Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito

Thanksgiving season means turkey, stuffing, and, in our family's tradition: turnips and carrots! It also means we get to do tons of family sessions, as the holidays bring families together from far and wide. We recently photographed the Caltagirones , as their daughter returned home from college and their son enjoyed a short break from high school homework. It was a perfect opportunity to get in some bear hugs and go exploring the Bay. This family photo session at Cavallo Point in Sausalito with views of the Golden Gate Bridge was sun-filled and actually pretty warm, considering it was the end of November :)

Enjoy this peek into our family session with the wonderful Caltagirones! Happy holidays!

Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Holiday Family Photo Session at Cavallo Point, Sausalito
0035© Bowerbird Photography 2016.jpg


Ariel + Sam

Taiwan Family Travel Guide to Rui Shui, Hualien // 台湾家庭旅行指南瑞宝地花莲

One of our favorite places to visit in Taiwan is a small town in Hualien called Rui Shui. It's an important spot for us because Sam's mom grew up here. Since she's no longer with us, it's a way for us to feel connected with her and imagine what it was like to grow up in such a beautiful place. Rui Shui really is paradise. It smells like Hawaii, it's surrounded by lush farmland and everyone is crazy friendly. 

The Duckling House invited us to stay with them for two nights while we were in town and omg -- it was the cutest place we've ever stayed!! The owners are obviously artists and the hotel is just filled with adorable decorations and carefully thought through details. And talk about kid friendly! Our room was mermaid themed and there was a koi pond filled with a hundred fish and food to feed them, and they even had a mini family farm, that had bunnies, chickens and even a sweet pig on the premises. It was baby bliss!  

They also had a fleet of bikes that guests are welcome to use, which is a perfect way to explore the little town of Rui Shui. Sam strapped Juniper into her carrier and off we whizzed. First we visited Sam's mom's temple, an ornately decorated building filled with bright yellow lanterns and fragrant incense, which visitors light at different stations in the temple and ask for blessings and make prayers. It's a lovely spot and a good place to cool off from the scorching heat. Next we headed down to the river, where Juniper played along the silty shore and skipped stones. So much fun! 

Tired and hungry, we found a little noodle shack along the main road and got steaming bowls of homemade pho. Juniper had fallen asleep on the ride up from the river and the noodle shop owners kindly found us a folding chair for her to take a long nap. Back at the Duckling House, we all cooled off in our private pool. It was dreamy.

For the second part of our stay, the Sunshine Hot Spring B&B invited us for two nights, a deliciously modern hotel, nestled next to a river and at the base of a beautiful jungle trail, which we got a chance to hike up. Juniper once again had a private hot spring pool to practice her swim strokes and kicks in -- one afternoon we spent almost three hours splashing around in the water.

Relaxed, with pruney water-soaked skin, we headed north to Hualien City for our final stop. More photos coming soon! 


鸭子屋邀请我们住两个晚上,当我们在城里和omg - 这是我们住过的最可爱的地方!业主显然是艺术家,酒店充满可爱的装饰,仔细思考细节。和谈论孩子友好!我们的房间是美人鱼主题,有一个锦鲤池充满了一百条鱼和食物喂养他们,他们甚至有一个迷你家庭农场,有兔子,鸡,甚至一只甜猪在前提。这是宝贝的幸福!



在我们入住的第二部分,阳光温泉B&B邀请我们两个晚上,一个美味的现代化酒店,坐落在一条河旁边,一个美丽的丛林步道的基地,我们有机会远足。瞻博网络再次有一个私人温泉游泳池练习她的游泳冲程和踢 - 一个下午,我们花了几乎三个小时在水中飞溅。



Ariel + Sam + Juniper

Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County

We love family photo sessions around the holidays! Not only do we get to spend time with our loved ones, we also get to hang out with other incredible ones like this family. David and Elaine are friends of ours, and their darling little Ava was born a few months after ours. When Elaine's family flew out from Chicago to spend Thanksgiving, it was a perfect time for a family photo session.

