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We had a lovely time here. This is an RV park with parking for regular RVs and what we called "loophole RVs" - permanently parked buildings that are externally labeled as RVs but inside feature normal beds, large windows, normal wood cabinets without funny RV latches, a normally flushing toilet, and good water pressure in the shower. And a gas stove! I love gas stoves. We stayed in a loophole RV, which the website calls a "Creekside Cabin". Our kids slept in the bedroom behind closed doors. My husband and slept in the living room next to a 7ft x 8ft window onto the stream - just a lovely view. The loophole RVs are spaced nicely to provide enough space in between for a somewhat private deck overlooking the stream and a parking spot for a full size car.
There are basic metal canoes available for paddling on the stream. There's a playground for kids. Be careful with little kids since neither the stream nor small pond are fenced. The convenience store stocks very basic supplies, enough to get by for a meal or two but not a replacement for a real grocery store. I thought we might end up shopping at Jo's Organic Grocery up the road, but the few fruits we bought at Jo's were so heavily permeated with incense that I'm glad we mostly shopped at Crater Lake Resort's store. The wifi was unusable both in the cabin and at the main office, and Verizon reception was poor.
I got my $20 worth. I didn't get much more than $20 worth, but I only paid $20. We have two young kids and haven't had the car cleaned for half a year, so there was unsurprisingly much dirt on both inside and outside. They got 98% of it. There were a few crumbs left around the shift lever and some of the hard interior surface hadn't been wiped, but overall it was far far better than when I came in. The outside looked like it went through an automated car wash, including two stripes of dirt on the roof under the two bars of the roof rack, and a couple smudged bugs still on the hood, but again far far better than when I came in. I'll be back - I paid $20, and I got $20 worth.
The cleaning (mid-afternoon on a Friday) took less time than researching plane tickets and sending off an email using their wifi inside the air-conditioned waiting area. My laptop claimed only two bars reception but the wifi was totally fast enough for both tasks.
The organization wasn't stellar. It wasn't clear where to stop and leave the car because the attendant was away; they didn't tell me clearly where to pay; and they didn't come get me when the car was done. But hey, $20.
Beware the pricing: Gas prices listed are if you buy a car wash. We got charged an extra 20 cents/gallon over the posted price because we didn't get the car wash. This is the most expensive of the four gas stations at this exit.
This child care center changed management in Feb 2014, from CCLC to Learning Links. The City of Mountain View retained ownership, most or all children stayed, and Learning Links retained most of the teachers. In fact, Learning Links retained the best teachers (IMO) and CCLC took the rest. Given that the change was incremental, you may want to read previous reviews while ignoring comments about management: search for "CCLC" at the same address (yelp.com/biz/cclc-mounta…).
The land and building are owned by the City of Mountain View and priority for enrollment is given to residents. The city's goal in opening a child care center included encouraging a low percentage of state-subsidized low-income children which CCLC mostly ignored but Learning Links hopes to honor, with the change happening gradually. It's hard to get better ROI for pulling people out of poverty than offering quality child care, so I applaud this goal. Learning Links also intends to slowly include special needs children in the program with special teachers dedicated to modifying the regular curriculum for those individuals, which they claim to have done successfully at their Burlingame location. Given that social skills are the key thing children should learn in day care, I'm pleased to know that my children may have the opportunity to learn how to interact with less capable peers. Being nice and accommodating are difficult yet very important skills for children.
Pros: The city provides a large outdoor playground for the older children shaded by a beautiful oak tree. We like all our sons' teachers. The kids seem happy and engaged and the teachers seem enthusiastic about their roles. Communication has improved since Learning Links took over, in particular each classroom received a laptop and information is emailed out weekly. CCLC was just awful at electronic communication, and CCLC's paper notices tended to get nestled in between sheets of children's art work.
Cons: The city didn't provide much storage space which causes some logistical problems. There is also no on-site kitchen, limiting options for snacks. CCLC's extra programs (phonics, math, Spanish) are obviously gone, and almost 3 months in Learning Links has not brought in promised replacements. CCLC permanently employed "floater" teachers to give teachers breaks, while Learning Links uses temps. Both the previous and current management promised to have a parental advisory committee and neither really did/has.
Ok: CCLC contracts with Chefables to provide snacks while parents bring lunch. You can also pay about $10/day to buy lunch from the same vendor. The snacks usually include a fruit, rarely a vegetable, and always a sweetened flour product like cookie/scone/muffin. Chefables was unable to give me information on how much sugar is in the food, but every baked item I've tasted off my kids' plates was what we at home call "dessert". (See my Chefables review for details.) Also, CCLC blew off some licensing regulations while Learning Links complies, which has some pros and some cons.
Our older son has been attending CCLC since Aug 2011 and our younger since June 2013.
We stopped here just passing through and were really pleasantly surprised. If we lived locally I think this would become a regular dinner venue for us. The vegetables were cooked just right, not at all over-cooked as in many Thai restaurants. They had combo meals available which meant we each got rice, salad, and two dishes at the price of a regular dinner, and we enjoyed the variety. Each of the two dishes was unique and flavorful, unlike many Thai restaurants where one curry sauce differs little from the next. We have kids, a toddler and a pre-schooler, and the staff knew exactly how to interact with small children.
