Winter in Yosemite

Last month we went on our first trip in exactly one year! We went on a road trip & visited Yosemite. A few months leading up to this trip Will started enquiring about seeing snow. We landed on visiting Yosemite, because as much as I wanted Will to see snow, the idea of three days with a toddler & infant with snow as the main / only attraction did not seem like my idea of fun. So we landed on going to Yosemite & it was the perfect getaway! I thought I would share what hikes, trails we went on that were kid friendly, info about snow play areas etc in case you find yourself in a snowy yosemite with a toddler & 6 month old!

Cooks Meadow – Located on the valley floor, this trail has incredible view of half dome & Yosemite Falls & you are surrounded by beautiful meadows. There are boardwalks that make pushing a stroller easy. We were able to pull off the trail and have our lunch in a meadow with Yosemite Falls in the background. So serene.

Lower Yosemite Falls – This is a 1 mile loop that is paved, easily manageable with a stroller or a toddler. (although when did this hike it was day 3 & will was exhausted so he opted to ride in the stroller, but on any given day he could easily have walked this trail!)

Badger Pass Ski / Snow Play Area – did you know Yosemite had a ski resort?? I did not, until researching for this trip. At the time the actual ski resort was closed & lifts were not running. however the snow play area was open to visitors. William had a great time sledding. We took our monkey mat and put it down in the snow & Johnathan got to watch. We also packed tons of food for this portion – I premade a batch of chili for our trip, heated it in the morning & stored in a XL Thermos. When we got done playing in the snow we had a picnic in the back of the car with warm chili! I would say be sure to pack lots of food because to & from badger pass there is very little / no food options & I did not want to risk and hungry toddler or husband after playing in the snow for two hours!

Tunnel View – If you’ve been to Yosemite you’ve probably stopped at Tunnel View – there’s not much to do, it’s purely a vista, but I love stopping there & taking it all in! (I just popped out of the car to grab a few photos, no pulling toddlers out of carseats for this stop.

Things to consider

  • If you are planning a trip to Yosemite be sure to check which entrances are open, because many roads are closed during the winter months.
  • Be sure to check if reservations are required to enter the park as of Feb 2021 they were.
  • Depending on accommodations, at the time we booked our trip the Awahnee was still closed for overnight guests, however we booked an airbnb about 30 minutes from the gate. Something to consider is the driving factor – although we were only 30 minutes to the gate, often our actual destination was an hour or so away. So it made for LOTS of time in the car.
  • We loved our airbnb, it had stunning mountain views, a hot tub that you could enjoy the sunset from & was SUPER kid friendly, including a play structure, miniature horses & everything from highchairs to pack n plays! This is the airbnb link in case you are looking for a place to stay!

Have you ever visited Yosemite in the winter?? I would love to hear about your experience or your experience taking young kids to national parks! After this trip Chris & I are really making an effort to take the boys to more parks around us! Leave me your favorite parks in the comments below!

Chasing Fireflies & other sweet things in the South pt. 2

Part 2 of our trip to Tennessee & Georgia! These photos are from the wedding we attended in Bell Buckle Tennessee. As you can tell by most* of the photos William had a blast. We got to spend some great time with family, we all stayed at a B&B together & were just a few blocks from the rehearsal & wedding.

Chasing fireflies, & other sweet things in the South pt.1

Earlier this summer we visited Bell Buckle Tennessee for a wedding on Chris’ side, but our trip started out just outside of Atlanta. Our first stop was visiting William’s Great Grandma Peggy! We got to go have lunch with her, we ate outside on a beautiful patio while Will played & explored. It was the sweetest. After our visit we spent the rest of the time relaxing at Chris’ Aunts home. That night we took Will outside to look for fireflies. Chris & his sister showed Will the ropes. I was a novice also, & got to experience fireflies for the first time too!

The next day we headed out to Bell Buckle, Tennessee!

Our First Family Vacation -Calistoga

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Last weekend we packed up, dropped Juno off at pet camp & headed north for Calistoga! We stayed at Indian Springs Resort & we loved it. Our room was awesome. It had a great little balcony so when Will went to sleep around 7:30 Chris & I would head to the balcony & play cards & drink wine! This was our first getaway as a little family of three. We’ve taken Will to my parents house but he’s never stayed in a hotel. We really wanted to go on a trip to get him more accustomed to new places but we didn’t quite want the stress of flying yet. He’s typically a great napper on the go, but I think the heat was to much for the little guy because he definitely struggled to nap when we were out & about. I can’t blame him though it was hot even for us! Luckily he slept wonderfully at night! William also got to go swimming for the first time this trip! We’d wake up in the morning I’d feed Will really quick & then we’d head to the pool before it got too hot. It was great because the pool was empty that early in the morning. The pools at Indian Springs are natural hot springs so the water is around 92-94 degrees this time of year. William loved it. He was so relaxed, he would start sucking his thumb & closing his eyes while he floated! It was wonderful to get away for a few days & enjoy the summer weather & just recharge. We’re in SF for the next few weeks as I wrap up my maternity leave & then in September we’ll be take Will to Austin for the first time! YAY!

