Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

This week we visited the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa (about an hour north of San Francisco). Growing up Snoopy was one of my favorite cartoon characters that brought a lot of happy childhood memories and smiles to my face.

There are three main buildings and two different free parking areas. The first building is the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, the second building is the Redwood Empire Ice Skating Rink with the cozy ‘Warm Puppy Café’ inside and the third building is the Snoopy’s Gallery & Gift Shop full of PEANUTS products.

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

1. Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

Once we parked the car I really enjoyed the outdoor Peanuts-themed music as we walked up to the museum building.

The museum was built in 2002, two years after the artist’s death as a tribute to celebrate the life of “Sparky,” (as the artist was called by close friends) the Peanuts characters, and increased understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art.

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

The Museum offers something for everyone in the family and all “Peanuts” fans. It includes several permanent exhibits like the re-creation of Schulz’s working studio, the Wrapped Snoopy House, a labyrinth on the grounds shaped like Snoopy’s head, Peanuts Tile Mural, the Nursery Wall and the Morphing Snoopy Wood Sculpture. There are also some exhibitions that changes 3 to 4 times a year.

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa
My favorite exhibition is the “Peanuts Tile Mural” by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani. Once you get closer you’ll see that the work is made up of 3,588 tiles, each one featuring a different Peanuts strip. It is amazing!!!

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

You can enjoy the charming outdoor garden with Peanuts inspired sculptures. You can also find the Lucy’s Baseball Cap that covers Woodstock’s Bird bath, which features five Peanuts holograms.

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

During our visit we meet some fans that were visiting from Japan, a very friendly couple from Italy and a large tour group all wearing the same bright colored t-shirts.

2. Redwood Empire Ice Skating Rink

Once we finished touring the museum we headed to the Ice Skating Rink built by Schulz in 1969 and had lunch and coffee at the Warm Puppy Café and enjoyed the hockey game that was taking place at the moment.

The café was Schulz’s lunchtime hangout where he ate regularly a tuna salad sandwich with a cup of tea. He used to walk from his home to the Cafe twice a day. The Café still keeps his table near the window reserved.

We had visited the Ice Skating Rink before for ice skating and friends birthday parties.

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

If you want to have some fun outside the ice rink, call a friend who is at the computer and say “Hi” to them through the webcam 😉

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

3. Snoopy’s Gallery & Gift Shop
The extensive gift shop sells just about every kind of Peanuts memorabilia you could imagine. The shop is a ‘must-see’, even if you don’t buy anything.
Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

My favorite, “MonaLucy”, an oil 21″x30″ board by Hallmark. Painted in 1989 to commemorate the 67th birthday of Charles M. Schulz 🙂Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

Visiting the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa

Website: www.SchulzMuseum.org
Address:2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
See in Google Maps >

Hours: Weekdays 11 am to 5 pm —  Weekends 10 am to 5 pm
Admisions:
Adults — $10
Seniors (62 and over with ID) — $5
Youth/Students (4–18 or w/valid student ID) – $5
Museum Members & Youth 3 and Under — FREE

We had a fantastic time at the museum seeing thousands of comic strips, exhibitions and learning about Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and the gang. There were a lot of giggles and non-loud happy laughs!!!

Have a smiley day!!!

Victoria 😉

Visiting Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory

Today we visited Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory in Petaluma, CA. It is the oldest and largest sticker company in the United States and the world’s only sticker factory tour.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory

We visited the factory a few years ago and the store and tour space is now reduced due to space and storage challenges. Actually the tours ended and the retail sticker store was closed for some period of time in 2011. Even though the tour area and the store is a lot smaller I’m very happy that we can still have the opportunity to appreciate how many people, technology and equipment it takes to create a sticker.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory

The tour takes about 45 minutes. It starts with an informative five-minute video in a small room followed by a guided walking tour of the factory floor. Besides their decorative stickers you can also see Paragon Labels, their daughter company printing elegant and beautiful labels. The labels are for different products and wine bottles from prestigious wineries like Francis Ford Coppola, Viansa, Sebastiani, St. Supery, B.R. Cohn, Iron Horse and Domenichelli among others.

Due to confidentiality agreement with the wineries, photography is not allowed in the factory. Sorry, no pictures of the factory.

During the tour you can watch stickers being printed while you learn some facts during the stops of the printing process. 1) Printing, 2) Rewinding & Finishing, 3) high-speed Packaging, 4) Recycling, it was very interesting to know that Mrs Grossman have received different awards for her compromise with the environment and everything in the building is recycled. 5) Hot Foil Stamping & Embossing and 6) the impressive Laser-cut. This is the only system of its kind in the world that cuts the more delicate and detailed stickers.

We saw a few dogs walking in the building. Mrs. Grossman’s is a dog-friendly workplace and employees can bring their dogs in the factory.

Once the tour is finished you can go back to the video room and create a sticker postcard project.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory

We didn’t know there was so much work in the production of a sticker!

