We had the best time in California last month! I say last month when we actually haven’t even been home for a full week yet but it always feels like a lifetime ago once I’ve settled back into real life. While O lived in California for 5 years of college and I lived there for three years of high school and through college as well, we always say one thing we regret about our time there is missing out on all that was right at our fingertips. When you live in northern California like we did, you’re within 3 hours of many places people travel from all across the world to visit! Marin was one of those places we never crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to see and I was thrilled a dear friend’s wedding gave us a reason to go. As usual, this post is far too long with way too many pictures but if that’s your thing- lets do this!
After a genuinely delightful flight full of When Harry Met Sally for me, Finding Nemo for our Nena girl and the Incredibles for Oshiolema, we landed in sunny San Francisco. My sister in law and her husband live in the city and O’s parents are staying with her for a few months so we couldn’t wait to spend the afternoon with our favorite Californians. Time change, no matter how little, always throws a bit of a curve ball while traveling. We tend not to change the typical routine if the time change is within 3 hours but that gets tricky because naturally, we pack much more into the day while traveling and bedtime gets pushed back by quite a bit. Translation: babes are tie-YERD by the end of the day. We really pushed it this day but they were amazing and we finally made the hour drive north well after bedtime.
There aren’t a ton of Airbnb choices in Marin County and we ended up having to stay a little bit further north in Petaluma-a true blessing in disguise. Our cottage felt like staying in your grandmother’s home in the woods, complete with an apple tree in the backyard and a jaw dropping sun-room to spend the mornings in. It was just the loveliest! The kids stayed in the smaller room with a bunk bed, Oshiolema on the bottom bunk and Keogena in our favorite pack-n-play ever, and the master was more like an extension of the family room right at the entry of the house. Aside from the pocket-door of the kids bedroom being jammed and unable to close (insert the wide eyed emoji here), it was just what we needed for our two night stay.
We had one morning to explore the neighborhood and remembered northern California has that wild skill of starting the day out at 45 degrees and ending the afternoon at 70. The morning was chilly and grey, complete with a thick layer of fog which had the kids giddy as can be. We spent a few weeks before this trip reading about the Golden Gate Bridge, California and Northern California so fog is a key-word they were both on the lookout for. Thanks for showing off for us, Petaluma.
We loaded up our beloved stroller with the kickboard we get stopped and questioned about everywhere we go, bundled up and walked the 25 minutes to Whole Foods. A favorite trick for short stays is making a quick trip to Whole Foods for a handful of groceries and travel sizes of essentials. If you’re there on a weekend, the breakfast bar is lovely and you can grab single yogurts plus a pack of berries and be set for the next days breakfast as well.
We grabbed a bag of mini marshmallows and hot chocolate as a special vacation treat to help the littles defrost! A little tip is to order a small hot chocolate made with coconut milk and have it split between two cups so they’re not starting the day on a sugar high. I also ask them to use half the cocoa and sugar they’d normally use-sneaky, sneaky.
This is right around the time Oshiolema spilled my tea on his leg and the entire Whole Foods eating area, letting out a scream matching the pain level of childbirth. That was quite an experience for all who witnessed and I was more than ready to head home that very second. Toddlers, right?
The sun was already shining brightly as we walked home so we lingered as long as possible by playing on the bridge, literally stopping to smell the flowers and let the kids take in every bit of fall glory Petaluma had to offer that day. We saw rose gardens and pomegranate trees and I had a teeny tiny memory lapse of why we ever left the Golden State in the first place.
Our friends’ wedding was at 3pm and for whatever reason, I never calculate how much time I’ll actually need to get ready. Does anyone else do this over and over again? I feel fully confident that showering, doing my hair and makeup and getting dressed and ready to walk out the door will take me thirty minutes. WHY. I can count on zero hands how many times this has been the case and yet always, without fail, it’s how I plan my time. Needless to say, I was rushed but it was still a peaceful and wonderful morning. My father in law made the hour trip north in his first ever Lyft ride to watch the kids for the night which was the biggest gift!!
Would you believe me if I told you I’ve cut this post down by half? And this is only the first two days of our trip! Phew. Stay tuned for the rest of our trip, it has us missing California already.
My Marin Weekend Wardrobe: