Red Sand Beach, Hana, Maui

As I’m lounging in bed this lovely Sunday morning, my kids playing as I’m gazing out the window at the gorgeous sunshine reflecting on the roof tops covered with snow it’s a good start to my day right? It would be except there’s SEVENTEEN inches of snow in my backyard and I begin asking myself what am I doing here?

I’ll be thinking warm thoughts the next few days and what better place to escape to than Hawaii (I’m OBSESSED) but since I have three littles I won’t be hopping on a plane any time soon so the next best thing is reliving our Maui escape four months ago.

This beach was one of our absolute FAVORITE. It’s not the typical beach where you think of miles of white sand instead it’s a small cove nestled between two ginormous cliffs.

Think paradise lost…well this is paradise found.

RED SAND BEACH was our last stop on our Road to Hana trip, this beach is off the beaten path. My heart is pounding and my palms sweating just thinking about the path we walked along the cliff, it’s definitely not for the faint at heart.

The first sight of the beach took your breath away. We couldn’t wait to make our way down the cliff! Everyone was heading out as we arrived. We probably should’ve turned around but we couldn’t resist the chance of experiencing this little little gem all to ourselves. Ah the feeling of a private beach, it was pretty awesome.

And then just like that we felt a few drops of rain as If the path wasn’t treacherous enough. With each step we litterally felt the night coming down upon us and we hurried back to safety, laughing like two kids as we made it to the car just in the nick of time before it started raining.

It was quite scary but DEFINITELY worth the trip!

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~TOODLES~
Stacey

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What A Wonderful Day, Mom!

A Sunday afternoon in Georgetown, Washington, DC; what could be better? Nothing, besides hearing my daughter’s sweet little voice repeatedly saying, “WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY, MOM” as we played in the gardens.

It was, in fact, quite a wonderful day because we left the twins at home with their dad.  It felt wonderful being out with just her.  We had a quick picnic, courtesy of Wendy’s; played soccer, chased butterflies and even birds.  We were careful to sneak up on the birds and we didn’t tell the rabbits. Shh

The grounds were much smaller than I expected, but nonetheless, worth the trip.  It was very quiet, at times feeling like you were experiencing the wonders of your very own garden, except a more manicured one.  I would say plan no more than two hours for your visit.  Just enough time to relax and recharge before your next adventure.

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It was only the hottest day of the year with temperatures feeling like almost 110 degrees.  In the cool of the shade it was quite a lovely day, but every step in the sun felt like five steps in the desert. It was time to cool off.

Georgetown Waterfront Park seemed like a great local as any, and less than fifteen minutes away.  I’ve driven many times to and from Georgetown University Hospital when I was pregnant with our first child, but had no idea what I was passing along the way.

As I drove, anticipation was building. Great shops and beautiful restaurants adorned the streets. There’s something here for everyone.  There are lots of garages to park in or you can scurry for free parking at the end of K street.  There’s a three-hour limit Monday through Saturday, but free on Sundays.

This park is a great place for a run; your little ones will enjoy splashing around (be sure to bring bathing suits) and the views aren’t so shabby either.  It’s a great place to paddle board, kayak or just people watch.  I recommend a trip in the late afternoon; bring some snacks and a blanket for some good family time, then send the kids home and enjoy a date night with your honey or even just ice cream and a stroll.  I haven’t been here to watch the sunset but can only imagine how beautiful it would be.

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And, in honor of National Ice Cream Day, how could we resist 😉

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More Sundays should be made of these.

Today was a wonderful day!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Enid A. Haupt Garden

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It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the winds were calm and temperatures were in the 70’s.

Downtown DC was bustling as usual, it was rush hour and by some sheer luck I found parking on the side street across from the garden. I leaped with joy. I loaded the twinsies in their stroller and off we went.  As I walked into the garden I was amazed by its grandeur. A beautiful castle peering atop the magnificent pink cherry blossom trees. It was so much more than I expected.

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As I explored the garden further, I nodded with approval; it was like many described it; a gem in the middle of the city, not spoiled by all the tourists ( well I’m putting it out there now).

