Thursday, May 30, 2013

SeaWorld San Diego's New Aquatica Waterpark

This weeks cloudy days opened up to a beautiful sunny San Diego day for a preview of the summer fun at SeaWorld San Diego's New Aquatica Waterpark. We were greeted by Kat Danganan, a member of the Aquatica PR Team. She gave us a souvenir towel, vouchers for lunch, told us a bit about the park, helped the boys get their wrist bands on, and onto the water park we went! 

Scheduled to open this weekend, Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark in San Diego not only has a 500,000 gallon wave pool and several water slides over 60 feet tall, but also dozens of Caribbean flamingos and freshwater turtles guests can view up-close and personal. All SeaWorld parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows, Aquatica does no less!

My boys and I had a great time at Aquatica today! Their favorite spot at Aquatica was the Slippity Dippity which is a toddler friendly area with several water slides and waterfalls. It was just their size and they felt comfortable to go down the waterslides which landed in a pool about a foot deep.

A favorite of mine was Big Surf Shores which is one of the largest wave pools in Southern California with swells of up to five feet. The wave pool was surrounded by a white sandy beach where guests can relax on lawn chairs or in nearby cabanas. With each of my boys at my side, the jumped and crashed into the waves each time. It was so much fun!

My boys are not swimmers so the complimentary life vests, in all sizes, which can be found throughout the park for guests to use, were helpful to keep my boys water safe!

Polynesian dancers, a tropical band, and steel drum players we scattered throughout the park which added to the summer feel to the park! The interactive performances had guests dancing too!

After playing in the water, my kids were hungry! Aquatica has a wide variety of food options! They have everything you could want. From Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos with Cilantro Slaw, to Mandarin Orange Chicken, Scallions and Chow Mein Noodles, Double Cheeseburgers, Baked Chicken Alfredo Pasta, or Crispy Calamari, they have it all! Our favorite was the Fried Chicken & Funnel Cake with Maple Syrup! Yummo! 

Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark is located at 2052 Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista, Calif. Operational dates are daily, June 1 to Sept. 2; weekends, Sept. 7 to Oct. 20. Admission is $38 for ages 10 and older; $30 for ages 3–9. Memberships for both SeaWorld California and Aquatica are available and start at $190. For more information visit or call (800) 257-4268.

Thank you to SeaWorld Aquatica for having Garcia Family make memories with you today! We can't wait to visit again! I hope you have as much fun as we did at Seaworld's Aquatica!

Sponsored Post: $1,000,000 One Million & $5,000 A Week

Growing up, I remember the Publishing Clearing House commercials with the balloons and the huge check greeting a lucky winner as they open their front door. The zeros on the check were too many for me to count back then, but I knew it was a LOT of money! My mom would say, "If I won that money..." and she'd list the things she'd do and buy - pay off bills, send some to the Philippines, pay off the house, and etc.

I'm excited to share that The Mega Prize is BACK! Well I’m sure you’d love to be the next person to win $1 Million plus $5,000 Every Week for Life in their June 30th Prize Event. Think about how amazing it would be to receive a check for $5,000 every single week for the rest of your life. In one year alone, you’d have $260,000! And on top of that, the winner would get ONE MILLION DOLLARS ON THE SPOT! Think about what you would do with $1 Million. Now think about what you would do with $5,000 a week for life. Then combine those two thoughts and THAT’S what you could do with the Mega Prize!

We all dream of winning big money! If I was so lucky to win $1 Million plus $5,000 Every Week for Life I would:
1) Pay off ALL our debt (including our ridiculous mortgage on our San Diego home!) as well as the debt our my parents and in-laws
2) Come up with an investment plan to have the money last for our kids and your kids' kids!
3) Establish a scholarship for both my and my husband's high school alma mater. 
4) Start a family business - maybe my dream bakery "Boozie Cakes"
5) Travel - I've always loved to travel but haven't been able to do so lately due to the costs o doing so. I'd love to share my love of travel with my kids. 

We all ask ourselves: Would I continue working if I hit the Mega Prize? I think I would, at least for a little bit! 

What would you do if you won $1,000,000 dollars PLUS $5,000/week for life? Enter to win at Publishers Clearing House and get access to great deals. Enter Now here!
Special thanks to Publishers Clearing House for sponsoring today’s discussion

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mothers day at the Garcia's

I wish, as I do each year, I can just relax and have a day to myself for Mothers' Day. Get my nails done, maybe a massage, some shopping, and a nice long nap. Not yet in my five years of being a mommy have I been able to have a Mothers' Day all to myself. Having a day to myself really goes against my nature of my wanting to do things for others. Anyone who knows me knows I like to celebrate others and enjoy the company of friends and family. So, although I wish for a "day to myself", I don't really think I'd enjoy it as much as I think I would. 

This year's Mothers' Day actually was a weekend long celebration starting off with a Mothers' Day Eve lunch at our house. A few of my aunts, my grandma, my mom, mother-in-law, and, of course, myself were the guests of honor! 
Our guests
Hubby, his mommy, cousin, and our boys
My Mama and I

My Mommy and I
My cousin Tara, who works for famous Chef Brian Malarkey, prepared an awesome meal including grilled steak and chicken, pork roulade, salad, Isreali couscous, and much more.

