Long Beach, WA- Traveling with an infant edition

One of our favorite long weekend getaways is to Long Beach, WA. We enjoy biking along the Discovery Trail, eating at the Pickled Fish, staying at the Adrift Hotel and in general having the beach to ourselves. Since welcoming our little guy four months ago this is only the second trip we have taken together as a family, the first we took a few days before his two month birthday to the North Cascades. I will be the first to admit traveling with an infant is a game changer, but I will also be the first to encourage all you homebodies to take the leap of faith and travel with your little one. With a little planning ahead of time, altered expectations and flexibility it can prove to be a wonderful experience and create lasting memories for all. 

One of the keys to comfortable traveling with an infant is to over prepare. Some of these might seem so obvious they are no brainers, but you'd be surprised what "mommy" brain will do to even the most formidable traveler. 

  • Bring extra clothes and diapers. Depending on the daily needs of your child plan on an extra change of clothes for each day and an extra days worth of diapers and wipes.
  • Pack an assortment of toys. In my experience what was fun yesterday is old news today. I like to pack several soft, quiet and yet visually interesting toys. No batteries required and something you can easily shove into the nook and crannies of your bag without being concerned it might break or get damaged. 
  • Plan for the worse. Assume your child might come down with something and bring a thermometer, nose sucker, and baby tylenol. There is nothing worse than needing something specific for your baby and being in a panic to find it. 
  • Bring the comforts of home. Pack your baby's towel, washcloths and blankets to prevent any harsh chemicals from the hotel's sheets or towels irritating your baby's skin. 
  • Bring a collapsable bouncy chair or play mat. There are not a lot of safe places for your baby to play in a hotel room. So plan ahead and bring something for them to sit in so they can entertain themselves.
  • Inquire with the hotel. Most hotels are happy to provide a pack and play for your child to sleep in, if this does not suit their needs be prepared to bring something for them to sleep in. 
  • Make reservations. Like it or not having an infant means leading a fairly scheduled life. There is nothing worse than having to wait at a restaurant for a long while before your meal. 
  • Go somewhere you have been before. When traveling with an infant you are not able to accomplish as much in a given day. For your first few adventures I recommend visiting places you have been before so you do not feel like you are missing out on anything. 
  • Room upgrade. With a baby, especially if you are breastfeeding, you may find yourself spending more time in your hotel room throughout the day. I find it worthwhile to spend the extra money on a room with a view, so you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset or taken in a beautiful vista while your child feeds or naps. 
  • Take turns. Since our child is still too young to be pulled behind a bike we could not both go bike riding at the same time. In order to still be able to spend time together as a family we brought our jogging stroller and while one person biked, the other one walked along the path with our child. 

The smoothly paved and easy to ride bikes on Discovery Trail. 

Adrift Hotel Lobby; complete with free beach cruiser rental for guests. 

Down time means play time for this little guy. In the corner room we stayed in, we not only were we able to see the ocean, but it had spectacular light.

The breakfast buffet at the Pickled Fish. 

Our three wheeled jogging stroller is awesome an off roads adventures, like taking in a sunset. 

The Adrift Hotel offers fruit flavored water, tea, coffee and hot chocolate all day and night in their lobby.

The boardwalk is the perfect place for an evening stroll or a picnic lunch. 

Stadium High School

Stadium High School

After our lunch at Shake Shake Shake we walked over to Stadium High School. We have seen it featured in the movie Ten Things I Hate About You, but have never seen it in person. I cannot imagine attending such a beautiful high school. It reminded me more of a building you would see on a college campus. On this particular day, the sun was shining and it was a balmy sixty five degrees. We ended up doing an impromptu photo shoot of two of my favorite guys. I think these are some of my favorite photos of them to date. 

