04
May
2017

Family Roadtrip Pt 2

Posted by beritas
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Welcome to the second part of our family road trip back in October. You can read about our first week here. A little bit of information about how we traveled: we were 4 adults, a toddler and a dog + luggage in a sedan for 2 weeks. We stayed in hotels or airbnbs, mostly all in one room (expensive!) and we had some days when we would spend hours on the road. I think it is safe to say that by this time we were getting kind of tired of each other...

Day 8: The drive around the Grand Canyon is very long and there is mostly nothing to see. One sightseing spot was the Horseshoe Bend, the walk from the car is not that long, but it is steep and it was sooo hot! The south side of the Grand Canyon is completely different from the north, there are a lot more tourists and you can go to the skywalk, but it's super expensive and since i have vertigo, there was no real need for us to pay for that. Overnight Stay: Quality Inn in Williams. This is a normal nice clean Hotel/Motel, but after spending 2 nights in that tiny room in Kanab, this felt like luxus. We even got the chance to do a little bit of laundry ;-)

Horseshoe Bend Grand Canyon South Rim

Day 9: The drive through Arizona back to California is long and tedious. There is really not much to see. One of the spare attractions on the way is the little town of Oatman on Route 66. It is kind of cute with wild donkeys roaming free, just take care of your dogs! Donkeys mistake them for coyotes and they will try to stomp them (they tried it with Lola! don't worry, nothing happened). Aside from that there is really nothing else, we spend most of the day in the car and where very happy when we finally arrived at our destination. Overnight Stay: Joshua Tree Cottage. It felt so nice to finally have some more space! This cottage is super cute, with a little terrace for our monsters to play in.

Moomin + Donkeys Oatman On the road

Day 10: We visited just a small part of Joshua Tree National Park and drove on to L.A. and Santa Mónica, where we met one of my best friends :-) It was again a long drive, specially coming to or driving out of L.A. the traffic is insane! I really liked it there, but i'm happy i don't have to deal with that on a daily basis. Overnight Stay: Buddha Beach Cottage in Carpinteria. Again we had more space, a good kitchen to work in and a nice bathroom!

Joshua Tree  Joshua Tree National Park Moomin + Joshua Tree Santa Mónica Moomin in L.A.

Day 11: We took the Pacific Coast Highway fom L.A. to San Francisco and the next days we visited some cities/towns on the way. San Luis Obispo is so pretty, it reminds me of Mexico (which is no wonder, since California once belonged to Mexico). If i'm not mistaken, it's in San Simeon where you can check out the Sea Elephants laying on the beach. If you followed us on Instagram, you'll know that we were totally lost and thought that we missed them, but there are actually signs and markings telling you where to go, don't trust google on this one! Another place to visit are the McWay Falls, you can park on the designated parking area (but you have to pay) or just park on the road (which most of us did...). It's just a short walk to the beach, just follow the rest of the people. I did not find them very impressive, but I was the one who had to stay outside with Lola, since dogs are not allowed in :-( Overnight Stay: Riverside Campground and Cabins in Big Sur. Like the name says, you can either camp there or rent a cabin. It's ok, Lola and I saw a deer walking down the street :-D

San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo Sea Elephants McWay Falls lizard

Day 12: Baby Moomin finally decided that sand was not her enemy on these beaches. Still in Big Sur we visited Pfeiffer Beach and i fell in love with Carmel and its River State Beach <3 If i could choose a place to live in, it would be Carmel-by-the-Sea. Sadly we didn't have enough time to see more of it, since we still wanted to check out Monterey. Overnight Stay: Pacific Inn Monterey. I don't know why, but i liked this hotel/motel very much, well at least the room, everything else was kind of meh...

Pfeiffer Beach Mama + Moomin Pfeiffer Beach

Carmel Beach Carmel

Day 13: Finally we made our way to San Francisco, with one short stop in Santa Cruz to get coffee. I'm not getting into more details, because we've already been in San Francisco. Overnight Stay: Mill Valley. This is an In-Law Suite (i had no idea such thing existed) in a really nice house with an amazing view. Sadly it was already too late when we arrived and we didn't take any pictures :-( The hosts are super nice and their dog is just so cute and friendly.

