CHILL at the Queen Mary
This week I’m blessed to bring my kids on a brand new adventure! The Queen Mary has a special event just for Christmas. They have been doing it a while now but this will be my kids’ first time here. Starting Wednesday and going until January 8th, 2017, you and your family can have a winter wonderland adventure at the Queen Mary. Bring some warm clothing and a smile and enjoy the day.
Just some of the awesome activities at the Queen Mary:
- Ice skating.
- Build gingerbread houses.
- Photos with Santa.
- Story time and hot chocolate with Mrs. Clause (or, in my family, we call her Sarah Clause, since in all the stories she doesn’t have a first name).
- There is live entertainment.
- Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
- And much more.
Tickets are available online as well as special hotel rates. For hotel rates for the Queen Mary CHILL event you can use promo code: chill16.
CHILL guests receive complimentary access to the World Famous Queen Mary.
Dinosaur Adventure This Weekend
If you and your children love dinosaurs I have the most awesome place you can attend this weekend. Jurassic Quest is live at the Ventura Fairgrounds. Explore the buildings and learn about dinosaurs. Hands-on exhibits, displays, crafts, food and more.
What. When. Where.
10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001
Fri 3pm-8pm Sat 9am-8pm Sun 9am-7pm
The main dinosaur exhibit features ultra-realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs; Over 50 life-size dinosaurs in all. Visitors can interact with these huge creatures, learn about them and even ride a few. It features realistic scenes, enormous dinosaurs, cute baby dinosaurs and lots of fun activities for kids of all ages. There are huge T-Rex and Triceratops fossil digs where young paleontologists can uncover long hidden dinosaurs bones, the “Dino Bounce” area with several, towering, dinosaur theme inflatable mazes, face painting, Dino crafts and much more!
Attractions to see:
- Walking Dinosaurs (yes, they walk around, are life-size and look real).
- Dino Science Station.
- Dino Crafts.
- Face Painting.
- Dino Rides.
- Fossil Digs.
Get tickets now for this fun weekend event!
For Tickets and more information: http://www.jurassicquest.com
Enter & Win!
What is YOUR Favorite Dinosaur?
Right now one lucky person has the chance to win a family Four-Pack. To win simply post in the comments below the name of your favorite dinosaur! Winner must be of the age 18-years-old, or older and be able to pick up tickets November 11-13th 2016 at the will-call booth at the Ventura Fairgrounds. Winner will be chosen at random.
Australian Destinations For Your Christmas Getaway
Already planning your Christmas getaway this year? Shun the snow and enjoy these top destinations in Australia. It’s the perfect time to explore all that Australia has to offer! You will surely fall in love with its beaches, wildlife, zoos/aquariums, and picturesque villages that you might consider checking out some great homes for sale and move to Australia. But before deciding to move in, you may need to experience some awesome getaway first.
Why Australia for Christmas? Aside from not having to shovel mounds of snow from the doorway and not being able to travel everywhere you want due to some slick or snow-clogged roads, celebrating your Christmas in Australia lets you fully enjoy its beaches, wildlife, zoos/aquariums, and picturesque villages unhindered.
Canberra. Spending Christmas in Canberra is recommended for families and large group of friends since it offers plenty of events and activities. The capital of Australia is famous for pulling tourists all over the world. Canberra also broke the Guinness World Record™ last year for the most number of lights on an artificial Christmas tree.
Christmas in the City is back! The official lighting of the Christmas tree will be on November 17, so book your flight early. This year, In The City Canberra is presenting a brand new series of food, drinks, music, handcrafted and art markets and other awesome entertainment.
Mornington Peninsula. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital cities during the Christmas season by heading to the Mornington Peninsula. Famous for its golf and favorable weather, Christmas is the best time to get out on the green and try 15 of Australia’s best golf clubs, each even more beautiful than the last.
Kangaroo Island. A great destination for anyone wanting to experience a world away from home without actually leaving Australian soil. This island has 509 kilometers of coastline, and a bushland and wildlife to discover when you want to break away from the beach. An ideal destination for adults looking to spoil themselves silly during the season.
