Family Traditions | Southern California Fun

I've been posting all summer as we check things off our Summer Bucket List and even though it's been an interesting summer with year round school, we've still managed to keep this tradition.  The kids talk about it throughout the year and we make a big deal about everyone contributing to the list!  I think family traditions are so important.  It is something very comforting and at the same time exciting for kids to look forward to each year!  We have a few family traditions in our house, from big to small, but one of our traditions has been to take a trip to Southern California every August.  It started right when we moved to Las Vegas and were just looking for a getaway at the end of summer.  Vegas summers are hot and the SoCal beaches are such a dream to retreat to!  We then added these trips to our yearly Summer Bucket List and they've become a back-to-school tradition.  I'm so happy we've been able to create this for them.  Usually, we'll go away for 3 - 5 days.  So far, we've taken back-to-school trips to Santa Monica, Disneyland, Legoland in San Diego, Newport Beach, and the Pasadena Children's Museum! So much fun :)

Like I said, this summer has been quite busy and we've tried to cram a lot in between track breaks, so we weren't sure how we'd get to go but we managed to make it happen, albeit it was just for the weekend.  We still had a blast and it was one of the most relaxing trips we've had.  There was no real agenda (I know, this is shocking for me!) We just went to Laguna Beach and let the kids play!  They also got to enjoy the pool at the hotel on Sunday morning before we headed north a bit to Redondo Beach pier for a yummy lunch by the water and a few more hours at the beach before heading home.  It was a quick, but much needed trip and we kept our back-to-school tradition!  Traditions are where memories are made and we hope we can continue to take these summer trips for many more years and we especially hope our kiddos will always remember these yearly trips!  

Do you and your family have any special family traditions? Any back-to-school traditions?  



Summer Bucket List | Hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park

Summer is in full swing here in Vegas (read: hot as an oven!) so going out to Bryce Canyon, UT this past weekend and enjoying cooler temps was such a nice break from the 100+ temps.  Since we were already going to Bryce Canyon for our half marathon, we decided to make a family trip out of it and add it to our Summer Bucket List!  

Our obligatory/traditional photo in front of the national park sign! 

Our obligatory/traditional photo in front of the national park sign! 

After the 5 hour drive on Friday (we took the scenic route) we totally needed to stretch our legs and let the kids run around.  We found a list of suggested trails and decided on Mossy Cave, it was an easy & short 0.8 trail that led to a small waterfall and offered pretty scenery.  It was just the right amount of exploring we needed before dinner and calling it a night since Jason and I had an early start the next day!  

After Saturday's Bryce Canyon Half Marathon and a hearty breakfast, we made our way to hike among the hoodoos on Navajo Loop.  It was a fun 2 mile trail that led you down into the canyon and then back up.  Some of the drop offs were kinda scary, especially with my daredevil Parkour loving 13 year old nephew and Diego ready to keep up with him!  But, we all survived and were starving afterwards.  My sister and Jared took off to come back to Vegas after our late lunch and we went back to the room to relax a bit.  Running a half marathon, then hiking for 2 miles really made us tired and I think I was in bed snoring by 9pm.  It would have been sooner but we had to get dinner and some groceries for the picnic we were planning the next day.  

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On Sunday, I was still a little sore from the race, but I felt so much better. After breakfast, we made our way back to the park so the kids could listen to a ranger talk, which was part of their Jr. Ranger program.  We've been doing these National Park Jr. Ranger booklets for years now, but this was the first year Elysse was actually excited about completing her booklet and getting the badge.  It was pretty cute :) Her souvenir from the trip was a army green Jr. Ranger vest!   

After our picnic lunch and a little walk around some lookout points, we pretty much called it a day and started our trip to Vegas!  Like I said, this was a much needed break from the Vegas heat and just the daily grind.  Going on road trips and vacations with my family is really one of my favorite things to do and I'm so grateful for all the memories we get to make together.  I can't wait for the next one!  

What's one of your favorite things to do with your family?  Do you have a favorite National Park? What's on your summer bucket list?  



Summer Bucket List | 51's Baseball Game

I can't believe it's almost July!  This summer is flying by! Mostly because Diego is still in school and so it doesn't really feel like summer.  Year-round school has it's advantages, but boy is it tough in the summertime!  Diego is off for a 2 week track break after this week and we're planning some fun stuff, including the trip to Bryce Canyon for our half marathon and of course, some family time hiking and exploring the National Park.  Can't wait :)

Anyhow, we did actually mark one thing off our bucket list this weekend and we went to see a 51's Baseball Game.  Las Vegas doesn't have a major league team, but we were ok with the minors.  Diego and Jason had gone last year and they had a nice time, so we added it our Summer Bucket List this summer.  It'd been years since I'd gone to a baseball game and this was the first game for Elysse.  I'll just be honest here and say, it was kinda boring!  Sorry to all the baseball fans out there, but I just couldn't get into the game.  Maybe because I wasn't too interested in the teams or maybe because I'm just not a big baseball fan, but it felt to go on forever!  Don't get me wrong, we had a great time.  We went with another family, so there was plenty of playing and laughing!  The kids ate popcorn and shaved ice.  They got some noise makers and had at it!  Don't expect we'll be getting season tickets, but the kids got to experience something different and that was awesome!