The Napa Edition: 3 Family Friendly Wineries

Whenever I talk about the city of Napa in Calif. three words come to mind; wine, romance, and relaxation. But, now that Baby M is in our lives, Napa isn’t really talked about. So when F suggested we stop by there for a night on our way home from our road trip, I was a little hesitant about bringing the baby along. After I did a bit of research and talked to friends who recommended some places for us to visit I felt more comfortable knowing I have not been the only one in this situation. Here are my top three wineries that are family friendly. No strollers are recommended for these places, babies in carriers or walking only.

  1. V. Satuui : This winery is fit for all ages with a picnic ground and an artisan deli right on the grounds. No reservation is required, you can pay $15 for six tastings of whichever wine they have available that day. What is great about this place is that it is almost like a self guided tour where you can have your tasting then hit the deli and have some lunch out in their gardens. The little ones can play while you enjoy your tasty lunch and sip on the nice bottle of vino you just bought.
  2. Castello di Amorosa : Built after a 13th century Tuscan castle, this is sure to catch you and your kids attention. This place has 5 towers, a drawbridge and moat, a dungeon, and of course tasting rooms for the of age. No reservations are needed here, however they will close the entrance when they reached capacity. General Admission begins at $25 with 5 premium tastings.
  3. Sterling Vineyards : With an ariel tram that takes you over their vineyards, you can’t get a view better than this! You will be greeted with a glass of wine and you can meander around looking at their art and elevated walkways that show the proccess of wine making. General Admission begins at $29, under 21 $15, and under three are free.

V. Satuui was my favorite, we even left with a couple bottles of wine to take home.  We obviously had ourselves a great time, because I don’t have many photos. Just because we have Baby M does not mean we can’t go out and have ourselves a “responsible” good time. I encourage you all to get out there too!

Please let me know of any other places we should travel to next as a family, I would love to hear your recommendations.

XOXO, C

 

Oregon Trail pt.4

Driving into California yesterday was bittersweet as we came to an end of our Oregon adventure. Our trip isn’t quite over, but I hated leaving that beautiful state. 

We spent the past few days driving down through the rest of the coast and we were given some beautiful weather. Our last day in Cannon Beach we drove around to all the “must see” points. We checked out Ecola St. Park, which gave us a glimpse of wildlife, when entering the park we saw a heard of elk grazing upon grass on a front yard of a home. The cost to enter the park is only $5 for a parking fee… Plenty of hiking trails and picture opportunities 


We drove around the town of Cannon Beach afterwords and drove around the cute beach homes. I love the look of these homes, a few even had bunnies in their front yards with little gardens for them, there were bunnies EVERYWHERE! Then we walked along the beach to Hay Stack Rock… Any beach here has parking with access to the rock, you can’t miss it..its huge. 

Then off to Hug Point at low tide we went, so I could catch the waterfall that flowed into the ocean. You can only get to this at low tide, you go off to the right of the beach and around the first point and you will see it trickling next to a cave. 

The following day we headed to Beverly Beach St Park, which is just outside the city of Newport. On the way we HAD to stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory , it was awesome because the tour of the building was self guided, so you can go at your own pace, and then of course grab some cheese samples when you are finished. We grabbed some fresh chocolate milk, fudge, and ice cream to go. I’m not kidding when I say that they had the freshest most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had! Even the chocolate milk was amazing, we wish they shipped it to Tahoe. And then just as we were enjoying ourselves Baby M had ANOTHER explosive diaper, her timing is impeccable. 

We had to stop for hike to.. You guessed it… another waterfall! This is Munson Falls, to get to it you have to drive down a super bumpy one way rode, but it was worth it. We then ate late lunch in Newport at Local Ocean which was right on harbor. Amazing Seafood!

This is Munson Falls

We headed down to Coos Bay  with a stop for a quick hike around the cliffs and then and stayed the night in Sunset Beach St. Park. A cute little campground with easy beach access and tide pools! 

Last night we stayed at Jedidiah Smith Redwood and got a couple hikes in before sunset. We did this stupid loop that was suggested to us called Wellman Loop, it went nowhere! It was mainly all uphill and was not maintained with no Redwoods. So we went to Stout Grove instead which was only a 0.5 mile loop. We saw some massive beautiful trees, they truly are amazing. We ended our last night with a great dinner of leftover turkey with penne noodles and Alfredo sauce haha and this great view 

Btw… Baby M has been so great. She has been sleeping through the night and is so content being outside with us. While we hike she loves looking around at everything and doesn’t make a peep.. Bringing infants on adventures isn’t hard at all. 

Driving currently to San Fransico and then off to Napa

XO, C

Oregon Coast Pt.3

Finally some sunshine!!!! Since we have began our trip we have had on and off rain. We took advantage of the “good” weather which was cloudy and that’s the day we went hiking. We seriously thought it was going to be typical beach weather the entire trip, we packed sandals and tank tops and beach supplies. But we were mistaken, and we have been making the best of it. 

