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Saturday 20 June 2015

Bodie: An Old West Ghost Town

Ok, I've mentioned quite a few times now that we visited a real life Old West ghost town over the Memorial Day weekend back in May, so I think it's finally time I shared some of the photos with you all.

I have loved the idea of visiting an Old West ghost town ever since we moved to California, and I'm happy to say that Bodie, in the Sierra Nevadas, lived up to all of my expectations. The town, which is a designated State Historic Park, has been kept in a state of arrested decay since the last residents moved on to greener pastures in the early 20th Century. Everything is just as it was back then; a declining gold mining town filled with run down houses.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

52 Week Project: Week 24

Week 24: City Street Art

Over the weekend we headed into the city to catch up with friends who were visiting from Australia.

My favourite place in the city to take visitors (who aren't too fussed about doing super touristy stuff) is the Mission District. We always spend some time hanging out in Dolores park, where the views and people watching are amazing (giant slip and slide with oil, anyone?) and the kids can play at the playground while we catch up. 

Then we usually move onto finding something to eat, which is never hard as the Mission District is full of fantastic eateries.

And then finally we check out the streets, because that's where all of the colour is. And by colour, I mean murals. The Mission District is full of them! We usually head to either Balmy Alley or Clarion Alley where the walls (and sometimes the ground) are completely covered. On this occasion we went to Balmy Alley. The murals are always evolving, so even if we've been there relatively recently, there's almost always something new to see. The girls posed with their new favourite murals for plenty of fun photos.

Monday 15 June 2015

Teacher Gifts

Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliate links.

This year Ava decided that she wanted to make a clay plant pot as a thank you gift for her school teacher. I loved the idea of her making something herself from scratch, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time. Plus it would've proven too tricky for Lola who was keen to do the same.

So instead I suggested that the girls paint ready made pots instead. They both loved this idea and couldn't wait to get started. So we headed to our local gardening store and purchased a selection of terracotta pots and cute little succulents to plant in them.

52 Weeks: Week 23

Week 23: Bay Area Book Festival

I'm a little behind with last week's 52 Week Project post, but better late than never, right?

Not this weekend just gone, but the one before Berkeley celebrated the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival. It was a huge event lasting all weekend and taking up many of Downtown Berkeley's streets plus MLK Civic Center Park. We were busy with other plans on the Saturday so we headed there on the Sunday. (Mathilde and I did actually drop in briefly on our way home from the city on the Saturday but pretty much everything was packed up for the day).

Saturday 13 June 2015

School's Out!

School's out!

Summer vacation has officially begun!

It has been a busy week here in the Little Hiccups household with all sorts of preparations happening for the end of the school year (and other exciting things that I'll share soon). Ava finished second grade yesterday. Her class had a little breakfast party in the morning, they signed each other's year books and then spent the rest of the day watching movies. The day before they went bowling. Ah, the last week of school. Always such hard work!

Finishing second grade is no mean feat, however the bigger event this week was Lola graduating from preschool on Wednesday. My little girl will be a big school girl in the Fall. I can't believe it. My mornings are going to be so much easier with just one school drop off!

Thursday 11 June 2015

Driving through the Sierra Nevadas

On our recent weekend away we drove through the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach our destination of Bodie, a real life Old West ghost town.

I must admit that I never gave too much thought to the actual drive, just our destination, so I wasn't prepared for the stunning views that lay ahead. I honestly don't know why it never occurred to me that we'd be driving through such amazing scenery. I mean, we were heading through the mountains just south of Lake Tahoe and just north of Yosemite, two of California's most beautiful locations. I guess I was just excited about visiting a real life ghost town and didn't think too much about anything else!

The other thing that I wasn't prepared for was the weather. I mean, it's almost Summer, it'd be clear skies ahead, right? Uh uh! While the sun did come out for us, at one point we found ourselves driving through sleet. And then rain. And then maybe a light sprinkling of snow. Or maybe that was sleet again. Either way, we were a little worried that we wouldn't make it through Sonora Pass high in the mountains - and we didn't have a back up plan. But all is well that ends well, and luckily the weather cleared up allowing us to drive through the pass with no problems.

Monday 8 June 2015

My Kitchen Flower Garden with Boon

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Boon. All opinions are my own.

Living in an apartment with no outdoor space, I really miss having a garden. To make up for our lack of gardening space I like to keep potted plants dotted around the apartment to add a little touch of greenery. Every room in our apartment features at least one potted plant; an orchid on a shelf, a bromeliad on a bookcase, succulents on a window sill, air plants hanging on a wall... Every room that is, except for our kitchen.

I would love to have a little kitchen garden filled with herbs and edible flowers but alas, our kitchen does not have a window in which to grow them. I've tried growing potted herbs on the divider between the kitchen and the dining area but they just don't want to grow there. But just because I'm not able to grow the kitchen garden I dream of, it doesn't mean that our kitchen has to be completely devoid of "plant life".

In fact, thanks to Boon our little kitchen is full of blooms! These gorgeous flowers may not have any culinary uses but they do come in very handy in the kitchen. You see, these blooms are not just a pretty face. No. While they may be lovely to look at, they're also hard workers.

Friday 5 June 2015

52 Weeks: Week 22

Week 22: After Karate Fun

Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon Ava and Lola take karate classes in a park near our home. I love that their karate class is outdoors rather than inside. It gives Mathilde a chance to run around and play while the big girls practice their karate chops, and it gives me a chance to just sit and relax for a while - in between chasing after Mathilde, of course! Friends often drop by to catch up and watch the class. We can talk, laugh and eat without having to worry about disturbing the class or making a mess. It's just lovely all round. And because it hardly ever rains here we rarely need to come up with a back up plan. The one advantage to being in a drought! 

If you were to ask Ava and Lola the best thing about having karate classes in the park they would no doubt tell you that it's the play equipment. After every class, without fail, the girls are on the play equipment within a matter of seconds. In fact, the whole class is. Even Mathilde. Or at least, she tries. There are several climbing structures next to where the class takes place and they are a huge hit with the kids. They climb to the top. They play tag. They hang upside down. They jump from as high as possible. Ok, that last one is just Ava. There's always at least one kid calling out "Look at me, look at me, look at me!" as they hang upside down or balance on one foot from the top of the play structure. 

It's a pretty fun place to hang out so let's take a look at what the girls got up to after class this week...

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Panning for Gold

Over the Memorial Day long weekend we went on an adventure that including a little gold prospecting and visiting a real life ghost town.

Today we're going to have a look at our gold prospecting adventure with the aptly named Gold Prospecting Adventures in Jamestown, a little town a few hours east of the Bay Area.

Panning for gold was such a fun way to spend an afternoon. The kids really enjoyed it, especially as it was a warm day and they ended up drenched from the creek! The highlight of course, was finding gold.

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