Inaugural Summer Trip to Carmel Valley Ranch

Grace pressed replay on our summer kick-off trip to Carmel Valley Ranch, which we enjoyed last year. When you live in California, vacation takes on a new meaning. Ski trips are nothing like being home, but warm weather trips can sometimes feel just like being home.

The good news is that the kids and us can have fun just about anywhere. The bad news is we drove two hours to rent a pool. Just kidding – it’s beautiful and awesome down there. We ran into the Foleys, who called an audible on CVR because their campground in Santa Barbara was surrounded by a wildfire – yikes.

Everything else was the same as last year. We couldn’t have a meal with a 5-15 minute stop on the swings. S’mores were well-stocked, but Lucas was too tired to indulge. Olivia and Lucas were mostly excited about driving the golf carts to the practice range, but I think they both made some real progress on their swings.

After crushing a 2nd afternoon at the pool, we packed up and headed to Carmel for a short walk around town and a nice dinner. We caught the sunset on the way home (photo by Olivia), and three hours later, our one-night vacation was over. It was a great getaway.

2016 Carey Dads’ Ribs and Beer BBQ

On Sunday, June 5th, Adam, Justin and I hosted our 4th annual BBQ pay-to-play for The Carey School. We have it pretty dialed in now, and everyone just shows up with their ribs and supplies. There was some concern we might lose some attendance due to the Warriors game, but only one dad had tickets (good excuse) and everyone else was able to enjoy the game during dinner.

We had a great turnout with many long-time attendees as well as a lot of new dads. Almost everyone stayed late to watch the end of the game and hang out. It was another successful event … which we do of course for the children.

Memorial Day Weekend with Family & Friends

Charles was in town for work and Addy brought the kids for the long weekend. Grace planned a girls weekend in Half Moon Bay with her mom and sister, so Charles and the kids stayed with us for the weekend. Delaney and Cameron were quite busy visiting their old friends in the East Bay, so we didn’t see them a lot.

We were quite industrious on Saturday. Olivia wanted to make cupcakes and we managed to do so from scratch (except the frosting and red hots). Charles and Cameron were going to join us for dinner so I invited the Moons over, too. I haven’t really hosted a BBQ by myself, as Grace is always the head chef and I’m just the first starter. I did my best.

Somewhere in there we got in a bike ride. Lucas decided his loose tooth was bothering him too much, so we yanked it before bed time. It was a fun-filled day.

On Sunday morning, the ladies came back from HMB and the kids got to see grandma before she returned home to LA. We all headed to San Francisco to have brunch with the Chans. Then, we walked down to the Ferry building and met up with Bobby’s family briefly before heading up to Tiburon to swim at Casa Luna. The kids are really into Terraria right now. I don’t know exactly what they’re doing, but they seem to do it well together (with occasional reading and movie breaks).

Charles, Bobby, Erich and I golfed Half Moon Bay on the holiday. The kids spent the day with their cousins and we ended the weekend with Korean food by Grace. Great weekend.

BBB with the Michigan Crew

It’s been a while since we’ve had the whole Michigan crew together so we invited everyone over for a potluck turned Bi-Bim-Bop fest. By everyone, I mean honorary Wolverines, Emily (proud Buckeye) and O’Brien, too. Due to weekend sports, May snow on I-80, etc., we were missing some folks. However, Jin-Hong happened to be in town and joined us as our surprise guest. Charles also texted out-of-the-blue and he joined us as well.

The kids made full use of the house, yard and now sidewalk. A few of the younger ones posed flight risks, which kept some parents busy until we smartened up and closed the gate to the zoo.

It’s only a few weeks until everyone launches into Summer, so I’m glad we could see everyone before they scatter to Switzerland, Tahoe, Aspen and other amazing places I heard on the agendas. We’ll be in CA holding down the fort.

Mother’s Day in Napa with the Moons

We’ve spent Mother’s Day with the Moons for at least the last 5 years. This year, the tradition continued. Mike has been talking about Auberge du Soleil in Napa for a while, so we decided to take the families there for brunch.

Initially, Mike suggested a pre-brunch hike, but we ended up just going over to their place early and taking the kids for a bike ride in Tiburon while the moms chilled at home for a bit. They live on a serious hill, so negotiating their street on the way down and back was a big part of the adventure. The kids never met a jungle gym they didn’t like, so we made a stop. I can appreciate any park with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We rode out to Blackie’s Pasture and turned around for home. This was definitely Lucas’s longest ride and I’m glad he’s enjoying his new bike.

By the time we made it to brunch, we had all definitely worked up an appetite. It’s a really beautiful place with gorgeous views of the Napa Valley below. Everyone enjoyed their meals, most importantly, Grace and Clara.

We all headed back to our favorite resort in Tiburon, the Moons’ house. We hung out for a few more hours and headed home at the end of another great Mother’s Day together. Happy Mother’s Day to our Grace, Clara and all our moms!

Ending Spring Break in Laguna Beach and La Jolla

Grace’s parents came down to Laguna Niguel on Thursday and stayed the evening so we could have dinner together. On Friday morning, we explored Laguna Beach. Lucas was belly-aching about all the walking (i.e., more than 2 blocks), but he toughed it out and we ended up at Nick’s. It was worth waiting for it to open.

We thought we’d make a quick stop at the beach downtown to check it out. 2.5 hours later, the kids were still running, digging, and pouring. I might have gotten involved there at the end. We went and got a well-earned gelato before packing it it. That evening, we crashed the T’Kindt’s pizza party, as the Primos were visiting from Michigan. The kids and adults all had a great evening together, though Sloane never did warm up to me (or anyone in the family). Next time, we’ll be BFFs.

On Saturday, we were heading to La Jolla to meet up with the West Bloomfield crew. We made a game-time call to pack everything up to give us the option to head home that day. A plane made an emergency landing on an adjacent freeway, which snarled traffic for us. Eventually we made it to lunch with Vickie, Steve, Laura, Chris, Kristen, Scott and the kids. We all drove over to the cove for some more gelato and took a stroll down to the sea wall to see the seals.

We stopped at Ann and Jeremy’s in LA for dinner and a quick visit with the kids and Murphy. Though we were a couple hours behind schedule, I lobbied to press on and go home so we could have a relaxing Sunday at home. Although Grace was not on board with my plan, she started the drive for us and drove straight through until we got home at 3am. Wow – thanks!

Legoland and San Diego Zoo Safari Park with Lees

On Tuesday, March 29th, we met up with the Lees, who were staying in Carlsbad with Julie’s parents for Spring Break. I’m still loving Legoland and not ready to graduate to Disneyland (though the kids may be). Albert was working, so we were a perfect 8 and I had the pleasure of riding with Olivia, Ellie and Theo. These guys are such cute buddies (especially Ellie and Lucas, who continue to be BFFs at school).

Everything was going great until they demanded to ride the Teacups (why???) and I took one for the team. I wasn’t the same the rest of the day. We went to their hotel at Aviara and ordered out dinner.

We met up with them again on Thursday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We were originally going to go to the SD Zoo, but we’ve been there a couple times, so this was a welcome change. It was a little busy, but otherwise was super clean and nice. We spent just the right amount of time there. The weather was also perfect all week (cool and dry).

Not pictured: Albert (although he arrived, someone has to make the sausage). Great times with the Lee Family on Spring Break!