Put On Your Room Escape Vacation Pants – Southern California Edition, Part 2

Well it’s been over a year since my last room escape post on the old bloggy blog and I have been to even MORE room escapes.  What can I say?! I am still obsessed.  I even create one in my classroom each year.  There is nothing like unfolding a story and working toward a goal together.  It’s so much fun!  So, now I have even more reviews to share.  Please read on to find out more room escapes you need to check out this year. If you missed part 1 of my post, check out the link below.

Put On Your Room Escape Vacation Pants, Part 1

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Put On Your Room Escape Vacation Pants – Southern Cali Edition

If you know me or follow me on social media, you know about my most recent obsession…room escapes!!!  For those of you who don’t know, room escapes are entertainment venues that offer to lock you in a room (not literally, fire code is pretty important to follow) and you have a certain amount of time to escape the room by solving a series of connected puzzles and mysteries.  It is fantastic amounts of fun.  In this post, I will take you through a bunch of room escapes I have tried in Southern California (spoiler free, of course!) in hopes that you will jump on the bandwagon and try some of these out.  Here is my current So Cal directory of room escapes the I have tried.  As I try more, I will add to the list. Continue reading

Put on Your Hot Springs, Arkansas Vacation Pants


At the official Hot Springs National Park entrance in Hot Springs, Arkansas. August -2016

In August we flew to Northern Texas because my baby brother got married.  My husband reminded me that I had never been to Arkansas, so we had to plan a little road trip out of Texas while we were out there.  We wound up in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a four night trip, and let’s just say, this place was made to be blogged about.  Hot Springs, Arkansas is the home of Hot Springs National Park and it is exactly what it sounds like.  People at the turn of the century flocked to Hot Springs to take advantage of all the bath houses that sprouted up in the town due to the natural hot springs in the area.  Well, eight of the original buildings remain standing today, and two of them are still working bath houses.  Read on to find out how you can plan an amazing adventure to this fantastic place.
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Put on MY VACATION PANTS and take a trip to everywhere

Let me take a moment to introduce myself.  My name is Janelle Vecchio, and I am a wife, mom, and a teacher.  After those three things I’m an avid traveler, but not in the typical sense of the word.  My husband and I like to plan travel to new and exciting destinations with our daughter and son, but we do it for very cheap, and you would actually never know it.  

We post our pictures on social media and we always get tons of, “Can you be my travel agent?”  or “How do you find these amazing places?”  A friend’s mom who follows our journeys on social media was talking to her son and asked him, “How do Phil and Janelle take such amazing vacations all the time?  Are they rich?”  The funny part is we are “rich” in many ways, but not really financially.  We are a single income family.  I’m a teacher.  Our family of 4 has lived off my income only since 2008 when our first child was born.  My husband is an amazing stay at home Dad.  We chose this life together because we didn’t want our children to go to Day Care.  We wanted our children to be raised by us.  Teachers technically only work 182 days a year, so I get a lot of time off to adventure.  One of my favorite things to do when I am off work is to leave home and go somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be far.  I guarantee there are adventures in your own backyard that you haven’t discovered yet.  Vacation is what you make of it.  It is adventure.  It is fun.  It is spending time with the people you love the most near or far.  

If you came to my house, which we do own, you would notice that not much has changed since we purchased it in 2010.  We do not need a fancy remodeled house. We do not buy new furniture.  I do not buy jewelry.  I don’t wear make-up.  I don’t buy expensive clothes.  I don’t drink Starbucks unless someone buys me a gift card.  We choose to spend our extra income (the little we have) on traveling.  I am not saying that it is for everyone.  We take about three to four BIG trips a year, and countless mini-vacations.  We are extremists, but even if you chose to cut back in one area to travel, you can afford to take a trip as well.  