San Francisco Alcatraz Golden Gate Bridge

And that was it... 2 weeks on the road... we were very very glad to be back home, to have our own bathroom and sleep in our own beds, wash clothes, take showers... I would love to do something similar again in the future, but i don't care how expensive it is, next time, everybody gets to sleep in separate rooms ;-) 

We spent the last days with my in-laws relaxing by the pool, cooking toghether and going to the Pumpkin Patch. It was nice to see them after a whole year, but it was also very challenging. We are all very different and even though we had some tense moments, we did try to remain civil.

Uncle Ray's Pumpkin Patch Mama + Moomin looking for a pumpkin Moomin @ Uncle Ray's Pumpkin Patch

I know it has taken me again way to much time to finish this post and to be honest this time i had absolutely no excuse. I have been very lazy about writing lately. It is a lot of work to set up a post, there are many steps you have to do before hitting the safe and publish button. Instagram has been my main outlet for a while, but it does not offer all the writing possibilities of a blog... i'm kind of at a crossroad right now: I'm not sure about keeping the blog going, but on the other hand it's the only way i have to keep family and friends informed about our lives. Decisions, decisions...

In the meantime: have a nice thursday!

x.o.

21
Feb
2017

Family Roadtrip Pt 1

Posted by beritas
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So, after almost half a year I finally managed to set up the first part of our family roadtrip... Wow, that took really way too long. If you follow me on Instagram you know that i try to do this year's birthday cards while my kid sleeps. Well that's also the same time i would normally work on the blog :-/ I'm trying to split my time into all the things i want to do and it's not that easy... most of the time i just want to sit down and watch some TV. I haven't read anything new in ages! My book is still sitting there, reproachingly waiting for me to finally open it :-( 

Ok, let's just start with our Road Trip. Raul's parents arrived here a couple of days before, in order for them to rest a little, spend time with Baby Moomin and try to get rid of the jet lag. I'll write down our trip day by day, with a few comments of what we saw and as long as i can still find them, links to where we stayed...

Day 1: Yosemite. We had already been there with Raul's sister but since we took Lola with us this time, we knew we would not be able to get into the bigger hiking areas (no complaining from my part there). Overnight Stay: Yosemite Plaisance Bed & Breakfast in Mariposa (super welcoming hosts and the best breakfast ever!).

Baby Moomin & Oma Yosemite

Day 2: We drove through Yosemite stopping at Saddlebag Lake (we saw an actual bald eagle AND a wolf!) and Mono Lake (the south Tufa area). Overnight Stay: June Lake Villager (nice, clean, big cabin).

Mono Lake

Day 3: We visited the Obsidian Dome (i felt as if on another planet), the Devil's Postpile, Horse Shoe Lake (nothing special, but it's dog friendly) and spent the night in the middle of nowhere in Inyo County (no Internet and only enough electricity for a couple of lamps and to charge our phones. Best night sleep ever! I can't find the internet link though, i just know it's a private cabin and the owners live on the other side of a little creek...).

Baby Moomin & Mama Obsidian Dome Devil's Postpile Devil's Postpile

Horse Shoe Lake Baby Moomin

Day 4: We drove through Death Valley, stopping only at a couple of intersting places like Badwater and Zabriskie Point because we sill had to reach Las Vegas, where we stayed out late (even Baby Moomin didn't go to bed until 11p.m.) watching the Bellagio Fountain and the lights on the Strip. Overnight Stay: The LINQ (Super modern, nice hotel. I think this was the only time we actually had separate rooms).

Death Valley Death Valley

Devil's Golf Course Baby Moomin Badwater Basin Death Valley Zabriskie Point

Day 5: This was for me, one of the most amazing places we visited: Valley of Fire. It was still sooo hot (remember it was already october), we just made a short 1 hour hike and that was enough. Be very careful when visiting here, always bring enough water, sunscreen and cover your head! I don't know why, but i found it extremely  beautiful! Overnight Stay: The Lazy Ass Ranch in Panguitch (the owner is this super nice, laid-back guy and the room is spacious and clean).

Valley of Fire Valley of Fire Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire Valley of Fire Valley of Fire

Day 6: Once again it got a little bit colder at Bryce Canyon, which suited us just fine. Willis Creek is another spot that i really enjoyed, we got all muddy and wet, but it's just so pretty down there that it really didn't matter. The little road to the next city however, was really tough and we had some stressful moments driving through it. Overnight Stay: Canyons Lodge in Kanab. This was the most dissapointing hotel we had. The room was way too small, super busy road was just outside our window and everything was sooo loud: the little fridge, the A/C, the ventilation in the bathroom... The description says "Family Room" (that's why we took it), but honestly we had Motel rooms that were bigger and cleaner.

