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For the first time in maybe ever, I agreed to go on a cold weather vacation. Typically, I would argue that the term ‘vacation’ is used exclusively in scenarios where sun and sand are involved and ‘trips’ are weekends that include the cold white stuff. But, this weekend turned out to be a true vacation. We met our friends Bryan and Natalie in Whistler for a little out of town escape. For me, ski was more of code word for eating, shopping and ice skating but everyone else got a little time on the slopes.

The true highlight for me was the ice skating. It was a first for both myself and M and by the end, we thought we were regular Michelle Kwans out there.

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We ate, we drank, we played in the little bit of snow that was on the ground and we put that record on repeat for three days. It was perfection.

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kauai || what we did

DSC_1862 DSC_1876 DSC_1874 DSC_1905 DSC_1907A few weeks ago, M and I took a trip to Kauai to visit my parents. They moved ‘home’ almost a year ago now and even with the distance, we are tying to make sure M gets to spend some time with her ‘tutus’ (a common Hawaiian name for grandparents). This trip, we spent a lot of time exploring the west side of the island. While it was raining on the other end, this side of Kauai stayed dry and sunny for us. We had our first Jo Jo’s experience for shave ice and spent lots of time at the beach. Relaxing was the name of the game.

Both of my favorite activities from this trip were set up by my sister. She lived on Kauai before moving back to the Seattle area and was a great partner in exploring the island. Although I’ve spent time there in the past, I am still not as familiar with the all the fun spots she is. She booked an adventure exploring the Napali Coast for us and also showed us where to rent beach cruisers for a fun bike ride.

DSC_2073 DSC_2034 DSC_2074My parent’s keep mentioning that M can spend her summer vacations with them when she’s older but I’m pretty sure there is no way I’ll be missing out on those trips. We had such a good time with them and I love the slow pace of Kauai. It’s one of those vacations that you don’t need a separate vacation from. You know the kind. DSC_1932 DSC_2079

I have one more post about my favorite new shop on Kauai coming but, for now, I’ll stop teasing you with pictures of the islands. If you have a trip to Kauai planned, I would love to hear from you. I have so many more recommendations (hellooooo Puka Dogs) and know a few fun places to play on the island for those who are interested.

 

Enjoy! Melissa

the many ways to drink a coconut || from kauai, hi

PicMonkey Collage.pngHi, from Kauai! I feel like I survived a boxing match or maybe even a fight to the death to get here on a night time flight. I mistakenly thought M would sleep on a late flight. No such luck. But you know what, I made it. We survived and we’ve made it to my parents humble abode for a short visit. So far, we’ve been to the beach, rented beach cruisers and cracked some coconuts open for fresh water. We are totally missing Ky at home but he’s working on a long list of honey-do items while we are gone. I’m guessing my yard will be magazine ready when I see it next.

Also, I’m posting away on Instagram while we are here so check it out if you have a trip to Hawaii in your sights.

Enjoy! Melissa

Traveling With A Little

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As Promised, a week after arriving back to the Pacific Northwest and all it’s glory, I am going to stop looking at vacation pictures now. But, lets wrap it up with some things I learned while traveling with an 11 month old.  Our trip was maybe a little different because we were visiting family which comes with certain luxuries.

|| Borrow what you can! My sister-in-law let us confiscate her stroller, car seat and high chair for the week. Amazing! It cut down on the stuff we were schlepping through the airport and gave M her own personal conveniences. With the amount of stuff we already had with us, I don’t think we could have handled adding these additional items to our load and we used all three items daily on our trip. Then, when we were leaving, we just nicely packed them all up and left them behind. Couldn’t ask for a better system! ||

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|| Take Time For Yourself! Again, I know that we were awarded this time because we were visiting family but I feel like most of my friends are taking trips either with their family or to see family these days. So, use them. They want nothing more then to spend time with your little and you want nothing more then a moment to breath. To do this we booked a few adventures through Hawaii Adventure Center. Ky and I took off twice on our trip. The first was a sunset cruise and the second was an adventure filled ATV tour. It was a nice chance to hang with my hubby for a few hours and it gave our family some quality time with M. Win Win! ||

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|| Ship Ahead! With the cost of checked luggage and the limited number of hands we have to move all our stuff onto the plane, I decided to ship a few items ahead of us to my parents house. A few weeks before we left, I got on good ol’ Amazon and shipped our beach tent, M’s float-mobile and a travel crib. Best thing I did for us! These heavy items arrived there and were waiting on the doorstep for us. I just wished I had used this same foresight to ship diapers. I tried fitting them into our suitcase and they just took up too much room. So, I ran to the store when we got there only to find that just one brand was available in M’s size. Next time, I’ll be putting together a box from home and shipping these type of items {diapers, M’s snacks, etc} ahead of us. ||

