Celebrating 5 Years of Camping on Angel Island

It was 5 years ago, when Evie was only 7 months old, that we took her on her first camping trip.  We went to an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, called Angel Island.  Of course I was worried.  I didn’t know if she would cry all night or be fussy on hike to the campsite.  I called the State Park ranger on duty to confirm emergency procedures if something should end up happening while we were there.  I hadn’t even been to the island prior to the trip so I had no idea if they had boats docked overnight or even signal to reach anyone. She slept in the Bjorn carrier as we climbed Mount Livermore, the highest point on the island.  We apparently took the hardest trail to the campsite, with baby and backpacks of camping supplies, and my husband and I were exhausted by […]

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Hiking Muir Woods National Park

With Evie back in school, I have the time now to really just spend a day to myself.  I guess recently, I’ve been dealing with some phony people and discouraging situations, so it’s nice to get out of your head for a bit. Nature is the reminder for me that no matter how crazy life gets, it’s all pretty insignificant in comparison.  I couldn’t ask for a better situation when my girl, Rachelle, and I decided to take a little hike in Muir woods. The drive across the Richmond bridge and up through Mill Valley was beautiful.  Roads were winding up the mountain with breathtaking vistas of the bay.  Once we arrived there, we couldn’t believe how many people were there.  It was surprising for a regular weekday morning. I am still amazed at how much different the California landscape can change from one mile to the next, this park was no […]

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Eating Around the Bay: 8 Places We Love to Show Off

August ended up being a pretty busy month for having visitors around.  Maybe it’s just a natural reaction to the fall season when we all need to get that one last vacation in.  Having just gone on vacation last month, and having some travel plans coming up, it’s nice to take some time to just stay home.  Luckily for us, staying around the Bay always feels like a pseudo vacation when we have company. I think in the matter of one month we had about 8 visitors!  Some have never been here, some used to live here, and some haven’t been here to visit in a couple years.  Whichever the case, I was glad to have all of them around to catch up with. Whenever a visitor comes around, we try to take them out to some of our favorite places to eat or drink, so I wanted to share […]

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My First Timers Guide to San Francisco

Ever since moving to the Bay Area 8 years ago, I’ve had my share of visitors who have come in for a day to a couple weeks.  Every now and then, I meet someone who’s never been to San Francisco and just want a quick day or weekend to see the tourist-typical spots here.  I’ve passed along this information so many times, I thought I should share it on the blog. QUICK TIPS FOR DOING THE TOURIST THING AROUND SF   The Golden Gate Bridge can be covered in fog at certain times of the day, I think it’s mostly mornings and later at night, so check the forecast if you wanted to go out and see it. Seeing it from the Welcome Center is nice, but if you want to avoid weekend tourists, you can also get a good view from Chrissy Field too.   Alcatraz books up fast and […]

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Top 9 Picks for Summer Break Staycation in San Francisco

Summer break can be tough with a little one, they are constantly on the move and need constant engagement.  We spent some time in San Francisco this summer to get a new take on the city on the other side of the bridge. Living in Oakland, the city of San Francisco seems so close yet so far away.  The long Bay Bridge and Treasure Island separate us from the downtown area, so it seems mentally further than the 15-20 minutes that it usually takes to get there from here. Staycations are a way we can experience a little break from the normal day activities and feel like you are experiencing something new. We spent the days wandering around and exploring some nooks and crannies that we had never been to before. Since we were walking around the city, we got to see a lot more than what we would normally […]

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5 Things Kids Learn with Tea Parties

Evie’s godmother wanted to take us out to have afternoon tea on a warm Sunday afternoon, and I think I was actually more excited than her.  Of course I would have jumped at the opportunity just thinking about it  and remembering playing tea party as a child. As a 4-year old, Evie has her own tea set and does play tea parties as well.  Her tea set is actually a mismatched set of ultra frilly or super unique cups and saucers that I had collected through garage sales and second hand stores.  I have been collecting this antique set for her since she was born, knowing that one day I would be able to play tea party with her. She sets up her stuffed animals and plays tea party, completely making up the dialog between the friends and answering herself.  (Something she has gotten pretty good at as an only child.) […]

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How to Explain the Pride Parade to a 4-Year Old

Now and days it’s pretty difficult to avoid having some pretty serious talks with my 4-year old. On television, social media, or even out on the streets she will come across things that make her question things.  Sometimes it’s really surprising what she comes across and asks me about. This week, she asked me what a booty clap was… apparently she heard an older cousin talking about it and thought to ask me… yikes. With “politicians” running around with hateful messages, I’d like to get in front of it all and consider how she processes different information.  I think I’m lucky enough to have 2 things in my corner that really help me in this mission: 1. Oakland is super mixed as far as the type of people that live here, there’s such a mix here that she’s offered experiences in a lot of different cultures and is exposed to […]

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Exploratorium Time with Danny

As I’m flying back to Oakland from Seattle I only find it fitting to blog about a recent visit from our friend (and old next door neighbor), Danny.  Not only because he used to live in both of those cities, but also because he just spent so much time in airplanes after what looked like an amazing journey all over Asia. After a couple years in Oakland, I got to become pretty good friends with the guy. Some nights after work were spent talking about different travel plans or travel-related experiences we’ve had. I have always been happy and partially jealous that he left to go on his new journey that lasted about 7 months to go experience new places and cultures. What made it slightly bittersweet was the fact that he was so close with Evie and had to leave her.  The neighborhood that we live in always joked about […]

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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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