How to Enjoy A Day At Disneyland – Saving Time At The Park

Southern California abounds with superior vacation attractions for the entire family. In particular, Disneyland in Anaheim indubitably constitutes one of the best family-oriented vacation destinations in the world. For the vacationing family striving to pack as much fun as possible into a time-limited California trip, the idea of visiting Disneyland in just one day may seem simultaneously appealing and daunting. Even though you cannot experience every facet of this massive park in a single day, you can nonetheless experience a satisfying slice of the fun. This article provides suggestions for making the most of your one-day Disneyland visit.

To get the full benefit of a day at Disneyland, it is best to arrive before the park opens and stay until closing time, with a break for lunch at midday, the park’s hottest, busiest time. With this strategy, you can concentrate your efforts on boarding as many rides as possible at the beginning and end of the day when waiting lines are shorter. If your vacation schedule is sufficiently flexible, keep in mind that Disneyland is less crowded in the middle of the week than on weekends or holidays. In general, Saturdays tend to be the busiest days.

To gain quicker access to key rides, visitors can take advantage of Disneyland’s free FastPass program, which is offered for the park’s busiest rides. You can obtain FastPasses from machines located at each applicable ride. Rather than wait in a long line, you can insert your park entry ticket into the machine’s slot and receive a FastPass that gives you a one-hour time window during which you can board the ride later in the day with little or no waiting. Bear in mind that FastPasses for a given ride can sell out for the day, so it is advantageous to obtain all your FastPasses as early as possible. Since the FastPass machines will not let you get a FastPass for another ride until the time window for your current FastPass begins, it is wise to obtain your next FastPass immediately after that time window opens.

For prioritizing your FastPasses, Los Angeles Times staff writer Brady MacDonald recommends Star Tours as the best, busiest ride. In MacDonald’s opinion, the next busiest and most desirable FastPass-enabled rides, in order, are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain (video and, finally, Indiana Jones Adventure. MacDonald recommends not wasting FastPass time windows on Big Thunder Mountain or Haunted Mansion, since the waiting lines are not long enough to require a FastPass. In addition, MacDonald mentions that he personally would bypass Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Autopia but advises vacationers to follow their own preferences.

To save more time at Disneyland, you can also get apps for your smartphone or PDA that tell you the current waiting times for all rides and recommend the best ride to visit next to maximize your time. In addition, since the restaurants at Disneyland are typically crowded with long waiting lines, you can save time by packing your own picnic lunch, leaving to eat lunch somewhere outside the park and returning later, or making reservations up to 60 days in advance via phone or email for restaurants in the park.

Finally, the more online research you can do ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the vast array of attractions at Disneyland, the more time you can save once you arrive. Even though you cannot see all of Disneyland in one day, these tips can help you maximize your available time in this spectacular park for a satisfying and memorable vacation experience.


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A Day in Silicon Valley with My Kids

First of all, Silicon Valley is huge, which created quite a culture shock for my family, but the kids absolutely loved this road trip. To save money, we chose to drive rather than fly out, and enjoyed snacking on homemade hoagie lunches until we reached Palo Alto, where we spent the most of our time. Aside learning how to deal with the traffic as we are from a small town in Wyoming, we had a wonderful time. The kids enjoyed the trip most of all.

I wanted to see the art museums, being a ‘redneck’ family. We visited the Cantor Arts Center, mainly to see the sculptures. They have a fun sculpture garden there, and the exhibits are quite beautiful. Seeing as we were on a tight budget, we appreciated the free admission, though we did make a small donation. We had a tour guide who showed us everything there was to offer so we wouldn’t miss a thing. A fun experience for the whole family, although I must admit the kids got bored after a while. I wanted to visit other art galleries, but was quickly vetoed by the kids. Instead, they wanted to go to a nearby restaurant to eat.

Seeing as how we have never had Brazilian food, my husband was stoked to take us to Pampas, which was nearby. Since he lived in Brazil for a few years back in the day, he warned us that Brazilian restaurants are typically nothing but meat, meat, and even more meat, that travels around on a stick to your table. Pampas was exactly that, and while I tried some beef varieties, I was more happy to just get a glass of wine and a salad and enjoy putting my feet up for a while (we wandered all over the Stanford University campus area where the art gallery was and my feet were tired). The kids loved being able to scarf down food they couldn’t even pronounce, and just like the Brazilian culture, the staff and servers were super sweet. You do need to make a reservation, but we got in just fine. I almost fainted when I saw the bill for nearly $200, but with a family of 6 in Palo Alto, this must be the norm. Like I said before, we are from Wyoming and not used to the ‘fancy’ stuff.