We started our sun shiny day in Portland. We walked around the shops and grabbed some lunch. Went to the world famous Powell’s Book Store, where Baby M had an embarrassing exploding diaper. But, WOW! Powell’s really was amazing, so many books on every subject you could think of. Even I was a bit overwhelmed, they have an amazing coffee bar too. We didn’t spend too much time in downtown,walking around with the baby wasn’t the smartest. 

EAT AT:

  • Bunk sandwich deli: it’s a hole in the wall but has great food. Try the chicken salad sandwich.
  • Voodoo Donuts: if you love donuts you’ve heard of Voodoo! The biggest selection of crazy flavored/designed donuts. Gotta try the Portland Cream, it is a maple cream filled donut with a mustache face on it. 
  • Townshend’s Tea House: The best chai tea I’ve ever had in my life. They have over 80 specially blended teas to choose from and every flavor. I actually left with 8 0z of different looseleaf teas to brew at home. Try the Ginger Green Chai.

We took a break from the van that night and had a restful nights sleep and a nice hot shower at the Oxford Suites. A really nice clean hotel that has free (good) breakfast and a complimentary cocktail at happy hour. Then had dinner across the river in Washington at Beaches with old friends. 

Yesterday we started our coast trip with driving up to Astoria, a beautiful little town. We tried to see the Goonies House but the owner has stopped showing it to the public. If you didn’t know…the entire Goonies Movie was filmed in Oregon. We tried to see the Astoria Colum but it was so rainy and foggy it was hard to see anything. 

We then headed to Seaside and stopped for some lunch, and of course it had to be seafood. The town was cute and definitely a summer tourist spot because most of the businesses were closed. The town had starfish lights on all the posts and light banners between the posts at stoplights. We walked down to the beach to hunt for sand dollars, but ended finding hundreds of huge dead torn apart crabs, attacked by birds I’m sure.

I wish I had more pictures, but both our phones died and my camera battery died so all you have are my words to give you an idea of what it was like 😦 

We are now off to Cannon Beach and would love tips on where to hit next.

XOXO, C

Oregon Trail Pt.2

It’s been another beautiful few days in the amazing state of Oregon! We have made our way to the Northern part, with taking plenty of detours. We drove through Hood National Forest and I just about died when I saw campgrounds named Robinhood, Sherwood, and Little John. I am a Disney Fan, and a bit immature sometimes. 

Anyways.. We booked our next campsite along the historic Highway 30, and wow this must be one of the prettiest drives we have taken. Everything is so green  and most of the waterfalls are feet away from where you park, others are a short hike but well worth it…like this one :Multanomah Falls

The 2nd tallest yearound waterfall. Packed with people but well worth the crowds. 

Today we decided to go hiking along the Columbia River Gorge Trail. Our campground had a trail head right to it and we would be able to see 4-5 waterfalls on our way to our destination. Our final stop was the Multnanomah Falls Restaurant. We started at 10:30 and we were making pretty good time at the beginning. The first waterfall was 1.9 miles way called Ponytail Falls, it was the upper part to the lower Horsetail Falls. I loved this because you could walk under a cave around the back of the falls. 

This is Horsetail Falls

This is Ponytail which flows into Horsetail. You can see the trail goes under the cave and out around the other side of the waterfall.

The next stop was Oneta Falls another 0.7 miles away. It wasn’t a large waterfall but it did have a bridge going right over it 


At this point of the hike we had the option of hiking another 2.4 miles up to Triple Falls or continuing to our destination, we decided to go for the extra miles. The trail was 8/10 uphill and carrying Baby M on my front side did NOT make it any easier. But, it was so worth it. 


My legs were starting to get sore at this point, but we kept trecking on. Another 1.9 miles to Multanomah Falls..this is were it became sketchy. Lots of overgrown Poison Oak and rocky parts. We made it to our final resting place after 4 hours and just about devoured our meals then hit the road again. We were able to make it to camp before sundown. 

Thankfully Baby M was perfectly content in her carrier the entire time. Took 3 naps and I was able to feed her in the carrier which saved more time. She has been so great so far despite the teething! 

I don’t recommend that hike to families with young kids because of the poison oak and stinging nettle. Otherwise babies in carriers are the way to go and of course a hiking friend is a must. Thankfully I had Baby M’s daddy to help me along all the complicated rocky stuff.

My whole body is extremely sore today…I see some donuts to cure my pain in my future 🙂 Off to the next stop!!

XOXO, C

Oregon Trail PT.1

A 13 hour drive, countless stops, and lots of diaper changes later…we have made it to Bend, Oregon. The meca of craft breweries, and quite possibly our next home. It was honestly the most stressful drive of my entire life, and I wasn’t even the one driving. Baby M did so well the first 8 hours but then after that she cried the rest of the way, can’t blame her, car seats suck. 

We made plenty of stops, first being Klamath Falls, and no there are no waterfalls, just an awesome brewery with great people. Then Crater Lake, still covered in snow but they plow the main road year round so we easily accessed the viewpoint, we couldn’t  drive around the lake but the viewpoint was enough. 

