Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It's back. School year has descended upon us once again. Sigh. I have a bit of angst usually about this time. Part of me is sad the lazy days of summer are at an end. I didn't miss cracking the whip on homework, making lunches, or being chauffeur. It was so good to have a break from all that.

However, there are some benefits to the school routine- namely more free time! That's otherwise known as,"me time," people, and let's be frank it's been scarce! Really scarce.

 I foolishly had plans to paint, organize and redecorate. Yeah right. My poor blog has suffered as well.  Time just escaped me. After my big reunion, we fell fully into school ready mode, orientations and all that jazz. I did begin my big fall purge where I basically throw out all the things I can while no one is looking!! But I digress. . .

Deep breath, exhale.

 We have had some lovely 76 degree weather for a large part of summer.

Oodles of time to do nothing much. Exactly as it should be.

Have you read about the latest studies that show more sun exposure actually makes you smarter? My secret weapon against those moms who put their kids in achievement academies all summer. :D

Much outdoor dining.

Alfresco nibbles and wine tasting at Testarossa, our in town winery. They have a fabulous patio among old oaks and wonderful wines.  If you are in Los Gatos don't miss it!

Fun with sisters, Unathi and Leia and their new puppy Ramona.

Camps. Grif and buddy Nicholas gearing up for a night hike.

                                Road trips

 A wonderful family reunion in Discovery Bay given by my Aunt Wendy.

The kids had a blast with all the toys they have.

Quality cousin time.


Visits to one of my favorite spot in Northern California, Pinecrest Lake! It wouldn't be summer without a trip here with my brother Peter his wife Line and their three kids.

Quality time with all the family members...

Apparently my home puts a few to sleep!

Gardening was another summer joy and thanks to my dad's help I had the best tomatoes ever this year!

This neighborhood cat, Luke is ubiquitous around these parts. He's my garden buddy too.

My youngest made this bean bag chair/tower his spot in the garage- aka boy cave. Lots of slacking off in there as well.

I wasn't stressing too much about the downtime as both tried some things they never did before. The eldest worked as a assistant at the local youth science program. Some grunt work like making slime  and untangling first grader's fishing lines, and the like was his assignment.

  Otherwise he was addicted to Reddit, gaming and swimming- or sort of...

The youngest made a four day Scout backpacking trek into the Sierras on the Pacific Crest Trail.  While I wasn't so crazy about him sleeping without a tent and carrying a very heavy pack, after I saw the photos, I knew it was a once in a lifetime trip.

 Luckily, my husband got to go along and took these beautiful photos.

 I'm going to frame this one I think.

They hiked to three different lakes- The Dardanelles, Round Lake and Meiss Lake and made camp each night. That's him and friends Jinyu and Liam packing out. They had some big packs for 11 year olds.

The Sierras has the most gorgeous and diverse terrain. Almost made me want to go too. (Then I think about the bathroom situation and the sleeping in the open.)

Apparently last week was a perfect time to go. Weather was not hot and the colors are starting to look like fall a bit already. It quickly gets too cool to camp in the Sierras at night come later September. The window is pretty short.

The granite lakes are just too gorgeous.

Finally, I had to share some exciting news about my dear husband Max and his start-up. I told you a while back about his decision to try his hand at beginning his own company. Their product finally launched in it's finished version a few weeks ago and it's been doing terrific! Yea. It's been a ton of work and I'm so proud of him! And all of us for living through it! (Only kidding.:)

It's called MYND and it's a calendar app that is really smart. It's accesses your calendars and brings you a wonderful visual version of it each day along with reminders of appointments, when to leave to give you drive time, estimated traffic and weather, even maps right a touch of your finger. Even myself, a strictly paper and pen diehard, am loving the look of my day view and it's managing of my crud. It's also saved me a few times by telling me to leave NOW to get somewhere on time. My estimates can sometimes be just a bit off... (Friends laughing here.)

Seriously cool and it's free right now in the App store. You click on the link above to get on the MYND site. So check it out if you have an IPhone and hopefully it will soon be available for others.   I'd love to hear what you think of it!

 Hey, it's not even Labor Day yet! There's still time to complete that summer bucket list! 

My son Griffin's below.

Here's to squeezing a little bit more summer in!

Back soon with the Netherlands and Germany leg of my travels.



  1. Sounds like you had an amazing summer Kim!Gorgeous photos! Good luck to your husband in his new work venture:)
    ~Anne xx

  2. will look for the app - you guys are too cute!

    Looks like a perfect American summer - to be honest as must as I love to travel if I lived in Cali - I don't know if I would ever leave...x

    1. Thanks Naomi! I hope you get to try the app. I think I would feel the same way about London and the U.K.!!


  3. Kim - Stop thinking and get that photo blown up and framed. If you are like me, you'll find it in 10 years and do it then (with happy tears in your eyes) - either way it's a keeper.

    Maybe we should plan a blogger friends camp out hiking into the Sierra's for next year? Jody, you, me, and all the others who would make it hysterical. Deciding on clothes, whose packing in the wine, suffering the ailments along the way.... we need a seasoned and confident leader.

    I'm getting nervous just thinking about it - that bucket list or yolo kind of nervous. :-)

    1. Linda,
      Oh my gosh love that idea!! Count me in.

      How right you are about that photo. I never get these things done!

      Keep my posted on the plans. At the very least we should do a blogger weekend somewhere fun in the middle of it all with all the nice blogger gals!


  4. You had such a great time Kim! I enjoyed every moment of your summer on this post. Wonderful photos.

  5. Well, summer may be nearly over but you have certainly had a great time with plenty of varied activities! The photo of the boys just floating on their backs in the pool just sums up summer (and the first image with the bowl of cherries!) Your mountain scenes are beautiful especially the one with the reflection in the lake - stunning! I've especially enjoyed this summer as we have had plenty of sunshine (instead of the incessant rain we had last year)
    Eating alfresco with good wine - yes, we have been able to do that too! Congratulations to your husband. I downloaded the app a couple of days ago I've started using it. It appeals to me because it's so visual, clear and easy to use. Linking to my calendars and google maps - routes and time to destination too. It's sure to be a success. I love it and have already started spreading the word!
    Wishing you a great weekend.

  6. Kim-what a perfect summer you have had and your photos capture it beautifully! I love your research on sunshine (and kids having chill time:). You've had lots of travel and relaxation time at home. Your family is adorable and I love the photo of you and your hubby. I'm off to download that 'must have' app. So exciting! Congrats!
    Happy weekend! xx, Heather

  7. Your summer looked fabulous. We start back to tomorrow for my son then preschool after Labor Day. Like you, I needed the break from the driving and homework, too. But, I'm glad to get back on a schedule.

    Let me know when your husband's app goes to droid because it looks like I could use that. :)

  8. Awesome recap!
    What a fabulous summer!!!
    You and your hubby look so adorable together!!!
    Congrats on all the hard work.
    I will definitely get the App!

  9. This summer has completely gotten away from me too. Crazy! Glad to hear you had a great one, your photos are always inspiring!

  10. Love all of the photos!!I'm downloading the app - it looks so cool!! Looks like your family had a wonderful summer.

  11. Adorable post! I love this! Thanks for sharing your summer experience or these pictures with us. Love to read this post or seen these awesome pictures..
    Happy Summer!