{ojai // travelogue part #2 }

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It always takes me so much time to write these posts.  So hard to recap such an amazing time.  I don’t want to miss anything.  But, it’s impossible.  Unless you were there, you really just can’t understand.  Unless your body was aching.  Unless you were in desperate need of a shower.  Unless your socks were full of dirt.  Unless your belly hurt from laughing so fucking hard the night before.  Unless your bond with 3 of your best gals grew a mile.  Unless you just backpacked the Sespe Wilderness overnight, there is NO way possible I can explain how bad ass, strong, empowered, brave and relieved we all felt in this photo above.  We were DONE!  We survived.

We had our eye on the prize.  We were headed for a night stay at the Ojai Valley Inn.

Our reward to ourselves.

Probably the most brilliant idea we’d actually ever come up with.  I mean, the hike was for sure coolest part #2.  Ojai Valley Inn…coolest part #1.

That’s why I saved the best for last.  And I can 100% guarantee that we would all have to agree.

This place is like the best kept secret.  A little gem in the heart of Ojai.  A place I’d read about.  Shit let’s be real, the Beverly Hills Housewives had 2 episodes taped here.  Remember that?  That’s how I really heard of it.  Oh and remember Brothers & Sisters?  That show took place in Ojai too.

Here are a few photos I stole off their website to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about……

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(images via)

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Ojai Valley Inn is by far the most gorgeous resort I’ve ever visited.

The luxurious amenities.

Best in class customer service.  You guys, customer service is everything to me and I have never seen anything like it here.  Friendly.  Uber accommodating.

You really need to stay here.  Trust me.  I can guarantee you that you will have the most wonderful time.

Resort Map

The drive inn

 

You would have thought we were moving in.  Nahhh, just a 24 hour stay 🙂

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Our bell boy wan’t even slightly phased.  He loaded up every bag and we leisurely followed him to our room.

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The view from our patio wasn’t too bad either.

 

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and a bed.  After sleeping on the ground, this looked damn good!

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The Pool(s) //

Is this heaven?

Yes, it is!

There is a pool to suit whatever your needs.  Lap pools.  Adult pools.  Pool with bars.  Family pools.  Need I say more?

You could find me right here.

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We just so happened to arrive at the pool for Happy Hour.  My most favorite hour of the day.  But, you already knew that!

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Thank you!!!

Nicole + her Lavender Lemonade ♥

 

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It didn’t just look pretty either.

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The Spa //

Nicole + I slipped away to the Spa.

We both gave them an A+

A 50 minute relaxation massage after a backpacking trip.  Yessss please.

When the masseuse asked me which “spots” to focus on…..

Back

Head

Feet

And she straight up killed it.  Nicole would agree!!

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{weekend notes}

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It’s Monday.  Opps, It’s Tuesday!!  And I’m feeling refreshed after the weekend.  Don’t you love it when that happens?  I completely forgot to hit “publish” yesterday.  And didn’t realize it till late last night.  Hope you guys had a great weekend.  I did everything I had hoped and wanted too.  And even spontaneously snuck off to the city for the night.

 

Intentions for the week:

  • bake Christmas treats
  • caroling at GG’s ♥
  • wrap gifts as they are delivered/purchased
  • stay away from the See’s candy
  • drive around to look at Christmas lights
  • plan favorite things brunch
  • watch all the Christmas movies with Bay
  • serendipity/mojo’s fundraiser for Omega Nu
  • sort Christmas bins
  • sell Bay’s clothes (she wont stop growing)
  • gym mon-fri

 

What are your intentions for the week?  Christmas is around the corner and there is still so much to see and do.

Highlights from the weekend…..

 

Yaya’s //

Yaya’s reunite!  Nothing better than kicking the weekend off with a Yaya dinner!  It’s been far too long.  New babies.  New relationships.  New adventures.  So much to catch up on.  Can’t wait to do it again.  And maybe stay out past 9 🙂

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Christmas Traditions //

One of my (many) favorite Holiday traditions….Christmas cards with all your pretty faces.  I love them so much, that I’ve been known to keep them up well past May.

I’m displaying them the same as last year, on an old box spring from a Peterbilt.  A couple of years ago, I saw them in the dumpster and convinced one of my co-workers to help me dig them out.  I have two.  So hopefully I can fill them both up again this year 🙂  I stole this idea from Marilynn that had one in her living room years ago.

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Christmas Cactus //

I’m a sucker for anything white.  Or gold.  I can across a white Christmas cactus at the Davis Farmers market a few weeks ago.  It was full of buds, so I’ve been waiting patiently for it to bloom.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful Christmas cactus.  Fingers crossed I can keep her alive forever.

