Winter weekend in Lake Tahoe

I’d forgotten how truly stunning Lake Tahoe is! I grew up coming here and have treasured both the winter and summer vacations over the years. Summer has it’s own special dreaminess to it, but winter is pure magic! Walking up to a nearly 360° panorama of snow capped mountains surrounding the nearly still, crystal clear (ice cold) lake is stunning. And no picture captures it! Trust me, we keep trying 🙂 Continue reading “Winter weekend in Lake Tahoe”

Roaring camp

I’ve been a little on the brink of a cold, so I’m extremely thankful for James taking the kiddos for breakfast as I snoozed the morning away. Once we mustered our crew together, we drove up to Roaring Camp! It’s a nearby spot that takes you on a steam engine train, similar to that of a logging train from the 1800s.

We caught the two o’clock ride. It’s a jolty open air train that creeps and crawls into the Big Basin forest in Felton, surrounding you with fresh air, Redwood groves and flashes of warm sunshine when it can reach you. Continue reading “Roaring camp”

Carmel adventures

This was a sweet day last month that I hadn’t gotten around to logging, but the kids and I were looking for a easy access beach to frolic on and came across this one in Carmel, which is about a 45 minute drive from us. We had the sweetest drive around the winding ocean front road, peering at all the driveways with “race cars” lined up in them (see: fancy houses) and either singing or chatting away. Kate loved playing with the sand but locked up every time she had to walk on it, so I found myself carrying Emma in her car seat and Kate (i had my fair share of sweaty moments).

Being on the beach with the kids is so nostalgic for me. Most weekends as a child from early spring to early fall each year were spent walking the railroad tracks with my mom to play at the beach. I look back and imagine that’s where she got a good amount of her reading done. Balancing on the long railroad beams or skipping from wood step to wood step, trying not to get rocks in my sandals as we went. Setting up camp, arranging all my sand toys and then running back and forth with a bucket between the waves and my little world I’d created, adding water to my moats or baked creations.

Mostly, the kids ran around playing race cars and scooping up the fine white sands in their little hands, asking me to chase them every few minutes. We made it back to the car, poured out half the beach at our feet and moseyed home, stopping for a much needed coffee and trip to the farm stand.

Gilroy gardens


This day happened awhile back now but we had the best time with the kids and so I didn’t want to neglect writing it down. We love Gilroy gardens! This was the first time Kate has been able to enjoy rides and the magic of it all. Huge mushrooms, spinning garlic cloves and apple-and-worm themed rides make this place a pretty thrilling vegetable garden, ha. Continue reading “Gilroy gardens”

Day trip to the North Coast

IMG_1959.JPG

Over the Thanksgiving break, we wandered our way up the salty, steep, winding coast with extra layers, blankets and plenty of fruit, yogurt and peanut butter and jellies to feed a small preschool. We have always loved the peace of a long picturesque drive to think or chat while children stare, chatter and hopefully sleep. Luke was discussing with James how he’d remembered listening to the Jack Johnson song before (“I remembered that one, daddy!”) while I tried to recollect the last time I’d been to the various farms, beaches and trails flying by on either side of the highway. Continue reading “Day trip to the North Coast”

Carmel-by-the-sea

This last week, we spent the day in Carmel with James mom (Luke’s grandma!) and godmother who were visiting from Southern California. We went out for lunch and then walked all over the quaint little Carmel (along with every tourist in town apparently!!). Even with the crowds, it was so special to catch up and for Luke to get some loving from his family.

Continue reading “Carmel-by-the-sea”

Out on the farm


A few weeks ago, we headed up to our favorite farm to pick strawberries and picnic with the rest of the people we live on our campus with. It was foggy, as it is in our town, but it was pleasant, because company outweighs weather in my opinion! I don’t “get out” into too much nature, but considering the nature I do get myself into, fields of fruit seem to be at the top of the list. 
 
I love being “away” with other people in an environment we don’t usually exist in together, and how many different aspects we discover about each other. Figuring out that some like to frolic, some are meandering explorers, slowly discovering each and every little interesting thing on the way. My son, for example, is just tickled to be outside staring up at the big blue sky or trees, laid out on a blanket. Can’t wait to stare at the stars with this little man.. Maybe he’ll be the one who convinces James and I to truly, madly, deeply go camping one day (yikes).
 
Where do you love to explore??

 

 

 

 

San Francisco by bus

last weekend, we—along with a huge group of friends—took a double-decker tour bus through san francisco as a ‘christmas outing’ of sorts. how fun to see the city this way! it was also an easy way to be together and in the midst of a busy month, that’s pretty much the top of my priority list.

i must say that i now highly recommend taking a tourist tour of your local city! even if it’s your hometown (while sf is not, i would never think to take a tour), it’s amazing to see all the interesting historical facts that lie around every corner (we went with ‘big bus sf‘). here are a couple of my favorites!

friends on buses! and more friends on buses!
there’s always need for a beard shot according to my husband 🙂
the transamerica building where cousin penny works 🙂 love the view from a double decker! the tallest building in san francisco and one of the safest places to be in the case of an earthquake believe it or not!
jude. our precious little friend.
beautiful painting in the tl (tenderloin) district
san francisco city hall, which is actually 19 feet higher than the united states capitol, which is only allowed because san francisco is not the capital of california. clever!
driving through the haight, always eclectic and so much history i never knew of! plus lots of delicious food places.
and just a precursor for the amount of golden gate pics about to come.. you wouldn’t understand unless you went on a double decker over the golden gate! it’s amazing! and really really windy.
precious..
after the bus, we walked around pier 39 before i couldn’t handle it anymore 🙂 it’s a little overly fishy and busy for my liking, but beautiful view nonetheless.
and my favorite, the ferry building. and against that big blue sky. “wintertime” is surely one of the most beautiful (and sometimes shockingly warm) times of year in these parts!

San Francisco

on wednesday we took a special trip to the city to soak in everything christmas, shop and just hang out. we took a little bit different route than usual and decided to put off shopping too much and may i just say, best decision ever! it’s so much less stressful to simply browse around and take everything in (for us, that is!). although, i didn’t subject myself to anthropologie because if there’s no room in the budget for it, that’s just plain cruel. and truly, at six months pregnant, i haven’t felt like flexing my shopping muscles in the stores this year.. it has been a very amazon christmas thus far 🙂 Continue reading “San Francisco”