San Francisco Million Dog March June 2, 2013

San Francisco Bay Area dog lovers will try to set a Guinness World Record for the largest dog walk ever!!!

For more information & registration:

Let’s make the Bay Area the most dog friendly place on earth! 🙂


Visiting Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

For Memorial Day weekend I want to share one of my favorite family and educational travel destination where you can step into the 18th-century. You can experience the years immediately before the American Revolution and learn the pressures and sacrifices patriots made in order to fight for their Independence.

Colonial Williamsburg, located in the state of Virginia, is a restoration of the original Williamsburg, capital of Virginia during colonial times and is the largest living-history museum in the nation (301-acre).  It is a wonderful place if you have school aged children, especially if they are studying the American Revolution. Being there is like stepping back in time and bring history alive! We even saw Thomas Jefferson speaking and walking by our side!

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

I enjoyed being surrounded and exploring the restored government buildings, shops, homes, the beautiful gardens, and taverns. I really loved the costumed interpreters who recreated the colonial society with their revolutionary stories and discussions on the streets, it gave us a real taste of 18th century life. All the staff was friendly and willing to pose for a picture.

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

The house below was the home of George Wythe, the teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson and other patriot leaders. This house also served George Washington as a headquarters before the British siege of Yorktown.   George Wythe was also a supporter of the revolution, the first professor of law in the United States and the first signature of the Declaration of Independence. This is a very elegant two story house with four rooms in each story and decorated with brightly colored pattern wallpaper. I really loved the symmetrical gardens.

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

Visitors can participate in some historic activities such as brick making, kids can play traditional games and you can learn from the demonstrations of the shoe maker, carpenters, barrelmakers, gardeners, dressmakers, bookmakers all which are willing to answer your questions. Below is a photo of Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop & Public Armory. Anderson manufactured many of the weapons and equipment used by the American military. The smoke and heat in this room really gave you an idea of the working conditions back in the time.

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

One of my favorite things was watching the The Fifers and Drummers, who were part of the 18th century military playing familiar tunes for the soldiers marching down the streets of Colonial Williamsburg.  Did you know that the Fife and drum was used to communicate orders to the military in the 18th century?

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

It’s was truly a one of a kind experience. Williamsburg is a magical place full of fun and hands-on history!!!

Colonial Williamsburg - VA

For more information about Colonial Williamsburg in VA visit:

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and share with me the places you visited this weekend!!!

Victoria 🙂

Italian Street Painting Marin returns to downtown San Rafael June 29 & 30, 2013!

If you enjoy outdoor family festivals, music, cuisine and wonderful art, the Italian Street Painting Marin is the perfect combination of all of it. This colorful festival turns the streets in front of the Mission San Rafael ArcĂĄngel (Fifth & A streets) into a 30,000-foot huge concrete canvas. It is one of the largest chalk drawing festival in the country and have brought millions of visitors since 1994 to downtown San Rafael. (located just 25 minutes north of San Francisco)

This wonderful event is returning with a new name: “Italian Street Painting Marin”, formerly known as “The Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival”. which was cancelled in 2011 due to insufficiency of funding. Luckily it is back thanks to the efforts of Sue and Joe Carlomagno residents of Mill Valley and now we can appreciated the roads of San Rafael transformed into breathtaking masterpieces again!!!

Italian Street Painting Festival

Below is one of my favorite work of art at the festival back in 2008. “JULIET” (Olivia Hussey/1958) by Artist Cuong Nguyen. I remember coming back about 10 times to see how this talented artist progressed during the day 🙂 Since I have a little one I usually go to the festival on Sunday to appreciate the finished pieces of art but Saturday is the official “Family Day” and it is less crowded.

Italian Street Painting Festival

This cow piece by Allison Snopek was my daughter’s favorite in 2010.

Italian Street Painting Festival

My daughter always enjoys becoming a street painter (known as Madonnari in Italian).  For $10 children up to 12-year old are welcome to design their own street paintings at “Children’s Avenue”. A 2’x2’ square and a box of chalk are provided. Lots of fun!!! By far, they are the most valuable pieces of art! 😉

Italian Street Painting Festival

Fifth & A streets are renamed Via Leonardo & Via Michelangelo for the weekend!

Italian Street Painting Festival


Location: Italian Street Painting Marin is held in downtown San Rafael – Fifth & A streets near Mission St. Raphael.

Dates: June 29 & 30, 2013, Saturday 10-7pm – Sunday 10-6pm

Tickets: Adults and children 13 and older: $5 – Children 12 and under: Free.

A great way to spend an afternoon of art, music and Italian food!!!  I’ll be there, come find me and say hello.

Have a Smiley Day!!!

Victoria 😉

The new home of the Exploratorium at the Embarcadero

The Exploratorium science museum, reopened its doors last month at Pier 15 at the Embarcadero. Built of a cost of $300 million, this waterfront facility is three times larger than the original museum located at the Palace of Fine Arts. The 330,000-square foot has more than 600 interactive exhibits offering a great opportunity to interact and learn through playing, touching, exploring and thinking.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

This is the perfect place for everybody
.from families with children of all ages, teens, parents, grandparents and even your dog! Yes, it is a pet friendly museum!!! They don’t mention it on the website but we saw a few dogs there and we confirmed it with the staff.

The Exploratorium is divided into six different main galleries and each gallery explores a different area. 1) The West Gallery focuses on “human phenomena” and experiment with thoughts, feelings, and social behavior. The popular Tactile Dome, an interactive excursion through total darkness will be open this summer.  2) The Central Gallery focuses on “Seeing & Listening” and experiment with light and vision, sound and hearing, and motion and spatial perception. 3) The East Gallery focuses on “Living Systems,” and investigate the living world.

One of my favorite exhibit in the East Gallery is a large supercomputer placed in a “social” table which shows you microscopy life in the world oceans by placing a lens disc on top of an interactive map “magnifying” the view.
The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

4) The South Gallery “Tinkering” is the gallery that gives you the chance to slow down and make something! Kids were fascinating doing scribbling machines using everyday objects, motors, batteries and wires. 5) The Outdoor Gallery highlights a combination of large and small exhibits, art installations, and public programs. 6) The one new building on the pier is the Bay Observatory Gallery. This all-glass gallery focuses on landscape observation and offers a 360-degree beautiful views of the city and the bay.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

It is difficult to see everything in just one day, we actually ended up buying the museum membership and will come back to continue the fun!

There are two dining areas at the museum. The Seismic Joint Café and the SeaGlass Restaurant in the Bay Observatory. You can also bring your own lunch and there are some local vendor food carts on the outdoor plaza.

We really had fun at the Fog Bridge created by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya. It is a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge with high-pressure nozzles that cover the bridge with fog and mist. The fog operates every half hour and you can walk through the fog. We heard the night time lights add a surreal atmosphere to this exhibition.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

Location: Pier 15, San Francisco, CA 94111 See in Google Maps >

Hours: Tuesday – Friday – Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Thursday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; open 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. for ages 18+. Closed Monday except for certain holidays

Admission is $25: Adults (18–64), $19: Youth (6–17), college students, teachers, seniors (65+), people with disabilities. FREE: Children ages 5 and younger and members.
If you live in one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, you qualify for special rates.


Have you been in the Exploratorium? I would like to hear what is your favorite exhibition 🙂