 

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Hostess Gift //

I put together my first set of Hostess gifts this weekend.  Anthropologie initial mugs.  Filled with spiced nuts.  Lori Carrion’s spiced nuts, to be exact.  I can’t remember who shared the recipe with me, but it’s a keeper.  Fresh rosemary + brown sugar + cayenne + more.

I tied a twine bow to a bottle brush tree and done!

I found these cute mini bottle brush trees in the Target dollar spot.  I’ll show you how else I used them as you keep scrolling.

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Wrapping //

I set aside some time to get my wrapping on.  It’s really beginning  to feel + look like Christmas at our house.  Bay came home and was so excited to see gifts.  Especially gifts with her name on them.

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The city //

Spontaneous trips to the city are always a good idea.

Especially during the Holidays.

The city lights are beyond beautiful.  Wreaths in each Macy’s window.  #goals.

The tree!

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When the cable car pick up is right outside your hotel, you 100% hop on.  I was like a kids in a candy store.

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{weekend notes}

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Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving + long weekend.  It was the perfect break to spend time with family + friends.  Relax.  Cook.  And do a little exploring too.

Here’s a peek at some of our highlights…..

 

 

Baby Daniel cuddles //

This may be our new Friday night thing!

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And the best alphabet book finally arrived  ♥

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AB to Jay-Z

If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABC’s ain’t one.

E is for Eazy E

and he’s cruising down the street in his 6 4

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My personal fave….

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The book is super cute and we cracked up reading each letter and singing the song that goes with it.  Makes a great baby gift.   But, the delivery sucks.  I ordered this book back in September and it came last week.  That’s entirely unacceptable!!

 

Running of the Turkey’s //

Our Thanksgiving morning tradition.  But first, you order grande pikes in venti cups.  Have you mom pick them up on the way.  Fill them up with Bailey’s!  Perfect way to start the cold morning, if you ask me!

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Bay ditched us within seconds of finding friends to actually run with.  My mom + I are more of the walking with the turkeys.  We go at the same speed as the turkey’s on El Dorado + Midway.  Slow AF!

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Thanksgiving baking //

Bay made the cutest turkey cupcakes.

Super simple too.

Bake cupcakes or buy them at raleys.

Frost.

Add 6 candy corns to a mega stuffed oreo.  It’s a thing!

Top with candy eyeballs + a candy corn nose.

Voila!

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I whipped up (literally) a pumpkin pie with meringue topping.

Mainly so I could torch the top.  I love it!

 

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I got lots of DM’s about my top + the dish……

Pioneer Women Pie Dish (from good ol Walmart) 

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Shit you not, this top is currently $10!!!  That’s a steal.

Use code: SHOPFAST 

J.Crew Gingham one-shoulder ruffle top

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Thanksgiving //

BIG thanks to Uncle Sal + Aunt Penny for hosting the perfect family feast ♥

I was in charge of setting a pretty table.

Obvi I brought along the eucalyptus + pumpkins + knotted napkins.

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GG + Daniel

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Olive fingers!

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Look at that plate…lol!  And a side a chard, in a solo cup!

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Followed by a couple rounds of 31.

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Girlfriend day date //

Downtown Sacramento is absolutely beautiful this time of year.  All the colors of fall.

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And I got to #chardsohard with my #1 chard homegirl, Nikki!

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Always a good time catching up + laughing our asses off ♥

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Waking up in Tahoe //

Is always a good idea!  Even spur of the moment.

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Left a little Christmas cheer on the cabin door.

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Snow //

We found snow.  Off the beaten path.

 

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Watching a dog discover snow for the first time was pretty great.  She ran around kicking up snow + eating snow + rolling in snow.

 

 

Echo Lakes //

Echo Lakes acts as a portal to Desolation Wilderness.   With over 63,000 acres of untouched wilderness.  So fucking cool!

I’ve driven HWY 50 for years and never even knew this little hidden gem existed till a few years ago.  You take the snow park exit and follow the winding roads and signs to the lake.

 

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I finally got to hike around Echo Lake.  It’s been on my list to-do.   We took the Tahoe Rim trail a couple of miles in.

One of the most scenic trails I’ve been on.  Every turn I wanted to take another picture.

I can’t wait to come back in the Spring and take the water ferry to get back in and explore Upper Echo Lake.

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Lake Aloha has been added to the Spring to-do’s, that’s for sure!

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Cabins are scattered all around the lake.  Right on the water.  Accessible by boat or hiking only.

They were all boarded up for the winter.  Clearly they get a lot of snow.

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The trail is well maintained and I think it would be a great day hike even with kids.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas //

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Our tree that we cut down over a week ago, was standing undercoated in our living room.   We designated Sunday to be our deck the halls day.

George Strait Christmas included……

Continue reading

{ojai // travelogue part #1 }

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And it all started…..

(in Greta’s best Lester Holt voice) 4 girls set of to backpack in the wilderness…lol.