I baked a few Ube Cupcakes and bought a few pastries from Big Joy Bakery

My centerpiece flowers are from Wholesale Flowers off of Morena Boulevard. I love that place! So many flowers to choose from and great prices! The tablecloths and placemats were a great find at Big Lots

I also prepared a few simple gifts for our guests because they are all awesome moms!

My 92 year old grandma is the real reason I planned the Mothers' Day Eve lunch. I love to see her happy and surrounded by some of her 10 living children. Here she is trying on some of the "bling" she received as gifts. 

The following day, actual Mother's Day, was also a celebration of my in-law 40th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a yummy brunch at Lei Lounge. The bottomless mimosas were a hit!

After brunch, we headed home where one of my initial Mothers' Day wishes came true: a nice long nap. 

I'm so blessed to be a mommy to two awesome little boys! I'm even more blessed to have a mom who, through good times and bad, sickness and health, has been the epitome of strength and optimism. I'm blessed to have a grandma who has taught me that being a mom can sometimes make you a little crazy, but in the end it's all worth it. And my mother-in-law who I appreciate for loving me like one of her own kids. 

Happy Belated Mothers' Day to all the awesome mommies out there! Cheers!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Disneyland's new Fantasy Faire

Check out our latest fun at Disneyland on my latest addition to SD Moms Blog!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Learning Apps for Kids

My sons, 2 and 5 years old, love their technology. Since they were a few months old, they quickly learned the “swipe” of the smartphone. Thanks to our tablets and smartphones, our boys quickly learned their alphabet, numbers, and shapes. As early as the age of two, our boys both could read thanks to the apps that help with the learning of letters and sounds. In our home, we have both Apple and Android devices (daddy works in the industry). Although both devices have options for learning applications for young people, I’ve found Apple has more of a variety of quality learning apps for kids.

Check out the rest of my article and my app recommendations on my contribution this week on San Diego Moms Blog!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Unexpected trip to San Francisco

The end of March brought sad news of one of our dear family members who had passed away. One of my great-aunts, passed away after a battle with failing health and old age. It brings me peace to know though she raised 12 awesome children who, learned from her, understand what "family" really means. They cherish family gatherings and take advantage of every opportunity to share with one another the special moments in life. Every Christmas, all 12 children and 26 grandchildren come together to laugh, sing, and have a great time together. Mama Anching, the name I called her, always had a smile on her face, welcomed my husband when he joined the family, helped take care of me when I was younger, and is a model wife and mother for me to emulate.

The wake and funeral were to take place in San Francisco, and after some thought, we decided to go and pay our last respects. We packed our bags and our two boys into the care for the day long drive from San Diego to San Francisco. We started at 4AM thought darkness, then fog and drizzle up the 5 North then 101 North.

As we approached San Francisco, we stopped in Mountain View, California to surprise our 5 year old with a quick drive through and photo opportunities at the Google campus. He loves technology and is an avid user of Google products. He knows how to use Google drive, maps, search, apps, and more. He has his own Google Nexus 7 which he's customized himself! At the Google campus, we saw a few Google bikes, a Google self-driving car, the van that takes the images for Google maps, several Android status, and more! We weren't able to go inside any of the buildings, but there was lots to see on the outside.

The Garcia Bros. on Garcia Avenue

Google maps imaging car

Garcia Bros and the Andriod Team: Fro-Yo, Gingerbread, Eclair, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, and Jellybean

Google Self-driving car
Google campus bikes
Once in San Francisco, we attending the wake and funeral. My 5 year old had lots of questions about Heaven, death, and old age. In his short life, he's had a few of his relatives pass away. We are open in our discussion about death and Heaven with him. He's asked, "Mom? Grandpa Sergio, Papa Julian, Lolo Peping, and Mama Anching are all together in Heaven?" and "Do kids go to Heaven?". We try and answer these questions are delicately as possible. Since Heaven is described as such a wonderful place in Sunday School, I guess he thinks its not so bad to leave the earthly life for Heaven. It's neat to see his little brain working when he asks his insightful questions.

The visit to San Francisco was bittersweet because the trip was initiated because of a passing away of a family member, but it gave my husband and I a chance to share San Francisco with our kids. San Francisco is a very special place for my husband and I.

San Francisco is the place where I was proposed to, so we brought our sons to the Palace of Fine Arts to the exact place my husband got on one knee and asked "Will you marry me?".

San Francisco is also the place where I ran my first 1/2 marathon, a great accomplishment for me. I pointed out key spots in the city where I ran during the 13.1 miles back in 2011.

We also visited a few other spots:

Golden Gate Bridge
See the bridge hidden amongst the fog and rain?

Lucas Films and Yoda Fountain at the Presidio

On our way home back down the 101 South and 5 South, we stopped at Casa de Fruta to grab a bite to eat and let the kids get their sillies out before the long ride home.

Train ride around the farm for my boys! Daddy looks so happy!
Quick weekend trip to San Francisco was a reminder of the short life we all have. Some pass away after a long life, others leave life with shorter time lived. The death of a loved one always reminds me of the brevity of life. It is a reminder to me to cherish the moments we have and to live life in the moment. It is a lesson my husband and I try to teach our children everyday: be thankful for all our blessings, love and care for those who love and care for us, and never take anything for granted.
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