In this day and age, it is hard to make a living as a travel agent.  I book most of my trips on the internet, along with my husband helping on his computer.  I thought this blog would be a better way to get my information out to the masses for FREE.  I can’t wait for you to put on your vacation pants and travel with me.  I plan on writing about many vacations we have taken in the past, and giving you a behind the scenes look of how I booked it, what we did, how we played, and where we ate.  Here are some pics of our trips we took in 2015, so you can get a quick idea of where this family goes.  Hope you guys are ready to join in on the fun! 

Sea World, San Diego- 2015

Coronado Island- 2015

San Diego Botanical Garden- 2015

Phil had a panel at Comic Con San Diego, 2015.

We have a reciprocal pass to Botanical Gardens around the United States and Canada.

Pirate Ship Cruise, Big Bear Lake- 2015

Big Bear History Museum- 2015

We have Disneyland Resort passes, so we go a lot. 

A vacation in itself, eating chicken and waffles at the Roscoe’s in Anaheim, CA, 2015.

Big Thunder Mountain, Disneyland- 2015

Mickey’s Halloween Party- 2015

Duffy Boat Rental, Newport Beach, CA- 2015

Sometimes we like to dress in a nautical theme for our ocean trips. 

Legoland California, Carlsbad- 2015

Skipping Rocks, Parker, AZ- 2015.

Hiking in Grapevine Canyon, NV- 2015

We were craving churros one night so we went to Disneyland after work and school.

Banyan Grove, South Coast Botanical Garden- 2015.

We went to Disney World this year.  We are huge Disney fans and we know how to do Disney vacations as cheap as humanly possible.  

All-Star Music Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida- 2015

Late Night at the Magic Kingdom.  They let hotel guests stay late one night a week.  

Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom 2015.

Dolphin and whale watching cruise, Newport, CA- 2015

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA- 2015

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, Buena Park, CA- 2015

Spring Break Road Trip- 2015

Solvang, CA- 2015

Giant Bird House in Arroyo Grande, CA- 2015

Pismo Beach Boardwalk Hike- 2015

Sunset at Pismo Beach, CA- 2015

Believe it or not, this is an urban hike in the middle of downtown Arroyo Grande, CA.

Pismo Beach, CA- 2015

World Famous Splash Cafe clam chowder bowls, Pismo Beach, CA- 2015.

Stayed at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CA.

The Sky Room, Madonna Inn- 2015

Late night swimming at the infinity pool at the Madonna Inn- 2015 

Bubble Gum Alley, San Luis Obispo- 2015

Morro Bay, CA- 2015

Tide Pools just outside of Morro Bay- 2015 

Montana De Oro State Park, CA- 2015

Elfin Forest Preserve- 2015 

Whale Watching off the coast of Newport Beach- 2015.  We also saw a humpback whale.  

Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CA- 2015

Late night trip to Disneyland.  One of the cast members swept the leaves into a Mickey.  Disney magic at its finest.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Phelan, CA- 2015 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro, CA- 2015

Hidden waterfall hiking trail I found searching for hikes on google maps, Kalispell, MT- 2015

Sanpoint, ID- 2015

Cedar Walk at Glacier National Park, MT- 2015

Continental Divide, Glacier National Park, MT- 2015

Found a mountain goat hiking in Glacier National Park- 2015

My son, Luke, on top of the world in Glacier National Park, MT- 2015

We were a short drive to a Canadian province we had never been to before on a recent trip to Montana.  Here we are eating at a Dairy Queen, the only thing open at the border town when we got there, eating poutine.  

Rafting on Flathead Lake, Montana- 2015

Hiking at a campsite in Idywild, CA- 2015

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Anaheim, CA- 2015

Overlooking Kalispell, MT on a short hike.  

We like to clean up trash on our local trails in Yucaipa, CA.

Spokane, WA- 2015 
The wonderment of the Elfin Forest Preserve in Morro Bay, CA, 2015.

These are just the major trips we took this year, not counting day trips and local adventures.  I hope now you to take me seriously when I say my family loves to travel.  This is just traveling that we have done this year.  We are passionate about it and we love it.  Over the course of this blog I will post in detail about these trips.  Please comment about what you want to see more of in upcoming posts.  Until the next adventure…