It’s been a week since my family girls trip ended and man did we have a great time! I’ve been counting down the days for my twin nieces Audrey and Lilly to visit their “Aunt Midge” (that’s what they call me) in California. In true professional organizer fashion I had an organized itinerary planned months in advance and we were able to balance the week out with special trips and plenty of time to soak up the California sunshine.
Our first day was spent exploring my favorite spots in Los Altos which of course included mani-pedis at Pinkies on Main Street. It was the first spa experience for the girls and they were impressed, their nails and toes were adorned with bright colors and hand painted flowers, what a hoot! We also did some shopping at the my favorite kids clothing shop called “Kids Only” and visited hot spots like Rick’s Cafe and the local bookstore. I wanted the first day of the trip to be relaxing so they could get adjusted to the time change (3 hour difference) so we could hit the ground running on Monday.
On Monday we got up early and drove down to Monterey to visit the Aquarium and spend some time enjoying the sun and the beaches in Carmel. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was sunny and 70 degrees.
It was my first trip to the aquarium and I was so impressed, there are so many beautiful exhibits but the jellyfish were definitely my favorite. If you are looking for someone new to follow in Instagram I would highly recommend the Aquarium, their feed makes me smile everyday!
The girls really enjoyed the large tanks of deep sea fish and the sea otters. I wish I had a chance to take a picture or two of the sea otters but we stopped to see them during feeding and it was packed with patrons.
My mom made the trip with the girls and that was a treat. What a neat memory for my nieces to have of their first trip to California with their Nonnie.
My lovely travel agent Kathy Roth helped me book rooms at The Plaza on Cannery Row. We had 2 connecting rooms so it felt like a big suit, perfect for the 5 of us. This was the view from 1 of our 3 balconies. I need to go back here and just sit and relax on this balcony, it’s so gorgeous in Monterey!
The girls were so excited to stay in a fancy hotel, here they are with their room keys. The best part of having 2 rooms was that we had 2 telephones and they could call each other from one room to another. Who would have thought that would be so exciting when there is a view of the bay on the line but that’s what happens when you are 7 years old and you’ve never used a regular telephone.
Girls getting ready for dinner, what a hoot!
After a fun night in Monterey we checked out of The Plaza and headed to Carmel and made several stops of 17-mile drive. The girls loved running up and down the beach and we had the perfect weather for it.
Lilly had to have a few costume changes on this day after getting soaked by the waves, she loved it!
My sister really wanted to see the view in Big Sur so we drove down the coast to check it out, wow!
Lucky for us there was a group of tourists that wanted me to take a group shot of them so in exchange they took this photo of us, it’s the only photo of the 5 of us from the entire trip and it turned out perfect!
A trip to Carmel wouldn’t be complete without a stop a Pebble Beach for a cosmo or 2. I love it there and so does my family.
We took a day off from traveling and spent the day relaxing around my house, we went on a little hike at Ranch San Antonio and opted for a easy dinner in on Wednesday and plenty of time in our hot tub.
Thursday Chris treated us with a visit to Google for breakfast. The girls absolutely loved it, the couldn’t believe all of the fun colors, cafes, and snacks. The each stuffed my purse with snacks from the micro-kitchen, if you are a Google security officer reading this I promise it was all in good fun!
After Google we spent the afternoon at American Girl, it was a major highlight for the girls. We shopped around and then had afternoon tea in the Bistro.
They really spare no detail at American Girl and I was glad to be able to check it out too!
On Friday Chris took the day off and we headed up to San Francisco to play tourists for the day. We started at The Cliff House to check out the view and while we were out of the car for no more than 10 minutes the passenger windows were smashed in and my sister’s camera was stolen. It was such a bummer because all of her vacation photos were on it but we decided not to let it get us down. I called a few glass shops and found one in SF that could fix the windows that day so we dropped it off and Ubered to the hot spots that we wanted to check out.
Our first stop was Ghardelli Square for some chocolate. It helped soften the blow of the break in for sure. The have moved the shop to a new location across the courtyard and it is really beautiful, something to check out when you are in the city.
After the chocolate we grabbed a table on the wharf and enjoyed a relaxing lunch. Don’t judge us for drinking wine in the middle of the day, the break in made us do it, ha!
There really is nothing better than clam chowder in San Francisco, yum!
After lunch we walked down the wharf and stopped for a cute drawing by a local street artist, so cute!
We also checked out the popular Boudin Bakery, the girls loved watching them make bread in the window.
Uncle Chris with his girls, three cuties for sure!
The trip was over too soon but we are already looking forward to next year’s girls trip. I’m thinking more time in Carmel and Monterey and hopefully a trip to see some Redwoods. I know I’m not the only one that will miss the girls…Harper really enjoyed their visit for obvious reasons! Snacks and more snacks!