Bryce Canyon Bryce Canyon Willis Creek

Day 7: After an unresful night we ventured into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This side of the rim is super nice and not so overrun with people. there are still many tourists, but not as many as on the south rim. There are many viewing points that you can reach by car and it's just impressive. It is a really long trip from south to north rim, but it's really worth the trip.

Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon North Rim

And that was the first week of our road trip :-) I hope i can get the second part finished by next week (like i said: hopefully!) Until then, have a nice week!

x.o.

I just noticed I haven't set myself any new year's resolutions for the past 2 years. I did write a post about it in 2014 but didn't accomplish that much since i had my laparoscopywent through IVF and finally got pregnant. 2015 marked the arrival of our little girl, we went on trips to Finland, Innsbruck, Dresden and London AND we moved to California. Last year was super hard, we had to adapt to living here, make new friends, start a new life all by ourselves, while feeling alone and scared and not being in so good health... But we managed all that and more, we are in a very good place right now and i feel confident enough in my role as a mom and a wife, to finally focus again on myself. This year is MY year, which of course doesn't mean that i'm going to neglect my family, it just means that i need to get back to do things for myself, things that make me happy (or not...)

This is the year of Self Growth!

  • Getting my driver's license: I'm probably the only person i know who doesn't know how to drive... I took my written test in december (and passed!), so i now have a permit and Raul has been teaching me, but it's a slow process. I just get way too anxious! I drive 15 mph and feel like i'm doing 30... it's just very scary for me. I'm not very good at focusing on stuff for prolonged periods of time... it just makes me very nervous. But i HAVE to learn, specially if we end up staying here longer than planned (no, nothing is sure just yet... ask me again in the sommer!), i really need to be able to go to appointments by my own, or get Moomin to Kindergarten and just in general be a little bit more independent. 
  • Improve my kick-assery: Of course i mean getting better at Martial Arts! I really hope i stick with it for as long as we're here. It is sooo much fun and i'm getting better at it too. I noticed i'm not that afraid anymore of contact and getting hit. Just yesterday i was punched in the eye! 
  • Learn Calligraphy: This is a fun, exciting one! I just really want to learn something new, something that it's just for me. It's nice taking some time to do something that has no other purpose than to make me happy. 
  • Learn about nutrition: as Baby Moomin gets older i want her to make better choices and this includes being healthier. I want to learn about nutrition and healthier eating, so i can pass on that infirmation. I want her to be stronger, to take better care of our environment and just in general to be more informed, you know. I think it's time to start making changes if we want our planet to survive.

 

That's it, those are the things i want to work on this year. Learning new things, moving forward... It is very probable that next year is going to be stressful again (wether we move back, or not), so this one is the perfect opportunity to grow, to get stronger and learn to tackle everything that comes our way with a more positive attitude.

What are your resolutions? I wish you all a good week! Remember that improving oneself is a constant, never-ending process! 

x.o.

18
Dec
2016

Feelings and emotions and life and stuff...

Posted by beritas
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I have been writing this post in my head for the last couple of weeks, without ever actually sitting down and doing it... I knew that being a mom was going to be hard, there is never enough time for things not involving Baby Moomin and/or Lola, but honestly, i have been taking time for myself every afternoon while the baby sleeps. My problem has been more a motivational one. I'm just always so tired and overwhelmed by life with a toddler, that whenever i get a small pause, my brain automatically shuts down. It has been so difficult for me to channel my creativity and actually do something with it. But here i am, finally!

The year is almost over and this place looks exactly the same, although our lives have changed so much. Baby Moomin is already a little bit over one and a half years old! I cannot begin to comprehend how/when that happened! It feels like only yesterday i held this tiny worm in my arms, who couldn't do anything but cry when hungry... She is sooo big now! She knows how to open doors, turn on lights and climb on the couch. She is still not very good with words, most of them sound the same to me, but she knows her body parts and some animals in german AND spanish. She understands us perfectly and even helps around the house. She loves music, specially Mr. Cooper and right now is obsessed with Curious George. Just a couple more months and she'll be 2 years old!!! She'll be flower girl at the wedding of one of my best friends <3 It's time to think about Pre School!

