Tag Archives: Northern California Coast

Orbit Baby… Kinda’ like ‘Iron Man’ for babies, if you get it in Red!

12 Jan

“Can we get the red color, it’s like Iron Man?!”

This is what my husband asked the first time we saw an Orbit Baby Stroller System while at the Fly Me To The Food truck event! SOOOOO freaking cool this thing was… we were just freshly pregnant and the mom who was wheeling it around took us through all the fancy-fancies of the thing! We later learned that showing an interested person all the ‘greatness’ of Orbit Baby is basically par for the course… we fall in the habit of doing just that all the time!

Uh… yeah… I’d heard this is a spendy Stroller… but we were basically hooked… and pretty much forgot to look at any other Stroller/Carseat System after that. This stroller is worth it!

We ended up going with the Mocha color, because our little dude’s nursery was blue and brown… hubs was not too upset, as I’m sure he’ll find other ways to instill ‘Iron Man’ coolness into our boy’s life! HA!

Orbit Baby’s namesake has got to be the fact that it does a 360 Orbit on its base… the circular feature is on the stroller and on the carseat base and on all the seats (infant carseat, toddler carseat, and toddler stroller seat).
This is the feature that makes people’s eyes pop, and ours sure did when we saw it…
I knew this feature was a must for me, to keep my back from popping too! Ha!

Man, before I saw the Orbit Baby, I just kept thinking about scoot scoot scootching a carseat into the back of our car and holding it just right to clip it on the base all while keeping it rear-facing and doing this over and over as babe grew heavier and heavier!
Duh! Just get the Orbit Baby and gently and easily place the seat in the car, with your center of gravity in tact, and then swivel it towards the rear-facing position without wrenching your back… ah, ideal!

Orbit Baby has many features besides that dang cool orbiting!
They are made with Eco-Friendly, Green Fabric (Certified Orbit Green)… I.E. safe (!), but without the unnecessary nasty, crappy chemicals!

When baby is in the Orbit Baby Infant carseat they basically look like a little yolk cradled in a shell… there is, basically, carseat (walls and padding) all around them!
It’s, also, so cute when my little guy falls asleep and is so peacefully cuddled into his Orbit Baby Carseat. On that note, if I stop somewhere while baby is asleep, all I have to do is get the easy-peasy Stroller out of the back of the car; swivel baby in carseat towards me; then put him on the stroller base and swivel him to any direction I need (i.e. out of sun, facing me, facing world (if he’s awake), etc.)
So great! He stays asleep because I’m not fighting my body into impossible twists and turns to get his seat out and then onto the stroller in the right formation.

The Orbit Baby is Local to the Bay Area… we were able to order ours on-line and head over to Fremont a few days later to pick up the whole system and get a little ‘how-to’ and ‘safety’ talk about it!
PLUS… We got to see the exact stroller used in “The Office” episode, in which Dwight takes the new fangled Orbit Baby stroller for a ‘test-drive’!
We didn’t even know it was an Orbit Baby stroller that was in that episode… but, we totally loved finding that out! We even took a funny picture with it!

So… that’s all great and good, right!?
But, ya know what!?
Their warrenty and warrenty service is equally wonderful… we had a couple things that needed to be addressed within the first year, thinking it was going to be a battle to deal with getting a replacement, I was dejected for about all of 2secs, then I spoke with Customer Service and they informed me that we were still covered for replacement and that we’d get it the next day… and that was very true, we had a whole new carseat the very, freaking next day!!

So… yeah… we are converts!

When we purchased the system, we also, received the Bassinet, in which our baby slept for his first three-or so months!

We have the Toddler Carseat now, just ready for our little dude to get a wee bit taller to sit in!
And, I am so looking forward to getting a Toddler Stroller Seat when we transistion the carseat!
That, the toddler seat, will be in Ironman Red! 🙂

So… if you’ve been curious, I can say without reservation, Orbit Baby your Baby!
It’s worth it, truly!



The Cervix Whisperer : “Taste the Rainbow”!

15 Jun

When I shared with hubby that I had found the perfect Childbirth Educator for us and told him her website address… being the amateur comedian that he is, he promptly asked, “Is she going to whisper ‘Taste the Rainbow’ to your cervix!?” HA!

Turns out Patty, The Cervix Whisperer, is sooooo freaking great and funny, that she may actually do just that if you asked her nicely… though she will certainly throw back her head, flip her long signature hair, and laugh an infectious laugh!!

