A couple weekends ago I took a short trip down to Nashville to celebrate one of my closest friend's bachelorette party! It was my first time going to Nashville and I had the best time. I flew in Friday night and left Sunday evening, so like I said, very short trip but I wanted to share with all of you some of the fun things I did while down there!
Day 1 - Bachelorette Festivities
I flew in late Friday night and basically just went straight to bed that night so nothing fun and exciting there to report so let's start with Saturday! Saturday was the big bachelorette party day! We started off our day with having brunch at Suzy Wong's House of Yum. It was a brunch drag show and it was an absolute blast. The food was delicious, too! I got BBQ pulled pork with scrambled eggs and queso and yes it was just as amazing as it sounds. The drag show was of course the best part though and I highly recommend this place for any bachelorette party or girls weekend!
Our next big event of the day was the Hick Chick Pub Crawl! It was a bar crawl through downtown Nashville that incorporated some history and comedy in to it and it was a damn good time! The woman who runs it was hilarious and it was a great way to learn a bit about Nashville, plus we got to hit up a bunch of different bars! They all had live music, which made it extra fun and all the musicians were so talented! The bars we hit up during the crawl were Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar, Layla's, Bootleggers Inn, and Whiskey Bent Saloon. After the crawl we spent some time at Ole Red, which I'm not going to lie to you guys, I wasn't super impressed by. We ended at my favorite bar of the night though, which was Florida Georgia Line House. It has 4 different levels and they are all so different. We started out in the basement which had a DJ and a big dance floor. It definitely brought me back to my college days! We headed up to the 2nd floor after we danced for awhile and grabbed a bite to eat. I had a Bavarian pretzel the size of my face that came with mustard aioli and it was SO GOOD! After we ate, the rest of our group headed out and I stayed with the bride and we had the best time dancing and singing to the live band that as playing on the first floor.
We ended our night back at our hotel, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right on Broadway downtown by the way and I highly recommend it, and had tacos from Jack in the Box! Guys, I love Jack in the Box so much. It's probably my favorite fast food restaurant ever, so I went to bed that night veryyy happy and so did the bride!
Day 2 - Solo Adventure
The next day I ended up going off and adventuring on my own because everyone headed out to go home in the morning. My flight wasn't until later on Sunday, so I rented a car and drove out to some of the neighborhoods! I started my day off with coffee and a donut at Five Daughters Bakery. I got the blueberry lavender donut and it is probably a top 5 donut of all time for me. I walked down 12th Ave a bit and wasn't finding much so I decided to reference my Nashville list (yes I'm a nerd and had a list, ha!) and noticed that the Draper James store was on 12th Ave. So I mapped it and discovered it was just down the street but in the other direction! So I headed down that way and that is where I hit the gold mine! I found the I Believe in Nashville wall, did some shopping at Draper James and imogene + willie, got some flowers from Amelia's Flower Truck, and grabbed a cookie at Christie Cookie. Get the southern butter pecan cookie, it'll change your life.
After my fun little spree down 12th Ave, I grabbed some lunch at bartaco. I got some chips and guac and a glazed pork belly taco that were both so good. I hopped back in my car after lunch at went over to the Gulch neighborhood and did some more shopping at Uncommon James, which is Kristen Calvalari's store. It's a gorgeous store and they just came out with a kids line! So naturally I had to grab Kai something. My time was up after that, so I headed over to the airport and made the journey home.
It was a nice weekend away to have a break from the #momlife but I actually can't wait to go back and take Kai and Caleb with me! Nashville or bust, friends!
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Hiya pals! We've been back from our vacation for about a month now and finally feel all caught up on life. We had the most incredible time at Walt Disney World and we want to share all of our adventures with you today! So grab a lemonade and snuggle up because it's going to be a long one ;)
Day 1 - Magic Kingdom
We had a super early flight out of Chicago at 7am so we could make the most of our first day at Disney World. We got in to Orlando around 10:30am and took the Disney Magical Express over to our resort. Our room wasn't ready yet so we did a quick outfit change in the restrooms in the main lobby, grabbed some Mickey shaped beignets (oh my gosh you guys, new favorite Disney snack ever!?), and hopped on the bus to Magic Kingdom.
