Girls’ Trip to Nashville

Probably most people think I’m crazy, but I LOVE traveling with my kid. I love mini-adventures and really anything that gets us out of the house in general. Not sure if it applies to all kids, but Olivia complains less when she’s in a new place and challenged in some way. So anyways, I was super excited for this trip! So excited, in fact, that I decided to buy us twinsie outfits. (I’d like to take advantage of the years that she actually wants to be like me.)

Despite all my excitement, the trip out was almost comically the most difficult I can remember in years. For some reason, Southwest didn’t have self check-in, so between that and security, it took us over an hour to actually get into the airport. And then we were super jazzed to use the Centurion Lounge, but unfortunately I didn’t have the right card on me to get in. And apparently I have been spoiled with plane rides, so I had high expectations for what would be available in the air — I didn’t pack a ton of snacks, and I didn’t charge all our tech gear, since I am so used to buying snacks and charging on the plane. SW doesn’t offer either of those amenities, so we got real creative on things to do. And we got real hungry. LOL. I felt like the universe was telling me to practice getting over insignificant bumps in the road, and I think I passed — we actually had an awesome time. We colored, we played a kid version of crazy 8’s, I read, Olivia watched a show till the iPad died. Not too shabby. (AND, our trip home was much more smooth since I knew what to expect. Also, SW let’s you check your bags for free. Awe-some!)

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Our first day in Nashville, it rained most of the day, but we had one little spot of sunshine so we took advantage of the pool. Mom (that would be me) HATES being cold, so the most I could manage was sitting atop a floating alligator. Luckily the grandparents were totally willing to make the sacrifice necessary to play with our little fish.

This is a good reminder that kids don’t need super fancy vacations or toys to be entertained. Olivia could have played in that pool for three more hours!

It rained again the following day, so we went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro. It was RAD! (I will say, the Children’s Museums in the PNW are rad as well. We especially like the one in Tacoma, which I wrote about previously.)

I was impressed by the variety in a relatively small space. We had the entire afternoon, and STILL couldn’t fit everything in in!

Didn’t necessarily picture being in Murfreesboro while on a trip to Nashville, but I’m glad we had an awesome indoor option!

Gymnastics & Seward Park

It can be hard to get out of the house on rainy days, I KNOW IT.

Today we knew we needed to (can you say grumpy?! … and I’m talking about me, not the kiddo!), so we decided to go to the indoor playground at the Seattle Gymnastics Academy, one of Olivia’s favorite play spots, and a go-to throughout the winter.

Afterwards, still wanting to go on a hike, we went to explore the trails at Seward Park, which I somehow always forget about, or at least “poo poo” it since it’s so close to home and generally crowded.

I am so glad we went because it was beautiful in the fog and the drizzle, we moved our bodies (even if it was partially thanks to PokΓ©mon Go, LOL), and we played and giggled.

Even if it doesn’t fix everything, getting outside is therapeutic. DO IT, even when you don’t feel like it. ❀

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Her constant splash of pink gives me joy. πŸ™‚

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Much-needed giggles.

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Breathe deep.

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This stage is perfect for our little performer!

Langley and Ebey’s Landing

What a FUN way to spend a chilly, drizzly day in August! We lived out our previous plan to visit Langley and hike Ebey’s Landing.

Along with Papa and Grandma Jane, we hopped (well, drove) onto the ferry to Whidbey Island.

Our first stop after landing was Langley. Langley is a super cute waterfront town. You can dilly dally your way through 1st and 2nd St, meandering in and out of shops and galleries.

After exploring for awhile, we visited the Star Store Market to stock up on picnic goodies — meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, and drinks. Then we headed down to the waterfront for a picnic. I had hoped to play on an actual beach, but the water was so high that our only option was grass and a picnic table. No matter! Still a beautiful place to have lunch!

After lunch, we drove north toward Coupeville to hike Ebey’s Landing. We parked at the seaside parking lot at the end of Ebey’s Landing Road to do the short version of the hike. This is beautiful and mostly flat, perfect for little ones and beginners! And the view at the top of the bluff is just incredible.

After our hike, we were quite wet and craving hot chocolate. (Thank goodness I had packed extra clothes for Olivia!) We drove back down to Langley to be closer to the ferry, and by the time we got there, decided we were in the mood for ice cream instead of hot chocolate. πŸ™‚

The one thing we forgot to bring was a stuffy for a car nap on the way home. Luckily we had a roll of paper towels and a marker, and “Towely” was born. #momoftheyear

Malls + Indoor Camping

This time of year gets reeeeaaaalllly hard for me. I feel like Chicago (my home town) has burst into Spring, and we’re still wearing coats and rain gear.

Today we were celebrating a good month financially at the gyms, so we took Olivia to Blue C sushi at University Village Mall. This mall is rad because it’s outdoors, it has fun things for kids to play on, and, of course, I love the stores … even just for window shopping!

Clearly Olivia had a good time. (I love the momma laughing in the background while O gets soaking wet!)

We are also planning a camping trip this year and decided to try out our tent! Yes, inside. I am a total wuss when it comes to the rain. We did make it through the night, though! Indoor camping is fun! It’s also warm, bug free, and full of very nice amenities. I recommend it. πŸ˜‰

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Children’s Museum of Tacoma

We try hard not to let the rainy days of spring keep us moping around the house. It can be challenging since many indoor activities in Seattle are super expensive. We aren’t broke, but we also operate on a tight budget. Mint, anyone??? Life saver! We have “family day” category in our budget, and during the winter, it can be hard to stay within it.

Today we headed south to Tacoma’s Children’s Museum. The best part about this place is it’s “pay as you’re able.” Yesssssss. Thank you, thank you.

Also, this museum is a blast. It’s not so big that it’s overwhelming. I find Olivia can focus on one thing here more so than at Seattle Children’s Museum.

I happen to like the art rooms the best. I could sit with O and build, paint, and create all day long! Darrick is awesome with the super active stuff. I’m thankful that we balance each other so well.