I was referred to Patty by our Birth Doula, Melissa from Stork & Sprout, and when I spoke to her on the phone, I realized she had the perfect mix of experience and hippy that I was looking for! (After all, at the time, she lived in Santa Cruz!)
She has more that 25yrs birth/baby experience and adds her special blend of holistic birthing tools…
aromatherapy, ‘mood’ lighting, yoga balling, even a hair comb!?!?!?

Patty has also, on occasion, offered doula services… though typically she keeps herself busy with Childbirth Classes at Sequoia Hospital and Pre/Post Natal Fitness classes at The Reading Bug! She even takes time to reach out to her new mamas a number of times during postpartum!

If you are looking for a top-notch, approachable, and fun Childbirth Educator… then look no further than The Cervix Whisperer… you will certainly be in good hands!

Yes, this post was short and sweet…
Just like all future mama’s hope their labor will be!

Kai Hospital Photog 10.22.12

Eatin’ Out : Penny Ice Creamery, Santa Cruz

5 Feb


Delicious, Unusually flavored Ice Cream, made from scratch, in house, with local ingredients!  COOL!

We decided to end our first visit to Santa Cruz with a bit of ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery… so glad we did!

With flavors like Orange Star Anise, Creme Fraiche, Blackpepper Quince, and Honey Yogurt Walnut Jam… it’s difficult to stop yourself at just two flavors. When I have ice cream, I like to small bowl with 2 flavors that combine well together… thereby getting 3 different flavors!

In this case, I ordered Creme Fraiche and Orange Star Anise… Gourmet Orange Creamsicle!! 🙂
Dano ordered Chocolate Sorbet… what an Intense Flavor!!

On the menu they list where the local ingredients are from! I think the menu changes routinely!

The price is a bit steep… but for that rare treat… it’s indeed doable!


Adventurin’ : Monarch Butterflies, Ardenwood Farm

12 Dec

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Since we’ve moved to the Bay Area my cousin has been helpful in providing us with info about great things to do around here! As, she herself, prepared to move up here after her wedding.

Thanks to her we learned that the Monarch Butterflies have greatly increased in numbers, as counted, during their Over-Wintering phase!
They only lay their eggs in, and subsequently only eat as babies, the plant Milkweed… by adding a plant or two in your yard as an Eco-Friendly measure you would also get these wonderful butterflies visiting your yard during their West Coast Migration!!

We learned that there are a number of locations in the NorCal area to see the beauties in person! One such place, with about 6,000 butterflies at their peak, being the Ardenwood Farm in Fremont… Such a great place! Along with the Butterfly Preserve they many animals and a beautiful old Victorian home (The Patterson House), on the land, which I will write about in an Ardenwood Farm Pt.2 post.

We will also visit another Monarch Butterfly Preserve at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz later this month… this will warrant a separate blog post as well!

We learned that, like me, the Monarch Butterflies enjoy a warmer, sunnier climate in which to frolic! 🙂
They prefer temperatures of above 55degrees and sun… this warms their leaves and bodies enough to allow them to fly… otherwise, they will remain clustered together, for warmth, high above the ground within the leaves of eucalyptus trees.

When we visited Ardenwood Farm on Dec 11th, the weather was just a tad too cool for them at about 53degrees!

We did see a few butterflies in the air… though we mostly just wondered at the beautiful clusters of butterflies in the trees… we were also able to see a little, tiny baby butterfly egg!  It was all truly amazing to see!!

Please enjoy the accompanying photos… as we enjoyed taking them!

Adventurin’ : SF Zoo

21 Nov

So… shortly after moving here, Dano’s co-worker and a few of her friends invited us to go to the San Francisco Zoo with them! It was a nice (but cold 😉 day in May) and it was wonderful to meet new friends!

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I can’t write this post without some mention of the San Diego Zoo, and in particular, their SD Zoo Safari Park (formerly the SD Zoo Wild Animal Park)… which is a truly wonderful adventure!!! After having been a member of the SD Zoological Society for a number of years, I can fully understand *why* they say “You belong at the Zoo… The San Diego Zoo!” 🙂

However… for what the SF Zoo lacks in size and such… they make up for it in many ways!