We didn’t have to go far after eating to find more stuff to do. By stuff, I mean ‘free entertainment’ as we had spent so much money on lunch. A short cab ride (another first for us, how weird to be driven around by strangers) and suggestion from the driver led us to the Baylands Nature Preserve, which is a trail surrounding water with lots of birds to look at. We set down a blanket and took a little nap, then sat around and watched the water fowl around us. Plenty of ducks and geese and pelicans. We even saw a snake slithering on the trail. This must be a popular place to go for the locals, as there were lots of people walking dogs and riding their bikes. It felt nice to have a sense of belonging while were in this park. It also felt nice to work off a bit of the food we stuffed ourselves with. After the walk and browsing, we were ready to continue on with our little road trip.

We didn’t stay long in Palo Alto as we were traveling to Needles to see family, but it was a wonderful stop. I would love to see more of Silicon Valley as there is just such a different culture there than my family is used to. We enjoyed our free entertainment, good food, and took many pictures to remember the trip by. The next time we go to California, Silicon Valley will be our main stop so we can spend more time there. I would suggest to anyone traveling through to experience as much fun entertainment as they can with their kids. This way, you can get a little more creative with where you stop.


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Afternoon Tea San Diego Summer 2012

Afternoon tea is a tradition in the UK. Although the discovery of tea was in China, it has become a popular beverage in all across the world. In this day and age, tea is not just a beverage; it is one of the healthiest and flavorful drinks in the world. Furthermore, the variety of tea includes many choices starting from the simple white tea to the flavorful fruit and Oolong tea varieties. In the past few years, the popularity of tea has also increased in the USA. Thus, a large number of tea rooms have opened all across the country including the vibrant city of San Diego. The city has been able to get accustomed with this long-lasting trend of afternoon tea. From the special afternoon tea at the Grand Del Mar to the famous chef Pascal’s Savory Casual fare, the city of San Diego presents some one-of-a-kind spots for you to enjoy some delicious tea.

Discover the casual yet sophisticated venue of Savory Casual Fare of the renowned chef Pascal. The cozy setting of this bistro is known for its so called casual fare, but with a completely intercontinental vibe. Visit this quaint bistro setting in San Diego to explore some of the specialties of Chef Pascal as his unique Vignau’s menu showcases some splendid varieties of rustic European delicacies with a touch of California’s flavor. Try their wide variety of traditional afternoon tea accompanied by an elegant array of fine food including Chef Pascal’s renowned homemade rose petal jam and lemon curd.

If you want to treat your loved one with a special afternoon tea at an elegant venue, then think no further than the Westgate Hotel. This astounding luxurious hotel is a perfect setting to enjoy some afternoon tea within a cozy European charming setting. The dining venue, featuring breathtaking decors including those classic antiques and Victorian-style interiors, offers a perfect setting for you to enjoy a cup of tea with some delectable gourmet delights.

Bring your loved ones for a respite from the ordinary routine and enjoy some relaxing time at the Grand Del Mar’s elegant resort library with an afternoon tea. Choose from the wide selection of special black, white or green tea to savor with some house-special treats within this breathtaking setting featuring beautiful music. You will find numerous flavors of tea including those mild flower, herb, and fruit infused blends. No matter what flavor you like, the choices of tea at the Grand Del Mar’s are literally limitless.

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Is Summer Camp Good For Your Children?

Many parents send their kids to summer camps where they can swim, play sports, tell stories by the campfire and play with other kids their age. A summer camp, however, can do much more for your kid than just help him learn how to build a fire. The benefits of sending your kid to a summer camp are endless. Here are some of the reasons summer camps are good for kids.

It Can Boost A Child’s Confidence

Going to a summer camp is a great way to build your child’s confidence. At a summer camp, he will have to introduce himself to new people and try activities he has never done before. For example, if your child does a long hike through the woods, he will walk a little taller the next day. Being away at camp can also make a child not so dependant on his parents, boosting his confidence even more.

It Can Make A Child Feel Like He Belongs Somewhere

A summer camp can make your child feel like he belongs somewhere. The way all the kids sing team songs and have a common sense of purpose can really make your child feel like he is part of something special.