Backpacking trip #2.  Same girls.  Minus 1.

In case you miss the first backpacking trip, you can read more about that adventure here: {weekend notes}

Almost exactly 2 years later, we hit the road again.  This time 320 miles south of home.

Ojai, CA.

I can honestly say, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  Although, Ojai is far AF!

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A long off the beaten path to our trail head.  In the middle of fucking nowhere.

Piedra Blanca Trailhead

Los Padres National Forest – Sespe Wilderness

Here’s a map to give you a better idea.

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We met our fearless Treks + Tracks guide, Nick.  He was wayyy more chill than our last guide.  She was cool as shit, don’t get me wrong.  I think Nick may have hit the bottle pretty hard the night before. (I am in no was shape or form hattin on homeboy, it happens to the best of us)  Anyway, we had no eating utensils and missing tent poles…thank GOD not ours.

We divvied up all the gear.  Sleeping bags + bed rolls + food + tents + polls, etc.  Loaded up our packs.

Heavy AF, let me tell ya.

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Maybe we had enough food?  Maybe we packed too much booze?  Nahh.

 

Oh, and you know I made the girls goodie bags.  Bailey’s for our morning coffee…a MUST!  That shit was Folgers instant shit. Which I’ve never had till that day.  Tylenol for the headache after a night of drinking cheap bagged wine.  Glow sticks so we didn’t loose each other.  And power bars.

Take a Hike!

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But first, let’s take a groupie ♥

We look so clean + happy.  Because we were!

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• YOU ARE HERE

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And we were off.  All 8 of us.

Single file.

for miles.

and miles.

at least it seemed 🙂

You could hike this trail about 40 more miles and reach the Grand Canyon.  Crazy shit, huh?

We went in about 5 miles!  Ha!

 

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If only I could share 360 degrees.  You could stand on the trail and turn and in every direction, this is what you’d see.

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Through dense goves of oak + bay tress.  Then the grassland plainds.  Wide valley views.  Alongside a creek.  Swimming holes too.

This is backpacking southern california.

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Our new friend, Nurse Rucci, between Sara + Nicole.  Hi Rucci!

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Sharing the trail.

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Always stay to the left!

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About half way to camp, we stopped for a lunch break.

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We ate lunch.

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These crazy b’s jumped in the cold ass water.

Umm…NO!

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Camp

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The view from our camp.

This photo does it no justice.  It was breathtaking.

The shadow of the trees on the water.

Reminds me of Bob Ross painting.

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We set up camp.

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Chilled the chard.

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#twinning

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{friday 5}

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Hi guys!  Happy Friday!  I’ve been a MIA the last couple of days.  I was starting to come down with a cold, tired AF and busy AF.  I knew I had to lay low the rest of the week in order to feel better.  Went to bed super early.  Drank tons of water.  Emergen-C’s.  And I’m back to feeling good.  Just in time for our backpacking trip this weekend.  Can you imagine backpacking in the middle of nowhere, sleeping outdoors being sick?  No way Jose.  But, I’m back for a quicky Friday 5!

5 things on my mind…..

 

ONE – Backpacking // We are hitting the road tonight for our second backpacking trip.   Saturday morning we will arrive in Ojai, CA and set off into the mountains.  With everything we’ll need for the next 30 plus hours on our back.  Tents + sleeping bags + food + water + cooking tools + toiletries + wine!  Obvi lots of wine.   I’m so excited that I hardly slept last night.  Our last trip was one that I’ll never forget.  And I can’t wait to do it all over again and make more memories with these chicks (minus one). 

I wrote all about our first backpacking trip back in October 2015 here: {weekend notes}

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TWO – Cheerios // Hey fellow Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fans, Cheerio’s just release a new flavor.  The best one yet, in my opinion!  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios!  Did you know Cheerios now offers 15 flavors?  Crazy, right?    I broke my diet last weekend to eat a handful of these and hot damn, I don’t regret it for a second.  They are everything you’d want them to be.  Chocolaty, peanut buttery, and so so good.  Trust me!

The ONLY store I’ve been able to find them at is Target in Woodland.

GO GET SOME!

Oh, and next week I’m making a fun treat with this cereal.  Think rice krispy treat, but with chocolate peanut butter cup Cheerios.  OMG, doesn’t it sound heavenly?  Stay tuned!

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THREE – J.Crew Top // My new favorite shirt.  It’s so preppy, and I dig it.  The little tartan plaid pocket got me.  I kinda forgot about J.Crew Factory for a minute.  Then remembered why I used to love it so much.  They have so much cute shit.  Check it out and I promise you’ll find something cute that you must have.

They are offering 50% off all clearance items

J.Crew Factory

Long-sleeve shirt with tartan plaid pocket

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Wanna see something crazy?

