We started our trip with Will's first time on a plane! We were so nervous, but we would be having a layover in LA on the way there and back, so each flight would be less than an hour each. We kept telling ourselves that if Will lost it for any reason, it would only be an hour. Will ended up crushing the entire flight! He was so good. I wore him through security in my baby K'tan and he was so calm. Because I had a baby, they also gave us pre-check with TSA and so I didn't have to wait a long time in security. We used the stroller to help carry all our bags and carseat to the gate and then they put it beneath the plane for us! I nursed Will during take off, so his ears would pop and he would adjust to the pressure and that also meant that he fell asleep and slept through most of the flight!
We made it to San Francisco and began to trek ourselves across the city and north to our AirBnb in San Rafael! We decided to do an AirBnB, as it was more cost effective that a hotel. Will had done so great on the plane and since he was usually good in the car, we felt like we were in the clear! Sadly, he started falling apart during the long car ride and even caused us to have to stop about 20 minute away from our place because he just couldn't be consoled. We walked around a parking lot for a bit and gave him lots of cuddles and then he suffered through the rest of the trip.
Luckily we hadn't planned anything to do that first day, since were weren't sure how he would do travel wise, so we got to our guest house and just relaxed for the rest of the day. Will went to sleep for the night around 6:30p since he hadn't slept as much as he usually does in a day, and Aaron and I quickly realized that the cost of the place we were staying came up against the convenience issue. It was all one room (kitchen, bedroom, sitting room, and so when Will went to sleep we were trapped in silence for the remainder of the night! We also quickly put it together that we weren't exactly sure where Will was going to sleep! We hadn't brought a pack n play, and honestly I have no idea what we were thinking in terms of how he would sleep before we got there... and basically I felt like we hadn't thought about it at all. Since Will could roll around, I didn't feel comfortable laying him on the couch, I definitely wasn't going to have him in bed with us, and all the drawers in the dresser were to small to fit him. We finally piled a few layers of blankets on the ground and created barriers around it with an ottoman, a dresser, and the corner of the wall. It looked cozy and with Will being lightly swaddled, he would feel secure. However, in the middle of the night when Will woke up for his feeding, I realized that he was directly in line with a vent and was so cold! My heart broke and we felt like the worst parents who hadn't done a better job making sure my baby had a good place to sleep! It wasn't something that couldn't be easily fixed with extra layers and adjusting the vent, so by the second night, he was much better!
Our first full day of adventure started after a pretty restless night of sleep with some baby cuddles in bed.
We went out to grab some breakfast and then making our way up to Santa Rosa for lunch and a flight at Russian River, we got there right before it opened and there was already a line outside waiting to get in. This place is legit!
Aaron checked in his 1,000th beer on his beer tracking app! This was such a bucket list thing for Aaron to do and he was so excited!!
After lunch we strolled up and down the main street of Santa Rosa. He went into book stores and walked around the mall. The weather was so nice, out so we just enjoyed the little town ambiance.
After we had our fill of the town's charm. We started our way back down to San Rafael through Sonoma Valley and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of rolling hills and gorgeous vineyards all along the road. We even saw fresh fruit stands with gorgeous cherries! We had to stop and buy a container to enjoy!
It also worked our timing wise for us to stop at one of the Wineries so I could enjoy a glass of wine! Seriously the weather was so lovely and the view from the patio where we sat and ate was awesome. I asked the server for the fruitiest and sweetest wine they had and we ordered a cheese board to go with it and just sat and relaxed. Will was fed and happy and had just took a short snooze in the car ride, so he was a dream! He kept looking at all the people and following the servers as they all walked by our table. They fawned over him too, which of course makes me super happy!
It had already been a full day of driving to and from Santa Rosa, so we got back to San Rafael, got dinner at Whole Foods and turned in for the night. I ended up watching TV on our iPad and Aaron listened to music or went out to some evening coffee or to pick us up something at Target. He took a fun pictures of the water coming right to the edge of the Target parking lot... something you don't see in Phoenix.
Our next day was super leisurely. Since Will wasn't sleeping well in the night and hadn't gotten as much sleep during the day as normal, we decided again our initial plan of heading into San Francisco, and instead went to take in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the north side of the Bay and then lunch in Sausalito down by the water. Then back to the AirBNB for a proper nap for Will and I.
