top 10 things to do in san diego

thingstodoinsandiego:radmomcoolkid.com

*this post may contain affiliate links*

As I mentioned here, we took a family vacation to San Diego this summer.  I’d have to say it was one of my favorite vacations to date!  Which is funny because it’s not that far from home.  I love that!  I love that you can jump on a plane for an hour (or if your me, drive for 10), and experience something completely different.  California is full of amazing things to do.  The best part?  They don’t have to break the bank.  While we were there, we decided to rent a beach house instead of staying in hotels.  Since we had multiple families, it proved to be a less expensive option for us.  On top of that, because we were in houses, we were able to eat in most nights.  We took turns cooking and only ate out a few times.  It was the perfect mix of family time while still experiencing the atmosphere.

I know that summer is already over.  But, if you are anything like me, you are already dreaming of next year; especially when it comes to vacations! I definitely think San Diego is a place I could go year after year and never get sick of it. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in San Diego, from the cheapest to the most expensive!

1- Balboa Park: (FREE!) Originally this park was built as a festival and exposition center.  During the great depression, a lot of the buildings were made out of paper mache because materials were so scarce.  This park is HUGE and still has some of the original buildings.  It is completely unlike anything you will see anywhere else in California.  It is home to over 15 different museums; including the San Diego History Museum, History, Automotive Museum and Art Museum.  They also have botanical gardens, fountains, street performers and weekly exhibitions.  I have been there a few times now and each time I go they have had something different.  A few years ago, they had a tropical bird show where we each got to hold and snuggle the birds and interact with them.  We were looking forward to that again this year, but instead they had a turtle show! They had baby turtles, huge turtles, small turtles (obviously I know a lot about turtles now..  hence the vague descriptions).  It was really cool.  Sadie loved it! Some of the museums will charge you an entrance fee, but most of it is free.  It is also an awesome place to take kids.  There is tons to see and do.  My cousins were able to build bird feeders, the little kids danced to the street performers, we walked through the botanical gardens.  It was a hit with everyone!

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2- Sea World: ($55 per person)  If you are looking for one expensive splurge for your family while in Southern California, this should be it!  It has everything your kids could ever want.  It has rides, animals, shows and water all combined in to one awesome place!  You’re kiddos can get up close and personal with penguins, dolphins, and whales.  For the younger crowd, they have a Sesame Street exhibit that includes Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird; complete with rides!  It can definitely be on the pricier side though.  If possible; try to find discount tickets.

3- Old Town San Diego: (FREE!)  Located in the heart of San Diego; Old Town is a charmer.  It was built by the early settlers of the city and contains many of the original buildings.  Think ghost town… without the ghosts (unless you count the Whaley House.. see below).   They have an old time candy shoppe, masonry, old fort, and amazing mexican restaurants!  Everyone is dressed in attire from the time and the shops are to die for!  If you are looking for a fun kid friendly activity, check out the Mormon Battalion Museum while there.  You’re kids can pan for gold and learn what it was like for the early settlers of San Diego.  It really was a blast!  Every exhibit was interactive and unique.  While there, be sure to grab some coupons for lunch!

10thingstodoinsandiego:radmomcoolkid.com

4- Whaley  House: ($5-12 per person) While we were in San Diego, we decided to do a tour of the haunted Whaley House in Old Town. You don’t have to do a ghost tour, I suppose you can always just walk through.  It definitely does have some cool stories even with out the ghost factor.  We went around 9 PM and left the kiddos at the beach house.  It was legit!  None of us had ever done a ghost hunt before, but it was so much fun.  And so creepy!  Our guide did an excellent job relating the history of the home and also explaining the paranormal activity that has happened there.  After we learned a brief history, she took us on a tour of the house and encouraged us to take pictures.  While I didn’t see anything, I definitely felt and heard some strange things while there.  If you are feeling extra brave, they offer midnight ghost hunting tours with actual paranormal investigators.  Either way, it wasn’t for the faint hearted; but, I highly recommend it!

