TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil Comes To San Diego!

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TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil

TOTEM, by Cirque du Soleil comes to San Diego’s Del Mar Fairgrounds in it’s only Southern California stop in 2012! We received two complimentary tickets from Cirque du Soleil to see the opening night of this incredible production, which is in town for a limited engagement. This was the first Cirque du Soleil show we had ever seen, and we were blown away!

From the moment you walk into the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top) you enter another world. You are taken away, for a few hours of magical entertainment. The show captivates your senses with music, amazing visuals, and of course, incredible acrobatics. Our seven year old daughter and I attended together, and we were both enthralled throughout the entire production. There were many young children, including babies seated near us, all of whom were entirely entertained.

TOTEM, which premiered in 2010, has enchanted over a million people, and visited more than 10 cities in North America & Europe. The show is “inspired by many founding myths between science and legend, and explores the ties that bind Man to other species and his dreams.” The production is based on the principal that we each carry the potential to fly like a thunderbird to the top of the totem pole.

There were so many incredible parts of the show, including the use of Russian bars, a rings trio, roller skates, perches, a hoops dancer, fixed trapeze duo, unicycles, and so much more! Of course, the costumes are incredible, and the set design and choreography are top notch. I can’t say that there was a certain part of the show that was my favorite, because the entire production was astounding. It even received a standing ovation!

The production is running in San Diego through May 27, 2012. TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil would be an incredible gift to a mom for Mother’s Day, and Cirque du Soleil is offering certain tickets for select performances discounted 25%. Click HERE for more a sneak preview of the show, as well as info about the discount available. Now that I’ve been to the show, I know I’d love the gift of TOTEM myself!

Photos courtesy of TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil.

Our Incredible Nature Week

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Exploring Tidepools in Del Mar

This past week we had an incredible time discovering nature. Our adventures included a trip to the San Elijo Nature Center, a hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve, Tidepooling in Del Mar, a Mommy & Me Class at SEA LIFE Aquarium, and simple things like making a stop above The Flower Fields, to catch a glance of their beauty.

We discovered that the humming bird that nested at our house last year is back for another year of nesting. We spotted a high jumping grasshopper, and admired a ladybug we found at the playground above the beach in Del Mar. We had a wonderful time adventuring with Michele, & her family, from Fun Orange County Parks.com. All in all, it was a great week discovering nature.

Most every day in SoCal could be an incredible time to get out and discover the natural beauty that surrounds us. Many of these opportunities are free, & can be found as close as our own backyards or neighborhood parks. What are your plans or ideas to discover nature? Give us some good ideas, and perhaps we’ll see you there!

Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon ~ A Tail Wagging Good Time!

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Helen Woodward's Surf-A-Thon

Helen Woodward Animal Center is hosting the sixth annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, the largest surf dog contest in the country, at Dog Beach in Del Mar, from 8am-2pm on Sunday, September 25th! The event, which is presented by Eukanuba, includes a service dog tribute to police and search and rescue dogs as well as more than 80 dogs hitting the waves to raise awareness of and money for orphaned pets while promoting responsible pet ownership.

The event also features the Beach Bum Bikini Babe Canine Costume Contest; Doo the Dah, where people and pets in costume surf together to raise funds for Helen Woodward Animal Center; more than 70 interactive vendor booths; and the induction of the first dog into the HWAC Surf Dog Hall of Fame.

Celebrity judges Tyana Alvarado from NBC’s The Apprentice, Craig Silke from ABC’s The Mole, Dennis Luciani from NBC’s Average Joe, Mark Munoz and Michael Munoz from CBS’ Amazing Race and Gillian Larson from CBS’s Survivor will be judging the costume contest and Doo the Dah.

The Surf Dog competition will be judged by some of top riders from Volcom, other pros and surfing aficionados.

surfdogsWHERE:
Dog Beach in Del Mar

WHEN:
Sunday, September 25 from 8am – 2pm

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
8:00am ~ Service Dog tribute featuring police and surf & rescue dogs
8:30am – 9:10am ~ Small Dog Surf Heats
9:15am – 9:55am ~ Medium Surf Dog Heats
10:00am – 10:45am ~ Beach Bum and Bikini Babe Canine Costume Contest
10:30am – 11:10am ~ Large Dog Surf Heats
11:20am – 12pm ~ Doo the Dah (Human Surfing Contest)
12pm – 12:40pm ~ Extra Large Surf Dog Heats
1:00pm – 1:20pm ~ Best In Surf Competition
1:30pm ~ Awards Ceremony honoring top competitors & the first dog voted into the Surf Dog Hall of Fame

About Eukanuba
Eukanuba offers the most complete food lineup, delivering nutrition that is customized by breed and breed size as well as health and performance requirements. Eukanuba is a division of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). Visit them on the Web at www.eukanuba.com or at Facebook.com/Eukanuba.

About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.

For more information, visit www.surfdog.kintera.org or call 760-756-4117. Looks like a fun time! Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Update:
The Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon was a great event today! The SoCal Kids & I loved attending, and seeing all the dogs (and their owners) having a great time. We received word that the event helped raise over $100,000 to help orphaned animals. Such success! Details are below:

“Del Mar, CA (Sept. 25, 2011) – Helen Woodward Animal Center announced today that more than $100,000 was raised during the sixth annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon presented by Eukanuba. The event, which was held today at Dog Beach in Del Mar, is the largest surfing dog competition in the nation, attracting people and pets from all over the world. Eighty dogs competed but only one was named “top dog” – Surf Dog Buddy from Ventura. Buddy, who has won five of the six Surf Dog Surf-A-Thons also became the first inductee into the Surf Dog Hall of Fame during the event.