~ The entrance is directly off of Hwy 1… across the street from waves rolling in… that’s pretty cool!
~ They have plenty of Animal Keepers and Staff on-site that are ready and happy to answers questions and speak with visitors!
~ They have a Family Petting Zoo area!!!
Where one goat will lightly head-butt you to get more food! Ha! I think I even became a ‘food tease’ because I thought that was So Funny!
~ We learned, from talking to the Zoo Peeps, the stories (sometimes heart-breaking) of the rescued animals!
It turns out that the SF Zoo brings in animals that have been hurt out in the wild… minding their own business and out in their natural habitat, they have been harmed by humans… :{
That is a truly wonderful aspect of the SF Zoo that I can support!

Have a look at some of the great animals we got to see… rather up close actually!

Adventurin’ : SF Bay Eco-Tour and Pier 39

4 Nov

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Fun Fun Fun!!! Beautiful October Day in the City!!!

So… Dano won a pair of tickets, from work,  for a California Coast Eco-Tour with San Francisco Whale Tours !

We set-up our reservation a month in advance… and were extremely lucky to get a stunning, 70degree day on Sunday, Oct 30th at 3pm for our 1.5hr cruise!

SF Whale Tours operates a Catamaran called “Kitty Kat” (adorable!)
They are big on educating their guests about the local eco-system, along with giving guests a beautiful look at the bay and all its wonderful landmarks!

Our Captain was Capt Joe and our Naturalist was PaHoua…
both of them were so nice and helpful!
(I love the fact that they have a Naturalist aboard for the cruises!)

We took off from Pier 39 and
– headed West past the City’s Waterfront areas and UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge (THAT was fantastic!)
– then we poked into the Pacific Ocean for a little bit (being out there with the Big Waves was wonderful!)
– lastly, we headed back along the Northern (Marin County) Shoreline and behind Alcatraz and back to Pier 39.
(THIS was fun because there was a Nakey Beach along that shoreline… the boat was too far out to actually see anything (which was just fine ;)… but it was funny to see these little Pink Gumby-like characters walking around the shore! FUN!

Since we’d asked PaHoua about whales, we learned in advance that we would not be going out far enough/long enough to see Whales…
Though Dano and I did spot a few seals and lots of wonderful birds, including my favorite, Pelicans!  Of course, we also saw little tiny nakeys… HA!

We had such a lovely time! One of our favorite adventures in SFO, if not our favorite, thus far!  Highly recommended!
We will certainly be back for more cruises… next time, I’ll be excited to take a longer tour during Whale Season! YAY!

Thanks San Francisco Whale Tours!! 🙂

*~* Pier 39 *~*

As a teen, 20+ yrs ago, my family vacationed in the Bay Area… we spent a wonderful little day at Pier 39.
That memory made it really fun to revisit this area with Dano!

Pier 39 is a great little touristy locale! Across the street from the City itself; Lots of Activity, Eats, and Shopping; and the Pier has a beautiful view of the Bay… Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Marin Shoreline, and Stunning Sunsets!!

Since, I knew we’d be catching our cruise from Dock B of Pier 39, I decided to get on-line and do some research about parking and what to do close-by!

I found a GREAT site and a wonderful deal for locals! 2Hrs FREE Parking and lots of great “Buy One, Get something” coupons!
Check it out at : Pier 39 Local Advantage

We had a Buy One, Get One Burger at Hard Rock Cafe before our cruise…
After our cruise, we walked the Pier and took in the sites…
At the end of the Pier we took advantage of our Buy One California Roll, Get One California Roll at Hana Zen Sushi (Great View and Good food).

It was simply just a wonderful and beautiful day!!

Sunday Drivin’ : Cloud Hugs Mountain

11 Sep

One of the cool views we get by living on the sunny side of the Bay Area’s south Peninsula are these great clouds that come creeping over the hills to the West that separate us from the Coastside (as the Coast is known locally).

It makes me sad to think that we no longer live within 2miles of a Sunny Beach… now it’s about 19miles away to a consistent ‘marine layer’ beach… so when I see these clouds I know that we are ‘missing out’ on that crazy cloudy and humid weather over on the coast. Those same clouds hugging the hills are en masse over the coastside, sometimes all day long!

~ Up Close & Personal ~
Whoops… upon driving home on the Sunday of our first Flash Mob in the city… we missed our junction to get back to the 101 to take us home.

What do you know…? We got up close and personal with those hills that ride along with the 280…

There were deliciously lovely ‘cloud hands’ hanging all over the hills… such a wonderful sight.

Beautifully sunny with low hanging clouds creeping over the hills… it’s a somewhat acceptable substitute to driving down So. Cal’s 101 and glancing out over the waves coming in!