Walking in to Magic Kingdom for the first time was everything and more, you guys. We walked down Main Street together toward Cinderella's Castle and it was honestly more than I've dreamed of. The sparkle in Kai's eyes was unreal. Every time we watch a Disney movie, he watches the opening credits when they show the castle and I always tell him "We're going there, Kai!" So when he saw it in real life, I just know he knew where we were.
After we took all the magic in, we grabbed some lunch at Casey's Corner and ate on the hub grass with the most perfect view of the castle. Eating corn dog nuggets and fries from Casey's on the hub grass is one of mine and Caleb's favorite things to do while at Disney World. It's like having the ultimate picnic! Kai crawled around the hub grass and we just enjoyed a slow lunch at our favorite place in the world.
Next, we popped Kai in the stroller so he could nap and did a little bit of shopping. We got our ear hats and had them embroidered and watched a little bit of the Festival of Fantasy parade. After the parade ended it was time to go meet Mickey and Minnie! We headed over to the Town Square Theater for Kai's big moment. He saw Mickey in real life and the look on his face was incredible. He smiled, laughed, hugged, and kissed him on the nose. He wasn't scared at all and it's a memory I will hold in my heart forever.
We had some time to kill before dinner so we just walked around Magic Kingdom, grabbed the new Hei Hei Cone from Aloha Isle, went through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, and took a bunch of pictures with the castle in the rain. We then had dinner at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. The buffet spread was delicious and Kai once again loved all the characters. I think his favorites though were Piglet and Pooh ;).
We ended our night after that and headed back to our hotel. We stayed at the Port Orleans - French Quarter resort, and oh my goodness, it was the best! We have a Disney bucket list item for staying at every resort at WDW, but I'm not sure we're going to be able to pass up staying at the French Quarter every time we go! We loved it so much! Our room was spacious and had a huge bathroom area. It was big enough that we could put Kai's pack and play in it so we didn't have to sit in total darkness as soon as we put him down if we weren't ready to go to bed yet. The grounds of the resort were so beautiful and peaceful, too.
Mickey Onesie - SparkleDesignCo | Red Shorts - Little Me (similar) | Mickey Oxfords - Freshly Picked | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World | Mickey Ears - Amazon
Mama Shirt - SparkleDesignCo | Shorts - Zara (no longer available) | Sneakers - Nike (similar) | Minnie Ears - Walt Disney World | Ring Sling (Cardinal) - WildBird (no longer available)
Dad Shirt - SparkleDesignCo | Navy Shorts - Target (old, similar) | Sneakers - Cole Haan Outlet (similar) | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
Day 2 - Hollywood Studios
I started out my morning like I usually do at home actually but it was extra special waking up at our hotel at Disney. I got up early, grabbed some coffee from our cafe at the French Quarter, and found a quiet bench by a little fountain outside and read my book. I enjoyed the sunrise, my coffee, and my book while the boys got a little extra shut eye. I did this every morning we were there and it is honestly one of my favorite parts about our trip!
We headed out to Hollywood Studios for an early breakfast at Hollywood & Vine that morning where Kai got to try Mickey waffles for the first time and meet some of the Disney Jr. characters! He really loved Princess Sofia. After breakfast, I went on Rock N Roller Coaster while Kai was supposed to be sleeping but that didn't work out so well, ha! He was too excited to sleep and I couldn't blame him. We headed over to Toy Story Land next where we grabbed a quick lunch at Woody's Lunchbox. I got the chocolate hazelnut pop tart and Caleb got the BBQ Brisket Melt. Both 10 out of 10, highly recommend! We tried out the mobile ordering for the first time here, too, and it was so easy! We didn't have to wait in the long line and our food was ready so quick. After lunch, we went on Toy Story Mania where Kai fell asleep about 15 seconds after I put him in the ring sling, ha! He slept through the entire thing and yes, Caleb totally kicked my butt on it!
