We always manage to find this kind of park, the kids nickname them Castle Parks, and they are our favorite kind. We saw one in Denmark, and one in Solvang, and both were equally awesome. This one was fun too and Søren kept asking for it even the day after we left.
Old Sonoma Rd and Freeway Dr
Napa, California 94558
We just returned from a little getaway in Napa, California. I am excited to share more details about our trip later, but I will share now that it wasn’t the trip we originally planned. Why? Our baby sitter got sick a few days before we were supposed to leave. Don’t worry, she’s on the mend now. We did end up turning a getaway for the two of us into a whole family, furry friends included, adventure.
I have to admit that it was really hard for me to get into the family mindset this time, I think because it was unexpected. It’s always fun to plan a trip for kids ahead of time, but when it’s last-minute it is more difficult to find activities and such. I always try to look for the silver lining, so after one night of completely restless sleep followed by a very early morning and canceled hot air balloon ride we spent the day wandering around downtown Napa. We just let go and followed the kids lead for most of the time. We visited shops, had lunch, ate cupcakes, stared at construction site (diggers), and went to a local park. After that our trip felt much better so I was a little sad when it was time to head home.
I think as a new parent you question whether or not travel with kids is right for you. I don’t believe there is a yes or no answer, but more specifically a different answer. I can’t tell you if it will be good for you to travel with kids, but I can tell you it will be different. You will need to let go of all of your current expectations for travel. Haven’t traveled with kids before? Have and it was fine? Have and it went horribly wrong? It will be different this time, it will always be different, every single time.
It might be hard, but you will always have to find your silver lining. No one else can do that for you. Maybe your silver lining is watching the sunset together, maybe it’s being able to explore a new place through your kids eyes, maybe it’s a quiet moment when they’re doing their own thing. You will find your balance, even if it takes a trip or two. My most favorite thing to do is explore the world with people I love, so for us, it’s worth it a million times over.
Do you travel with your little ones? Did you travel as a child?
This outfit is from a pre-dinner stroll on the beach from our trip to Santa Cruz, California. We didn’t have a lot of time to kill before dinner and wanted to make it onto the beach before dark. The walk became a little shorter than we had planned when we realized the place we were eating dinner was driving, not walking distance, oops. Shop this look below.
Some of the best adventures are the ones close to home. For this installment of Little Explorer, Søren and I took a walk around the neighborhood collecting different color leaves. As soon as we stepped outside it started to rain. He’s quite chatty lately, “Mama this a orange leaf!”. “Look mama, this one pretty”. He uses the word mama like punctuation and I don’t mind. I melt every time he says it. His voice is so tiny and soft. We talked about the colors of each leaf before it went into his basket. We counted. We walked. He chatters about everything with such a sense of excitement and wonder. Everything is new to him, so I stay quiet and let his mind explore.
Did you collect leaves in the Fall as a kid? What did you do with them?
The longest stop we made during our drive up Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to San Francisco was at the hanging bunker and Devil’s Slide Trail. I think that area is my favorite part of the California coastline. It’s hard to say because I love so many parts of the coast for different reasons. We didn’t hike all of Devil’s Slide trail, just enough to get a good feel for it. I’d love to go back and do the whole trail some time. In San Francisco we stopped at Baker Beach where I got to hold a super cool Velella Velella. They are a very distant relative to the jellyfish and have been washing up on the shores in huge groups. Afterwards we ate a quick dinner and headed home to see our little ones.