Archive | my travels

travelBUG {TRAVEL WEEK}

Remember my road trip post?  You can find it HERE.

It was a pretty popular post…so next week I will hosting a {TRAVEL WEEK}!
We just got back from another trip and I’m inspired to share some of the tips I have learned along the way! Starting on Monday enjoy some of my favorite travel tips everyday…all week long.

I am not an expert traveler and I have not gone over-seas {other than Hawaii} but we do tend to go out of town about once a month {on average} as a family. Sometimes we drive, sometimes we fly, sometimes we are close to home, sometimes we camp, sometimes we go to Disneyland and sometimes we go out of state! We just love to go explore & we love to visit our loved ones who live far away!

Hope you can get-away this summer and if you do…I hope these travel tips help! Here are a few new things I have discovered since my road trip post for traveling with kids:
Please share these ideas on Pinterest or Facebook using my Pin It button at the bottom of each post {if you feel so inclined}!

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getting away from it all

in our own backyard {so to speak}

If you need a short trip out of town and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area {or close enough}…I highly recommend that you make a hop, skip and a jump over to Mill Valley for a quick and relaxing get-away with your sweetheart or some friends.Check out all my links and pics below! We were there just two nights last week for a {no kids allowed} break and it was perfect. We had done this exact trip a few years ago and loved it so much that we went back! Our goal was to relax and reconnect…this trip was the perfect way to do that!
::where we stayed::
Mill Valley Inn
We stayed at a great hotel, the Mill Valley Inn, that included parking, Wi-Fi and a wonderful continental breakfast. They also host a small cheese and wine reception in the evening that was a lovely pre-dinner snack. We partook of all of the above! It was not the cheapest hotel but if you have the money it is certainly worth it {in my opinion}! It is in the heart of Mill Valley’s little down town {allowing us to walk to every restaurant spot on our list and Tyler Florence’s Shop}! It had great features, nice accommodations as well as being clean and comfy! We stayed in their Creek House, an old building with wrap-around porches and a beautiful setting of tall trees above and a tiny creek below.

::where we ate::
Right in the downtown Mill Valley area we ate at a ton of amazing restaurants. I love to eat out, try new things and just linger at a restaurant to talk {it is especially relaxing knowing that I will not be the one doing the dishes}!
{so many wonderful places to eat}

Pearl’s Phat Burgers | Mill Valley
{this place was A.Maze.Ing}
Beerworks
{this place was small. a bit crowded. had great beer. lots to choose from on tap. featured small bites plates. great service. a bit overpriced to me. worth it if you have the $ and want a good beer and/or to try a bunch of different things on the menu.}
La Coppa Coffee
{great coffee & desserts in convenient location from hotel. great service}
the Dipsea Cafe
{their biscuits taste like a small pillow sent down from heaven. great menu. relaxed atmosphere. we have only gone for breakfast but love it. a favorite bay area spot on my list thanks to my friend Tim who took me & some friends years ago. worth every penny for those biscuits.}
Piazza D’Angelo
{wonderful food. lovely environment. great Italian menu. gluten-free options.}
Small Shed Flatbreads
{i LOVE this place. we have gone for the day just to eat here. they have local, organic, fresh ingredients and even make gluten-free flatbreads now…run…don’t walk…to this place.}
noci
{the most amazing gelato. open until 9 PM which is rare in this sleep-hallow town. and gluten-free cones}
*Bungalow44
{we actually ate here a few years ago and it was great…we just didn’t want to spend the money this time}
::what we saw::
Tyler Florence’s Shop
Muir Woods
This part of the Bay Area has a ton of natural experiences to enjoy. Mt. Tam, Stinson Beach and several trails to walk or bike on. San Francisco is just a quick drive just over the Golden Gate Bridge! We spent an afternoon in the breathtaking beauty of Muir Woods. There are short trails for strolling {that are made up of boardwalk style, wood planks} making them accessible to almost anyone in a stroller, wheelchair or with a disability. This is quite rare for a national park, or any park, in my experience. If you have time there are longer trails that boast great views {we will do that some other time, for sure}. Bring your wallet as it was about $7 per person just to enter the park area…but again…worth the money. There is a cafe and gift shop as well!
On our last day we headed for home over the Golden Gate Bridge to Baker Beach. It was a beautiful and clear day in the city {you never know what you are gonna get}. But Baker Beach was FREEZING! Seriously so cold! It was just so windy and the wind was so frigid that we literally walked down 20 steps from the parking lot, took a few pics and then left. I’m a total wimp. But I knew we would be back someday soon! {Aaron and I keep laughing about the picture at the bottom right…I look like a troll that lives under the bridge…ha!}

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walking in a winterWONDERLAND


At the beginning of December we made a trek up North to Nana & Papa’s house for what’s becoming quite the tradition::to cut down our own Christmas tree! We got up into the mountains just far enough to play in the snow, make a snowman, toss around some snowballs and cut down our cute little tree. Once again, fun was had by all!
…fun with Nana & Papa…
…we got a small, thin tree this year (it really shows off the ornaments) but we have chopped down huge ones in the past…
…my manly guy uses an axe like it’s no big deal and makes it look so easy…
…poor guy got snow in his boots the minute he stepped out of the truck…
…Grant liked the snow but was pretty cold & whiny most of the time…
 
…Paigey LOVED the snow…
 …even in the snow a girl can look cute, right?…
…every time the snowman changed she wanted to pose next to him…
…thanks Nana, Papa and Mr. Snowman…
{hope to see you again next year}
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collecting shells & counting {BLESSINGS}

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we had a fun trip down to the central coast. We spent Thanksgiving day with my Dad’s cousin at his wonderful restaurant McPhee’s Grill in Templeton, CA.  {As a side note…If you have not been there you are missing out! And I’m not just saying that because I love Ian.  It really is wonderful!} Anyhow, we had a sweet time of catching up with him, talking a lot about my Dad, missing my Dad and laughing…we tried to be thankful that we got so many years with him and not focus on his absence.  I love hearing Ian’s stories about them growing up together and although it was a sad day we put on happy faces and did honestly do our best make the most of it. So we counted our blessing and stuffed our faces (two things I’m generally pretty good at)! It was beautiful down there (as always) and the trip ended with a stop at the beach in Cambria to collect shells and hang by the water. The beach is my happy place. I love it! I love the treasure hunt of collecting shells and rocks that are unique. I love the water, the colors, the sound of the waves…even rocky sand in my toes. The kids always have a ball when we hang by the water…so fun was had by all.Hope you are counting your blessings and collecting memories during these special holiday events and as the new year approaches!
 
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