Big Sur

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The drive between Monterey and Santa Barbara was beyond gorgeous.

And long.

We do car trips pretty regularly, but this was one of the longest we’d been in the car at one time.  We left during Adelaide’s nap time hoping to get a long stretch of the road under our belt before she woke up.

Forty five minutes.  That’s how long she slept on our 6 hour journey.

The first part of the trip we were smitten by the breathtaking views.  But then the kid got fussy and mama had to pee and why is this road so twisty?

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taking pictures with a toddler is fun

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waving hello to the ocean

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We ended up stopping at Hearst Castle along the way because it was one of the only stops during the entire trip.

I paid $7 for a slice of cheese pizza.

Even though the ride was long (and everything with a toddler seems ten times longer), I’m so glad we decided to drive.

And for the wine when we got there.

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Monterey

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Jon needed to be in Los Angeles the week after we were in San Francisco, so instead of flying we decided to drive down the coast via the scenic route.  We chose to have overnight stays along the way in Monterey and Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately we only got one night in each place, so by the time we arrived it was time for dinner and then bedtime for Adelaide, so we didn’t get to explore very much.  We had to leave fairly early the next morning to get on the road to our next destination, so not much time for the sites.

The only thing I really wanted to do in Monterey was see the sea lions (I remember them from a trip there as a kid), but the first place we went turned out to have a whopping zero sea lions.  We were literally on our way out of town when a quick search suggested a nearby pier might have some sea lions.  As we’re walking to the end of the pier we were still unsure if we’d walk away without seeing any once again.  Then I heard a sound off the side of the pier and we all looked over to see two sea lions snuggling on a rock.  We were just a few feet above them, and I would have been happy if that’s all we got to see.  It was pretty awesome to see this beautiful creature so close up.

We kept walking to the end of the pier where we saw hundreds of sea lions.  They were sleeping on rocks, climbing all over each other, playing in the water.

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They were also right up against the fence.  See that tail sticking out?

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Yea, Adelaide did too.

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Our next stop was Santa Barbara, which I literally have zero pictures of.  We only got to see a tiny bit of the town, but I would seriously move there in a heartbeat.  We stayed at The Canary hotel, which I can’t recommend enough.  After driving six hours with a toddler we walk in and the front desk staff asks if we’d like a glass of wine.

And also, the wine reception starts in fifteen minutes.  God bless you, child.

Also worth noting is the dinner we had a few blocks from the hotel, at Pascucci.  That was some good Italian.

Seriously.  I dream about it.

Regularly.

 

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Hotel Room Chronicles

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By now Adelaide has spent quite a bit of her life in a hotel room.  It’s not terribly different from our everyday lives, except when I leave to run errands I get to come back to a clean room and a bed that’s been made.  The main downside to hotel living is that once your kid goes to bed you have to be QUIET.  We’re used to sleeping in the same room as her since we live in a one bedroom, but we aren’t used to tiptoeing around her after she’s down for the night.

Jon’s started to look for hotel rooms that have a separate living space so we have a space to go once Adelaide’s asleep.  After staying at a few hotels that didn’t have a separate living space and dragging the desk chair over to the corner next to whatever other random chair might be in the room outside the bathroom isn’t ideal.  Plus I’m sure housekeeping wonders what the heck we’re doing.  Having a space with a couch to crash is definitely preferred.

One of Adelaide’s current favorite “songs” is “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”.  She’ll stand on the bed and wag her finger “no” while she starts jumping up and down.  I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping a few photos while she played around.

(See past hotel photos of a teeny tiny Adelaide here and here)

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I just love this little girl’s excitement over the little things.  I pray she always has a fun loving spirit and a kind heart.

And that she won’t fall off the bed.

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San Francisco Sightseeing

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Even though we were in San Francisco just a year ago, our trips were drastically different.  Last year Adelaide was a baby and couldn’t even sit up, and she had no opinions on what we did.  I shopped and ate out and browsed the Farmer’s Market.  I drank wine while she slept peacefully in the stroller.

This year was drastically different because toddlers have much louder opinions than newborns.  We were staying in the Union Square area, which is touristy and doesn’t have a ton for little kids.  So while Jon was at work one day I decided to take the cable car up to Ghiradelli Square.  I unfortunately don’t have any photos of that ride because it’s hard to take a selfie on a very crowded cable car while babywearing a toddler.  (Seriously, thank goodness I didn’t decide to try to bring the stroller on the cable car because that would have been a disaster.)

We got off the cable car one stop early at Lombard Street so I could snap a couple of photos.  Except I didn’t take into account that the sidewalk that runs along Lombard Street is made up of a million stairs.  Stairs that my toddler thinks she can run down once I took her out of the carrier.  I kept putting her in place to take a photo and before I could get the camera to my eye she had run up a few stairs.  So I tried a couple of times before finally giving up and walking the rest of the way to Ghiradelli.

