Californian Adventures, 2013-14

In 2013, our family of five followed a business opportunity that the man of the house had been given. We left our beloved home, in Wellington, New Zealand, in the safe hands of good friends, and moved across the Pacific Ocean to live in Santa Barbara, California, on the west coast of the USA.

It was a big decision to uproot our children, especially as our eldest was very happy and settled in school (and just turned 10). In the end, we decided it was too good an opportunity to turn down and, after many family discussions, we went for it – knowing New Zealand would always be there for us and we’d have the chance, before schooling and teenage years got really serious, to experience some amazing times together as a family (around hubby’s work commitments of course!). The attraction of living closer to our families in the UK (with both hubby and I from England) was also a strong pull.

Here are some of our travel moments over the year we ended up living in California.

San Francisco

Memorial Day in San Francisco, including a visit to California Academy of Science and the Golden Gate Bridge, May 2014

Pier 39, May 2014

Catching some air in San Francisco – a visit to the ‘House of Air’ trampoline centre and Crissy Field Park, May 2014

Things to love from a week in San Francisco, October 2013

Back from our road trip to San Francisco, driving the Pacific Coast Highway, October 2013

Solvang, Santa Ynez Valley

Family fun in Solvang, May 2014

Half marathon in Santa Ynez Valley, the wine country of Santa Barbara, May 2014

Santa Monica

Driving from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica, September 2014

Endeavour space shuttle at California Science Center, September 2014

Turning 40 in Santa Monica, a wonderful place to spend a weekend and celebrate any occasion! April 2014

Beach gym & action kids, Santa Monica beach, April 2014

Weekending it! Santa Monica, sand dune stop off driving down from Santa Barbara, snap shots from Santa Barbara’s waterfront, October 2013

Disneyland and California Adventures, Anaheim

Happy at Disneyland with a New Zealand friend, May 2014

Disneyland and California Adventures decked out for Christmas, with friends visiting from New Zealand, November 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! December 2013

Stop offs on the drive between Santa Barbara and San Francisco

Country Kids in California; Avila Valley Barn – a ‘Fall’ Experience, October 2013

Through the eyes of my phone – on the road, October 2013


A beautiful weekend in Monterey, June 2014

Santa Cruz

Magic Sunday visiting Santa Cruz, ‘Dave & Busters’ in Milpitas and driving into San Francisco at sunset, June 2014

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, October 2013

Santa Barbara

Kiwi Kids having fun at the beach in Santa Barbara, August 2014

Weekend fun Carpinteria & Santa Barbara, April 2014

The Mission, Santa Barbara, February 2014

Feeling Festive, December 2013

Merry Christmas, December 2013

Burning some rubber on the Santa Barbara waterfront – cycling fun, December 2013

Fun at the Marina, taking a boat ride and exploring the aquarium, November 2013

Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara, September 2013