Posts Tagged ‘travel’


I have often heard it said that traveling with children is a trip it is only traveling without children that is a vacation.

Ava was born approximately 1600 days ago. In that 1600 days I have left for one 36 hour period for a girls night, one birthday night away with Larry and 4 days for an anniversary trip with Larry before Ella came.  Other than that I have been away an hour or few here and there.  Constant.  Motherhood has been constant.

And with that consistency comes the cycle.  I love my life, I am so lucky, I am so tired,  If I have one more of the same day I am going to loose it,  I am really tired, Lost it, head-wall, head-wall, I can do this, I am still tired, OK today was not so bad, now REPEAT!  And REPEAT!  And REPEAT!  OK so you get it!

At last a VACATION….  I joined Larry at a conference in San Diego.  Three full days waking up with no kids, eating with no kids, putting no kids to sleep.  I got to eat good food, drink good wine, sleep and SHOP by myself!!! Yes try clothes on, find good deals, find things that actually made a complete wardrobe so I will actually wear them.  It was heaven.

Sidenote: 4 weeks of sickness and in turn exhaustion followed but it was totally worth it!


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The Gorge: A Day for Adventure

There are many things I miss about the Portland area; butternut curry soup at Elephant’s Deli, Pate and wine at Papa Hayden’s, Walks through the rose garden, shopping in the Pearl, my hair dresser on Hawthorne, and of course my friends.

Of course all of these things are before a life with kids.  When I get a trip south it simply does not include such personal luxuries.  All except the friends!  And since most of them also have entered the motherhood stage of life it means friends and lots of kids!  This summer I got to spend a weekend with my girls and two of my other favorite girls; Hope and Kristin.  In a rare bout of motivation I decided a Portland excursion was necessary.

In my single days I would take day trips weekly.  Head out to Canon Beach just to watch the sunset, up to the Mt. Hood’s Timberline lodge for a snack and some snow or out to Columbia Gorge for a beer at Full Sail and some wind surfing watching.  There is something so therapeutic about just driving away, being away.

So we packed all the girls in the car and drove out 84.  We first stopped at Multnomah Falls which is beautiful.  It was hot the girls wanted to play in a small stream, shoes off, clothes wet, Ella soaked, kids whining.  In pipes the motherhood mantra, “we are having fun damnit!, this is so fun, we are having so much fun!”  Say it until it is so right!?  Well we did not have to wait long. It was truly a wonderful, perfect day!

After the Falls and a little nap in the car we hit Hood River.  We got food for a picnic and played at a park before heading down to the water.  The water.  Peace!  The river was filled with color, wind surfers and kite boarders scattered the landscape.  The girls ran, played, splashed. The weather was perfect.  AW amazing day!!!!  And a reminder that indeed it is therapeutic to just drive away, even with the kids.

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I never blogged our first family vacation… and must remember to do so at some point. Mostly I would like to forget it ever happened. Well, not completely. It was not all bad but it did not go as planned. The quick review would be. Leavenworth, cute and hot. Ava LOVED the hotel room, fell in the pool sinking to the bottom, and then refused to actually sleep wanting only her bed at home. Our two night get away ended after one night when we left at 11pm with a screaming over tired toddler, arriving at home about 1am.

Family vacation two… MUCH, MUCH better!

“I want to go back on the plane to Colorado. Colorado is really fun.” ~Ava

This trip was not without a bump but pretty perfect otherwise.  We headed to Colorado to attend a wedding.  Here is where I could tell a long story of the airline losing our bag.  Us planning an extended and expensive trip to the mall and target only to have it show up in time for my mom to deliver it to the hotel.  I will however keep that bump as a blurb!  A girl I used to nanny for and close family friend was getting married.  So excited I got to attend.  Plus with my parents attending we had baby sitters to actually have an adult night out with Uncle Todd and Auntie Kate!

The wedding was beautiful.  Jen and her new hubby Ben seem so very happy!  The girls had a blast.  They dominated the dance floor all night and loved every minute of it!  Ava even found her first boyfriend, Otto.  They were instantly joined together.  Dancing, running, jumping and running off together all night.  He would even spin and twirl her on the dance floor it was so amazingly cute!!!

Sunday we had a blast all day with Uncle Todd and Auntie Kate.  They were so gracious to host and entertain us and my parents.  First up a family brunch at Kate’s hotel, The Four Seasons.  YUM.  A little shopping and stroll down my favorite little Denver street followed by naptime.  Here is where I have to say a two bedroom suite was a vacation saver and luxury, the kids really slept great!  We headed to Todd and Kate’s for a BBQ later that afternoon.  The girls loved their baby, ashie (a dog) and we all ate and drank well.

Overall a fabulous trip. And in Ava’s words we will have to go back to Colorado soon!

I did not bring my camera:-( So a couple of iphone snaps and lots of memories will have to do!

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When I was a kid there was a commercial for the Detroit Zoo where all the animals where rushing around getting ready for opening day and the announcer was saying, “five minutes folks, just five minutes.”  There were blue painted elephant tracks to follow and a bear statue with a hole in the middle for climbing and curling up inside.  Most importantly there was a giant fountain with two bears standing and lots of places for coin tossing!  It is amazing how powerful some memories of childhood can be.

A nice weather trip to Michigan is not complete without a visit to the zoo!  We had two fabulous friends meet up with us and the kids had a blast! I missed the shot but at one point the three oldest where all holding iphones and taking pics of the animals.  You can decide whether that is scary or cute!  And I actually brought my camera! Thanks to my new Kelly Moore bag! Just snaps but since I NEVER bring my camera anywhere it is fun to document!

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The girls and I had a wonderful stay in Michigan this spring.  LOTS of quality family time and lots, and I mean, LOTS of yummy food thanks to my incredible brother! The weather was perfect and allowed trips to the zoo, the pool, parks and as always Greenfield Village.  A trip to michigan always means train rides and carousal rides to my little Ava!

I just love how happy and comfortable Ava is there, it truly is like a second home.  Grammy got lots of morning, and sometimes to her dismay, middle of the night snuggles!  I am sure there is still sidewalk chalk art lingering as a reminder of her stay.

One night Ava ran in from outside shouting, “Mama, Pa’s planes are AWESOME. Come, come!!!”

My dad builds and flies model airplanes and decided to take one out with Ava one night. She thought it was the absolute coolest thing EVER.  And too me these are the perfect pics to showcase our family time.

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What would Christmas be without something homemade!  Since Ava’s favorite toys these days are Thomas and the characters from Cars what could be more fitting than a travel train and car mat.  If you remember last year I spent countless hours hand stitching a felt zoo and farm play mat.  I LOVE it but this time I decided to save time and order this very cool fabric on Etsy (which I can no longer find so no link) that had the scene already on it.  All that was left to do was back it with denim and create a side pocket area for all her friends.  I also sewed a ribbon on the end to roll it up, tie it shut and pack it away!

The True Story:  I totally bought the wrong Thomas trains for Ava’s wooden train set on Craigslist.  Feeling beyond dumb and taken I had to find a creative solution to use my un-usable trains and turn my major faux pas into crafting genius!  So now her wood trains stay home and her Take Along Thomas can travel where ever she does!!!  Plus it is pretty cute and I get to say, “Ya, I made that!”


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Still Talking…

Not a day has gone by, two weeks later, where Ava has not talked about the choo-choo and carousel from Greenfield Village. Excitement does not begin to describe it~ July will be our next visit to Michigan and I am sure this outing will be #1 on the priority list. Hard to believe that we will have Ava and a 6 month Ella joining the rides.  I just love this age of awe and wonder, toddlerhood is amazing!

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