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5- Point Loma: ($8 per car)  Point Loma is located on a naval base at one of the southern most tips of San Diego.  There is a TON to do while you’re there, so schedule out a bunch of time to see it all.  We started out at the tide pools.  You can hike along the cliffs and see all sorts of different kinds of sea life.  We watched sea lions playing for a while and Lane had fun trying to collect crabs.  Oh, and I tried to be the little mermaid (part of your wooooorrrllllldddd).  It was good. Afterwards, we went up to the light house.  You can take an actual tour of the light house and learn about the life of a light house keeper.  There is also a really awesome look out point right behind the light house where you can go whale watching.  While there, I also recommend taking a minute to stop by the cemetery.  It looks very similar to Arlington, just on a smaller level.  The feeling there is the same, though.  Being able to pay homage to those who gave their lives in the service of our country is a special feeling.

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6- Coronado Island: (FREE!)  This is my family’s favorite place to go.  Seriously, if my parents ever go missing…. check Coronado.  They are probably there.  It’s just over the bridge from San Diego and full of things to see! It has a completely different feel than San Diego does.  It is much more of a slow, laid back island town  The Hotel Del Coronado is beautiful and historic.  It also sits on my favorite west coast beach!  Coronado Beach is my happy place.  The sand is like silk and the water is much warmer because of how southern it is.  One of our favorite things to do is to rent bikes and tour the island. There isn’t a ton of traffic and they have parkways lining the beach for bikers and pedestrians to explore.  They also have amazing shopping and restaurants. If you’re there, make sure you hit up Burger Lounge and Nado Gelatto. It’s always at the top of our list!

10thingstodoinsandiego:radmomcoolkid.com

7- La Jolla: (FREE!) La Jolla has one of the prettiest shorelines along the San Diego Coast.  The beach there is also nice, but not my favorite.  We mainly go there to see the sea lions, seals and birds.  If you go during January, you can see all the babies! On our last trip, we actually kayaked out to some of the caves along the shore and got to see the sea lions in action.  It was incredible.  Since the water is so clear, we were also able to see nursing sharks, fish and all sorts of sea life.  La Jolla is a little bit more upscale, so if you want a shopping day; this would be your place!

8- San Diego Zoo: ($36-$51 per person) I am in love with this zoo!  See… I have a love/hate relationship with zoos.  I love seeing the animals, but I hate seeing them in cages.  I feel like this zoo is one of the few I can tolerate.  The animals have large areas to roam around in and I feel like they have done a great job of making them feel like a natural habitat.  Plus, the park is HUGE.  Like, big enough to have a chair lift, huge!  The perk of it being such a large park is that they have every single animal you can think of.  Also, it doesn’t seem super crowded because of all the space.  The negative side of it being such a huge park is that… its big.  You have to walk.  A lot.  This is not a quick trip.  Plan to spend a while there.  Also, the food in the park was much better than other zoos I have been too.  Like this one, Briton and I went to.  All in all, this is one of those things that you NEED to do at least once.  If I could go to the zoo every time we were in San Diego, I totally would (unfortunately not everyone in my family shares my affinity for walking and animals)!

9- Mission Beach: (FREE!) This is the beach we stayed on for my grandparents anniversary celebration.  It really was the perfect fit for our family!  With over 30 people in our family, we needed something that would be nice for both the old and the young.  The nice thing about Mission Beach is that its situated on a peninsula.  On one side we had the bay.  There were no waves but there was still sand and sea shells.  The little kids were able to play in the sand and dig for shells with out the parents being too stressed out about the ocean.  On the other side, we had the beach.  The sand was literally like flour.  It was perfect for beach volleyball and sand castles.  They also have a walk way that stretches all the way down the beach, which was great for bike rides.  The older kids were able to boogie board and body surf, so it really had something for everyone.  It is also lined with shops and restaurants that you can walk to; which makes it ideal for a day at the beach.

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10-USS Midway: (5 and under, FREE. $8-$20 per person otherwise)  The USS Midway is a aircraft carrier turned battleship.  It was incredible!  I honestly was not looking forward to going, but I am so glad we did!  The ship is ginormous! Because it is so big, they give each person an audio headset that provides information as you walk through the rooms.  You see things like the different mess halls, captains quarters, the  brig and flight deck.  You also have the chance to hear stories of people who were on the Midway while it was still in service.  It was really cool to learn about the life of someone in the navy and see the way they lived.  On top of the flight deck, they had quite a few different airplanes that you could tour as well as members of the navy who were around to answer any questions you might have.  If you have little boys, they will love it.  If you don’t have little boys, still go!  We all loved it!

