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

Murphys, California 

Murphys, California
Murphys, California is located in the central Sierra Neveda foothills between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park in Calaveras County. It is a quaint community of approximately 2,000 residents but don’t be mislead by the lower residence numbers. The people of Murphys as well as the guests know how to have a good time. I recently stayed at The Victoria Inn and dined at Murphys Hotel Restaurant. At  night, the town was alive with music and entertainment.  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

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

Legoland Water Park the Bucket List Way

Legoland Water Park, California, USA

Legoland is our favorite park in California. We love the staff, the rides, the food, and the hotel, but we never make enough time for the water park. With so much to experience in one day, I usually feel like we need to choose between spending the whole day at the water park or the whole day in the main section. Last week, though, we found the perfect balance between the main park and the water park. Here’s how we explored Legoland Water Park the bucket list way.  Continue reading

Sunset at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Sunset at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Oahu

Hilton Hawaiian Village is one of my favorite properties in the world. When I was trying to decide my ultimate vacation spot for Thanksgiving, it topped the list. There are so many things about it that make it one of my favorite destinations including the endless array of activities, the amenities, the dining, and the views, but the sunsets are so truly magical that they make the flight worth it themselves.  Continue reading