We met up in Tiburon the morning after Thanksgiving. Everyone seemed perfectly rested and happy after their turkey induced slumber!

Hope you enjoy a peek into their sweet family session along the Richardson Bay! And Ava gave a wonderful finale performance, playin' around in the flowers :) What a cutie!!

Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County
Holiday Family Photo Session in Tiburon, Marin County


Ariel + Sam

Taiwan Family Travel Guide at Kenting National Park // 家庭旅行指南台湾垦丁国家公园

Family travel is about navigating choices. We always try to anticipate Juniper's needs before heading out the door. Preparation is everything, but remaining flexible is also important. We created checklists, packed our bags, and were ready to go a whole week before our flight. All set. However, the night before we left for Taiwan, we had decided to make a super important last-minute decision. Juni has been obsessed with her perpetually smiling, red, Elmo doll, ever since we succumbed to Sesame Street on YouTube to help us through a cranky night. Two days prior to leaving, Juni developed a passionate interest in dancing and the Angelina Ballerina children's book series. She would insist on wearing her tutu over whatever she was wearing, including her puff coat. The morning of our trip, we made a gut decision, replacing the Elmo doll with Angelina.

We got lucky with that choice. Juni couldn't wait to pull out “Nini” at each hotel we arrived at. No tears were shed for Elmo. Whew!

When planning this trip to Taiwan, we wanted it to be fun for Juniper. If she had a good time, so would we. Place her in a box of sand, and she's happy. We decided to head to the beach after Sun Moon Lake.

We worried that we made a poor planning choice, spending an entire day taking various modes of transportation: a bus to the train station in Taichung, then catching the high speed rail to the end of the line, where we got on a bus for a two hour ride to Kenting, and finally waiting for our hotel to pick us up in the howling wind, a welcome reprieve from the heat. We were fueled by steam buns, fish balls, fruit, and milk from the ever-present 7-Eleven convenience stores along the way. What made this choice pay-off was that we could spend 4 days relaxing in a beautiful seaside setting, without an agenda, getting accustomed to the 16 hour time difference.

Sam's parents honeymooned in Kenting decades ago, and it remains a tropical beach bum paradise. The little town around the beach and national park is pretty touristy (and there are only 7-Elevens and other convenience stores – no grocery store). We opted to stay about 10 minutes outside of the town and found it perfectly peaceful and quiet.

The South Border Design Hotel invited us to stay and we weren't sure if we were still in Taiwan or had landed in a remote Greek Island! We were so happy to relax there for a few days. The architecture is creative and modern and we just loved our room, especially the super deep tub that was perfect for baby-and-me bath time. Getting breakfast served in our room was also a luxury that we appreciated as parents, who occasionally have a hard time getting out of the door with a squirmy kiddo.

On our second day in Kenting, the wind was relentless! Not quite the right weather for a beach outing, but perfect for a beautiful hike in Kenting National Park. The park is perfect for little kids, with easy to walk, paved trails, and caves formed from ancient coral reefs (Juni LOVES caves). Best of all, there were wild macaque monkeys, that made a racket in the canopy above us before we spotted them. Also, heed the signs warning of poisonous snakes. We admired a big, sinuous sun-bather, stretched out on a tree beside the trail, and were happy that we had been carrying Juni in the carrier at that point.

Fun Space Inn invited us to stay with them for the second part of our visit in Kenting. Fun Space has a great French bistro vibe, with a chill lobby, filled with things to read and coffee to sip. The rooms have stunning views of the ocean, which is right across the street. We loved staying here and would highly recommend it! Do keep in mind that the sandy beach across the street is protected for ecological research, so no kid-friendly swimming here. There's a section of rocky beach that is beautiful, and snorkelers access the ocean from there, but it's tricky to walk over with a baby. Luckily, it's an easy 10 minute bus ride (and the buses run perfectly on time!) up the coast to plenty of sandy beaches.