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the baloney bug

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We sat down to share a brownie sundae, which despite what these photos may depict, Adelaide barely touched.  She had maybe two bites of the ice cream before refusing to eat any more.  Wouldn’t even touch the brownie.  So I was forced to eat it on my own.

The things a mother will do for her child.

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We shopped around the stores in Ghiradelli Square (I got Adelaide a little cable car and the book Larry Loves San Francisco! which is seriously adorable and is available for other cities, which we may just need to get.  Adelaide loves to read the book and say “woof woof” everytime she sees Larry.  Very fitting for this dog loving little girl that the main character just happens to be a dog.

Afterwards we walked down to the waterfront so Adelaide could get some energy out before hopping the cable car back to our hotel for nap time.  Of course Adelaide hates to get dirty though, so she wasn’t a big fan of running in the sand.  After a few minutes she was over it and sat down to clean off her feet, which of course just got her more sandy.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

Oh kid, you kill me.

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Golden Gate Bridge

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The last time I was in San Francisco was almost a year ago to the day.  I told Jon the only must see thing was the Golden Gate Bridge.  Not because we hadn’t seen it before, but because we had seen it before.  I’m a sucker for taking photos in the same spot, years later, to see how far we’ve come.

When we visited the bridge last year Adelaide had a pretty bald head.  Whenever I think her hair is still non existent I’ll refer back to her bald head here.  We took these photos on a Friday evening as we were on our way to a friend’s house for dinner.  Adelaide was tired.  So tired.  We try not to mess with bedtime but sometimes when you travel you get to break the rules.  And then your toddler reminds you why you never break the rules.

Because… you have a toddler.

http://www.thebaloneybug.com/2013/08/05/san-francisco/

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I love seeing how much has stayed the same and how much has changed in a year.  San Francisco will always have a little bit of a soft spot in my heart.

And the chocolate and Full House backdrop certainly doesn’t hurt.

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Chincoteague

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Just a couple more photos from our annual family beach trip to Chincoteague, Virginia.  It was the first time I’d seen my sister, brother in law and niece Siena since last summer.  Except last summer the girls were so little (Adelaide couldn’t even sit up!) and didn’t play together or interact.  This summer they sat next to each other in the shade and played in the sand, fought over toys and talked about their crazy moms (ha, not yet, but I’m sure it’s coming).

I love bringing Adelaide to the sleepy little beach town where I spent my summers growing up.  Not much has changed over the years, which is just the way we like it.

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Love this photo of my mom with Adelaide.  Given the choice of my mom or me, Adelaide would pick my mom every time.  It was so special to see them playing in the sand and jumping in the waves.  Not to mention it gave me a break to sit for a minute.  Didn’t get to read any books like in past years, but a minute to myself is still a minute to myself.

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Siena couldn’t even wait for her bathing suit.  The sand!  The sand!

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The girls playing side by side.  A rare moment where they weren’t fighting over beach toys.

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Adelaide fell in the sand and didn’t want to put her hands down (she hates getting them sandy) so instead used her face to push herself up.  Yea…that didn’t go over so well.  Had to be mean mommy and snap a picture before cleaning her up.

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Play time with daddy.

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She might not be smiling, but at least she’s not screaming.

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Can the summer please never end??

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Cruise to Bermuda

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I’m going to wrap up a seven night cruise to Bermuda in one very photo filled post.  I swear we have jobs and we aren’t always on vacation, but we’ve definitely been burning through PTO days like water.

This cruise wasn’t originally on our radar, but when a couple of our friends invited us to come along we quickly agreed.  After all, we didn’t want to be the lame ones with the baby who got left behind.  Except we were kind of the lame ones with the baby who got left behind anyways.

You see, our first mistake was thinking we could keep up.  We just couldn’t.  Travel and vacations are different with a baby and we’re okay with that.  There were a lot of things we couldn’t do with a baby, for instance:

We couldn’t go cliff diving or rent mopeds or sit for an entire meal.  We couldn’t sunbathe (or sit still, for that matter).  Children in swim diapers aren’t allowed in the pools, so that was out.  There were no splash pads and Adelaide was too young for the children’s programs.

The entire week we really felt like we were just chasing Adelaide around one big not baby-proofed boat.  Jon and I ended up taking turns doing alternate things with Adelaide while the other one got to hang out with our friends.

The saving grace of the cruise was the unlimited booze package.  Yes, that’s right. Un-lim-it-ed booze.  Top shelf.  As much as we wanted.  At 9 am.  Having a frozen drink in hand before noon definitely made things better.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great trip.  But had we planned this ourselves (without taking a big group into consideration) we would have gone on a more baby friendly ship.  The one we went on was definitely aimed toward the grandparent aged crowd, making life a bit more difficult for us parents of young kids.  So now we know.

 

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These two.  This is what my heart looks like when it’s really full.  Is there anything better than a dad and his daughter?

