Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Season of Travel

As I've said before, travel is very important to me. I love going to new places, and having new experiences. In the past several years, we haven't had as many opportunities to travel as I would have liked, but now that we have Sara, it's something I want to focus on more.

Last year, we started off small by going on a short stay to Lake Chelan, which was amazing, but this year, I wanted to broaden our horizons. We kicked off our vacation season with a wonderful week away to San Diego, where we stayed in a beautiful resort, and Sara got to go on her first airplane ride! It was my first time visiting the area too, and with so many family friendly attractions, it was the perfect getaway!

We visited SeaWorld, which was one of our main draws to the area. Sara loves aquariums, and what better aquarium is there than SeaWorld?! We spent the entire day there, where we saw all kinds of animals, from Sea Turtles to Orcas, which were one of Sara's favorites! She loved watching the whale swimming around his enclosure, and waved to him as he swam past!

I enjoyed the thrill rides, and I rode the Atlantis and the brand new Electric Eel coaster, which I think is the first coaster I've ridden in over a decade! There were a few other rides that I skipped, like the Manta coaster, but hey...next time!

The San Diego Zoo was another must see park that we had to check out! This was without a doubt the largest zoo I've ever visited! The whole park is built in layers, with every type of animal you could imagine! Our favorites were the Pandas and the Hippos, which we were able to get a close up look at a mother and her baby, which was so adorable! Sara loves zoos, and she enjoyed checking out the animals as much as we did! If you have the time though, I'd recommend giving this park two days, because there is so much to see. We kind of hurried through some of it, and we ended up skipping the Safari Park, which is at a different location, altogether. We will have to get to that one on a future trip.

The last big park that we visited while in San Diego was LegoLand California. I've never been to a LegoLand Park, so I was really excited to visit! The whole park is so colorful, and surreal and cute! Everything is built from Legos, which Sara loved, and there were plenty of rides available for little ones, which you don't see at too many theme parks. I took Sara on a fairy tale themed boat ride, which was really fun, and also a little train ride that was located in one of the kid's play areas. We also rode a merry go-round, which was Sara's first time ever going on one, and she had fun.

And of course, no trip to Southern California would be complete without a trip to the beach! Sara and I did a Mommy and Me morning at La Jolla Shores, which was absolutely beautiful! It was cloudy when we first got there, but once the sun started coming out, the water was so turquoise and gorgeous!  Sara wasn't a fan of the ocean. This was her first time seeing the actual ocean, and the waves really scared her. Even when I was holding her, she didn't want to go near the water. I brought her stroller with us, so we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, which she was totally fine with. Go figure!

The week went by so quickly, and we had an amazing time, and I'd definitely recommend a trip to San Diego if you have a chance to go!

Our next trip of the season was to the Olympic Peninsula for Sara's birthday. My parents have a house over there, which is perfect, and close to so many things to do! There's the Olympic National Park and several beaches less than an hour away. Right in town, there's lavender farms, golf, wineries, and some smaller beaches, as well as a very large park that Sara loves to go to for the swings!

Sara turned 2 in July, the same weekend of the Sequim Lavender Festival, one of my favorite festivals! To celebrate, we had a Lavender Fields party! We visited some of the farms where we got freshly picked lavender, ate lavender ice cream (I liked the chocolate-mint lavender the best!) And we drank lavender lime-aids, which were delicious! I baked a lavender-vanilla cake for her big day, and after presents, we ate a delicious meal out near one of the golf courses!

Our trip also included playing in a backyard pool, and a trip to one of our favorite beaches, Port Williams, and of course a trip to Kerry Blake Park to swing on the playground!

It was a fun couple of days, and Sara loves visiting her Grandma and Papa, and she always loves going on the ferry ride to get there!

The following month, we went to Boise to visit Mark's family. This was only the second time that Sara and I have been there, and the first time in the warm weather. We drove over, doing an overnight from our house to theirs. It is a very long drive, a little over eight hours, but it went by quickly in the dark, since there isn't as much traffic.

We had a good time visiting family, and Sara got to meet some big dogs, which she liked. Her favorite thing, I believe though, was when we visited a large arcade type of place called Pojo's. They had all kinds of arcade games where you could win tickets to exchange for prizes, and a carousel, which I think Sara rode at least 50 times! She didn't want to stop!

Another activity I wanted to do with Sara was to take her to one of the public pools. All Summer long, she had been hesitant around the water, and I wanted to see how she'd do with a pool. At first, she was scared to go in, but once she got comfortable enough with it, she enjoyed climbing in and out on the stairs. It was very warm that day, and the water was very refreshing! There was also a big playground there that she loved!

Since Sara was getting more used to the water again, I took her on another occasion to a local park with a small swimming pond, called Quinn's Pond. The water was really clear and pretty, and there was a sandy beach area. Sara loves playing in the sand, and filling up her buckets! And to my surprise, she actually went in the water with me, and even wanted me to carry her out a little ways! What a win! We had a great, relaxing trip to Boise, and we will be back many times to come!

Our last trip of the season was to the Washington Pacific Coast to a little town called Seabrook. I had never been, and I wanted to check it out. The little village is very quaint and beautiful! I loved it, and it was probably one of my top favorite trips ever! I'll do a separate post and go more in depth about our weekend and the town, but I'll just summarize it by wow!

The town is a village of rental cottages. You can also buy one and live there full time if you like, but most are used as vacation rentals. They have all sizes from huge homes to little cabins. We rented a small two bedroom, and it was so cute! It was fully furnished (as I believe all of them are) and was tastefully decorated with a coastal theme. We picked up some groceries at the local market, and we  checked out some of the restaurants too. 

There were many activities going on in town. There was a live band playing one night, that I took Sara to, and there was also a wine tasting event that I went to. Sara and I also did a hike down a wooded trail to the ocean, and she played in a tree house made out of a hollowed out stump, which I think was one of her favorite activities!

There is an indoor pool, but we didn't get time to go. Maybe next time! But we had the greatest relaxing time away from home, watching some football, walking on the beach, and spending time together! It was a perfect little trip to close out the Summer and our biggest travel season yet!

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