Category Archives: Kids Go West Videos

Someone take the Flip camera away from me.

Video Zen: View From the Top

This weekend I remembered that I don’t like to sit out, when there is fun to be had. If you’ve been reading the posts of this past week, you know that I haven’t been skiing since before my son was born. You also know that my son had a small triumph of sorts this past weekend: he got on skis for the first time.

The problem is that I only got to share in his skiing debut, from the bottom of the hill. That’s no place for me to be. I want to take him all the way to the top of the run, chatting on the chair lifts as we get there, and then race him down to the bottom.

I’ve always been there to share all of the adventures with him, so I’m determined to make it up the hill with him soon. It’s time to tune up those skis, buy some new ski pants, and work out those lazy muscles of mine.

Today I’m dreaming of hitting the slopes again. And just in case I try to talk myself out of it, I put together this little video of my son shredding down the hill (filmed courtesy of his very patient, snowboarding aunt). This is the view I want of my son skiing.

This post is dedicated to those Monday Dreamers-Backpack to Buggy and Mother of All Trips-who have also been chronicling their skiing dreams and adventures this past month.

Go check the new Monday Dreams this week at Mother of all Trips.

Video Zen: Spouting Horn Blowhole

I don’t know about you, but I need to take a bit of a breather every once in a while. I like to take a moment from my hectic days to laugh or dream or both. I’ll take my zen however I can get it.

To help myself and my fellow readers take a break from the mundane monotony of their days, I’m starting a new recurring feature here at Kids Go West. I’m calling it video zen. You’re welcome.

I have a lot of video footage from our travels. Some of the footage captures some peaceful, beautiful moments, while some of it captures a bit of the funny underside of traveling with a kid. I’m going to put together those little moments in a moving picture form so that you get to feel as if you were almost there with us. I mean, it’s as if I bring ya’ll into my living room or suitcase every week, so the videos will make us even cozier.

This week I’m taking you to the island of Kauai to see the Spouting Horn Blowhole. This is one of nature’s marvels, or freaky occurrences, it depends on how you see it. The waves rush in under a shelf of lava rocks and up through an opening. The plumes of water that shoot out can reach heights of fifty feet. They also create a low, blowing sound as the water shoots up. So sit back, turn up the volume on your computer, and check out the almost hypnotic sprays of water.

The Spouting Horn Blowhole can be found in the Poipu resort area of Kauai. It is only a few miles away from Poipu Beach and a very easy walk from the road. You will find plenty of parking, a bathroom, and some stalls selling souvenirs.

We’re linking up our video zen to Mother of All Trip’s Monday Dreaming. Extend your little zen break and go check out the cool posts.

Poipu Family Travel Tips

Dreaming of Alii Kula Lavender Farm

You smell the lavender before you see it. So as we pulled up to the Alii Kula Lavender farm, we were already a little drunk with the fragrance filling the car. It’s such a soothing smell too. It took all my willpower to not lay down on the lawns surrounding the purple fields and let the lavender breezes soothe me to sleep.

But unfortunately for me, the lavender scent did not have the same calming effect on a seven year-old boy. While I saw a place for quiet reflection, he saw open land to explore.

So we hiked around the lavender fields and then down the garden trails looking for clues on the Lavender Scavenger Hunt. You can pick up your scavenger hunt clue card at the gift shop and then set out to find the stamps hidden throughout the farm. When my son filled his card with the stamps, he took it back to the gift shop and got a lavender cookie as a prize. This was an easy way to explore at our own pace, since we didn’t have time for a scheduled tour. I made sure we didn’t leave before we tried their tea, lavender scones, and lavender brownies out on the balcony overlooking Maui. I sat there pondering how I would retire, come to Maui, and become a lavender farmer. I’m still working out the logistics.

There is no way to really share the experience of sitting at the top of the Maui’s upcountry, overlooking fields of lavender, and the valleys and ocean below. I’m going to count on your powers of imagination. Here’s a short video of a 360-degree view of the lavender fields. It may make you a little dizzy, but just imagine that it’s because you’re drunk with joy and not because this is the first video I made with my Flip camera.

I do hope that it helps you experience this little piece of lavender heaven. Enjoy my Monday dreaming and go check out Mother of All Trips this week, she’s helping raise money to build a school in Cambodia.

Today’s Tip: Making Video Lemonade

Every year we take a day trip to visit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Santa Cruz, California. I have been making that same trip since I was a kid, so I have it down to a science. I remember to pack a picnic, check that the weather will be warm enough to see the fluttery, little buggers, and to bring the binoculars.

On a particular trip last year, I wanted to capture my son and the butterflies on video. I made all sorts of plans for my first video blogging production. So, of course, I forgot the video camera. I got mad-and said a few choice words-when I remembered that I had forgotten the one piece of equipment I didn’t want to forget that day. But, I was determined. I decided to get some video footage with the seldom used video button on my point and shoot camera. I was trying to teach my son that when the going gets tough, the tough makes lame attempts. It’s a lesson I have taught him well. Sigh.

I couldn’t let the idea for a butterfly video production die, so I edited last year’s crappy attempt into this week’s video. I should title it: Our Trip to Visit the Butterflies, A Comedy of Errors. But, that’s just too long.

The butterflies are back to their winter homes all along the California Coast in October. If you’re planning your own visit to the sanctuary in Natural Bridges State Park, then read my tips post. Just add one more tip, don’t forget the video camera.

President Obama’s Inauguration at LEGOLAND

img_1547So you missed the historical inauguration of President Obama? No worries, because you can relive the whole thing at LEGOLAND, California. That’s right, you will see the President, the First Lady, the crowds, the limos, and the people waiting in line for the portable toilets. Of course, it is all made out of LEGOS.

In the Miniland section of LEGOLAND, there is a replica of Washington D.C. that has recently been updated to honor President Obama’s historical moment. You will see the limos carrying the president through the streets of the capitol and also the area replicating the inauguration, complete with President Obama’s taped speech.

If you’re dying to see this plastic presidential monument, then I have a video for you. There isn’t any narration, just a bit of historic footage. Happy President’s Day.

Carlsbad Family Travel Tips

Video: Eating Burritos on the Beach

If you caught my family travel tip on Tuesday, then you know it was the first installment of: Kids Go West Guide to Saving While on Your Family Vacation…phew, that’s a mouthful. So here’s a short video of our experience on the beach in Maui. I was all set to narrate, but then I heard all the wonderful commentary and narration already on the video. I decided to keep it just as is. I want you to get a real feel for the moment. 

Money-Saving Travel Rule #1: Eat Burritos on the Beach