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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy 2015! We hope your new year is off to a great start. Here in Seattle we enjoyed a quiet celebration with all four of us sleeping soundly when the clock officially struck midnight. Not to worry though: Two of us were up soon after though as someone was in search of another meal.
With a fresh start and a brand-new addition to the family, I’ve found myself reflecting often on the past year because let’s face it: Things will never be the same! Growing from 3 family members to 4 is a big change and babies create a whole new dynamic of family life. Routines, sleep habits, and the way we go about doing life are all shifting, so I’ve actually found it fascinating to look back at 2014’s adventures.
In order to get a complete look at our year, I decided to take it month by month. Some months were busier than others making it hard to choose just one highlight, so here you’ll find our most memorable and significant explorations.
January-Cle Elum, Washington
In search of quick cold weather getaway, we traveled just an hour and a half or so to the small central Washington town of Cle Elum. Instead of mounds of snow, we found sheets of ice creating difficult hiking conditions, but we enjoyed the escape and chance to unplug (no phone service or internet access!) nonetheless.
Late last week after a busy morning of running around and getting errands and chores accomplished, I realized that we were in need of some creative time. We’d collected pine cones earlier in the week and they were ready and waiting to be a little bit more useful than just a lazy “center piece” decoration.
I’ve loved working through our fall bucket list just as much as our end-of-summer list! It feels so much easier when all your ideas and aspirations are already documented. This way, when the time is right, I can consult the list and know just what to do. Pine Cone Bird Feeders are on our fall list, and even though they are super easy to execute, I’d been putting them off in favor of more active adventures that had us leaving the house.
I read about the simple idea in one of our favorite outdoor activity references, The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book, and knew the feeders were something we would be able to not only accomplish successfully, but also enjoy!
With a serious pineapple loving little boy on our hands, it would have been cruel of us not to visit the Dole Plantation during our recent visit to Oahu. Bergen (3-years old) cannot get enough of the stuff. In fact the other day when I ordered a pineapple-flavored soda at the Mexican restaurant we were dining at, he cried when the drink arrived as (we soon found out) he was expecting a plate of actual pineapple!
We planned for a morning visit, and thanks the resident alarm clocks surrounding our vacation rental, it wasn’t at all difficult to get ourselves there right as they opened their doors to at least try to avoid some of the inevitable crowds. The plantation is located in the town of Wahiawa, which in Oahu’s central valley, about a 40 minute drive from Honolulu, but only 10 minutes or so from our base in Haleiwa on the North Shore.
Truly trying to make the experience all about Bergen, we wasted no time dawdling around, and purchased our tickets for the pineapple train right away. Pineapples and trains: What more could a little boy ask for?