10thingstodoinsandiego:radmomcoolkid.com

Looking for good places to eat while in Southern California?  Check out our reviews here and here.

For beach rentals, we recommend San Diego Vacation Rentals.

new york city and ground zero

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

In August, Sadie and I had the chance to travel to the East Coast for my brother’s open house.  While out there, we decided to take a day and go to the city.  It was my first time in NYC…. unless you count flying through JFK a few times. We started out the day strong by getting ripped off by street vendors.  Word to the wise, never trust a place that doesn’t advertise their prices.  They will take you for a ride.  I didn’t mind as much as my brother did.  The guy told me I was pretty… that was worth like $3 alone.  After drinking our overpriced smoothies and hotdogs, we headed in to Central Park.  Seriously that place is a little slice of heaven.  Sadie loved seeing all of the people doing different things.  She danced to some of the musicians and made dog noises as the dog people passed.  It was awesome.  We explored Belvedere Castle and Turtle Pond while there and just let it all soak in.  It really is incredible to be in the park and hear no noise; even though you are surrounded by one of the busiest cities in the world.  I loved it.

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

After the park, we just kind of roamed.  We ate at Shake Shack, which was delicious.  I highly recommend it.  Especially because there are a million of them in the city.   If they have any of their house lemonade as a special, get it.  You will thank me later.  After, we went to Time Square and Radio City Music Hall.  We also walked by the Empire State building on our way to Zara and Uniqlo (priorities, people).  The subway was pretty much our best friend all day long.  I definitely wish we had a subway in Utah.  I actually just wish there was a city like New York closer.  I loved seeing so much diversity and the different cultures come together.  The subway was like a little slice of diversity heaven all packed in to a tiny train. It was awesome.

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We didn’t really pack a whole lot in to our day because we had such a short time to spend there.  However, the one thing we all wanted to see was Ground Zero.  We waited until it cooled down a bit and then headed over. Because today is September 11th, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time focused on the rest of my time in the city.  The monument was the highlight of my trip and I really want this post to be more focused on it.

From the very second you step foot on the monument, there is a different feeling.  It is sacred ground. I felt like I couldn’t take it all in if I tried.  We arrived a little bit before 6 PM and were able to take a few pictures in front of the monuments before it got dark.  I wish I could describe the faces of all of the other observers that were there.  It was the only time I have seen that amount of reverence, except in a church.  Looking at the names of the thousands of people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks was so humbling.  It made it more real.  I was on the other side of the country in an 8th grade sewing class when the towers went down.  Yet standing there, almost 13 years later, I felt so connected to it all. These weren’t strangers who lost their lives, they were people.  They were sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and they left families behind.

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

Everyday, the caretakers place white roses next to the name of each person who has a birthday on that day.  Walking around and seeing those who would have been celebrating their birthdays on the day we were there was heartbreaking.  As a teenager, I never realized what a tragedy the attacks were.  Scary? Yes. Tragic? I don’t think I could comprehend what a tragedy it was at that age.  Now as an adult and parent, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to lose someone close to me; or to have been taken in such a violent way.

If you ever have a chance to go, take it.  Connect yourself to that piece of history.  Better yet, go to the museum.  The time and energy put into the exhibits is incredible.  While it may seem pricey, it is worth it.  So worth it.  You hear stories of the men and women who were not only in the towers, but also those who were on the planes.  You hear George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice share the play by play of what they were thinking of when they were notified of the attacks.  You see timelines of what happened where.  You see actual ambulances that were crushed by debri while trying to rescue survivors.  Pieces of the plane that were recovered are on display.  All of this while standing in places that were crushed by the blows of the attacks.

And while this all may seem intense and dark.  You also see and feel the strength of the American people. You see crosses with words of hope written by thousands on them.  You hear stories of hundreds banding together to search and rescue survivors. There are audio snippets of what happened before the passengers on Unite Flight 93 overtook the hijackers.  Not only did it show the patriotism that exists in our country; but it was a testimony of the resiliency of the human spirit.  While an evil thing did happen, evil did not prevail.

This 9/11, remember those who lost their lives.  Remember the families they left behind.  And remember the strength that emerged in the midst of a horrible tragedy.

911 monument night

Check out Briton’s experiences in New York here and here.

