Work-in-Progress Mom Part 2

I guess there is a part 2 to my Work-in-Progress Mom post. :p Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m wordy.

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

Whether you want to just read one Bible verse each morning, or you want to launch a new business, I really believe having low-goals is better than having no goals. (Sometimes, it is even more practical “goals” like remembering a meal for everyone in the family or brushing your teeth…) I know some people do not like calling them “goals,” or don’t think “goals” is the correct term to use, but whatever you call them, I think it is worth it to know YOU have a purpose, and there is always something worth aiming for.

These are hard lessons I have learned, and are still learning. I may have missed the target for many goals, projects, or tasks, but I *think* I am a step closer to becoming…being…who God has called me to be, as I look with intention in my days. Now, don’t get me wrong, God knows how to mess up a good plan that WE have for OUR lives with HIS a-whole-lot-better-than-my-human-plans for my life, because really it’s not our own. This past year, I have learned that leaving (or at least, trying to!) the “overwhelm” and having a “plan” (I’m not sure if that is the right word to use because it was quite loose and flexible) allowed me for some whitespace for listening to His voice and some margin to spend time with those who support me, encourage me, and help me grow.

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Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

Recent nuggets I have come across that are hitting me on the head!

From Crystal Paine‘s email newsletter:
No one wins when we go through life trying to prove that we can handle it all.

From Kathi and Cheri’s Overwhelmed book:
Overwhelmed feels far more survivable with a friend.

From the Bible:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

No test will help you find your calling, reach your goals, achieve success, etc. But what I have found is that they help me find out a little more about myself, or at least to be thinking about what it is I am currently doing and where I am heading. This is a FREE Lifescore Assessment to help discover where you are in 10 life areas. –> http://bestyearever.me/a18721/2017assessment My own score is between 71 and 76 (I took it twice…once when they were still fixing the quirks of the system and once after), which helps me see that one of the domains in my Transformation Zone is Intellectual (I’m not taking this to mean I am a genius…probably just nerdy) and one of the domains in my Frustration Zone is Vocational.

No webinar or training will help you directly get to the next level from wherever you are, but I think these nuggets I got from this FREE 7 Steps for Taking Control of 2017 webinar speaks volume to how we can hold ourselves back from doing big things to help others because of fear. –> http://bestyearever.me/a18721/2017webinar

“The fastest way to lose the game is to get discouraged by what you can’t control.” —

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” —

Realize your potential. It’s crucial. God has given us a purpose. –

“People lose their way when they lose their why.” —  (Michael’s wife of 38 years)

“You only achieve what you intentionally pursue.” –

So, where are you at? Are you in the fog of overwhelm and feeling stuck, or are you gaining clarity? I would love to hear from you.

An Invitation

(If you read my first post, this is the same as the end on that one. But read on if you need a refresher.)
If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

booksasmentors

Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

Thanks for reading all the way through to the end!

Posts in this series
Work-in-Progress Mom Part 1

Gift Guide: Games for Kids

The Moys love a good board game, so I’m not sure why we didn’t have a Gift Guide for this already. :p This is not an extensive list as we play many various games after family dinners at my parents’ house every Sunday. We will for sure add to this list soon!

(*Disclosure Policy: These are great products that we have used and love, or have been recommended to us! Links are affiliate links. We will get a small percentage of the sales if you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you.)

Sorry– The kiddos chose this one for this list, but I have never been a fan of this game because I think it is mean to send someone packin’ from their space if you don’t have to. :p We have the newer version with the Fire & Ice pieces, but we don’t usually play using those pieces. I think it is a bit confusing, but it can be fun too. I think maybe someone else needs to do a soundbyte for this one. :p haha Oh, but not to fret! They also have this is various versions like: Moana, Star Wars, and more!

 

The Ladybug Game* – We LOVE this one. It is for younger kiddos, but we still love it. It was created by a girl, and there is no reading involved to play this game. It is great for learning to follow directions and beginning counting for younger children.

 

 

The Game of Life– This is another of the girls’ favorites. It is a bit long for my taste, but they really enjoy this one. I believe we have the newer version that has careers like fashion designer(?), which are fun for the kiddos. I do like that they learn about “life”.

