Our summer has come to an end…..

Summer is officially coming to an end. While I am sad, my kids are actually glad to be back at school which gives me more time to catch up things I have neglected over the last few months.

But seriously (sniff, sniff) summer went by way too fast!!

My kids were out of school just 3 days when we headed to Seacliff Beach in Aptos, CA. I love, love, love the beach!! Living 6-hours away from the ocean we get out there maybe once or twice a year if we are lucky. And this year we were lucky and were able to actually go twice – once in June and then again in August!!

Seacliff Beach, Aptos, CA.

The second time we were at Seacliff — it was AMAZING!! My mother, kids and I had such an extraordinary time at Seacliff State Beach today thanks to my cousins and their kiddos. It was an awesome adventure that included Whales, Dolphins, Seals, and Otters galore! I felt like a kid squealing at the site of the whales. This sighting was MORE EXCITING than when we paid to whale watch in Maui back in April. Oh my gosh it was just jaw dropping and ALL A FREE NATURE SHOW for all at the beach.

Seacliff Beach, Aptos, CA. - Whale sighting

Seacliff Beach, Aptos, CA. -- Dolphins

Seacliff Beach, Aptos, CA.
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Back in the Bay Area

The kids and I are back in the Bay Area for some fun in the sun before the kids head back to school in a few weeks. We will be in town for a couple of weeks and are going to try and have as much fun as we can.

We arrived on Monday and have been just relaxing since. My parents have a pool so the kids have been having pool days every day since we have been here and loving every minute.

I will have to squeeze in a beach day, though, cause you can’t travel to the Bay Area and not go to the Beach. That would just be sacrilege otherwise.

Tonight my mother, daughter and I are attending a bridal shower at my aunt’s home for her daughter-in-law to be. My cousin is getting married next month and we were included in on the festivities to help celebrate the union. I hadn’t been to a Bridal Shower in years and thought it was quite fun shopping yesterday for gifts. I really hope she likes what we got her.

My mom and I are taking the kids to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo tomorrow (Friday) and I am kinda excited since none of us have ever been there before. I noticed on the map they have a butterfly habitat… now that totally got my attention and I can’t wait to see that!

If you have been to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom before, what would you recommend seeing for an 8, 6 and 4 year old?

Then a week from Saturday my brother is having a 40th birthday party that I will get to see many family members and a lot of friends that I don’t normally see due to me living in Nevada. So I can’t wait to see everyone. My husband will be driving up to attend the party as well and then as a family we will be driving back home together the next day.

Nevertheless… I am gonna try to have as much fun as we can while we are here. Will post photos later!

My Washington DC journey…..

I had a fun time in Washington D.C. despite the humidity and down pours of rain. Even though this was my 4th time in D.C. this was actually my first time staying over. The rest of my visits were just day trips with family. I was looking forward to all the things my husband and I were going to do over the course of 11 days.

We originally, during the conference, stayed at a hotel in D.C.’s Chinatown for the first 6 nights and then when the conference was over went to a vacation house for the next 3 nights with several of our friends. Then we stayed one night in Alexandria at another hotel closer to the airport the night before we flew back home.

While we were in DC we were able to visit several of the Smithsonian Museums, which included the American Art Museum, National Museum of Natural History, and the The National Zoo. We were able to see many of the Monuments around the National Mall as well.

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Beach, sand and sun at its finest…

Seacliff Beach

So yesterday my husband, kids and I trekked many hours across the the sierra mountains to the shining sea. It was around a good 5.5 hours to get to the beach.

My kids and myself love the beach, sand and the wonderful sea air and try to get to the beach once or twice a year if our schedule permits. But in all reality I try very hard to schedule a vacation months in advance.

Nevertheless, we are here having a fabulous time for a few days. However, I am tired and the sea air seems to make it seem more so to where I just want to lay down for a nap soothed by the thunder of the waves.

We arrived in Aptos, California around 2:30pm. The kids were instantly playing down on the beach. They took a break for dinner and then were back on the beach again until night fell.

Seacliff Beach

The moon came out and was a day shy of being a full moon. It was a spectacular site shining over the Cement Boat the SS Palo Alto.

