Day Trip: A Quest through Muir Woods and a visit to Muir Beach

A boy and his dog

Family in a tree cave in Muir Woods.

We were looking for something fun to do as a family on Sunday, so we decided to blow off Maren's nap and head over to Mt. Tamalpais to introduce the girls to Muir Woods on a perfectly beautiful day.  We packed lunches and got us (and Mina the Australian Labradoodle) in the car and headed over the Richmond Bridge through Larkspur.

In Larkspur, we saw they were hosting an Off the Grid event so we opted to stop for lunch. Sure beats the almonds, cheese and pretzels we had packed!

The girls still wanted their PB&Js (score!) and Mina was allowed to dine outside with us at the picnic tables.  Todd and I split some "sexy fries" ( cross cut sweet potato fries, cheese, paneer in curry yumminess, and something we can never pass up) from Curryupnow and we also split some delicious fried chicken and donuts from The Architect's Kitchen.  Very nice pit stop!

 

Sexy Fries

CurryUpNow

With full bellies, we headed to Muir Woods

Parking was sort of half luck and half strategy.  Luckily after 20 minutes, we got a spot.  Mina had to hang out in the car for a bit because they don't allow dogs in the woods.  We did get info from the rangers on where we could take her when we were done exploring.  

Finding our next clue

Maren practicing her pen skills.


I found this very cool Quest of Muir Woods that I printed out and brought with us, so we could find the treasure at the end of our journey though the woods after we found all of our clues.  It really helped to keep the girls interested! We also found and printed out a Nature Scavenger Hunt List. Needless to say we were all fully engaged and amazed by the beauty Muir Woods holds, even if it seemed a bit like Disneyland for the forest (LOTS of tourists and visitors).

 

Todd talking trees.


Todd explains tree age.

We did it!  We found our treasure after all our work collecting clues throughout the woods. Yay!

To Muir Beach we went

Getting acquainted with the ocean.

After we completed the treasure hunt at Muir Woods, found the prize, smelled the earthy smells and marveled at the old growth redwoods, we headed to Muir Beach, where dogs are free to play!  

Maisy, Maren and Mina all had a blast frolicking in the water.  Maren got a little ocean shy after a wave crept up on her and she lost her balance as the wave rolled out and she requested to be held the rest of the time.  We still don't trust Mina off-leash yet, but she happily played in the water and attempted to chase other dogs (ummm- that's why we don't let her off leash yet!). 

Playing fearlessly in the cold waves.

Running for the waves!


Mina enjoying the sea breeze.


Trying to get a picture of all of us.  Nearly impossible.

Car nap, mid carrot and all.

Family fun days have changed a bit since we've brought Mina into the family.  We have to make sure to find fun things we can all do together or find fun things to do in short spans of time, so Mina isn't left alone too long.    

Because this was one of the only options for dogs nearby, this beach activity wasn't exactly planned. We had no sandals, no towels, no sand toys and no extra clothes.  This is why Maisy came home wearing one of my extra layers of clothes (literally gave her one of the shirts off my back), Maren came home wearing leg warmers and panties. 

We were tuckered after a long day. On our way home, we decided to let Whole Foods cook us a dinner of roast chicken. We skipped dishes for the evening and just hung out until an early bedtime.

Perfect ending to a perfect Sunday.

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