After almost 4 months of living in lockdown, we were desperate for an active holiday. Lockdowns began lifting in April, so we jumped at the opportunity to explore South Wales. Our week was busy and getting back in the groove of traveling with three children was exhausting and wonderful. Exploring a new place ignites us [...]
We had so much fun exploring Welsh castles that I had to make a movie about it. These castle visits were a highlight of my life! Our children adventured through the corridors, found 11th century fireplaces, pretended they were knights, climbed spiral staircases... they even dramatized the crowing of "King Cedar, Ruler of the Land!" [...]
As I was drying a dish, hurrying to get the kitchen cleaned and the kids to bed, Sage asked, “Mom, what’s your dream?” Her question, while appreciated, made me think, WHYYYY do they always ask big questions when I’m trying to end the day? I attempted to say something thoughtful and less ridiculous than, “Honey, [...]
I am embarrassed to admit, that until Sage developed a fascination with Queen Elizabeth I, this place wasn't even on my radar. But once we learned young Elizabeth was held prisoner here by her half sister Queen Mary and that her mother Anne Boleyn had her head chopped off in the courtyard, well... yeah... we had to visit.
Shiloh's home birth was the most incredible experience of my life. I am eternally grateful for my husband, midwives, and friends who supported me, believed in me, and kept us safe. I worked and prepped incredibly hard for this birth. Through hours of education, reading, and visualization, I arrived at full term grounded and empowered. I am certain my preparation helped me have the birth of my dreams.
As we drove through town, Sage looked out the window and pointed to a peak in the distance, "Mama, what's the name of that big mountain?" I told her it was called South Sister. "Is it hard to get to the top?" I said, "yes, it's a very hard hike to the top." In typical Sage fashion she replied..."Ok then, I want to do it."
When our fiery wills met to build Sage, they didn't cancel each other out as two similar forces should. They quietly grew for 23 months and then on a dark and stormy night they colluded and turned my soft cherub into a pocket sized dictator with a personality disorder. When she was born, she could do no wrong. I wrote her monthly love [...]
Given that Cedar's birth happened at home, it seemed fitting to include the story on our family adventure blog. As it was, in its own way, our family's biggest adventure. My hope is that with this post, we can raise awareness about birth choices and inspire informed and empowered decisions about childbirth. A woman's experience deserves respect. She matters and birth matters. Here is our story.
Muscat was an interesting place to visit. We stayed at Safeer Plaza, walked around the National Museum of Oman (which unfortunately was closed the day we were there. But the grounds were lovely) We visited Riyam Amusement Park and the Fort across the street from the Riyam monument. We checked out the Marina Bandar Al [...]
Jordan was my absolute favorite part of our time in the middle east. The people were incredibly friendly, the food was DELICIOUS, the ruins spectacular and the Dead Sea so much fun for muddy floats. I highly recommend a visit here! My Mom joined us on our trip which made it even better. We stayed [...]
Our final afternoon in Sri Lanka was spent with the elephants of Pinnawala. When we arrived at the Hotel Elephant Park for lunch I was frozen in awe. Dozens of elephants were bathing in the river below me. Looking from left to right in sheer astonishment, my jaw dropped. “You have got to be kidding me...this is real?!” [...]
Life is full of surprises. Positive or negative, these surprises validate for me the existence of something larger and more powerful. My spiritual journey is evolving and while I don't know for certain what this larger and more powerful thing is, I can say that it is constantly providing me with opportunities to expand my definitions and challenge my perceived capabilities.
The journey of the tea leaf.
One of the many surprises in Sri Lanka were the opportunites for close encounters with rare and beautiful animals. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the the Sea Turtle Hatchery in Habaraduwa. During our visit we learned that decades after their own hatch-day, female turtles return to the same beach where they were [...]
Sri Lanka. The clean, majestic, natural beauty of this country left me breathless and there is no better way to experience this than from a window of the train. This day was out of a dream. Maybe it’s my love for period movies combined with a deep yearning to be back in nature but this experience is one I will never forget. It's worth a trip to this country just to ride the train.
I am gitty. Heart fluttering over the moon freakishly happy. I want to jump up and down and yelp! Something in my soul yearns for accents, diversity and newness and I’m here. It’s here. With each person I see that is on the surface, so different from myself, I feel like I’m experiencing something so very special. For so long I have craved more variety in my life and environments where I can walk out the front door and be confronted with opportunities to learn and grow. To me, it feels comforting to hear different languages and accents, different colors and clothing. It makes me feel like I am a part of something. There is so much of this beautiful world to see and explore, that even the few minor frustrating moments of traveling, are so deeply worth it when in the end it’s pushing my square or small perceptions of people and culture.
On our first date, before the waiter spilled a beer on Peter, we spoke about our dreams. Our conversation exploded into all our hopes for traveling the world. Climbing Kilimanjaro (✓), sailing to Australia, rock-climbing Thailand (✓), trekking the Himalayas, visiting Machu Picchu(✓)…We wanted to travel to more international locations than we had time to talk. [...]
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is colorful, busy, and hands down one of the most impressive aquariums we've visited. With its dark cool hallways it is a beautiful place to burn energy on a hot, humid, summer day. Okinawa was very hot in June, like step outside, take a deep breath, and find your happy place [...]
Okinawa has beautiful places to hike. We found the Prefectural Citizens Forest near our hotel and loved exploring the park grounds and tackling the steep climb to the top. You climb hundreds of wooden steps under a ceiling of lush tropical trees. The sounds of cicadas are almost deafening. Our 3 year old loved it and my husband got a great workout [...]
If it scares me or makes me feel uncomfortable, I need to do it. Fear or discomfort means an opportunity for personal growth and I have an addiction to personal growth. At the end of my life, I want to feel like I made the most of the opportunities I was given. Stretched my mind and my body. Got my bang for my life buck.
