Summer Changes for Knott’s Berry Farm

Recently I was invited to a Media sneak preview of the new Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm.  Unfortunately it was not a family event so I didn’t actually go on any of the new rides.  But Kathy will be taking the grand kids back in a couple of weeks so I will hopefully have good pictures of them soon.

When my kids were teens we went to Knott’s often.  It was more affordable and less crowded than Disneyland and the kids loved all the rides.  We never ventured over to Camp Snoopy because they were too old.  My first real venture was with Caitlyn for her 7th birthday.  She enjoyed some of the rides but was too big for others (and not quite big enough for the roller coasters of her dreams).  it wasn’t really until last year taking the twins that we dived head first into all the fun that Camp Snoopy can bring.  The kids had a blast, I had fun, but I couldn’t help but think that it really did feel like a “camp ground”.  It was dated, dingy and dark.

NO MORE!

camp snoopy signageThe signs are the first thing that catch your eye.  All of the rides have new signage, that show the characters and have clean bright lettering.

It is such a welcome change that I was immediately excited to venture futher in to see what else was new.

There are 3 new rides for the kids.  One that was replaced will be sorely missed by Matthew, he really loved the Charlie Brown Speedway.

The official descriptions are below, you can click on the titles to see my videos on Instagram:

  • Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer invites campers to “fly a kite” with Charlie Brown and soar above the land’s winding paths and babbling streams – but watch out for the kite-eating tree!  This 32-passenger adventure allows guests to sit side-by-side on 16 swings for a spin that whisks riders up to 18 feet above the ground. As the tree rises, good ol’ Charlie Brown is revealed upside down and all tied up in kite string!  Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer has replaced Snoopy Bounce (I am so glad the bounce house is gone!).

 Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies lets tykes climb aboard their very own all-terrain vehicle for an adventurous ride around the High Sierras.  Six four-seater ATVs will spin, bounce, and bump up to 24 guests at a time, while Pig Pen looks on from his center perch.  Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies has replaced Log Peeler.

Linus Launcher recreates that classic Peanut’s moment when Snoopy grabs Linus’ blanket and launches him on a wild ride.  On Linus Launcher, guests lay on one of twelve “blankets” as they fly round and round.  Up to 24 guests lay side-by-side while Snoopy launches them up almost 10 feet in the air.  Guests will enjoy a Woodstock’s-eye view of Huff ‘n Puff, The Grizzly Creek Lodge, and all of Camp Snoopy below! Linus Launcher has replaced Charlie Brown’s Speedway.

There is also a new “park” area for resting and snacking, again, much brighter and cheerier than the area that was there previously.

I am so impressed with all of the changes, not just because they are providing my family with free passes (disclosure anyone?) but because it looks like someone took the time to dig deep and see what needed to be done and did it.

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Still More Chances to Win $100 Amazon Gift Card

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Not So Wordless Wednesday – Father

 

Monica, Pa, Paulette

 

This is my mom on the right and my Aunt Monica on the left, with their father in the middle.

All three were known for their smiles, I love how this picture captures them.

All three are now swinging together on clouds.


A Powerful Concept – Ford C-Max Solar Energi

Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept

Ford Motor Company announced back in January, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best of what a plug-in hybrid offers – without depending on the electric grid for fuel.

Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof. 

The result is a concept vehicle that takes a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which draws its power from the electric grid. Ford C-MAX Energi gets a combined best miles per gallon equivalent in its class, with EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway, for a combined 100 MPGe. By using renewable power, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions a typical owner would produce by four metric tons.

“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.” 

C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, which will be shown at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, is a collaborative project of Ford, San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower Corp. and Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.

Strong electrified vehicle sales

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept debuts as Ford caps a record year of electrified vehicle sales.

Ford expects to sell 85,000 hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles for 2013 – the first full year its six new electrified vehicles were available in dealer showrooms.

C-MAX Energi is Ford’s plug-in sales leader, with sales of more than 6,300 through November. Ford sold more plug-in vehicles in October and November than both Toyota and Tesla, and it outsold Toyota through the first 11 months of 2013. Plug-in hybrids continue to grow in sales as more customers discover the benefits of using electricity to extend their driving range. 

C-MAX Hybrid over the last year has been a key driver in helping Ford sell more hybrids than any other automaker in the United States, second only to Toyota. C-MAX Hybrid continues to bring new customers to the Ford brand, with a conquest rate of 64 percent and drawing nearly half of its sales from import brands. Conquest rates are even higher in key hybrid growth markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. 

Breakthrough clean technology

SunPower, which has been Ford’s solar technology partner since 2011, is providing high-efficiency solar cells for the roof of Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept. Because of the extended time it takes to absorb enough energy to fully charge the vehicle, Ford turned to Georgia Institute of Technology for a way to amplify the sunlight in order to make a solar-powered hybrid feasible for daily use.

Researchers developed an off-vehicle solar concentrator that uses a special Fresnel lens to direct sunlight to the solar cells while boosting the impact of the sunlight by a factor of eight. Fresnel is a compact lens originally developed for use in lighthouses. Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing enough power from the sun through the concentrator each day to equal a four-hour battery charge (8 kWh).

With a full charge, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to have the same total range as a conventional C-MAX Energi of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles. Additionally, the vehicle still has a charge port, and can be charged by connecting to a charging station via cord and plug so that drivers retain the option to power up via the grid, if desired. 

