San Leandro Public Library [Library Tour]

The next stop on our Library Tour Summer Series is the San Leandro Public Library. (This post is by Melody with italicized comments from Mom.)

I’ve had a lot of great memories at this library. When I was little, even though my parents worked a lot, my mom rarely missed bringing the four of us kiddos to the library on Saturdays to check out our books before going grocery shopping.

When you enter the library, there’s a sign that says, “Public Library” and a gift shop/cafe (aka Bookmark Cafe) on the right side. (Shown above. It’s the little area sticking out behind the bike racks.) On the left corner, there is a Friends of the Library bookstore. On the left side, there is a hallway that leads to a theater and some meeting rooms(?). On the left near the entrance, there is a police department office.

One of our favorite things at this library is the chair with the mom and her two kids. The mom is reading a book. I wonder what book it is? (I’m not sure the stories behind these statues, but we see them at all the libraries, and hopefully, I can do some “then and now” photos of the girls with them through the years.)

There are tables at the library as well as chairs. It’s a great place to study!

We saw this electronic sign flashing different events.

After we saw the sign, we walked up to the second floor.

At the library is a map of San Leandro. One time we saw one of Castro Valley and we tried to see where we lived.

These are some clocks showing the time in all different parts of the world.

I’m not sure if I ever saw this part before because we don’t usually go to the second floor, but there’s a lot of chairs and tables. Perfect for reading! Or studying!

Here is another view from the second floor.

We saw another sculpture that we hadn’t seen before, which is a girl reading to a boy.

Another view from the second floor of the library.

One of the library’s rooms is the History Room.

Be sure to follow these rules if you’re there! I think they’re good rules for a library.

San Leandro Marina Park [Parks + Playgrounds]

Next in our Parks + Playgrounds Summer Series is San Leandro Marina Park.

This is not a complete recap of our time at the San Leandro Marina Park. We were meeting friends at the playground after we took our walk around the loop/Faro Point, but I miscommunicated our exact location since there are two playground areas. And then, since I handed Melody the phone to message our friends while I was driving across to the other playground, she left the phone in the car, so I only had photos from our walk.

One-Mile Loop / Faro Point

One of our favorite parts of this park is this loop that stretches out into the Bay. It is a one-mile loop with stations for your workout, like jumping jacks, sit-up bench thingie (not the technical term), balance beam, jump-over bars (also not the technical term), pull-up rings, and more! Here we are at the starting line. I feel like they need to add some encouraging words on the ground where they mark every quarter-mile. It is always pretty breezy so hold on to your hats and wear layers!!! There have been many morning walks here where my face would be feeling the heat, but that Bay breeze starts you off with a chill.

On this particular day, there were a bunch of seagulls. I have never seen this many in this area before. We had to dodge a few of them. Yikes!

Emily likes to scooter so there were times when she just went on ahead.

Seeing all the planes fly in to land at OAK is another favorite thing about SL Marina!

Here we are coming to the final stretch of the one-mile loop!

….but then we continue on because we are following a walking program on my health phone app and was trying to walk 1.45 miles. After you walk past the 1.0-mile marker, you can keep walking forward and to your right, there is another path. I mostly see bicyclists go in this direction, but there is also a nice size dog park. I’m not familiar with dog parks but it looks like there is a plenty of space to run around.

Play Areas + Picnic Areas

So besides Faro Point, you also have the actual park areas. The play area closest to the loop is for older kiddos. Between the two area is PLENTY of grassy areas for picnicking and running. There is also a volleyball area with sand. The last time I looked, there was a net, but I can’t remember if it is always there.

At the other end (where you most likely will drive in from), there is a playground structure for younger kiddos. There is a path that goes around the play area for any kiddos who want to scooter or bike around. There are two small water-spraying statues that kiddos can/will climb when the water is or is not spraying. There are restrooms close by but they are not the best, but I’m never about any public restroom anyway. :/ FYI: The toilet paper is the super duper thin kind where you can only really pull out one “square” at a time or just go really slowly, and there is only a hand-dryer blower thing. Bring your own tissues and/or toilet paper if you think you may need some for your kiddos.

You can reserve the picnic areas and they have really nice new-ish grills available. There is not much shade where the play areas are strangely and unfortunately, but there are LOTS of big trees across the border of the grassy field as well as some of the picnic areas.

We’ll most likely be back, so maybe more photos will be added!! 🙂

Website | Yelp 1 | Yelp 2 | TripAdvisor | Great Kids Park

We have seen some amazing parks and playgrounds and would like to visit them all, but since we don’t really have time to do that, please share your pics with us! And we’ll be updating with pics from our mini-adventures!