I reeeaaally wanted my 3 year old daughter to have the opportunity to explore the world below sea-level. I knew she would love seeing the busy fishy world, but more importantly, I didn't want her to end up like me. My family will not take this post seriously if I don't mention that up until about the age of [...]
Drive 630 lonely miles (or not-so-lonely if you bring a 3 year old) south of the Mexico/San Diego border and you arrive, bug-eyed and a little seat sore in a desert paradise. Around hour 11, as you approach the Sea of Cortez, the road ascends the coastal mountains. Awaiting you at the top is a breathtaking view [...]
Just keep her happy. With all the new sports we have introduced to Sage, we have the most success when we follow her lead and keep her happy. No one likes to be made to feel uncomfortable, especially by the people who are supposed to be keeping you safe. We have a no push policy and also try to make sure we are always doing things as a family.This ensures that she doesn't have the "opt out" option of sitting with the non-participating parent on the beach, in the lodge, etc.
When the entire family is participating, it goes without saying that she is coming too. In that there is security and a sense of inclusion that inspires her to get on the bike, on the board, or in this case... on the mountain.
Last weekend, we checked an item off our adventure bucket list when we completed Cactus to Clouds (C2C) as a family. My first attempt in 2011 was thwarted by a cold I caught at 9 weeks pregnant. Peter ended up doing it anyway with his friend Gabe and I met them at the tram and hiked to the summit with our friends Greg and Cathleen.
Since then, the full C2C adventure never lined up well with our weekend travel schedules and despite how much we love adventure, taking Sage on the hike always felt a little daunting. Ultimately though, our curiosity about whether we could do it with a 2 year old won over and we decided to go for it. I mean, really...who doesn't love a good sufferfest?
Here is what you can do in Jackson Hole when you aren't really into skiing.
Just east of Fresno, CA, in an area geographically similar to Yosemite, lies Kings Canyon National Park. After hearing about the canyon's reputation for unrivaled beauty, we decided to meet some friends and check it out. We pulled into the entrance and I felt like I missed something.
Parents are often reluctant to take their child on multi-day visits to the backcountry. On the surface, I can understand their concerns but when I dig deeper it's more often assumptions and irrational fears that keep a family inside. Hopefully this post will provide motivation and tips for outdoor sleepovers!
We love Las Vegas but maybe not for the obvious reasons. Our favorite part of Vegas lies just outside of the city. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a climbing paradise. It's also a great place to bring your kid! We found an area of Red Rocks where our 2 year old (at the time) had a blast climbing and swinging. Continue reading to find out where it is and to see how much fun it was.
This year, our annual take-the-kid-summer-backpacking-trip commenced with much less anxiety than our first trip of this kind last year. Instead of worrying about all the possible accidents that could get us stranded in the wilderness I instead remembered the serene isolation, satisfying physical exhaustion, and the uninterrupted time together. I was delighted as we stepped away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and into a simpler, quieter world.
Leaving Zion wasn't easy. But it did help lessen the tears knowing that our long journey home included a another stop in Saint George for a rock climbing break and maybe some day old cupcakes. We found Shotgun Alley, another fun and family friendly climbing spot with a stunning background. The climbs are short, most topping out at [...]
The last portion of our vacation was the big motivator for taking the trip. Our friend Greg was participating in the Zion 100, an ultra-marathon spanning 100 miles of the Zion wilderness. I was so excited about his race that I begged Peter to plan a vacation to Utah around the same time. He agreed and there we were, meeting everyone at Greg's hotel to learn about our responsibilities as support crew and pacers. The race began in the dark, early in the morning on a Friday. (I was already so jealous of him)
On the long deserted stretch toward Bryce we were surprised when three Pronghorns bolted across the road in front of us. Peter swerved left, the confused Pronghorn ran right and slammed into the side of our car. I screamed the foulest of foul words and it's nothing short of a miracle that Sage has not started running around dropping F bombs whenever she sees a animal. Somehow the word didn't stick and fortunately we slowed down enough that both the Pronghorn and the car were ok. Well I think the Pronghorn is ok. It sauntered of into the wilderness and was only a short distance behind its friends. At the time we had no idea what the animal was and were both in shock. We found the closest pullout and drove in to catch our breath. The shock turned into tears of laughter (me) when this sign was staring at us from the side of the road.
When our friend Greg announced he was going to run one hundred miles for the Zion 100, I jumped at the chance to make supporting him, a vacation for us. We explored many different options for the trip, bike touring was on the table for a while, taking the camper trailer, backpacking… when finally what seemed like the best way to do it all was to leave the camper trailer at home, make reservations for hotels and campgrounds, pack up the car, load the mountain bikes, and hit the road.
The fun part of meeting friends in Joshua Tree is no cell reception. We rely on the old fashioned method of leaving notes on the back of campsite information boards. Just after midnight on Friday, we found our note, drove to our campsite, and discovered that someone else had parked their car and pitched their tent where ours was supposed to be.
Sage and I tagged along for Peter's work trip and had such a great time exploring the city. We flew out a few days early so Peter could spend time with us over the weekend and we must have walked at least 20 miles in one weekend around the city. I forgot how fun cities are with children and it makes me miss living in New York. With all the stimulating sights and sounds Sage's words practically doubled.
We arrived at our secluded jungle bungalow around 1am after an exhausting but exciting 14 hour travel day. Chasing a toddler around two busy airports, keeping her from climbing up the chair in front of us, and constantly worrying about who she might be disturbing is draining. There are only so many rides you can take on the moving walkway, with her twisting herself up, shrieking and refusing to walk on her two feet before you are ready to hand her off to a stranger and hit the bar.