Marin mommies know Pamela Fox very well from her Marin Mommies blog, a great resource for parenting forums and Marin news, and home of the Marin Daddy Blog. Here, Novato’s stay-at-home mom, Pamela,  shares her family favorites and mommyhood wisdom in 5 quick questions with Red Tricycle readers. Read on to go beyond Marin with Marin Mommy!

1.   What is your can’t-live-without baby/child product at the moment?

Our Kelty jogging stroller was our favorite baby item when we first got it, and it still is something we use frequently. We’ve probably put thousands of miles on our jogger. I really had no idea how much use I’d get out of it when we first got it. The ability to take it off-road when we wanted and to walk at a fast pace made us almost ditch our other fancy stroller entirely. It went with us on many of the hiking trails throughout the Bay Area and around our home. Both of my kids used it, and we still use it if my daughter gets tired when we’re on a walk.

2.   What piece of parenting advice did you receive before you had kids that proved to be completely useless?

When my son was teething, a well-meaning but otherwise clueless family member suggested dipping a pacifier in honey and letting him suck on that. Coincidentally, I had just read about how feeding honey to an infant under 12 months of age was potentially toxic (due to botulism), so I definitely didn’t use that advice!

3.   Where do you like to catch a bite with the little one in tow?

My kids love Taki Japanese Restaurant in Novato’s Pacheco Plaza. My son has recently become obsessed with sushi (although not the raw fish part), and it’s a fun place to visit: the owner often lets the kids feed the fish in the restaurant’s koi pond, and there are Japanese dolls, prints, and other objects to look at. They also like to watch the sushi chefs at work behind the sushi bar. Although they have a great kids’ menu, my kids often split a bento box. Taki gives you huge portions, and there’s enough food and variety there to make them happy. They also love the bowls of miso soup, and learning to use chopsticks.

4.   What’s the best thing about living in your neighborhood?

There are a lot of families in our neighborhood, so there’s always someone around for play dates, and we usually end up walking to and from school with a small group of kids and parents. Our neighborhood backs up to open space, so there are tons of hiking trails literally right in our backyard. There’s also a horse farm down the street, and my daughter loves to walk down there and watch the horses play in the field and practice with their riders.

5.   What’s your favorite local vacation or day trip?

For a weekend away with the kids, we love to head down to the little Monterey Peninsula town of Pacific Grove. There’s so much to do there: fantastic beaches, great parks, lots of family friendly events, and all of this in an old-fashioned small-town setting. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see, and it’s literally right on the border of Monterey and Pacific Grove, and we also love Asilomar State Beach for walking, tidepooling, and beachcombing. Make sure you check out the free Pacific Grove Natural History Museum, and the Monarch Butterfly sanctuary, where the butterflies gather for the winter. The trees there are covered with butterflies and it’s an amazing sight. Pacific Grove also has a ton of family friendly places to stay that are usually less expensive and more down-to-earth than the big hotels in Monterey. Try the cozy Butterfly Grove Inn, located right near the Monarch sanctuary, or the Bide-a-Wee Inn and Cottages, which has cute fireplace cottages that are both family and pet-friendly.