Sonoma

the baloney bug

Our plan after a week in San Francisco was to spend a long weekend in Sonoma.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a few months old and were excited to see Sonoma.  Sometime late in our week I glanced at our flight reservations to realize our flight home was actually on Saturday, not Sunday like we’d thought.

We had to make our trip to Sonoma a little bit shorter than we’d hoped and stopped at one brewery and one winery before heading to Sausalito for the night.

Also, random side note: we chose to have a stopover on the way home in Minneapolis because we find the airport very family friendly.  One of the central terminals has a Chick Fil A right across from an amazing children’s play area.  Even if we only have a few minutes, we will stop there because it is such a win to let your toddler get some energy out halfway through your travels.

And all the parents said, “Amen”.

(I realize this sounds incredibly lame to all the childless people.)

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California, we love you so much.  Until next time, my friend.

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Golden Gate

the baloney bug

In May we took Adelaide on her third trip to San Francisco.  While it’s one of our favorite cities, I think Adelaide and I won’t be back for a while.  Travel has increasingly become less about painting the town red and increasingly more about playgrounds and nap time.  We spent almost every day at the playground at Yerba Buena Gardens in the sandbox and on the slide.

She wouldn’t even eat the big Ghirardelli sundae I got for us to share.  I mean, what’s the point of going to San Francisco if it doesn’t involve a big brownie sundae??

Realizing that I didn’t travel cross country to go to playgrounds, I decided to cool it on the travel a bit.  We stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge one morning for more photos (see previous ones here and here ).  I love to see how she’s changed from trip to trip, and what better place than in front of one of the most famous bridges?

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the baloney bug Adelaide’s face just about sums up how she feels about family photos these days.

Actually, I think it pretty well sums toddler life in general.

 

 

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New Zealand: Marlborough {Part 2}

the baloney bug

We did it!

Today wraps up our month in New Zealand.  Only five months later, but who’s counting?

We spent three days in Marlborough and our general plan was wake up, make breakfast, get a winery or two under our belts and head back to our cottage for nap (for Adelaide and for us).  After nap we’d head back out to one or two more vineyards before they closed around 4.

Not pictured: our daily stops at McDonald’s because of that damn spicy chicken crunch wrap.  Can stateside McDonald’s please catch up??

Some standouts vineyards were Cloudy Bay, Spy Valley (dumb name but actually had a pretty cool story behind it and the winery ended up being one of our favorites), Forrest (amazing rosé), Moa (brewery), Hunters and Allen Scott.

The pictures in this post were taken at Cloudy Bay and Hunters.  Wine tasting turns out to be a pretty awesome thing to do with a toddler because you can sip wine outdoors while your tot runs around and steals grapes.  The wineries in NZ were overwhelmingly child friendly, and many of them (if not all) had baskets of toys.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a baby and so many wineries didn’t allow children, so it was nice to not have to worry about that.

Also, we noticed the wines in New Zealand were significantly cheaper.  Most bottles were in the $20 range, where as California wines seemed to be $60 and up.

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the baloney bug We loved the parking spots at Hunters

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the baloney bug Not pictured: another three hour ferry ride back to Wellington, a one hour plane ride, a 13 hour plane ride and a six hour plane ride.

Home.

Sweet home.

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New Zealand: Interislander Ferry and Marlborough

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Okay, okay.  One more post after today and our month in New Zealand will be wrapped up.

Jon and I have wanted to visit the famous Marlborough wine region since our first time in New Zealand eight years ago.  But time never permitted (or pregnancy), so we’d never gotten the chance.  We were determined to go on this trip, and it was basically heaven.  We took the Interislander Ferry between the North and South Islands, which we’d also never done before.  It was a beautiful and relaxing trip.  We tried to take a couple of photos on deck, but Adelaide wasn’t really feeling photogenic that afternoon.

From the ferry terminal we picked up our rental car, tried navigating a manual car on the wrong side of the road, and headed out to some vineyards.  It was seriously such a picturesque retreat for our little family of three.  So often our travel revolves around Jon’s work, so it was nice to have him all to ourselves.