Try the Kangaroo Island Farm Gate and Cellar Door Trail to try out fresh produce and wines straight from the source. Foodies will enjoy the King George Whiting, tasty honey and sheep’s cheese all located on the island. You’ll find home-made native jams, free-range eggs, marinades, olives, sauces and many more aplenty. Enjoy your Christmas with fresh seafood like oysters, prawns, snapper, and other freshwater favorites.
Coffs Harbour. The family-friendly Coffs Harbour has a relaxed, beachy area that welcomes visitors with open arms. Maximize your sunny Christmas weather and head over to the Solitary Islands Marine Park to enjoy the uncrowded beach and explore the wildlife.
You can also spend your time at the Botanic Gardens, which are open to the public daily. The hidden gardens are a treasure trove of natural beauty, with mangroves, rainforests, and koalas high up in the trees. Try the town of Bellingen for an off-the-beaten-track destination. This town boasts mild and warm weather all year-round and is perfect for activities, such as kayaking, cycling, and bush walking.
There you have it! Found a property in any of these fine Christmas locations? Give yourself an easier time next Christmas by looking at homes for sale within or near these destinations so you can come back quickly every Christmas.
It’s beginning to look like Christmas, time to start packing!
Growing Up With Bottle Village
If you asked me to describe Bottle Village in one word I’d have to say art. But it would be hard to stop there. It is more than just art. I feel like I grew up with Bottle Village always weaving in and out of my life and molding the adult I am today. In the early 90’s I went to Bottle Village often with my mom. She was on the board for a (very) long time and the president for some of the time. I’d go there (get dragged there) to help pull weeds or do other clean up. Not fun for a teen, but I did it. I remember roaming the buildings and finding something fascinating and running to find my mom to bring her back to see it and forgetting which building I had been in. Bottle Village was a wonderland. A place to explore for hours. I’d often be mesmerized by the mosaics, dolls, trinkets, and walk building to building, lost in my own thoughts.
Celebrating Grandma Prisbrey’s Birthday. Cerra 1988.
Picture of Grandma Prisbrey
Senior Recycling Art
Tressa (also known as Thresie) Luella Schafer (now affectionately known as Grandma Prisbrey) was born on a homestead in 1896 in Minnesota. When she was 15 she became a sister-bride, marrying her sister’s ex-husband, 52-year-old Theodore Grinolds. They had seven children. Earl (b.1913), Raymond (b.1914), Frank (b.1916), Velma (b.1918), Othea (b.1920), Florence (b.1925) and Hubert (b.1926). Grandma Prisbrey leaves her husband in the 20’s, travels to the Pacific Northwest in the 30’s and settles in Santa Susana (now known as Simi Valley) in 1946. In 1947 she married her second husband, Al Prisbrey.
In 1954-55 she needs surgery and sells her house and buys the lot that is now known as Bottle Village. She started building Bottle Village in 1956. The first things she built was a wall to keep turkey feathers and mud off of her property from the farm next door. She found out bricks were expensive and decided to create her own wall by using discarded bottles and mixing her own cement. She built a wall 6 feet high and over 200 feet long. Next came a building to store her pencil collection. She collected pencils in her travels, namely political pencils. They eventually numbered over 17,000. From there she built more and more. Some of the buildings are the Rumpus Room, Cleopatra’s bedroom, the Round House, the Schoolhouse Most of the major construction completed by 1961 but she continued to add more on top of tables, create more mosaics, repair dolls and dress them, sometimes sewing new clothes for them and adding to the structures. She often gave tours to people passing by and entertained her guests by playing the piano in the Rumpus Room. During this time she was also babysitting some grandchildren on the property.
Grandma Prisbrey gathered things in her daily trips to the dump. Headlights, beer bottles, Milk of Magnesia Bottles, dolls, old licence plates, toy guns, etc. She created mosaics, decorated bottles, filled the walkways with her art. People would drop off items to her and some would visit for a tour and upon returning home in other states or countries would mail her more to add to her collections.
