mission dolores park

SAN FRANCISCO -NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

i absolutely love living in california. we are fortunate to have so many adorable cities all within driving distance. each city has its own feel and dynamic making them all so unique. i thought it would be fun to spotlight a different neighborhood each month and share it here with you.

we just took a quick weekend trip up to san francisco so i thought why not start there first! its truly one of my favorite cities. i remember the first time my parents took us there. i was just a little girl and i fell in love hard on that trip. while the city is big and offers so much, i am going to narrow down to one neighborhood for you– mission/dolores park.

i love the neighborhood feel in the mission/dolores park area. its still very city but not in the sense of tourist and street acts. its very walkable and has so many great restaurants and shops. dolores park is a big beautiful green area with a fun park for the kids and plenty of lawn space to have your saturday picnic. the park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, a soccer field and dog area. the homes are exactly what you dream of when you think about san francisco. old, charming and all so unique. mission dolores is super family friendly and one of our favorite places to explore. not to mention the view of the city from the top of the park is amazing! heres how we would spend the day in mission dolores–

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start the morning off with a few pastries from tartine. i love the pain au chocolat. if you’re looking for dessert get the banana cream tart.

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walk over to dolores park to let the kids burn some of that morning energy. mine love to play on the slides for hours. take in the views of the city.

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next up take a walk down mission. wander in and out of the cute shops on the way to la taqueria for lunch. this walk is just over a mile. the perfect amount of walking and shopping to build up an appetite. get the carne asada burrito make it “super” and get it el dorado. if you don’t feel like mexican food go to lucca ravioli co and grab a deli sandwich. get the dutch crunch bread. the best!

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mission dolores park

mission dolores park

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zig zag back through the neighborhood and take in all the beautiful houses. i love the slow walk back. our bellies are full, holding hands with the kids just talking about life. i find my kids are just as interested in the beauty and uniqueness of each home as i am. we each say our favorite house on every block and why.

we’ll usually make a pit stop at bi rite- the most darling little market. i love browsing all their specialty items. they have a beautiful array of fresh flowers and don’t forget to grab a scoop of their yummy ice cream. if you’re only in the mood for ice cream stop at the creamery located on the same street.

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walk down to the mission dolores basilica its the oldest surviving structure in san francisco founded in 1776– truly beautiful.

for dinner grab a pizza at Delfina. eat at one of the tables outside and people watch or take it back to the park. now would be a good time to grab that banana cream tart!

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we do a lot of walking in san francisco. in my opinion walking is the best way to truly see a city. if you have little kids make walking fun. turn it into a game– we count houses or steps, we race, come up with competitions or just talk about things the kids are interested in. whats your favorite city? does it have neighborhood you’ve fallen in love with?

 

 

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LIFE LATELY

summer is coming to a close. man was it a good one. lots of staying up late, sleeping in, beaching and outdoor movies. it went by too fast and its officially come to a close tonight. the kids start school tomorrow. they are finally all at the same school. hallelujah! elle got in the last day of last year, we were both so excited! her sweet teacher came to the house over summer and met her. everyone is in such a great spot, it feels really good. jacks home with me for one more year then off to kindergarten. that gives me a lump in my throat and knot in my stomach. i can’t imagine not having someone home with me during the day. i love having a buddy.

 

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ivans crazy busy. which is awesome! i’m so proud of him. he’s so good at building a company from the ground up and amazes me every time. i got my real estate license in california over the summer. i still have it in hawaii and now california too! i joined with keller williams and i am so happy i did. the classes and training are some of the best. not to mention my office is great and the people are awesome. real estate and kids are keeping me busy but thats how i like it.

 

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i also joined pta at school and room mom for ava’s class. we had our first meeting last week to kick off the new year. i’m excited to really get in there and get to know everyone. its gonna be a busy year but a real really good one.

 

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we are back to house hunting. our lease is up at the end of this month and we don’t want to re-sign so i’m looking everyday. i jump on mls every morning. the benefit to being a realtor! but the inventory is sooo low. there are so many great cities in california. we are really liking san clemente right now. its got that hawaii vibe. lots of kids and everyone seems to know everyone. sort of a small town feel which is hard to find in a state of almost 40 million people. lots of good food too. i’m staying positive and telling myself whats meant to be will be, because really what else can i do.

 

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our disneyland passed were blacked out for summer and they’re finally back on. that means lots of disney trips. september and october are the best months to go. everyones back to school. the park clears out a bit. we finally went on guardians of the galaxy and oh man it was insane! jack was trembling the whole ride but ended up loving it after we got off and made us ride it again. he hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

 

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fall is right around the corner and i just can’t wait. i love cooler mornings and the holidays coming up. i’m starting to drum up ideas for halloween costumes. jacks into everything star wars and of course the other kids want to be something scary. i wish they would let me dress them. i’ve got some fun family costume ideas, the trouble is getting everyone on board.

 

 

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HERE WE ARE

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gosh its been so long since i blogged. i really love blogging but man as my kids have gotten older and life busier i have a hard time finding time. i started this blog after i had jack. tapvr was the reason i started it. i wanted to document our journey. i love having this online journal to look back on. i love the people who have reached out to me through this little space. so rather than catching up or promising i’ll blog more i’m just going to document where we are today and update when i can. here we go.