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I’m wearing Adelaide here in a water ring sling.  It’s basically made out of the same material as gym shorts.  You can wear your baby while you’re in the water and it dries quickly.  I wish I’d had this last summer, when she would have wanted to sit still.  This year, not so much sitting still.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Since we knew in advance that Adelaide wouldn’t be allowed in the pools, we ordered this inflatable bath tub from Amazon and it was our saving grace.  We filled it with water from the pool and plopped it in a shaded area on the deck.  We forgot to bring pool toys with us, but Adelaide was just as happy playing with a room key, complimentary shampoo bottles and plastic cups from the buffet.  Everyone that went by LOVED that we brought this along.  People would constantly come up to us commenting on Adelaide’s private pool.  Someone even came up to Jon one evening and said, “Oh you’re the dad who had the little pool today!  You win the award for best dad!”

I would like to say, for the record, that Jon said the pool was unnecessary when I spent the $12 on it.  It feels good to be right.

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the baloney bug

We love cruising, and this was definitely no exception.  Next time we’ll know to look for a more kid friendly cruise.

And bring grandma.

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Copenhagen, The Final Part

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Let’s wrap up Europe, shall we?  Only 2 months late.

It turned out that there was a national holiday the week we were in Copenhagen, so Jon got an extra day off work and we all enjoyed the extended weekend as a family.  We did a bit of shopping for some souvenirs (Jon picked up some gorgeous salt and pepper shakers, a blanket and Danish print for Adelaide and a whisk for me.  Clearly I live on the edge when it comes to souvenirs).  Denmark is obviously known for their good design, so we enjoyed picking up a few everyday items that will help us remember our trip.

We also took the commuter train to Sweden for an afternoon.  I have no pictures (or passport stamps!!) to prove that we were there.  But we were.

I really wanted to go in Ikea while in Sweden (we did see one).  I mean, what would be a better souvenir than a flat pack sofa straight from the motherland?

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Traveling with a toddler is exhausting and exciting.  I love that traveling with Adelaide means doing things we wouldn’t otherwise do.  We’ll stop to sit in parks and have picnics while she gets some energy out.  Or we have to find local grocery stores to pick up fruit for her.  I was surprised that kiddie foods like yogurt melts and puffs don’t exist in Europe.  We had to start rationing the yogurt melts after we realized that we couldn’t replenish them, because those were a life saver on the flight.

Alright Europe, you were great. Thanks for such great memories!

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Copenhagen, Part 2

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Oh look, more photos of Adelaide running. 

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One of the largest dome cathedrals in Europe.

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Just a few more photos from our walk around Copenhagen.  By the end of the day we’d walked all over the city and were exhausted.

Nothing that a big glass of wine and Danish pastry couldn’t fix, of course.

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Copenhagen, Part 1

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After we left London we took a short flight over to Denmark, where Jon had to work for a couple of days.  It just so happened that my good friend and co-worker, Caroline, was going to be there the same dates.  She was there visiting her cousin, and it worked out perfectly that I could tag along with them while Jon was at work.  Not to mention, Caroline’s cousin speaks Danish, which was a major help.  Everyone we encountered in Copenhagen spoke perfect English, but it was nice to have someone who knew the best shops and sights and could read labels on food for me.  I kept buying sparkling water and just wanted a big bottle of flat water, so it was nice to have her to tell me which bottle to buy.

Side story- we had picked up quite a few bottles of water thinking they were flat and drank all but one of them before we left.  I didn’t want to throw out the last bottle, so I decided to bring it with us on the plane.  You can bring sealed bottles of water with you if you’re traveling with a small child.  So I get to security and the security guard pulls it out and I say, “It’s for the baby!” and she looks at me and says, “This?  For the baby?”  I declare that of course it’s for the baby and she gives me a glare but relents, and sends us on our way.

A few hours later I was sitting on the plane and go to open the bottle of water and FIZZZZ sparkling water goes everywhere.  The security guard must have thought I was either dumb or just had a really fancy baby.

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We trekked over to the waterfront to see the famous Little Mermaid statue.  It was probably about a mile from where we were staying, and many say it underwhelms.  It was a gorgeous day and I’m glad we got over there to see it even though it was kind of small.  There were plenty of parks and green space along the way to sit down and relax for a bit as well.

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These next few were taken in front of the Queen’s Palace.  In Denmark you can just walk right up to the palace.  Cars would also randomly drive through this plaza which was kind of strange.

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Caroline played baby wrangler for a while.  You’ll see a theme here- Adelaide RUNS.  This kid never learned to walk, just run.  Seriously, it’s exhausting.  She hates holding hands.  She’s a pro at wiggling out of your grasp and running away at full speed.

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She became obsessed with this fountain.  All she wanted to do was climb straight in and take a swim.

You’re seeing the theme here, right?

Adelaide is crazy.

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