Read More

Shake Shake Shake

Shake Shake Shake

There is this burger place I have wanted to visit for awhile called Shake Shake Shake, so the other day we took a little jaunt down to Tacoma for the day. Although it has only been around since 2013, the restaurant has a retro feel to it as if its been around for decades. The menu is pretty basic: burgers, fries and drinks, but the best item on the menu in my opinion are their shakes. I ordered the Nutella while Cameron ordered the Peanut Butter Chocolate. Shake Shake Shake has an awesome color palette of turquoise, orange and white and a gigantic light up sign over the dining area which reads "EAT". Shake Shake Shake would be the perfect place to take your children to for a special treat or a fun little day trip from Seattle. In the end, we were stuffed and Jasper was mighty pleased to sit and chomp on his hand. A good day for everyone!

Read More

Valentine Cookie Decorating Party

Valentine Cookie Decorating Party

This we held a Cookie Decorating Party at my church. Once a month we gather as women to learn, socialize, serve and sometimes just have fun. This month it was all about sugar, sprinkles and love. Aside from decorating cookies each women was given a name tag and assigned a number. Then each women was asked to write an anonymous compliment about all the other women present. At the end of the evening each women was able to take home a stack of compliments about herself. 

Read More

Marking the passage of time

Marking the passage of time

There is no better physical record of the passage of time then watching a baby grow. It seems everyday is full of new achievements, interesting discoveries, firsts and clothes to be outgrown. Since welcoming Jasper into our family I have tried my best to document the everyday moments from lying on a blanket, to snuggling post bath, our family outings and being playful in the morning. Here is a look back at the first three months of our time together. Although we have waited awhile to share our home with a little one and it feels as though we have reserved a piece of our heart for him and have always been waiting to love him. 

Read More

Weekends

Weekends

Weekends, in particular Saturday, is the day we set aside for adventures and exploring in our family. I like to leave the house in the morning and return home at dark with a heart full of memories and a camera full of photographs. This past Saturday was rather stormy and rainy, so we boarded the Southworth Ferry and spent a leisurely day driving to Union and then Hoodsport, WA. We made a pit stop at Alderbrook for brunch and witnessed one chilly polar bear swim. Then we went onto Hoodsport for ice cream. I love this little family of mine and I am grateful we are able to spend days like this together. 

Read More

Brunch at the Salish Lodge

Brunch at the Salish Lodge

You have all heard the expression, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" and with my man these words could not ring truer. When thinking of gifts he would enjoy chocolate (and peanut butter) always come to the forefront of my mind. But don't be fooled by his slim physique, this man loves to eat! Give him a box or bag of his favorite kind of chocolate and that is all he needs to be happy. I lucked out with a man who is easy to please, so for his birthday weekend he had two requests; a chocolate and peanut butter cake and brunch at the Salish Lodge. For the cake I used this one bowl Chocolate Cake recipe and this peanut butter frosting. 

Read More

Valentine in a box

Valentine in a box

For Valentine's Day I enjoy putting together fun little packages for friends both near and far. I like to stick with the traditional Valentine colors of pink and red because what is more fun than receiving a girly box of goodness? Target, The Confectionery and the grocery store are my go to places for putting together these simple, but sweet packages of love. 

Read More

Honest diapers

Honest diapers

During the first few weeks of Jasper's life we tried just about every brand of diaper and wipe out there. After lots of leaking diapers, soiled clothing and frustration we finally found a diaper that worked- Honest diapers. Not only do Honest diapersfit well, but you can sign up for a diaper subscription where a box of diapers and wipes comes to your house every four, five or six weeks. Honest diapers have adorable patterns you can choose from and are a company who strives to help families in need.  

Read More

Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts

When its pouring rain on a Saturday in Seattle what else is there to do but take a quick trip down to Portland. We realized it had been far too long since we visited our sister city, so we hopped in the car and introduced Jasper to one of our favorite places. Our favorite thing to do in Portland is eat, so the wet weather did not impede any of our plans. We spent a leisurely day shopping, eating and crossing a couple of new places off our list. We had heard good things about Blue Star Donuts and their old fashion buttermilk donuts did not disappoint.  