 

we are in orange county right now. a place i used to dream of living and also a place i at one point in life said i’d never live. funny how life works like that isn’t it? we left hawaii in a snap second decision sort of like how we make all our decisions. ha! i know its weird for a lot of people. for us thats just how we operate. like when people say will you go back? or are you here for good? i have no way of answering that. we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to move when we want and thats who we are.we moved to hawaii on a whim. we were living in the most difficult winter in seattle and went to hawaii on vacation in february to escape. while we were there we decided we wanted to move there. came home sold all our stuff and left by april.

 

so how’d we decide to leave hawaii? well initially we were waiting for ivans contractor license to come in hawaii. we’d been waiting months and months, just playing at the beach everyday. we thought lets live somewhere new while we wait. we didn’t even know exactly where we wanted to live. we made the decision to come back and traveled a good month through washington, idaho, utah, az and eventually california. none of those places felt right until california. i have a sister here. its familiar and close to az. we’ve vacationed here so many times it feels as close to home as it gets. i’ve also realized over the course of the last few years i’m a warm weather gal and i need sun. like really need it to maintain my happiness. so we found a place. which isn’t easy. harder than seattle and hawaii. you’re in line with what feels like the other 39.5 million people that live here for the same place. we found a home and decided to give it a year.

 

ivan did everything he needed to get his contractors license and got up and running right away. he’s super busy and doing so so well. i’m so proud of him. i got my real estate license here too. we joke we are just going to get our licenses in all 50 states. ha! ivans gone back and done work in hawaii while i stayed here with the kids. but work in hawaii isn’t like work here. they don’t move fast. no one is in a rush and things drag on. the opportunities are so much greater here. we can build the business we dream of and want here. hawaii feels restrictive, like we are holding ourselves back from our true potential.

 

so while hawaii is amazing and beautiful and the people are the best. at the same time vacation is very different than real  life. you don’t live in a resort. you deal with the same problems you do anywhere else. i’ve realized over the course of all the moves we’ve done that life is good where you make it. hawaii, california, arizona or seattle. it really is about you. right now california feels good. really good. the kids are in an amazing school they otherwise wouldn’t have been in. they’ve made really great friends. we love going to disneyland and the beach. the sunshine is good for me. we are all thriving here. is that to say we’ll stay forever? who knows! for now this is home.

 

we get asked all the time for advice on moving or how we did it. its scary initially. really scary. i remember our first few months in seattle, all i wanted was to go back home. but its also exciting and fun. we love change. we love experiencing life in a new place. you really just have to do it. theres no easy way. its taking the leap and doing it. the worst thing that can happen is you fail, you go home. but if thats the worst thing that can happen isn’t it worth trying? be brave! we don’t regret one single decision. if you want something in life– go for it!

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ONO GRINDZ

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i wrote this post when we were living in hawaii. i haven’t checked this blog in so long. i hopped on and have a few posts i had never entered. since food is one of my all time loves i figure i better put this one out there. here are a few of our favorite spots to eat around hawaii. enjoy!

 

hukilau cafe- i love the macadamia nut pancakes, ivan gets the hungry hawaiian.

 

pap ole’s- we get the same thing here. their mac nut pancakes have a mac nut syrup on top. i prefer hukilau because they grind the nuts up into the pancakes. hukilau just uses regular syrup.

 

boots and kimo’s- in kailua. same breakfast. creatures of habit i guess.

 

teds bakery- donuts, spam and eggs, chocolate croissants, haupia pie.

 

fumi’s shrimp truck- hands down best shrimp truck. we like the spicy garlic shrimp, extra sauce.

 

ocean bree’z- spicy garlic shrimp. this sauce is more of a creamy sauce.

 

seven brothers- we split the paniolo exchange bbq sauce for teriyaki. so good and huge. fries are yummy too.

 

fiji market- the chicken curry is amazing!! half moon pie is a pineapple custard flavored treat. delicious!

 

impossibles pizza- 5 cheese, pepperoni, bbq. all of his pizza’s are so good. lately we’ve been just calling and asking him to make whatever he wants and its always good! he’s only open thurs-sat. get the ranch!

 

sandy’s sandwiches- sandy puts all the love into his sandwiches. you can tell by the way he explains the process. we love the turkey brie.

 

elephant thai truck- pad kee mao, vegetarian noodles, ka pow, spring rolls. this truck is amazing and the outdoor seating is so perfect at night.

 

opal thai- this is ivans very favorite spot. opal is so nice and pretty fun too. you tell him what you like/dislike and he orders for you. trust him! its all amazing.

 

kahuku farms- fresh from the farm. you can see it all being grown right there. get the pizza and do yourself a favor and get the banana bread with ice-cream. the best dessert ever.

 

pupukea grill- get the poke!

 

matsumotos shave ice- coconut add cream.

 

hi slush- you can find them at the waimea farmers market thurs 2-5 or turtle bay until 4. the pineapple slush with extra honey is heaven.

 

leonards malasadas- i love the plain sugar and the chocolate filled. ivan likes vanilla filled. if you’re staying on the north shore and don’t want to drive to honolulu they have a food truck location by old navy in waipahu.

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And Ivan’s favorite sspam musubi from 7-11

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