It’s a Great Place To Make New Friends

A summer camp is a wonderful place to make new friends. Your child will be surrounded by kids his age all day, so he is likely to get along with at least a few of them. Your child can make lifelong friends at his summer camp. He can also form a strong relationship with his counselor. A camp counselor could be someone your child opens up to.

It Can Be a Great Opportunity To Disconnect

Children today have a lot going on between their sports, school work, video games, friends and extracurricular activities. Having so much going on can put a lot of stress on a young child. If your child goes to camp, he can turn off his cell phone and forget about the stresses of everyday life. He can just relax and play with children his age in an outdoor environment.

As you can see, there are many benefits of summer camps for children. You should definitely consider sending your child to one soon.

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Las Vegas Hotel Industry Economy for 2012 ” NO LAS VEGAS IS NOT DEAD “

LAS VEGAS IS NOT DEAD:  Thanks to “Tiesto”

Las Vegas, Nevada, tourism it back up to where it should be with the increase of jobs, tourists from around the world, residents, and companies building new businesses is all great news for Las Vegas.

Some believed that with the economy, LV would not be able to hold their stance of continuous tourists and businesses. This proven untrue as Vegas did also face the problems of the economy; however, they never stopped and continued to build more Casinos and Hotels. Sure, the economy took a toll on many  several states and cities, however, Las Vegas is booming again. In fact, the world-renowned Tony Hsieh whom is the CEO of Zappos has intensely become involved with building more in downtown Vegas.

Watch Tiesto 2012 Residency at Wynn Las Vegas

Thirty-eight year old Tony Hsieh not only became interested in the “Sin City”, he also has become invested in the downtown area. Additionally, Mr. Hsieh is moving his company to Las Vegas. Although, Tony is worth almost four-hundred-million, he has decided to take a large amount of that for the new transformations and companies to be built downtown. This alone almost guaranteed that the economy was only getting better each day.

Las Vegas is often mistaken just for the casinos. However, there is so much more than casinos. For instance, the courts stay open twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week to get marriage licenses, as this is yet another big investment made while visiting Vegas. The average number of marriages in one day is over three-hundred and fifteen weddings a day in Las Vegas. Gambling may be the main reason but the second largest industry is to be married. LV considered the Marriage Capital of the World.

As mentioned above for the tourists they are there under the belief to gamble and or to be married, but many tourists do not stop to think of the industries that keep up Las Vegas.

Additionally, the studies from the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research (College of Business) shows that the current economic outlook states that from the year of 2009 to current; the strength in economy is moving strongly and that the economic growth shows in the tourism, hospitality, and gaming sectors.

Indicators showing that there is an upswing in hospitality, gaming, marriages, and real estate, it is in an upswing with more jobs, new construction, and with new construction brings new tourists from around the world. Further studies shows that there are many young adults whom are old enough to enter the casino’s that will travel to the “Sin City” regularly from Los Angeles and San Diego. The distance is close and the new adults are not only excited to go but ready as well. This includes not only the summer months, but also throughout the year, making sure not to forget about Spring Break when the streets of Las Vegas are busy as are the casino’s, hotels, and any hospitality business.

Where to Stay without breaking the bank: 

  • Nellis Suites at Main Gate hotel with room rates start at $69 per night
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport with room rates start at $81 per night

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Music That Makes You Feel

With all the stress that today’s daily life offers it’s nice to know that something so easily accessible as music offers relaxation. They say music soothes the savage beast. Well, I haven’t run into any savage beast in my lifetime but I have been compared to them after a particularly hard day at the office. I can honestly say that turning on the radio and listening to soft music has a calming effect.

What’s more interesting is that most of the music that has this effect seems to have afemale composer. Relaxing music can be compared to a fine wine or a perfect receipe it can’t be rushed. Relaxing musicand healing music is found deliberately. It has been my experience that female singer songwriters tend to compose music with a message of love and peace.

They may even be known for their songs of heartbreak but the message behind the lyrics still deliver a soothing message. The next time you find yourself in a music store or at a library notice the songs that have female singer songwriters or a female composer. Listen to a sample or if you are familiar with the song take a moment and think how the music makes you feel. Even better answer the question does the music make you feel? If you can honestly say that the music makes you feel or makes you think or makes you remember then you can label the musicrelaxing music or healing music.

Honestly, I don’t think female singer songwriters and a female composer sits down with the goal of producing or performing relaxing or healing music. I honestly believe that music is composed and inspired from the nature of it’s author. The music comes from deep within their hearts and souls.

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