 

 

Eye Found It!* – You would think this is a game that kids will get bored of it, since once you have found all the items, you kind of know where it is, but they still love it! I think they are mostly a fan of the super duper long board, but that’s fine if they are having fun.🙂 If you enjoy I Spy books, this is the perfect game for you.

 

 

Checkers* – We have the sports version of checkers, but it may be a collectible. It has the baseball teams on the board, and the pieces are baseball helmets for the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants.🙂 This is definitely a classic.

 

 

Gravity Maze* – Melody received this last year for Christmas, and I thought (I’m sensing a theme of me thinking wrong :p haha) it wouldn’t last long at our house since it is more of a logic, solo game. M does enjoy it more, but they can play this for quite awhile once they get into it. There are many levels so it is a challenge if you want to do some thinking.

 

 

Kanoodle* – We received this as part of a summer fun kit full of books, Mad Libs, puzzles, etc. I figure we would bring some items to my parents’ house that the girls can play with when it was too hot to hang out for long periods of time outside. So….it turns out that MY MOM really LOVES this game! My dad likes it too. This one and another logic game (IQ Twist) are still at their house! It looks like they have an Extreme version* and a Genius version of this game as well. Anyone want to buy it for my mommy for Christmas? :p (I already have something in mind for her. hehe)

kanoodle

 

Hedbanz* – We have also played the smartphone app version of this game, but who doesn’t like wear a plastic headband with a picture card on their head. We had family over for Christmas one year, and they tried to get out of playing it by saying they only speak Chinese. Well, guess what? You can play this in Chinese too! :p hehe I think they all had fun.🙂 We did play the phone version of this yesterday. Always a good time.

hedbanz

 

Jenga* – We have the classic version of Jenga, but they have lots of different versions of this one too. And of course, there’s some generic brand called jumbling tower, but do not be fooled – the original is the best. :p I have seen the human-size version as well. I have not played, but it seems like it can get dangerous. And I must be a party pooper because I’m not a super huge fan of this game either. Norm LOVES it though. The girls also enjoy using the blocks along with other blocks to build little cities in our house, or they use it as dominoes. Love their creativity and thinking outside the box!

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I’m not sure if there are anymore gift guides coming soon on our blog this year, but if you have any guides you would like us to put together, leave a comment below and let us know.

What board games do you and your family enjoy?

Other Gift Guides:
Children’s Christmas DVDs
Easy Read Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Series Chapter books (Fiction)
Stuff for Advent & Christmas

Gift Guide: Stuff for Advent & Christmas

Advent is still (a few years) new for us. The first Christmas we were at our current church, they asked our family to light the first candle. I had no clue what all it meant, but through the years, I have really enjoyed this season of preparing for His arrival.

(*Disclosure Policy: These are great products that we have used and love, or have been recommended to us! Links are affiliate links. We will get a small percentage of the sales if you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you.)

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas* – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. This is the family version of The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

 

Love Comes Near: An Advent Bible Study – We really enjoyed Love Comes Near last year. I have worked with Jenni Keller in HelloMornings, and we got to meet for a retreat last year before Advent. She gifted us with this lovely Bible study, along with a kit to use with our families for Advent. The girls enjoyed doing the reading and activities each day.
love_comes_near_kit

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The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. If you have not read any of Ann Voskamp’s books, she writes in a flowy and poetic way. I have not read this book, but I have read One Thousand Gifts, and while, it is not my typical choice of books, I really enjoyed the message, and I am certain I will enjoy this one as well.

 

Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting – This is a new one from my online friend of many years, Kris Camealy, that I will be reading this year. I loved her book for the Lenten season, Wholly, Holey, Holy: A Lenten Journey Of Refinement. Her words are beautiful, and I know I am ready for some calming words this season.

 

More Than Candy: A 25-Day Christmas Countdown that Counts – This countdown by Sarah Mae puts a more hands-on approach to what it meant when Jesus entered this world as a little baby. I know this is one we will read through again…good for anytime really!🙂 If you think random acts of kindness are amazing, you’ll enjoy intentional acts of kindness ideas in this book.
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All the Colors of Christmas Devotional – Focus on the Family puts out an Advent devotional every year. I can’t remember if we received one as an insert in our Thriving Family magazine, but you can download one online.
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Truth in the Tinsel (the code is old in the link, but there should be a Black Friday special coming soon) is fun for the little ones, and I just got the recommendation for Pieces of the Promise puzzle, which looks like a great indoor-day-when-it’s-cold-outside activity.