Crater Lake: The deepest lake in the United States, no boat access besides the park officials. This is from the main viewpoint.

Next stop was Toketee Falls, only a quarter of a mile too the falls and the trail is set with stairs and stones. No strollers can access this trail but we just carried Baby M.


Next stop Watson Falls, the third tallest waterfall on Oregon standing at 272 feet. As before it was a quarter of a mile to be viewpoint and no stroller access, so again, we carried Baby M. It was moist and muddy but well worth it. 


Finally after stopping for waterfalls, food, gas, diaper changes, and feelings, we made it to Tumalo State Park. After the 13 hours and hunger and irritation, we didn’t even set up camp, just the bed in our conversion campervan. We didn’t even get out our blankets, just sheets and we were so cold in the middle of the night we used towels to cover ourselves. Thank goodness for our mini human who also is a portable mini heater. 

Our campsite at Tumalo, it sits right on the edge of the Deschutes River. 
Woke up this morning to the sounds of a rushing river and tweeting birds refreshed and ready to take on today. We want to hit up as many breweries as we can. So far it’s been 3. 

  • Deschutes, which is very family friendly, has lunch and dinner available and great beer and is very well known out of Bend. 
  • 10 Barrell: An up and coming brewery that’s small but has amazing beer. Smaller place but lots of outside seating with a fireplace. 
  • Crux Fermantation Project: by far my favorite place, it’s housed in an old AAmco Building, and has a huge outdoor area which has cornhole and lots of room for the kids to roam, food here is mainly snack types for your drunken munchies. 

Bend is such an amazing town with plenty to do. We love it here, even with the rainy weather we had today. We are off to the Columbia River Gorge next. 

XO, C

Waterfall Wednesday II

I love that we live in a place with such a vast variety of hiking trails and things to do. I am huge on a hike that can give me spectacular views of a waterfall. However, there are times as a mom of an infant that I am looking for something that does not take too long and is not too strenuous but still gets us outside.

img_3238My favorite short hike has to be Cascade Lake and falls, a two-mile total hike with only 200 feet in vertical. The trail starts off as a wide dirt path then begins to narrow and become a bit rocky, so make sure you watch your step. I can carry my daughter in her wrap the whole way, but with the 13 pounds added to my front side, it was a bit difficult at times. We stop once we get to the falls for a while to enjoy the sound of the rushing water and gaze upon Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe which is right behind it. Cascade Lake is home to about four private residences which have a special access gate and they all get the view of Cascade Falls. The falls itself is 65+ feet and flows over boulders and dark rocks which really makes the waterfall stand out from miles away…I would love to live here, it’s like your own private mountain paradise, where you have a waterfall to look at from your backyard!

Here are a couple of shots of the falls.


To get here, drive along Highway 89 towards Emerald Bay, if coming from South Lake it’s before Emerald Bay and if coming from west shore it’s after. You can park at the Bayview campground which is a first come first serve campground and find parking, you’ll see a trail map and a sign with an arrow pointing towards the direction you need to go. Right now is perfect for seeing waterfalls due to the melting snow and it is even better because it’s not too crowded yet. In the summer time it does get very busy and parking is limited.

I hope you all find some adventure this weekend, and please let me know if you think I would enjoy any other hikes like this?

Oregon Dreaming

The past couple weeks in Tahoe have been very gloomy, with on and off rain & snow and some bits of sunshine in between. I can’t complain about the precipitation we are getting, but I am not happy with being stuck indoors with a 4 month old. We can’t go outside because its too cold and wet, and then we have so many visitors these days we can’t seem to find time to actually leave anywhere! Thankfully we are going on our first road trip as a family next week so we can get spend alone time together. So to pass the time indoors I have been googling endless amounts of info about Oregon.

We will be going on a 2 week camping adventure throughout Oregon. We rented a Ford Econo-line conversion camper-van that is equipped with a queen size bed and a kitchenette through Escape Campervans. This is the perfect camping van, especially for families because it comes with almost everything you need, such as camping chairs, kitchen utensils, sheets and pillows. We even added on a Thule box so we can put our stroller and other big items in. What I love about this company, is that each van is painted differently by an artist, and you get to choose whichever one fits your style.

We have booked campgrounds around the state and will be taking many stops along the way. Of course we have a night in Downtown Portland, a couple nights in Bend, and will going down the coastline. I know with Baby M it is going to be a bit challenging, with trying to work around her schedule. Our first day will be hardest for her with the 9 hour car ride to Bend from San Fransisco, we mapped it out with stopping every couple hours at points of interest. She is teething right now so it might makes things a bit harder but we are as prepared as we can be. Now I just need to start packing (lightly) which is hard to do as a girl who also has a baby girl.

I would love to hear any input or ideas for our trip! 

Also, we did manage to get out last night for an early dinner for a birthday and I was able to catch the sun on our way home.