Better late than never, right!? Ok so I know we took this vacation quite awhile ago, but now that I have my MacBook and I can actually edit photos with the quality they deserve I started re-doing our shots from our PNW adventure last summer and they are just too good not to share with all of you! Especially since we won't be traveling anywhere until fall this year, I thought I'd slowly share our travel story from this vacation with you all on here. So, let me start from the beginning...
In summer 2017, we took our big annual vacation and this time we chose Portland, OR and Seattle, WA! I have been to both cities in the past with my best friend who lives in Portland, but Caleb has never been. We visited with my best friend Ashlyn and took Caleb to all of our favorite spots as well as tried out some new ones! We spent 2 days in Portland, drove up to Seattle and spent 4 days there, and then drove back down to Portland where we spent another day and a half. For the sake of not making this post be a novel, I'm just going to share the Portland part with you today. Please forgive the lack of photos, too, we really took this time to enjoy spending time with each other and Ashlyn and I was also in my first trimester...so as you can imagine I was really concentrated on surviving and enjoying each day to the best of my ability!
We arrived in to Portland really late at night and did my favorite ritual that Ashlyn and I have when I first get to Portland...we went to Jack in the Box! This is one of those fast food places that we don't have in the Chicago area but we really love it, so we we're excited to grab some burgers, tacos, and egg rolls after our long flight.
Our first full day was filled with just exploring the city since it was Caleb's first time. We hit up the famous Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee for breakfast, did some shopping at Powell's City of Books, and then went to a new spot for me for lunch, Pine State Market. The cool thing about this market is that it is basically like a dining hall. There are a bunch of small restaurant stands inside and you can get so many different kinds of foods! They have Korean BBQ, burgers, hot dogs, ramen...you get the picture. Caleb got the ramen, I got a burger, and Ashlyn got a jumbo hot dog. The best part about this is we all got to share and try a little bit of everything! We also grabbed some soft serve ice cream from the Wiz Bang Bar stand, which is Salt & Straw's only soft serve location in Portland. Hands down the best ice cream you will ever have! After stuffing ourselves crazy, we drove over to the Alphabet District (which is my favorite neighborhood in PDX) and did some shopping. I love this area because there is a great mix of one of a kind boutiques as well as some well known favorite stores. Our favorite store in the area though is called The Meadow. It is a salt, bitters, and chocolate shop and is owned by Mark Bitterman. If you've ever dappled with higher end salt, his name probably rings a bell. So as you can imagine with Caleb being the amazing cook that he is...he was in absolute heaven. We walked out with a bunch of salt, chocolate, and a pink salt block! We then took a nice afternoon break for this preggo lady, freshened up, and headed out to dinner at a new spot for me, Pok Pok. They serve authentic Thai food and it was so delicious. We suggest getting the fish sauce wings and Kaeng Hang Leg, which is sweet pork belly. We then walked over to get more Salt & Straw ice cream because we promised Caleb it would be at least a daily occurrence. I got a scoop of a seasonal option but Ashlyn and Caleb both got pints, so we could have it whenever we wanted at Ashlyn's apartment!
Our second full day was an amazing one to say the least. We started the day out at Pine State Biscuits for a great breakfast. This is one of our all time favorite places in Portland, and we have to go every time I visit! We then headed out to the Columbia River Gorge where we did a full day of hiking. We started out at the Crown Point Vista House, which is a great overlook of the Columbia River. We then did a 2 mile hike to the Upper Falls, a 1 mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls, and a half mile hike to Multnomah Falls. All three hikes we're fairly easy...at least easy enough for a 12 week pregnant lady! You can access all three trail heads off of Historic Highway 30. After our nice long day of hiking, we headed back in to the city where we had dinner at our favorite Portland restaurant, Radar. Ashlyn and I discovered Radar on our first visit out there before she moved to Portland, and we fell so in love with this restaurant. We hyped it up a bunch, but Caleb agreed at the end that it is some of the best food you will ever have. Our favorite dishes are the braised brisket and smoked pork shoulder. My mouth is watering right now just typing about them!
