Salt & Fog

The Art of Veronica Casson

LGBT Family

A toddler in Times Sqaure

Adventures & ParentingVeronica CassonComment

At the end of last month we had a crazy long multi-part trip. The first part was visiting family in New Jersey, followed by five days in New York and ending at Disneyland in California. Knowing all of the challenges involved both with family and having a preschooler at Disney I had assumed that the middle leg of the trip, visiting my old stomping ground of New York City, would be the easiest. I was totally wrong.


Turns out living in New York, single and in your twenties, is wildly different than being in your thirties, on a budget and having a toddler. Huh.


The Challenges


The hardest part was that Luke was always immediately overwhelmed by the city. The noise, amount of energy, people and activity was too much for him. Part of this, no doubt, is that we were staying in Time Square one of the most lively and bustling places on earth.

Moments after stepping outside of the hotel Luke would curl into our legs and not move until we picked him up and carried him to our destination. He can sometimes be shy in large groups but generally he is a fairly outgoing kid with way too much energy so that fact that he refused to walk anywhere at all was surprising. And really hard on my back.



Dashed Expectations

His terror of the city as well as the physicality of carrying a three-year-old everywhere made it hard to do very much. Luke mostly wanted to stay in our Times Square facing hotel room and watch everything out the window.


My biggest challenge was letting go of attending all of the events and locales of my youth and resigning myself to a trip spent mostly indoors with one or two excursions a day.

(Full disclosure, three days in we went ahead and bought an umbrella stroller as the effort of carrying him and our stuff everywhere became too taxing.)



The good stuff


Parks and and Playgrounds

One thing that was super cool about the slowed down pace was being able to see the city in a way I never was able to before. I honestly had been through Union Square, and Washington Square park a bajillion times but do not think I sat and really explored the parks the same way as before. They are gorgeous.




New York City library interiors were also new to me. I had scoured every bookstore in the city when I was younger but would rarely enter the libraries (in retrospect I really should have as I made so little money then).  This trip, when Luke was feeling over stimulated, we would duck into one of the darkly lit temples of books and stone and read some Adele & Simon. We would probably use the bathroom and water fountain too.


Our favorite was the Jefferson Market Library  I used to walk by on my way to get a Cafe Au Lait and lox bagel at French Roast and think, "Hmmm that’s pretty."

jefferson lib


Times Square Toy R’ US

Have you seen this thing? There is a Ferris wheel going through the center of the store. A ferris wheel! We mostly stopped in to get the aforementioned stroller. They had bins by the front door. I guess we were not the only ones who mistakenly thought they would not need a stroller in Manhattan.Aside from the ferris wheel, there are a bunch of play areas allowing children to interact with toys and many cool displays including an enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex. It has a roar so loud it shakes the nearby shelves (parent’s of easily frightened kids beware of floor three).


The American Museum of Natural History:

We were lucky enough to spend the last few days in the area with two of our closest friends and their young son that we could not wait to meet.   We all met near another close friend’s house in uptown that was just across the the NHM. So after burning energy at the playground for a little while we went.


You really cannot beat NYC’s Natural History Museum. It was one of my faves when I was young and still is. We were worried the kids would be too young, and while the two year old was not as interested, Luke was enamored with the exhibits. Their unparalleled dinosaur collection was the biggest hit. I suspect that is true for all ages. Luke still talks about the Wooly Mammoth, Triceratops and T-Rex.



If you are in new York on that day you should really go.




No more waiting on long lines for our favorite eateries. The eaters I loved that hadn’t closed often had non-kid hours. So even though we did not get to Tea & Sympathy we discovered this awesome local cafe nearby called  Nourish.

The restaurant was small but open and sunny with jars of pickles and fresh ingredients on the wall. The friendly staff happily called back to one another as they cut and chopped local seasonal ingredients. The food was fresh and beautiful. We were able to sit at a bar along the kitchen and watch the chef cook. Luke loved that. We chatted up the cook while he worked and learned he and his wife had  moved to NYC from SF for him to cook and she to be a stylist.

It was still essential to visit one of our favorite bookstores in the world Stands. We just had to. We took turns reading to Luke in the kids section on the second floor while the other Mom would do some browsing in the stacks.

Le Midi


After leaving the store Luke was totally hungry and needed to crash soon (the time change issues never really went away). We found a french restaurant with no wait nearby that was super good (previously we would have walked over to St. Marks for drink's at Angel’s Share and dinner at Yokocho).


It was only around 5:30, early for city eating which meant our server was attentive and there was no wait. I love a restaurant experience that is transportive. The rich scarlet walls, French decoration and handcrafted cocktails bought me instantly back to our Paris Honeymoon. Except now there was a tiny human next to us begging to play Crossy Road <link> when he finished his entree.


The meal was great and I recommend it to anyone as a Union Square alternative.


Marriott Marquis Breakfast buffet



I usually skip the fancy hotel buffet due to the price (and I don’t usually dig the food at buffets) but Luke really wanted to go. I made a special event of the whole thing — letting him ride down the glass elevator in his PJ’s and pick anything from the many tables of food that he wanted.


The price was totally worth how hassle free and fun this was.


Luke picked fruit loops, chinese dumplings, and french toast for breakfast. As one does when they are three.


We had nice times. We found cool things. It is always great to see old friends. It was challenging.


It did cure my, 'I kinda wish I still lived in NYC’ thing that has always been at the back of my mind. I think I may have changed but I think the city has changed too. It will always be great to visit though. And no matter what age I am New York will always have a piece of my heart. I’m so glad I get to share that with Luke.

