Table Mountain – Oroville, CA

Growing up on Yankee Hill, I remember this pervasive myth that Table Mountain was actually the bottom half of the Sutter Buttes, and that by looking at a topographical map you could see that the outlines of both match up perfectly, if set on top of one another. Even though I know that it is logically improbable and most likely completely false; I prefer the willing suspension of disbelief, even if I cannot help but want to try to line up those maps myself. I even remember hearing that there are species of plant that can only be found in both areas, validating this theory. I do know one thing for certain:

Table Mountain is a place of fairytales, and cows.

Table Mountain is just outside of Oroville, about 1.5 hours from Sacramento. On Sunday morning, we packed some lunches, kidnapped Nivek for some forced family time (you really do have to force that sort of thing nowadays), and headed there for a picnic and to fly our new kite. Unfortunately, imps stole a necessary piece to the kite while we ate, so we weren’t able to fly it; however, Kennedy did sing “goooooot tooo fiiiind the missing pieeeece” over and over again for much of the remainder of our trip, in what was most certainly an allusion to The Lord of the Rings, only further confirming my theory.

Apple Hill – Camino, CA

This morning we headed up to Goyette’s North Canyon Ranch (Apple hill) to pick some apples and enjoy a little bit of quiet family time together before Matt headed off to work. Truthfully, we chose this farm because it seemed to be away from a lot of the other more glitzy farms, and we couldn’t have been happier with that decision.

After picking a box of apples we headed over to Rainbow Orchards for some hot apple cider donuts and apple cider (ammmmazing!). Aside from the fact the air was a bit smoky from the nearby fires, it was exactly what we needed.

Tank top and Shorts | Misha Lulu

Blackberry Festival – Mt Shasta, CA

A few weeks ago my mom asked if I wanted to come spend Labor Day weekend with her in Mount Shasta and possibly go to the Blackberry festival. I did a quick Google of “blackberry festival” and was sold after reading “Labor day weekend, “”sack races” and “blackberry pie.” We left Matt behind and headed up the hill Saturday morning. The drive was fairly unremarkable: three hours of a long, straight road, large over-filled tomato trucks that drop over-ripe tomatoes around every turn, and Elmo echoing loudly from the tablet strapped to the back of my headrest. Once we got to my Mom’s house, the rest of our evening consisted of numerous cups of coffee, a failed attempt at a nap, and a nice quiet dinner, and the realization that I am a Google failure. You see, in my haste, the Blackberry festival that I read about the week before was not, in fact, happening anywhere near Mt. Shasta. There was, however, a Blackberry festival…

“There will be no admission fee thanks to Scott Valley Bank, which is again sponsoring the festival as part of its “Summer Concerts in the Parks” series. Families are encouraged to spend the afternoon in the park. A variety of games and races will take place for children throughout the day. A barbecue lunch, beer and other beverages, and special event t-shirts will be sold by the Rotary Club. A favorite desert are the blackberry pies, baked exclusively for the festival the day before by Rotarian volunteers. Pie can be purchased whole or by the slice, with or without ice cream.”

While it wasn’t a 3-day ordeal, this still sounded… promising. Right?

WRONG! Let’s re-write this paragraph, shall we?

There will be no admission fee thanks to Scott Valley Bank, which is too cheap to bring a portable ATM to this cash-only event. Families are encouraged to forgo all hygienic activities for one month prior to the festival and are welcome to sleep in various stages of inebriated on the grass for as long as they’d like. There will be old sweaty men dancing to bad rock cover bands with crappy special event t-shirts tucked in their butt cracks to catch the drippings. A favorite, and the only desert are the blackberry pies and vanilla ice cream; you will need to stop at the grocery store on the way home if you want any blackberry Marionberry pie.

Seriously! How does a Blackberry festival run out of pie? And yes, we did stop on the way home.

Romper | Duchess & Lion
Hi-tops | Vans

Dave’s Pumpkin Patch – West Sacramento, CA.

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Today we headed to Vierra farms to explore Dave’s Pumpkin patch and find some pumpkins to carve for Halloween. While the farm was busy, the parking situation was a lot more smooth than some other places we have been previously. Kennedy loved digging through the large sandboxes filled with corn and feeding all of the farm animals. Many of the activities were either geared toward slightly older kids or incredibly busy, so we did not participate in many of the attractions. By the time we got to actually hunting for a pumpkin, Kennedy was less interested in picking out the right one, and more interested in finding the nearest tree to fall asleep under; let’s just say it didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was still a worthwhile trip. We managed to juggle a few pumpkins and a whiny-tired lady to the car without incident, and she was fast asleep before even leaving the parking lot.

A Good Day Overalls | Little Orange

Berkeley Aquatic Park – Berkeley, CA.

So, I know we went Disc golfing last weekend, but we had so much fun we wanted to go again. This time we headed to Berkeley where it was a nice (almost chilly) 73 degrees. Actually, it was cold enough to where we ventured through worlds most lame intersection to Target for a few sweaters because the shade and wind had a little bite. Of course, as you can see from the photos, my two weather testers failed because we obviously didn’t need them and will be returning them today.