We decided to take a short break from the park after Toy Story Land and headed back to our hotel. Kai woke up when we got back and we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather so we headed to the pool! They have a fun little kids water play area, which we tried out first and Kai wasn't too keen on it. I think there was just too much going on for him but it will be so fun to take him to when he's a little older. We moved over to the regular pool area and got in the water and Kai LOVED it! He was splashing around and kicking his legs like crazy. He was laughing so much and didn't want to get out! We grabbed a pretzel and a couple of drinks from the pool bar and then Vacation Kai was born. (If you followed our trip on Instagram you'll know what I'm talking about but if not, we named Kai Vacation Kai and took lots snapshots of all the posh things he was doing while on our trip...basically just him living his absolute best life, ha!) He ate like half the Mickey pretzel and was ready to take on the rest of the day.
After the pool we headed back over to Hollywood Studios where we explored Star Wars Launch Bay then went back to Hollywood & Vine for dinner. This time we ate with Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey! Kai loved meeting Donald but Minnie and Mickey were the clear favorites again. He gave Minnie so many kisses on the nose when she came over to our table to spend time with him. Mickey was actually greeting everyone at the door when they first came in to the restaurant but had a very long line when we first got there. Our hostess gave us a little raincheck slip to come back and meet him when the line had died down. So after we were finished eating, we went over to Mickey and there was no line. Mickey got down on the floor with Kai and played with him for about 5 minutes. It was probably the best 5 minutes of Kai's entire life. The joy we saw on his face and excitement in his eyes was incredible. It's something I will never forget. That moment is why I love Disney so much.
We ended our night at Hollywood Studios by watching Fantasmic! Kai loved the show and it's probably one of our favorites, too. We got to see a bit of the fireworks from the Star Wars show too as we were walking out of the park! Again Kai wasn't scared at all and watched them in awe. It was another spectacular day!
Padawan Onesie - CouplesTeez (Custom order) | Khaki Shorts - Carters | Grey Moccasins - Freshly Picked
Jedi T-shirt - CouplesTeez | Khaki Shorts - JCrew Factory | Sneakers - Nike (old, similar) | BB=8 Ears - ToNeverNeverland | Ring Sling (Double Swan) - WildBird (no longer available)
Jedi Master T-shirt - CoupleTeez | Khaki Shorts - Banana Republic (old, similar) | Sneakers - Cole Haan Outlet (old, similar)
Day 3 - Disney Springs & Magic Kingdom
We had a nice, slow morning on our 3rd day with breakfast at our hotel and walking around our resort. We caught the boat from the docks at our hotel and went over to Disney Springs. We did some shopping at the LEGO Store, Basin, World of Disney, and Zara to name a few! We also grabbed some super tasty tacos from a food truck called 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa. We ate right next to the water and it was so relaxing. After that we headed back to our hotel for a nap. The whole morning and afternoon was a nice refresh from a busy first two days.
That evening we headed over to Magic Kingdom again. We finally took Kai on some rides! And he was awake! We went on it's a small world, Peter Pan's Flight, and the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We grabbed a churro to hold us over until dinner as well as a Lefou's Brew from Gastons, which is SO good, by the way. After that we headed over to Be Our Guest for dinner! So I've promised to always be totally honest with you all on this little blog, so here it is...we weren't impressed. Even though there were kids all over the restaurant, we felt really uncomfortable with Kai there. The food was decent but not mind blowing for the price. The experience of being there was also just so so. We saw the Beast walk by a couple of times but that's about it. We all might have just been off that night though, to be fair. Kai was hyper from the churro and actually blew out his diaper at dinner! It frazzled Caleb and we somehow ran out of diapers! I made a quick dart over to the Baby Center though that is located right next to the Crystal Palace and bought a new pack of diapers and was able to change Kai there. So not the most glamorous ending to the night, but I did learn where the Baby Center was inside Magic Kingdom, and I can 100% say those centers are lifesavers!
