We love traveling with our kids, it is a lot of work, but still, both Mr. H and I genuinely enjoy taking our kids to new places (crazy, right?!). For this reason, we hadn’t really talked about taking any trips without kids, that is, until we were presented with the option. Mr. H was asked to go to Italy to give a talk, his and a companion’s airfare and hotel covered. Who doesn’t jump at the chance to go to Italy on someone else’s dime?! So we started talking about it, would we bring the kids? Could Big D miss school? How could we make it work? We hadn’t left the kids with anyone for more than a night, so we weren’t sure that was even an option. Unexpectedly Grandma Hope offered to watch the little ones so we could go on our own. “Yes, that sounds amazing, thank you so much!” And this is how our first post-kids, no kids trip was planned.
It was first in college that I heard about Cinque Terre and added it to my unofficial wanderlust wish list. With the stunning views, great hiking, and incredible food, it sounded amazing. It was not until almost 15 years later that I actually made it there. It was, what inspired me to start this blog in the first place. With my second maternity leave ahead of me, and a conveniently timed work event in Milan for Mr. H, we decided to take our first vacation as a family of four [Big D, then 3YO and Tater Tot, then 6WKs old]. We first went to Milan and then found our way down the western coast of Italy to the fabled villages of Cinque Terre. Here is what you need to know to travel to Cinque Terre, Italy with kids.
There are so many fun activities to do with kids in October. We have been hitting up quite a few of the Halloween and fall events, so I thought I would share a round up of what I found out there for this weekend. If you are looking for something to do, check out one of these:
It was Super Size Me (the 2004 Morgan Spurlock Movie) that first made me aware that we should try and walk 10,000 steps a day, but it wasn’t until ten years later that I actually started tracking how many steps I take a day. Depending on your profession and how you spend your days, it can be near impossible to get 10,000 steps a day without some serious intentional effort. Yet, since I have been tracking over the last 2 years or so, I am able to consistently hit 10,000 steps a day. You might say, “you are a stay at home mom, so have more time to work out”, which is totally true, as a SAHM, I hit 10,000-15,000 steps a day every day, but as a working mom, I was still able to hit 10,000 steps a day 5 out of 7 days a week and would consistently “beat” my fitbit friends. So how do I do it? Here are my top 20 ways to get to 10,000 steps a day, everyday:
San Francisco is an expensive place to live and having kids can be even more expensive, so who doesn’t love to save a dollar or two?! Here are my top 10 best FREE activities in San Francisco with Kids (that adults will actually like too).
From looking at me you wouldn’t know that I almost died six months ago; that I could barely walk up a flight of stairs or even pick up our one year old. I am generally a healthy person. I am a vegetarian who eats fish, exercise a couple of times a week, and aside from eating too much chocolate, don’t have any majorly bad habits. I am healthy, or so I thought.
We have walked by it a thousand times on our way to the California Academy of Sciences, but had not been in, until last week. I am not sure what took us so long! The San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden is a great place for kids to explore. There are waterfalls, ponds, fish to look at, bridges to climb, and amazing statues and houses to marvel at. When you get tired of wandering the beautifully maintained paths, pop into the tea house for ice cream treats (or something healthier if you prefer).
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)