I’m not sure if there are anymore gift guides coming soon on our blog this year, but if you have any guides you would like us to put together, leave a comment below and let us know.

What Advent and/or Christmas books or activities do you enjoy?

Other Gift Guides:
Children’s Christmas DVDs
Easy Read Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Series Chapter books (Fiction)

Work-in-Progress Mom

Stay with me…this is a long one (well, it’s all relative, right?)…

I was feeling “stuck” and it was not a good feeling. The pressure of being pulled in all directions to do all the things can be overwhelming. Knowing endless nights that flowed into mornings was not quite great, because there’s that whole HelloMornings thing ;p , but mostly “angry” mom is not a pleasant person. I knew that I must become of student of how become “unstuck.” This was just the place this lifelong learner found herself!

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

I have learned that practice does not make perfect, but practice does make progress.

I have learned that small steps can move us in the right direction.

I have learned that sometimes there are even steps backwards…but that is okay, because…

I have learned that there is hope…for ALL OF US…because there is grace…for ALL OF US…because there is love…for ALL OF US. Thank You, Jesus!

I have learned that those in my life really, really love me to stick around for this long! :p Again, thank You, Jesus!

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

I’m not quite “there” yet, and I know I never will be…wherever “there” is anyway…but I can move where God is calling me, I can learn to love better, I can grow in the things I am passionate about.

An Invitation

If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

booksasmentors

Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

USS Hornet Museum {Field Trip 2016}

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Captions by: Melody
Introduction and Photos by: Joyce
Free passes courtesy of Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program
More info here –> USS Hornet Museum

While I’m not a fan of the high cost of living, I love being here in the San Francisco Bay Area! It is our never-ending playground! Most, if not all, of you know that we love the library. (We’ll need to do some kind of blog post about this sometime!) This school year, we decided to make use of the Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program. There are so many participants in the program, it can be hard to choose which one to get passes for. (They are all a little different…some will take mobile passes, some you have to print out, some are for 1 adult and 2 kids, some are for a total of 5 people, etc.) I had been to the USS Hornet Museum as a kid, but this was the girls’ first time there. I thought they would be bored (which was quasi-true toward the end of the loooong tour…still interesting, but it involved a lot of walking and they wanted to explore on their own). We got there later in the afternoon because we went to the Japanese Garden and lunch with my mom earlier, so we will definitely have to go back again some day. Also great to see my high school friend Carrie! She will be in the museum store if you ever stop by. It’s a bit lengthy, but Melody did a fantastic job sharing how our day was like at the USS Hornet Museum, so read on, friends!