Or see her day by day experiences in New York here: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6

Alo Road Trip 2014

alo road trip 2014 states www.radmomcoolkid.com

About 2 months ago the kids, my mom, and I started a pretty dang long road trip known as the Epic Alo Road Trip 2014. We embarked on a few smaller ones earlier in the year but this one was the Daddy Mac.

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

10 states.

2,122 miles.

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

7 days.

6 nights.

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

It was…awesome/horrible. Like giving birth, it is somehow really cool and really terrible. You kick yourself for doing it but you wouldn’t change it and you’ll probably do it again, even though it’s the worst…because it’s also the best and why wouldn’t you do it again?

Road trips are strange.

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

Anyway, we were on the road, living out of the car and hotels for a week. I drove every stinking mile because I get righteously carsick when other people drive. So I just drooooooooooooove. And then we got to Maryland and snuggled and hugged Luke really tight like we might wake up from the dream. We couldn’t keep our limbs to ourselves. And then we posed in front of the boxes because it seemed like we probably should. (2 months later those boxes are mostly still there. Kill me.)

alo road trip 2014 www.radmomcoolkid.com

Radical road trip playlist here.
Classic road trip games here.
Road tripping with kids here.

yellowstone national park: part I

yellowstone national park www.radmomcoolkid.com

If you ever have even the slightest chance to see Yellowstone National Park, DO IT.

Luke and I have toyed with a vacation there for a few years but little things kept coming up and we never went. When we found out about our move to Maryland, I immediately booked a cabin for the just the kids and I through VRBO because I knew it was something they should see before we left.

I grew up camping but somehow did not develop a love of tents and squatting to pee and sleeping on the ground. It just never became my jam so I found a great little cabin for us that was perfect- we had a bathroom and beds and a mini fridge and microwave. There were tent campers all around us and we had a fire pit so the kids felt like we were out in the wild but I felt like bears couldn’t feast on our intestines while we slept.

We arrived on a Saturday evening, checked in, purchased s’mores supplies, then got our little cabin home set up. We got showers taken (well, Noa and Isca had great showers, Hollis and I got half of a great shower before the water turned ice cold with NO warning) and went to bed.

yellowstone park mountainside koa www.radmomcoolkid.com

We spent the next two days exploring Yellowstone!

yellowstone national park www.radmomcoolkid.com

old faithful yellowstone national park www.radmomcoolkid.com

old faithful yellowstone national park www.radmomcoolkid

yellowstone national park continental divide www.radmomcoolkid.com

As we pulled over to snap a pic with this sign another car pulled up. It was a couple in their late 40’s, early 50’s, anyway they held up their camera and motioned taking a picture then pointed at my camera. So, we swapped photos of each other then I asked them where they were from. Spain. We started chatting- their English was about as good as my Spanish so we got along fine…until they asked me to explain what the Continental Divide is. There is a couple in Spain that is still seriously confused about what they were getting their picture taken with. Lo siento.

yellowstone national park www.radmomcoolkid

I’m still editing pictures from the summer so I will post more from Yellowstone again in the next few weeks!

May contain affiliate links.

amusement parks with kids

amusement parks with kids title www.radmomcoolkid.com

Today we have a guest poster- Rad Dad, Luke!
*This post is an entry for a contest

When you think about family vacations to theme parks, it’s easy to picture smiling faces, infectious laughter, and lasting memories. But sometimes things don’t go according to plan…this picture sums up one of our last family vacations to a theme park:

amusement parks with kids www.radmomcoolkid.com

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, apparently that degree of sadness is legal at theme parks. Our mistake: in our rush to have the best time ever, we planned every minute of our free time in the park down to the last detail. We forgot that part of enjoying the journey of a family vacation is to HAVE FUN! For poor Noa, this picture was his reaction after being told he couldn’t have ice cream. It didn’t fit into our schedule to buy some when we were near the ice cream shop, and by the time it was in our schedule, there was no ice cream to be found.

And that’s how we learned a valuable lesson: we should plan our vacations, but leave enough wiggle room to have a blast and not worry about riding every ride and seeing every show. A family vacation to a theme park truly is a journey (sometimes treacherous, always unpredictable), and it is meant to be enjoyed with some spirit of spontaneity.

