An Entire Town for Kids at Mill View Ranch

Mill View Ranch, Camino, California

Whenever I travel with Athena, I always look for a park for her to play or a restaurant with an indoor play place. In El Dorado County, they have an entire old-west style miniature town made just for kids. It should be no surprise that despite the cold, I still made time for a visit with Athena.  Continue reading

A Bucket List Day at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm roller coasterWe’ve been to Knott’s Berry Farm a number of times now, but we always fight traffic to drive up on the weekend and deal with lines and crowds. It stresses us rather than creating an amazing day with lasting memories. We wanted to experience Knott’s in a bucket list way with minimal guests in the park, minimal hassle to get there, and maximum fun all around. We planned the perfect Knott’s day including an over night stay at Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, dining at the best restaurants, and a visit during the slowest day of the week, Monday. It paid off tenfold and we had the best day at Knott’s Berry Farm yet.  Continue reading

Being Better at it all at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Waterfall hike at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CaliforniaDating and transitioning to something serious with a four year old in tow while you’re still married (only because of legal issues) and writing publicly about your life isn’t easy. Even typing it makes me laugh. I feel like it’s a screenplay for a horrible chick flick. But it’s my life and I’m trying to find the balance. Athena’s dad has been out of the country for the last month, leaving me with Athena full-time. I love our time together and I appreciate that so many mothers never get this opportunity but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is draining. I have a shorter fuse and it trickles into all aspects of my life. My boyfriend, another bizarre thing to say and type, has been more than accommodating. I’m constantly in shock with his kindness and understanding, especially for someone without children of his own. Visiting Fairmont Grand Del Mar was my way of balancing the insanity in my life right now. With nanny services, the Explorer’s Club, a pool, a spa, and 5-star dining, we could spend time with Athena and still have time for ourselves. We spent an entire afternoon in the pool and a full day at Legoland but we took one full day for ourselves and it was magical. Thank you, Fairmont Grand Del Mar! You’re a life saver. Continue reading

Horsing Around at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Sunset at Drakesbad Guest Ranch, Lassen Volcanic National ParkLast week during our northern California trip to Shasta Cascade area, we stayed in cabins, camped in tents, slept in a loft next to a river, hiked to mountain tops and deep valleys, explored caves, kayaked rivers, and had close encounters with birds and bats. There were tons of first time experiences and opportunities for adventure, but the best part of the trip was horseback riding at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Athena rode on horses before but I have a feeling this is the one that she’ll remember.  Continue reading

Going with the Flow at Tsasdi Resort

Tsasdi Resort, Lake Shasta, CaliforniaWe arrived at Tsasdi Resort in Lakehead, California with high hopes of exploring nearby waterfalls, lakes, and caves. There’s so much to experience in the Lake Shasta area and I never want to miss an opportunity to see or do something new. Once we checked in, though, we completely changed our outlook. Staying at the resort and utilizing the dock was the best way to spend the entire afternoon. We could easily go with the flow and avoid a schedule completely.  Continue reading

Getting Away at Strawhouse Resorts

Strawhouse Resorts, Big Flat, CaliforniaI struggle with balance. Staying away from social media sometimes seems impossible. I say that I’m going to put my phone away or avoid using the Internet, but it’s an addiction. I like to plan a trip away from it all every couple months so I can get back to what’s really important – quality time with Athena. We spent a night at Strawhouse Resorts in Big Flats, California and with no WiFi, phone service, or even television, we had time to share some great moments together.  Continue reading

A Warm Welcome at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California

Visit California Welcome CenterAthena and I have been exploring new areas of California every other month in the last year thanks to Visit California. Yesterday, we arrived in Redding, California and we had a hot, hot, hot day exploring the family-friendly activities in the area. We spent the better part of the day at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. There was way more to do there than I expected and Athena loved a surprise that waited for us in the animal section.  Continue reading