Before We Got There
At first, when we were trying to find a place to park, we didn’t know where to go, because the USS Hornet is kind of in a place that reminds you of a shipyard. Actually, it is! Some of the ships can instantly take off anytime the US declares war, but others, like the USS Hornet, are retired, and cannot go anywhere else. And then, after we finally got to where the ships were (that was scary!), we had to find parking. We couldn’t tell where the USS Hornet was, because it was so hidden. After we found the correct place to park (after 10+ minutes!), we saw a sign that said: “Welcome to the USS Hornet Museum.” And that’s how we found it!
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Also, when you turn to the left of the sign, you walk to this walkway and it leads you to these stairs. Actually, a lot of stairs. I (Melody) am scared of heights, so I was terrified at the thought of ACTUALLY entering the USS Hornet – the real one, not a duplicate. We had to cross of the water to enter! <gulp> The thought of me falling! But luckily, we made it, and I’ll tell you the rest, just scroll down and I’ll tell you facts…
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Guided Tour
Yes! You made it! Okay, so we went on the guided tour, but not the audio tour. I don’t know what the audio tour is like, because I only went on the guided one, but I looked at the handbook on the ship, and you get to see more on this guided tour. We had a guide named Dennis, who used to be a high school principal. This was the last tour of the day, so we made it just in time. There was another guy named John, and he was actually a veteran of the war, and it was cool that he was there and we met him.
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Here is a view of the runway from a place up above (I forgot where exactly) and when I heard the news, I couldn’t believe my ears. Being a captain, or on the crew, is a very hard job! You only have one chance to land your plane on the runway, and five seconds before those yellow-black thingies release a net that stops the plane. But this can actually still not stop the plane from crashing! This is why you have to be very skilled and trained in order to fly these types of planes.
20160915_144750And this is a view from a lookout on the ship. Here’s another fact for you: During the war, the places where the ship’s lookout and the ship’s captain were were on opposite sides of the boat. In order to tell the captain there was an enemy ship advancing on them, or there was a bomb coming, a crew member, only about 16-18 years old, sometimes WITHOUT training, had to race up or down those very hard steps to climb, and then back down again to keep his post. Whew! Being a crew member is very hard work!
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This was one of our last stops on our tour. This is one of the most important rooms in the entire ship, where the controls of the ship are. After the lookout tells the captain, the captain runs to the control room and tells the person standing there to stop the ship – well, not without help, of course. You can also steer from this room, which is why this is such an important room that the captain spends so much time in. He even has an extra bedroom right next to it, so he can be up and ready to go in case of danger!
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Looking Around
After the tour ended, Dennis told us we could just look around if we wanted. So we did! See these planes? They are mostly army planes, and they didn’t tell us, but I think the reason why it is a shark is to scare enemies away, and if it didn’t, to remind them that we Americans are fierce. And it was so windy there, so make sure to bring a coat if you ever go there!
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We actually stood on the runway, where we began our tour, of course, after we climbed some steps! I think my legs needed some serious exercise before then, so people, here is your workout for the week! And there is the view of the Bay again – just beautiful, I just love seeing the Bay.
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20160915_154446This, I believe, is a Army helicopter. But the USS Hornet didn’t only carry army supplies. It picked up Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon! if you don’t know this, when astronauts return from their trips, a ship usually picks them up. And Richard Nixon also stepped foot on the USS Hornet! Amazing!
20160915_154509After we returned from all of that wind, as you can see from the previous photos, we climbed all of those stairs again and then saw this plane. It’s an original Navy plane!
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We didn’t have any coins with us, so we just traded in dollars for cents, and then after that we got pressed pennies from the museum store. There were many different options, and we got them all! I don’t know about you, but still, after all this time, I still enjoy watching those pennies transform.
20160915_155830Then, as we got ready to leave, I saw something that caught my eye. A ship registry! It was for everyone to sign their names. I just love registries! So I wrote our names down in the book, and then we walked out the door.
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All in all, I think our trip to the USS Hornet was great. I learned a lot. Before, my cousin went to the museum, and I thought, “Oh, it’s just some old museum that you learn a few facts and then you leave.” But I really learned a lot, and I highly encourage you to go for a day. It’s still the same ship that it was so long ago (it’s held up by ropes) and there is a whole ton of history behind it. I shouldn’t reveal any more to you, because then you won’t learn anything when you go! The USS Hornet is really and truly amazing. Go and learn more about it!

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Tips: Wear comfy shoes if you take the guided tour! Bring a jacket to wear, it is windy out there.

What are some of the interesting local-to-you spots you have visited as a tourist in your own town? Does your library have a Discover and Go-type program? If you are in the SF Bay, where are some of your favorite places to visit or where would you like to go visit?

Check out more photos in our USS Hornet Museum PHOTO ALBUM.

Day 4: Back to the Bay {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 4 – Monday, October 10
– Check-out: 11AM
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 2 orchards
– Lunch: High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill
– Homeward Bound!

Captions by:
Typed by:
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: All the Moys and other various people who helped take our pics

We really didn’t do much on Monday morning since we needed to check out at 11am. Packing up and checking that we didn’t leave anything was what happened.

Aston Lakeland Resort + Village Center 
Aston Lakeland Village Resort is a collection of more than 100 townhomes (1 to 5 bedrooms with free wi-fi) you can rent along with free continental breakfast in the winter months and free kids camp/activities in the summer months. There is also a shuttle that can take you to and from nearby destinations. The resort village also has a private beach with a boat/walking pier that jets out onto Lake Tahoe.

Our 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom with a loft was enough to fit 14 people. You can probably fit 2 more on the couches in the living room. There was a full-equipped kitchen and a mini patio deck. The townhome had 2-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms on the entry-level floor, the kitchen/living room and 1-bedroom/1-bathroom on the second level, and the loft on the top level. The rustic-themed townhome is apparently owned by the Richardsons. They have a big family, which explains the townhome accommodations.

