Reno/Roseville Trip: Day 1

Our family, along with my parents, took a little road trip at the end of September.  We picked up Micah after school (he had an early dismissal that day) and made our way up north to Reno, Nevada.  The last time my parents (or at least my mom) visited Reno was over 30+ years ago.  Our last visit to Reno was in 2010 for the annual Nugget Rib Cook-Off.  We ate a lot of ribs that weekend!  😉

Micah at Rib Fest 2010 60409_468131537007_7762929_n

The drive to Reno is about four hours.  We made one pit stop at a small gas station to use their restroom.  Grandma took Micah into their convenience store to look for snacks. Thank goodness I went into the store to check on them, because Grandma almost bought Micah a big bag of pretzel M&Ms.  Then she asked me if she could buy the kids ice cream bars. Hmm?  Give a 6 year old and a 2 year old ice cream bars to eat in our van? Um…No!  We settled on a box of Cheeze-It and a bag of bbq chips.

Grandma is so happy to be traveling with her grandkids. Notice the box of Cheeze-It in Bekah’s car seat?  The kids love Cheeze-It!, as do their mama.IMG_1042

The temperature outside kept dropping.  I could’ve sworn that I was seeing snow falling, but Jason kept saying that they were large raindrops.  There was snow on the side of the road though.

I think this was the coldest it got during our drive.IMG_1040

When we travel with my parents, we always try to rent a 2-bedroom suite with a living room and kitchen.  We like staying at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, so we spent two nights each at their properties in Reno and Roseville.  They offer a free hot breakfast daily and a free light dinner Mondays-Thursdays evenings.

We arrived in Reno just in time for dinner.  Jason was craving salisbury steak and he got his wish!  They served salisbury steak that night. IMG_6659IMG_6658

It was nice having the kitchen and extra space for everyone.  Bekah is a picky eater, but we were able to cook noodles for her a couple of times in our suite.  Another benefit of staying in a hotel?  Cable!  We don’t have cable at home, so we go to watch shows that we don’t get to watch at home.  Disney Junior, anyone?

My parents slept in their own queen size bed in the hotel.  They share a queen size at home.  Look at all that space they have!IMG_1046

What are the kids watching?  The Disney Channel, of course!IMG_1047

One of Bekah’s favorite activities…drawing with a pen.IMG_1043

We didn’t do much else after we arrived….just dinner, a little bit of unpacking, made up the kids’ beds and relaxed for the rest of the night.  Plans for Day 2: Breakfast at the hotel, Circus Circus, a buffet lunch, swimming, and dinner in the hotel.

Micah and Rebekah’s First Time: Circus Circus, Sushi, Apple Hill, Games & Fishing

We went on a mini-vacation to Reno and Roseville with the Grandparents and the kids had some fun “first time” experiences there.

First time playing air hockey with Gung Gung.IMG_1067

First time at the Midway of Fun at Circus Circus Reno and winning lots of stuffed animals.IMG_1086IMG_1101

First time playing the claw crane game and winning Pokemon stuffed animals.IMG_1105IMG_1122IMG_1126

First time going up and down the escalator with Gung Gung over and over again.IMG_1123

First time playing Battleship.IMG_1146


First time eating a sushi hand roll.620609_10151939744732008_114953917_o

First time visiting Apple Hill. (My eyes are closed and Micah was in the middle of a sneeze.)IMG_1157

First time eating apple donuts.IMG_1172IMG_1173

First time fishing.IMG_1194

San Diego Trip – Day 2

Day 2 of our San Diego Trip was also Easter Sunday.  We planned for a low key day…going to a farmers market and dinner with friends.  I love farmers markets and will try to find one in the area when we’re on vacation.  One of our favorites is the Saturday Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu. See our facebook pictures from that day here.  It’s not to be missed if you’re looking for some yummy eats on the island.

In San Diego, I found the Hillcrest Farmers Market and we headed there after breakfast.  (The hotel provides breakfast every morning and a light dinner Monday thru Thursday.  Eating at the hotel saved us time and money on eating out a lot.)  We found some pretty good and unique eats, like live sea urchins.  We’ve had sea urchin (or uni) at Japanese restaurants but never at a farmers market.  The vendor will cut the uni open for you and you can enjoy it there or take it home to eat.  We decided to take it home to eat, so the vendor prepared the uni and put it on ice for us.  You can see pictures from our day by clicking on the photo album below.

We ate lunch back at the hotel and afterwards, I gave the kids their Easter gifts.  I didn’t plan an egg hunt like I did for Micah last year when we were in Hawaii.  I think he was a little disappointed about it, but he still enjoyed the gifts.  It was Rebekah’s first Easter. She didn’t know what to make of it…the girl tried to eat everything from the bag.  =P

Our good friends, who live in Orange County, drove down to San Diego to have dinner with us.  Per their recommendation, we ate at Brazen BBQ Restaurant.  Our friend knows the owner from bbq competitions.  For dessert, we got take out from Extraordinary Desserts and ate it back at the hotel.  And Yes!…the desserts are quite extraordinary!  =P We began the day with good food and ended the day with good food…and good company!

San Diego Trip 2012: Day 2

San Diego Trip – Day 1

I’m finally getting around to posting about the trip we took to San Diego back in April during Micah’s spring break.  We packed up our minivan, drove down with my parents and spent 7 nights at the Homewood Suites in Liberty Station.  I love staying at the Homewood Suites properties and this one has great reviews on

I knew we would be driving through Irvine so we stopped off at 85C Bakery Cafe.  I had heard good things about this place and really wanted to try their iced coffee with sea salt. I also picked up some breads and pastries.  

My iced coffee with sea salt.  =)

After we arrived in San Diego and checked into our hotel, we went out to grab a bite to eat for dinner.  I found this place on yelp…Tender Greens.  The food was delicious!  We ordered the Backyard Marinated Steak and the Salt and Pepper Chicken. The chicken was definitely a favorite…very moist and flavorful.  I was excited to learn that there’s a Tender Greens in Walnut Creek, about 40 minutes from our house.  🙂

Backyard Marinated Steak

Salt and Pepper Chicken

So that’s day 1 of our trip.  Day 2: Easter Sunday, Farmer’s Market