Category: Travel

tour of the monterey bay aquarium.

I’m not exaggerating in any way, shape, or form when I say that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of my favorite places on the planet. Seriously. I mentioned before that as a kid we spend time in Pacific Grove {right next to Monterey} in a little cabin across the street from the ocean, and that it feels like home to me as much as anywhere else in the world. We used to have annual passes to the aquarium and all we’d do for two weeks at the cabin was tide pool, and wander the aquarium all day. Those were some happy times in my life, let me tell you.

Taking my own kids to the aquarium and watching them experience the aquarium was a really cool moment in my life. Taking them behind the scenes? Mind boggling.

As a kid, I wanted more than anything to be a marine biologist for the aquarium. That didn’t exactly pan out, but I’m still riveted by all things oceanic. Especially marine animals. We were able to wander the aquarium for a few hours before going on a bucket-list-fulfilling behind-the-scenes tour. >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

hostess with the mostess at the social luxe lounge.


I think I may have mentioned a thing or two about this little party I’m co-hostessing at BlogHer this year, the Social Luxe Lounge. It’s going to be so much fun, I can’t wait for next Thursday to come!

One of the hostesses is an obscenely talented woman named Jennifer Sbranti aka Hostess with the Mostess aka graphic design goddess. Not only is she amazing at styling parties, she’s also someone you’d want in your inner sanctum of girlfriends.

Here’s a sneak peek at what she’s got lined up for Social Luxe. Seriously, can’t wait.

via Hostess Blog: Image 1 (clockwise from top left): The Knot (real wedding); Brides.com – (real wedding); The Knot (real wedding); The Knot – (real wedding); The Knot (real wedding); Image 2: Brides.com – Paradise Found; The Knot (real wedding).

>> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Victorian Inn, Monterey California

While in Monterey we stayed at the Victorian Inn. And we loved it. The Victorian Inn is a charming hotel just a couple of streets up from Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and only a few walking blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a great location. Not too crowded or noisy, but close enough to the center of it all.


What a welcome to the hotel! There were some chocolates in the basket that didn’t even make it through unloading the bags, it was just too delicious.


Victor and I were in an attached but separate room from the kids {nice!}, who had their own television, fireplace, and balcony to keep them occupied. And I spent a fair amount of time being occupied by the hotel hot tub, which was a great place to be.


The Victorian was a perfect place to be: right in the middle of all the hot Monterey action, within walking distance of everywhere I love. Monterey is perfect for walking; it’s so beautiful, the air smells deliciously of Eucalyptus and ocean air, and everything I want to visit is close {aquarium, cannery row, fisherman’s wharf, Pacific Grove}. Next time >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

road trip from san francisco to monterey.


As part of our trip in California last month we drove from San Francisco, CA to Monterey. Usually when we go places we tend to take it slow and enjoy the drive. Needless to say, we are quite capable and ready to barrel through 18 hours straight if we need to, but this trip, we set things up to try and travel at most 4-6 hours each day.

The drive traveling along HWY1 from San Francisco was as beautiful as ever. I have done this stretch a few times now and it never gets old. Each time I drive this section I keep trying to scheme up something or some way for us to move here. It’s not like this place is uninhabited, people do live here, so why can’t I?

A bit south of San Francisco, in Half Moon bay there is a break that locals managed to keep a secret up until the mid 90′s and although it has taken lives of legends such as Mark Foo it has become one of the premier breaks for surfers from around the world. Mavericks is in the same class as Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and >> find out more...

Michal

This is Michal's profile description. This is were Michal tells you how awesome and wonderful he is. He's just one cool cat.

travel pillow for kids.

When we travel I allow the kids to pack one small pillow, one blanket, and a favorite animal so they’ll feel more at home wherever we are. I was beyond thrilled to discover Zoobie Pets, which combines all three. Is it a bird, a plane, Superman? Actually, it’s a Ladybug, a pillow, and a blanket. So clever.

Lily the Ladybug
$34
{via Zoobie Pets}

And the kids discovered that if you stuff the empty animal with your daddy’s sweatshirt {when you’d like to use the blanket, you can still have an animal and a pillow at your disposal. Not too shabby.