Blue Striped Romper - babyGap | Beige Moccasins - Freshly Picked | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
White Dress - JCrew Facrtory (old, new option) | Gold Sneakers - Keds x kate spade new york (old, similar) | Gold Minnie Ears - Disneyland Paris (now available at Walt Disney World) | it's a small world ears - Walt Disney World | Ring Sling (Mew) - Wildbird
Mickey Polo - Walt Disney World (available at the parks, similar) | Khaki Pants - Banana Republic | Oxford Sneakers - Amazon | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
Day 4 - Animal Kingdom
Our next day was spent at Animal Kingdom! We made a last minute breakfast reservation at Tusker House and man am I glad we did! It might be my favorite breakfast spot at WDW! They have this drink called Jungle Juice and oh my goodness, is it delicious. I'm not a huge juice person, but wow, that stuff is amazing. The food spread at the buffet was excellent, too. Everything was so flavorful and not just the same ole traditional breakfast buffet. After we ate, we had some time to kill before we went on the Safari ride, so we went over to Rafiki's Planet Watch and got Kai his first Wilderness Explorer book and a few badges! This was so much fun to do all day long and I'm really looking forward to doing it again with him when he's older and has the will to discover them all and finish to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer! So after we did all that exploring, Kai was pretty tired and took a nap in the sling while we rode through the Kilimanjaro Safari. This is by far my favorite ride at AK, and I was so glad Kai could go on it with us...even if he was asleep!
After our Safari ride, we headed over to the Festival of the Lion King, which is my favorite show at Animal Kingdom. It never disappoints and Kai loved it! Once the show was over, we headed down the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and got Kai some more Wilderness Explorer badges and did some bird spotting! The bird spotting was extra fun for me because you know those ring slings I wear all the time? Well the company's name is WildBird and they name all their slings after birds. So I recognized most of the birds on the chart and got to spot them in real life! Total mom nerd moment, I know, but it was super cool!
So this is where we actually made our first mistake of the trip though. We decided not to take our daily break back at our hotel to go to the pool or nap because it had taken us a long time to get from our resort to the park that morning. Let me tell you though, it doesn't matter...breaks are necessary regardless if you have children or not, especially when you're at AK. That park is so big, it tires you out fast! Anyways, we didn't take our daily break and it kind of just made both Caleb and I cranky...which really affected us later. We did grab some lunch though at our favorite spot in Dinoland called Trilo-Bites. They have buffalo chicken nachos that are to die for! After Kai woke up from his afternoon nap (thank goodness he napped, right!?), we went to the Finding Nemo musical, which is Caleb's favorite show. It was so precious watching Caleb sit with Kai and watch the show. It really is a wonderful little show and we love going every time. After Nemo though, this is where not taking that break kind of screwed us. It was time for our FastPass+ for Flight of Passage. On our way over to Pandora we tried to stop real quick to meet Dug and Russell. The line wasn't that long but then the characters took a break! We waited a few minutes but decided to leave without meeting them because we were afraid of missing our FastPass+. Like I said, AK is big...and it took a bit of time to get over to Pandora. We got there, tried to do rider swap...which guys, rider swap is a joke, don't do it if you have FastPasses. It took forever to speak with the rider swap guy and by the time I was able to get in to the ride, we were needing to leave the park to make it to our dinner reservation. So in the end, neither of us got to ride Flight of Passage...AGAIN. So from there, we went back to the front of the park and thankfully we got to meet Dug and Russell that time, so that perked our spirits up a bit. Plus we were heading to our favorite restaurant in all of WDW for dinner.
We hopped on the bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and made it in time for our dinner reservation at Boma. We discovered Boma on our last trip to WDW and have sworn we will go back every single time, we love it so much. It's an African inspired buffet with the most delicious and flavorful dishes. This time my favorite was the steak with the sauces they had available that day as well as the curry. Caleb's favorite was the curry, too. Kai loved the sweet potato and potato dish they had, too. Kai is an interesting kind of picky...he doesn't like bland foods, so Boma was definitely his jam. Oh and the zebra domes...those things are the best dessert at Disney on the planet.
After dinner, we went back over to Animal Kingdom and watched the Rivers of Light show which was so beautiful. Then after the show was over we finally went back over to Pandora to see it at night. We did it guys...we saw Pandora at night...check! and done, ha!
