Monday, June 29, 2015

Sutter Creek and Hope Valley

When I think of road trips with kids my mind automatically jumps to scenes of kids screaming "are we there yet?" while kicking the back of your seat for 4 hours straight. Not exactly a winning campaign message for family road trips. I remember a particular trip with our first child when she was 8 months old that involved a 4 hour drive to visit her new cousin. It was horrible. She cried for the majority of the way there and back. I think our biggest mistake was thinking we could make a 4 hour drive without stopping, and then thinking we could make the drive back home on that very same day (looking back it seems like an obvious mistake...what were we thinking?). Thankfully, we have come a long way since that first trip. So far in fact, that our drives to and from our destinations are turning out to be just as much fun as the destination itself!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Angel Island: Summit Hike

The idea of "playing tourist" in the place you live is one that I really need to embrace more often. I remember years ago when we were visiting some family friends in Brisbane, Australia and we asked the kids about nearby Sydney. They told us they had never been! It was surprising to us that they hadn't explored the most well known city in their country. Then a couple of years later, they visited the U.S. and were asking about travel tips for New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We gave them the same response...that we had never really spent much time there. For so much of our twenties, we focused our energy and resources on seeing other parts of the world, and now that we have kids and limited resources, we are realizing how much we have overlooked SO close to home.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Exploring Lake Tahoe in the summer: 4 unique adventures

Whenever we plan a big family vacation, I tend to grow anxious as we approach the big day. There is a little voice in the back of my head that wonders if we will have fun? Will the kids adjust to a new environment and sleep well at night? Will there be enough to do to entertain everyone? Our recent week long trip to Tahoe was no exception. I spent hours and hours researching things to do in the area and left for the trip with a pretty short list. In trying to find family friendly destinations that were unique and didn't cost tons of money, I was hitting some major road blocks. Thankfully, with the help of some good finds from my brother-in-law and his wife (who also joined us on the trip) we ended up with some great day trips to share with everyone.

In no particular order, here they are!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Exploring Joaquin Miller Park

It's amazing to me how being outdoors can almost instantly re-energize you. With everything that has to get accomplished on the weekends, I often feel like I am running out of steam by mid-afternoon. And since an afternoon coffee is NOT an option for me if I plan on sleeping that night, I have started relying on time outdoors to give me that boost. Whether it's doing yard work, taking a walk to the park or going for a hike, the fresh air never fails to give me new life. It seems to have the same affect on the kids, who will often be on the verge of a meltdown at home, but are happily exploring a new hiking trail a short drive later.

Monday, June 1, 2015

SF Ferry Building

I was having a conversation with a friend a while back, and we were marveling at how sometimes the simplest trips can be the most rewarding. Case in point, our recent trip to the SF Ferry Building was just that...simple, easy and enjoyable for everyone. We started the day off by exploring the Ferry Building and enjoying samples from the amazing selection of vendors, followed by lunch with views of the Bay and capped off with a nice walk along the waterfront. Sounds pretty nice, right?