What are your family’s favorite activities at the park or playground? Swings, carousel, rock wall, train ride, tube slide, bridge?

Pleasanton Public Library [Library Tour]

Pleasanton Public Library was the second library in our Library Tour Summer Series.

The front of the library had statues. The first one we thought was cool – a girl reading.

The second statue/s we saw was of a girl reading, too. I’m assuming it’s her brother she’s reading to. That reminds me of me reading to my little sister.

The last statue was kind of abstract – books stacked on top of each other.

This is the front of the Pleasanton Public Library. If you go there, please keep in mind: it’s not part of the Alameda County Library branches, so if you have a library card for those, you can’t check out anything from this one. (Or return, either!)

They’re planning to redo the entire downtown area which is where the library is. We saw some murals there just like in the Hayward downtown. Oh, and in the future downtown, there’s going to be a meadow! I’m excited!

Model of the future downtown – community center, City Hall, etc.

One of my favorite things about this library was that it had a whole entire wall dedicated to your finding a book! Located in the children’s section, the brochures are sure to keep you reading. (I took 2 home!)

There was a mural in the library. I love how it says “Track 9 3/4!”

There are baskets if you don’t have a library bag or forgot to bring yours!

On our way out we saw a seating area. I thought this was perfect for sitting to eat your lunch.

Fremont Main Library [Library Tour]

First in our Library Tour Summer Series is Fremont Main Library.

This is the front of the library. You can’t see it, but there’s also benches where you can sit and a return book drop at the front of the library.

Instead of electronic book returns, they have a hole in the wall that you drop your books in. We returned our books that we got from Castro Valley Library in the slot.

One of the exhibits was a seed exhibit. As you can see, it includes seed books. It is located near the adult section.

In this library, unlike the Castro Valley Library, there are two floors. So we went up two flights of stairs to the research section.

The children’s area is near the front.

We spotted this and thought it was cool. The bright part is where it’s daytime. The dark part is where it’s night.

This is us in the children’s area. I saw books in the children’s area and immediately started plucking them off the shelves. They weren’t at our library, that’s for sure!

Emily put a coin into the wishing well. It’s kind of loud, but I like the quote.

There’s a whole other section for series books! It was sort of like a secret place…so I didn’t go in there.

There’s only one checkout stand in the children’s area, besides the ones outside the security.

I liked all of the art pieces. Some of them were digitally designed and some of them were drawn.

This is actually the view from the children’s area past the computers.

I liked this dome at the front.

We took a selfie at the end before we left. Bye, Fremont Main Library!

Not included in the pictures…the art exhibits. There was a showcase one, in a case, and one like photography upstairs in the research section.

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Released: April 4, 2017
Author: Glenys Nellist
Illustrator: Rachel Clowes
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Price: $16.99
Page Count: 32
Ages: 4-8
Website | FB | Twitter


What is it about:  This book is about different girls, who, in their own way, had different traits to please God. I felt like I was one of these girls!
Like:  I like that it feels like you’re the actual girl in the story and the letters that are included.  I also like the Bible verses included.
Dislike:  I liked it a lot, so I can’t say I disliked anything!
Recommend: I would recommend this for kids ages 6-12.


What is it about: It’s about girls that do good things.
Like: I like that there are notes from God.
Dislike: nothing
Recommend: I recommend it to girls who are 3-4+ years old.


I love this sweet book! It has 14 stories of women of the Bible. Each spread has a Scripture reference, a Bible verse, the story, and a lift-the-flap “love letter from God” to your girl. The letter tells about the lesson to be learned from the story. They are still relevant in our lives today! Each story is a great opportunity to talk to your own girl about what happened and if everyone in the story made the right choices.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | | Zondervan | Goodreads

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I’ll receive a tiny percentage at no extra cost to you.

Books for Young Readers [May 2017]

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*Jesus Loves Me!

I like that this book uses animals to express the feeling of the story. I also liked the text and the music at the end, but was a little confused when they used the deer to be “Jesus.” I would recommend this book to kids 2+. All in all, very cute and beautifully portrayed!  – Melody (10) 
Get your own copy *HERE.


*The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories

I like all stories and things about God. I don’t like all the bad things they say. I think kids 5+ will like it. – Emily (8)

Get your own copy *HERE.

A Note from Melody + Emily’s Mom: I don’t think I have anything else to add because the girls took the words right out of my mouth. They were thinking the exact same thing as I was thinking. We have a huge collection of Berenstain Bears books at my parents’ house from when I was a kiddo, so we are going to continue to add to it and have some fun reads while we are visiting.


Jesus Loves Me!  – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook
The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Library Tour [Summer 2017]

Note: Check out other activities in our Summer Series!