We rented a cottage at the sweetest bed and breakfast, and ironically enough the cottage’s name was “Adelaide’s Barn“.  I can’t rave enough about this place.  If you ever find yourself in Marlborough (which I highly suggest), make sure you stay here.

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the baloney bug sneaking a taste of the grapes

I love this little girl and my sweet little family so much.  It’s simultaneously maddening and amazing to travel with her and explore things through her eyes.

And the wine certainly helps.

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New Zealand: Tongariro National Trout Centre

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While in Lake Taupo, we visited the Trout Centre where you can see trout in their natural environment.

And feed them.

Let’s be honest, all a two year old cares about is throwing pellets of food into the water and seeing the fish jump.  We packed a picnic lunch and walked the grounds of the reserve, feeding the fish as we went.

When we got home we enjoyed popsicles galore.  It felt so good to sit in the sun in the middle of February and indulge in an icy treat.  I’m the kind of person that starts dreading winter in the heat of summer (so right around now).  I’m already in denial that these warm summer temps will ever go away.

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Summer, please don’t leave us.

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New Zealand: Lake Taupo

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From Wellington, we drove four hours north to Lake Taupo.  Adelaide and I spent our days by the lake while Jon, my mom and brother in law took a day to hike an active volcano.

Good for them.

The sand around the lake was full of pumice stones, so while they looked like massive rocks, Adelaide could easily pick them up and throw them.  The pumice floated, so she’d make me go out and retrieve each piece so she could throw it again.

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the baloney bug We may have accidentally gotten ourselves locked into the upstairs portion of the house, while the guys were out hiking.

Luckily we had all the kids with us.

And it was time for happy hour.

While we were stuck upstairs baby Savannah was so close to rolling over, so we were huddled around her with our cameras out, cheering her on.  We turn around for one second and she rolls onto her belly with no one watching.

Poor second child.

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New Zealand: Wellington

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We went to one of the Wellington beaches (there are too many to count) the day after Jon arrived.  Adelaide was so excited and wouldn’t let him out of her sight.  When we left the house, the weather was perfect, and by the time we got to the beach it had gotten quite chilly.  The kids still had fun digging in the sand and having a picnic on the beach.

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Adelaide plopped herself down on a towel with a piece of sausage in her hand, and was just chomping away at it.

That kid.

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New Zealand: Playgrounds

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We went to some seriously incredible playgrounds while we were in New Zealand.  Adelaide is adventurous (to say the least) and is not afraid to climb high and swing fast.  I’d never seen some of the pieces of equipment, and we often found ourselves having even more fun than the kids.

While we were there Adelaide also found her sense of fashion.

Um, the socks and the shoes were all her.

The rainbow sunglasses were on rain or shine.

She also magically learned her colors while we were in New Zealand.  One day she just knew them.  Every single one.  She started trying to say her name for the first time, and magically poop potty trained herself.  Every single poo was in the toilet.

Then we got home and she was like “Nah, I’m good, just change my diaper.”

I’m letting her take the reins with potty training and have been trying not to push it.  We just started a rewards system when she goes on the potty, but so far she’d rather forfeit the rewards and go in her diaper.

Le sigh.

She is very opinionated about what she wears.  I definitely thought I would have more time to pick out her clothes, but now when I shop for her I find myself thinking, “Is this her style?  Is this something she’ll like?”

Basically if it’s pink and has a heart on it, she’ll like it.

She’s incredibly opinionated about her shoes, often times shoving her foot in a shoe she’s long since outgrown.  Last week she found a pair of shoes that I bought on sale at the end of the season, still too big for her feet, but insisted on wearing them.  By the end of the hour she had red marks on her feet from where they were rubbing, but she still insisted on wearing them.  Luckily I had planned ahead and brought her comfy shoes to switch into, which she finally and reluctantly agreed to wear.