I love going to super touristy look out spots because you always end up meeting other tourists from all over the world. At this look out, we started chatting with an older retired couple from England making their way up the coast on a trip. We talked about our trip to England and about how cute Will was. They told us about their grandkids and their love of travel, especially now that they were retired. It is so fun for us, having traveled a bit, getting to talk with people who are visiting our country!
We had lunch at a seafood restaurant call Fish. in Sausalito! I had a Tuna Melt and Aaron order the Monterey Squid Pasta. It had been so chilly and breezy in San Rafael, and at the look out over the Golden Gate Bridge, so I was shocked to experience how hot it was down by the water in Sausalito. I had heard about the crazy weather in the San Francisco where it would rain in one neighborhood, but a mile away be sunny and warm. This was a prime example that a town not a few minutes away was drastically warmer! We didn't last very long our on the deck in the blazing sun before we left for our guesthouse.
Looking back, I am amazed at how little we got accomplished in a day, but then I remember we had a 4 month old and this was our first time traveling with him. We made it super easy on ourselves schedule wise and it is funny, because I remember feeling overwhelmed by what we did do. By the third day of our trip I had fully let go of Will's normal schedule and embraced the "vacation schedule" where Will just slept whenever and wherever he could find it and I fed him when he was hungry. This made for early bed times than normal for him, but it was worth it to not have to stress about whether he was getting the amount of sleep he needed during naps. He also did surprisingly well during the night as the trip went on waking up only 2 times at night, like normal.
Out last full day in the San Francisco area was by far my favorite! We visited the Muir woods and walked beneath the giant redwood trees. It was misty and cold and we got to all bundle up as we left early to get to the national park entrance before 8a, which is when the internet told us it would start to get busy. We walked up to the ticket booth as the older gentleman was beginning to roll up the window shades and put out the sign for entrance fees and whatnot. It didn't seem like anyone was there, but we also had had to park a half mile away because there were so many cars! It seemed pretty quiet still crowd wise, and we realized that all the early arrivals were probably one the tougher trails than what we were taking with our jogging stroller! The park official gentleman smiled at us and we asked how much it was to enter and he told us sweetly that if we hurried and just walked passed him now, it was free! We laughed and thanked him a ton and then scurried off to enjoy the beauty of the Muir woods.
Oh man, it was like something out of a fairy story. The way the sun shone through the trees in streaks of light. The cool breezes and mist that was still hanging in the air. The cold that was so welcome for being the middle of June. My heart was at so much peace beneath these trees with my Love and my baby boy love.
We strolled for a few hours and Will slept for some of the time and by the time we made it back to the entrance it was nearly lunch time. Aaron had done some research and found this place in the hills and mountains just not he other side of the Muir woods on the way to Muir Beach. It was a British style pub and inn and I swear we had stepped into the Highlands of Scotland. Maybe it was the mist that still held clung to the mountains, or just that it was cold. Definitely facade of the building and the menu brought me right back to the UK. I had a Guinness beef stew and Aaron had the same with a pint and we ate and then sat outside on the lawn where Will could get lots of fresh air and some wiggles out with being able to roll around.
We then moved on to Muir beach to give our boy his first look out at the ocean! The beach was misty and cold and we put our toes in the water, but basically kept to walking along the shoreline.
Our little boy was pretty over awed by the vastness of the ocean, and just fell asleep due to all the emotion. It sat with this little buy asleep on my chest staring out at the water, and just marveling at God's goodness to us on this trip and how he gave us such an easy going fun baby who gave us minimal fuss and melt downs, and generally was so happy and smiley and joyful.
We had spent the rest of the day at the guest house preparing for our trip home the next morning and playing with Will.
Daddy made Will laugh so hard and just give these huge fits of giggles! What a joy he is.
We headed home the last day and the trip home, while just as easy as the way out, wasn't as fun. Heading back to normal life and daddy back to work and the awful summer heat is not a fun thing to look forward to.
Plus Will nearly blew out a diaper on the way back and Aaron had to change it in the airplane bathroom... not fun!