There are so many reasons to travel:
To see family
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.
What is it with 3 and 1/2 year-olds and treasures? Is this a thing? Maybe its just our little guy, but lately all he can talk about is treasures, from finding treasures to receiving them as a reward. The good news? Anything can be a treasure. So as long as we call it such, anything can have the potential of being special to him. The bad news? Since everything has the potential to be a treasure, we can spend a lot of time waiting around for a lollygagging preschooler investigating every nook and cranny along our way.
Sometimes it all works out though, like during our visit to the arboretum this past weekend. As soon as Bergen was “released” from the jogging stroller to walk on his own, he requested the use of one of the bags we’d brought along for the dog’s (ahem) deposits. I credited him for his smart thinking! He declared that he was going to search for treasures, and then for the next mile or so, he picked up anything that happened to catch his eye. Rocks, sticks, leaves, blades of grass…they all went in the bag.
If you’re looking for a way to focus walks and hikes with your young children, you might just think about bringing a bag along for collecting! It’s easy, doesn’t require a whole lot of pre-planning, and Bergen was more than willing to toss the treasures back when our walk was complete.
While Bergen was focused on finding treasures, I had the chance to admire early spring in the arboretum. Yes, while the east coast is suffering through snow, ice, and bitter cold, we are experiencing abundant sunshine, flowers in bloom, warmer temperatures, and even (it seems to me) more active wildlife.
Have any more tips on holding kids’ interest while walking and hiking? We’d love more ideas!
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.
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.
What would you do if you were stuck between a Cougar and a Tiger?
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.
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.
Our consistently rainy, gray days have returned here in Seattle, and I’m reminded of a quick weekend trip we had last spring.
We were in need of a getaway and wanted Bergen to finally get the chance to use his passport, so we headed north to Hope, British Columbia. We could have gone with the more obvious choice of Vancouver (or there abouts), but we were not only looking for a change of scenery. We also wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle, and weren’t at all interested in crowded border crossings.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate as much as we had hoped. It Rained. Continuously. Really. It rained during our entire visit. The skies never let up, but we weren’t going to let that stop us from exploring. We armed ourselves with raincoats, rainsuits, hats, and boots, and braved the elements. Thanks to some cozy spots to eat in town, we were always able to get a break to warm-up and refuel, and as for the outdoors, we managed 4 fun little adventures:
Chainsaw Carving Tour
Their mission to become a chainsaw carving capitol started in 1991, and now Hope has over 50 chainsaw carvings throughout their community. Of course each one has its own unique story, significance, and style. From mystical creatures to wildlife to pieces of local past, these carvings captured our attention, made us laugh, and even taught us a little bit about what makes the town of Hope tick.
As we’ve reached late summer and move into early fall, the feeling of a new season and new (school) year makes me feel like I need to set goals. Do you feel that same? I’m not one to pass-up a fresh start.
One goal that we are currently making a priority is the no-carrier hike for Bergen (3 years old). As I’ve described in our end-of-summer bucket list and recent hike, I’m in no shape to be carrying around a 40-pound little boy, and with a baby on the way, we would love for Bergen to be more independent and build his stamina.