We’ll be at Universal Orlando’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel next week with Mom It Forward, and we can’t wait! It will be several days of pure fun, with equal parts planned activities and fun free time to make memories. After Noa’s life was ruined temporarily on a hot summer day, we figured out what was missing: Enjoying the journey on a family vacation means being able to stop and smell the roses…and eat lots of ice cream!

amusement parks with kids www.radmomcoolkid.com

slater’s 50/50: restaurant review

slaters 50/50: radmomcoolkid.com

Do you like bacon?  Do you love bacon?  Do you find that bacon makes all the bad things in the world go away?

Then Slater’s is the place for you.

These are not typical burgers.  These are 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon burgers.

Does it get much better than that?

Nope.

Before we left for San Diego, Lane came home with a list of recommended restaurants for us to try while out there.  He has a co-worker who is from Southern California who hooked us up with all the good places.  Slater’s 50/50 was on the top of that list.

If you checked out my last post from San Diego, you know that Hash House a Go Go was more of a comfort food style restaurant.  Slater’s is on the other end of the spectrum. They are an all-American burger joint.  They also have wings, a few salads, and sandwiches.  But, don’t go there for those.  Go there for the burgers.

I won’t lie.  Bacon isn’t really my thing. Blah.  I know.  Please tell me we can still be friends.  So, I was totally dragging my feet about trying this place out.  But, Lane finally convinced me to go the day before we came home.  slaters 50/50: radmomcoolkid.com

Lane decided to build his own burger.  He got the 1/3 lb. 50% bacon patty on a bacon cheddar bun.  He added an egg, grilled onions and peppers, bacon, and cheese.  He also got a side of sweet potato fries.  The fries came with a side of this really yummy sauce.  It was kind of like a pumpkin, cinnamon dip. I loved it! As for Lane,  I don’t know if I can even put into words how much he liked it.  This was definitely a good choice!  If you don’t like any of their menu choices, they have a whole slew of options for you to build your own!

slaters 50/50: radmomcoolkid.com

Looking at the menu, I really didn’t see anything that sounded good.  So, I decided to go out of my comfort zone and just try something weird.  I am a creature of habit.  I usually switch it up between like 4 things.  Spaghetti, BBQ bacon burger, chicken fried steak and meat loaf.  I fear change.  But, I went out on a limb and ordered the Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger, A la Mode.  Nope.  Not joking.  It was a 1/3 lb patty on a honey wheat bun, crispy bacon, peanut butter, strawberry jelly and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream all served up next to a pickle.

slaters 50/50: radmomcoolkid.com

I know it sounds gross.  But, it was DELICIOUS.  It was the perfect mix of sweet and savory.  The bacon and patty added the perfect amount of salt and the peanut butter added the creamy, the jelly added the sweet and the ice cream was the perfect cold contrast against the rest of the warm burger.  Seriously, I am not pulling your leg here.  It was the best burger I have ever had.

If you are ever in California, check out Slater’s 50/50.  And if you are feeling adventurous, order the PB&J Burger A la Mode.  You won’t regret it!

Check out my other review on Hash House a Go Go here.

hash house a go go: restaurant review

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Sorry for the hiatus y’all!  We have been chillin in San Diego for the last week and a half and I decided to take a break! But, the good news is, I have tons to tell you guys!  Starting with this place.  I guess I should back up a little bit.  We were treated to this amazing trip by my grandparents for their 50th anniversary (Shout out to Scott and Penny!).  That meant our whooollee family got to spend some time in beach houses together.  Since our extended family is so big, this rarely happens.  It was so much fun!

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

While we were out there, we had a few down days with nothing planned.  On one of these days, my dad suggested checking out Hash House a Go Go.  He had seen it on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and really wanted to go. Boasting a menu full of  ‘Twisted Farm Food’ we were all in.  It was located in down town San Diego and Guy Fierri was right; delish!

