Tuesday, February 7, 2017

That Time CC Got Starstruck While Meeting the 'Odd Squad' Cast

CC meeting the talented kids from PBS Kids series "Odd Squad."
PBS Kids had big news to share at this year's Television Critics Association event at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena.

Starting January 16, the kid-friendly channel went 24/7 all over the country. Before, it was only part of the regular PBS programming, but the organization wanted to reach out to families whose kids thrived on access to the channel in the later weekday hours (when it was usually back to adult programming).

That's especially great for young children who don't have access to high-quality preschool and need that extra boost from educational shows like "Sesame Street" or "Odd Squad."

Speaking of "Odd Squad," I had the chance to interview the kids from the show for Mom.me (where I'm the senior editor), and I was able to bring CC, too. Honestly, that kind of blew her mind.

We talked to Ms. O (Millie Davis), Olympia (Anna Cathcart) and Otis (Isaac Kragten) during a Facebook Live broadcast and learned everything from their favorite episodes to what they dream about becoming when they grow up.

But before that, when CC and I got to the hotel, we happened to arrive at the registration desk at the same time as the "Odd Squad" trio, and CC let out an audible gasp. She almost couldn't speak, which is very rare for her.

Luckily, I was able to snap this adorable picture of the four of them! What a memory.

Check out our interview on Mom.me's Facebook page.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ditching the Strip in Las Vegas

CC, Will and I took a trip to Vegas and saw the Seven Magic Mountains.
Wow, it's been a while, right?! I've got lots to catch you up on, so let's start here.

Over Christmas break near the end of 2016, CC, Will and I took a road trip to Las Vegas to visit a couple of our cousins. One of our cousins, who was basically my mom's BFF growing up, lives there, and her daughter was visiting.

We had the time (Ian was working), and I've been trying to make a point of seeing more family since we don't really have that in Los Angeles.

Well, we had such a great time, and we didn't even hit the Strip. Not once. We drove past it coming and going, but we didn't even catch a single fountain show at the Bellagio!

It was all about family and exploring nature — which is surprisingly pretty easy to do in Vegas.

In addition to the Seven Magic Mountains sculpture, which I'd been dying to see, the kids, my cousin and I hiked around Lone Mountain, which is basically a very large hill that you can hike around and to the top.

Hiking Lone Mountain.
What I loved was that the kids were able to jump out of the car and go exploring. They were able to get their hands dirty and touch rocks and cacti on parched desert trails. Of course I had to remind them to not throw rocks at each other(!), but I loved watching them make their own trails and see what the landscape had to offer.

On our way out of town, about 20-30 minutes from the Strip, we pulled off the 15 and visited the colorful rock sculpture Seven Magic Mountains, created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone.

Techicolor totems rising from the ground, the seven rock sculptures are meant to be a symbol of the natural and the artificial coming together — kind of like Vegas itself. There's the natural desert landscape mingled with the artificial creation of a booming U.S. city and all of the (sometimes neon) accoutrements that come with it.

The sculptures, which you can see from the highway, are beautiful and accessible. Parking is easy, and don't forget water (just a good idea no matter where you are in the desert.) And they'll only be at their location until spring 2018!

Here's info from the site about getting there:

From Los Angeles: Drive north on I-15 to Jean, NV (exit 12).  Turn right (east) on NV-161 toward Las Vegas Blvd. Drive approximately 5 miles north on Las Vegas Blvd. and the artwork will appear on your right (east).
Please park in the onsite parking lot. Street parking is discouraged. No public transportation is available to the installation site.
It's definitely worth seeing!


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