After a swimming breakthrough with Juniper, learning to kick and float in bath-temperature waters, we packed our bags and headed up the east coast of the island via train, toward the province of Hualien, Sam's mom's birthplace.

More photos and travel stories coming next week.

A big thanks to our great Taiwan fashion partners included in this blog post!

Headbands: Ms. How Fan

Sandals: Aika Handmade Shoes

Cloth Baby Shoes: Polovio

Men's Shoes: Dogyball

Baby shoes + matching bags: Boingboing

Baby necklace: Ciaowo

Backpack: OGG

Organic Baby Clothes: Gujui

Choker necklace: W&Y Atelier

家庭旅行是关于导航选择。我们总是试图预测瞻博网络的需要,然后出门。准备是一切,但保持灵活性也很重要。我们创建了清单,包装我们的行李,并准备在我们的航班前一整个星期。可以了,好了。然而,在我们离开台湾前一天晚上,我们决定作出一个非常重要的最后决定。自从我们在YouTube上屈服于芝麻街,帮助我们度过一个奇怪的夜晚,Juni一直痴迷于永远微笑,红色,Elmo娃娃。离开前两天,Juni发展了对舞蹈和Angelina Ballerina儿童书系列的热情兴趣。她坚持要穿她的芭蕾舞短裙,不管她穿什么,包括她的羽绒服。在我们的旅行的早晨,我们做了一个胆量的决定,用安吉丽娜替换Elmo娃娃。

我们很幸运有这个选择。 Juni不能等待在我们到达的每个酒店拉出“Nini”。 Elmo没有流泪。哇!



山姆的父母几十年前在垦丁度蜜月,它仍然是一个热带海滩天堂。在海滩和国家公园周围的小镇是相当旅游(和只有7高架和其他便利店 - 没有杂货店)。我们选择留在城外约10分钟,发现它完全平和和安静。

南边界设计酒店邀请我们留下来,我们不知道我们是否仍然在台湾或登陆在一个遥远的希腊岛!我们很高兴在那里放松几天。建筑是创意和现代,我们只是喜欢我们的房间,特别是超级深的浴缸,是完美的婴儿和我洗澡时间。在我们的房间吃早餐也是一个奢侈品,我们赞赏作为父母,谁偶尔有一个很难走出门,一个squammy kiddo。

在我们在垦丁的第二天,风是无情的!不适合天气的海滩郊游,但完美的美丽的远足在垦丁国家公园。公园是完美的小孩子,容易走,铺好的小道和从古老的珊瑚礁形成的洞穴(Juni LOVES洞穴)。最重要的是,有野生猴子,在我们之前的树冠上做了一个球拍,我们发现他们之前。还注意到有毒蛇的警告标志。我们欣赏一个大,蜿蜒的阳光浴,在树旁边的小径上延伸,并且很高兴,我们已经在运载的Juni在那一点。

Fun Space Inn邀请我们与他们一起留在我们参观垦丁的第二部分。 Fun Space有一个伟大的法国小酒馆氛围,一个寒意的大堂,充满了东西阅读和咖啡喝。客房享有海洋的壮丽景色,位于街对面。我们喜欢住在这里,强烈推荐!请记住,街对面的沙滩是保护生态研究,所以没有孩子友好的游泳在这里。有一段美丽的岩石海滩,而浮潜者从那里进入海洋,但它是一个棘手的婴儿走过。幸运的是,这是一个容易的10分钟公共汽车(和公共汽车准时运行完美!)海岸到大量的沙滩。