The following morning was a quick one in terms of our time in Portland. We popped in to a cute little doughnut place called Pip's Original Doughnuts and Chai for breakfast. They serve little doughnuts, coffee, and the best chai teas. We got one of each mini doughnut with the cinnamon sugar and the Dirty Wu being our top choices. We then drove up to Seattle, which I will save that fun for a different blog post!
When we got back to Portland a few days later, we kept the doughnut train going and hit up Blue Star Donuts for our first breakfast back in PDX. I really really love the lemon poppy doughnut but the blueberry bourbon basil is a close second. We stuck around the Mississippi neighborhood of PDX after breakfast and went in to some cute shops in the area. We hit up another Meadow location and this time Caleb grabbed some bitters and I grabbed some rose cocktail syrup that I am still dying to try. Only a couple more weeks hopefully! We opted to stick around the area for lunch, too, and went to Little Big Burger, which is right next to Blue Star. My travel crew graciously took an afternoon break with me back at Ashlyn's place before heading over to the Old Town area for our Shanghai Tunnels tour later at night. This was a brand new experience for me, and I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous about it. Ghost stories aren't really my thing, but I sucked it up and went underground for the tour of the tunnels. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it really isn't that bad. Just watch your head! The ceilings are low and you could whack your head on many many pipes. After the tour, we went over to Cartopia, which is an awesome lot full of food trucks! We each got something different and shared just like we did at Pine Street Market. I love doing this so you get to try a little bit of everything!
Our final day our of vacation was only a half day, but we ended on quite a high note. We went out for breakfast to a place called Off the Waffle. You guys, I LOVE waffles so much. Like Leslie Knope level love waffles. This place apparently also loves the show Parks and Rec because you can get a plate called The Swanson! It was our dream breakfast. It was unfortunately time for us to head to the airport after that, but we definitely left with full hearts and bellies. We can't wait for our next visit out to the PNW with Nugget in tow!
I'll be sharing our time in Seattle and Mount Rainier National Park in separate posts. so stay tuned! Make sure you're following me on Twitter for daily ramblings and blog post announcements! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!
As I look back on 2017, I am filled with so much happiness. I spent most of this year pregnant, and I can't believe what a blessing it has been. Excitement, prepping, and waiting have mostly been the name of the game this year, but it's all worth it to make 2018 the best year yet! I wanted to take a little walk down memory lane and share some of the best moments from this year and why I'll treasure every single day of 2017.
Coming off the best baseball year of all time in 2016, going to a couple of Cubs games with Caleb during opening week was so exciting. Even though the Cubs didn't go all the way again this year, it sure was a wonderful season and we had a lot of fun cheering them on all summer long.
Mother's Day weekend was a real sweet one this year. My mother-in-law came to visit us, and we got to show her all around Chicago and Milwaukee. We had one of the best lunches of our lives at Cindy's Rooftop, and I will never forget that lobster roll! I didn't know it at the time but I was barely pregnant with Nugget this past Mother's Day! It was my last one only being a dog mom to Wrigley, too.
Just moments after finding out our family would be growing. Pure, genuine happiness and excitement. This was such a funny moment though. When I went to the store to buy a pregnancy test I wanted to be pregnant so bad but I was so scared that I wasn't. I decided I didn't want to waste extra money and buy a digital pregnancy test. I bought an analog one and thought to myself that if they worked for lots of women before, it'll work for me, too. Well I went home and did my bit (jeez that was the longest 2 minutes of my life!) and when it was time to check it, we couldn't figure it out haha! We we're like two idiots going back and forth between the stick and the box and then it finally clicked that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you're not pregnant. Well it was clear as day and we we're jumping, cheering, crying, hugging, and Wrigley thought we were absolutely crazy!
