Archive | no kids allowed

happy travels {recap}

Last week was TRAVEL WEEK and I had a lot of fun posting about all the things that I have learned along the way…here is a recap of all the traveling posts:
Travel Tips {general tips}
Disneyland Tips PART ONE
Disneyland Tips PART TWO
Travel Tips {No Kids Allowed}
Camping Tips PART ONE
Camping Tips PART TWO

There are so many other great ideas out there!

HERE is a great list for packing tips!
HERE is a great article about flying along with kids!
HERE is a great blog about family traveling!

Enjoy and Happy Travels!
And of course there is even more to check out on my Pinterest board: travelBUG


I love getting away as a family or with just the girls…but sometimes married couples need alone time. We try to get away without our kids once a year or so. There have been times in our marriage where we couldn’t afford to get away but we at least could have our kids go stay with someone for a day or two and we could have a “stay-cation” at home. Whatever you are up for I think you will agree that making this a priority in your marriage as often as you can is worth it. We continue to be amazed at how helpful it can be because for the most part we just need time to remember why we like each other!
In general there are three types of trips that we like to take without kids:
::a run-around trip::
We had the chance to go to SEATTLE for my college reunion in 2012 and it was so fun to run around without our kids. We both graduated from the same school a year apart so we have a lot of mutual friends. We ran around like crazy people to see all our friends! We stayed up late, ate whatever we wanted, stayed in a small hotel room & basically did a ton of things that would have been impossible with the kids there. Sometimes we just need to be able to have fun and not worry about the kids. If you have the option of leaving yours for a few days to do something like this…do it. Even if it’s once ever 10 years…do it!
::a planning trip::
One of our goals is to spend time planning out our year and talking about basic family stuff that we have a hard time carving out time for in our day to day life. Kids or phone calls always seem to interrupt these conversations! We aim to discuss what we want to be doing as a family, what rules are working or not working for us, how can we develop different habits and goals to keep improving, what areas of our home need to be reevaluated {such as chores, duties, maintenance, schedule, yearly trips, outside activities, budget, etc}. Our goal is to come home feeling like we have had a business retreat or summit for the running of our family. Like our MILL VALLEY trip in 2013. It is great to get a bunch of this stuff done on our first few days so that we can relax the rest of the time. From then on we can basically sleep-in, reconnected and really just did NOTHING at all…and that is always perfect for this stage in our lives!::a relaxing trip::
For this kind of trip we like to do nothing, enjoy each others company, get romantic, don’t talk about kids or money or household issues…our goal is to just be together and relax. Like our HAWAII trip in 2012. This is one of my favorite types of trips now that I’m a busy mommy. As a kid, I remember getting to a place that we had traveled for hours to see and my parents would just want to relax.
What? RELAXXX???
“You guys are so boring…” I would say! 
I DID. NOT. GET. IT. I just wanted to go do something. Hadn’t we just spent hours “getting there?” But now I totally get it. Busy trips can be really fun and us Panfi’s love to travel…but once in a while we just needed some down time.
::for the kids::One more thing I try to do is pack little goodies for the kids to open each day while we are away. When we went on our Hawaii trip it was about 6 days and we had never been away from the kids that long. I got small $dollar$ items and wrapped one for each kid, for each day we were gone. I attached little love notes to each one also. It gave them something to look forward to each day and honestly I think they liked it so much that they did not want us to come home because the gifts would stop coming! Ha! I guess that means it worked!

So go plan a trip for you and your sweetheart soon. You will not be sorry!


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}
{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.}
{the most amazing gelato. open until 9 PM which is rare in this sleep-hallow town. and gluten-free cones}
{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!}



favorite THINGS friday
A few weeks ago Aaron and I got away without the kids for an amazing vacation in Hawaii.  The hotel we stayed at was incredible!
A typical day consisted of snorkeling, hanging on the beach, eating amazing food, unbelievable sunsets and uninterrupted sleep! What more could a couple ask for! It was the perfect way to celebrate 10 years of marriage and we felt more than blessed to be able to do it.  There are no words to adequately describe the beauty of it or the feelings we felt heading home so hopefully the pictures can tell the story!
Hawaii is for sure one of my favorite things!
 Oh the sunsets we saw!

good ol’ fashioned tourists & alumni DORKS…

A few weeks ago Aaron & I got away for my 10 year college reunion {at Seattle Pacific University}. We got to leave the kids at home so we could run around like college students again! And we did.  I kept saying that we were acting like good ol’ fashioned tourists and total Alumni DORKS and we were!  We ran all over Seattle taking pictures, ate brunch at the Space Needle restaurant, visited Kerry Park & Pike’s Place Market. We met with professors, hung out around campus and saw tons of our college friends (some people we had not seen in 10 years). We even went to our old dorm {I know, I know…that’s why I said we were Alumni DORKS}!  I picked up a new SPU sweatshirt and got some time with my college roommates {five of my favorite people}! Aaron got to catch up with some of his roommates as well! There is never enough time to catch up with everyone, so that would be my only complaint!

love my roomies…the WELL girls

To say it was an amazing trip is an understatement, there are not words to describe how much Aaron and I loved the time away, the time together and the time to relive some of the best years of our lives {TRULY}!
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