Backpack Camping in Point Reyes National Seashore

Last year I had told myself on my birthday that I was going to do the California “Lost Coast” Trail as a birthday challenge for myself.  My birthday was in October, and I am not that far from the next birthday now.  Life gets busy, I can start to loose a little focus,  and sometimes those goals get a little further during the course that time. The Lost Coast Trail is actually where the people in charge of building California’s famous Highway 1 actually decided not to build.  Where the Highway known for its beautiful cliffside and coastlines, decided… “meh… this area looks a little too rough for roads”.  Where you actually have to shuttle a couple hours, or have two cars so that you can get from the start and the end of the trail.  It’s a couple days long and can take you on some challenging terrain… and […]

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Dogs Need Love Too: Toaster Time

With all the summertime adventuring, I wanted to also give a special day for Evie’s older sibling, Toaster.   He’s our “special” child who sometimes doesn’t get the spotlight so every now and then we try to plan some time just for him. I’ve always been a dog person, partially because I am so allergic to cats, but also because they are such loyal and lovable pets.  My first childhood dog was kept in a cage in the basement and played with us outside in the yard, but was never allowed to freely roam the house or be completely integrated into our lives.  Super sad, I know.  I knew when we adopted him that we wanted to try to take Toaster with us everywhere, but sometimes he’s not allowed or it becomes a cost issue. Traveling with a dog has become easier with airlines, but some of them do not […]

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Still Playing Catch Up With Summer Break Part 2

So I’m currently out enjoying a little bit of a vacation in Seattle, and I feel can’t completely feel like I’m on vacation with other work just backing up.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to share another photo post of some fun things that happened last month. With Evie on summer break, we have been spending a lot of time hanging out.  Basically, I’ve been trying to find things to keep a little 4-year old active and burn off some of that unlimited energy that she has. It all has been both fun and exhausting, but we are also lucky enough to have some friends close by to help in the task.  Evie has made some really close friends in her 4 years of life both in kids and adults, and they have been so great in sharing some of the exhaustion with me. As I just […]

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Brothers, Motorcycles, and Some of our Fave Day Trips in Cali

I was lucky to have a surprise visit from my brother last month.  He was really just in town last February for Evie’s birthday and I kinda gave him crap for not staying.  He basically came to town only for the party and left soon after, so it was barely enough time to catch up with him at all. My brother, Josh (whom I call by his middle name, Bernie), is owner of a couple motorcycles back in Illinois and wanted to go ride somewhere new.  He was lucky enough to have a couple days free from work and decided to see if he could arrange that time to ride around California for a bit.  To be honest, I am a little jealous of that carefree life, so I got really excited when he told me his plans. Whether he wanted me to or not, I totally crashed the beginning […]

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Pad Thai For Two (Part 4) When Timing Is Right For People to Come Into Your Life

Sorry for the delay on this last part of my Pad Thai for Two adventures.  I’ve been having lots of computer issues, which hopefully are resolved, but have also been having a difficult time thinking about how to write this last post about my trip to Thailand.  I didn’t have the best time here and I think I’m still actively trying to forget moments that bummed me out there.  Writing a blog post about it had me reflecting back and trying to make sense of that time; what made it negative and what positives I can take from it all. Just a heads up: I do NOT want to really dive into those negatives here, at least not in this post. The last five days of the trip was purposely planned to have more of a relaxing vibe.  My friend Rachelle and I wanted to have some time to reflect […]

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Celebrating Evie’s 4th Birthday Without Breaking the Bank

How can I incorporate my family’s love for the outdoors and a preschooler’s active and inquisitive nature into a birthday celebration without spending too much? As a kid, my parents really didn’t throw any of us birthday parties.  I mean, there were 5 of us kids, and birthday parties get expensive.  Most times, our birthdays were just celebrated at home where my mom cooked up some Filipino noodles, called pancit, and we had a homemade birthday cake.  She believed in most Filipino superstition, and eating long noodles were a sign of long life.  Unfortunately, I never learned how to cook pancit as well as mom does, so I haven’t really continued that tradition. Last year, when Evie turned 3, we decided to throw her first co-ed friends and family birthday party.  It was her first year in preschool and she was pretty close to all of her buddies, so we […]

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Where to Getaway for Camping, Aquarium Time, and a Sunset on the Beach

For the month of February, things were getting a little busy with Evie’s birthday preparations and the family that was coming in town to celebrate with us.  We thought about possibly postponing our usual camp weekend, but we also felt the need to get away and relax after all the events were over.  One of the greatest opportunities we have living here in California is the various options for getaway weekends.  In any direction, and in as little as an hour, we can find ourselves having an adventure. Coming from Chicago, I got used to the only getaway options being the Wisconsin Dells or Indiana Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, Illinois has its share of nature to fish and hike, but sometimes these places start looking identical.  The drawback to living in the Midwest, I guess.  California has options because of the ecological diversity here.  From mountain ranges, to deserts, to […]

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Last Year’s Spring Break RV Trip to Southern California #throwbackthursday

We had been talking about getting in an RV to do some traveling for a couple years now.  I think at first, it was something that we would mention in an almost joking way, like it would never really happen but it would be cool if it did.  The more we talked about it, the more it became clear that it was definitely something we wanted to do.  We would search the internet at nights just pulling up RV blogs or Tiny Home tours, just to see how people really did it.  It made total sense to us, the more space you have, the more you fill it with stuff you convince yourself that you need.  Then the more stuff you have, the more trapped you really are.  Trapped both in a consumer lifestyle, a habit of needing and wanting more, and also trapped in the sense that all those […]

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