Sea cliff Beach with Moon

The next day was gorgeous. The sun was shining and everyone was having a wonderful day.

Seacliff Beach

We rode bikes to the Cement Boat and took a look inside the Visitor’s Center.

Sea cliff Beach's Cement Boat

I have been coming to this beach since I was a child and love that I can bring my children here. It is one of my favorite places and am very lucky that we are spending our vacation here with my parents and generous Aunt JoAnne.

My travels to Maui, Hawaii

In preping for my trip I was reading through pages and pages of Maui travel guides searching many hours away looking at where and what to do via other peoples posts on Pinterest. I even went as far as to borrow Maui travel books from my local library because I love being prepared activity-wise when I am on vacation.

What it didn’t say is that if you grew up in California, you will probably feel like you are in San Diego or Santa Cruz while on the West Shore of Maui though. I won’t lie….. I was a little disappointed with the West Shore of Lahaina for that very fact… that was until we actually started getting out and participating in fun activities. And of course all activities that we wanted to partake in were practically all on the North Shore. Which meant a rental car was a must have.

Of all the days/nights we were in Lahaina, I only visited the beach in front of our hotel once. And that was to see the sunset. At that time I called my kids to say I missed and loved them and that I would see them in a week. From there on out I decided I was going to have fun no matter what and make the best of my vacation.

Sunset Sunset2

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I have been so sick….

My kids have been sick all month for one reason or another. My daughter came up positive for Strep Throat and the next day my youngest was in the doctors with an ear infection. Well my daughters medication had ended on Wednesday of last week and by Friday she was running a high fever and sounded like a barking seal. My husband and I were leaving for Las Vegas on Saturday morning but had to postpone a few hours so I could take my daughter to Urgent Care.

The Doctor told me she still had strep throat which would require her to be on a stronger dose of antibiotics this time around. AND that she also had croup and would have to have an oral steroid.

So my husband and I finally take off to Las Vegas while the kids are being taken care of by my parents. Las Vegas is a 7+ hour drive from where we live — 400+ mile trek. But we have a Prius so the gas alone is way cheaper than any flight we could had gotten.

We were there basically for 1 day literally and that was to see Jeff Dunham perform at Planet Hollywood on Sunday afternoon. However, by Sunday night I wasn’t feeling too well… I was having stomach issues. For our car ride home Monday — I was in full blown chills.

Tuesday my Father took me to Urgent Care since my doctor’s office was booked. I was told I had Strep Throat and a mild case of Bronchitis. Mild Case my ass… my ribs hurt so bad from coughing it is painful. So they put me on a z-pack I guess is what they call it.

By Wednesday the 17th my son’s are presenting symptoms now. So I had my parents take them to the doctors … and yep strep throat. My youngest still has a bad fever today.

And my daughter had ran a fever for at least 5 days after being on the new medication. So she missed this entire week from school.

And then there is me. I have been so sick that I was in bed for 5 days straight. This is literally the first time I was able to sit up and turn on my computer and type something out for my Blog.

I can’t remember the last time I was so sick that I was stuck in bed for 5 days if ever. My throat still hurts. My cough is awful and I am all congested — not fun at all.

I hope that we are all well enough for christmas next week. And knock on wood that my husband doesn’t fall ill to this nasty germ bug that is hitting my home hard.

Camping adventures…

We came home a day early from camping ’cause well… it snowed on us the 2nd night there… even though 1st night it rained on us. But last night… HOLY MOLY it hailed — then started to rain — then thunder was so loud it shook the tent trailer THEN it poured harder. Thennnnnnn it started to snow! Fun, fun Times!! And because it was Opening Season for Deer — there were a bazillion and one hunters with their rifles and side arms EVERYWHERE. Yeah, we left a day earlier than planned.

Despite the weather — we had a fun adventure. We even went Geocaching. Didn’t realize there is a farm up by Highland Lakes — and the cows and horses are free range and walking around.

The kids with my mom and husband


Our View from our Tent Trailer

Free Range Cow

My Husband and I


My Dad and the kids

My 11 year old Lab Molly


Free Range Horse

Scary Face at the River
What we woke up to