One Year in the West

11146297_933307013275_8515018811565435727_nJust over one year ago, my two boys and I packed up all our world possessions and made the jump from Brooklyn, New York to San Jose, California. Having grown up mostly in California, and after many a frigid winter night dreaming of my eventual return– I didn’t think the move would be that much of a challenge. Little did I know, moving your whole life to the other side of the country is hard, even if it is to somewhere you consider home. Moving with children, even more so.

With a strange feeling of fear and jubilation, we took off on the biggest adventure of our lives… and hit the ground running! Err, hiking…

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The day after we got off the plane, I made sure to take the boys for their first California hike. A big motivator for wanting to leave New York was just escaping the concrete jungle! With temperatures dropping below freezing (and even below 0!) for most of the winter, we were ready to stretch our legs and feel some sunshine. And these boys are so full of energy, it takes hours to tire them out.

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The first couple of weeks, I dedicated all of our spare time to exploring. We met up with some other friends who had also relocated to Cali from NY, and enjoyed a windy day on the coast. The salty sea breezes filled my soul with life, and the boys were happy to see familiar faces in this new place they were learning to call home…

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If only life could always feel like vacation. With a limited amount of days before we had to dive into the work/school routine, we took one more adventure. Joined by my friend from high school and her beautiful family, we were able to enjoy an amazing day of thrills and laughter at the amazing, one of a kind, West Coast version of Coney Island– the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

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When I was a child, my mom would take me to Santa Cruz as a special treat. One of my favorite childhood memories was waking up on a sunny weekday morning, only to have my mom say, “You know what? It’s too beautiful of a day to go to school. Let’s call out sick!” And that we did. She packed up a picnic lunch, called my school and her job, and let them know we weren’t coming in. We spent the day at the beach, enjoying life and quality time with each other. It is this memory that inspires me daily to live life to the fullest with my children. If you have never been to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, I highly recommend you plan a trip!

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Although this year has not been all fun, I feel eternally blessed to be living back in California. The motivation of this blog is to help inspire others to get out and about, even with (and especially with) two wild boys! Let’s start conversations around the challenges of parenting, and highlight some amazing mini-excursions to be found within a day or so of the Bay Area. Thanks for reading!

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