Frozen Live at the Hyperion -- experiencing Frozen in a new way

Being a parent has many benefits; one of the more unexpected ones is having a convenient excuse for watching Disney's Frozen more times that I can remember. To be honest, I may have watched the movie more times than the kids have! What can I say? Elsa's coming-of-age story, the power of sisterly love, and Anna-Kristoff's sweet, goofy romance really resonated with me.

After watching Frozen half a dozen times in the movie theater and countless more on tv and DVD, I thought I had finally gotten the Frozen Fever out of my system. Then Disney had to go and come up with a stage version for the Disneyland Resort and invite me to the premiere performance.... and now I find myself obsessed with Frozen all over again!  Frozen: Live at the Hyperion opened at Disney California Adventure on May 27, and it has given Frozen lovers like me a chance to relive the Frozen story in a totally different way.

10 Reasons to Fly out of San Jose Mineta Airport.

Remember the days when you could show up at the airport 10 minutes before your flight left and still make it on board? 9/11 put an end to those days forever, but lately it seems like we're being asked to get to the airport earlier and earlier.

For weeks we've been hearing horror stories about long TSA lines at airports causing travelers to miss their flights. Airports have been updating their websites,masking passengers to allow extra time to check in. So when I began planning a business trip to LA, I decided to err on the side of caution.  I planned to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before my flight departure time -- for a 1-hour flight! 

I shouldn't have worried -- I was flying out of San Jose. The security line took me only 15 minutes to get through! I was much too early, but at least I spent most of my time relaxing in a comfy chair instead of stressing out in line.

Any time I have a choice, I fly out of San Jose Mineta Airport (SJC). I like it so much better than the Bay Area's major airport, San Francisco airport (SFO)! For one thing, it's closer to us than the San Francisco airport is. Also. Alfie's office is a 3-minute walk from the airport, so we can park in his office garage and save on parking fees. Obviously these don't apply to most people, but there are many other reasons to choose SJC over SFO. Here are ten of them:

1) It's a smaller airport, so it takes less time to get to your gate.

2) Less people fly through SJC so it means thinner crowds and shorter lines.

3) All the seats in their waiting lounges have outlets,Mao you don't have to crouch on the floor or fight to gain access to the only outlet in some obscure corner.

4) They have comfy seats with wide armrests for your coffee, along with power outlets and USB charging ports.

5) They even have a business lounge that any traveler can use. In addition to the usual chairs with outlets, the lounge has tables and cubicles so people don't have to balance their laptops on their laps.

6)  They have a water bottle refill station. Way to go green, SJC!

7) Their restroom stalls have enough space for parents and kids to be in the same stall.

8) There's even enough space in the stalls for luggage!

9) They have nursing rooms so moms who don't feel comfortable nursing in public don't have to feed their baby in a toilet stall.

10) Last but definitely not least, they have a Smashburger!! 'Nuff said!

The only disadvantage I can see is that fewer flights go out of SJC, especially international flights -- but British Airways has just begun a new service from SJC to Heathrow, so that's half of our international flights taken care of! If only they had flights to the Philippines as well... At least the smaller number of flights means that I can still enjoy SJC as the undiscovered gem that it is.

Preparing for the teenage years and underage drinking

Don't worry, dear reader; that's sparkling apple juice in the kids'  champagne flutes!

One of the most wonderful things about seeing kids grow is seeing how they change their minds. That ability to adapt is how they end up discovering favorite new foods, taking up new hobbies, and making new friends.  Of course, that ability to adapt can also be challenging for parents as kids get exposed to ideas and habits that clash with the values that we as parents are trying to instill.

Take drinking, for instance. The Pea is 15, and she tells me, "Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!".  That could well be true, but given her recent turnarounds, I'm not going to take that as gospel truth:

Two years ago: I hate jeans. I can't move in them and I can't breathe in them.
Two days ago: I need more jeans. They're all I wear!

Two years ago: I can't drive an Autopia car without crashing into the rails! I'm a terrible driver and I'm never driving, ever.
Two weeks ago: I'll be old enough to get my driver's permit in 6 months! I can't wait!

Two weeks ago: Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!
Two years from now: ????

She's a freshman, and already some of the parties that her friends have been invited to have featured alcohol. What's it going to be like when she goes to prom in just a few years?  I think it's never too early to start talking to your kids about topics like alcohol, underage drinking, or drinking and driving.  Want some tips to get your conversation started? Check out the Prom Drinking Guide that I wrote in partnership with SheKnows and Anheuser-Busch, and check out Anheuser-Busch's Family Talk About Drinking initiative on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: this is a compensated post.

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