Bruce Hooker, Buddy’s owner, spoke during the Hall of Fame Ceremony stating that today was most likely the last race for the 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. “That last heat was probably the best of Buddy’s life,” said Hooker, who went on to say “Helen Wodward Animal Center hosts the best Surf Dog Competition and we are so proud to represent.”

More than just dogs surfing, the Surf-A-Thon featured a tribute to working dogs including police, search and rescue and service dogs. Other activities included the Beach Bum Bikini Babe Canine Costume Contest; Doo the Dah, where people and pets in costume surf together; and 70 vendor booths.

“It has been so exciting to see the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon grow and become more successful year after year,” said Nedra Abramson, the event organizer. “It’s a fun day at the beach for both people and pets and it is incredible that something this fun can be so beneficial to orphaned pets.”

More than 4,000 spectators gathered to watch dogs compete in four weight classes. The competition was judged by world champion tandem surfer Guy Takayama; Alex Gray from Volcom; Mike Emerson and Pat McGriff from the Swami’s Surfing Association and pro surfers Sunshine Makrow and Kristy Murphy.

Several celebrities were also on hand to help judge the canine costume contest including Tyana Alvarado from NBC’s The Apprentice, Craig Silke from ABC’s The Mole, Dennis Luciani from NBC’s Average Joe and Gillian Larson from CBS’s Survivor. Mike Munoz and Mark Munoz from CBS’s Amazing Race judged Doo the Dah.

Other standout surf dogs include second place finisher, Nani and third place finisher, Dozer, both from San Diego and who took home trophies and gift baskets full of dog toys and treats. Buddy won a giant “Best in Surf” trophy, a year’s supply of Eukanuba pet food and Tagg, the Pet Tracker for his first place finish.

Surf Dog Ricochet was also honored as the top fundraiser for this year’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, raising more than $6,000 for the pets and programs of Helen Woodward Animal Center. Helen Woodward Animal Center also received a $6,500 donation Snap Tracks, the makers of Tagg.

For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center and the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, visit www.animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117.”


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*Surf Dog Photograph with girl courtesy of Helen Woodward Animal Center.*

The San Diego County Fair ~ A SoCal Family Tradition!

sdfairWe love going to the San Diego County Fair each year! It was a family tradition for me growing up, and as an adult I’ve enjoyed going with my own little family. If you plan on going, you might find some of the info below helpful in your journey; especially with kids!

Getting There:
This year, my husband thought we should try parking off site to save on parking fees. I was really hesitant, because we still use a jogger, and wasn’t sure how it was going to be bringing it (along with all our other stuff) on the bus. I went along with his idea, and to my surprise, the bus ended up working out great!

We parked at Torrey Pines High School on our first Fair visit of the year, and at the Horse Park parking lot the second time around. Horse Park is closer to the Fair, so I preferred parking there, but either are just fine. There was plenty of room under the bus for our jogger, and the kids got a kick out of riding in something other than their normal vehicles. We even got to ride on the double decker London style bus on one of our bus trips, and you can’t beat free! Here’s a LINK to some parking info.

Entry:
If you can, buy your tickets in advance to avoid ticket lines. Here’s a LINK to a Children’s Reading Certificate promotion, for free entry. By the way, if your child has a completed Reading Certificate, use it as the admission ticket, and take it straight to the ticket taker at the Fair. No need to turn it in for a ticket at the ticket booth. Easy peasy!

Also, kids 5 & under are free every day, and Tuesdays are free days for all kids! Here’s a LINK to other promotions and ticket offers. There are many ways to save on admission to the Fair!

Feeding Hungry Tummies:
Ever since we visited the Fair with our first born child, I’ve always brought food along with us. Rarely do we buy food or beverages there. It saves us time, money, and keeps us from having fried-food induced tummy aches. This year we may very well take advantage of the Kids Meal Deal, read the paragraph below to know more! Even if you do plan to buy food, I highly suggest packing some sealed drinks such as Capri Sun, snacks, and even sandwiches if you’re planning a full day at the Fair. Here’s a LINK to info about what you can and cannot bring to the Fair.

If you’re thinking about visiting the Birch Aquarium, New Children’s Museum, Living Coast Discovery Center, USS Midway, Reuben H. Fleet or Air & Space Museum with your kids this summer you might want to buy the Kids Meal Deal, for $5.99. The deal includes food, a beverage, and FREE child’s admission to the above with paid adult admission! I’m told by the Fair that participating food vendors have a sticker in their window with a picture of a boy with an astronaut helmet, and text stating that they offer the Kids Meal Deal with museum admission.

Rides:
Most rides are at least 3-4 tickets, some are more. We bought 28 for $20 at the Fair, and they went FAST! Our next visit we’ll likely buy the wrist bands (Pepsi Pay-One-Price Ride Days) for unlimited rides for the kids. Click HERE for more info about the wrist band special.

More Tips:
One more tip I have is to bring baby wipes. Regardless of if you have a child in diapers, they are awesome at cleaning when you’re away from a sink. We go through many at the Fair!

Do you have any tips not listed here? If so, we’d love to hear your ideas! If you have yet to go to the San Diego County Fair, you should definitely consider going. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

P.S. Our kids LOVED the AGVentures area in the outfield area of the racetrack, just west of the kiddie ride area. If you have young kids, be sure to take them there! Free tractor rides, free paper flower making, and lots of other free activities.

Website: San Diego County Fair
Twitter: @sdfair





Go San Diego Card: Now including admission to SeaWorld San Diego!

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