If you have a big family or a lot of people, renting one of these townhomes is the way to go. Plus, you’re right on the lake.

Lake Tahoe Holidays

Top Drawer

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On the Road Again 
On the way back home, we ran into some traffic.  Apparently, there was road work on a stretch of highway in Pollock Pines. They were one-laning and stopping traffic in each direction. We had to wait 30-40 minutes in stand-still traffic until we were allowed to travel through the one lane.

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Apple Hill, Take 2
On the way up to Tahoe, we didn’t pick up apple items for friends and family, so we decided to pick them up on the way home. We were also on the lookout for elusive APPLE MILKSHAKES.

The first stop was High Hill Ranch, one of the top apple orchards in Apple Hill. We ate a late lunch and in the same building, there was a window to watch workers cutting apples.

The apple milkshakes were being sold at “The Wine Shop”, which also sells Apple Beer, Apple Wine Spritzers, and Cider Champagne. We ordered the Apple Cider Shake and Caramel Apple Shake. They were the only non-alcoholic beverages sold at “The Wine Shop”.

Abel’s Apple Acres was our last stop where we picked up Apple Butter, Apple Fritters, and Apple Bread for home.
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And then, we were back in the Bay before we knew it!

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And so ends our trips for 2016. Where should we go next?
Click on the link to view the DAY 4 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory | Day 2: Apple Hill | Day 3: South Lake Tahoe

Day 3: South Lake Tahoe {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 3 – Sunday, October 9
– California / Nevada Stateline (Van Sickle Bi-State Park)
– Lunch: Heidi’s Pancake House
– View of Lake Tahoe from beginning of the Vikingsholm Trail
– View of Lake Tahoe from private beach at Aston Lakeland Village Resort
– Dinner: Base Camp Pizza Co.

Captions by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: All the Moys and other various people who helped take our pics

We went to Van Sickle Bi-State Park on Sunday. It was nice, and I was excited that we got to see the state line for the very first time! Then after, we went to Vikingsholm Trail and the elevation was so high, but the view was great!

Van Sickle Bi-State Park 
We went to the state line at Van Sickle Bi-State Park! It was cool that we jumped between the state line and we could stand in both states at the same time. (Thanks to some new friends we made at the state line, Heather from Sacramento and her mom from Colorado Springs, who helped us take our pic for us. The mom was so sweet and told us where we should stand for the best pic. :p )
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Heidi’s Pancake House
We had gone to Heidi’s Pancake House before in the winter, and it had yummy food. So we went there again. On the top of the walls, there were sculptures of Heidi. I had heard of the book Heidi before but had never read it, so this week, after our trip, I went and checked out that book from the library. At Heidi’s, I got the same thing as last time, The Matterhorn, which has a choice of two pancakes, two wedges of French toast or home fried potatoes, and includes egg plus two strips of bacon, but I chose sausages instead.
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Views of Lake Tahoe
Like I said at the intro, the elevation was great (more than 5,000 ft.), but the view was impressive. In the 2nd and 4th pictures (below), you can see the island behind us. That island is the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. When we were standing and taking the 2nd and 3rd pictures, I was so afraid I would fall, because you can’t stand on the rocks behind us – that is unless you want to fall to a certain death with a drop of more than 5,000 feet. In the 5th picture, we were on our way to a waterfall, but a lady came up to us and said that the walk was too far down for us to walk, and plus, someone had gotten stung by a bee just then, which is probably why I saw so many bugs when we were getting out of the car. So we just took a picture and left, because we had already assumed the waterfall was dried up due to the California drought.
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Before dinner and after we got back from Vikingsholm trail, we took a walk around our place, since it is right on the beach. The beach is private, so we walked along the dock, which is also private, and took this picture. Very pretty.
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Since we don’t own a TV at home, free time on our vacations is spent watching TV at our hotels. I watched the Food Channel, and Emily watched Sprout and Disney Junior. I watched Halloween Baking Championship and Halloween Wars. It’s funny how they have it on TV at the beginning of October when Halloween is on the 31st of October. (The main floor of the townhouse was the second floor where the living room and kitchen/dining room was located, so our rooms downstairs were fairly cold, thus the snuggling in their sheets and pillows.)
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Click on the link to view the DAY 3 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory | Day 2: Apple Hill

Day 2: Apple Hill {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Most links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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After we went to Jelly Belly Factory, we stayed overnight with our friends’ house. Then, in the morning, we left for Apple Hill, which was about a hour’s drive away. The mom and older sister had to go to softball practice, so we arrived separately and met at Boa Vista, the second orchard we visited.