The atmosphere:  Think sports bar meets industrial.  They have both an indoor dining area, which is more sports bar like, and an outdoor industrialesque dining area.  We were seated out side and loved it.  We were surrounded by modern looking light fixtures and sheet metal.  They also had some vintage signs up that were pretty cool.

hashhouseagogo:Radmomcoolkid.com

What we ate:  We tried to get a variety of different things just to get a good feel for the menu.  We also tried out some of their fresh tangerine juice.  Uhh… YUM.  Lane wasn’t a fan, but he also doesn’t like tangerines.  So, I don’t know if he should count.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

French Toast: My sisters split this and it was more than enough for both of them, plus there were left overs.  Served on thick amish bread, this was delicious!  They fried up a couple of bananas to put on the side and served it with a cinnamon cream and pecan maple syrup.  Seriously… amazing.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Chicken and Waffles:  Lane and I ordered this to share.  I completely forgot to take a picture when it first came out, but it was towering.  The waffles were made with bacon in the batter and then topped with the sage fried chicken.  It was drizzled with a bacon maple reduction sauce and some fried leeks on the side to add a little bit more dimension to the dish. My husband is a huge fan of chicken and waffles.  I think it’s the North Carolina in him.  The flavors were all good, don’t get me wrong.  But, I am just not a huge fan of chicken and waffles.  It did get the New York Time’s Favorites award though…. so… there’s that.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Pot Pie:  This was not your average chicken pot pie.  I mean, look at that thing.  It’s the size of a small child.  The crust was almost like a thin pastry crust and it was cooked to perfection;  lightly crispy but not dry. The chicken was tender and it had asparagus, tomatos,  peas, carrots, brocoli all cooked in a delicious gravy.  This one was a winner in all of our books!

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Sage Fried Chicken Sandwich:  My brother loved this.  They have truly mastered the sage fried chicken.  The bun was delicious, the fries were delicious.  This was a classic, great choice.  And plus it came with a sprig of rosemary=trendy and cool.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Eggs Benedict:  This was the least loved dish.  It was topped with ham, tomato, spinach and eggs and smothered in a creamy kind of BBQ sauce.  No one really loved it.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Meatloaf:  This was one of my two favorite meals.  I have always loved meat loaf, but this one takes the cake!  They threw it on the griddle for a hot a minute so the outside was nice and crispy while the inside was still juicy.  It was served with eggs on top and over fried mashed potatos.  Yep, FRIED mashed potatos.  They were cheesy and delicious and just a tiny bit browned on the outside.  Even Lane, who hates meat loaf, was a fan.  And that’s a big deal.

hashhouseagogo:radmomcoolkid.com

Biscuits and Gravy:  This was my other favorite meal!  This is one of my go to meals, usually.  My brother in law ordered it and I probably ate a fourth of it.  These biscuits were hand crafted by angels.  Seriously.  They are probably 5 inches tall and 5 inches wide and ridiculously fluffy.  I can’t even describe how great the sausage gravy is.   Especially with a couple of eggs on top.  Mmmm.  I need to go back.  Like, now.

All in all, I give this place a 9/10. It was delicious.  They have a few locations across the country.  So, if you are in the proximity of one of them… seriously go check it out!

 

road trip playlist

road trip playlist www.radmomcoolkid.com

I am preparing for one hell of a road trip, friends. From Utah to Maryland. With 3 kids.

While I love listening to Isca and Hollis sing “let it go” all day, every day, since Christmas, I know that it has the potential to catapult me into a mental/emotional/crazy eyes breakdown at some point during our travels. To avoid the ugliness I made myself a road trip playlist that is not all rainbows and bubble gum and glitter. Because I don’t like kid movies, not even a little. Hexus is my favorite character from Ferngully.

Here are the songs I am liking lately //

Abi McQuater // One Time

The Brocks // Circles

Vampire Weekend // Step

Ghost Beach // Been There Before

Wild Belle // Shine

Leagues // Spotlight

Cayucas // East Coast Girl

If you are braving the open road this summer I have a great list of road trip games here and tips for trippin’ with kids here.

Add your favorite songs below, I might neeeeeeed them.

Alt Summit // Summer 2014 // Part I

RMCK goes to ALT radmomcoolkid.com

I just got back from a pretty freaking rad conference, Alt Summit. Here are some reasons it rocked:

Joy Cho of Oh Joy! was a keynote speaker. She launched a product line with Target this year.

Martha Stewart was another keynote speaker. Maaaaaarrrrrrrthaaaaaa.

Hair/Clothes- Alt is a design/blog/professional/stylish conference. You can wear whatever but many attendees dress their best. I’m no clothes horse but I have always really loved fashion as an art medium. The ladies and gentlemen of Alt didn’t disappoint.

