Traveling to and through High Altitude Destinations with Babies

When we road tripped from Seattle to Oregon and California, we traveled through more mountain passes than I could count or keep track of.  One of our longer stays was also in the small mountain town of Truckee, California where the elevation is about 6,000 feet, a far cry from our usual comfortable and damp sea-level living.

We took a couple of things into consideration (and preparation) knowing we were traveling with our newest (now 4-month old) adventurer, and we also picked up a few tips and ideas along the way to make high altitude travel most comfortable for babies.

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New Year’s Ferry Boat Ride: Seattle to Bainbridge Island, WA

Just for the fun of it, to make New Year’s eve a little bit more eventful and exciting for a couple of exhausted parents of a newborn, we took a ferry boat ride.

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Baby #2: Welcoming Our Newest Wild Adventurer

It’s a Girl!

Baby #2: Welcoming Our Newest Wild Adventurer | WildTalesof.com

Just one week ago, on December 14, 2014, our second wild adventurer, Georgia, arrived, right on time! After a tough labor, but easy delivery, filled with laughter in fact, she joined our little family and made it complete.

For those who like specifics, here are some of her stats:

Born: Sunday, 12/14/14, 8:50 am

Weight: 8 pounds (even!)

Height: 20 inches

Baby #2: Welcoming Our Newest Wild Adventurer | WildTalesof.com

She’s an eating machine, and already fitting right into the family with a love of getting out and about for walks (short ones so far) and other outings with her big brother. We are so blessed and lucky to have Grandparents in town to take care of us and provide some amazing support.

Baby #2: Welcoming Our Newest Wild Adventurer | WildTalesof.com

We’re slowly getting back into the swing of things, but especially with the holidays coming, expect the blog to be rather quiet.  We may share an adventure or two on facebook, instagram, and twitter, so be sure to connect there to see what we might be up to!

Baby #2: Welcoming Our Newest Wild Adventurer | WildTalesof.com

Merry Christmas!

 

Flying While Pregnant: Ideas on Staying Comfortable in Flight

Baby #2 is coming! Believe it or not (that’s me talking to myself) in just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming our second little adventurer into the world.  He or she has already been coming along on quite a few journeys, and has probably logged more miles than Bergen (now 3 years old) when I was pregnant with him.  We believe in the importance of traveling as a family, and more than ever we felt it was essential to build that bond as a family of 3 before adding another member.

I flew several times during the pregnancy, but it was on our last trip, a week in Oahu at about 28 weeks, that I really took notice and reflected on some best practices for air travel while pregnant.  Considering that I’ve had more discomfort during this pregnancy, I was somewhat anxious for how this last set of flights would go.  Not worried enough, of course to be alarmed or call anything off, but cautious.

In the end, I didn’t have much to worry about as the flights to and from Oahu went smoothly.  With a few implementations and considerations, I was comfortable, and the experience wasn’t too far from flying without a mini “passenger”:

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Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover Giveaway!

I recently posted about the Kowalli Carrier Cover that we just added to our Adventure Gear Arsenal.  I’m so happy with this handy tool that keeps both me and Bergen (2 years old) warm while I’m lugging him around in the ergo carrier.

Adventure Gear: Staying Warm and Dry with Kowalli's Carrier Cover | WildTalesof.com

I’m thrilled to announce that the folks at Kowalli would like to giveaway a carrier cover to one our readers! Remember, you can read all about the details of the carrier cover, how it works, and what I love about it in my previous review.

Kowallis can be used with all soft carriers (ergo, moby, beco, etc), and is made for children 0-3 years old.  Even if you don’t have a little one at home, what a great gift for your babywearing family and friends!

To Enter the Giveaway

  • Easy: “Like” Kowalli on facebook, and leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you’ve done so. 
  • Bonus Entries-Your name will be entered again depending on how many bonus entries you submit thus increasing your chances of winning (make sure to tell us in your comment which of these you did or already do!):

Winner, Winner…

1 Kowalli Carrier Cover (valued at $69) will be given away to one lucky reader! Winner gets to choose from several great color combinations that Kowalli offers. Contest ends and all entries must be received by Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Monday, October 21, 2013.  Giveaway open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older.  After notification, winners have 3 days to connect.  Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

*Kowalli Carrier Cover Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!*

Many thanks to Kowalli for providing one of the carrier covers for the giveaway.  All opinions about the Kowalli Carrier Cover are my own.  

Adventure Gear: Staying Warm and Dry with Kowalli's Carrier Cover | WildTalesof.com

 

All are Welcome: The Palace Hotel in Port Townsend, WA

Beautiful end-of-summer weather in the forecast paired with an entirely open schedule for the weekend meant that a quick and spur of the moment getaway needed to happen.  Last September we got to be spontaneous for one of the first times in our young parenting lives, and decided to take an overnight trip with little to no advance planning.  When my husband Slaed saw the two factors come together (the weather and the schedule), he left it to me to choose a destination relatively close to Seattle, and book a hotel.

