Posts tagged Family
The Great Pacific Airshow - 7 Tips for Spectating with a Toddler

Drew and I both grew up going to airshows as kids. Drew has always been into aviation, his major was originally aerospace engineering. He flew RC planes, took flight simulator classes, and even flew in a glider once. I grew up next to Edwards Air Force Base and we constantly got previews of the latest and greatest secret projects from the military. For years we’ve talked about going to an airshow together but we just haven’t been able to make it to one.

Finally, a free weekend allowed us to finally check out the Great Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach. Drew was so excited to take Evelyn to her first show and let her experience one of his favorite things. It was pretty special. Evelyn had the best time enjoying the beach while catching an airshow. Unlike seeing an airshow at a military base, where there may have not been a ton of things to keep her busy and occupied, the beach is her all time favorite place. She was definitely interested in the planes, the bigger ones specifically. However, I think her favorite thing was just sharing some time with her Daddy.

Since my tips from my apple picking blog were so well received, I figured I’d share some of my top tips to taking your kids to the Great Pacific Air Show as well.

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1. Go on a Friday! Friday is technically a rehearsal for the Saturday and Sunday performances however the crowds are significantly smaller. Parking was an absolute breeze and NOT inflated for the event, we parked directly across the street in a parking structure. The beach was busy, but we still had about 100 feet around us from the next set of people making it perfect for our toddler to have the room to run and play where she wanted. Our favorite burger place in the area (TK Burger) wasn’t inundated with crowds at lunch time, this kid loves “burger-fries”. I think going on a Friday significantly improved our time at the show.

2. Find a good spot! We had a great spot for the show. They have tickets for sale in the grand stands that range from basic general admission to VIP private booth status but watching it from the beach is free! We wanted to be somewhat close to the bathrooms for Evelyn so we found a spot about half way between the pier and the hotels. It was a perfect spot. All of the tricks seemed to be right in front of us. We couldn’t imagine paying for better seats. Depending on your situation, you can get as close to the water as you want. We stayed farther back so that we wouldn’t be chasing Evelyn in the waves constantly while we tried to watch the show and to get a little more room between us and the pretty loud jets.

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3. Bring ear protection for everyone. The first part of the show are biplanes, refueling demos, and quieter planes but by the end of the show it can get fairly loud. The jets are the main attraction basically so they usually come at the end of the show and Drew was taking a cute picture of Evelyn holding onto her shovel when the jets happened to show up. I felt so bad for not catching it before it scared her, but these fighter jets are known for sneaking up on you. That’s their whole purpose! However, as soon as we put those headphones on her, she was fine! I was so proud of her! We also brought ear plugs for Drew and I just in case. We didn’t need them, however I’m glad I had them in case it got too loud for us. Besides the loud noises, the jets were definitely the favorite of ours.

4. Be flexible. Evelyn did great with the loud jets once she had her headphones. I even figured maybe she’d sit on my lap during that part of the show however she was content to dig her sand castles and watch the show on her own. Occasionally running back to me . However, we saw many kids about Evelyn’s age freaking out and having to leave. Some even had the headphones on. These jets are intense and they are incredibly close to you. These fighter pilots are the best of the best and I was never worried about safety but to a toddler, it might be too intense and too difficult to understand. So be prepared to have to leave if your toddler isn’t feeling it.

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5. Bring shade. This is one thing I wish we had done better. Thank goodness we had the Keenz with us, which by the way, it is the absolute best stroller wagon ever! It didn’t hit us that we would be sitting on a beach from 11-4:30 PM in the sun. Being in the direct sun during those hours for that long, we really could’ve used an EZ-UP or umbrellas. I was really good on the sunscreen for Evelyn (not for myself though, ouch!) and she had a blast sitting and playing inside of her Keenz when she didn’t feel like being in the sun luckily. Lesson learned though, bring shade or shelter next time. If it was cloudy and rainy, you’ll want the protection and if it’s hot and sunny, you’ll want the shade.

6. That being said, pack for the beach too! Bring the sunscreen, the sand toys, the beach chairs, snacks, water, wet wipes, swim suits, etc. There is a break between performances and that was the best time to play in the water or help build a sand castle.

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7. Lastly, bring the camera! Much like anything new with toddler, I didn’t know how Evelyn was going to do with an airshow. The loud planes during the middle of her nap time could’ve easily backfired but we ended up having an amazing time together on the beach doing something special with her Daddy. Drew was in heaven capturing the moments of introducing his daughter to one of his most favorite things, he had a big goofy grin on his face most of the day.

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I know this will not be the last time we do this as a family together, it was so special for Drew and I know he secretly hopes it will always be special to Evelyn. Besides lunch, all we had to pay for was parking so there really isn’t an excuse not to do our best to make this a tradition.