Roomies- I shared a room with some awesome women. It is so nice to chat with other people who “get” blogging as a business.

The Grand America- seriously, you guys. I love this hotel so much.

Attendees- I met sooooooo many great people last week. Between dinners, breakfasts, classes, and parties I was able to get to know several people from all over the world. Making new friends has been the biggest surprise that has come from blogging. And probably my favorite part of doing what I do.

Business Cards- you don’t have to have a bangin’ card but it doesn’t hurt. Several people went above and beyond a normal old card with awesome, creative, and pretty cards.

business cards alt summer 2014 radmomcoolkid.com

alt summit summer 2014 business card feature www.radmomcoolkid.com

Clockwise from top left: Handmade Mood // Cardigan Empire // Ringmaster Mom // Rue Rococo and The Glamorous Housewife // Caravan Shoppe

My pictures do ALT no justice so head over to the flickr feed and be amazed at the skills of Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis. “I am not comparing my beginning to their middle” is my new mantra because those pictures are BEAUTIFUL!

So, there’s Part I of my alt experience. Stay tuned for Part II…

the ultimate utah summer bucket list

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utah bucket list title

With  the heat here, we have rounded up over 75 activities for The Ultimate Utah Summer Bucket List so you can make the most of the season. We have even sorted them into price ranges (these are total guesstimates).  Pick some, or if you are brave, all of them and grab your littles and enjoy the sun!

*Activities subject to change hours, pricing or close without notice. They existed at the time this post was published!

Free! (*Some libraries lend passes to the state and national parks and monuments, check your local branch. If not, there are entrance fees.)

  • Check out Cascade Springs
  • Hike the Y
  • Splash Pads
  • Ride Bikes
  • Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
  • Blow Bubbles
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Run through the sprinklers
  • Fly a Kite
  • Throw a Frisbee in the park
  • Bocce Ball
  • Movies in the Park (Check your local parks!)
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Play Tennis
  • Barbecue with Friends
  • Natural Rock Waterslide in Alpine
  • Stroll down Main Street Park City
  • Have a Picnic
  • Hike Mount Timpanogos
  • City Festivals
  • Drive the Alpine Loop
  • Music in the Park
  • Wheeler Farms
  • Bear Lake (They have amazing hot springs too!)
  • Make Homemade Icecream
  • Play in the fountains at City Creek
  • Get strawberries and cream at Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove
  • Feel the mist at Bridal Veil Falls
  • Get your Swiss on at Swiss Days
  • Feed Ducks
  • Flaming Gorge
  • See the delicate arch at Arches National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Hike through Canyonlands
  • Camp in Goblin Valley
  • Go to Bryce Canyon
  • Lake Powell
  • Granite Flats Campground
  • Hike to Silver Lake
  • Check out Cedar Breaks
  • Gigal Sculpture Garden
  • $1-10

  • Visit the American West Heritage Center 
  • Hike to Timp Cave
  • Drive in Movies (West Valley City)
  • City Pool
  • Outdoor Plays at the Scera Theater
  • Mini Golf
  • Fishing
  • Tube down the River
  • Plant a Garden
  • Food Truck Roundup
  • Take the Train. AKA Front Runner and explore down town
  • Snow Cones
  • Twilight Concert Series
  • Tour Antelope Island
  • Golden Spike State Park
  • Utah Olympic Park and Olympic Oval
  • Outdoor Ropes Course
  • Provo Beach Resort
  • Clark Planetarium
  • Dinosaur Monument and Dino Land
  • Local Farm Tour
  • Batting Cages
  • $$10-15

  • This is the Place Monument Park
  • Utah’s State Fair
  • Alpine Slide in Park City
  • Tracy Aviary
  • Take a ride on the Heber Creeper (Heber Valley Railroad)
  • Baseball games (Orem Owlz and Salt Lake Bee’s)
  • Hogle Zoo
  • Living Planet Aquarium
  • $$$15+

  • Camp at Zion’s National Park  (tip: check out your local library to rent a park pass!)
  • Lagoooon!!! (Discounted tickets can be found at Deseret Book!)
  • 7 Peaks Water Park (DISCOUNTED PASS OF ALL PASSES HERE.)
  • Don’t live in Utah? Come visit!

    What’s on your summer bucket list?!

    Rad Mom Cool Kid

    Rad Mom Cool Kid