Wilderness Explorer Onesie - LilyBethBoutiques (custom order) | Brown Shorts - Target (no longer available, similar) | Beige Moccasins - Freshly Picked | Wilderness Explorer Hat - Box Lunch | Orange Scarf - Amazon
Pink Tank - Target (old, similar) | White Shorts - JCrew Factory | Glitter Sneakers - Bibbidi Bobbidi Bling | Mickey Dad Hat - AmazEmbroidery | Dooney & Bourke Sketch Backpack - Walt Disney World (only available at the parks, similar) | Ring Sling (Summer) - Wildbird (no longer available)
Hakuna Matata Shirt - Amazon | Khaki Shorts - Banana Republic | Oxford Sneakers - Amazon
Day 5 - Magic Kingdom
The 5th day of our trip was actually my birthday! It was so special to spend this birthday at Disney with my little family and it's one I will cherish forever. We started our morning out early with heading over to Magic Kingdom to have breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table! There was still a decent amount of people in the park around the castle even though the park wasn't technically open yet! I didn't realize how many people actually are there for rope drop. So if that's something you want to experience, make sure you get to the park by at least 8am! We got to go past the rope though to get to the restaurant though, which was really cool because then it was empty! The castle was absolutely breathtaking in the morning light. We went over to the restaurant and were greeted by Cinderella herself when we went inside the castle! We made our way upstairs to our table but just as we sat down, the fire alarm went off! Everyone in the restaurant had to evacuate out the fire escape, so we all had to go down the stairs on the side of the castle. We waited outside for about 30 minutes while everything got sorted out. I guess there was a small kitchen fire because the hoods are old. A little scary...but Disney of course made up for it. We received free any time use FastPasses and a few Disney gift cards. We got to start our breakfast over again and it was worth the wait. Caleb had steak and eggs which were so good and I got the caramel apple stuffed French toast, which was also delicious. Kai found his new favorite breakfast food there too...mini blueberry muffins! We got to meet some of the princesses while we had breakfast including Aurora, Ariel, Snow White, and Jasmine. Kai loved Aurora so much, he is such a little flirt, ha!
After breakfast, we walked around the park a bit and went on the Haunted Mansion, which is my favorite ride at WDW! Kai was asleep for it this time around but it was actually a good thing because after the ride we had our family photoshoot with a photographer at the park. We spent an hour going around Magic Kingdom, taking some gorgeous shots and making incredible memories. I can't wait to receive the photos back and share them with all of you! What a special way to remember my birthday, right!? Once we were done with our photographer, we went on the Jungle Cruise and then grabbed some lunch at Pecos Bill, which is another favorite quick service spot of ours. We highly suggest the pork carnitas nachos. After we devoured those we went on Pirates of the Caribbean then headed back to our hotel so Kai could nap. He fell asleep on the ride back but woke up once we got back to our room, so we decided to spend our break at the pool!
After our nice little pool break, we headed back over to Magic Kingdom because we had a dinner reservation at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort. Oh my goodness friends, this restaurant surpasses the hype! The food, the drinks, the views...all of it was incredible. I had a glass of Cabernet Franc with my dinner of filet mignon. Cabernet Franc! It's so rare to find and it's probably my favorite kind of wine. The sushi was also delicious and we had strawberry creme brûlée for dessert.
Our post dinner plan was to head back over to Magic Kingdom on the monorail to catch Happily Ever After since we hadn't had a chance to see it yet. We got to the park a little late but still got to see about half the show. We watched it from the railroad station and Kai was mesmerized by it. We decided to close down the park since Kai had a bunch of energy so we went on Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, and Haunted Mansion again!
White Onesie - Target | Grey Overalls - Zara (old, similar) | Mickey Oxfords - Freshly Picked | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
White Top (same dress as day 3, ha!) - JCrew Factory (old, similar) | Blue Princess Skirt - Amazon | Gold Sneakers - Keds x kate spade new york (old, similar) | Silver Minnie Ears - Walt Disney World (no longer available)
Mickey Polo - Walt Disney World (available at the parks, similar) | Light Blue Pants - Banana Republic (old, similar) | Oxford Sneakers - Amazon | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
Day 6 - Magic Kingdom/Epcot
This was our last full day at Disney! Once we got to this day I could to believe how fast the trip had gone by. But that's what happens when you're having the best time of your life, right? We started this day out super early with breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at the BoardWalk. We got to meet Ariel again, plus Prince Eric, Flynn Rider, and Rapunzel! Punzie is my favorite princess, so as you can imagine I was so excited! Again, the food and experience did not disappoint, and if you can get reservations in time for this breakfast, we highly suggest it!