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|| Enjoy! It’s VACATION! I had to tell myself that it was OK to be off our typical schedule. M would survive! And, she did! She actually was more relaxed there then I have ever seen her. She got flexible. Naps were mostly on the go. In the car, in the stroller, etc. and she slept through some crazy noise at night. It worked! And, we got to enjoy ourselves because we didn’t chain ourselves to the house for her schedule. It’s vacation! ||

Now, that song keeps playing through my head….”Back to life, back to reality….”. But, that’s OK. Vacation is vacation and it has to end sometimes. Plus, your own house is somehow such a luxury after you travel. My bed feels like new and I could stand in my shower for hours. So, until next time Hawaii. Alooooooha!

Enjoy! Melissa

5 Minute M || Hawaii Style

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One night we caught the sunset just right as we enjoyed our high class vacation meal of burgers and fries in the lawn at a little outdoor shopping center. It was so random and so unexpected. M loved it. We loved it. My camera loved it. These 5 minutes are what I want all vacations to feel like.

Enjoy! Melissa

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Behind The Scenes || At the Beach

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It’s so hard to pick my favorite pictures from this trip! We took over 500 just on the DSLR and have more on our phones. But, these jumped out at me as some of my favorite beach pictures. Just a little eye candy for a Thursday morning!

|| I’m a sunshine, beach, sand and waves kind of girl. So, we arrived in Hawaii, dumped our stuff at my sisters house, changed out of our travel clothes {why is it that no matter what you do, you feel like a giant dirt ball when you get off a plane?} and headed straight to the beach to show M what it was all about. We only had about an hour to play while my sister got some work done so we just enjoyed the scenery and let M have her very first meeting with the ocean. ||

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|| I think our swim lessons paid off. The next day, M couldn’t get enough of the water. She crawled all along the shoreline making us chase her down the beach. We played our hearts out with a little sand bucket and toys and of course, applied sunscreen about a million times. ||

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|| The beach the next day could not have been more beautiful. Look at our funny little tourist setup! That UV shelter was maybe the best purchase of my life. M sat in the shade and played in the sand for hours at a time each day. Amazing right? ||

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|| I told you, any chance I can I’m heading toward the beach. We had an hour to waste one day so we decided for lunch by the water. Happy Place. ||

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|| Just look at M. She put her little feet in the sand and drove this floatie around like a car. She was laughing and talking to all the kids on the beach like, ‘yeah, look at my ride!.’ Funny, funny girl. ||

Enjoy! Melissa

Aloha || Airplane Lap Child

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We’re Baaaack! I know. I ditched out. Didn’t even say good bye. And hopefully didn’t have you thinking I was gone for good. I wasn’t too far away and I didn’t run way {promise!}. I was just enjoying some time in Hawaii with my family!

So, Aloha! We’re back from a week of spending some quality family time, beaching it and eating way too many delicious meals. The trip provided so much eye candy and so much greatness that I’ll be updating you all week long! First things first though, we had to get to over the Pacific to our little island getaway.

Let me tell you, we are NOT travel experts with a child. Don’t let all those ‘tips for flying with a child’ on Pintrest fool you. It’s hard work to entertain an 11 month old for six hours. I followed all the ‘rules’. We had new toys she had never seen, Sesame Street loaded on the iPad and enough food to last her a good three months if needed. Some of that helped. The new toys provided about ten minutes of entertainment each {woo hoo!!} and I let her stuff herself full of food which occupied time until she spit up and we had a entire outfit change and ruined blanket saga {go me}.

The only thing that saved us was the miracle of all miracles. The only empty seat on the entire plane was between Ky and I. M used that seat like her parents had ponied up for it! She crawled through it, colored in it and laid down in it. After not having this luxury on our way home, I know how spoiled we were with this seat. Maybe ‘lap child’ isn’t in our future. It’s a bit much! My arms are sore from all the passing of M between us on the way home and I’m still feeling sorry for the very kind older gentleman who we made get up from the aisle seat about 1,000 times on the way home. Poor, poor man. He just wanted to read his Ernest Hemingway book and instead had M pulling his arm hair like a monkey and me constantly bashfully asking him to let us out from our seat cage once again.

Very tricky airlines. You have now convinced us that on top of paying for our overweight checked luggage and carrying a million pounds of baby gear through the airport we should purchase yet another seat on our next trip. Very tricky indeed.

Enjoy! Melissa