Lawrence Hall of Science

Lawrence Hall of Science

It's still spring break in many school districts around the US, so I thought I'd spend Travel Tuesday reminiscing about one of the cool places we visited over Spring Break.  The Lawrence Hall of Science is a hands-on science museum on the UC Berkeley campus that draws kids from all over the Bay Area.

New job, new direction

Today I started a new chapter in my life and started work as Student Activities Director for 3PO and Jammy's elementary school.  That's a fancy way of saying I come in at lunchtime to plan, organize, and lead student enrichment activities.  Okay, that was probably just as fancy a description!  How about:  I do Chalk Art Mondays, Tournament Tuesdays, Game Cart Wednesdays, Walking Club Thursdays, Dance Party Fridays, and just about anything else I think the kids might enjoy.

Getting my kicks on Route 66: running through the Disneyland Resort

Cars Land Route 66
photo credit: Josh Hallett @hyku

Of all the magical events in store for the attendees of Disney's Social Media Moms Conference, the one I was most looking forward to was the 2 mile fun run.  I've always wanted to do a runDisney race, and although this wasn't an official race, it's the next best thing.  I can't think of any fun run more fun than this one (shades of Dr. Seuss there): what could be grander than running through the Disneyland Resort?

A prize that money can't buy: meeting LeVar Burton

Prize Time at Disney Social Media Moms Conference
photo credit: Josh Hallett

One of the many perks of being invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is the chance to win some fabulous prizes.  Up for grabs were goodies like Disney gift baskets, runDisney gift baskets, Coppertone gift baskets, a year's supply of GoGoSqueez, Dooney & Burke bags, runDisney New Balance shoes, HP printers, and a Nikon camera.  Each time a raffle ticket was drawn, I crossed my fingers and prayed that my name would be drawn.

Lo and behold, my name was drawn.  I was one of five bloggers selected for an exclusive meet and greet experience after Saturday's Disney Junior character breakfast.

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

Jelly Belly Fairfield factory tour

We've done the Jelly Belly Factory tour in Fairfield many times, but knowing practically every twist and turn of the tour doesn't stop us from visiting once a year or two.  It's fun, it's free, and it's less than a 90 minute drive from where we live.  Plus, they give out free jelly beans!  What's not to love?

Inexpensive ways to store Disney trading pins

We are buzzing with excitement over our upcoming Disneyland trip!  We don't leave for several days yet, but I'm already thinking about all the things we have to pack: the basics like clothes and toiletries, plus all the special Disney items like Mickey ears, lanyards, and trading pins!

How to make a Mickey or Minnie ears baseball cap

One of the most useful items clothing to wear at a Disney park is a cap or hat to keep your face protected from the sun.  Anaheim and Orlando are probably two of the sunniest cities in the mainland US, and you'll be spending a LOT of time outdoors, so caps and hats are a Must-Pack item whenever we go to Disneyland.

Unfortunately, Mickey ears or Minnie headbands are also a Must-Pack item for a Disney vacation.  It's so much fun to wear Mickey ears when you're at a Disney park -- but those ears don't exactly shade your face.  I've searched long and hard for sun hats or baseball caps with Mickey ears -- in the parks, in the stores, online at, on fan sites, and on eBay.  I've seen these for babies, but nothing for kids or adults.  The closest I've found is a Mickey ears top hat, a Mickey ears safari hat, and a Mickey ears gardener hat.   None are readily available... so after years of waiting and hoping that Disney would begin selling one, I finally decided to make my own.  Here's how I did it:

Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, Day 3

We had some surprise visitors on the morning of Day 3!  Click to read about what happened on Day 1 and Day 2.

I couldn't believe it when Joanna and I woke up on Day 3 of our Coloma adventure:  it was almost 7:00 a.m.!  The girls were so tired that they had actually slept in! We spent the early morning packing up our sleeping bags and things, and cleaning up our dorm. The girls were determined to win the Golden Dustpan Award (a glittery gold bead for their pouch), so they made sure all their trash was thrown away, and swept the floors till they gleamed.  Once everyone was packed up and ready to leave, we had breakfast (bacon, eggs, and biscuits -- The Pea was right when she told me three years ago that I should definitely volunteer to chaperone the boys to Coloma because the food was so good!).