Hornblower Cruise, San Diego, CA

 On my recent trip to San Diego, I was able to take some time to take a two hour boat tour with Hornblower Cruises.  I am so glad I had the chance to do this.  We were able to relax in the sun while we took in the sites of San Diego.

In the two hour tour, there is actually two separate tours where the ship actually docks briefly in between.  There’s the north and south tour and they are hugely different so I’m very glad we were able to experience both.

The south tour includes the ship yards and a much more industrial view.  The helicopters flew over head repeatedly and we noticed that they seemed to be dropping something into the water. (Later confirmed with my navy veteran father that what we were most likely seeing was SEAL training where men were being dropped into the water and swimming into shore.) And the northern portion was where I was thrilled to get to spot some sea lions and pelicans. 

 Overall, I thought Hornblower Cruises was a phenomenal experience.  I felt like I got to see a lot in two hours without feeling rushed from running from site to site.  Being able to see it all with the sun beaming down on us and the wind in our hair was even more than I expected.

Check out Hornblower on Facebook

Disclosure: Although all opinions expressed are my own, we did receive complimentary tickets for the two hour tour.  I was not compensated for a positive review.

Cirque Shanghai Extreme at Skyline Stage, Navy Pier, Chicago

This past Sunday the family hopped a train to downtown Chicago.  

We were headed for Navy Pier for Cirque Shanghai Extreme at the Skyline Stage.  If you’ve never been there, the Skylines Stage is outside on the pier but is covered and sort of enclosed.  It was a pretty warm day and without the breeze from the lake it was fairly warm in the auditorium, but once the show started we never even noticed.

I’ve never been to a Cirque show but they always look exciting, and this one certainly was.  The action was nonstop and the skill was amazing.  Many of the acts use the same performers so the cast is actually fairly small, which to me only makes it all the more incredible.  For instance, the girl at the top of both of the photos (above, in yellow, and below, in blue) are the same adorable little girl.  She can’t be more than 8 years old and amazingly strong and brave, AND SMILEY!

These guys did some super entertaining hat tricks.

Obviously these guys are strong and there was a TON of strength involved in all of the acts, but there was also a ton of well choreographed beauty too.  There were constant stage and costume changes.  The time flew by!  

If you enjoy the skill and strength acts of your typical circus, but would like to pass on the clowns, THIS is the show for you.  Cirque Shanghai Extreme is about an hour long show of nonstop action and suspense.  I promise I’ve left many surprises for you if you decide to check out the show at Navy Pier.

Cirque Shanghai Extreme now showing at the Skyline Stage on Navy Pier through September 5. This spectacle for all ages features acrobatic performers direct from China who are leaders in their craft of tumbling, juggling, balancing and more. This year’s all-new production goes to the extreme with a death-defying motorcyclist on a wire, action-packed sword fighting and thrilling new twists on family favorites. Kids are $15 all summer long!

Check out this special discount offer!
Use code KIDS for $25 Adult Gold Circle tickets for Wed-Fri performances for July and August.
Tickets now on sale through ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000
Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets to this show for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own honest personal feedback and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Skydeck Chicago Ambassador

 Last Monday I went downtown to check out Skydeck Chicago for the first time in YEARS.  I had the pleasure of getting a personal tour from the General Manager, Randy Stancik and I have to say I am honestly in love with this breath taking local attraction.

While at Skydeck Chicago, I had the pleasure to get out on “The Ledge” for my first time.  Well I think it was my first through 5th or 6th.  Once I overcame the initial fear (and proved to my brain that I would not in fact plumet 103 stories to my death) I couldn’t get enough of it.

My new found love for this gorgeous view, is courtesy to my ambassadorship for Skydeck Chicago.  For the next two months I will be in a friendly competition with 3 other amazing ladies to earn a cool private party at Skydeck Chicago.

As part of this competition I would like to ask you all to like my ambassador page on Skydeck Chicago’s facebook page. (click HERE for FB page)  If you are on Twitter, I would love your regular Tweets that include my personal competition hashtag #LisaSkydeck.   Tweet this! If you’re up for asking your followers to like the facebook page via tweet WITH my hashtag, well that would be amazing and appreciated.  I will be giving away pairs of tickets to Skydeck Chicago so if you’re interested in those be sure to watch my Twitter account.

And lastly, if you’re local or coming to Chicago this summer and may be considering visiting Skydeck Chicago, let me know and I will give you some tickets that you can drop off when you go for a chance to win a 4-pack of tickets directly from Skydeck Chicago. 

Here is a brief pictorial of my visit to Skydeck Chicago.

KeyLime Cove Waterpark

As the snow continues to come down here in IL, we were getting a little cabin fever in our house.
It’s been three LONG years since we’ve gotten to take a vacation and it SEEMS like its been that long since we’ve been able to play outside and run off some energy. So we took advantage of some deals at KeyLime Cove and packed up for a night.
We arrived around 5pm on Friday. It was pretty busy (my husband said an employee told him they were totally booked) but there were still tables in the water-park and plenty of room in all the pool areas. We spent about 3 hours Friday night in the water-park )before retreating to our rooms for some snacks I’d brought along.) The water park wasn’t quite as big as I’d imagined. But it had an activity pool, with 6 or 7 basketball hopes in it. A large water playground (shown in the background of the first photo below) with several slides of variety sizes for kids. Plus tons of water guns and buckets to be dump on an unexpecting passerby. And of course the huge pineapple that dropped 250 gallons of water every so often!
They had 4 large water slides which none of us tried out, including ‘the toilet bowl’ which my brother in-law had tried on a previous trip and assures me was a ton of fun.
And a small lazy river that runs through a wave pool. The older boys LOVED the lazy river!! (Bryan wasn’t comfortable in an inner-tube so he couldn’t go.) And they ALL loved the wave pool. I spent MANY hours hanging with Bryan in the wave pool. (And I can still feel it my shoulder!)
They also had a small area, secured in a gated fence, with smaller wading pools and small slides.
And last but not least a large hot tub. I didn’t make it in but my husband testes it out and assures me it was awesome! Maybe next time!
Saturday we were in the pool just after it opened at 10am and stayed until almost 6pm. The boys were all exhausted. Mission accomplished. Had fun, burned LOTS of energy and I think we may just be able to make it until the weather gets better now!!!
Edited to Add: Someone asked if my boys are good swimmers and if I thought KLC was a good place if they weren’t. My boys can NOT swim. I guess I didn’t get any photos of them in their life jackets but they were in life jackets the entire time, as it gave all of us some added security. But at 6 and 7 years old, the older boys could touch the bottom of any of the areas were in. I would say that I am a very nervous mom when it comes to my kids and water but once the boys thoroughly understood my boundaries (so I can see them, I have this issue water or not) I was really able to relax and just watch them have a good time. Because Bryan was happiest in the wave pool and that took some hanging on to him, I was a little sore from that but I was pretty confident that the older 2 were fine.
Here are a few photos of our fun. I didn’t take many as I focused on just spending the time enjoying each other….