Total love affair with California.

Ben at Asilomar beach

Ben at Asilomar beach

Matt + Nico on the boardwalk, Asilomar

Matt + Nico on the boardwalk, Asilomar


Nico laughing with Matt, Asilomar State Beach


Nico + Ben in the sand


Windy Nico, Asilomar State Beach


Selfie on the way to Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA


The Big Sur coastline is ridiculously beautiful, Big Sur, CA


White sand beach in Carmel, CA


Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA



Nico and his muffin, Pacific Grove, CA



Kickin it with Dora at the hotel room, Asilomar conference center



King of the mountain, Asilomar State Beach



My feet in the sand, Asilomar



Me and one of my favorite dudes, Asilomar State Beach


Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I know, I know. That one looks phallic.


Ben looks good in blue.



Beautiful light in the ice cream shop, Carmel, CA



I’m a California girl.

I grew up near Santa Cruz and since my parents owned a retail store in Carmel, I spent many a weekend wandering in and out of the boutiques and rolling down the white sand hills of Carmel beach. My sister and I used to pretend we were elevator operators at the old I. Magnin department store and gather tips that we would later spend on candy and toys around town.

I haven’t been back in many years but this time I saw this part of California with brand new, grown-up eyes. It is amazing. The beauty of the Big Sur coastline is almost hard to wrap your head around… the wild coast, the big rocks, the turquoise water. Crazy beautiful.

For any of you looking for a gorgeous little family adventure, I highly recommend the little 3- day tour we did:

Thursday: Stayed at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove and played at Asilomar State Beach.
Friday: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Big Sur, Pfeiffer Beach, back to Pacific Grove
Saturday: Drove to Santa Cruz and played with friends and went to the tide pools at Pleasure Point
Sunday: Home

Highlights of our trip: Seeing the jellies, the white sand beach of Carmel, every beach we went to, watching movies in the hotel room, seeing old friends in Santa Cruz

Low point: Nico climbing up onto the desk of our hotel room and pooping (+ peeing) on Matt’s laptop.

All in all it was an awesome vacation. I completely fell in love with California again. Such a beautiful place to live!



  1. Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I loved this post (the laptop part made me laugh, but I am sure it wasn’t funny at the time).

    I am a California native and love everything about this place. The diverse landscapes, the relaxed vibe, and the innovation. We were trying to decide on a Fall trip for our anniversary and decided that instead of jetting off some place, we are going to do an extended road trip right here in the Golden State.

  2. Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful photo walk with your beautiful family. I think I may have to make California and second home!!! You have sold me Andrea.
    Loved the highs/lows….there is nothing better then a poop pee adventure to round out the experience. Every parent has a few to share. LOL
    Thank you so much for sharing this kick ass weekend with us all. oxo K

  3. Nancy de Heer
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Exactly how I remember California! I drove along hw1 and was mesmerized by the coast-sea-views.

  4. Nicole
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    No way! My husband grew up in Carmel/Monterey! The first time we visited there together I was astounded by the natural beauty. Such a magical place.

  5. Jen in Ohio
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    This made me long for California. When I lived there, this entire area was my stomping grounds. Especially Carmel, Monterey, and Pacific Grove. I used to work at the Aquarium (briefly, in the membership department), and the jellies were always my highlight as well.

  6. Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    With the exception of the aquarium, I’ve done your trip. Yes, it was amazing. Reading this and seeing all of your beautiful photos made the dull ache I have for Califronia come to the surface, and it made me miss my kids when they were little. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    You are such a beautiful family. Seriously, in awe. The love shines right through the lens and the interwebs.

  8. Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I adore that part of California! We were in Santa Cruz and Monterey for winter holiday. I dream of leaving Southern Ca. and moving up that way.

  9. Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink


  10. Posted April 11, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    wow, nico’s really got it out for your apple products, doesn’t he?!?!?!

    glad you had a great time!

  11. Posted April 12, 2013 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures. I adore California…that’s why we moved here to San Francisco from Chicago a few years ago. I love the whole atmosphere here.

  12. mary eileen
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    your boys are so precious-you are blessed!

  13. Diane
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    was out there when i was 14. am 55 now. oh how beautiful the pacific coast is. afraid to fly. hope to get back. live on the east coast and love this sea with all my heart. appreciate the

  14. L
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh this sounds like our trip this past week (minus Noah pooping or peeing on my hubby’s lab top;)-Our youngest boys sound like they have similar personalities though. Noah came running in the family room tonight saying, “twouble hewre”! We visit the same beaches but different hotel (been meaning to try staying at the Asilomar). I can relate well to your love affair w/ California and particularly this part of the coast! -L

  15. Posted April 16, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Andrea, I like your new homepage!:)
    The photos of the Big Sur coastline and the jellysfish are my favorites in this post. How did you take the shot of the jellysfish?
    Greetings from Helsinki,


  16. Posted April 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh man…Big Sur, Carmel…hmmm! Some of the best parts of CA. Been there. Nice…


  17. Shellie
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    i love your posts – they look so carefree & relaxing…. & the low point made me laugh out loud!!

  18. Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, I laughed out loud at that last part! Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine. Good thing Nico is so cute! Looks like a wonderful adventure- and now I want to go to Big Sur! I’ve never been there before. xoxo

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