STOCKTON – Tom and Nicole Dickey are young parents.
Because of that, they’ve found special occasions such as Valentine’s Day to be tough with children age 5 (daughter, Chloe) and 3 (son, Niko).
“We usually stay home and cook up a fancy meal together,” said Nicole, 33.
By that, she’s talking about a nice cut of filet mignon or salmon.
“We feel going out to eat means waiting for a table,” Nicole said. “With so many people, it can be stressful and not as intimate.
“But with the kids, we can incorporate them with our dinner and then go downstairs and have a jam session.”
She’s the director of Kaos Dance Company in Stockton as well as a ballerina in-training for the International Dance Project.
Her husband Tom, 40, is the former owner of the Deli Beach Hut in downtown Stockton.
They met several years ago during Nicole’s days as a barista at the Regal Cinemas Stockton City Centre Stadium 16 Starbucks. Deli Beach Hut was in that the same plaza.
Nicole and Tom have been married since 2011.
Last year, they decided to do something for just the two for Valentine’s Day.
They dropped the children off with the grandparents – in this case, Nicole’s mother and father Alicia and Don Vasquez – and spent the weekend enjoying the splendors of Mother Nature.
Nicole and Tom headed to Marin County and did a hike to Cataract Falls.
This place proved to be a nice getaway for the two. They enjoyed that Cataract Falls, consisting of nine separate cascade waterfalls.
They found the hike to be absolutely gorgeous along the creek through a forest of Redwoods only to come across the next waterfall while climbing up the rushing waters.
“Hiking is so much fun – I do it every weekend if I could,” said Nicole, who credited the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Outdoor Education program also known as science camp as her introduction to the outdoors.
Tom, meanwhile, practically grew up in the outdoors.
He and Nicole have shared their love of the outdoors with their children.