Adventures in Lisbon

It’s hard to believe nearly a year ago we were strolling through Lisbon, eating cured meats, drinking wines & eating delicious seafood. A lot sure can change in a year! It’s taken me so long to sort through all our photos on various memory cards from our trip to Portugal and Spain but I’m finally all done. I mentioned in a previous post that I really wanted to finish our 2017 photo book (which I did on Friday!!) So now I have all the photos sorted so I thought I’d finally publish some pictures from our time in Portugal. If you ever find yourself in Lisbon I 100% recommend the restaurant SeaMe. It’s a Japanese / Portuguese fusion seafood & it was hands down the best meal we had. We randomly decided to go their the night of our anniversary & it ended up being so good we had our last meal in Lisbon there too! In the past few years we’ve usually gone on a fairly big vacation in the early spring & this spring we’re just waiting for our babe to make his or her arrival & I wouldn’t trade it for a minute. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Pfieffer Beach & the never ending drive to Pismo.

Average drive time from San Francisco to Pismo Beach: approx 4-5 hours. Time that it took us yesterday: TEN. We got up yesterday morning at around 8, Chris had a call at 9:30 he needed to do from home which was fine because neither of us had packed & I had clothes in the laundry I wanted to bring. So once we did laundry, packed ourselves, packed Juno, & ate breakfast it was just before noon. We’re both laid back when it comes to road trips & we love driving the Pacific Coast Highway. We knew going on highway 1 rather than 101 would add more time to our journey but it’s honestly so breathtakingly beautiful that it’s worth it. That was part of the appeal of coming to Pismo was driving the PCH to get there. Four years ago Chris proposed on a tiny secluded beach 70 miles north of San Luis Obispo, so needless to say this route has some special memories. Anyway we stopped for a quick lunch at around 2:30 & then realized we were going to get into Pismo & it would be dark & poor Juno hadn’t had any exercise yet. So we looked up a dog friendly beach on our way and plugged it into the GPS. Pfieffer Beach it was. And oh my God is it beautiful. We got there right around 4:30 & hung around for one of the most beautiful sunsets. Afterward we pioed back into the car only to realize we didn’t have any cell service. So we kept heading south. Well portions of highway 1 closed last year due to landslides after wildfires. We had seen some signage saying it would be closed at a town called Gorda. We figured CalTrans would certainly alert us when the detour was & when to turn if you wanted to continue South. Ummmmm nope. We literally drive to the dead end of the highway. So now we are in the dark, with no service on a two lane windy highway. Our saving grace was that because our car is new the GPS is included & we were able to search for our hotel. We had to drive along a tiny one lane road for probably 90 minutes before we got back to any kind of civilization. And the entire time we were trying to decide where the heck we were. Turns out we were on an Army base / training facility!! Finally we were within 15 minutes of Pismo & we got pulled over for speeding 😳 luckily the officer was very nice and Chris was able to blame it on the cruise control and the downhill and we got out of the ticket. We got to the resort with 10 minutes to order room service. We honestly just had to laugh. And we both agreed Pfeiffer Beach was 100% percent worth it! Right now Chris is still sleeping (he deserves it after all the driving yesterday) but we’re gonna go for a hike this morning & get some breakfast. Life can be so funny & ridiculous at times & I’m just so thankful to have someone who doesn’t take it too seriously. Yesterday could have been terrible, we could have gotten mad at each other for our predicament but instead we both knew it wasn’t anyone’s fault & we just thanked our Stars that it we didn’t have a baby with us yet because that drive would have been way less fun!! Haha. Now off to enjoy the remainder of the babymoon.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

A quick Carmel getaway

^a tiny little 14 week bump

^ Dinner at Casanova – one of our favorites

Back in October we took a day trip to Carmel by the Sea. We go each year for Chris’ birthday. (see the past two years here & here). This year it was feeling a little too hectic to try to stay for the whole weekend. So we ended up leaving early Saturday morning & spending all day there. We visited some of our favorite spots. It was a chilly day so we decided to bypass the beach and stick just to downtown. There’s an awesome ornament store called Kris Kringle of Carmel where they’ll personalize the ornaments for you. It’s certainly worth checking out if you love Christmas decor or collect ornaments like we do. In years past our trips include plenty of wine tasting but this year my little baby bump kept me from any tasting rooms. Not to worry I did manage to find some excellent mocktails.  It’s so fun to think about next year’s trip & how we’ll have a little one in tow with us! Even though this trip was quick, I’m so glad we decided to go. Heading down the coast to Carmel is by far one of my favorite fall traditions.

