Archive for the ‘Family Travel’ Category

Science Fun: Frazil Ice in Yosemite

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Want to see Mother Nature’s Slurpee machine? Check out this excellent video on “frazil ice,” an early spring phenomenon in Yosemite National Park. This is a great video to share with the kids. (Thanks to my dad, Paul Penick, for sharing it with me!)

How HERE’S a Car Commercial a Parent Can Love

Friday, January 14th, 2011

A few months ago, I wrote about the obnoxious Toyota Highlander campaign that features a bratty kid. Ugh.

Well, I’m happy to report that Subaru has created an ad that makes me smile. I think parents everywhere will enjoy this one. And it just happens that I’m also a very happy Subaru Forester owner. (That’s Matt and me in Yosemite last year, showing off our “I’d Rather Be Going to Yosemite” license-plate frame — which you can’t read in the pic!)

Check out that ad. Kudos to Subaru. And again, get a clue, Toyota. We’ve had enough with the bratty kids.

Our Most Popular Posts: Disneyland, Bullying, Girls’ Sexy Costumes… And Some Truly Obnoxious Commercials

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

It’s always interesting to look at the stats for Parent Talk Today to see the list of the most-popular posts. (If you ever want to check out the current popular posts, just look in the right sidebar.)

As we head into 2011, here are the most-popular posts:

For 2011, what would you like to see us talk about here? This is YOUR place to discuss parenting issues, from pregnancy through college. I’d love to have your suggestions. Thanks for all your support!

Consumer Reports Wants to Ask Your High Schooler About Distracted Driving

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Consumer Reports is surveying high school students about their attitudes and practices regarding distracted driving. And they need your help.

If your child is in high school, please ask him or her to take this quick Survey Monkey survey. When the results are published this spring, I’ll link to them here. Thanks!

(Note: I’m the social-media reporter for Consumer Reports. Follow me on Twitter at @CReporter for all the latest consumer news! You can also follow me at @kathysena.) And be sure to check out the wonderful Consumer Reports blogs.

Why I Won’t be Buying a Toyota Highlander - or Van de Kamp’s Fish Sticks

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Please do me a favor and watch these two ads, then read the post, below. I really want your opinion on this…

I’ve owned two Toyotas in my life. I don’t have anything against Toyotas. But I won’t be buying any car that is advertised with a bratty kid looking up from his video game and saying “I don’t tolerate dorkiness very well. Yet my parents cart me around in a car that says ‘Hi, we’re the geek family.’” The tag line spoken by the kid at the end: “Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you have to be lame.”

Oh, and the young man is walking around pontificating while his hard-working (but apparently lame) dad is working away in the driveway, washing the “dorky” family car.

I know it’s just an ad. But as a parent, I’m wondering… Does Toyota think I’m so worried that my kid won’t think I’m cool that I’ll buy a vehicle because our dear little children “don’t tolerate dorkiness very well”? Give me a break.

Somebody needs to tell Toyota and its ad agency to give the Little Prince a bit less video-game time and to introduce him to a bucket of water and a sponge.

Then there’s the ad for Van de Kamp’s fish sticks. The adorable-looking little girl says to her mother, who just served her fish sticks: “What is this, minced? You feed me minced? You ever catch a minced fish?” After Mom switches to another brand, the little cherub says “This is more like it.”

What scares me the most? The fact that Toyota and Van de Kamp are probably having success with these ad campaigns — which says something about the current state of parenthood. Me? I’ll buy my cars and my fish elsewhere. What do you think of these ads?

Mickey’s Halloween Party is Here!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Do you live in Southern California? Plan on visiting in October? Here’s something you and your family won’t want to miss…

Mickey’s Halloween Party is a private-party celebration (how cool is that?) held for 10 nights in October at Disneyland, offering adults and children a chance to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at the resort. It’s scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays in October (1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 and 29) plus Halloween night, Sunday, Oct. 31.

Highlights include:

—  Trick or Treating at Disneyland, with even more treats along “Mickey’s Hide-and-Go-Treat Trail.”

—  Looking for Boo on the Bayou Trail, Enchanted Sweets Trail and elsewhere.

—  During the 10 nights, guests will enjoy nearly half a million pounds (yikes!) of candy — and even some healthy treats such as apple slices, carrots, raisins and dried fruit crisps.

—  The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington (presented exclusively for guests of  Mickey’s Halloween Party)

—  Dance parties (for all ages!):

°  Club Skellington, at the French Market, features Skellington Crew dancers, DJ Dirge and Miss Twisted (host), Jack & Sally Skellington

° Buzz Lightyear’s Intergalactic Space Jam includes Buzz Girl dancers, Green Army Men and Space Diva DJ, at Tomorrowland Terrace

—  New surprises in “Mickey’s Costume Party” cavalcade, performed twice nightly

—  Character photo locations featuring Mickey and his pals, princesses, pirates, Disney villains and more

—  The opportunity to arrive three hours before the party starts to play in Disneyland. (I know my son would make the most of THAT time…) Nearly all your family’s favorite Disneyland rides and attractions will be available.

Tickets purchased in advance for Mickey’s Halloween Party are $49 most days, while tickets purchased on the event days are $54.  For Oct. 31, all tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party are $59. Children under age 3 are free.

Save some bucks by buying your tickets in advance and then splurge on some Mickey Mouse ears!