Why Travel is Good for Your Parenting: Perspective from Lake Wenatchee, WA

There are so many reasons to travel:

  • To see family

  • To escape

  • To explore the natural world

  • To gain perspective

Travel also opens up my mind to the new, to change, to better myself, to realize, and see that there might be a different way to do things.

A friend of a friend, not a parent herself, taught me how to be a better mom. 

Only she doesn’t even know it.

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Oregon-California Family Road Trip: 11-Day Itinerary

We recently embarked (and returned all in one piece) on our first {family of four} multi-day road trip.  The journey was eventful to say the least, and to my surprise, a whole lot more enjoyable than I anticipated.  I’ll admit that I expected wild tantrums occurring in the backseat along with piercing baby cries that would be impossible to quiet.

And while there was some of unpleasantness, it certainly wasn’t the norm.  More often, we found ourselves enjoying the scenery, having the luxury of researching possible lunch and rest stops, and actually engaging in grown-up conversation! The one thing that did cut into our travel time (and sometimes sanity) was the amount of bathroom stops required for a 3.5 year old!

We’ll dive into more specifics of each of our destinations (and even pit stops) in the coming weeks and months (we covered a lot of ground!), but first we want you to see the bigger picture, and a few statistics for fun.

Day 1: Salem, Oregon

A good distance away (but not too ambitious) from our home in Seattle for the first leg of our trip, and also the home of my husband Slaed’s aunt, uncle and cousin.  Here we visited with family and took some time to explore the capitol.

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Baby Naming in Paradise: Big Decisions while Exploring Oahu’s Ka’ena Point State Park

How did you go about choosing names for your children? Or if you don’t have kids, do you know how your name was chosen? Was there a process involved? Maybe you just knew all along…or possibly the name was already picked out for you because of family history or obligations.  Whatever the case may be, I think the ways people decide on names is fascinating.  .

Amazing, really.  I mean, the possibilities are endless, and for me at least, the pressure to choose “correctly” can be overwhelming.

Names got tossed around all throughout both of our pregnancies.  One of us would might make a suggestion, and if it was acceptable to both of us, we might write it down on our list.   Then, after months of brainstorming, the narrowing down, nitty-gritty decision making happened in the same way: On vacation.

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Preschool Hikes: Discovering More in Seattle’s Discovery Park

Places often remain wonderful in mind because I haven’t quite discovered all they have to offer.  The mystery and unknown give me reason to come back and explore.  Magic remains.

Seattle’s Discovery Park is one example.  Maybe its because we usually fall into the same routine: Parking in the same area, hiking down the same stairs toward the beach, walking along the same stretch of shore.  Still beautiful, but I always knew there was more.

For this visit, I switched it up and we saw several aspects of the park that I’ve never seen.  And because of that I have an even greater appreciation for the place.  Even better, as you might expect my two little adventurers were also along for the ride, and for one of them (Georgia, 2 months) this was her very first visit.

Environmental Learning Center

I’d heard that there was an indoor learning space here, but never visited myself.  So to make sure we had a chance check it out, I made it our starting point.  The center proved to be a great spot to get our nature juices flowing.  The space is filled with books, puppets, and tons of other hands on materials for little ones to investigate before or after heading off on an outdoor adventure.

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Preschool Hikes: Learning and Exploring at Squak Mountain State Park

What would you do if you were stuck between a Cougar and a Tiger?

…SQUAK!

A little joke that gets tossed around in the outdoor world as an answer for why Squak Mountain has such a name since it is situated between Cougar Mountain (to the West), and Tiger Mountain (to the East).

I don’t exactly know the real reason for the name–I believe it has to do with the native people of the region–but we did go on a sweet little hike here this past weekend and found our time to be a perfectly pleasant family adventure.

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Last Family of 3 Travel Adventure: Wallace Falls State Park

Before welcoming our newest family member into the world, we had one last travel adventure as a family of three.  It was important to use to spend some quality time together just before our lives turned upside down with new routines, a new normal, and new responsibilities.

Some time away brought a chance to bond and strengthen our unit, which inevitably brought along a lot of refection as well as anticipation.

What will one more member do to our dynamic?

Surely it could only get better.

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Walk and Fly Along the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail: Long Beach, WA

While on a mini getaway in Long Beach, Washington this past summer in celebration of our 5-year wedding anniversary, coupled with our little guy’s 3rd birthday, we found that the town is great for walking.

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