We’ve been in California for 9 days and had a great time in very different places. We first stayed in San Francisco and its surroundings (SF downtown and also Marine Headlands, at the North of the Golden Gate Bridge). We had very warm weather, and it was quite a relief after the cold and the rain in New York! We really enjoyed San Francisco being built over little hills from which we had nice views on the bay (although pushing the stroller up the hills was exhausting!). The different atmospheres and architectures inside the city were very interesting also, Haight Ashbury, Chinatown, the Business district, the wharf, on a pier of which sea lions come and have rests, and Alcatraz…
The stay at Marine Headlands (in a youth hostel settled in a former military camp) was like being in a little paradise, among huge trees, and where Maylis could discover new animals such as deers, racoons, and many birds. Near Marine Headlands, Max was happy to win the Stinson Beach Trail (12 km)! http://www.pctrailruns.com/event.aspx?dtid=6810 We also went hiking in Muir Woods.
After a few days we moved to the gorgeous Yosemite Park. There, with our Escape baby-carrier, we were able to hike quite steep trails such as the one leading to Vernal Falls. I was not reassured as we approached the top of the falls since the path was wet (due to the moist of the Falls) and very slippery, but Max was quite confident and did not even woke up Maylis who was sleeping on his back! Being with an athlete sometimes proves to be very helpful :-).
We were also happy to see giant Sequoia trees at Mariposa Grove in the south of the Yosemite. Some of those trees were older than 1000 years!
We’ve spent several days in Pacific Grove, a very nice coastal town in Monterey county in the South of San Francisco. It was a great place for seeing marine animals (sea lions, otters) and seabirds (albatrosses, Northern Fulmars, different kinds of Shearwaters and pelicans) and making easy walks along the coast. We also took a lot of time to sit and check our budget (normally we note down all our daily expenses on an excel sheet, but we had not done it for many days and it was uneasy to remember where our money had run!). Finally we have not exceeded our budget, we can keep on travelling!
Maylis is changing a lot and learns to say essential words such as… banana (in French “anh-anh!”), “cat” and “high five!” (topping with the hand). She has definitely abandoned eating mixed food, and she is very happy to taste every of our meals (avocados, fish, even hamburgers – we try to avoid giving her the fries which results in desperate starving tears, it is hard to resist, all the more as we sometimes feel guilty of moving her so often!).
I also brought her to the Big Aquarium of Monterey while Max was surfing. She was fond of penguins, but so were the hundreds of other little children, and it was not easy to approach them! Her mum especially enjoyed the jellyfishes, like dancing slowly in the blue water, and the majestic though discreet seahorses …
After Monterey we had a wonderful week at friends of us in Seattle. We celebrated Thanksgiving together (it was our first Thanksgiving!), Maylis even received some toys (a tricycle and an interactive dashboard bought at a symbolic price in a second-hand shop) and was happy to play with them while we were cooking (almost all day!). But life is hard for travelling babies: we had to leave the toys in Seattle (our friends are expecting a baby in 2 months and will make the most of them later)… We’ll try to get some others in the next countries. Meanwhile, we play a lot with her, inventing songs and dances, she even learnt how to imitate the frog and the cat, we are SO proud of her… 😉
Back from Seattle, we completed our stay in California by visiting wine valleys (Napa and Sonoma) where we tested several wineries. It was pretty interesting to taste wines made from French grapes imported and cropped in the local ground.
Vanina, Maxime andMaylis