I have been going to Martial Arts Training since July and recently earned my Orange Belt! It has been so satisfying to a)leave the house for an hour without Moomin and/or Lola, b) meeting new people and c) finally doing something that brings me out of my comfort zone, while working out! I have really been enjoying it so much. It started as just looking what it was about and how i would feel doing something like that, but it has given me so much more confidence, plus i have muscles in places where i never had muscles before! hahaha, no, really, i think never in my life have i had upper back/shoulder muscles like this. They are still not super defined, but they are there! And let's not forget that i'm learning how to defend myself, a set of skills that everybody should know. I'm still not a pro, i'm just beginning my journey, but i'm very glad i started it :-D

Another change we're making, is being more conscious about what we eat, what we wear, what we use. We are nor vegan, i honestly don't think the Hubs and i will ever be completely vegan, we do like a steak once in a while, but we are giving up/replacing some products we no longer want to consume, like milk and eggs. Specially with Baby Moomin being this young, i want her to grow up with other notions and correct information. We're also transitioning to cruelty free products and just in general a more earth friendly way of life. This is a journey we also just started, but in my opinion it's already paying off. I do want to write a more detailed post about this, because it's becoming such an important part of our lives, let's hope it doesn't take me another year ;-)

The Hubs and Lola are good. The hubs has been busy with work and he has been sick a few times this year, but nothing major, just the flu. Lola has been good too, but we really need to find her something to do, like dog school or agility. I also need to work with her a little bit more. I find myself not having much more patience or time for her and i do think she feels/resents it. Don't get me wrong, she's not being neglected, but she's not the only baby around anymore! It would be perfect if Moomin and Lola would play together, but right now, that's not happening. Lola does not really like the baby (Moomin adores her Lola <3), she does not bite her or anything like that, but she does not like Moomin to come near her, or play with her :-/ I still have high hopes that one day they will become best friends!

Ok, this has been a very long post about our lives right now. I could tell you so much more stuff, but i think it's enough for now. There are still pictures from our family road trip waiting to be edited and uploaded. It's just one more week 'till Christmas and my parents are coming for the Holidays! The Hubs and i have our 5th (already?)wedding anniversary today! We'll be going to watch some Christams lights tomorrow! It's still going to take me a while to catch up on all of this, but i promise i will! In the meantime remember to follow us on Instagram and/or like our page on Facebook!

We wish you all a very happy weekend!

x.o.

31
Oct
2016

What happened so far... part 3

Posted by beritas

This is the last batch of pictures of our august and september adventures and then we'll be almost up to date! yei!!!

One of my best friends invited me to Las Vegas for the weekend and it was so weird traveling without the Hubs and Baby Moomin. I think i haven't traveled alone since i met my husband almost 9 years ago! We always go everywhere together, but i really needed some time for myself. I've never been in Vegas before and there is really not much to do if you don't like gambling, but "hotel watching" is fun and we spent almost all morning at the pool anyway. It was a very good weekend :-)

Vegas Strip Vegas Strip Paris LV

Bellagio Bellagio Bellagio Paris LV The Venetian The Venetian

Wynn LV Wynn LV

Wynn LV Wynn LV Treasure Island The Mirage

On Labor Day Weekend we decided to take our 2 little monsters to Humboldt County. As always Baby Moomin didn't want to spend time on the beach *sigh*... at least Lola had fun. We went to see the Redwoods and they are amazing! They are sooo tall! They would creak and groan so loud when the wind blew! It was  impressive but scary. We also visited Eureka, which was cute, but a little bit lonely, maybe everyone was somewhere else on that particular day? On our way back, we drove through the Avenue of the Giants. It was a nice getaway, although it took us about 10 hours to get back home :-/

Shasta Lake Lola at the beach Big Lagoon Viewpoint Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

with Lola Dada and Baby Moomin

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Eureka, Humboldt County Eureka, Humboldt County Eureka, Humboldt County

Avenue of the giants Avenue of the giants

Anyway, my in-laws where here for a while and we took a 2 week roadtrip to so many places! If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen some pictures, but i'll be working on showing you even more pictures over here too. But, you know me, it might take a while...

Today is Halloween!!! Last year we didn't do anything because we had just moved here and we didn't know anybody. Later today we're meeting some friends from our library playtime to go trick or treat with the little ones, but don't expect much for Moomin's costume... i don't even have one, i just thought of something we could do and i hope it works. And let's hope it doesn't rain!

Happy Halloween!!! Have some fun and please don't be a creepy clown!

x.o.

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