There’s a little bit of Velcro on the Zoobies, so we attached them to the kids’ luggage to take into all the hotels. No dragging special pillows and blankets along dirty hotel lobbies. Whew.

They’re seriously the cutest. I highly recommend getting one for your kinder.

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

monterey bay, california


Next stop after San Francisco was Monterey Bay, California. Monterey is hands-down one of my favorite cities in the country, if not my all-time favorite. If I ever end up with a whole lot of extra cash, I’ll be plunking it down on a tiny cabin in Pacific Grove right on the ocean. I mean, a girl can dream right?

My family has always had a bit of a *love affair* with Monterey; going back three generations, I might add. Growing up, we stayed in Monterey as a family almost every Christmas for two weeks in a little turn of the century cabin right on the ocean. Some of my earliest memories are of exploring the nooks and crannies in the rocks across the street from the cabin and tide pooling with my siblings, so it was a really cool full circle moment for me to take my kids to do the same.

The drive from San Francisco to Monterey is unbelievable. Completely gorgeous. It was foggy and grey when we left San Francisco but sunny and beautiful when we arrived in Monterey. May in northern California though, is like Utah in October. Pretty, >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Tour of Boudin Bakery.


Day three in San Francisco was one of the highlights of the entire trip for me. We went to Boudin Bakery on the wharf for a tour of their San Francisco museum as well as their sourdough bakery. As it turns out, the Boudin sourdough starter, their “Mother Dough” has been around since the beginning of San Francisco and was the one thing that Mother Boudin saved from the burning building during the fires of 1906. If you know anything about growing yeast (we got a whole science lesson while we were there) you’ll know that yeast is a time machine. This time machine takes us back to the middle of the 19th century.



We had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Terry who showed us around the museum as well as the factory. The factory bakes each day thousands of rolls of bread along with many more pieces of hand crafted artisan pieces as well. Below, you can see Terry {a master story teller if there ever was one} holding up a lobster and showing us it’s belly.



There is serious art in this artisan bread. Lobsters, crabs, alligators, fish, turtles, anything
>> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

7 tips for your vacation diet.


So I went on vacation. And gained at least eight pounds, of the non-muscle variety. I’ve made a lovely little list for you so you too can gain a full pant size while on your own summer vacation.

1. The first chance you get, find a Trader Joe’s and head to the frozen aisle. That would be the one in the middle. On the sides you will see all manner of treats. Go straight to the spot nearest the registers and you will see a one pound bar of Trader Joe’s milk chocolate with almonds. Buy a couple, you never know when you’ll need a second hit.

2. Next, head into the actual freezers. You’re looking for ice cream filled Mochi. You may choose from Mango, Chocolate, Strawberry, or Green Tea. May I recommend the Strawberry? I ate at least 3 little balls of powdery Mochi heaven so I know what I’m talking about.



3. Eat at In N’ Out at every turn. Be sure to get a cheeseburger {plain hamburgers are for pansies}, top it off with a large diet coke, some fries, and a strawberry shake. Trust me here, I know my In N’ Out.



If that doesn’t
>> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

unique San Francisco Americania hotel

Day 2 in San Francisco: we checked out of The Argonaut and headed across town to the Americania Hotel in the SOMA district, a great place a little out of the touristy bottleneck. The Americania has the coolest, laid back, hipster vibe to it. When you check in there are free Jelly Belly’s for the kids and a chair in the lobby that spins! Exhibit A:

The whole hotel has a really fun, eclectic, hipster vibe to it, with board games in the rooms and a game room just off the lobby downstairs. Look how funky the room was:

We loved it. There was an awesome heated pool on the roof too, although I wouldn’t recommend it the first week of June. It was, in a word: brisk.

Once we settled into the hotel we headed towards the wharf {via trolley, which you can pick up just a street or two down from the hotel} to Blazing Saddles where we got bikes for the day to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Victor hates doing touristy things like this, but he’s always wanted to walk/ride across the Golden Gate, as … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!