Read More

Munchery

Munchery

When Cameron went back to work after his paternity leave I was left with all the my normal responsibilities and commitments in addition to caring for a newborn. Needless to say, a majority of the time I felt exhausted and a tad overwhelmed as I adjusted to my new normal. Whenever I had a free minute I was either cleaning up the house, doing laundry or trying to find a quiet moment to myself. The time and preparation it took to plan a meal, go grocery shopping and make dinner felt like an impossible task. This is where Munchery saved me. Munchery is a unique service which delivers healthy, locally made, ready to eat food at the click of a button right to your front door. You can browse their ever changing menu each day and select entrees such as Miso Black Cod, Eggplant Parmesan or Grilled Steak Cobb Salad.

Read More

Weekend Adventure

Weekend Adventure

As the fog hung low one Saturday morning we resisted the urge to stay cozied up inside all day and instead went out for an adventure. We took Jasper on his first ferry ride to Whidbey Island and then drove to Coupeville and then Langley. We didn't have any particular plans rather a destination in mind. We spent the day walking around, browsing some of the shops, ate lunch, then dinner and most importantly were together. It always takes a little extra effort these days to get out of the house, but whenever we do we are glad we did. Aaahhh Saturdays my favorite day of the week.

Read More

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

This year we eagerly anticipated Christmas for many reasons. Since we take turns spending Christmas with each others families, this year was our year to be at home with my family. Christmas for my family comes with many traditions; primarily the food and the decorations. My parents are amazing hosts and my Mom makes the most delicious food and always has her home beautifully decorated. This year we were delighted to share all the sights and sounds of Christmas with our son. Christmas through the eyes of a child is the best even if that child is new to the world and won't remember what you did. 

Read More

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

2014 was a wonderful year, no doubt it had its share of hard days, but overall 2014 showed me who I am and what I am capable of. On New Year's Eve we went over to our friend's house for a low key celebration. They have a killer view of downtown Seattle from their condo, so we knew it would be the perfect spot to see the fireworks off the Space Needle. As we rang in the new year and I watched my husband so lovingly holding our son I am reminded of what a big year 2014 was. 2014 I liked you!

Read More

Sun Mountain Lodge

Sun Mountain Lodge

Whenever we are up in the North Cascades we make certain to spend a day at Sun Mountain Lodge. It is a beautiful place with sweeping vistas and regular wildlife sightings. Their lobby is warm and inviting with two massive fireplaces flanking the large vaulted space. Sun Mountain Lodge is the perfect spot to warm up by after being outside for several hours. In the Fall we like to hike around the property and in the Winter we like to snowshoe on one of the many well marked trails. One unique experience they offer during the holidays is a sleigh ride. The last Winter we were up there we took a sleigh ride during the day. This time we decided to mix it up and opt for a nighttime sleigh ride complete with dinner. There was something very magical about riding on a horse drawn sleigh, bundled up with blankets looking at the starry sky above with the sounds of jingle bells.

Read More

White Christmas

White Christmas

Living in Seattle it is rare to experience a white Christmas. In the thirty plus years of living here I can remember a couple of white Christmases. So in an effort to make it feel a little more like Christmas we have started to make it a tradition to spend some time up in the North Cascades before Christmas. I know most people like to vacation between Christmas and New Year's but going beforehand allows us to avoid the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas. No crowded malls, frantic list making or late night gift wrapping for us. Instead, we spent a few glorious days in the mountains with nothing but trees, wildlife and each other as our companions. Taking this trip right before Christmas helps remind us of the real meaning of Christmas and how blessed we are to have our health, our faith and each other. 

Read More

Point Defiance Zoo Lights

Point Defiance Zoo Lights

I hate to admit it, but we have become THOSE people. You know the people who think their children are adorable, delightful, witty and the most amazing creatures on the entire planet? It doesn't matter if Jasper slept the entire three hours we were at Point Defiance Zoo looking at the Christmas lights, freezing our tail off, drinking hot cocoa and riding the carousel because the mere fact he was there was with us was reason enough for us to rejoice. We have spent many years doing "kid" things without having children of our own to enjoy them with. Now that we have an adorable creature of our own to take around we are not only going to wear our Ergo baby proudly, but thoroughly enjoy each and every "first" we check off the list. 

Read More