Just imagine! She was 60-years-old when she started Bottle Village
Grandma Prisbrey passed away in 1988 at the age of 92. In that time she had some battles keeping the property and out of that rose a non-profit to help protect Bottle Village. Preserve Bottle Village is a group of passionate volunteers that dedicate time to help give tours, fundraise, do repairs and educate others on this local treasure. It has become a California State Historical Landmark, has had exhibits toured in Europe, has had visitors from all over the world and is even in public school textbooks.
Bottle Village isn’t only art.
- It is recycling ahead of the times.
- It is senior art.
- It is upcycling.
- It is a historic site.
There is so much it is impossible to describe it in one word.
Inside the Round House
Some of the Mosaics inside the Round House
What Goes Up Must Come Down
At one time Bottle Village consisted of 13 buildings and 22 structures, wishing wells, mosaic walk ways and more. In January, 1994 the Northridge Earthquake hit and a great amount of damage happened to Bottle Village. Now many buildings are destroyed and others visibly damaged. So much needs to be done but funds are needed. Preserve Bottle Village has been working to get the buildings repaired so future generations can visit. If you’d like to help we are always in need of docents, grant writers, help with tours, grounds keeping, community awareness, etc. Preserve Bottle village continues preservation efforts, giving private tours to visitors. Currently visitors can tour the grounds but can not go inside the remaining buildings due to repairs in progress.
Outside the Round House and Grandma Prisbrey’s ‘Spring Garden’ on the ground.
Grandma Prisbrey’s Doll Head Shrine. This either a love or hate structure by visitors.
I’m now an adult and Bottle Village has come full circle. I’m now on the board, giving tours and helping out. I’m now dragging my kids to Bottle Village. I love being here! Seeing people that have lived in the neighborhood a few decades share memories of their childhood knowing Grandma Prisbrey. People from all over the world emailing us, wanting tours, sharing memories and photos. School children writing letters after learning about Bottle Village in their classrooms.
I can wander the grounds of Bottle Village and after all these years have something catch my eye that I’ve never seen before.
In memory of Joanne Johnson. She dedicated much of her life to Bottle Village. Not only was she a close family friend, she was a self-anointed fairy godmother to my children.
If you’d like to learn more, visit or donate check out these sites:
If you have been to Bottle Village or read about it, share your favorite memory.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, if clicked I may receive compensation.
Harvest Festival Art & Craft Show in Ventura
Where: Ventura County Fairgrounds
This awesome fun event is coming up this weekend. September 30th- October 2nd (also in Ontario Oct 7-9th).
Fall is here. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are all just around the corner. I can’t wait to go to this to see awesome art and craft ideas for me to create at home or purchase at the fair.
Catering to parents and kids with something fun happening for everyone, each showcase features hundreds of exhibitors, specialty foods, live entertainment, contests, and a fun interactive Kidzone. I’d love to offer you tickets for contest giveaway to your subscribers. (Value $9 each and Kids 12 and under are free!)
Info and tickets are available at Harvest Festival or call 925/ 392-7300
Check out all sorts of trades and amazing craftsmanship
I Love These Glass Pumpkins. Perfect Halloween decorations and great for gifts
A filled to the brim showcase of 24,000 handmade creations, the 27 th Annual Ventura Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft show gets underway Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Seaside Park at the beach becomes a hub of activities with shopping, live entertainment, contests, strolling entertainers, and a Kidzone with a pumpkin patch.
ENTER TO WIN
Right now one lucky person can win a family 4-pack to the festival. Simply scroll down and leave a comment, answering, ‘What is your favorite holiday or season?’
- Winner will be chosen at random.
- Winner must be of the age 18-years-old or older.
- Winner must be able to go to the Box Office at the Ventura Fairgrounds to pick up the tickets in their name during the dates of the event.
- Winner will be picked Thursday afternoon.