This course was fun, but there were definitely a lot of opportunities to go hunting/ lose your disc (-2). The course stayed along the waterway, which created a pretty and sparkly backdrop to it all. On the way there we finally tired the Dutch Bros. and while it was good, it was just good. But, we’re not foo-foo coffee drinkers either, so maybe that’s with the hype. Kennedy really enjoyed the cups though, so kudos there. The trip ended with Kennedy forcing kisses out of her brother, and Nivek reluctantly giving in and trying to avoid them. Oh tweenagers, don’t you know these are the best of memories.

Auburn Regional Park – Auburn, CA.

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Matt use to play a lot of disc golf with his friends. Neither Nivek nor I had really ever played. Since our Sunday morning was thwarted by football picture day, we opted to keep our Sunday closer to home and headed to Auburn District Regional Park for some disc golf. Overall, we all had a great time. Matt asserted his manly dominance. Nivek whined about the trees jumping in front of him. I learned I am profane when it comes to Frisbee flinging, and Kennedy was a trooper… A filthy, snotty, beautiful trooper.

See also:
Exhibit A: The first photo was taken with my phone right before we left.
Exhibit B: The last photo was taken right after I got her out if the car at home.

Keep it classy, Kennedy.

Lake Almanor, CA.

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We woke early Sunday morning, grabbed our coffee and hit the road. Usually we don’t drive quite so far for our Sunday road trips, but since this included some pretty great friends, babies, and a cabin on the lake, we were all in. It took us about 3 hours to get there; the roads were surprisingly clear and the babe slept like a babe. Our friends (Mcrae & Mark) were at breakfast when we arrived so we unloaded the car onto the porch and headed up the side of the hill to this pretty sweet tee-pee that Jeremiah “the strong” and Mark made the day before. After about an hour we brought all of or stuff inside and Mcrae and I settled into and afternoon of chatting and babies while Mark and Matt opted to gain a man-card by fishing on the lake. Eventually, the boys returned with 3 trout, dinner was made, the babes were in bed and we played “Cards Against Humanity” late into the night. In the morning Mcrae made coffee and breakfast, and we slowly made our way to the car and back home. It was a perfectly simple and satisfying weekend.

Jumpsuit | Cotton Bottom

Mt. Judah / Pacific Crest Trail – Truckee, CA.

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When we woke up this morning, we really didn’t have a plan as to where we were going. After eating pancakes and hearing about the earthquake in Napa, we knew that we would not be heading in that direction for our Sunday trip. This, of course, ultimately led to last minute stress and crankiness on my part; it was Kennedy’s nap time and she wasn’t about to let that fact go unnoticed… and we still hadn’t a clue as to where we were going. With a quick google and a grumble, we loaded up two kids and two dogs for Mt. Judah with zero expectations. It really wasn’t until half way there that I realized we weren’t going to South Lake Tahoe, and that we might actually have a good time… and I needed to drink more coffee.

Kennedy snoozed the whole way. Phew. We arrived around noon and were immediately taken by how green and beautiful it all was. We parked just up the street from SugarBowl Resort, and walked back toward the Pacific Crest Trail. The beginning half of the hike was a long zigzag up the mountain. It really doesn’t take long before you want to pull out the camera. The views were beautiful, really. You would have no idea that the state was in droughtville. Kennedy spent most of the trip on my back, until Henry decided to poop out. Normally Huckleberry is the fatso of the group. This time Henry was panting heavily right off. I think the high altitude affected him more than the rest of us. As you can see, Matt ended up carrying a baby this time too. We wandered until about four when we decided to head back toward home.

Our trip ended with a few burgers from In-N-Out (and a grilled cheese). It was one of my more favorite hikes that we’ve had. Even though I wasn’t expecting much, I would really like to go again. Definitely recommend.

Harem Pants | Sweet Lucy Jack

Nevada County Fair – Grass Valley, CA.

Since our Sunday adventures have been heavily weighted on hikes and such, we decided to head to the Nevada County fair for some corn dogs and carneys. Nivek opted to go on a few rides, Kennedy discovered the magical powers of the carousel (twice!), and Matt and I just leaned into the toothless wonderment of a country fair. There is something nice about having carnival rides among trees instead of out on the open pavement like at Cal Expo when the California State fair comes to town. After a few hours, some corn dogs and lemonade, we decided to head home. Overall, it was quiet, simple, and exactly what I had hoped for. I love my family.

Orange Toddler Dress | Gap

Marin Headlands / Muir Beach, CA.

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I knew this was going to be a good hike, but I didn’t realize just how breathtaking it would be. It took a little less than 2 hours to arrive at Muir Beach from Sacramento. We parked, threw on some sweaters and headed across the bridge to the Coastal Trail. The first mile or so of the hike is uphill, so while we were initially a bit chilly, it really didn’t take long to warm up. Kennedy spent the first half of the trip on my back, and while it was cold outside, my back was a serious heater and she couldn’t have been more comfortable. Within the first hour she was cuddled up tight and snoring loudly. Of course, it could hurt that we put loud nature sounds on at nap and bedtime. The trail really was like one long scenic vista point. We walked until just after the giant “Dirty Dancing” staircase, and decided to turn around and climb down into Pirate’s Cove. After sitting on the little beach awhile we loaded up and headed back. Each way the trail was 2.3 miles and I can’t wait to go back. This was the most beautiful hike I’ve been on that I can remember.