*Luke is actually a pre-schooler but “toddler in Times Square” sound better. Alliteration, yo!

Wives Style: Sunny Sunday

StyleVeronica CassonComment

Our first Wives Style post. We thought it would be fun to do a regular fashion post featuring both Julie and myself. Julie and I each love clothes but have totally different styles. It's high tide, I mean time, we took advantage of that.  

It’s bizarre for me to think how we used to have a combined closet when we were first together. We would borrow each other's pieces endlessly and I would often forget what pieces I purchased and which she did.

These days our closets are much more distinct. I suppose we had not discovered what suited us best or had as clearly defined tastes as we do now.  Maybe that’s what being in your 30’s is all about anyhow... 


I cannot get enough of t-shirt dresses. Honestly, anything that is comfortable and looks a bit dressy, but requires almost no effort and is machine washable (having children around is messy business) is my current fave.

Veronica is wearing: 

T-Shirt Dress, - Old Navy. Scarf - Etsy. Jacket - Gap. Shoes - Clarks. Purse - Target. 


My style is a fresh smoothie of style that I can never really put a name to. I love pieces that are relaxed, cool and a little bit surprising. My newest spotlight are these adorable BonLook sunglasses. They are perfect for the California coast. This little necklace adds a touch of fancy to my weekend look and helps me feel a bit more polished. The red lipstick is the pop of color I need to feel glamourous. 

Julie is wearing:

Sweater - LOFT, Jeans - Old Navy, Shoes - Similar, Sunglasses - BonLook, Lipstick - MAC - Russian Red, Watch - Coach, Bag - Ross, Necklace - Gifted

Oceanside Walks: August

Adventures & ParentingVeronica CassonComment

Every month I post ten of my favorite photos culled from the countless pictures I snap during the daily walks Luke, Byron and I (and sometimes Julie) take.  One or two of which have appeared on instagram. Most of which have not.

Join us below on our August wanderings.

It occurred to me that Salt & Fog has been live for one month when I posted this. The July morning walks post was the first post up on launch day. I hope you are enjoying everything that has been posted. I would love to know what your favorites are, or anything you would like to see more of.

Exploring Golden Gate Park

Adventures & ParentingVeronica Casson2 Comments
GGP+posible header

It’s impossible to not succumb to routine when you are a stay-at-home mom. Which is fine. Kids need routine. It helps them developmentally. It gives them a sense of control. But, It can be dangerous. While routine is grand, it’s equally as important to change it up sometimes and open ourselves up to new experiences.

In years past I spent almost the entirety of the week with only Luke and myself. Now that he is three, attends preschool three mornings a week, sees grandparents once or twice a week and Julie is able to work from home on Friday, our days are not as solitary as they once were. As many parents will understand this is both a relief and a tragedy.

With all this in mind I vowed to treat last Thursday a special day. Not just a day to get through until dinner time. A day to look for magic.

Here's what I did:

I let Luke decide what we were going to do. (With some guidance of course.)

I offered him these suggestions: go to a museum, explore golden gate park, go for a hike along the coast.

When I told him he got to pick his eyes grew really wide and  super serious. "I want to do Golden Park in Fran Fran-Frisco, " he said.



In case you don't know, towards the west end of Golden Gate park not far from Ocean Beach, there is a Buffalo Paddock where six or seven large bison roam about gnawing on the grass and begrudgingly posing for pictures.

Luke could already see one from his window when we were parking. He got so excited he started singing to them.


They are so big! Until I am standing next to them, I forget how massive and prehistoric the Buffalo are.


Luke said, “I want to see them from all sides” so we walked along the perimeter of the fence and discovered an expansive sandy dog park hidden in the trees.


Byron found a pack of mid-sized dogs to run around with. Luke was nudged into a game of fetch by a friendly lab. Every time the dog would retrieve the ball and drop it at Luke's feet he would crack up.

gg dogpark



We unpacked our picnic of string cheese, salami, veggies sticks and yogurt dip at Spreckles lake. Home of the San Francisco Model Yacht Club (SFMYC)m Spreckles Lake is  a man-made reservoir created exclusively for model boat builders. It’s the only place in San Francisco you can drive a model boat without a permit. Who knew?



Apparently you can get a kid to sit still and  eat for a while if you can just get others to drive models ships around.  Good tip for you there.

gg eatinh


While we were cleaning up lunch Luke spotted a gopher peaking out of his den. It would hide for a few moments and just when Luke thought it was gone it would pop up again creating another giggling fit. Oddly Byron could care less.


Stow Lake

boating house

I think the docks, boathouse and grounds surrounding Stow Lake are darling. I had no intention of actually going on the boats, I just brought Luke there as we were near by and I enjoy the atmosphere. Once he realized getting in one of the boats and floating about was an option, there was no going back.


I was nervous about my steering and rowing abilities, but, trying to not let that show, I piled the boys into one end of the boat and pushed off the other. There were a few times we spun out of control, and once we almost collided with a nest of seagulls but other than that I did all right. Oh, we got turned around in a tunnel once too when I tried to take a photo. But who’s counting?. We were able to do the whole circuit before our hour rental ran out, no one fell in, and we all had a wonderful time. Even Byron did I think.

Stow Lake Birds
Luke and V Stow Lake

Before leaving we split an order of fries in the boathouse while Luke repeated stories of everything we had done that day. He still does too. So worth getting out of my comfort zone.

Byron in Stow Lake Boathouse entryway.

Byron in Stow Lake Boathouse entryway.

Stow Lake Monkey Bars