travel tips


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


Aloha Kona

sight seeing outfit ideas hawaii kona

wearing: sunglasses / pearl earrings (similar here) / summer lipstick / black v-neck tee (old, prefer this one) / woven handbag / blue floral scarf / blue bracelet / summer nail polish / black pants / black espadrille mules / gold ankle bracelet /

There is always something bittersweet about the last day of vacation. While vacations are fun, there is always a slight urge to go home by the end of the trip. Of course, you always want to make the most out of your trip.

On our last day in Kona, my son was tired, and just wanted to relax on our last day in Kona. While he was tired, my husband and daughters were ready to take on the world. So, Rob took the girls kayaking and snorkeling, while I took my son on a little walk, and some quiet time.

giant connect four game kona

We started the day by playing games by the pool. We played foosball, and he beat me three out of four times. Then we played a giant connect-four game, where he beat me on every game. Perhaps he took mercy on me when he suggested we stop playing games, and start sight-seeing.

We walked over to see Mokuaikaua Church, which was the first Christian Church on the Big Island. It was under renovation, so we weren’t able to tour the whole building, just peek through the door. It looked nice, too bad we couldn’t see more!

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Then, we grabbed some ice cream before lunch. Shhh-don’t tell my hubby I gave our son sugar before lunch! Hahaha, is that a hashtag mom fail??

After our walk, we went back to the hotel to meet the girls and my husband for lunch poolside. We enjoyed fruity smoothies, and yummy food by the pool. Ah-relaxation time.

billfish poolside bar and grill kona

My son was tired, so the girls and my husband went back to the beach for more, and my son and I returned to the hotel room for a nap.

We all met back up again for dinner, this time at the historic Kona Inn. It’s an incredible building with a rich history. Although it no longer serves as an Inn, it still holds it’s historical significance as the first hotel on the Big Island; and as a place where celebrities flocked. How fabulous are these old school fans? It was quite an elaborate pulley system!

fan system kona inn hawaiikona inn restaurant kona

The view from the restaurant was incredible. If it hadn’t been storming outside, we would have had a beautiful view of the sunset, but we were OK with missing another sunset, after all,  we had already seen an incredible one earlier in the trip.

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After dinner, we walked back to the hotel in a tropical rain storm. Thunder and all! I truly believe the sky was crying because it was our last day in Hawaii. Aloha Kona. Maholo for the memories and the kindness; we will return someday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Aloha,

Cathy

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Maka’eo Botanical Gardens walking path

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wearing: pearl earrings (purchased in Hawaii-similar here) / sunglasses / summer lipstick / print dress / multi-strand bracelet / woven handbag / summer nail polish / espadrille mules / gold ankle bracelet /

One of the beautiful facts about Hawaii is that they have large, beautiful flowers! Our hotel was located in a rather urban setting, but one mile away, there was a botanical garden filled with samples of all the beautiful flowers and plants native to the Big Island.

We put on our walking shoes and walked a little over a mile to the Maka’eo Botanical Gardens. It is a beautiful walking path adjacent to the Kailua beach. This is a beach area which attracts locals instead of tourist, so the path and beach were quiet and serene. My son even found a coconut on the beach! He was so happy!

The flowers were really pretty, and my son loved all the different types of cactus. We had to keep reminding him not to touch the needles!! Eeeek! Haha

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After touring the beautiful gardens, we walked along the beach before heading back into town for lunch.

My favorite beer to buy a case of back home is from Kona Brewing Company. So I was thrilled to learn we were so close to actual brewing company! On our way back to the hotel from the gardens, we stopped into Kona Brewing Company for lunch.

kona brewing company beer flight

There is nothing like tasting beer straight from the brewery. It is smooth, fresh, and puts anything bottled to shame. I enjoyed a four beer sampler with my lunch, which was incredible. My favorite beer was the Porter which was made with 100% Kona coffee beans! I could taste the coffee, and the smell was out of this world. If you ever visit Kona, don’t miss tasting beer at Kona Brew Co.!

Shop my Hawaii sight-seeing outfit:

This outfit was perfect for walking two miles round-trip to Maka’eo Botanical Gardens, as well as walking in the gardens and along the beach. It kept me cool despite the humidity, and these shoes were just as comfortable to walk in as a pair of sneakers. Yay for comfy and cute shoes!

Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for more from our Hawaiian adventure!

Aloha!

Cathy

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