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I  wanted to see different local places to experience DC’s cherry blossom time of the year; I’m glad this was on the list.

This is the first stop on my 2015 DC Travels list, and I chose it because my grandma (who just celebrated her 79th birthday on April 9th) also shares the same name, Enid.

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Nestled in the heart of the city, the Enid A. Haupt Garden is part of the renowned Smithsonian Gardens. It sits atop a museum and two galleries. Amongst other things, Haupt was an American publisher and a garden enthusiast.

Thank you for your generous donation. My twinsies and I enjoyed our visit. I can’t wait to see them and their big sister running around. I can already hear their laughter ☺

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These pics are from my two-hour trip into the city during my 3 hour road trip home. I have a DC addiction I know, but to be fair the blossoms only last about two weeks and besides, I know you wanted to see them too 🙂 You know you did!

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I hope you enjoyed

Toodles!

Stacey

Now That’s A LAYOVER

Before Anthony Bourdain started The Layover Show, we had a 23 hour layover of our own in London, England.  I sure wish we had some recommendations from him but what’s done is done.

When you think of London, you think of dreary-wet days; well, the day of our layover was definitely the exception. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better day if we tried.

We landed at Heathrow, hopped on a bus to the train station, checked into our hotel dropped off our bags and we were off to explore. It wouldn’t be the same without riding the double-decker bus.

It was National Remembrance Day. We had no idea what was going on when we saw the crowd. We missed The Queen and the changing of the Guards, which was a bit disappointing, but there was so much to see and so little time and we were determined to see it all.

There’s so much more to experience, but for now I live through these pictures and wait for our second trip.

WithLove

Washington, DC In All Its Glory

SPRING IS HERE!!! While the temperatures say otherwise, it means you should be getting ready for the Nation’s Cherry Blossom Festival.  The festival runs March 20th to April 15th with peak bloom dates of April 11th through the 14th (all could change depending on the weather).

Many people flock to DC during this season. In fact, thousands plan their vacation hoping to see these Japanese trees in all its perfect puffy white glorious state. It is truly a beauty to behold; it’s as if DC gains its wings, albeit just for a few days.  The festivities celebrate the 3000 trees given to the United States in 1912 honoring the relationship between the U.S and Japan.

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For the past two years its been our family tradition and we are so excited once again. We make sandwiches, bring fruits and veggies and enjoy a picnic. Last year I was pregnant with our twins; they are now seven months old.

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Everyone should be a part of this spectacular celebration, so come on out and cross this off your bucket list (you didn’t know it was on the list, huh) and watch DC earn its wings; you haven’t seen DC until you see it during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

2014 Cherry Blossom (2)

EXPLORING DC

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

There’s so much to see and do in DC, there’s no way you can experience it all.  Any opportunity I get to visit DC I’m there, I welcome the idea to be a tourist (my hubby, not so much, but he tags along). He often says he knows I’m having a good time when I can’t put my camera down 🙂

Rather than visiting the same sites, I’ve compiled a list. Some of these places I’ve never heard of! But that’s what makes it fun, right?

Here’s my 2015 DC List:-

  • BOTANICAL GARDEN
  • ANACOSTIA HISTORIC DISTRICT
  • TOP OF THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT
  • ROCK CREEK PARK
  • NATIONAL HARBOR
  • HILLWOOD MUSEUM & GARDENS
  • WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
  • DUMBARTON OAKS
  • PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S COTTAGE
  • NATIONAL ZOO
  • SMITHSONIAN BUTTERFLY HABITAT GARDEN
  • ENID A. HAUPT GARDEN
  • WESTMINSTER PLAYGROUND
  • CANAL PARK
  • MERIDIAN HILL PARK
  • ALBERT EINSTEIN MEMORIAL
  • KENILWORTH PARK & AQUATIC GARDEN (Asian & Water Lily Festival)
  • TUDOR PLACE
  • WINERY & BEER TOUR
  • NATIONAL ARBORETUM

Are you ready to explore? The list isn’t in any particular order, nor is it all encompassing, so add or detract and enjoy this adventure with me and share your experiences!

Bon Voyage, my fellow explorers!