We made our way over to Magic Kingdom after we were done eating and made a little visit to the famous purple wall over in Tomorrowland. They redid it a little bit and it looks so cool now! Last time we were there I took the exact same photo but instead of holding Kai, I was pregnant with him! You can see the photo comparison over on my Instagram. From there, I actually left Caleb and Kai at the park and headed over to the Grand Floridian where I would be spending the next few hours at the spa! Caleb got me a package for a massage, facial, and pedicure for my birthday. It was such a relaxing few hours and I am forever grateful for the small break to have some time for me and some self care. Caleb had a fun time walking around MK with Kai though and grabbed some lunch at Tony's while I was gone! They met me over at the Grand Floridian when I was all done and Caleb and I ate the leftovers from Tony's for lunch on a bench right next to Bay Lake. It was so peaceful, and honestly romantic because Kai was napping. The whole afternoon this day was so relaxing and special, just what my heart needed.
After we were done eating, we hopped on the monorail to go to Epcot. We headed straight for Frozen Ever After, which was definitely Kai's favorite ride of the whole trip! He sure does love Olaf. We then just walked around the World Showcase and grabbed a bunch of different kinds of food as our dinner for that night. We headed back to our hotel early that night because Kai was showing signs of having caught a cold and we were both pretty tired from a long and exciting trip.
Mickey Shirt - Target (no longer available, similar) | Khaki Shorts - Carters | Mickey Moccasins - Freshly Picked
Striped Mickey Shirt - Uniqlo | Khaki Shorts - JCrew Factory | Glitter Sneakers - Bibbidi Bobbidi Bling | Purple Glitter Ears - Walt Disney World | Ring Sling (Summer) - Wildbird (no longer available) | Blue Spirit Jersey - Pretty Little Monograms (no longer available)
Mickey Shirt - Amazon | Khaki Shorts - Banana Republic
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom
We spent our last and final day at Magic Kingdom. We had planned on going back to Epcot but the day before we decided there was still more we wanted to do at Magic Kingdom over Epcot. We had a nice slow morning at our resort of eating at our cafeteria there and dropped our bags off for the Disney Magical Express to take them to the airport for us. We then headed over to MK where we just spent the day roaming around, grabbed some chicken and waffles from Sleepy Hollow (oh my gosh, so delicious by the way!), went on the Teacups and Dumbo again, and got another special ice cream cone called the Adventure is Out There Cone. You can get it from Auntie's Galactic over in Tomorrowland. We ended our time at Magic Kingdom by watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade with a churro.
Mickey Sweatshirt (gifted, unsure of source - sorry!) | Mickey Jeans - Zara (old, similar) | Mickey Oxfords - Freshly Picked | Mickey Hat - Walt Disney World
Wonderland Shirt - The Lost Bros | Castle Leggings - Happily Ever Tees (no longer available) | Glitter Sneakers - Bibbidi Bobbidi Bling | Hot Pink Glitter Ears - Disneyland Tokyo
Peter Pan Shirt - TommyRoseLane | Blue Mickey Pullover - Walt Disney World | Navy Shorts - Target (old, similar)
This was by far the best vacation and trip to Disney we've ever had. If you are wondering if it's worth it to take your babies to Disney, our answer is 100%. Kai is what made this trip beyond special and it's a trip I will cherish forever. Thanks again Disney, for all the magic and memories!
To keep the magic alive, I'll be posting more photos from our trip on my Instagram probably until our next trip, ha! AND to share the magic, I will be announcing a little GIVEAWAY over on my Instagram later today! Make sure you're following along so you can win something extra special that I picked up from Walt Disney World!
A couple of weeks ago we took Kai on his first flight and we went out to Salt Lake City, UT. My sister-in-law's little family along with my father-in-law all live out there plus my mother-in-law flew in, too so we could all spend an early Christmas together! We had so much fun spending quality time with our family and Kai got to meet his big cousins!
We got in pretty late at night and Kai had fallen asleep on the plane, which was such a blessing. He barely cried the whole way there! Our first stop after getting to Salt Lake was of course In-N-Out Burger. Anytime we fly out to Utah or California our first stop is always In-N-Out, ha! It's one of our favorite traditions we do when we fly out west.
