If you're planning a drive down California's Highway 1, make sure your drive takes you across Bixby Bridge. It's one of the most iconic landmarks of Northern California, Big Sur and the Pacific Coast. It has been a while since Alfie and I have been to Big Sur, so we took the kids there in November and had a great time enjoying the fresh air, the ocean view, and the sunset.
A friend once told me that parenting during the teenage years goes so much easier if parents remember that an alien has taken over their teen. Eventually the real person will emerge, but when faced with eye-rolling, inattention, attitude, rebellion, or worse, just take a deep breath and keep telling yourself, It's Not My Daughter, It's An Alien.
The Pea and I just got back from a trip to the Disneyland Resort! Her middle school band participated in Disney's Performing Arts Program, and I went along as a chaperone. She and her bandmates had the experience of a lifetime. They went backstage to record soundtracks to some of Disney's most beloved movies, and they went onstage to perform at Disney's California Adventure. In between, they went around the parks with their friends. It was the best of education and entertainment combined!
This is a picture from The Pea's first 6th grade concert. She's been playing the flute since 5th grade, and she liked it so much she decided to stick with band throughout middle school. Band is a big commitment; it takes up 2 precious electives every year, and it requires time for practice as well as concerts. Band isn't the most glamorous choice of middle school electives either; the stereotype of the band nerd is alive and well even today.
I'm really proud of The Pea's commitment to band. She's getting all the benefits of a musical education, and she has made a really great group of friends, who are secure enough and self-confident enough to ignore the stereotypes and proudly call themselves band nerds.
Many Disneyland and Disney World posts are about ways to save money. That's not surprising -- Disney vacations don't come cheap, and it makes sense to save wherever you can. That being said, however, I think the most scarce (and hence, valuable) commodities you have while on vacation is time. Vacations never last long enough, and vacations at the Disneyland Resort seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. If you're like me, and want to make the most out of every second you spend at the Disneyland Resort, here are some tips on how to save time while you're there: