Category Archives: vacation

Black Hills Vacation and New Cabin!

April 8, 2018

We headed out to the Black Hills for Easter (see that post here) and to see the progress with the new cabin! Loaded up the fam and packed the car and trailer full of decor and furniture for the cabin. But first, a stop at Wall Drug! Such a fun place for kids!

Now on to Lead, South Dakota! John has owned a lot out there for 10ish years and finally decided to build last August! It was a fun process to be involved in and even more fun to see my husband’s mojo put to work! He really is amazing at what he does (johnkoch.com – renovates and remodels old homes for rent in Sioux Falls), and I was ULTRA excited to go see it in person after months of only getting photos!

We named it “Sheep Hill Chalet,” the street is Sheep Hill Gulch Road in Lead, SD. We decided on a “modern mountain” theme – a mix of modern with rustic chalet elements and decor throughout and it turned out perfect. LIT-TRALLY blown away when I walked in the door! UNREAL. John has such an eye for cool decor, furniture, and has a serious design eye. It’s so neat inside! The layout is perfect, with huge 16 foot windows and transoms above every door for extra light. Tons of natural sunshine beaming in through all of the windows. Incredible. It was so fun to get in there and see all of the progress! It will be for rent so check out our website for more photos, details, and to book! SheepHillChalet.com

Isn’t it the coolest! Good job Hubby!

Moving on…

We went to Terry Peak the first day since there was still so much snow everywhere. The sun was shining and it was so fun to get out for one last ski! And it was Leo’s FIRST TIME!! WOO HOO! Next winter I hope these two get much better once they’ll be older and we start going to Terry Peak and Great Bear more.

That night it snowed a TON and all the next day! Great to cozy into the cabin. Leo LOVES the snow and was begging to go on the snowmobile and sled. Totally his area out there!!! The cabin sits on 7 acres and connects to the Black Hills National Forest, so not another home in sight!

Later in the vacay, we ventured into Deadwood and walked the main street. Love it there! So much history and fun shops to go in and out of. The old historic buildings are the coolest!

We also did an Old Fashioned Photo. Ivy LOVED every second of it and she told us all exactly what to wear. She’s so good! Makes a decision so fast! Whereas I have to look at every dress before I pick one. I need her to dress me! :) She was in heaven in her cute little dress and Leo loved to be a cowboy. He wanted to ride the rocking horse and shoot his toy gun more than take a photo ;) haha

Ha! Leo nailed his look! And Ivy couldn’t help but smile :) So adorable. Framed that up at the cabin!

Overall, I’m so excited to get out there more often this summer. So much to see and do in the Hills! Now if only summer would come!! Can’t wait for our next trip.

 

 

Black Hills Labor Day

September 5, 2017

We made the trek West River to head to the Black Hills for a family vacation last weekend! So much fun to be in a different environment and surrounded by the lush pine trees and historic towns. I love all of the history there and the buildings are so neat! John was out there for some work early, and the Grandparents offered to keep Leo, so off I went with Ivy and Faye. First stop, WALL DRUG!

Faye made it the whole 4 hours there without us having to stop! That was awesome. So we were all ready to get out and explore a bit and stretch our legs. So many quirky things to look at and do there. And we had to have a donut! Yum!

We finally made it to Daddy and we were so happy to join him!

The next day we drove to the Southern Hills to Hill City. Stopped and went for a little walk on the Mickelson Trail on the way down.

Hill City has the coolest little main street and I was sooo excited to try Miner Brewing Co. Last time we were here it was just getting built so I was anxious to see it and have a cold one (or 5!) I’m a sucker for a tasting flight and each of the beers were so good! We went back the next day for another one! The atmosphere and vibe is so cool, love the industrial rustic look they have going on.

Day 3 we went to Keystone. Neither of us had ever been there so it was fun to see a new town. We went to the Rushmore Tramway Adventure Park and rode the tramway! It was soo much fun! The slide back down was the best part! Even Faye liked it, haha :)

And up top there was a beautiful view of Mount Rushmore and the Hills. So pretty!

Our last day was spent in the coolest… Deadwood! This historic town has a special meaning to us, it’s where we got married! I love to stroll the streets where we took our photos and visit our reception place, the Deadwood Mountain Grand. So much to see in Deadwood. I always want to check out every place, they’re all so old and neat!

And lastly as the day heated up, we took off to Pactola Lake and enjoyed some beautiful scenery and fresh cool water! All the smoke from the wildfires in Montana blocked some of the view, but it was still gorgeous!

Can’t wait to go back for a winter adventure!

San Diego!

