California Dreaming | Exciting Family Travel Update

I’m not sure if I’ve shared our exciting travel update news over here on the blog, but it’s official: we’re heading back to California for a road trip! I’ve spent the last couple of years California dreaming and I am so excited that we are heading back once again to do more exploring – this time with 2 little people in tow! (gulp.) This will be our fourth time in California and I know there is still so much to see. Our first trip was on a 2 week holiday, where we did the “Golden Triangle” taking in San Fran, Vegas and LA (no-where near long enough!), we then returned for a couple of months whilst on our 6 month honeymoon, and finally a 6 week trip with a 10 month old Henry, our biggest adventure since we became parents.

The following photos are from the very first time we went, purely to share some nostalgia with you in these previously un-seen photos…I’d like to think my photography skills (and fashion sense!) have improved over the past 10+ years!

couple posing in front of the heart sculpture in San Francisco's Union Square

California Dreaming

There’s just something about the Golden State that has hooked me in. I felt physically compelled to book this trip, despite being straight after Christmas (and the over-spend that comes with it!) I feel like I have such an affinity to it that there’s just something that’s keeping me traveling back. Thankfully, my husband feels the same and we are so thrilled to take both the boys there to show them why we love it so much! I wanted to write a few of the things that I am most looking forward to doing during this trip and I’ll probably be adding more to this list with further posts as there are just so many to include. But it’s a lovely way to share some of our old memories before we make new ones. I hope it’s helpful for anyone else looking to book a California Road trip. If it’s useful I can share our itinerary on a separate post, or check out my YouTube channel where I have heaps of family and solo travel content and will also be chatting through our itinerary.

golden gate bridge, san francisco California Dreaming

I can’t wait to return to cosmopolitan San Francisco, home to the Golden Gate Bridge, which just so happens to be where we got engaged way back in 2009!  I love wandering up, around and down the many steep hills and districts of this vibrant City. People watching, strolling into the many vintage stores or having a coffee at one of the uber cool gluten free, vegan, earthy coffee shops. The vast diversity of each district has always appealed to me. One minute you’ll be in touristy Fisherman’s Wharf seal-spotting along the pier, and the next Italian flags will flank the sidewalk street lamps and the smell of Nona’s famous pasta sauce will fill the air. I’ve ensured we have a few days here during this trip because time goes way too quickly when there’s so much to see and I don’t want to feel rushed.

golden gate bridge, san francisco California Dreaming

There are so many things to do in LA but one of our absolute favourite places in LA is the laid back, uber cool, Manhattan Beach. It was a place we just kept coming back to during our last couple of trips. Just 6 miles from crazy downtown LA it offers a totally different vibe and we’ve spent many days walking the long stretch of the strand right through to Santa Monica or hiring bikes and riding through the gorgeous Marina Del Ray. Spending hours choosing which of the lavish, beach-front, mansions we would choose when we’d made our millions, before heading back to the centre to gorge on tacos and superfood salads. I believe Henry’s first ever trip to the seaside was to Manhattan Beach, I distinctly remember the glee and delight he expressed with the warmth of the sand between his toes. I can’t wait to take George with us this time.

man over looking sunset on beach, california

california dreaming the strand manhattan beachcalifornia dreaming santa monica beach lifeguard hutlighthouse on pebble beach california san francisco california dreamingcalifornia dreaming santa cruz

Perhaps not one for our upcoming trip for obvious reasons, but Stuart and I made some amazing memories around California’s wine country regions. Specifically gorgeous Napa and  quaint Sonoma where we enjoyed taking things slowly in the midday sun being driven from vineyard to vineyard, taste testing the local produce. These were some very happy and fun memories indeed.

napa sonoma wine country california dreaming

Solvang is the one place I urge anybody visiting California to include on their itinerary!! I just absolutely adore the charm of this picturesque little Danish town, it’s like nowhere else you will find in California, or potentially in the whole of the US! Authentic windmills adorn the roads of this chocolate-box town and Danish locals run sweet little confectionary and baked goods stores in amongst the cobbled streets. By night it comes alive with a million fairy lights and it’s a place I Instantly feel safe and secluded from the bustle of this vibrant State.

