Weekend snow trip

We decided to spend this past weekend enjoying the snow (even though it is officially spring πŸ˜‰). We headed up towards Lake Tahoe but we didn’t actually need to go that far. A little past Pollock Pines off of HWY 50 we got snowed on. We even found a nice little hill that the kids and I went sledding down. I have to say living in Northern California does have its perks.

Snorkeling in Oahu

There’s a lot of options to chose from and it can be hard to chose which is the best fit for you/family. I typically rely on reviews and of course if the package/company fits our budget. For our snorkeling trip I went with Eo Wai’anae Tours. Our tour came with a meal & snacks. The total cost was $500. I booked it with a discount using a discount code they advertised on their website. The only downside to our tour was that I got sea sick (which of course is not fault of Eo Wai’anae. Now, I didn’t know this going into our tour. The last time I went snorkeling was when I was pregnant and so I honestly thought it was due to the pregnancy hormones causing havoc on me that triggered getting sick on the boat ride. Well, this time around I am surely not preggo, so now I know I get sea sick. Next time around I’ll be prepared with anti-nausea medicine. Anyhow, the Captain and her staff were great and friendly! The Captain would stop the ship if she saw sea life along the way. We saw a baby whale and it’s mum, some sea turtles, and pod of spinner dolphins which we got a chance to encounter up close while in the ocean snorkeling. My husband told me that they literally came within 3 feet of him and that our guide was really nervous because that was a first for her for them to get so close. Because hubby was busy with our 3 older kids, I was on baby duty but the Captain was kind of enough to take baby so I could have some time to snorkel and swim with the dolphins. I didn’t last long though because I started getting nauseous in the water. I ending up puking majority of the boat ride 😦 and at one point while hubby was in the water with the kids, I started feeling sick while holding Zakiyah, but the Captain came to my rescue and took her until hubby came back on board. Of course this is all TMI, but it just goes to show how kind the staff are.

They definitely have the ohana vibe going strong!

City on a hill

I love San Francisco! The hustle and bustle of the city. This past weekend we decided to take trip to the city for some Mac n cheese! Yup, just to have some Mac n cheese πŸ™‚ But not just any Mac n cheese… we originally were going to eat at Mac’D but than once I yelped it I came across Mac Daddy and I decided on the later! The kids and hubby liked it so that’s a plus. Mac Daddy was a bit tight in terms of space, but we managed to all fit, we just took up the only table space available. The rest of the seating was at their bar. The waiter was nice and attentive. I really liked their Goat Mac! Once we were done we decided to stroll down the block to Farley’s for some coffee. Cutest little coffee shop and my kids were so awed by the type writer lol (didn’t realize those still existed) surprisingly I still knew how to use one! Hubby admitted that their coffee was pretty strong but than again he did have 3 shots in his!

Beach Camping

Is not for the faint at heart! It sounds beautiful and enchanting but there’s a lot to it! I’m also not one for camping in harsh elements so maybe you should take my opinion with a grain of salt πŸ˜‰

When we went beach camping I was 7 months pregnant! I’d say overall, it was a fun experience but be warned depending on where you go you may find yourself in a sand storm! We went to Oceano Dunes, SRV (not to be confused with Pismo Beach campground but is in the same proximity) last year the weekend of 4th of July & the weather was amazing (for the most part). We arrived Friday evening (bad mistake) because we found ourselves trying to set up our tent in the dark! At the time we went we also didn’t have an all wheel drive or four wheel vehicle so we were limited in how far up we could drive up. Between the sand dunes and the tide is the area where you camp. You can block the wind with your vehicle to help when winds pick up but unfortunately our truck couldn’t get through the sand without getting stuck. We have an AWD SUV now so if went back it may not be so bad. Saturday we got hit with a sandstorm and it sucked! I had my kids, my friends kid, because they went to pickup the ATV’s, and our dogs! We were so miserable because the sand whipped through our tents! There was so much sand in our tent afterwards! I thankfully brought a broom AND and hand held vacuum cleaner lol! Other than the sand storm and getting little bit of sand in our food on occasion (because it will happen) waking up to the sounds of the ocean was pretty amazing! Downside of where we camped is that we had Porto potties and they weren’t cleaned or emptied on a daily basis and considering that it was a holiday weekend with lots of people you would have thought they would be more on it. They did have vault bathrooms if you drove farther down the beach which we used a few times because they were cleaner. The beach was dog friendly and my dog loved diving into the waves. I’m not a morning person but I found myself waking up before anyone else (5ish) and taking my dog Max out for a walk along the beach. My friends prefer this specific campground because of the sand dunes which are perfect for ATVs. The campground isn’t strict either so if you have a large rowdy group it’s ideal. If you want peace and quite and call it a night at 9pm this is NOT the site for you! While I do plan on doing beach camping again it will be with an RV because we have an infant and it can provide much more comfort!

Traveling to Oahu on a budget

7651050304_img_3068So this post is going to be multi-part. I’ll be adding to it as I finalize our trip to O’ahu. We leave in 1 month and will be staying in Waikiki for 2 weeks! I booked our condo through Redawning vacation rentals. It’s in the heart of Waikiki, with plenty of amenities and can fit my whole tribe and it cost $2,000 total. No resort fees and free parking! I’ve booked through Redawning before and had a great experience so hopefully it pans out the same this time around! I’ll keep y’all posted. I’ve also booked our snorkeling trip. I booked it through Eo Waianae Tours, and even scored 30% off our snorkeling package which included lunch & is baby friendly, for a total of $500. Our luau is booked through Diamond Head LΕ«’au. Unfortunately there was no discount. If you guys know of a better option for a LΕ«’au in O’ahu let me know! I do want it to be beach front which is why I passed on the Polynesian Cultural Center. I had originally purchased GoCards sold by SmartDestinations but found I wasn’t saving any money at all. They only allow use of your 3, 5, or 7 day pass on 1 premium activity which sucks because the two main events we wanted was a LΕ«’au and snorkeling. Which after all is said and done, the LΕ«’au and snorkeling trip cost the same amount as the GoCards (each person has to have a GoCard, kids are discounted and my teen is treated as an adult). They did have a snorkeling option that wasn’t premium but it is self guided at Hanauma Bay. I would highly recommend a guided one where you get to go out to sea (hopefully in calm waters) that has lunch & snacks provided. It’s well worth the cost especially if your going as a family with little ones who get hungry and cranky if they don’t eat! So far our trip is just under 5k, which includes airfare, lodging, 2 main activities, and car rental. I would say not shabby considering we are staying for 2 weeks! Our condo does have a full kitchen which we plan on utilizing to help offset costs but we do plan on enjoying the food scene while out there! I plan on updating this post to give you a more accurate reflection of what our total costs were and my experience with the vendors we used, though that may be a separate blog post altogether πŸ˜‰

fullsizerender-7

fullsizerender-8