March Mini-Adventure: Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town

Now, just to clarify, we originally went to Sacramento for the weekend so I could do the Peace, Love, Run 10k. I got my shirt and number, I was all ready to run, but I turned my alarms off in my sleep and we missed it!!! UGGGGG!! Still mad about it.

20160325_140712The best part about the weekend was the trip out to Fairytale Town. If you are in Sacramento with kids, you cannot miss this place. It was basically a giant playground. All the areas were different with slides and climbing equipment.

20160325_143216There was a small fee to get in, but it was definitely worth it! The kids had so much fun and were totally worn out by the time we left. The best part was Owl’s Treehouse. They literally went up those steep stairs and down the slide like 12 times before I said we had to move on.

20160325_133052Only downside was that they had snowcones and I didn’t get one. :'(

 

The kids also really enjoyed staying in the hotel. I swear the hotel room was as big as our house!! We all stayed up until 11 pm watching Rocket Power (hadn’t seen that show in like 15 years!!)

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Despite the disappointment of missing my race, it was a great little family getaway!MONDAYS

P.S. More of our pictures from each adventure get posted to our Instagram, come follow our adventures there for daily updates! 🙂

Fairy Falls Family Hike

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After that first family hike out in Nevada City, Sophie’s favorite phrase for days was “Can we go on another adventure, please!?” So at the suggestion of our friend De’Etta at Courageous Joy, we decided to try the Fairy Falls Hike since it is only a few miles away and she had detailed instructions on how to find it on her blog (link at end).

 

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Now when I originally read the post, I didn’t notice that she said how long it was because I was concentrating on directions to the parking spot. This hike was extremely challenging for our little ones, but it was so worth it!!

 

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It was a gorgeous day – sunny, but not too hot! The hike was incredible because the scenery changes like every mile! You spend quite a bit of it walking down a dirt road.

 

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Little Rosebud fell asleep while being carried on the way out there. This made the trip even more challenging. We considered giving up before we even reached the falls, but we decided to make peace with the fact that we were going to end up carrying toddlers, instead. I’m so glad we did!

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Fairy Falls 2Once past the long dirt road, we came to a metal gate. At this point, we started passing people. Quite a few in fact. The gate led into a cow pasture. This was really interesting for the girls because the cows were so close to us. Nick and I were nervous though so we held them and tried to give the cows a decent amount of space as we passed them.

 

Fairy Falls 8Fairy Falls 9About a mile later, we came to a small sign that stood at the juncture of 3 paths. We decided to take the middle one because, by the looks of the sign, all 3 led to the falls. This middle path was beautiful, but the hiking was rough at points. There was a point when we were pretty much crawling along the path because it was very steep and slanted into a ravine.

Upon clearing the deeper woods, we found ourselves on an open trail. This was the last stretch to the falls. It sure was pretty!!

 

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We still do not know if we were at the top of the falls or the middle.

 

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Unfortunately, we did not reach the bottom of the falls, but only because the rest of the trail was carved into the side of the hill and it was not fenced. It looked a little too dangerous for a 2 and 3-year-old.

 

 

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We ate our lunch at the spot right next to the falls and played on some of the rocks by the fenced area. The girls loved it!! I would really like to tackle this hike again someday when the kids are much older.

 

Overall, this was an awesome trip to despite how challenging the hiking got at certain points. Sophie is already begging to go on another adventure!

 

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Our friends at Courageous Joy have perfect directions to this spot that can be found here. 🙂 Thanks, De’Etta,  for suggesting we try this hike!!

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February Mini-Adventure: Hirschman Trail – Nevada City, CA

 

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IMG_3938Family hiking is something we have always wanted to start doing, but the kids weren’t really old enough. This was their very first hike and they had a blast! The trail is off Cement Hill Rd. (right off hwy 49 by the police station) in Nevada City, CA. We discovered it through their city website Nevada City Things To Do, they have a list of the nearby hiking trails and how to find them, which is extremely convenient since we still do not know the area very well. It was such a beautiful trail, filled with trees, giant rocks, and a few wooden bridges. There was also a pretty big lake that people were fishing out of. It was very peaceful and the fish seemed to biting.

 

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We went about a mile in and turned back because we didn’t want to wear them out too quickly. We have decided that we want to take the kids on at least one a hike a month since there are so many beautiful areas here to be discovered. We also investigated Nevada City a little. What a beautiful little town!! Next time we are there I will get better pictures.

 

12705768_10153270700192793_6905395903924002363_nThe one very exciting thing I found was my very first Little Free Library! It was sooo cute! Sophie says next time we need to bring a bunch of books to fill it up.

 

 

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Overall, the February Mini-Adventure was a success and we are looking forward to spending more time over the coming weeks exploring Nevada City and its surrounding areas.