On our first full day, we spent the afternoon up in the mountains and did a big family photo session...more to come on this later ;)! It was so nice to be back up in the mountains though. I've truly missed them and their beauty. After playing in the snow a bit, we drove back down the canyon and spent the evening out...baby free! Mimi watched Kai and his cousins for us while we went out with one of our best friends, Corinna! We had dinner at the London Belle Supper Club in downtown Salt Lake. This swanky little spot is the real deal. The drinks and food were so delicious. We ordered the charcuterie plate and duroc pork chili and rice. Both were phenomenal and we recommend them to anyone that makes it out to SLC in the near future! After dinner we popped in to Lake Effect for a drink to cap off the night. We're completely in love with this place, too! It has a nice and intimate setting, especially on the lower level. We got to sit in a fancy little corner booth that completely blocked out any noise from the rest of the bar. We really appreciated this for having nice conversation with great company! I also had the best French 75 of my life there. Again, 100% recommended!
The next day we were up bright and early to make it to our favorite breakfast spot in SLC, Pig & a Jelly Jar. We had breakfast with our Papa Joe and it was delicious as usual. I got the fried chicken and biscuits and Caleb got the chicken and waffles. Kai Bear had some chicken and eggs! We really love this spot but you need to get there early if you don't want to wait forever for a table. After breakfast, I headed to Arte Haus Collectif for the WildBird Pop-Up Event. Not only was this event happening while I was luckily in Salt Lake, but this little shop is right across the street from Pig & a Jelly Jar. I mean it's like all the stars aligned in my life for this to happen, ha! I got to the event pretty early and was one of the first ones in line! I made some new mama friends, too! I scored some amazing slings for myself and friends and was so in love with the Arte Haus Collectif shop. I literally wanted to buy everything in their shop! After lunch, we went to our nephew Stone's basketball game. He made a bunch of baskets during the game and played so well! Oh the things we have to look forward to with Kai! Later that evening we headed back out to have a special Christmas dinner at Station Park. We ate at Twigs and then did a little Christmas shopping. After our bellies were full and our feet were tired, we went back to Emily's house where we opened some Christmas presents and had a family game night. We also got Crumbl Cookies delivered and oh my goodness they are so yummy!
On our last full day, Caleb made breakfast a Emily's...his famous brioche French toast with vanilla marscapone. After a nice slow morning together, we eventually made our way back in to the city and grabbed some coffee at Publik. We walked around the 9th & 9th area and hit up a few small shops while sipping on our coffees. We had The Pie Pizzeria for our last dinner and just spent the night chatting.
We left bright and early the next morning to head home to Chicago. Kai didn't cry the entire flight home! I think we've got a little world traveler on our hands people! It was a short and sweet trip to Salt Lake but it was so needed. It was nice to be with family and be back in the place where Caleb and I first fell in love. We'll be back soon, SLC!
Ok I know you're all probably thinking, what the heck? Didn't you guys go to the PNW LAST summer!? Yes, yes we did, ha! Bare with me though...I didn't have this fun little blog back then though, babies and life happen, this is my absolute favorite part of that trip, AND I'm one of the biggest lovers of our National Parks. So...no matter how long ago this trip happened, I want to share it with all of you. The things we did and beauty we saw are still relevant today. So without further ado...our day in Mount Rainier National Park!
We drove out to Mount Rainier National Park on our second day up in Washington. We were staying in Seattle and it was only about a two hour drive to get to the entrance of the park from the city. Our first stop on our way in was the Sunrise Visitor Center. We really love taking scenic landscape photos and researched some of the best views of Mt. Rainier prior to coming and this site popped up. It happened to be on our way to the spot where we we're going to go hiking, so it all worked out perfectly. We took a nice break from the car, grabbed some shots, and honestly just sat and took in the beauty of Mt. Rainier.
After our small little break at the visitor center, we made our way further in to the mountains to get to the trailhead of where we were going to start our hike. Since we were only spending one day in Mt. Rainier NP, we decided to do the Sourdough Ridge Trail hike up to Dege Peak. This hike took around 3 hours round trip for us...they say the average is around 2 hrs but I was first trimester pregnant when we were on this trip so this little mama needed to take it nice and slow with some long breaks. In total, the hike was 3.4 miles round trip. It was a decent steady incline for most of the hike up, but the last 3/4 of a mile or so was a pretty steep climb. The top of Dege Peak is around 7,000 ft and offers amazing views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Adams. I was so proud of myself for climbing this peak, especially while pregnant!