January 28, 2017

We were due for a family vacation. After Napa and Bahamas with just John and I, it was time for the kids to experience a new place! While Zika is still freaking me out, we chose to stay in the US and decided on San Diego as a fun place for kids and great weather! Unfortunately, our 6 day vacation hit 4 days of the worst rain SoCal has seen in years : / Flooding and cold ridiculous weather, it was such a bummer. But the two days of sun that we did get were beyond fabulous!

Photo overload!

We stayed at the Omni La Costa resort, which was incredibly beautiful! I chose this place because they had amazing kids pools, slides, a splash park, and a Kidtopia kids club where we could put the kids while enjoying an adults only infinity edge pool. However, with the rain and 50 degree weather, we only used the hot tub a couple mornings. Such a bummer!!

Since the weather wasn’t cooperating for pool time, we got out and about every day with the kids! There is sooooo much to do in San Diego! The first day of sunshine we got we headed to the San Diego Zoo which was SO much fun, I am a total animal and zoo lover! Ivy and Leo were growling like all of the animals and had a blast seeing the gorillas and lion.

We ended the zoo a little early and headed to Mission Beach which was gorgeous! There were huge waves to watch and Ivy and Leo LOVED to stick their feet in the sand and water. It was Leo’s first time to the ocean so that was extra special!

Back to the rainy days : / We spent another day at Sea World. This wasn’t planned, but it was either the Kids Museum or braving it and hitting Sea World, so we decided to brave it! Ivy and Leo had a great time feeding the sea lions, seeing the aquariums, and watching all of the shows with the dolphins and killer whales.

Lastly, what I was looking forward to the most was DISNEYLAND! I realized we were only an hour away from Anaheim/Disneyland, so I said we HAVE to do Disney! I am a total kid inside still and I could NOT WAIT for Ivy to see the princesses that she loves! It was our last day and finally sunny and beautiful! Perfect for Disneyland! Ivy made sure to pack her princess dress and it was super cute! Everyone at Disney called her Queen Elsa all day, they make it so special and magical!

The very first thing we saw was Minnie! She was so excited! Leo ran away with terror, it was hilarious!

Ivy about FREAKED when we saw the castle!

And she also FREAKED seeing all of her favorite princesses!

They had a blast on the rides too!

Gah, it was so much fun. Regardless of the rain, it was great to get in some quality family time, especially with Daddy because we never get him full time!

While vacation doesn’t really feel like a vacation when you bring kids, the memories I see in the photos and will have forever are so worth it! Seeing Leo growl like a lion and dip his toes in the sand, and seeing Ivy totally in love with the Princesses are memories that we will love forever!

 

N A P A | Wine Tour

November 15, 2016

Napa has always been on my bucket list! Sipping on tons of delicious wines, gazing at hillsides of acres and acres of green vineyards, eating incredible food, I mean, I really just needed to stop at wine, because… WINE. Favorite. Neither John nor I had ever been, so we were anxious for a getaway, and a huge plus to meet up with my sister Jillian and her husband Brian out there!

John and I decided to fly out a day early to get a 24 hour glimpse of San Francisco, and we did it up right! We played total tourists and took the tour bus around for the day and hit all the hot spots, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, and tons more! The bus was so much fun because you could hop on and off, which we took advantage of to get some pics and to eat oysters and scrumptious seafood and drink along the way. I’m so glad we did this because we were able to see almost all of San Francisco in one day!

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shirt | pants | shoes

The next day, we met Jillian and Brian and we headed north to Napa! I couldn’t wait to see the acres and acres of vineyards! Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The next four days of our trip in Napa were cloudy and rainy! It ruined our views but did not ruin our fun! And when the rain stopped, the fog was actually really beautiful across the land.

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We stayed at the quaintest bed and breakfast in Yountville called the Oleander House. It was sooo nice getting a delicious hot breakfast in the morning before we headed out all day. That was our first time doing a B&B and I LOVED it!

Oleander House B&B

Now onto the WINE! We went to about 3-5 per day, whew, so way too many to go through, but I’ll definitely hit on my favorites!

Our first stop was at the Truchard Vineyard, and it ended up as one of my FAVORITES! We really started with a bang! They own over 400 acres of land and have been in the business for over a century. In fact, they are grape suppliers for a ton of well known wines. Truchard is a very small family owned operation and we felt like we were part of the family right from the beginning! They brought us through the vineyard and into their wine cave where they store all of their wine barrels that was built right into the hillside, so neat! Sipping wine in that cave was proooolly the coolest thing ever and every wine was soooo amazing! Case of this, case of that… swipe it! :)

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After that amazing first stop, I really didn’t think it could get better, but that was just the beginning! Another favorite was Failla Wines, an old 1930’s farmhouse turned into the tasting room. So cozy in there!