2015 Culinary Passport

Culinary Passport

2015 was a good year for stepping outside of my comfort zone in the eating out department. As I said in my earlier post, I spent many many years alternating like the same 4 restaurants because I knew I would be happy with the food and realized after like 8th plate of shrimp linguine alfredo that year (not joking, wish I was!) that there were so many tasty looking things out there that I had never tried because I was scared that I wouldn’t like them. Now, I didn’t get too crazy with it in 2015, but I did try new stuff and I went to some places that I normally would not have gone to.  I’m gonna start with the most amazing one because I’ve been dying to tell everyone and anyone about this place. In July, after a super fun family trip to the Santa Barabara Zoo, our friends suggested we all find a nearby pizza joint to help us recover from the last 3 hours of chasing 4 toddlers around the zoo. We agreed, of course! We ended up going with a place called Pizza Guru right there in Santa Barabara because it had the best reviews on google. It was fantastic!! Turns out they served only “fresh, locally-sourced, organic” pizza and pastas and it was incredibly delicious. I even stepped way outside my box and tried the one that had onions and mushrooms……OH. MY. GOD! Yummmmmmm. And all of that was not even the best part. They had toys and kid-sized picnic tables to keep the kids busy while we waited for our food. They loved getting to sit together without all the grownups. 🙂 If you are ever in Santa Barabara, check them out (p.s. I hear they deliver too! What?! What?!)

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Pizza Guru – Santa Barabara, CA

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“The Dagwood” at Viking Garden Restaurant – Solvang, CA

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“Authentic Fish & Chips” at some rinky-dink place in Lompoc, CA

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“Chicken Fried Steak” at American Host – Lompoc, CA

(seriously, this place was also insanely good! big portions, great service, and delicious food. we went to this place like 4 times)

So 2015 was a pretty decent year for traveling and trying new food, but 2016 is gonna be out of this world! Any suggestions of amazing places or types of food that I just shouldn’t miss? Tell me about it in the comments! Believe me, I will be taking notes 😉

Our First Big Trip: Rapid City, SD to Lompoc, CA

     First real move!! Wooooooo!!! RV trip!

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At this point, we had only been living in our fifth wheel for a little over 2 months and had not yet moved it farther than 20 miles.  I was extremely nervous because Nick was pulling the house and I was driving the minivan with the kids and Lux (we had not yet adopted LeeLoo and Lola). The idea of driving so far by myself with my kids was terrifying, but it ended up not being as bad as I anticipated due to my dad buying us a DVD player with 2 screens that strap to the headrests. I do not think the girls would have handled the trip as well if they hadn’t had access to Frozen and The Little Mermaid :).

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The first day was a real doozy. We took a bunch of back roads in Wyoming intending to boondock in our fifth wheel for the first night, but the campground I found courtesy of freecampsites.net ended up being inaccessible due to rain. Thankfully, the website included the information that it was closed when the roads were wet so we didn’t go too far out of our way. We ended up making the horrible decision to try to make it to a truck stop on the Utah side of the border before stopping for the night. At this point, it started pouring rain to a ridiculous amount. The roads were steep and full of turns, but the worst of it was that there are no truck stops between Evanston, WY and Salt Lake City, UT so we had to keep going. I pulled off the highway about an hour north of Salt Lake crying because I was so stressed out about the rain! It was awful awful awful! We made it to the Flying J in Salt Lake City at about 11 o’clock. My poor girls had passed out from exhaustion by then so we pulled in, put them in their beds, and finally went to sleep. I gotta say, it felt incredibly weird to be going to sleep in our house with all the slides in. I ended up getting up in the middle of the night and sleeping on the couch because Rosie kept crying out in her sleep.

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So the next morning we get up semi-early, 7 or so, and snag some filling breakfast at the Denny’s attached to the truck stop. The second day of driving was not as stressful because we were planning to stop in Las Vegas for a few days mid-trip. It must have been six or seven hours from Salt Lake to Las Vegas. The drive sure was beautiful, by the way! Utah is soooo pretty!june44

Upon arriving in  Las Vegas, we were surprised (although we shouldn’t have been since it was June!) at how hot it was!!!! We were really looking forward to taking the evening to hookup everything and relax with our kids after that long drive. Unfortunately, it was not going to be that simple. Is it ever, right? So as we are putting out our slides, Lux gets clipped by a door and I, of course, start losing my mind with worry because she is dragging her back leg so I rush her to the nearest animal hospital to be looked at. Thankfully, she was perfectly fine. The doc said she just had a close call and most likely a sprained foot. She wasn’t babying it hardly at all by the time he saw her so I’m sure he thought I was being an over-exaggerator. Needless to say, Lux is going to have to ride in the van (no matter how much she hates it) for ALL future trips. However, while we are leaving the animal hospital, I noticed these 2 sweet little kittens playing in a cage on the front desk. We ended up adopting them on our last day in Las Vegas, we couldn’t get their cute little faces off our minds!

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The next 3 days were quite relaxing. Since we had our kids, we didn’t do much of the sightseeing on the strip. That’s way too much walking for two toddlers. We did go check out the Adventure Dome at Circus Circus though. What a blast!!! This was Sophie’s first time going on rides of any kind, she was just barely tall enough to be able to go. It was definitely more expensive than we anticipated, but it was worth it. We also spent an evening at Boulder Station casino because they had a Kids Quest attached. We usually don’t do a lot of gambling, but we saw it as a great opportunity to have a date night and we all had a really great time doing that as well. The girls were sad when we picked them up cause they had made some little friends in the dress-up corner 🙂 and I won enough money on a machine to pay for the entire night!! Covered childcare, dinner, and all the money we put in plus $3!! Woop Woop!

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After our mini-family adventure, we prepared to depart for California and hit another snag. Our power jacks went out! Bad luck, right?! It took us much longer to leave Vegas than we thought, but we got on the road and it was relatively smooth sailing from there. However, we did not expect the 55 mph speed limit for vehicles pulling any weight so we did not arrive at camp  until 9:30 pm.