头带:How Fan女士








项链:W&Y Atelier


Ariel + Sam + Juniper

Taiwan Family Travel Guide at Sun Moon Lake // 家庭旅游在台湾日月潭

One of the first books our baby, Juniper, received, was her passport book. We've been itching to get her some stamps in it! Taiwan was at the top of our list for a family-friendly retreat from our cold November, to the hot tropics. Compared to other hot-spot travel destinations it is comparatively untraveled by Westerners. Every other person we talked to about our trip at home would send us off with a, "Have a nice trip in Thailand!" Except for the rare Westerner we would spot in Taipei, almost all the tourists we met around the island were vacationing Chinese or Taiwanese. Even the tourism from China has been ebbing due to the nations' recent stare-down. That has meant we haven't needed to wait in lines at restaurants, book train tickets days in advance, or even share a hotel swimming pool with a stranger. Of course, this will all change once the secret about this little paradise gets out. For now, we are glad to luxuriate under the shadow of confusion that Thailand's reputation casts, and visit a country that feels like a cultural getaway in the tropics, but where it is not only safe, but one is encouraged to wander the streets at night jabbing a spoon at an icy slurry of sweet beans and soft tofu. Also, malaria vaccines are unneeded.  And did we mention the beautiful sunshine and endless hot springs?

After landing in Taipei, we started our loop around the island with a stop at Sun Moon Lake.

Quiz: Sun Moon Lake's biggest draw is its: (a) stunning natural beauty, (b) traditional pagodas and temples, (c) famous boiled tea eggs, or (e) all of the above.

If you picked an answer with tea eggs, surprisingly, you would not be alone. Every time we've visited Sun Moon Lake, the first thing my family wants to do is to go buy some famous tea eggs made by an equally famous grandma. They are a wonderful travel snack -- boiled in spicy cauldrons of black tea, mushrooms, and secrets, creating a treat that is salty and creamy, with a beautiful marbled exterior. Juniper enjoyed sitting on the dock, munching away on her yummy morsel! 

After a long afternoon exploring the lake, we checked into our hotel, Fuli Hot Spring Resort. (This brand new hotel invited us to stay with them, knowing we would broadcast our thoughts from a family travel point of view.) Taiwan is famous for their hot springs, in addition to pretty much every major destination around the island, you can now get a good soak at Sun Moon Lake, and it is highly recommended. They have gorgeous outdoor pools, with different temperatures and depths (great for baby exploration and play!). Our room also had a luxurious private hot spring bath, so you can soak and rest for as long as you please... and then roll straight into bed! Fuli also really looks out for guests with little ones -- there was a crib in our room, baby bath, and bottle warmer. Downstairs there's even a playroom, with structures to play on and endless Legos to build with. The dinner and breakfast buffet was endless, with Western and Taiwanese options. While definitely a splurge, Fuli makes traveling with a baby simple and luxurious. 

Next up -- we continue our trip to the very southern tip of Taiwan to Kenting National Park! Stay tuned for photos and stories. A highlight? Wild monkeys! 




如果你选择茶蛋,令人惊讶的是,你不会孤独。每次我们访问日月潭,我家人要做的第一件事是去买一些着名的茶蛋由一个同样着名的奶奶。他们是一个美妙的旅行小吃 - 煮在辣的大锅的红茶,创造一个咸和奶油,美丽的大理石外观的治疗。瞻博网络真的很喜欢坐在码头上,嚼着她的美味小菜!

经过漫长的下午探索湖泊后,我们进入了我们的酒店福丽温泉度假村。 (这家全新的酒店邀请我们与他们在一起,知道我们将从家庭旅行的角度广播我们的想法。)台湾以其温泉而闻名,除了几乎每个主要目的地在岛上,你现在可以在日月潭很好的浸泡,强烈推荐。他们有华丽的室外游泳池,不同的温度和深度(伟大的婴儿探索和玩!)。我们的房间也有一个豪华的私人温泉浴,所以你可以浸泡和休息,只要你请...,然后直接滚进床!富利也真的看到小的客人 - 有一个在我们的房间,婴儿浴室和瓶暖和的婴儿床。楼下甚至有一个游戏室,结构上玩和无尽的乐高建立。晚餐和自助早餐是无止境的,与西方和台湾的选择。虽然绝对是一个爆炸,福利让与宝宝旅行简单和豪华。

接下来 - 我们继续我们的旅行到台湾的南端到垦丁国家公园!请关注照片和故事。一个亮点?野生猴子!


Ariel + Sam + Juniper