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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor Day in Angel's Camp

For the past couple of years, we've spent Labor Day at one of my favorite places: Angel's Camp. It's a good chance for the Greats to spend some quality time with the kiddos (and us!) and it's quickly become one of my favorite weekends of the year.

This year was especially fun because Hayes is at the age where he actually enjoys doing stuff. And Angel's Camp is a small slice of heaven for the kids, what with the swimming pool, the golf course, the new toys GG and Pops have every year, the golf cart... Not to mention the fun excursions to Murphys, which has an adorable little playground right on a creek and an authentic mom and pop toy store, and my personal favorite, the old cowboy town of Columbia, where you can ride a stagecoach that's held up by robbers (Hayes told them to "scwam!"), pan for gold, visit the blacksmith and get a round of old-school bowling in.


We did it all and loved every minute. Every day started with breakfast outside overlooking the deer having their own breakfast on the golf course. Every day ended with a late afternoon swim. Hayes joined Grant and Pops when they played golf - 9 holes both days - and although I'm sad to see that I've already become a golf widow with Hayes too (at least I have Greyson, right!?), it makes me so happy to see how happy having Hayes tag along makes Grant (not to mention he was quite the lucky charm!).

Greyson desperately trying to keep up with Hayes...
GG lending a helping hand...
Fudgesicle mustache...
When Dr. Hayes is away, Dr. Grey will play...
The family that pans together...
Old Town Columbia...
My loves...
Grant kept Hayes quite occupied while Greyson napped and I hung back at the house and read my book (Me Before You - highly recommend!) and napped myself. So at the end of the weekend, we actually all felt nice and relaxed and just like every year, nobody wanted to go home - the ultimate sign of a good vacation!
Grey picking out a book for the ride home...
And the icing on the cake was that Greyson wasn't too terrible in the 6 hour car ride there and back, which leaves me hopeful for our next long roadtrip, when we return to Angel's Camp for Thanksgiving in November!

Hope you all had a nice Labor Day weekend! We sure did ;-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lake Arrowhead

We spent last weekend in Lake Arrowhead, a sleepy mountain town an hour and a half northeast of LA and I have to say, it was love at first sight!


I'm only slightly embarrassed to say that I first learned about Lake Arrowhead while reading one of Tori Spelling's terrible books. Her family vacations there quite often and after doing a little bit of research into it and finding out that it was so close (we always thought going to the "mountains" meant a 5-6 hour car ride), we decided to take a joint family long weekend with our friends, the Blakes.

I found an adorable little cabin on airbnb (for those of you who aren't familiar, airbnb is a house rental website) and we packed up the car to drive out first thing Friday morning. After getting through the LA freeways, the landscape changed from concrete and cars, to windy roads through huge mountains, surrounded on all sides by lush trees - basically the complete opposite of Los Angeles.


The house was perfect, with three bedrooms on the ground floor that our family took (Hayes slept in a bunk bed for the first time and thought it was the coolest thing ever) and a master in a loft-type setting that the Blakes and their little guy, Ryder took. The main room was everything you'd want out of a mountain cabin - plush leather couches and chairs, each with their own blanket, lots of wood, a stone fireplace and a coffee table filled with any board game you could ever want. The house was perched up on a hill so you felt like you were living in a tree house - especially nice in the early mornings when Greyson and I *enjoyed* watching the sunrise.

Grant fired up some lobsters on the grill on Friday night after the kids went to bed. Saturday, we took a tour of the lake on our own privately chartered boat (Greyson's first boat ride and Hayes even got to drive!) and had dinner in the adorable town square at a little Mexican restaurant. And Sunday, we went to a private beach club and relaxed while Hayes splashed around in the water. In between all of that, when Greyson was napping, Hayes enjoyed going on "adventures" in the woods, collecting pine cones and other mountain treasures.

We liked it so much, we actually looked at some real estate while we were there and are considering purchasing a second home. To be able to offer that kind of getaway to our boys on the reg for a relatively affordable price would be amazing - and the fact that it's so close makes it all the better!

Here are some more pics - we can't wait to go back!

Grey Grey wasn't too sure about the life jacket...
Captain Hayes...
The water in the lake literally had flecks of gold in it...
Brave Hayes letting the water go neck-high...
Rainbow sherbert in a chocolate sprinkly waffle cone? What more could a guy want?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Snova

We had an amazing weekend in Sonoma (or as it's lovingly called around here, 'Snova') with Nana and Papa. It was so nice to get away, breathe in some fresh air and do absolutely nothing for 3 days.


We stayed in a very modern manse at the top of the Lovall Valley Loop. Although the house was a little cold feeling, it was very nice and had just about the most amazing views of the Napa valley you've ever seen. We spent the majority of our time outside in the infinity pool, with pre-breakfast hot tubs and lots of swimming practice for Hayzey. Other activities included a picnic in the park in the Sonoma Square and a trip to Sonoma Train Town, an adorable little amusement park that had a ferris wheel and roller coaster, among a few other rides.
Sunset vino by the pool...
While it felt weird to go to wine country and literally not visit a single winery, we got our fill of the good stuff at dinners in town, visiting Mamma Taninos with the kids the first night (great food, not-so-great atmosphere and not a very leisurely dinner with a 8 month old who had skipped his nap that day), The Girl & the Fig (just okay, but delicious cocktails) and Cafe la Haye (simple restaurant atmosphere but amazing food, especially their daily risotto and to-die-for desserts).

Nana brought Hayes a special treat, some of my barbies from way-back-when (some of them are seriously 30 years old - heirlooms, if you will!), which he happily kept busy with for the whole weekend, dressing them up in their various outfits. He has slept with them every night since he got them and has given Greyson strict instruction that he is only to touch Ken, since he doesn't have "soft hair". I'm just happy they're getting a second life - I missed my old friends!

On our way to the airport Sunday, we stopped off in Walnut Creek and visited our favorite deli, Genova - giving both boys a taste of the good life with the most delicious turkey sandwich ever made and their famous raviolis on the side. Greyson has proven to be quite the foodie and we're having a great time introducing him to various delicacies, which he shoves in his mouth in the blink of an eye! In addition to the aforementioned sandwich and pasta, he also has cotton candy, macaroni and cheese and a quesadilla over the weekend - we're not winning any parenting awards, but I feel like we're at least offsetting the junk with plenty of fruits and veggies!

The boys enjoying dinner together...
Mac and cheese was a hit!
We really enjoyed the weekend spending time with my parents - thanks for letting us tag along on your trip! Here are some more shots. Enjoy!

pre-breakfast hot-tub...
practicing our swim lessons...
ferris wheel selfie...
successful first roller coaster!
taking a ride on the sea monster...