This center is undergoing a change in management.
This center is owned by the city of Mountain View. It was operated by the CCLC since it opened but early in 2013 CCLC issued an ultimatum to the city saying that CCLC would give 6 months notice (as permitted by their contract) unless the city renegotiated the contract, and CCLC requested that the city contribute $100,000 per year more than in the original contract to improve profit margins. The city found a non-profit operator, Learning Links, to take over operations on terms that seem better for the city and residents. Learning Links seems expresses interest in retaining existing teachers and children. Read about Learning Links here:
The transition may be rough, though more for parents and teachers than for children. Two weeks after the city council decision, CCLC disallowed Learning Links from attending a meeting that CCLC held for the parents, and CCLC management noted displeasure that Learning Links had met with teachers. CCLC was unable to clearly answer any parent question regarding Learning Links' plans, as if in those two weeks they had not spoken at all with Learning Links. Though CCLC initiated the contract review, they had done no planning for the operator transition, and did not notify prospective parents that the center might be switching management shortly.
We plan to keep our two boys at the center. I like most of the teachers and hope enough of them will stay at the center. I've been unimpressed with CCLC's management on multiple occasions.
I've seen Dr Bluvas twice.
First time, when my C-section got scheduled 3 hours before it happened and we were still waiting for my regular OB to get back from his vacation for the surgery, she came to talk to me. I was nervous because here was this person whom I'd never met and whose online reviews I hadn't read, and she was about to assist in my C-section. I was nervous. I wasn't sure exactly how to politely interview her for the job, but she took all my questions in stride. She seemed both competent and friendly. I healed well from the surgery and the nurses spoke well of her, so I think she's actually an excellent surgeon.
Second time, I had an unnerving medical issue after the delivery. My regular OB was booked and I didn't want to wait, while Dr Bluvas had an open slot. She listened and gave a clear answer on what was going on and how to resolve it. She seemed knowledgable and had nice bedside manner.
Dr Rydfors is awesome, one of the best docs I've ever had.
One warning: His office is ALWAYS running late. Half an hour to an hour late. Expect it.
I had my last baby with Dr Rydfors. I wanted to have a home birth, so he recommended an at-home midwife. I received alternating care from him and the midwife, which is a collaboration rare in the U.S. Towards the end of the pregnancy due to a medical concern it became clear that I would not be possible for me to attempt a natural delivery. I'm quite sure that he and Dr Bluvas (who is also a great doctor) did an excellent job with the surgery. I healed well and have not had any issues due to the incision. He was compassionate about my upset with needing major surgery and with my mental healing afterwards.
I scheduled my last annual PAP exam with him. About 45 minutes into the wait, I started questioning whether I needed the BEST doctor for routine medical check-ups. When he finally came in, just over an hour late, he sat down and just asked questions for about 10 minutes. Was I working; how were my kids; how was my husband's job. In the process, we came across a minor medical issue that I had discussed with half a dozen doctors before him, none of whom had proposed a root cause, all of whom had said it's not serious and to just live with it. Dr Rydfors immediately explained what might be going on. I then mentioned another mysterious annoyance, and he explained how the two were related, and what lifestyle changes might help address both. All of a sudden, the hour long wait didn't seem so unreasonable.
I joined this Y earlier this summer because their pool is warmer than the two nearby city pools at Eagle and Rengstorff Parks. I get cold easily, as does my 3 year old son whom I've been trying to teach to swim this summer. In addition to the pool, I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the whole facility. The weight room is nice. There's an on-site day care, free to members for up to 2 hours (enough for a workout). Clean towels are provided. Lots of classes. I like the range of ages and abilities; unlikes some gyms, there are young people and old people and muscular people and fat people. Some of my workouts included physical therapy for a bum knee and it was nice not to feel outclassed.
The only down side is that the parking lot fills up at some times of day, but there's a parking garage which never fills up. You just have to allow an extra 5 minutes for the walk from the garage to the Y.
My sons' day care uses Chefables for their snacks. I think my children get most of their sugar from those snacks. Most snacks consist of a fruit and a cookie/scone/muffin/etc. Chefables has a surprisingly hard time incorporating vegetables into their snacks. Looking at the Dec 2013 menu, of 40 snacks, only 4 contain vegetables. August was similar. If they're better at baking than cooking, why not serve zucchini bread and minimally sweetened carrot cake, maybe some broccoli croquettes? Why is it so hard to serve roast vegetables?
The company refused to tell me how much sugar is in any of their baked goods. When I've tasted snacks off my children's plates, they were all sweet enough to call cookies. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with Chefables trying to get some sense of how much sugar is in the food. The closest I got to an answer was that they only use fruit to sweeten their baked goods, which shocked me because most of their pastries look like they're just made with white flour with no visible sign of fruit. When I asked what fruit they use in their graham crackers, they replied "brown sugar", further confusing me. I suspect they heavily process fruit in-house to make some sweetener. The person I spoke with gave me his email address at the end, so I emailed later to ask why sweeteners made in-house are better than other sugars. I was told not to ask.
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