Summer Break!

[Summer Series Repost] Whether these two little words bring you feelings of panic or happiness, we probably all have to agree that we have to find a rhythm for our summer days so we don’t feel overwhelmed by feelings of having too much OR too little to do. Our family has had summers of both those dynamics. There were laid-back summers when we didn’t have any plans and just went with the flow of whatever someone called us up to do in the morning or afternoon or evening. There were full summers when we signed up for all the things and packed it in from morning to night. Haha…just kidding, we’re the Moys, we never pack it in from morning to night. :p I (Joyce) am pretty much done peopling after a half day anyhow. But we did have some summers that were fuller than not. And…after finding out how much camps costs (we’ll have to budget for them in the future or use college funds), we have come up with our own flexible schedule for the three months we are “off” for summer (because you know we never stop learning!).

If you are local to us, you can join in on our “fun,” and if you are not local to us, you can survey your own friends to find out what activities they like to do and places they like to go and come up with your on summertime calendar ‘o fun!

Library Tour

So, an afternoon activity we came up with (because afternoon sun does not agree with our skin) is visiting new-to-us libraries in the area! After asking friends about their favorite libraries near and bar, below is the list we came up with for our “library tour” for this summer.

  • Fremont Main
  • Pleasanton Public Library
  • Dublin
  • Manor
  • San Leandro Main
  • San Francisco Main
  • Union City Library
  • Newark Library
  • San Lorenzo

And here are others we may or may not have a chance to visit this summer:

  1. Castro Valley Library
  2. Little Free Libraries
  3. Cal State East Bay

And here are some other favorites of our friends that are not as close by:

  1. Sacramento Library on I St
  2. Sacramento State
  3. National Library in Washington DC
  4. Redwood Christian Elementary
  5. Dixon, IL
  6. Chabot College
  7. Nixon Library in Yorba Linda

Here’s what our friends had to say about their favorite libraries near and far!

We just go to the Dublin one because it’s close to our home but we love it. Clean, organized and spacious. – Yumi

When I lived in the Bay Area I loved the Manor Branch because it’s the first library I remember visiting and I loved the way it smelled and how cozy it was. There was a sunken area which I thought was really cool. My favorite library of all time might be the Sacramento Library on I St. because if the beauty of the building. – Betsy

Castro Valley Library 📚 because there’s a special corner by the window that is really comfortable. ❤️️❤️️❤️️ – Rocio

Many fond memories of young childhood at the San Leandro Main Library before the remodel. And while not glamorous, I got to know the library at Sacramento State really well. Favorite all time is our National Library in Washington D.C. I’ve done the tours, but I’ve used it for research (in the generic reading rooms as well as in the main reading room under the rotunda) too. Amazing, disorienting, awe-inspiring in both cases. All three have one particular thing in common: they have the appropriate “old book” smell. That is key. And don’t trust anyone who says otherwise. – Carrie

For public libraries, CV Library. It’s close to us and the kids have fun – checking out books and movies and finding books to keep in the used book store. I have another answer for my favorite Bay Area library. It’s not a public library though. Redwood Christian Elementary school has the best library I’ve seen in any school – mostly because of it’s awesome librarian. She makes books and reading so fun! Favorite library of all time was the one in my little hometown of Dixon, IL. The outside looked like a castle and the kids department downstairs was full of cozy bean bag chairs and fun book related decor. Summer programs were awesome! Brings back some great memories. – Beverly

Dublin library. I usually go between Dublin and CV, but I prefer Dublin. Clean. Spacious. More variety. – Karen

Castro Valley because it’s local and modern and comfy Favorite library: Chabot College. – Tori

CV for the family because of convenience. The boys make requests online and can usually get whatever they want/need. Favorite library: Probably the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. – Josie

San Lorenzo because of the awesome playground. – Christy

For AC libraries, I like the SLz Library because of the playground…one section for toddlers and one for bigger kids. I’m also partial to it because of the Japanese American history (they had a great display featuring JA history) and the Greenhouse Community Room. Many members/families from my church are listed on the plaque next to that room. Plus in general the storytimes and events aren’t as crowded (though this year the Lunar NY Dragon Dance event was super crowded). For general libraries though I think the San Leandro Main Library is one of the best because of their full care, movie “theatre”/event rooms, law library, children’s library, huge variety of dvds/blue rays and variety in general. – Jessica

We have seen some amazing libraries and would like to visit them all, but since we don’t really have time to do that, please share your pics with us! And we’ll be updating with pics from our library adventures!

Which library is your favorite? What is your favorite thing about libraries – storytime, activities, movie screenings, the books, art / collections displays?

Note: Check out other activities in our Summer Series!