Walking in a Winter Wonderland... Southern California Style!

So excited to join a group of AMAZING teacher bloggers for our 2nd annual Southern California Winter Blog Hop!! We're each sharing why we love So Cal. . . especially during winter!
My "always favorite" Southern Cal place is at the beach: summer or winter, I love the smell, the sounds, and the water. Sunsets aren't so bad either!
Unique to Southern California is the Rose Parade. Ever since I was young, I used to decorate Rose Parade floats with my Girl Scout troop. As an adult, I love taking my own Girl Scout troops to decorate floats. It is incredible to watch these spectacular floats evolve and you truly gain appreciation for what goes into making one. Every item on a float is natural: bark, seeds, leaves, grains, flowers. One year, my troop and I stripped, cut, and shoved 12,000 roses  (yes, that's 12 THOUSAND) into vials of water!! This year, we cleaned out last year's vials with a pipe cleaner wrapped around a wooden skewer (all by hand!!) and shredded coconut... boxes and boxes of coconut. But it's amazing to see the finished floats!!
Next, I love the array of museums in Southern California! Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of my favorites! They not only have a wonderful permanent collection and unique outdoor art, but fantastic visiting exhibits. If you're in the LA area in the next few months, you must check out The Rain Room!! Rain pours down from the ceiling, but due to sensors, you can walk through it and the rain stops overhead, although it continues all around you! (Kinda reminded me of how Moses must have felt parting the Red Sea!)
Another must-see museum is the Japanese American National Museum. It also has fun and interesting temporary exhibits, along with a permanent collection called Common Ground. It is the history of Japanese American internment camps during WW2. There is an actual barrack that families were forced to live in, models of the camps, video footage, photos, and memorabilia. It especially hits home for me since my mom's whole side of the family and my father-in-law's side of the family lost their homes, land, and businesses while they were interned. Such an important part of history to learn from.
I love that we have a local outdoor skating rink every winter! True, sometimes it's so hot out that the ice starts to form puddles of water on the rink, but we pretend it's snowy and attempt to skate! Now I know to those of you battling snow & blizzards right now, this is simply ridiculous, but it gives us a feeling of experiencing winter :)
Be sure to enter our Amazon giveaway!! (My very favorite place to shop!!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And because I love the California coast so much, I'm sharing one of my favorite photo files with you!
 This photo file is a collection of high resolution photos that can be used as a slide show presentation to teach geography and regions, or to introduce or review facts, elicit language and reinforce vocabulary. The photo file can be printed as smaller flash cards and used as visual vocabulary, or as picture writing prompts.
Hop on over next to The Apple Basket Teacher for another winter freebie!
The Apple Basket Teacher


  1. I love museums, and the Japanese American museum sounds super interesting to visit. Maybe I'll go check it out during spring break. I would also like to check out Levitating Mass. I remember when it was being trucked in---made the news every night. : )
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    1. You definitely should check out both museums! Levitating Mass is amazing just because of the sheer size of it! I heard a lot of people don't want to walk under it though :)

  2. Love the freebie! Makes a great desktop wallpaper :-)

    1. That's a great idea to use coast pic as wallpaper! I'd be looking at my happy place all day!

  3. Thanks, Kristen! Photos make all the difference in comprehension! :)