Family Vacation. Destination: Bass Lake.

Summer vacation is half way over.

Every year my entire family gets together to go on vacation and this year we chose to spend a few days at Bass Lake for the family trip.

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Every year for the past few years, my entire family goes on a summer trip. We, at the house of Golds, haven’t been able to make the past trips due to work and other joy-kills, but we finally had the chance to join them this time. I’m not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive about spending 4 days with 28 people in a house that only had 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There were extra beds and pull out couches so we were all fine but still, you can’t help but wonder if feeling cramped might put some in a bad mood. Aside from only one person falling into a bit of a funk on the second night, the trip went pretty well and I can honestly say we all had a really great time.

Besides a few trips up to Woodland and Esparto to visit family when I was younger, I have never really been farther North than LA. Even on those trips, I never really payed attention to my surroundings; we drove straight through on the 5, no stops, and like a typical teenager, I slept the car ride up there. Those of us Native to California know how different the people from Norcal and Socal are but it hadn’t dawned on me that the towns, the scenery, the nature are all just as different as the people. Well, this trip left me in awe, to say the least. I feel ridiculous saying it but I can’t believe the amount of trees out there; huge, fresh smelling, gorgeous trees.

I’ve never considered myself a nature girl. I adore the beach of course but maybe since that is what I’m used to, I see it as simply the beach. When I think of nature, I think of bugs, humidity, animals, dirt, and that doesn’t sound fun to me. I have always heard wonderful things about Bass Lake and Yosemite but all I focused on was bears, mosquitos, and no beaches. Obviously, I prefer the beach to the mountains.

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Some of the cousins, ready to go bright and early!

The trip up to Bass Lake took us a little over 8.5 hours. 28 people split up in 4 SUVs makes for a long trip. Plenty of kids needing to use the restroom at different times, fuel stops, and 3 of the vehicles somehow taking a wrong exit, and then 2 of those ending up from the 5 to the 10 to the 101. I have no idea how that even happened but we all eventually met up again and we were back on track. Phew!

The house we rented was absolutely gorgeous. It had been recently renovated all throughout and was much more spacious than what we were anticipating. The best part was there was plenty of porch and patio space and sitting out there in the early morning, listening to the sound of nothing, just peace and quiet, was so relaxing.

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The house we stayed in.

The house was about 5 minutes from the lake so a lot of time was spent there. There was paddle boarding, kayaking, riding speed boats and banana boats.  There were no crowded spots at all. I was expecting that there would be a lot of people since it’s summer time but I suppose since there is so much to do that there was never too many people in any one area.

We drove out to Yosemite and I still don’t think I have been able to really process just how beautiful it is out there. The long drives, waterfalls, and rivers and creeks all around, and the green, so much green. The views are spectacular, certainly nothing like I’ve ever seen in Socal. I even joked that I was going to see if  I could find Edward or Jacob (yep, from Twilight) through the trees. Ha!

We stopped at a river in Yosemite and had such a fun time. The water was pretty shallow, which was perfect for the kids but there were also a few great swimming spots. And, no other people! Right when we arrived we noticed a deer eating by the river and it didn’t even phase him that we were getting closer to take pictures. He stared at us for a minute and began to walk down river towards where the kids were so they were able to get a good look at him but he never ran away. We also found a squirrel that was sneaking around looking for food and my cousin went right up to him to feed him some bread. He also wasn’t scared at all, he stayed for a good while and walked right up to her, even almost climbing on her lap. Definitely some cool moments.

My favorite adventure has to be the hiking trip I took with Alex, my brother, and uncle. We climbed up some huge, gorgeous granite rocks and made it to the top of the mountain where the creeks that lead out to Bass Lake begin. Because it’s summer time and the lack of rain this year, the creeks were pretty small and we were able to go off the path and climb up directly on the granite but, unfortunately, because there wasn’t enough water, we weren’t able to slide down the rocks. It was slippery, incredibly steep, and a total workout. The view from the top was beautiful and there were little springs all along the way.

We may have been on vacation but having just burgers and hotdogs wasn’t going to cut it for us! My grandma was making pollo en mole, chorizo, arroz, everything we have back home. We were definitely well fed :)

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My cousin playing Snow White and feeding a squirrel who had no problem coming right up to her.

