(ɪntəʳluːd ) countable noun
An interlude is a short period of time
when an activity or situation stops and something else happens.
"It was a happy interlude in their life."
This is my first post in a blog series I'm calling, "Interlude". This series will include everything about our trip up the West Coast in the Spring of 2018. It was our pause, our light-hearted song in between the larger acts of our family's story; a small respite from the weariness we've known. We're so thankful God worked all the moving parts together in order for it to happen. This will be a milestone and treasured memory in our personal histories for the rest of our days.
I hope you enjoy all of this as much as I loved putting it all together.
Before I begin, here are a few disclaimers:
- This series is primarily for my personal enjoyment. I needed a fun, creative outlet. I also wanted to document everything throughly and beautifully. While I will be sharing tips, resources and links to where we stayed, this is not a definitive guide to family travels (ha!). We still have so much to learn. I'm just writing everything from our limited experience and what worked for us.
Which brings me to the next two disclaimers:
- Please don't take a trip like this unless you really, really (really) want to. It took us lot of work--before, during, and after--to make it happen. It was expensive. We were joyfully at a point where we were able to put in the work and money to make it happen. After years of not being able to, we were thrilled over the gift of this. The hard work and learning to be ok with spending money was what actually made this trip so enjoyable (more on that in a future post).
- This trip and how we did it, worked for our family. It might not work for yours, and that it totally ok! I know there will be people who read this and think "They did that?! That doesn't sound like a relaxing vacation at all!" or "Why would they choose to spend your time, money and effort in that way?" We totally get that. My hope is not to inspire you to take a trip like this, my hope is to inspire you to do what you can to invest in beautiful memories that you will look back on with happy, teary, warm emotions. That's going to look different for every household. I couldn't love the truth of that more. Amen?
Ok, I think that's it. Let's get started!
We booked early flights out of Cincinnati. For the beginning of big trips, we like to start as early as possible to make the most of the day. Plus, mama doesn't function very well late at night and that's not how we wanted to start off our travels, ha!
We always try to arrive airport at least two hours ahead of our flight time. Just making room any potential delays like, toddler meltdowns (waking up at 4am is hard!) and poopy diaper explosions (which definitely happened right as we were walking out the door). More time buffers = less stress for all of us.
Things I want to remember:
- Behr crunching on a giant apple while we rode the bus from the parking lot to the airport.
- How Scout still rode snug and warm in the Solly Wrap right through check-in, security, and the long walk through the sleepy, still rousing airport.
- That peach line that appeared on the horizon right as we found our gate; the sun showing up to send us off.
- The messy tangle that grew and grew in our seats. Both of them still in moccasins, my heart!
- How Scout absolutely refused to fall asleep with me, but as soon as she was placed in Jonathan's arms she was out in minutes.
The flight with them went exactly how you'd probably guess. They were equal parts fascinated, antsy, hangry, and excited the whole time. And as any parent knows, all of that can make for an interesting combination. I'll just say that while I'm so, so thankful that we were able to fly out to the West Coast as a family, I was also more than ready to get off that plane when we touched down at SFO. ;)
I have a similar picture like the one below with Behr on the train from the last time we landed in the San Francisco. It was so special and heart-heavy-with-goodness to be back here with him.
Once we left the airport, we thought about trying to hunt down a local place to eat but remembered the In-N-Out right beside the airport. It was our first meal the last time we landed here, so it just felt right to do a repeat. Also, it tasted pretty dang good. Airplane snacks can only go so far, am I right?
By this time, we were feeling ready to stretch our legs. Chrissy Field was our first scenic stop. There was a bit of loud construction happening along the walk down to the beach, but when our feet finally touched the sand, we had the whole beach basically to ourselves.
We had made it! After months of planning and preparation. After that long season of head-down, survival mode, we we're finally standing there blinking in the sun while the Pacific chuckled onto the sand at our feet. Behr got to see the giant red bridge with his inquisitive eyes. Scout squeaked and pointed and chirped at the waves. Jonathan and I both exhaled in our own quiet ways.
We eventually loaded back up, saying 'good-bye' to San Francisco for now, knowing we'd be back soon. We then crossed the Golden Gate Bridge for a short drive out of the Bay. Unknowingly headed towards all the unexpected magic waiting for us in Inverness, CA.
Post two in the series coming soon...
- Start your trip with the mindset that it's all going to ebb and flow. The stress, the sweetness, the hunger, the tantrums, the golden moments. Embrace that things won't go as planned and they might even be better (just like any other time of life really). The best way to handle whatever you encounter is to breathe slowly through the icky things and fall head-long into the wondrous times. What an adventure!
- Use the heck out of Google Maps. This might be a no-brainer but, we used it like crazy! I especially loved the "Your Places" tab where I could have separate sections labeled "Want To Go" and "Favorites". It's where we saved all the locations we wanted to check out and kept us on track the whole trip.
- Dress everyone comfortably. This is my rule for flying or roadtripping. Either way, you're going to be sitting for long periods of time. For me this meant wearing: Blanqi leggings (looove them!) a loose fitting, button down dress from H&M and TOMS Del Rey sneakers (these shoes were amazing for so many reasons!) I scored them during TOMS secret sale last year thanks to my sister Melissa telling me about it. Here's the link to sign up to be notified when the sale goes live again.
- For the kids: Elastic waistbands, stretchy pants and loose shirts. Behr wore thin sweat pants from Old Navy and Scout wore stretchy baby girl "jeans". Because aren't those leg creases from sitting in stiff jeans too long the worst?! We also put them in Freshly Picked moccs on travel days because they are so comfy for those pudgy little feet. They hardly even notice they are wearing them, and thus less likely to take them off when we're not looking. We almost always wait for the sales to stock up on our moccasins. I've never regretted investing in them though. Our kids wear them everyday.
- Favorite baby carrier for the airport: the Solly Wrap. The low profile, lightweight, and superbly comfortable fit worked best in my opinion.; especially since I was also carrying our Whirlwind Backpack.
- Make time and effort for pictures! My camera and phone are always easily accessible. You will NOT regret having images to look back on and jog your memory. We brought our 5D Mark iii and 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art lens for this trip. I also shot a lot with my Samsung Galaxy S9. For editing: Lightroom + my own presets for "big camera" shots. And a combination of VSCO (that trusty A6 filter) and Snapseed for phone pictures.
- Behr's little wooden camera is from Father's Factory. They generously sent it to us in return for my sharing about it. There will be more on it soon. But right now, I'll just say that Behr loved it. And, personally I can't get over how well made and beautiful it is.