Chun’s Reef: Tide Pooling Fun on Oahu’s North Shore

What’s one of the best, most useful travel tips out there and one you hear most often?  For me it’s one simple piece of advice that seems to come up over and over again.

Ask a local.

Following this tip almost always yields good results, and hey, if not, at least you struck up a conversation with someone new.  You never know where that connection might lead you.

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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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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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Magical Moments We Can Make Happen: Seaplane Take-off on Orcas Island

When you see that a magical moment just on the horizon, you’ve got to take action.

Make it happen.

Don’t think, just go.

As we were leisurely packing things up in our rental house on Orcas Island on the morning of our departure, such an opportunity came our way.

A seaplane landed in Cascade Bay just across the way.  And as we learned from our few days, as well as just being the Pacific Northwesterners that we are, it’s inevitable: If a seaplane lands, it’s surely going to take off again.  They just don’t tend to hang around long.  

We made a mad dash to the dock: Shoes, leashing up Norman and throwing on coats to shield us from the sprinkles happening outside.  Thankfully we were already dressed and raring to go, otherwise it may have been more of an ordeal and knowing.

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Long Beach, Washington: Peaceful, Simple Seashore Walk + Lesson in Velella Velella

A whole lot of new adventure happened during our recent short visit to Long Beach along Washington State’s coast, but one of the most memorable happenings for me was just a simple, peaceful walk along the shore.

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Investigate and Appreciate Nature with S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet

How does your child typically interact with a picture book during a read aloud?

The process of our nightly reading sessions can be fairly predictable.  Things usually go the same way:  One parent selects books (from the shelf or library bag) along with the help of 2.5 year old Bergen, we read the pages, Bergen remarks here and there, and we move on to brushing teeth and getting into bed. An extremely important routine, yes, but not necessarily anything remarkable or amazing happening in the day to day.

When I cracked open the new book by Hannah Viano, S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet, Bergen’s reaction to the illustrations and interaction with the pages was slightly different though. It made me stop to observe.

Investigate and Appreciate Nature with S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet | WildTalesof.com

Image courtesy of Sasquatch Books

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Just 1 Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin

After our pit stop in Algoma, Wisconsin, we were on a mission: No more messing around.  We needed to see and experience true Door County, Wisconsin (not just the outskirts).

Play

So torn with what to do with such little time (and an anxious toddler), I furiously scanned the guide book, tourism magazines and ideas we’d printed out from research at home.  I was draw to–SURPRISE!–another state park.  Like Point Beach, this one is on the shores of Lake Michigan, and while I would have loved to change things up and maybe see the Green Bay side of the peninsula, the beaches of Whitefish Dunes State Park were calling my name.

When we arrived, I felt even better as the ranger told us we were about to experience Wisconsin’s best beach.

Just One Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin | WildTalesof.com

Having only visited a handful of Wisconsin beaches, we can’t really claim that Whitefish Dunes is the absolute best (since we haven’t seen so many others), but we can attest to it’s beauty and uniqueness.

I was surprised to learn that a section just inside the entrance to the beach area is prone to rip currents.  I suppose its again my naiveness of the midwest and the power of a large lake, but I just always associated this phenomenon with oceans and seas.  The section was roped off and easily avoidable.

We defaulted to our usual beach walking routine of dipping our toes into the water and collecting treasures.  Thanks to some serious sand bars, we could actually walk quite far out into the lake without the water even getting close to our knees.

Just One Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin | WildTalesof.com

Just One Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin | WildTalesof.comThe water was crystal clear here without a lot of the seaweed debris we were used to seeing at other Lake Michigan beach spots.  In one spot, millions of tiny delicate shells swept up towards the beach.

And there’s so much more that we lacked the time to explore.  Over 14 miles of hiking trails, a fishing lake, a nature center, and even a special beach just for dogs.

Eat

As we entered Sturgeon Bay on our way to the state park, we thankfully had our lunch spot all scoped out.  The Bluefront Cafe on the west side of town is an adorable little eatery serving brunch, lunch and dinner.  To us, they offered fancier and more diverse food options compared to what we had typically seen (and thoroughly enjoyed!) in our Wisconsin trip.

I love the set-up of cute tables and cozy booths, and the fact that it was clearly enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.  Their selection of Wisconsin micro-brews on tap didn’t hurt either.

Just One Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin | WildTalesof.com

Our Picks? The Walleye Sandwich and Fish Tacos

Have you visited Door County, Wisconsin?

Tell us about your experience!

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Just One Day: Play and Eat in Door County, Wisconsin | WildTalesof.com