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River fun in Yosemite

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Nothing like a candid of no one ready for the shot and the sun right in your eyes!

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Yosemite lookout

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Yosemite. How beautiful is this?!

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Got my workout in! These were not easy to climb.

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Bass Lake

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Rise and shine!

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It was such a fun family trip and the only “bad” thing is that we couldn’t stay longer. There was so much more I wanted to check out; more hiking, runs through the insanely quiet surroundings. We are so blessed to be able to vacation as a family, to find time to step away from the day to day and be able to relax, reflect, and enjoy .










Disclaimer: First photo of Bass Lake was found on Google Images. In my excitement and fun-having, I never stopped to take a picture of just the lake.

Socializing, are you doing it right? #SMdaySD 2014 recap

Being that I am total social media addict (who isn’t, right?!), I know the ins and outs of most social media platforms.

Or do I?

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Social Media Day is a day to “celebrate the ways in which social media has changed our lives for the better.” And yes, it certainly has. Social media has created so many opportunities for people and businesses alike by allowing for more ways to interact with one another and for quicker responses. It’s so much easier to engage via social media and whether you are a business or person wanting to reach out, you can do so very quickly and on a large scale. There were some great speakers at SMdaySD and each one shared their best tips on how to better your online presence, the best part is that everything we learned helps everyone from bloggers and writers to brands and businesses, people new to social media and those who have long been in the game.

I learned a lot at the conference and all of it will not only help with my blog but also with some different projects that I have in the works with a couple of good friends.

Speakers included:

  • Mari Smith | Facebook
  • Zach King | Youtube, Vine, Videos
  • Ron Nash | LinkedIn
  • Michael Stelzner & Jon Lee Dumas | Podcasts
  • Jenn Herman | Instagram
  • Martin Shervington | Google +
  • Business panel:
    • Joel Price | Senior manager of digital content for San Diego Chargers
    • Sean Conlon | Co-owner of Petbox
    • Santiago Campa | Co-owner of Donut Bar


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Here are a just a few of the things I learned from the speakers:

  • Create visual content
  • Write posts that are personal and involve emotion
  • Post outside of business hours, mix up the frequency
  • Cherry-pick to make sure they are curated to your voice
  • Find a platform that works for you and your audience; posting everywhere is posting nowhere
  • Work for yourself but not by yourself
  • Storytelling = captivate, surprise, teach
  • Find your voice, plant curiosity, share your kids, inspire creativity, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Choose a good, strong picture for your profiles that shows who you are; What do you want the world to see?
  • Use organic images but add overlays (not memes) to make them fun
  • Be social; generate conversations, engage and respond
  • Use relevant hashtags.

So just how difficult can social media be? You sign up, add friends, and share. Well, if you’re a brand or business, there certainly is more to it than that. Surprisingly, a lot of people haven’t fully grasped the concept that you have to be social on social media outlets. It’s not just about posting your specials, links, and information about your company. You have to connect on a higher level and keep your fans, clients, customers, etc engaged and interested. Let them know that there is in fact a person there, that they aren’t being ignored.

You don’t just want to deliver quantity, you have to delivery quality!

It was my first time attending Social Media Day San Diego and I am so glad that I was able to share the day with my good friend, Cindy. I love meeting and connecting with new people but being the shy person that I am, going to events alone freaks me out! SMdaySD was held at the Marriot downtown and lunch was provided by Marina (GREAT name !!!) Kitchen. We hung out afterwards for the networking party and met some great people. Social Media Day is definitely an event to attend, especially if you are looking to expand the social media presence for your company. You’ll walk away with tons of valuable information and won’t believe what a difference it can make for you.

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{Cynthia} Great minds think alike! The color of the day was green. 

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The man himself, Downtown Rob. Finally met IRL after years of following on Twitter.

Not the best picture but…  I was totally fangirling over Zach King. In case you are living under a rock -no offense- his videos are very popular. He has some awesome special effects skills and, the best part, he keeps his videos appropriate for all ages. I totally followed him out the door to catch a pic with him. My boys have seen plenty of his videos (ahem, Jedi Kittens Strike back) and loved that I got to meet him.

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