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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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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ShopHouse – Restaurant Review

ShopHouse Store FrontShopHouse generously sent me a couple of gift cards to try out their restaurant while I was in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, it took me all week to get there, but yesterday my husband and I were able to finally make time and headed over to Chinatown via the Metro for dinner to try out their bowls.

The ShopHouse really intrigued me because 1. EVERYTHING they prepare in their shop is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free! 2. It is a sister restaurant to Chipotle – and who doesn’t love Chipotle?! 3. The menu is inspired by traditional ingredients, flavors and cooking styles of Southeast Asian restaurants. And everyone knows I have a love affair with Asian inspired food! And 4. Their meats are Responsibly Raised®! So yeah, for all those reasons I really wanted to try out their restaurant!

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Eating Gluten Free in the Chinatown district of Washington D.C.

Eating out with a gluten allergy or intolerance can be totally challenging and that is putting it mildly. Let’s just say I am a research queen before I even leave for a trip just so I can find where my best options will lead me. I usually search the internet for local restaurants that serve gluten free entrees as well as which ones are walking distance from my hotel.

The first leg of our trip we stayed in the Chinatown district of Washington D.C. until July 2nd. The following restaurants were in this area and walking distance from our hotel.

$ = $10 & under
$$ = $11-$20
$$$ = $21-$30
$$$$ = $31-above

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Washington D.C. here we come….

My husband has a conference in D.C. and since our anniversary is just days after the conference ends we decided to stay 11 days for an anniversary getaway.

This will be the longest I will be away from the kiddos. Hope I and they survive the separation.

Since we will be in Washington D.C. for the July 4th I am totally looking forward to seeing the fireworks display; should be spectacular!

My parents will be house, animal and kid sitting for us the whole time for us. I hope my parents don’t hate us by the time we get back since 11 days is an awful long time for grandparents to be watching an 8, 6 and 4 years old. We shall see when we get back!

No real point to this post other than to ramble. Now off to wash clothes and start packing Saturday will be here before I know it!