Monday: Children's Fairyland was the original plan, but since it was closed, we went to Tilden Park for the steam train and carousel. We were able to show Dinkney and Poppy fabulous Bay views from the Oakland Hills on the route there.
Tuesday: Muir Woods. This had been "top of list" for them for a long time so we were glad that on their third CA visit, we could take them to see some redwoods.
|They look thrilled, don't they? lol.|
|Come on slow pokes!|
Wednesday: Brief time in Golden Gate Park for big kids, grandparents, and Jeremy. At this point in the week, Anna Kate needed a normal nap day so I stayed home with her. Jeremy showed them the Japanese Tea Garden and Stowe Lake. That afternoon they came back for Emily's soccer practice.
Thursday/Friday: Trip to Calistoga in Napa Valley to tour Castillo di Amorosa and Sterling Vineyards. We also went to the Old Faithful Geyser of California park. If you ask Emily and Caleb, the highlight of their trip was swimming in the warm mineral water pool at our hotel with Daddy. Even though the evening was cool, they were comfortably warm playing in the water. They had a blast. They don't get to go swimming nearly enough.
|AK and C were quite enamored by the Mr. Pig.|
|Lots to explore in the towers and various halls and rooms|
|A chair fit for a princess in the Great Dining Hall|
|"I want this one, please and thank you."|
|In late March/early April, some of the vines had quite a bit of green on them already and some, like these, were just at budbreak. "Budbreak" was a new winery term for us.|
Day 2 in Calistoga started bright and early with our continental breakfast at the hotel. Then we headed just a couple of miles down the road to a tour and tasting at Sterling Vineyards. Not sure if I've ever had wine at 10:30 in the morning, but when on vacation in wine country, we do! haha! We picked Sterling for the "cool" factor of riding a gondola to the top of the hill where the winery is located. Wineries are not particularly fun for kids so we obviously wanted to pick places that would have some joy for the kids. (Hence the castle choice, too.) Some of the best Napa Valley views are up here. I've only spent a grand total of about 40 hours in wine country on two different trips and while I find it to be pretty and enjoyable, I'm still left thinking it isn't any prettier than KY--vineyards and wineries are just sexier and more sophisticated than wheat and corn fields! I realize there is SO much I haven't seen. I've already picked out a few more stunning wineries I would like to visit one day, hopefully sans kids for a more relaxing trip. This itinerary was very doable for a young family for a quick overnight trip.
|Cheers to us! Jeremy already looks three sheets to the wind. (He wasn't.)|
This was taken at the castle tasting.
|Old Faithful Geyer of California located in Calistoga. |
(Not THE Old Faithful of Yellowstone.)
Saturday: Lazy morning at home then took D and P to the airport just after lunch. It was a full week and went by so quickly! We didn't even go to the beach other than a quick walk there one evening after dinner. We are glad they decided to visit us before summer break. It had been almost six months since we'd last seen them and Anna Kate had changed a ton in that time. My parents come visit us in May which will be here before we know it!