It didn’t take long for Port Townsend, Washington to come to mind as a perfect place for our quick trip.  I’d been meaning the explore the town with it’s old Victorian-style homes, numerous parks, and beautiful views since only getting a quick glimpse years ago.  And since the town is located on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, it’s just over a 2-hour car ride from Seattle.  To make the trip even sweeter, part of those 2 hours includes a 30-minute ferry crossing from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island: Perfect for a little guy (about 13 months then) who likes to get out and move.

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

A few factors were necessary for our perfect Port Townsend hotel stay.  First we had our hearts set on a suite-style room.  We’ve grow accustomed to and been spoiled by hotel spaces that have a bedroom along with a living area.  This way, Bergen gets his own sleep space, and we can have our own sleep space, and since Bergen goes to bed much earlier than us, we like the option of taking it easy, chatting, or watching a movie without having to tiptoe around with the lights off.  In addition, given the last minute planning we also needed a hotel that was pet-friendly.  It was too late to arrange for pet boarding, we didn’t want the extra expense of someone else taking care of him, and plus it’s about time our dog,  Norman joined us on one of our out of town adventures! Our last necessary factor was location.  The hotel needed to be in the middle of it all.  We wanted to be able to park the car, and not use it for the duration of the weekend.

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

The Palace Hotel met all of our needs.  Room #9: Miss Lily’s Suite was available, the place welcomes dogs, and with it’s location on Water Street in downtown Port Townsend, we could walk to restaurants, shops, parks, and other local attractions.

The Welcome

As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed.  After a quick lunch next door at the Public House, we inquired about an early check-in.  Bergen desperately needed to get down to the business of napping, and knowing he has his best sleep in the crib, it was a huge relief when the staff didn’t think twice in allowing us up to our room.  And while they were welcoming Bergen and his baby needs, they had nothing but love and affection for Norman.  The staff was ready for his arrival with treats in hand, and a bag of other goodies to make his stay more comfortable.

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

The Suite

The space (#9: Miss Lily) provided more than enough room for our little family to spread out.  All rooms were clean, bright, and nicely laid out.  In keeping with the Victorian style of the hotel (and town), the furnishings are antiques and collectibles.   The door opens up to the living room, which has a comfortable wooden-based couch (which actually folds out to a futon), large chair, and several tables.  The TV was located here and allowed us to keep up with our local soccer team while Bergen napped, and was great for sneaking in a movie at the end of the day when he was down for the night.

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

I absolutely adored the bedroom.  From the exposed brick walls, to the beautifully quilted bedding, to the wrought iron bed frame, I was sorry that we were spending just one night.  The charm of the space made up for the fact that the bed was a little creaky when we first climbed in; it made for a more authentic experience really! By the way, in order for us to hang out in the living area while Bergen slept for the night, he started off here in the bedroom.  When we were ready to go to bed a few hours later, we switched him (& his crib) to the living room. He was none the wiser. 

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

The bathroom in the room was standard and had everything we needed, but for those interested in more “amenities”, #9A (Miss Rose) has a 6-foot whirlpool tub, and #7 (Miss Alice) & #10B (Miss Mona) both have claw-foot tubs.  Not all rooms have their own private bathroom, and some bathrooms, though private are separately located.

Though we did not do any cooking during our hotel stay, we did appreciate the full kitchen that is part of the suite.  The refrigerator (full size) allowed us to keep cold drinks on hand, and was great for all of Bergen’s extra snacks, bottles, and meals.  I liked too being able to wash Bergen’s cups and other little dishes in a real sink with a drying rack!  The extra space the kitchen provides also allowed us to stretch out more, and gave us more of a feeling of being at home.  Since Bergen eats frequently, we definitely utilized the table even though we dined out for all of our “adult” meals.

Palace Hotel: Port Townsend, WA | WildTalesof.com

More to Love:

  • As I mentioned above, the staff is very welcoming.  In addition to the warm atmosphere they create, the staff is also very easy to work with in terms of making sure individual needs are met.  Should questions come up about possible discounts or upgrades, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask, especially on the off-season.
  • We loved learning all about the history of the space, originally built in 1889.  From 1925 to 1933, the “hotel” was operated as a brothel, which is where all of the names for the rooms come from!  Beware…there is also talk of the building being haunted.

Info to Know:

  • The Palace Hotel is located in downtown Port Townsend, Washington on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula:
    • 1004 Water Street
    • (360) 385-0773
      (800) 962-0741
  • A total of 15 rooms are available with rates starting at $59 for their continental/standard rooms, from $99 for their deluxe rooms, and from $109 for their superior rooms (#9: Miss Lily is a superior room).
  • Hotel is equipped with Wireless Internet with a business center computer and printer available.
  • Pets are welcome with a $20 fee
  • All rooms have a refrigerator and microwave.
  • All rooms are non-smoking
  • Off-street parking is available in the back at no extra charge.
  • Port Townsend Food Recommendations 
  • Port Townsend Parks:

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

Port Townsend, Washington | WildTalesof.com

Our Go-to Travel Crib: The GoCrib Adventure Crib

Way back when we were pregnant with Bergen (now nearly 2 years old) one of the few big items that we actually purchased ourselves (rather than receive as a shower or pre-baby gift) was a travel crib.  We knew from the beginning that we were not going to let a little one stop us from continuing to explore the world, visit family and friends, and just generally get out and about, so a good place for the baby to sleep on the go was a must.