We hung out on top of Dege Peak for awhile to enjoy the view, have a snack, and catch our breath then it was time to head back down. We went back down the way we came...although I really wish we had time to continue down the opposite way to explore the lakes that were in the valley below, but maybe next time! The way down was of course much easier but at the same time challenging in it's own way. The surprising thing about the whole hike was that even though there was snow on the trail, it was still hot and we actually got sunburned! To me this is kind of a no brainer now that I should have worn more sunscreen, but it was my first time in this kind of experience so I had no idea!
After our hike, we headed back out of the park technically (we were just barely outside of it) and went to the Crystal Mountain Resort. We took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and had lunch at the Summit House Restaurant. We got to sit outside on their patio and enjoy the most amazing view of Mt. Rainier. We had burgers and fries and some lemonade to rehydrate and it was all so delicious and enjoyable!
Next on the itinerary was to head over to the Ohanapecosh area to see the hot springs. We "hiked" the Hot Springs Nature Trail in search of the hot springs. We were all prepared with bathing suits and ready to relax after a long day of hiking in the sun. Well guys, I hate to break it to you but these hot springs are well, barely anything, ha! I'm not joking when I say this...we walked right past them! I was laughing so hard that I didn't even get a picture of them. I think Ashlyn might have?! Anyways, it is now one of our biggest inside jokes that we drove an extra two hours for these hot springs and didn't even know we were at them! It was a hilarious way to end the day and a trip we will never forget.
Location: Toledo, OH, USA
Happy 4th of July friends! I hope you're celebrating our beautiful country with wonderful friends and family with all the fireworks and BBQs today! We're planning on spending a relaxing day with our family and BBQing later tonight for dinner. Kai Bear goes to bed before all the fireworks start so those will have to wait for next year. Always something to look forward to though!
At the beginning of last month, we took our first road trip with Kai and it was for our family reunion that was in Toledo, OH. Toledo is where my dad grew up and the last two years we've been having family reunions with our entire Karavida side of the family. They have been so much fun reuniting with our family and meeting new family members each year! Our family is so big and spread out all over the country that there are actually members that I've never met before so it has been so wonderful to bring everyone together to create bonds with these family members as well as make new memories with all my amazing cousins.
We drove out on a Friday afternoon. Kai did fairly well in the car for it being his first road trip. It got a little sick of the drive around the half way mark but who can blame him!? Five hours in a car seat would be annoying for anyone but it was nothing a little bit of me crawling in to the back seat and entertaining him for awhile couldn't fix. Once we finally arrived in Toledo and got all checked in to our hotel (we stayed at the Radisson at the University of Toledo and we highly recommend it!), we headed out to dinner with some of our family at my favorite spot in all of Toledo, Shorty's True American Roadhouse. This place is so good you guys. We have to eat there every time we visit. They have the most yummy corn bread you can possibly imagine. We discovered that they use cake batter to make it, so no wonder it's so delicious!
The next day was reunion day! The shindig didn't start until the afternoon and now that we're early risers thanks to Kai, we got up early and made our way to downtown Toledo to spend some time just the 3 of us that morning. We drove around and got some Starbucks then hit up the Toledo Farmer's Market in search of some breakfast. While we didn't find any pastry stands we did find the coolest food truck called Big C's BBQ. Caleb got a pulled pork parfait that had pork, mashed potatoes, and gravy in it and I got BBQ nachos. All of it was SO GOOD! We walked around the market for a little bit too and I got some amazing soy candles from Heaven's Gate Soy Candles as well as some all natural bug repellent to use on Kai and even Wrigley!
After our morning downtown, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house for the reunion. We just enjoyed spending time catching up with family and reminiscing about great times in the past. I truly cherish these events and hope they stay an annual thing! I'm so glad Kai's first little trip was spent with family and full of so much love.
What was your first family trip you took with your little one(s)? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment and tell me your story! Hope you all have a great 4th!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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