If you are ever in Petaluma, this is a fun short tour to make. Just make sure you call in advance for reservations.

We had fun, learned a lot and got inspired by Mrs. Grossman’s story!

Have a Happy Day!!!

Victoria 😉

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory
Website: http://www.mrsgrossmans.com/
Tour Days/Times:  Monday through Thursday, 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00.
No walk-ins. Strollers are not allowed on the factory tour.
Reservations Required: 800.429.4549
Admission: Adults – $7.00, Youth under twelve – $5.00, Children under three – Free

Address: 3810 Cypress Drive, Petaluma, CA 94954
See in Google Maps >

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: http://www.history.org/

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

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.

Website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/

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

Magic at The Walt Disney Family Museum

The stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the 19th-century red brick building in the beautiful grounds of the historic Presidio makes The Walt Disney Family Museum a magical place to visit.

Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

The Walt Disney Family Museum opened October 1st, 2009 and is becoming one of the must-see places in San Francisco. The museum was co-founded by Diane Disney Miller, eldest daughter of Walt Disney, and grandson, Walter E.D. Miller. The articles on display tell you the story about the man behind the name in an attempt to preserve his legacy.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is a different experience from Disneyland. The Museum is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a non-profit foundation completely separate from the Disney Corporation.
Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

This dynamic museum will tell you the story about the life of Walt Disney, the man. This is a great opportunity to know Walt Disney through 10 permanent detailed galleries arranged in chronological order with his personal family films, photographs, family artifacts and his original artwork.

Kids will enjoy several of the interactive exhibits, but there will be long lulls where most young children can get bored or tired. The tour takes a few hours with a lot of reading information. I think Gallery 9 is the most child-friendly spot since it has the Disney model train and 169-square-foot model of “the Disneyland of Walt’s imagination”.

Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

If you have younger kids and don’t want to enter the galleries’ tour you can always check the lobby area of the museum for free.  It offers an amazing collection of Walt Disney’s inspiring awards and honors. Disney still holds the records for most Oscar wins by an individual (32, including special and technical awards) and for most Oscar nominations, 59. You can also eat at the charming museum café, and shop at the museum store which features a wide selection of Disney books, gifts, home decorations, collectibles, books and toys.

Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

Address: 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA
Website: http://www.waltdisney.org/
Hours: The museum is open from 10-6 daily except for Tuesdays when it’s closed.
The museum is also closed on select major holidays.
Cost:
Prices are $20 for adults.
Seniors (over 65) and Student (with valid ID) $15
Child (ages 6-17) $12 – Under age 6 (complimentary with adult admission)

See in Google Maps >

After visiting the museum, you can explore the Presidio, check the Lucasfilm “Yoda Fountain” at the Presidio just three minutes from the museum or even take the short walk over to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Just for the fun on it….Can you find my “Rat Terrier” in the picture? 😉

Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

Visiting Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio - San Francisco

Visiting the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito!

Looking what to do on a rainy day? Yesterday, we visited the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito. We have been there before but this was our first time after last year’s re-opening. The renovation project took 2-years and $15.5 million dollars in improvements.

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

The Bay Model (1.5 acre model ) was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950’s. Until about ten years ago this 3-dimensional hydraulic model allowed scientists and researchers to test water quality issues, to study how water flows through San Francisco Bay and Delta and also to simulate the effects of everything from oil spills to upstream dams and from water diversions to floods caused by global warming. Now these calculations are done by one computer and the model is used for educational purposes.

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

Inside the main building you will find stunningly beautiful hand-painted murals, a short introductory video, interactive reading rails and displays, phone banks with information in English and multiple other languages. We did a self-guided tour but ranger guided tours are available for groups with advanced reservations and can be tailored to the technical level of the group. Tours  are approximately 1-½ hours in length and it is preferably to call three weeks in advance.  You can also do a pre-recorded audio tour if you pay three dollars each.

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

The Bay Model offers a great opportunity to learn about the geography, topography, ecology, and the human and natural history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta.

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

Lots of hands-on activities. Science is Fun!!!

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

There’s a small gift shop in the visitor center that sells books, maps and toys.There’s no food available but you can bring your own lunch/snack and eat on the picnic tables in front of the building.

Location:
2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
Website: http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/BayModelVisitorCenter.aspx
Winter Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays 9am – 4pm. Closed Sundays & Mondays
Admission to the Bay Model is FREE  (Donations Welcome). FREE Parking.

See in Google Maps >

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

After our visit to the Bay Model Visitor Center we explored the beautiful Sausalito waterfront and had lunch and coffee at the Taste of Roma Café. Delicious coffee, tasty lunch, friendly service, and you can bring your dog to the outside seating. 😉

Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito

The Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito is the only one of its kind in the world. This is definitely one hidden gem in Marin!!!!

Enjoy the April showers!!!