After C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is shown at CES, Ford and Georgia Tech will begin testing the vehicle in numerous real-world scenarios. The outcome of those tests will help to determine if the concept is feasible as a production car.  

Off-the-grid car 

By tapping renewable solar energy with a rooftop solar panel system, C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is not dependent on the traditional electric grid for its battery power. Internal Ford data suggest the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle. This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable or expensive to use.

The vehicle also reinforces MyEnergi Lifestyle, a concept revealed by Ford and several partners at 2013 CES. MyEnergi Lifestyle uses math, science and computer modeling to help homeowners understand how they can take advantage of energy-efficient home appliances, solar power systems and plug-in hybrid vehicles to significantly reduce monthly expenses while also reducing their overall carbon footprint.

The positive environmental impact from Ford C-MAX Solar Energi could be significant. It would reduce yearly CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from the average U.S. car owner by as much as four metric tons – the equivalent of what a U.S. house produces in four months.

If all light-duty vehicles in the United States were to adopt Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept technology, annual greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by approximately 1 billion metric tons.

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Another $100 Amazon Giveaway!

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Not So Wordless Wednesday – Wild Card

I haven’t been around much.  I’ve been a little busy.  Moving is done … ish.  I still have a couple of boxes to empty and some stuff to arrange.  But for the most part I am settled in.

The grand kids are here all weekend and some weeknights.  I love having them, but there is only one problem.

image

I can’t afford a dishwasher right yet.

I grew up in a house with five kids during the 70′s and we always had a dishwasher.  I never learned how to properly wash dishes.

I don’t like dishes to sit so I end up doing them multiple times a day, but in all honesty, I’m not very good at it.  I have noticed bits left on some of the dishes and the pans still feel a little greasy afterwards.

Help me!  What shouldn’t I be doing?  I am using water as hot as the building allows, Palmolive detergent (dye and perfume free and hypoallergenic) and I rinse them in warm water.  I always wash the pans last and let everything air dry.

So tell me – give me your tips and tricks.


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$100 Amazon Giveaway

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Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Instagram blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

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Enter for a Chance to Win $10,000 in the NEW Nutrisystem Great Escape $40,000 Giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nutrisystem for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m fat.

That’s no secret.  I have never been ashamed of my body or my weight.  Most women lie about their age and their weight but for me they are just a fact, a part of life.  The other day I couldn’t remember my age, I wasn’t lying when I said I was 48, I was just wrong.  (I am 46 by the way)

I weigh 325 pounds.  Do I wish I were thinner? Sure.  Do I really like bacon and cheeseburgers and potato chips?  YES!

I don’t “diet” well.  I don’t think depriving yourself of something is healthy, in that once you reach your “goal weight” it is now ok to go back and eat whatever you deprived yourself of.  Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

But all of that is neither here nor there.  You are here because you want to enter the Nutrisystem Great Escape $40,000 Giveaway! and win $10,000 right?  ME TOO!

 photo GreatEscape_ContestLogo1_zpsbc88e7f0.jpg

To enter the Nutrisystem Giveaway simply share your best photo and weight loss story with them.  They will be choosing 4 Grand Prize Winners who will each receive $10,000!

I have never tried Nutrisystem so I personally can’t speak to their success.  But I do know it is a leading provider of structured home delivered weight loss meal plans.  They have been around for over 40 years and I am sure if you check out their website you will see countless testimonials from happy customers.

They have a Nutrisystem® Fast 5™ kit which is created to help you jump-start your weight loss by helping you drop five pounds your first week.  With Fast 5 you receive:

7extra days of specialty selected breakfasts, lunches and dinners

7 energi-ZING shakes designed to help curb cravings

Unique meal planner for maximum weight loss your first week

Fast 5 was designed to be a special introductory week to help maximize your weight loss results from the start.  Once you’ve completed your first week you’ll move on to the Nutrisystem® My Way® Program for the next 28 days.

 

 

There is a disclosure at the top of this post about it being sponsored and blah blah blah.  But in full and complete disclosure I should let you know that while I typed this I am at work and I ate a swerving of popcorn and two slices of pepperoni pizza.  Diet what?

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Maleficent

I just got the invite to an advanced screening of this. Not gonna lie. I am terrified to see it. In 3D no less. But it will happen. I will do it for YOU.

C-MAX Solar Energi Concept

I am excited to go check out a new Ford Concept car next week.  The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car looks very intriguing:

  • C-MAX Solar Energi Concept eliminates the need to plug in and charge a hybrid vehicle altogether. It harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to the panels on the vehicle’s roof
  • C-MAX Solar Energi Concept represents an exciting possibility for the future of mobility. This prototype is part of Ford’s vision for imagining what sustainable transportation will look like in 2024 and beyond and the near-, mid- and long-term steps we must take to get there
  • Internal Ford data suggest the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made in a solar hybrid vehicle. That means a typical owner can avoid sending more than four metric tons of greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere ever year.
  • According to our climate scientists, if all light duty vehicles (cars and trucks) in the US adopted this approach, we’d reduce greenhouse gas emission (GHG) by more than 1 billion metrics tons per year.

Ford-C-Max-Solar-Energi-Concept-Car

Friends on face book were lamenting on being able to find “free” places to plug in their electric vehicles.  Hopefully this will be more than a “concept” soon!

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