Location: The Great Pacific Airshow

Evelyn’s Swimsuit: Minnow Swim

Evelyn’s Headphones: Baby Banz

Stroller Wagon: Keenz Stroller Wagon

Because Oceans Tote: Unblushing Co.

The Apple of my Eye - 7 Tips for Apple Picking with a Toddler

We recently found a random morning where we had nothing planned and the weather was looking reasonable to spend a day outdoors. Lately it’s been in the high eighties and so the idea of some cooler weather had us itching to spend some time enjoying some fresh air.
Drew and I both have been apple picking as kids, and it must’ve had an impact on us because we were both so eager to take Evelyn apple picking. Everything fell into place perfectly. We had a free morning, on a cool day, in the fall, for some pickin’.

It was really hard to find out which apple farm to visit. There are a ton of farms, all with different amenities in addition to apple picking. There was also some drama surrounding some of the apple farms last year and after we double checked to make sure we weren’t going to any farms involved, we decided on Los Rios Rancho and are so grateful we did! They had several different types of apples to pick, handy guides located throughout their huge orchards, you could pick other types of fruits and even pumpkins. Across the street they had a grocery store, bakery, restaurant, petting zoo, horse rides, and a big park. Easily could fill up an entire day.

Having now been apple picking with a toddler, here are a few of my top tips if you are visiting an apple orchard.

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1. Try and go on a cool day. We were able to spend hours in the orchards because the weather was so perfect. It was crisp and cool like a real fall day which is very hard to come by in Southern California. I am so grateful we waited for this weather, a week prior it had almost reached 100 degrees and I can’t imagine that being fun at all. Hiking through the orchards, picking apples, and chasing a toddler was exhausting and it was nice to at least have the cooler temperatures to balance it all out a bit. These apple trees don’t offer shade, so if it is sunny, be prepared. Lots of sunscreen, hats, and water!

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2. Don’t wear your good shoes. I was super naive in thinking how “farm” like things were going to be. It was a real functioning apple orchard and my Tieks (albeit comfy) and Evelyn’s favorite Old Soles shoes took a massive beating. Wear your crummy shoes, jeans you aren’t attached too, and if you have a toddler, a lot of wet wipes. Evelyn tripped a lot on weeds, apples that had fallen, and hoses. She got filthy. Sap from the trees made her sticky. When I would pick her up, her muddy shoes would rub on my jeans and jacket and so I ended up filthy as well. So wear the grubby clothes.

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3. Bring a change of shoes! On top of bringing wet wipes to wipe hands and faces, bring a pair of shoes for the car home. Regardless of the weather, there is a lot of dirt. For us, with the fog and rain, it was muddy. But even on a sunny day, your are going to end up dusty. To avoid tracking too much into the car, I wish I would have brought everyone an extra pair of shoes.

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4. Get there early! Especially if the weather is cooler. I didn’t know what to expect so we got there very early since Evelyn still really needs her midday nap. So we got there around 9:15 AM when the orchard opened up at 9 AM. When we got there, we might have been the 15th family to arrive. We left around 11 AM and by then there were probably over 80 families. It was packed and parking was insane. So if you go during summer, get there early when weather is cooler and sun is lower. And if it is a cool day, go early because everyone and their mother is going to be there.

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5. Make bathroom arrangements for littles! So we are still sort of potty training. She’s doing great but I’m not ready to trust her in an portable toilet. These are functional farms so most of them don’t have regular bathrooms to use. I brought Evelyn her portable potty and home girl just used it in the back of my hatchback. It’s not ideal but I felt much better about it and we made it through the whole day with no accidents.

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6. Bring snacks! You are not allowed to eat apples while in the orchard, although Evelyn broke that rule when I wasn’t looking for .2 seconds. She had a blast and it wore her out and she got a really big appetite. We had some snacks luckily but if we didn’t have those, she would’ve gotten hangry. A tired and hangry toddler is the worst combo.

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7. Bring your camera! I had no idea what to expect from this adventure. In my head, I kinda thought Evelyn would get tired of the whole thing rather quickly which is why we went to someplace that had other offerings than just picking apples. However, she loved picking apples and running through the orchards. I thought we may get 20 minutes from her and we did almost 2 hours! She was having such fun, and she was so obliging with all the pictures I was taking of her. We all had the best time being outside and enjoying each other’s company.

I love doing things like this as a family. At the end of the day, it’s just the three of us. We are our whole world and I love that we can do these adventures together and I pray that they bring us all closer.

Location: Los Rios Rancho - Oak Glen, California

Evelyn’s Jacket: Old Navy

Evelyn’s Bow: Little Poppy Co.

Evelyn’s Jeans: Cat and Jack

Evelyn’s Shoes: Old Sole Shoes