Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chico with the Fam!

So for Kimbo and I's anniversary, we've been going on a local getaway for the last few years.  This year, we decided to go check out Chico, CA... the last time I've been here was when I was 15, and went bungee jumping off a 300ft + bridge with the athletic director at Southern Oregon University... but didn't really get a good sense of what Chico is all about from our gas station stop.

I knew that Chico had Sierra Nevada Brew Co. as well as a huge municipal park with swimming holes to explore.  Initially I wanted to take my newly acquired canoe up there and do a section of the Sacramento River... but I settled on just taking the tandem and my road bike up there instead.  The canoe would have been fun, but it was just too much hassle.  Anyway... enjoy the pics.

check out this bird's nest I found in our driveway...
We timed the drive to coincide with Kai's naptime, and he's been doing great in the car recently.  Making road trips fun & easy.
a quick 2.5 hrs later, we were in Chico!  We went directly to Sycamore Pool in Lower Bidwell Park.  Located right next to downtown Chico, it has playgrounds, pools, trails for hiking, mtn biking, horseback riding, and tons on swimming holes.  It's also the third largest municipal park in the Golden State.  
How awesome is this pool?  Cleaned & drained weekly, free and open to the public.  Our AirBnB host told us how back in the day he'd come here after a night on the town and jump in.  Definitely raises the standard of living in for Chico-ites... We're in the shallow end (1 ft?) over here... it gradually gets deeper on the other side.  
Kai, "Wa-Wa... Wa-Wa.... (giggle)... Wa-Wa..."
After our visit to the pool, we went to Sierra Nevada Brew Co for an early Dinner.  The tour is supposed to be awesome, but kids under 12 aren't allowed for safety reasons.  But it was booked up anyway.  If you go, call and reserve a spot the day before.... it's free.  And ride your bike... even if it's broken, they've got tools there for you to fix it.  
The brewhouse is very kids friendly.  Especially in the early dinner hours when we arrived.  I think 50% of the tables had kiddos at them.  It's quite the tourist attraction with a free brewery tour, great food, beers, and a gift shop.  
4 samplers for 3$!  I got 2 of em... 
The winner of the US EPA's "Green Business of the Year" in 2010 along with a host of other awards;  Sierra Nevada Brew Co not only houses solar panels, but is the only brewery in the nation with Hydrogen Fuel Cells.  
The next morning, we went to check out the Chico Farmer's Market on our tandem.  A great atmosphere with cheap produce right downtown.  
Which means it's minutes away from Caper Acres, which is quite possibly the coolest playground we've visited.  The whole area is fenced in, with tons of unique play structures for the kiddos to explore.
Kai zooming down the biggest slide in Caper's Acres.  After getting down and saying, "Mo! Mo!" He climb back up and zoom down again.  
After we tired Kai out, we headed off to the California Nut Festival.  25$ gets you 5 drink sample tickets and 5 food sample tickets, a glass, entertainment (2 stages, including Joe Craven), and some cooking demonstrations.  And unlike events in the Bay Area this was very chill, with plenty of room to spread out and stroll around.  
Sampling one of the dozens of breweries/wineries...
Kimbo with Kai still asleep in the CitiMini.
This fountain provided at least an hour of entertainment for Kai.  Which was great, as we could listen to Joe Craven from here, while drinking and eating our samples.

Kai with his cuddle buddy, we call him Kat.  
Kai ready to drive!   
After the Nut Fest, we drove back to the Sycamore Pool so Kimbo could take a nap while I played with Kai at his favorite pool.  Here, I experienced one thing that tainted my Chico experience... there was a guy with his family there with a huge swastka tattoo on his chest (amongst other tattoos all over his body).  But really?  A swastika tattoo?  I'm aware that the swastika is an old symbol and was once used to mean many things... but these days, it just means you are a white supremacist.... in fact displaying a swastika is  illegal is many countries... Visiting such child friendly towns like Chico is great... but often times you only see the green grass... and not the decomposing disease infested rat.

... anyway, enough ranting, and back to the fun.  The next morning, I went on a quick 20 mile ride to the Sacramento River and back.  Very flat.  No traffic.... a good way to start your day.  
Then I hopped on my other bike.  The one that seats Kimbo and Kai behind me, and we made our way to  Beatniks (as recommended by our Air BnB host), for a delicious brekky.
and happens to be across the street from Caper Acres...
Kai didn't explore the tunnels on day 1!
Sliding down the crooked house.  
And from the castle.  
Kai enjoying the fountains at the City Plaza.  He LOVED this place.  
His tongue was out 50% of the time.
... too much giggling going on here...
Kai <3 p="" wawa...="">
What a cool city plaza
Tons of kiddos, babies, etc...
On the way out of town, we passed by a baby/maternity clothing swap... 
And GoodGirl hit another milestone...
Going through Yuba City, where chickens run wild.  Seriously... just like Kauai.
And after a quick burrito stop in Sacramento, we were back in the bay, where the weather was still nice.
We stopped at Pt. Richmond to take Mingie out.  We loved our trip to Chico, but we were glad to be back in the reasonable temperatures and most importantly the sea breeze, which we weren't allergic to.  We were sniffling, crying, and sneezing the whole weekend.  
Bye Bye...

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