Day 2 – Saturday, October 8
– Apple Hill, Camino – super crowded, so we only visited 5 orchards
– Arrival in South Lake Tahoe at dinnertime
– Staying at: Aston Lakeland Village Resort

Captions by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: Joyce and Norm

Below is a picture with me and my friend on our drive to one of the five orchards we visited. It was a little blurry because the road was bumpy and we were in the car. She asked to go along with us that time.
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Abel’s Apple Acres
Our first stop was Abel’s Apple Acres. (Kind of a tongue twister, right?) They have all sorts of baked goods there. My friend got a caramel apple there and then I had an apple donut. I also had part of an apple fritter too, and we bought apple cider. Then we got a pizza slice. (Because, a “real” lunch was needed.😉 ) It was REALLY good and also very big so I had to share it. Also, there is a picture below with a bear. Reminder: if anyone ever wants to go there, there are two bears out front – Annie the Apple Bear and Andy the Apple Bear. Take a picture with them. There are bungee cords down the hill, but you have to pay to go on them.3 4

 

Boa Vista Orchard
Our second orchard at Apple Hill was Boa Vista Orchard. There, you can pick apples, but we didn’t do that because it was very crowded. We also tasted some samples of apples. Fresh apples = good. I ate the Empire apple and the Candy Crisp apple. If you haven’t heard of either of these, the Empire is a little crispy and sweet. The Candy Crisp is very crispy (like it’s name) and sweet. They also have a little shopping area with things that people sell there.
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Kids Inc
Just like it’s name, Kids Inc. is completely kid-friendly. They have: Kids arts and crafts, You-Pick pumpkin patch, pumpkins and apples, Corn Maze (all ages), Junior farm tours, and a nature trail. There is a very big hill that leads to the little kid corn maze. Kids were rolling down it. There was one girl and her mom, and they had their pumpkin. But unfortunately, their pumpkin rolled down the very steep hill! They also have vineyards at the end of it, so the pumpkin rolled INTO the vineyards! The dad went to go get it, but I think they should have gotten a new pumpkin instead of going through all of that trouble later.
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Rainbow Orchards
After that, we went to Rainbow Orchards. They are famous for their Apple Cider donut. This was our friends’ last stop, so we said goodbye and took the picture below before they left. There are benches that you can sit at there also.There are: Hay Bale Hop-a-Crooked-Mile, “Piper’s Pumpkins” Photo-Op Wagon with Heirloom Squash and Pumpkins, and a Fresh Cider Mill. We didn’t go to these because we didn’t have enough time, but I’m sure they are very good.
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Honey Bear Ranch
Our last stop was Honey Bear Ranch. We went to this one by ourselves, and it was very quiet there, which I liked better than all of the orchards, which were crowded. They have very good apple milkshakes there, but they didn’t have any left, because it was later in the day. There they have a waterwheel, a fish pond, and lawn area games.

 

Welcome to South Lake Tahoe
We drove to South Lake Tahoe from Apple Hill. This was 1 hour and 15 minutes, but because of traffic, it took us more than 2 hours to get there. We arrived at dinnertime. I had forgotten how much elevation there was there. I couldn’t look down almost the entire time. On our way there we passed Strawberry (population of 50 people) and Twin Bridges (population of 10 people).We stayed at Aston Lakeland Village Resort, which is a townhouse place. We went with my dad’s parents and his brother and his wife. We rented a 3-story place with 4 bedrooms and 1 loft bedroom on the 3rd floor. Then, we made fried rice there for dinner.
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Click on the link to view the DAY 2 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory

Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 1 – Friday, October 7
– Departure was after lunch since Norm had a work thing in the morning
– Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield – factory tour
– Arrival in Auburn was later than expected after fighting the Friday night traffic
– Dinner: Chick fil A (our first time!!)

