Whenever we are on vacation we always look for a great place to watch sunset and have a glass of wine. Yet, very often, we never do this at home. To bring a little vacation to daily life (and who doesn’t need that?!) we have started to go out on sunset walks post dinner. Sunset in San Francisco can be magical. Between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Beachside Cliffs, there are amazing places to watch the sunset. In the summer, sunset walks are pretty easy; we eat an early dinner, do baths and jammies (you’ll see it in the photos), and then head out and explore. Here are our top 5 places to watch a San Francisco sunset:
I had always wanted to visit Cuba and in February of 2010, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity. There are so many visions of what Cuba is like in your head from the way we experience it here in the US…the food..the music…the art, there is a real aura of romance and mystery around this little country that not many people have actually visited. What we found were amazingly kind and generous people, beautiful architecture and scenery, a vibrant art and music scene and terrible food (you’ve been warned).
Now that the Obama administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba, things are changing, but change comes slowly. Since our visit in 2010, tourism has increased by 25% to just over 3 million tourists in 2015, just less than the number of tourists to nearby Jamaica, but in comparison, the resources available to Cubans seems much more limited. When we visited Cuba, it was one of the most challenging trips we had been on, not because Cuba is not a beautiful place with super warm welcoming people, but more because of the lack of tourist infrastructure and resources as well as the feeling of political “walking on eggshells”. Here are a few things to know before you go:
If you have been following me for a while, you know we love to hike as a family; but sometimes it can be really hard to find family appropriate hikes. It needs to be just the right length and difficulty. Our current criteria are: 5 miles or under, almost any difficulty. We can do any difficulty, but if there is too much vertical gain, then we need to shave some of the mileage off to make it more doable with minimal amount of complaining. So under 5 miles, shouldn’t be that hard, right? Wrong. Tahoe is a beautiful place to hike, but it is difficult to find good kid friendly hikes. A lot of the lists we find have hikes that don’t give you very good views, aren’t that interesting, or are all in South Lake. Here is our top 10 list of hikes in North Lake Tahoe with (young) kids. If you have any additional suggestions, please add them in the comments section, we are always looking for new ones. (Difficulty rating: 1 ★ = easiest, 5 ★ = hardest)
It is so easy to get comfortable, to do the same thing. As a busy family there is a ton of value in routine and ritual, but there is also so much reward when you break out and try something different. One of the best parts of starting a blog has been that it has inspired our family to try new things, to not rely on “what we have always done”. We do this in small ways like going on an after-dinner sunset walk in a new place or eating new foods, and most recently in bigger ways by visiting Lassen National Park.
I love to read self help books and in particular for the last couple of years I have been reading a ton of parenting books. It started when Tater Tot arrived, which coincided with Big D turning 3 years old and some serious “asserting his independence” behavior. I continue to read the occasional book as a new title catches my eye or just as a refresh on my parenting skills arsenal. What have I learned from all these books?
Summer is almost over, but there is still time left to squeeze in a weekend camping before the weather turns. Camping with small kids can be a daunting idea, but can also be amazing. Kids LOVE the novelty of camping, it is a fun weekend together as a family, and totally worth all the effort, and yes, there will be some effort put in. Here are are my tips for taking small kids camping, surviving, and actually having fun:
When you are traveling, you tend to meet fellow travelers, hear about their stories, sometimes our kids play together (sometimes not). A couple years ago, Big D and I were up early (the time change always gets us) and playing on the beach in Maui and met a lovely woman, whose husband was also in Maui for work. We got to talking; she was from Seattle and I asked her what she did. She set told me she was a stay-at-home mom who quit her job when she had kids. I asked her how she had made that decision and what her two kids, now grown up, thought about it? She told me she hoped that her boys recognized that she had sacrificed her career to spend more time with them.
We love hiking with our little ones and one of the best parts of San Francisco is its easy access to beautiful hikes. Hiking post-kids is not quite the same as hiking pre-kids, but still can be a lot of fun. Here are my top tips for hiking with kids:
It’s summer and the cooking is fantastic. Farmer’s markets are overflowing with delicious looking produce and some of my favorite fruits and vegetables…tomatoes, corn, peaches, yum! Here are a couple of my favorite recipes that I have been cooking at our house.
Grilled Shishito Peppers
For super easy entertaining, we love to start the evening off with grilled shishito peppers. They are really easy to cook, kind of fun to eat and don’t fill you up before the main meal.
Recently Mr. H and I were talking about family traditions. He was talking to a colleague who mentioned that he was going on his annual SCUBA diving trip to Catalina Island with his kids; they went every year. We were talking about what were our traditions? Sure we have small traditions and rituals that we do throughout the year, but in terms of an annual family trip somewhere the only one we have is Martha’s Vineyard.