Blog Posts by Dawn

As East Coast natives, one of the most difficult things to get used to while stationed in Monterey, California, was the warm winter months. It was not unusual for the temperatures to reach near 70 degrees in November, December and January while we were there. So looking for Christmas activities was a little challenging when trying to recreate the winter chill and cheery atmosphere. Luckily, a quick trip up to Gilroy Gardens provided just the Christmas feeling we were looking for. Almost an hour away in Gilroy, California, a former botanical gardens turned amusement park, is transformed into a... read more

Halloween Trick or Treat at Hersheypark What is better than trick or treating at Chocolate World, Hersheypark? Pretty much nothing except for celebrating Christmas with Hershey’s hot chocolate in hand as you wander through a winter wonderland! With proximity to so many military families in the Washington D.C. area, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a perfect overnight getaway any time of year, but particularly during the fall and winter months. The crowds are thinner and the festivities make the park extra special. Plus the park offers preview hours the night before you choose to enter... read more

When we lived in Monterey, we ate a lot, often. I think this is where I found the majority of the 15 pounds I brought to Northern Virginia (NOVA). Even with all of the extra gym time the weight loss required, sampling as much of California’s central coast’s culinary scene was an integral part of our stay there. Although there were plenty of high end, trend setting and expensive places in our area, we had a kid and needed better than average food served with a side of crayons on the menu. Happily these two local institutions fit the bill and we were repeat customers. The Best Family Friendly R... read more

Many families choose to celebrate their children’s birthdays right in their own backyards or at one of the many local picturesque parks because the weather in Monterey and surrounding area is predictable and pleasant most days. But sometimes, life is busy and it is easier to let professionals take over the birthday party planning. Our daughter’s last birthday coincided with a pending PCS trip back to the East Coast. As much as she wanted a party at our house, preparations to move had begun and I couldn’t bring myself to delve into what needed to be done to have a house full of kids and parent... read more

I walked for hours most days while living in Pacific Grove, which meant I was able to see many more miles of scenic interests than perhaps a tourist cruising in a car would. A good friend and local turned me onto a loop of about 6 miles that included beach front trails tying Asilomar State Beach and the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail together. Both are well known and well loved by residents and tourists alike. Although my walking path through Asilomar was the same, the view varied daily ranging from sunlit skies to blankets of clouds and fog rolling onto the shore. A unique and sweet t... read more