Captions by: Emily
Typed by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: Joyce and Norm

We went to Jelly Belly Factory as our first stop on our way up. Here’s our story:

On the Road
On the road, we had a bunch of stuff in the car and we were all packed up and ready to go. We played lots of games in the car, like Spot the Different Car Colors and I Spy. There wasn’t a lot of things to spot out there. (We did spot license plates from about 7 states.)
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Jelly Belly Factory Tour
There were a bunch of Jelly Belly beans there. The first thing we saw when we got there was a Jelly Belly Factory car with Jelly Belly beans on it. You might not see it there if you happen to go there. When I entered the building, I saw giant Jelly Belly Bean balloons hanging out of the ceiling. They were gigantic!
3This picture was inside the Jelly Belly Factory Tour. Be sure to keep your hats on! (This was not our first time at the Jelly Belly Factory, but it was the first time taking the tour. We learned a lot of new things!)
4These were real Jelly Belly Beans in the mosaics. I liked all of them!
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7 8 9We got to smell a bunch of Jelly Belly Beans. That makes me want to eat them!
10There were a bunch of jelly beans that they made. Did you know that it takes 14 days to make one Jelly Belly Bean?
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We played this game where you have to drag all of the jelly beans that are oddly shaped or the wrong color up. There are ones like this in real life. These jelly beans are called Belly Flops.
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Here’s some info on the free self-guided factory tours that are offered to the public daily:
– Updated HD/4K quality videos to give you an up-close-and-personal look at our candy manufacturing
– Interactive exhibits and games along the tour lane
– A self-guided walk along the elevated, ¼ mile long tour lane to give you a bird’s-eye view of the entire operation.
– Free samples at the end of the tour

Other fun stuff at Jelly Belly:
– Browse the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Art Gallery
– Shop the Jelly Belly Candy Store
– Dine at the Jelly Belly Café
– Shop the Jelly Belly Chocolate Shoppe and Fudge Counter
– Sample your way through the Chocolate & Wine Experience

Welcome to Auburn
(After the Jelly Belly factory, we started making our way up to Auburn. Our friends recently moved up there so we were making a fun stop before Tahoe. We got to eat at Chick-fil-A for the very first time. We do have ones closer to home, but we’ve just never had more reasons to make a trek there. (Yes, I know…the sauces!! :p ) We give it a thumbs-up, but didn’t take an pics while we were there since we were eating and catching up. Then we ended the evening with chatting, unboxing a double oven, and Jenga..and a movie for the girls.)
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Click on the link to view the DAY 1 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap

Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap

20161007_144516Since we are replenishing the funds after our Australia trip😉 , our trips this year were closer to home. We went to Tahoe in the winter and decided it would be fun to visit again without the snow.

Before we made our way to Tahoe, we stopped off in Fairfield, Auburn, and Placerville/Camino for a factory tour, visit with friends, and hanging out in the orchards (respectively). It has been a long time since we have done a detailed trip recap, but if any ONE of our handful of readers is interested, we will write more!

If you have asked us or will ask us what we did, the answer was and is that we didn’t “do” much of anything. :p Sometimes, it’s nice to just “be”.

Big thanks to the Bagais for having us as houseguests! And also thanks to the Moys (Norm’s fam) for being our travel buddies this round, and making yummy meals when we didn’t go out to eat.

Day 1 – Friday, October 7
– Departure was after lunch since Norm had a work thing in the morning
– Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield – factory tour
– Arrival in Auburn was later than expected after fighting the Friday night traffic
– Dinner: Chick fil A (our first time!!)

Day 2 – Saturday, October 8
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 5 orchards
– Arrival in South Lake Tahoe at dinnertime
– Staying at: Aston Lakeland Village Resort

Day 3 – Sunday, October 9
– California / Nevada Stateline (Van Sickle Bi-State Park)
– Lunch: Heidi’s Pancake House
– View of Lake Tahoe from beginning of the Vikingsholm Trail
– View of Lake Tahoe from private beach at Aston Lakeland Village Resort
– Dinner: Base Camp Pizza Co.

Day 4 – Monday, October 10
– Check-out: 11AM
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 2 orchards
– Lunch: High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill
– Homeward Bound!

After a busy start to the new school year and adjusting to new schedules and new groups and new plans, the trip was much-needed and very relaxing. We will add links to this post as we do reviews and daily recaps. Have you traveled lately? Where have you been? What should be our next destination?

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