Wandering around REI one weekend, as we love to do, we stumbled upon the GoCrib by Guava Family.  The crib was set-up and on display, and we were intrigued.  So many features caught our eyes:

  • Lightweight: The crib together with it’s accessories weighs only 11 pounds.
  • Easy Assembly: Simply pump-up to assemble, and deflate and fold-up to breakdown.
  • Easy to Transport and Store: Everything fits nicely into it’s own small GoCrib backpack.
  • Other Uses: We liked that it could be used both indoors & outdoors.  Camping, beach shelter, and play yard were just a few of the ideas that popped into our minds.

Needless to say, we ordered our own in preparation for the arrival of our mini adventurer, and now that we’ve put it to use for nearly 2 years, we couldn’t be more pleased with it’s performance in fulfilling our travel crib needs.

Our Go-To Travel Crib: Go-Crib by Guava Family | WildTalesof.com

How the GoCrib Works

The crib has just a few parts and accessories:

  • Backpack that houses all pieces
  • Blow-up sleeping mat (27″ x 39″)
  • Hand Pump
  • Crib (43” x 54” x 25.5” when inflated)

To Set-up:

1. Blow-up sleeping mat with a few breaths and set aside.  Note: If keeping the crib out for multiple days, it’s a good idea to check the mattress each night for possible reflating.
2. Layout crib, insert pump into the legs of the crib in two locations (opposite each other) and pump until the indicator reads green. Carefully close valves and pump slots to prevent unwanted deflation.
3. Lay sleeping mat into the bottom of crib making sure to press each of the corners for a secure fit.  Optional: Specially fitted sheets can be purchased separately for added comfort. 

To Breakdown:

1. Open pump slots and push in flaps to let the air out.
2. Fold crib in half twice while pressing down to push all of the air out.
3. Unscrew valve of  the sleeping mat, fold and press down with knees to let all of the air out.
4. Repack the bag: Mat first, then crib.  Pump is stored in it’s own zipper pouch on the side of the backpack.

What’s to Love?

Since taking our first big trip across the country to visit family on the east coast when Bergen was about 3 months old, we’ve found the GoCrib extremely easy and convenient for travel.  Back when we brought along his infant carseat, we also were able to squeeze the GoCrib into the carseat bag to streamline our luggage even more.  Now when we travel with his much larger convertible carseat, the GoCrib even fits into that carseat bag. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, and since it doesn’t have hard parts, it can be added to other bags or parts of the car (when road tripping) without a lot of hassle.

When we finally get to our destination, the last thing we want is to have to take a lot of time to put Bergen’s sleeping area together.  I can assemble the GoCrib in less than 5 minutes, and breaking it down is just as easy.  Even on vacations where we’ve incorporated multiple mini-destinations into the trip, it’s never been an issue to setup and re-setup the crib.

Slaed and I have trekked around the country with Bergen for almost 2 years now, and the GoCrib has held up well.  And we don’t just use the crib when traveling.  Bergen has a playmate who naps at our house twice a week, and he too finds the crib suitable for his sleeping needs.  The fabric is highly durable and it’s made to withstand the elements of sun, sand, and other outdoor factors.  The sides of the crib are made of mesh, creating good airflow throughout the space.  The mesh sides also provide an unobstructed view for us to see Bergen, and for Bergen to look out.  We’ve also found the crib to be very sturdy, and never worry about the boys falling out or tipping it over on it’s side, even when used as a play fort!

I am extremely impressed with the company as a whole, particularly the customer service.  I panicked when the pump suddenly broke on me a few months ago.  We had a trip coming up in just a few days and I needed a working crib! I immediately called Guava Family, and was surprised when a real, live person actually answered the phone. I explained the problem, and the gentlemen took my information, and rushed a replacement pump to our house free of charge. The pump (new and updated) arrived in time for our departure and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.

What’s to be desired?

Other than the pump issue that I explained above, we’ve really had no complaints about the product.  Bergen has used the GoCrib as his sleep-home-away-from-home on more trips than we can count now, and he’s always managed a good night’s (or nap’s) rest.  We did find that with Bergen just sleeping on the bare mat, it could get a little cold because the mat lays all the way on the ground.  We quickly remedied that though by purchasing a sheet from Guava Family that fits the mat perfectly. Both a regular cotton and a quilted sheet are available to buy separately from the crib.

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.