Our first trip of the year didn't come until June. We drove out to Michigan for a family reunion and got to spend some time in Detroit. We also got to meet some family we had never had the chance of meeting before and spend time with my dear cousins, aunts, and uncles. Hopefully we'll be having another reunion in 2018 so they can all meet Nugget!
We got to host 4th of July for our family this year at our house and it was our first big summer BBQ with our family at our house. This is the day we chose to announce our big wonderful news to them and it was a day of pure joy!
Our big trip this year was visiting the Pacific Northwest. We started out in Portland, drove up to Seattle, hiked in Mount Rainier National Park, and drove to the end of US RT 12 and down US RT 101 to spend some time near the ocean. My best friend, Ashlyn, lives in Portland and we got to spend a week with her adventuring to all these places! It was my 3rd time out in Portland and 2nd time to Seattle with her but it was Caleb's first! He loved it just as much as I do, and we can't wait to take Nugget in the future!
Finally in August, we announced to everyone that we were having a baby. The month of July was spent telling all of our family and close friends our amazing news. We had lots of great dinners, FaceTime sessions, and visits with all of them talking about our exciting addition to our family. It made the summer so special and exciting even though I was battling through lots of morning sickness from my 1st trimester.
Finding out Nugget was a boy was one of the best moments of the year and of our lives, honestly. We actually knew he was going to be a boy before our gender reveal party. We decided that the way we wanted to find out was at home, just me, Caleb, and Wrigley. We went for our 20 week ultrasound and asked the tech to write the gender down and put it in an envelope. Everything looked great on the ultrasound and we looked away when she was checking that part of his anatomy. When we got home from the doctor, we sat down in our living room and opened the envelope. We pulled out a small piece of paper that said "It's a Boy!"
Last minute, we decided we wanted to take a babymoon, and we chose our favorite place in the whole world, Disney World! We spent our 2nd anniversary there and had the time of our lives. It was the break from reality that we needed. My 2nd trimester was the happiest time of the year for us and a big part of that was thanks to this trip. It refreshed us and we came home ready to fully prep for Nugget's arrival.
My baby shower that my mom and aunt hosted for me was such a special day. I was so overjoyed by all the love that our family and friends showed us and was so grateful to everyone who travelled and came to celebrate Nugget with me. I'm also so blessed that I get to share this experience with my mom and grandma. I made her a grandma and now I get to make her a great-grandma!
The holidays are such a special time of the year, and we we have been blessed to be able to spend it with our family. My father-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving and helped us host another successful holiday at our house. We've been enjoying Christmastime in our home and making the final preparations for Nugget to join us!
I loved 2017 so much, but I can tell I'm going to love 2018 even more! Cheers to a new year everyone! I hope it's a great one filled with love, happiness, and balance. My goal or resolution for 2017 was finding a good balance of all things in my life, and I think I found that. I have a big challenge ahead that is going to rock that balance but life would be boring without challenges, and I'm so excited to take on this new one!
At the end of September we went on a trip that is called a "Babymoon" to Walt Disney World! Now you might be thinking, what the heck is a babymoon? Or you might be here because you're pregnant too and looking for the perfect destination for your own babymoon. Well I'm here to answer all your questions from what a babymoon is, why it's important to take one, and why you should plan your babymoon at Disney!
Epcot Outfit Details:
T-Shirts: Once Upon Apparel | Shorts: Zara (old) | Sneakers: Nike Factory (similar) | Bow Headband: Rarity by Casey | Sunglasses: Kate Spade Outlet (similar)
A Little Bit About Our Babymoon
So as I said above, we went to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL for our babymoon. We spent 5 days there and did 1 day at each park except Magic Kingdom where we spent 2 days. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and took advantage of the Disney Magical Express. We dined at some of the best restaurants, went on tons of rides, I got a prenatal massage, and we got to experience high tea at the Grand Floridian. We had the most magical time and it's a trip I will always treasure. Not only was it fun but it was the last trip before our family grows by 1!