Continue reading

{weekend notes}

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Happy Monday.  How was your weekend?  How is it over already?  How is October almost over already?  Anyway, hope you had a good one.

Weekend highlights…..

I spent the weekend in Tahoe ♥ As you can probably tell from the first photo.

 

Cabela’s //

I’m no longer a Cabela’s virgin…Ha.  Reminds me a lot like the Bass Pro Shop.  Maybe bigger and better?

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I spent most of my time trying to figure out where the cookie smell was coming from.  The restaurant had these cones filled with candied nuts.  Oh.My.God!  Highlight of my first Cabela’s trip, that’s for sure.

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Pit Stop //

The Biggest Little City In The World!  I think I’ve maybe been to Reno twice in my life.  Both as a child or teenager.  And I’d never seen THE sign before.

Checked out the GSR ….What a cool spot!  That place has everything!

And we made a pit stop at Sierra Nevada Wellness.  Not a pot smoker.  Just curious…lol. It’s very interesting to say the least.

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Tahoe //

Tahoe in the Fall just might be my favorite.  It was the first time I’ve really felt like we are in the season.  I couldn’t get over all the colors of the trees ♥

Except it’s too cold for the beach, so it’s my second favorite time of the year for Tahoe.

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Stopped at some cool beaches.  Burnt Cedar Beach in Incline Village.  Not shown, is a big sandy beach to the left.

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Bench sitting is where it’s at.  Especially when you have a view like this.  I could have sat there the rest of the day and watched the sunset.  Except I ran out of chardonnay.  So, had to leave.

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Another pit stop //

I brake for bars + chard!  Jake’s On the Lake!

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Squaw Valley //

Room with a view.  Now I know why room at The Village are so cheap this time of year.  It’s dead!  Tahoe’s slow season.  But, I didn’t mind it at all.  Room upgrade and we had the place all to our self.

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The balcony was my spot.

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River Ranch //

I’ve spent some time in this spot.  You know the restaurant between Squaw Valley + Tahoe City.  The River Ranch.  Old stomping grounds.

It hasn’t changed a bit.

We stopped here for dinner to find it was their last night till they close up till Thanksgiving.  Perfect timing!

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That right there is their pan seared rainbow trout.  Parmesan polenta.  Lots of veggies.  Spinach.  Lemon cram sauce.  Heaven!

With a side of chard, of course.

Not pictured is my super cute velvet tie sweater from {friday 5}  I can’t wait to wear it again.  So, so cute!  It was for sure sweater weather in Tahoe!!

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Sunday //

Coffee in bed.  I need to do this more often.  The view and coziest bed I’ve ever slept in could have helped too 🙂

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Take a Hike //

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After asking around, it became clear that Shirley Canyon Trail was the hike to do.  Every single person we asked lit up and said, DO IT!  It’s absolutely beautiful.  One dude even said it was “legendary!”

The short walk from The Village to the trail head….this is what you see.  The trail begins at the base of this mountain.

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About .3 miles into the hike, the first waterfall was spotted.

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They were right.  This place is lived up to all the hype.

Waterfall after waterfall.

Can you tell that I kinda dig waterfalls a little?

Press Play!!

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I’ve got about 1,000 photos of this place on my camera roll.  It was so hard to pick just these few I posted.  I could go on and on.

Walking along the Squaw Creek.  Crossing a couple of times.  Then you come to this…..

You stand and turn 360 degrees, and this is all you see.  Completely surrounded.  Surreal!  Crazy beautiful.

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{kid kayaks}

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I got so many questions over the summer about Bay’s birthday kayak, that I thought I’d just write it all out and tell you all at once.

Let me start with – The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is pretty frickin cool.

Bay’s been kayaking for the last 4 summers.  She enjoyed it, a little.

Then Bay’s Dad bought her one (I mean two) of these kayaks for her 11th birthday.  We hit Lake Tahoe the next weekend.  They were a huge HIT!

Due to the compact size, they are super easy to maneuver.  Unlike the adult kayaks we’ve used + rented in the past.

Extremely safe.  The sunken in “cockpit” as they call it, keeps them tucked in.  Even when the BIG Lake Tahoe waves come in.

They are small + lightweight enough for kids to haul to and from the beach.  Now that is a HUGE plus.

Durable + stable enough for a game of bumper cars.

The design is simple!!

Oh, and they stack, almost nesting like for storage.  Can I get a hell yeah?!?!

Best part of all…..

These things keep kids busy for hours.  I shit you not, these girls spent 90% of the beach time cruising in the kayaks.  More time for mama to sunbath and enjoy a beer or two without, “Mom, I’m bored”

Hours people.  Hours!!!

 

Bay is going to create so many memories on these kayaks.  I can’t say enough about them!

I kinda want to get my own so I can cruise the Lake with her 🙂

 

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Here’s all the details you need to know:

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