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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Snapshots from the weekend 7/15

[Bang burger from Stuffed. SO GOOD!]


[La Jolla Shores]




[Hubba hubba]


[Sand pit at The Crack Shack in Encinitas.]




[He wants to be just like his dad.]


[Buttons from our visit to Wonderspaces.]



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wonderspaces Through the Eyes of a Toddler

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

Wonderspaces is a pop-up arts celebration that engages your sight, touch and hearing through 16 different exhibits. Each exhibit was an immersive experience that made Parker feel everything from exhilaration, joy, temporary fear and nervousness. Parker was very engaged as we explored the exhibits and asked so many questions including "Can I touch it?", "Can we get closer?", and "Can you eat that? Is it an egg?" as we stood there watching Blooms (the answer was no). Most of the patrons were adults but there were a few kids there who all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I would say the only exhibits that were not kid-friendly were the VR films. I've always tried to be an artful parent and I'm so glad this pop-up came to town!  Hurry and get your tickets before the pop-up closes July 31.

Wonderspaces
June 2-July 31
Civita Blvd and Russell Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
Adults $24
Kids (3-12) $16
**price does not include fees

Mom tips:
-Wonderspaces is located on a dusty dirt lot. Unless you want dirty toes, wear closed-toe shoes. 
-Sign up for the VR films you want to watch once you get through the door. Some of the waits were over an hour.  
-Civita Park is across the street and the perfect place for a picnic pre/post visiting Wonderspaces. 
-Most exhibits were housed inside the air-conditioned tent making this a great hot day activity.
-The space is stroller-friendly. 
-There is a snack bar inside with a limited selection of snacks and drinks.

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Pulse Portal]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Neon Tunnel]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[The Last Word]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Sweet Spot]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Daydream V2 scared Parker a little. He said it looked like two big owl eyes.]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Not Myself Today really made us all think about how we were feeling at the moment.]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[I explained the exhibit to Parker and he picked "sensitive" and "stressed".]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[We had a fun time making our colorful shadows dance in You + Your Shadows]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[ADA is a giant helium filled ball with charcoal nubs that mark the wall when it hits. I'm so glad we had baby wipes to clean up with after this! Tuan accidentally hit Parker with the ball and he had giant marks all over his face and shirt.]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Come Together]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[On Tilt was hands down Parker's favorite exhibit. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[Parker tried to shake all their hands when I told him it was time to go. He really fell in love with this exhibit.]

wonderspaces, san diego, discover san diego, art, art installation, art pop-up
[A Religious Experience was my favorite exhibit. It really made me feel like I was alone in the universe for a moment.]

If you are looking for resources on how to be a more artful parent, check out these great kids art blogs.

The Artful Parent *I have one of Jean's books in my library and it's fantastic.
Art Bar
Meri Cherry
TinkerLab put together a really good list of high-quality art education blogs for kids of all ages.









Wednesday, July 12, 2017

10 Kid-Friendly Places to Eat & Explore in Nashville

Nashville is a soulful city steeped in country music culture full of good eats and live music. We didn't plan much before heading to there because I was mostly going to be working and Tuan said he would just "wing it" with Parker but thanks to recommendations from friends, family, TripAdvisor and Yelp we managed to fit a lot into our 5 days in Music City, USA. The list below is in no particular order except for #1. You can't go to Nashville without eating hot chicken! 

Shout out to my husband for basically being a single dad for 5 days while I worked. You're the best, babe.


We landed in Nashville around 2 PM on a rainy Friday. After checking into the Omni, we took an Uber straight to Hattie B's and stood in line in the rain to try the much hyped hot chicken. Hattie B's did not disappoint! The chicken and all the sides were delicious and so perfect after a long flight. Hattie B's has a few tables inside and picnic-style tables outside on their covered patio. It's casual and was perfect for Parker who is currently allergic to sitting in chairs. 

Mom tip: Kid-friendly menus were available everywhere we went in Nashville. There was always some mix of chicken tenders, french fries and mac n cheese.

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

2. Rocket Fizz

While I was working long hours at an expo, Tuan and Parker bought every kind of sour candy they could get their hands on to replicate some sour candy challenge that Parker saw on YouTube. They really hit the motherlode when we found Rocket Fizz candy shop while strolling 2nd street. Every shelf in this charming little candy shop was loaded with sweets and old school sodas.



family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

3. Mike's Ice Cream

After chowing down on BBQ at Peg Leg Porker's, we wanted to hit up Jeni's Splended Ice Cream but it was closed so we went to Mike's Ice Cream instead. I'm glad we did too because it was delicious and the perfect way to cool down in the Nashville heat.

Mom tip: Many places are closed or close early on Sundays.

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel


It's hard for us to be impressed by zoos since the world famous San Diego Zoo is in our hometown. However, the Nashville Zoo did have some things that we don't have at home. Parker was really excited to pet a kangaroo and play in the incredible jungle gym. He was really impressed by the poisonous frogs and snakes on display at the zoo. 

Mom tip: An Uber to the zoo was about $20. 

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel


The city of Nashville is bordered by the Cumberland River and you would really be missing out if you didn't take a stroll across the pedestrian bridge. The views of the skyline from the bridge are incredible. It was great to watch the action on the river below as well.

Mom tip: Everything in downtown Nashville is easily walkable. If you don't feel like walking, Ubers and Lyfts are readily available. 




Parker's favorite exhibits at the Adventure Science Center were BodyQuest, a hands on exploration of the human body which included a fart slide, and Dino Rumble, an exhibit of dinosaurs that move and growl. Tuan said they spent a long time building robots out of blocks. I really wish I could have been there to experience it in person.

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel



family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel


Our room at the Omni faced Martin's BBQ and there seemed to be a line there no matter what time of day it was. So on our last day in Nashville, we waited until the line looked a little shorter and made our way across the street to experience it for ourselves. Martin's specializes in whole hog BBQ and the meat and sides were delicious. After our meal, we checked out the backyard beer garden and one of the staff was kind enough to give us a peek of the whole hog pits. Tuan was in BBQ heaven. What an incredible experience.

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

8. Omni Nashville

We had a great experience staying on the top floor of the Omni Nashville. Our room was spacious, clean and the staff was friendly. Parker just about died when he saw our view of a working construction site (they're building a Marriott across the street). He also loved the rooftop pool which has a nice shallow end for little kids and a bar for mom and dad. The Omni is conveniently across the street from the convention center, where I spent most of my time, and connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hatch Show Print.

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel





Bonuts = biscuit + donuts. Need I say more?  This bright and modern restaurant was a nice change from all the dark, sticky BBQ places we ate at in Nashville. Like the BBQ places, however, this place also had a line out the door. Their bonuts are so good and perfect for sharing. 

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel

family travel, travel, nashville, kid travel


I don't have any photos of Puckett's but it's definitely worth adding to this list. I was in Nashville for a convention and had to work long hours. After one particularly late night, we wandered to Puckett's to pick up a to-go order and took it back to our hotel to have a late-night picnic on the bed. The pulled pork sandwich from Puckett's was very good and I can see why there is so much hype for this place. It's too bad we didn't have time to dine in and enjoy the live music.


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