Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Family Travel: Huntington Beach ...

Continuing on with our travels in Southern California, we made our way to Huntington Beach.   There is just something about that ocean air, it heals everything I'm convinced.  No trip to Southern California is complete without a visit to the beach.  Huntington Beach was the perfect place to relax for a few days, and enjoy the beautiful California sun.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.  It was such a beautiful location right on the Pacific coast highway, and the grounds were impeccable.  We had the most gorgeous view of the ocean from our balcony that the entire family enjoyed.

This is the perfect place to take a break from any of the southern California parks to like Disney or Knotts Berry Farm.  I like doing a park for a day or two, then heading off to the Beach for some more relaxing family time.

The Hyatt Regency is truly a Resort.  You could really just stay there and have all that you need.  They have three pool areas, one especially for kids with waterslides, and the water was nice and heated.  There are full spa services, restaurants, and an impressive fitness center.  You could truly spend all your time there, and relax.  My kids were in heaven!  We ending up getting a large 3 room suite, and the kids were so thrilled to have their own room and TV!  It was nice to be able to spread out more and have a bit more of a normal sleeping routine while away from home.

Outfit Details:
Necklace: Tai Pan Trading
Shoes: Old Navy T Strap Clogs (similar)
Watch: Arvo Wear
We advantage of the children's pool, and  took a late night swim, and it was nice to warm up by the fire.  
We were able to try a few of the restaurants on-site at the Hyatt Regency.

We went to Pete's Sunset Grill for dinner on our first night.  The location is beautiful, and the name is accurate, they face the ocean with some beautiful sunsets!  The food is inspired by local favorites and from destination surf spots around the world.

Pete's Sunset Grill was very kid friendly, they even brought out a blanket for our little four year old Thomas that fell asleep before dinner and took a nice nap on the bench.  The kids enjoyed the kids meal, and they even sent us with some food to-go for our tired traveler that was feeling a little under the weather.

My husband got the Char Siu Bowl with Shrimp.  I think what made the dish was the fried egg on the top.  I was a little jealous of his dish, it was really amazing!  A fried egg on rice with shrimp and vegetables, totally something we'd love!

One of my favorite things we ate, maybe in the entire trip was the Druken Goat Cheese appetizer.   When I read Goat cheese I was thinking it would be the typical soft goat cheese, but instead it was a Spanish goat cheese that came in slices topped with raw honey and marcona almonds.  It was amazing, my kind of dish!
We also tried the breakfast at the Watertable right off the lobby at the Hyatt Regency.
I got the zesty lemon blueberry pancakes, and normally I'm a savory breakfast person, but they were so good!  The rest of my family go their breakfast buffet with a large variety of options.  Made to order omelettes, fruits, cereal.  They loved getting to choose whatever they wanted, which meant lots of captain crunch was consumed.  While I vacation, I suppose.
After dinner our first night, we headed down to the beach for a beach bonfire.  I have always wanted to do a bonfire at the beach, so I was really looking forward to it!  
We were met by a Hyatt beach attendant where he set up our chairs and bonfire, and provided all the fix-ins for s'more and hot chocolate.
At first it was a little windy and chilly, but as soon as the wind died down, and we could feel the warmth of the fire, (and hot chocolate in our bellies) we were able to roast marshmallows, make s'mores and tell campfire stories and snuggle by the fire.  

It was exactly what I envisioned a California Beach Bonfire to be.  I think we will always have good memories from that night telling stories, and spending time as a family.  Vacation time is my absolute favorite, you always seem to remember memories from family vacations the most, which is why they are so important to me.  I hope my kids will always remember our fun times together and look back on them with fondness.

Thanks for the amazing stay Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency Resort, we really enjoyed our time and lasting memories we made. (all thoughts and opinions are my own)

For more information about the Hyatt Regency Resort and for ideas and resources on things to do in Huntington Beach visit SurfCityUSA.com!

Stay tuned for more of our Huntington Beach adventures! Lots more to come!

See our other California adventures here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

12 Best Wooden Toys for Christmas ...

With my oldest being eight years old, I feel like we have gone through just about every toy on the market.  Many don't last and hour, and some we have had an enjoyed for years.  My favorite toys are the ones that both look great and are fun for my kids to play with.  I enjoy well designed toys that when they are out, don't look like an eye sore.
I wanted to pass along a few of our very favorite toys that we have had for years that we love.
With Christmas around the corner, I hope this will help you in making some easy decisions, plus many of the toys are currently on sale!
12 best wooden toys for children Hape Toys Melissa & Doug
Affiliate links are used in this post
Wooden Toys  Rocket Ship Pretend Play Play Kitchen
Plan Toys Melissa & Doug
I hope you enjoyed my top picks for wooden toys.  Hopefully this will help you with your Christmas shopping and you can give some Christmas gifts that will last for years like ours have!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Family Travel: Medieval Times ...

One of the highlights on our recent trip to Southern California was being able to go to Medieval Times.  Blame the movie the Cable Guy, but I have just always wanted to go, ha!

We walked into the castle and were greeted immediately by the Kings Court and crowned with our very own crowns.  We had a little time before the show, so the kids were able to go check out the horses.  When the doors opened we were taken by our wench to our seats.  The seats are all in a row with a long table in front.  The kids were excited for the show with a lot of cheering and clapping.  We were seated in the yellow section and asked to cheer on our yellow knight.

We were served hot bread and soup while the show began.  The riders and horses were very impressive, and my kids were mesmerized.  The jousting tournament was my personal favorite, and the horse riding in general.  We were entertained and engaged throughout the show.  It was a great family friendly dinner show, and overall great entertainment experience!

Things to know about Medieval Times Buena Park:
  • There is Free Parking on-site.
  • If you go early, you can get your picture taken with the royals, (costs extra) and you can go visit the horses that they use in the show (free).
  • I was pleasantly surprised with the food.  It was much better than I expected it to be.  You aren't given any utensils, but I believe if you'd like plastic silverware for your children they will bring you some.  They also provided wet towelettes to clean your hands at the end.
  • My family liked the food at Medieval Times more than the Pirate's Dinner Adventure, but both are good.
  • Be prepared for the arena to smell a bit like a horse arena.  It wouldn't normally be something I would notice, but you are eating dinner there.
  • If you have young toddlers, you may want to sit towards to top or at the end of a row, since it may be hard to get in and out.  The seats are like movie theater seats that fold up and down when you get up.  My kids messed around a bit before the show started on the seats, but luckily didn't fall through the back.
  • Children under the age of 3 are free, but must sit in a parents lap and share their dinner.
  • The show was about 1.5 hours long.
  • You can receive a free admission the month of your birthday if you sign up for their Birthday Fellowship.
  • The portions for the food are large, they do offer to-go boxes if you would like to bring any of the food you didn't get to eat home with you.
  • The menu included: Tomato Soup, Garlic Bread, Roasted Chicken, Herb Roasted Potato, Sweet Corn on the Cob, and pastry of the castle, and a drink.  Vegetarian Meals are offered.
  • Be sure to stick around after the show, the Knights and King and Princess are available to take pictures with you.
  • For special discounts and rates, check out their website.  Currently it looks like they are having $20 for adults and $6 for children.

We gave the dinner and show two thumbs up!  Definitely worth taking the family to if you are ever in the area!

Thanks Medieval Times Buena Park for hosting us for the Dinner and show! (All thoughts and opinions are my own)

Be sure to check out our other adventures while visiting Buena Park California:

For other ideas, and things to do in Buena Park California, be sure to check out www.VisitBuenaPark.com for more ideas and resources.  
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