This August, we went to visit family and friends in California. We rode trains, petted alpacas and ate all the tacos. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…
This photo is blurry, but I was so happy to visit my twin sister, Lucy, outside San Francisco.
At my sister’s house, the cousins went swimming at the neighborhood pool and played with their sweet cat. (For Anton, it’s not a vacation without a cat.)
We then drove up to Sonoma, where the boys’ favorite part was Train Town, a small, old-school amusement park that felt right out of the 1950s. (For example, the guy who ran the roller coaster also ran the ferris wheel, so if he was at the other one, you just waited. It was so charming and had the effect of mellowing everyone out.) Side note: Anton’s expression here makes me laugh — he always brings his A game for photos!
They also had a petting zoo with goats and alpacas…
…and this terrifyingly fast plane ride.
While at Train Town, a local family tipped us off to El Molino Central, a Mexican spot nearby with a cult following. We wolfed the beer-battered fish tacos and the mole chicken enchiladas.
Another day, we joined my friend Kendra and her kids for lunch at the AMAZING Scribe Winery with views of vineyards and the best hummus toast, green olives and dry rosé. The winery felt so transporting (and not at all touristy) — and the boys couldn’t get over that we were in a real vineyard, just like The Parent Trap.
After Sonoma, we headed to Indian Springs, a Calistoga hotel we’d heard about for years. Their claim to fame is their giant mineral pool fed by geysers. The boys went bananas, and we loved swimming after dinner when the sun was setting. How gorgeous is that sky?
We also met up with old friends and went to Hog Island Oyster Co. The vibe was windswept and laid-back, and you can sit outside, eat oysters and drink sparkling wine. I have to say, though, our particular lunch was a little rough — the kids were melting down (like, way down) and our nerves were shot. It looks so pretty in the photos, but I was gulping my rosé! I’d love to return, maybe grown-ups only:)
Luckily, all moods picked up when we stopped by the grocery and stumbled upon buffalo milk soft serve.
Finally, we headed back to the east coast. The plan was to spend a final three days in Maine — just six hours north of Brooklyn — with my mom, although at the last minute, my mom wasn’t able to come. (We missed her!)
We stayed at Migi’s Lodge, a family camp on Sebago Lake. (Here’s our little cabin.) They have hiking, kayaking, tennis, swimming, playgrounds and s’mores.
Another sweet part is that everyone dressed up for dinner at the lodge. Kids don’t have to get too fancy, but the boys wanted to borrow jackets (or “tuxes,” as Toby called them) from the front desk.
One evening, there was a bingo night — the boys couldn’t have been more excited. It felt like the family camp from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Of course, as always, not pictured were jet-lag meltdowns, sibling squabbles, traffic jams, long travel days, etc., but we felt really lucky and grateful to get to spend this time with family and friends in such beautiful places. How was the end of your summer? Are you glad to be heading into the fall? xo