s Halloween Party is one super fun party!!

Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party were provided for review purposes. However, all opinions are my own.

Each year, we look forward to the fun of trick or treating around Disneyland during Mickey’s Halloween Party.  This year the party is bigger and better than ever.  We had the opportunity to attend night one of  the party and had the absolute time of our lives.

It’s a party like no else. I think one of my favorite things to do is to trick or treat throughout Disneyland Park. There are 10 trick or treat trails to take your kiddies to, with choices of candy or healthy snacks at each one. I love that the kiddos can get candy and yummie healthy treats. The trails are organized and the lines movie quickly. Your kiddos will want to hit each of the 10 trails.

Trick or Treat Stations

Trick or Treat Stations

I do have to say that although I love every aspect of Mickey’s Halloween Party, my absolute favorite part is the Halloween Screams firework show, which is only available during Mickey’s Halloween Party. It is my favorite firework show at Disneyland. Yes, I think I love it even more than the Christmas firework show. It is magical!

A Firework Show like no other!

A Firework Show like no other!

One thing we all look forward to during Mickey’s Halloween Party and during Halloween Party at the Disneyland Resort is all of yummie seasonal treats. This year there are so many tasty treats to choose from. We had the opportunity to try most of these delish treats and I can’t wait to go back for more!

Almost too cute to eat, almost..

Almost too cute to eat, almost..

Our advise is to arrive early! You are allowed to enter the park as early as 4:00 pm, even though the event doesn’t start until 6:00 or 7:00 pm, depending on the night you attend.  If you’re planning to eat dinner in the park, we suggest you eat during those early hours before the event truly begins.  This was you can spend those remaining hours to experience all the Halloween fun.  Additionally, there are some great seasonal menu items available at certain restaurants as well as treats in the Candy Palace. Our must have treat this time of the year is the pumpkin fudge. It always sells out fast, so try to see if there is any available as soon as you arrive inside the park. If they run out at the Candy Palace, check out the Pooh Corner Bakery in Critter Country, as they carry it too.

Yummie!

Yummy!

Be sure to catch Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade! The parade is fun to watch and happens shortly after the Fireworks show. I love watching my kids watch the parade. There is something so magical about Disney parades, and Mickey’s Costume Cavalcade is definitely magical!

You can't miss the parade!

You can’t miss the parade!

No visit to Disneyland during Halloween Time can be complete without a visit to Haunted Mansion Holiday. There are  fast passes available for the ride. Another tip is to head over there first when you arrive in the park. Grab Fast Passes for later in the evening and then jump in line right after after getting the Fast Passes. This way you can experience it twice without much of a wait.

They were very tired but very happy!

They were very tired but very happy!

We had a great time and stayed until closing time. I captured this shot on the way out of the park. I bought the kiddos a hot chocolate and they sat for a bit taking it all in. They were two very tired, but very happy kiddos.

To purchase your tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party head here.