Solvang and authentic Danish town in California

Solvang and authentic Danish town in California

The list really is endless, I haven’t even begun to talk about Monterey, Palm Springs or the fact that we could reunite the boys with Mickey Mouse at Disney Land California!! (omg!) So I guess there’s yet more California Dreaming to be done and another couple of blog posts to be written on the subject. But I hope this gives you an idea of what we have planned for our next visit to California, and if you’re forever California Dreaming and you can recommend any places you’ve loved please do leave me a comment down below as I would love to add more to our list in April 2019!!



  1. Sonal
    February 7, 2019 / 7:49 pm

    California is a beautiful state to travel through. I have visited couple of cities there and always want to go back to see more.

  2. Courthey
    February 7, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    Omg I just love visiting California! Such a beautiful state that’s for sure!!! So much to do!

  3. February 6, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    What a beautiful family vacation it really does look pretty there. I have been to CA but not San Francisco I really want to go though.

  4. February 6, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    I frankly had no clue this place had so much to offer. Loved the variety on offer especially the beaches are amazing. You both are looking adorable as well

  5. Preet
    February 6, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    I have never been to California and I can say that this is a perfect destination getaway for my whole family. I will def add this to my bucket list, thanks for your guidelines.

  6. Chastity
    February 6, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    California is a great place to go but expensive but still worth the splurge. I enjoy Santa Monica as well perfect for fitness gurus for sure. I’ll have to check out Santa Cruz Beach next time!

  7. Chelle Dizon
    February 6, 2019 / 6:31 am

    My bestfriend was born in Long Beach California. I absolutely love those photos especially the one with the sunset.

  8. February 6, 2019 / 5:38 am

    I’ve visited California three times; once in the LA/Malibu area and to Ojai twice. I really want to go to San Francisco! I agree that there is something about California that hooks you in. 🙂

  9. February 6, 2019 / 5:31 am

    I’ve been to California several times. I’ve visited the LA/Malibu area and Ojai. I really want to visit San Francisco! I agree that there is something that just hooks you in 🙂 BTW, I really like all of your photos.

  10. February 6, 2019 / 4:13 am

    I have always wanted to visit Cali! It looks like you had a great time!

  11. February 6, 2019 / 4:12 am

    California is on my list of places I have to visit! This looks like a beautiful trip!

  12. February 6, 2019 / 3:23 am

    Stunning photos, and what a fabulous trip! Thank you for sharing, and I hope to head to CA sometime soon! This cold is not doing well with me.

  13. February 6, 2019 / 2:23 am

    I have never been to Santa Cruz. It looks like a great place to go. I have been to San Francisco. It is really cool. The food is fabulous.

  14. February 5, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit California. It is such a stunning state!

  15. February 5, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    The photos clearly brings the beauty that California holds, how I wish I could visit this great place. Thanks.

  16. February 5, 2019 / 6:21 pm

    You’ve made me really miss being in California now! I’ve not been for many years, but seeing San Francisco again brought back great memories. You and your husband are so sweet too, I love your photos!

  17. February 5, 2019 / 1:02 pm

    What an exciting experience this will be! California is a fascinating place and a road trip sounds like such a lot of fun.

  18. February 5, 2019 / 3:13 am

    I have never been to the US, but California is definitely high up on my list for when I do get a chance to travel there. LOVE your photos!

  19. Stefanie
    February 4, 2019 / 11:31 pm

    We’re booked to go in October! We’re planning on SAN Fran, Yosemite NO, Death Valley, Morro Bay, Monterey and Santa Cruz. We were hoping to get LA and Disney in, but not enough time. So we’ll have to go back another time! 😂 Looking forward to seeing your adventure! xx

  20. February 4, 2019 / 5:01 pm

    I love California. I’ve been there several times on business, and no matter where I end up, I always plan an extra couple of days.

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