Travel


Japantown San Jose with the kids

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / white knit turtleneck / blue scarf / grey faux fur teddy coat / belt / bootcut jeans / black satchel / spring nail polish / western style boots /

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of hundreds of nooks and crannies. There is always something to do, and something to see. Although I am born and raised Bay Area, I had never been to San Jose’s Japantown before this month!

We decided to take the kids down to Japantown San Jose in order to see what was there, and also enjoy some sushi. Unfortunately, I won’t share the sushi lunch with you, it wasn’t very good. I think we chose the wrong restaurant. That being said, I am sure there are other places to eat, and I heard the ramen place is really good! Wish we had gone there, but I digress. . .

There are plenty of fun things to do in Japantown San Jose with kids. There is a museum, the temple, and many historical buildings. It is easy to walk around and see everything in one day. There are also cute shops with imported items from Japan. Some of the shops have been owned for generations and have their history posted inside. You can learn a lot by chatting with the shop owners, and reading the signs! It’s really a cool outing.

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My son posing in front of one of the murals found in San Jose’s Japantown. This area of Downtown San Jose is full of street art. It’s fun to walk around and enjoy the beautiful murals. This one was my son’t favorite. He loves the characters depicted, and seems to know who they all are! I had no clue!!

If you are local to the Bay Area, and are looking for a fun daytime outing with the family, or without, I highly recommend visiting Japantown San Jose; and wearing walking shoes! High heel boots were not my best choice for the day. haha

Shop my winter faux fur teddy coat look:

Have you been to Japantown San Jose? What is your favorite site to see?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

japantown san jose things to do


Lunch in Calistoga with the kids

wearing: lipstick / blue and silver earrings / adidas sweatshirt / long sleeve tee / skinny jeans / nail polish / handbag / hiking boots /

We took some time to explore downtown Calistoga in between visiting the Geysers and the Petrified Forest during our road trip up to Calistoga in the Napa Valley. Downtown Calistoga is super cute! It is filled with historical buildings and shops. My middle child found a vintage store, and my son discovered some old train cars which were converted into retail space. Unfortunately they were not filled with shops to explore, but they did turn into an entertaining spot to take pictures of each of us being silly. haha

Our main reason for exploring downtown Calistoga was to find food! It was lunch time and we were starving. When you are traveling with kids, they can be a bit picky. We were lucky to find a Chinese restaurant in the middle of downtown Calisoga, which always satisfies picky children.

Soo Yuan Restaurant is located in downtown Calistoga and appears tiny from the streets. Once you go inside, the restaurant has plenty of tables, and offers a few large tables for families such as ours. At lunch, you have the option of ordering a la carte, or off the lunch special menu. We opted for the lunch menu, and it was a great choice! They food was sooooo good!

Soo Yuan Restaurant chines food calistoga

I had the prawns in black bean sauce and it was really yummy. We also ordered a pot sticker appetizer which was really good. Everything we ordered was delicious. If you are in the Calistoga area, and are looking for a great family restaurant, I highly recommend stopping in at Soo Yuan! It was delicious and the prices were reasonable too. Love!

We had a lot of fun visiting the Napa Valley with our kids. There is more to do than what we did, so we will definitely be planning another trip there soon with the kids!

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Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Wall art in Napa

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / black knit turtleneck / blue scarf / long coat (under $200!) / black belt / skinny jeans / nail polish / black satchel / charcoal boots /

First off, how did we do with nighttime photography? I never take photos at night. I love bright, daytime shade; which is easy lighting for pictures. We played with the settings on the camera, and while these aren’t the best photos we have ever taken, I feel like they came out pretty good. Maybe a little less crisp than I’d like. . .but they work. . .I think?? haha What do you think?

During our family road trip to Napa with the kids, we stopped into Oxbow Public Market for dinner. I had never been to a public market setting before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was a bustling marketplace filled with specialty food shop, mall-style food counters, and ice cream! It was sensory overload as two of my kids settled for pizza since they could not decide what to eat. My husband, and middle child settled on sushi, which I chose too. Like a crowded day at the mall, one of us hovered in the seating area until a table opened up which could seat five, while the others went to purchase our food. It worked well! I snapped up a table, and my food was brought to me by my family. Love that!

The sushi was good, and my husband also picked up a beer at the brewery located inside Oxbow. After we all finished eating, we walked around the market to see what else was there. I found The Olive Presse which is an olive oil company located in Sonoma. I have had their olive oil before, and know it’s hard to find, so I purchased a ton of it! I highly recommend the mandarin orange olive oil; yum!

We also found ice cream, also made locally. I enjoyed an egg nog milkshake while my kids all delved into a sundae, or a scoop of their favorite flavor. The ice cream was really good, I highly recommend it! We had lost our seats while walking around, so we ended up sitting outside to eat our ice cream; despite the fact that it was about 40 degrees outside. Brrr! We had fun anyway!

As we were sitting outside, we noticed the wall art on the CIA at Copia which was situated across the parking lot from Oxbow Public Market. After we finished our ice cream, we decided to try our hand at nighttime photography and take pictures of each other in front of this wall, after all, we loved the colors!

We had to adjust the camera quite a bit, but it was fun, and we got fairly good shots! Unfortunately CIA Copia was closed, so we were not able to peek inside. We will save that tour for next time we are in Napa!

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Have you been to Oxbow Public Market, or any other public marketplace? Which ones, and what did you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

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