First Ski Trip + Vlog

This was not Ellie's first trip to Lake Tahoe. Almost exactly two years ago when she was just 6 months old, we took her snowshoeing around the lake with my mom.  We threw snowballs, we made snow angels.  She was not impressed. Since then, and especially since last Christmas, the fantasy of snow has been... Continue Reading →

Japan Revisited

All the trees around here have been blooming since January, because California goes from fall directly to spring. Plum, cherry, peach, and the slightly more unsubtle magnolia blossoms add joy and color to our daily walks. Ellie always points at the plum or cherry blossoms and say "Look mama! Cherry blossoms! Just like Japan!" I... Continue Reading →

Ferry Ride

One of my favorite things to do is to play tourist in my own city.  When you're low on time or funds, find a way to experience the city in a new or unique way and you can still feel the same excitement as if you were traveling across the world. Lately Ellie has been... Continue Reading →

First Haircut

Ellie had been requesting a haircut "in a haircut store" for quite a while now, so a few days ago we went to a hair salon to get her first professional haircut.  I found a cute little shop that caters specifically to children.  The waiting area is filled with books and toys.  Each station has... Continue Reading →

Wonderful Twos

I've braced myself for the Terrible Twos, but no one ever told me about the Wonderful Twos.  Now just shy of 2.5 years old, Ellie has reached an explosion in language.  At first it started with "What's that sound mama?", which she starts asking from the moment she wakes up until she falls asleep.  Soon... Continue Reading →

Davenport Beach

Spring has come to California, in January.  The highways are lined with fluffy pampa grass and patches of lemon clover flash bright yellow in the fields.  Davenport beach is a quiet little cove surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs as is typical of the Northern California coastline.  We delighted in the walls of barnacles and algae... Continue Reading →

Landfill Playground

One of our favorite parks has grassy knolls, a sandy beach, driftwood sculptures, and the whole thing sits on a formal landfill.  It's true.  For decades, the Albany Bulb was the site of the systematic filling of the shallow bay and surrounding wetlands.  Now nature has reclaimed and made wild again what man has carelessly... Continue Reading →

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