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I joke that our very opinionated child is the classic first born.

And classic only child.

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New Zealand: Wellington Botanic Garden

the baloney bug

In February Adelaide, my mom and I boarded a plane for New Zealand.  And then we boarded two more.  Twenty four hours, a trip across the International Dateline and into the Southern Hemisphere, and viola!  We were there.

The longest of our 3 flights (13 hours between LA and Auckland) was surprisingly easy.  It left about midnight our time, and by that time Adelaide was exhausted.  She fell asleep soon after we took off and woke up a good 9 hours later.

We were in NZ the entire month, strategically planning to spend the coldest month here during the warmest month there.

And hot damn, it worked.  Do you know how much snow the East Coast got??  I was not sad to miss that.

Jon was able to join us for the last two weeks of the trip, and we were just a tiny bit glad to see him.

My sister now has two daughters, Siena who (at the time) was 2.5 years and Savannah who was 4 months.  Adelaide was straight up smitten by her cousins.  She idolized Siena and adored Savannah.  Savannah was the first baby Adelaide’s ever really been around, and she couldn’t get enough.

She wanted to “hold” Savannah, give her kisses, hug her (um, crush her), touch her toes, help put on her shoes, give her toys.  She loved the baby.  She couldn’t say Savannah, so she would scream “BABY” in her face.

Over.

And over.

Even now, months later, when Adelaide is upset and nothing will calm her, I’ll ask her if she wants to see a video of Siena and Savannah, and instantly she’s agreeable.  I just love how she loves them.

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Is that a mom who has everything under control, or what?  I was so impressed with how Merridith seemed to seamlessly transition from one kid to two.  I know it didn’t happen quite like that, but she made it look easy.

She had a fun play date or story time or adventure planned for us every day.

And got us back in time for nap.

On the one day we were cutting it close and Adelaide was falling asleep in the car, Merridith managed to keep her awake until we got home.  Even I had given up on nap that day, so I was certainly thankful for my supermom sister saving the day.
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the baloney bug We certainly aren’t close geographically, but I’m so glad for technology keeping us close.  That Adelaide gets to see and talk to her cousins, share milestones and birthday celebrations.

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Disney

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I’ve obviously been a little bit MIA from the blog world for a while (um, months?) and honestly just keep it alive because it’s the easiest way for me to document our lives for myself and my family.  Jon edits all the photos that get posted here, and he’s been swamped.

We took this trip to Disney over Thanksgiving weekend.  It was literally 2 days after we signed the contract on our house, so in the midst of a trip to Disney we were getting approved for a mortgage, having the house property surveyed, etc etc.  A little bit stressful.

Then you know, we bought a house, moved into a house and spend every spare second tending to said house.  Oh and a toddler.  And dog.

Now that it’s summer, ohmygod, the gardens.  They’re gorgeous but I have no idea what the heck I’m doing.  I’m constantly googling and youtubing and texting my mom questions.

Jon’s also been traveling more than ever.  He’s been gone more weeks and weekends than he’s been home.  So now that we’re on a little vacation we can finally catch up on pictures… of other vacations.

While in Orlando, our friends Matt and Jessica hosted us.  They had recently moved from New York to Orlando and were amazing hosts.  Over our long weekend they took us to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.

We started letting Adelaide watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a few weeks before our trip to get her excited.  Our main goal for the trip was to meet Minnie, which we accomplished on our last day there.  We met Donald first, and she was TERRIFIED of him.  Then we worked our way up to meeting Goofy and Daisy and finally Minnie.  She was tentative, but excited.
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She would have spent all day in the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” playground if she could.  I remember playing in that same park as a kid.  Ah, memories.

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the baloney bug With Uncle Matt looking at the monkeys at Animal Kingdom.

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the baloney bug Um, can you tell from my hair that it was just a little bit humid?

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hugs for Daisy

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Thanks so much to our friends for being such amazing hosts.  I’ll be back to the blog in hopefully less than six months with my next post.

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