Big Sur Over the Years

Big Sur 2000

2000

This weekend, we are headed to Big Sur for our annual camping trip with the family. We’ve been going to this particular campground, once every summer, since I was 4 years old. My mom even went with us one year when she was only FIVE DAYS postpartum after birthing my sister! That’s hardcore dedication.

I can’t tell you how special it is to bring my own children to the same place that I used to go every year with my family. This is our 4th year bringing our kids, so we’re probably about due for a brush with death poison oak.

I take Jesse to the airport straight from Big Sur, where he will fly to Dallas to start his new job. This move is getting real, people! For now, we will just enjoy our last few days with our CA friends and family. Enjoy these pictures that stretch throughout the years!

Big Sur 2001

2001

2003

2003, just weeks after graduating from High School

2007

2007

Big Sur 2011 just our family

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

2012

2012

2013

2013

Big Sur 2013

2013– I leave you with a final shot of AJ in his makeshift high chair!

How They Make Wine– Behind the Scenes Tour

Denner Vineyards Wine barrel

wine barrels

Last week, my brother, who has been serving in the Navy for the past 5 years, came to visit for a WHOLE week. You may have noticed him and his gorgeous girlfriend from South Africa in many of our pictures from Disneyland. Since it was her first time in CA, we decided she couldn’t leave without a proper behind the scenes tour of one of the finest wineries on the Central Coast– Denner Vineyards. I would not do the process justice if I tried to explain the ins and outs of these pictures, but suffice it to say, it felt like being given a backseat stage to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. We reserved some spots from https://winetravel4u.com/ and got going. We got sips and tastes of the wine throughout it’s many stages so that we could better recognize what the aging process looks like in both the wooden wine barrels and also the concrete ones (they get mixed in different ratios to make different wines). The tour was given by the head wine maker who was barely a year older than me!

Making Wine

Concrete Vats for wine

Many wine barrels

After the tour, we headed back outside at the members-only wine tasting room and had a complimentary wine tasting. Have an unforgettable experience of best wine tour in Niagara.

Denner Vineyards lawn

Denner Vineyards Scenery

Wine glass

Denner Vineyards View

I did the “tourist thing”.

Kelly Tourist

And now two pictures of the cute couple. They will have to remain apart for the next year while my brother finishes his last year of service at Pearl Harbor, but I know they can do it.

Cute couple

Cute couple at winery

 

Welcome to the family and the Central Coast, Megan!

Our July 4th At The Beach

Patriotic Kids in stroller

The first thing we did on our July Fourth was attend the home-spun parade I grew up attending EVERY year as a child. Yup, just as hokey as ever! Isn’t it funny how the small town things of our childhood stick with us and make us love them anyways?

Patriotic Black and White Car

 

Old Car in Parade

And now some shots of my gorgeous offspring.

Beautiful boy at parade

Happy Gregory closeup

Handsome AJ

Horses in Templeton Parade

Patriotic trailer

Old Black and White car

Jesse and my sister Janelle decided to talk about movies the entire time. Oh well. I had the hokey parade ALLLLL to myself. Muah.

Watching the parade

After the parade, we went home and all took long naps. Later in the evening, we went to the beach with my family and a few friends to watch the fireworks and eat tri-tip.

Holding AJ at beach

couple on the beach

Beach with Dadda

AJ on beach

I was basically freezing the entire time.

Kelly on beach

This was the only good picture I got of Gregory because he was running around and having so much fun.

Gregory with a feather

Watching fireworks

Fireworks at the beach…so pretty!

FireworksHow was your holiday? Hope it was as grand as ours!

 

Our First Disneyland Trip

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This last Monday, we took a mini-vacation a few hours south to Disneyland. I say that this was our first Disneyland trip even though Jesse and I have been there dozens of times (going to college 20 minutes away from Anaheim meant that we used to purchase seasonal passes every year and visit the park 2-3x/month!).

But visiting with our kids for the first time felt like a WHOLE new experience. Seeing the park through their eyes was fantastic. I was worried that the boys would be too overwhelmed and not enjoy themselves, but they had a blast, especially our 3 year old, Gregory. He was a little daredevil! He was only an inch or two away from being able to ride Splash Mountain and the Matterhorn, but he went on everything else. Star Tours was probably his favorite– he went twice in a row! He couldn’t stop talking about the “monster who bit the ship!”.

He also really enjoyed the light show at the end of the night and couldn’t stop talking about “the dragon who breathed FIRE and then Mickey killed him dead!” There were a few times where he looked a little queasy and/or overstimulated (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, for instance), but when asked if he was scared, he said, “No, it was just too close!”

For a little blast from the past, here was my first trip to Disneyland for my 4th birthday. See anything wrong with this? Yup, we have NO idea who the guy in the background was, or why my parents’ “stranger danger” button seems to have been broken when taking this picture.

Creepy Disneyland picture

 

And now, 24 years later….!

 

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Biggest piece of advice for Disneyland with toddlers-- have a COMFY stroller, and let them nap near New Orleans square while the band is playing. Perfect white noise! And it was cool and shady!

Biggest piece of advice for Disneyland with toddlers– have a COMFY stroller, and let them nap near New Orleans square while the band is playing. Perfect white noise! And it was cool and shady!

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Jesse's caption for this picture was "The Honeycutts in their natural habitat, arguing about what to do next"

Jesse’s caption for this picture was “The Honeycutts in their natural habitat, arguing about what to do next”