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Next, we headed up Howell Mountain to Cade Winery. This is where I was really bummed about the fog because we were on top of the mountain and would have been able to see the whole valley, buuuut no, shucks! : / Next time, hehe. Anyways! Cade had some serious architecture going on! Totally modern and known for its use of renewable resources, very environmentally efficient. Oh, and, DELICIOUS WINES.

cade winery cade winery

Another favorite winery was Schweiger Vineyards, up Spring Mountain. This view was finally pretty clear and it was soo beautiful!

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Of course, a trip to Napa wouldn’t be complete without some castles and chateaus! We did the touristy thing a little bit and toured Castello di Amorosa, a 13th century inspired Tuscan castle and winery. It was stunning and absolutely incredible inside! And the outside vineyard wasn’t too shabby either! Such pretty views! A bit too touristy for us though, we like the small intimate family run wineries that pour us extra wine! ;)

napacastlecastillo di amoroso

We also toured and had a tasting at Inglenook, an 1887 French chateau. This was a favorite! The chateau was gorgeous, the wines were to die for, and we got to sit in an old parlour room with a cheese pairing while sipping wines. Our tour guide with the curly mustache was soooo fabulous!

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Lastly, a trip to Napa would NOT be complete without food! For dinner, we ate at Red Wood, Bistro Jeanty, and Ad Hoc, and while all three are making me salivate right now just thinking about them, I LOVED Ad Hoc! It has a daily-changing four-course menu featuring classic American dishes that are all served family-style. Some serious casual comfort of home right in the restaurant! Each course was IN-credible and we were soooo full by the end! One of those meals where you reaaaally couldn’t stop eating it was that good!

Ad Hocbistro jeanty

I’d say we had a pretty spectacular first trip to Napa! I’m already so excited to go back sometime! Definitely could see this being another future trip, so many different wineries to see! But it was a good start and always nice to get a little vacay with the hubs :) And now our wine cellar is practically FULL!! Whoop whoop! Not for long though… haha! Until next time Napa!

Cousin Cuties

April 18, 2016

Leo and I traveled to Indianapolis this past weekend to visit my sister Jillian, her husband Brian, and their 7 month old baby girl Alexandra. Lucky Leo he got to tag along while Ivy stayed home with Daddy. Mostly bc he’s still a free airplane ticket 😜 but also because I couldn’t wait to get the baby cousins together! They’re just three months apart so it’s fun to see them together. Plus, I don’t get to see either of my sisters enough! So I was ready for some sisterly bonding time. We had a ton of fun and it was a GORGEOUS weekend. Indianapolis is always so much fun!

Leo was a champ on the airplane. I tried to time his naps during the flights but he had NO intention of sleeping, WAY too much to look at! He behaved just fine and enjoyed making googly eyes at the people all around him.

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His HEAD. Goodness kid.Photo Apr 13, 2 08 09 PM

Smoothie during the layover. Too cute! His big hands and knuckle dimples 💙

When we made it to Indianapolis it was cousin haven! Leo made himself right at home by taking all of Alexandra’s toys from her, hehe, and getting into everything that isn’t baby proofed for a mobile baby yet! He had a whole new sense of exploration!

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Thursday was so glorious outside! We spent a lot of time outside and the kids loved the sunshine! But probably not as much as me :)

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Proud Mommy and Auntie Jillian!Photo Apr 14, 5 48 09 PM Photo Apr 14, 5 50 23 PM

Later, we had Jillian’s nanny watch the kids while we headed to Broadwater for lunch and a couple of beers. YUM. Jillian took me to Cake Bake Shop for dessert and WHOA it was incredible inside! White and pink everywhere and the most amazing desserts I’ve ever seen! The berry cheesecake we had was gone in about .2 seconds. MMMM.

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Friday, we lounged around in the sun and read magazines and had lots of girl talk while the kids napped, that was glorious. Just kind of took it easy during the day and both kids had fabulous naps! WHOOP!

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Cutie!!!! xoxoPhoto Apr 15, 11 05 56 AM

Alexandra’s head – 14th% // Leo’s head – 96th% EEEEEEK! It’s humongous! Bah! :)

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Leo’s shirt (on sale!!) // pants

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Later that night, the nanny came to relieve us again and Jillian, her husband Brian, and I headed downtown Indy for a nice meal at Vida, #4 on Indy’s top 50 restaurants. YUM. I had the strip steak and it was soooo flipping good.

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Next time we see them will be 4th of July! I am so anxious! Leo will be a 1 year old by then, eeee! Wish they lived closer.


And it was really good to get home to Ivy and John. I missed them so much! Ivy had a lot of fun with Daddy, they were due for some bonding time :)

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