Family Fave: Shoup Park

Family Fave: Shoup Park

I'm always curious about how other parents spend their weekends, so I figured I'd share one of our favorite family activities: making a trip to Shoup Park in Los Altos. This secluded spot has awesome play structures, big lawns for kiddos to run around, a path for bikes, scooters and dogs, and a nearby creek that I can't wait for Will to splash around in one day. The best part? The park is only a couple blocks from downtown Los Altos, where there are plenty of cafes and bakeries (currently loving newcomer Manresa Bread), so we can easily pick up treats for a coffee and croissant break. We'll spend an entire morning here and by the time we get home, Will is pooped—just in time for his afternoon nap.

An insider tip from Nick, who grew up blocks away from this park: You can follow the creek toward a trail that leads to Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, where little (and big) adventurers can continue exploring.

Toddler fun at Shoup Park, Los Altos
Scooter rides at Shoup Park, Los Altos, CA
scooters, dogs, and more fun at Shoup Park, Los Atlos
Playground slide at Shoup Park, Los Altos

Croissants from Manresa Bread, Los Atlos
croissants the size of your head at Manresa Bread

Playground bridge at Shoup Park in Los Altos
Playground fun at Shoup Park in Los Altos
matching Converse

Park kisses

One of our favorite parks - Shoup Park, Los Altos, CA

A Look Back on 2016

If 2015 was a blur, then 2016 was the year when things started to come back into focus. Our baby—and parenthood in general—became exponentially easier and more fun. Will took his first steps on Easter and was walking down the block before his first birthday in April. His babbles turned into words, then phrases, and now hilarious combos like "Boo, no, no!" when the dog eyes his dinner. We learned that Will loves airplanes, kitchen appliances, and routine—he could probably make Nick's pour-over coffee on his own by now. In the summer, we picked blueberries in Oregon and tasted dirt from the backyard. In the fall, we saw the Blue Angels roar over San Francisco and waded in the Russian River. We celebrated Christmas with Will's very own choo choo. Everyone got plenty of sleep. Things were so great that we decided, hey, let's do this again!

Here, some of our favorite pictures from the year:

Weekend in Russian River

Fall weekend in the Russian River

We recently spent a long weekend near the Russian River. Nick and I have enjoyed a few trips to the area over the years—in fact, Nick swam the river for an Ironman triathlon—but we'd yet to take Will. I found the perfect family-friendly Airbnb on a ranch in the small town of Guerneville. We spent most of our time on the ranch because there was so much to do and explore right on the property, from feeding a pig to juicing apples.

The ranch has two guest suites, so our friends Susie, Jamie, and their baby came along as well, which made the trip even more fun. When the babies went to bed, we hung out by a campfire making s'mores—with our baby monitors nearby, of course. Here are some highlights from the trip.

Little explorer

Will wandering the ranch in the morning.

Feeding a pig on a farm
Feeding acorns to the pig
Acorns for pigs

Baby meets a pig

We fed acorns to Betty the pig. Who knew that pigs love acorns?

Chickens on the ranch

There were chickens and ducks on the ranch, too.

mama + baby

Susie and baby Dickson enjoying some fall sunshine.

Pomegranate trees

Baby picking pomegranates

The ranch was full of fruit trees, like these pomegranate trees.

Apple picking in the Russian River

And these apple trees. So we got to work making apple juice.

Fall apple picking

Family-friendly fall activities: apple picking!

Step one: Pick some apples.

Washing apples before juicing

Babies washing apples for juicing

Step two: Make babies wash the apples.

Loading apples into the juice press

Step three: Load the apples in the juice press.

Pressing apples for juice

Step four: Press, press, press.

Making apple juice at Apple Ranch in Guerneville, CA

Step five: Collect and drink all of the juice.

Baby's first apple juice

This was Will's first taste of apple juice and he was hooked.

apple juice fresh from the press
Freshly pressed apple juice 
Will was covered in apple juice by the time we finished bottling it.

tub life

outdoor tub on a ranch

Outdoor tub at Apple Ranch in Guerneville, CA

Good thing he loved chilling in this outdoor tub.

sweet family

Our cute friends.

exploring the ranch

Our little explorer heading towards the woods.

Johnson's Beach - Russian River, CA

We ended the trip with a visit to the river.

running along the river

wading in the river

water baby

Russian River fun

Will waded right in. He definitely takes after his dad!

father-son love

See more of our family-friendly getaways in Hood River, Oregon, and Carmel, California.