 

Plaza de España & Royal Alcazar

Seville     Time Spent: 2 nights  Favorite Food: Duas Tapas  Favorite Attractions: Plaza de Espana & Royal Alcazar

^The Bathes at the Royal Alcazar – a good 15-20 degrees cooler than outside!!img_2385-1

These photos are from our time in Seville. We spent our second day there exploring the Royal Alcazar & Plaza de Espana. I highly recommend purchasing tickets for the Alcazar in advance that way you aren’t wasting time waiting in line. It was so fun to walk around, there’s so much Moorish detail throughout all the buildings & then you head outside & you can explore the gardens. Something we really like was that it didn’t seem overly crowded like some of the other attractions we’d been to in Spain. After the Alcazar we found some lunch in a little square & then we decided to walk around & explore Seville. We ended up at the Plaza de Espana, it wasn’t necessarily on our list to go visit that day, but I’m SO happy we ended up there! The Plaza was built in 1928, held the Worlds Fair & now is used mostly for government buildings. It’s so cool that people actually go to work each day in this incredible place! The Plaza backs up to another beautiful park you can explore. We had a great time in Seville, it was definitely one of my favorite places we visited!

20 Hours in Granada

Time Spent: 20 hours

Favorite Food / Drink: Jardines de Zoraya & El Huerto de Juan Ranas 

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Granada was perhaps one of the best twenty hours of the trip; between taking in all the sights at the Ahlambra & the delicious meals we kept talking about how this was one our favorite stops on our trip! We traveled early in the morning from Seville, (I’ll be posting our whole two week itinerary in a separate post so stay tuned for that). We arrived in Granada mid morning & couldn’t check into our Airbnb so we found a cafe & enjoyed some breakfast.  After we checked in, dropped our bags & changed clothes we headed out to catch the shuttle up the hill to the Ahlambra. We spent the whole afternoon exploring the grounds. There’s so much to see, we both agreed the gardens & the guest quarters were by far our favorite. As you can see from the photos the amount of Moorish details throughout is incredible.

After a full afternoon of sightseeing we headed out for some cocktails & dinner. We grabbed a drink & appetizer at El Huerto de Juan Ranas, they have a great outdoor patio with an incredible view looking right at the Ahlambra. It’s a little on the pricey side but definitely well worth it, especially if you’re able to time it at sunset! We walked to dinner at Jardines de Zoraya, which Chris had eaten at years ago when he first visited Granada. They also have an outdoor patio, with delicious food that is reasonably priced. After dinner we walked back to our Airbnb along the Passeo de los Tristes.

We only spent 20 hours in Granada, it was our busiest day with travel & walking, my fitbit counted us at nearly 30,000 steps that day but we had SO much fun!

Hope you enjoy these photos! I’m off to Scottsdale this weekend for a bachelorette, but I’ll be posting more photos from our Europe trip in the following weeks, along with our detailed itinerary.

Beginning In Barcelona

Time Spent: 3 days / 2 nights

Favorite Places to Eat / Drink: Firebug – brunch, Carlos & Matilda – Cocktail, Babol – quick bite (great Brie Burger!!)

Favorite Sights: Barcelona Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, Barri Gotic, Parc de la Cuitadella

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                          ^Barcelona Cathedral – throwing serious Hogwarts vibes!

^ Barri Gotic love

^^ When you stumble up a pet store / vet right by your airbnb.

I’m finally getting around to posting photos from our trip! The first stop on our two week journey was Barcelona. Neither Chris or I had visited, so we were excited to set out and explore. We had two full days in Barcelona. The first day we set out for breakfast & then headed to La Sagrada Familia. I couldn’t recommend booking your tickets in advance more! It was so easy & low stress, we printed out our tickets in advance & were in line I’d say for less than 10 minutes. The day we visited the weather was drizzly & breezy so unfortunately the towers were closed that day.

We visited the Barcelona Cathedral the next day, in comparison to La Sagrada this cathedral is so laid back, with no entrance fee, a fraction of the crowds, we found this cathedral more enjoyable. The two are just completely different, but both can be appreciated!

Finally I have to say our favorite part of Barcelona was exploring the Barri Gotic. The windy crocked streets are perfect for getting lost. There are tons of shops, restaurants, and little bars to stumble into.