Animal Kingdom Outfit Details:
T-Shirt: Oh Yeah Apparel | Vest: Banana Republic Factory (old, great fall style) | Shorts: JCrew Factory | Sneakers: Target | Hat: Lost Boys Club | Sunglasses: Kate Spade Outlet (similar) | Apple Watch Cover: eBay
What is a Babymoon?
A babymoon is a trip that you and your partner take during your pregnancy to enjoy your time with one another before your bundle of joy arrives. The trip can be taken any time during the pregnancy up until 36 weeks but based off my own experience it is ideal to take it during your 2nd trimester. We went on an incredibly fun vacation to the Pacific Northwest back in July but I was at the tail end of my 1st trimester (I was about 11 to 12 weeks pregnant when we went) and I still wasn't feeling my best. I was nauseous and tired and really had to take it slow and easy, which just isn't our style. I wouldn't say we hit it super hard at Disney but I was able to walk around more, take shorter naps, and actually eat all the yummy food! The issue I can see with taking a babymoon later in your pregnancy, say the beginning of your 3rd trimester is that you start to get uncomfortable at this time. I know for me personally (I'm 29 weeks pregnant now) I would be very uncomfortable sitting on an airplane for an extended amount of time and I've noticed my feet have really started to hurt if I'm on them for any prolonged periods. Plus most of my clothes don't fit as well anymore and it's already challenging enough to shop for day to day maternity clothes without breaking the bank so I can't imagine the frustration of trying to shop for vacation maternity clothes. But to each their own! Remember this is your pregnancy and you have to do what is best for you. Maybe you aren't feeling up to anything until your 3rd trimester or it just doesn't work with your schedule to go until later in your pregnancy. Maybe you're feeling great from the start and you want to celebrate early on and go when your belly hasn't popped out yet! The important thing is to try your best to budget and make time to do a trip like this to celebrate this next phase in your life.
Hollywood Studios Outfit Details;
T-Shirt: Oh Yeah Apparel | Shorts: JCrew Factory | Sneakers: Nike Factory (similar) | BB-8 Ears: To Never Neverland | Sunglasses: Kate Spade Outlet (similar) | Backpack: Jansport | Apple Watch Cover: eBay
Why You Should Go on a Babymoon
At first we weren't going to go on a babymoon. We had booked our vacation to the Pacific Northwest back in March before I got pregnant and were spending a pretty penny on that trip. It was an 8 day trip, and we were visiting some really cool places like Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Plus my best friend lives in Portland, and we had the best time visiting and exploring with her! But like I said before, I wasn't feeling my best. I was plagued with some morning sickness, fatigue, and even a dizzy spell while we were at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Not really ideal for our last "adventure" before this next new phase of our lives. I had read some articles on The Bump app as well as kept seeing things about booking our babymoon on my weekly checklist but I just kept resisting. I didn't want us to spend money on another vacation when we were already going on one and had a lot of baby stuff to eventually buy. However, once we got back from Portland and I started feeling much better the idea kept popping up in my head. How about one last trip where it's just the two of us now that I'm feeling better? What if we went to Disney again? After some more resisting I caved a little bit and decided it wouldn't hurt to just look at prices. Well at that point it all kind of just fell into place. Disney was having some great deals as well as Southwest Airlines and all this pricing was based around the week of our wedding anniversary. How perfect is that!? So a month before our babymoon, we booked our trip to Disney and never looked back.
Reason 1: You deserve it
Yes, you fellow mama to be deserve a nice special trip. I know you might not feel like it all the time because all you do is sleep and your house is a mess and you haven't done your hair in 3 weeks but seriously you deserve it. You're doing the most amazing thing in your whole life and that deserves a proper celebration. So as your laying in bed in between naps start brainstorming ideas of where you'd like to go. Maybe somewhere new or maybe your favorite place in the whole world? Think of some ideas and relay them to your partner.
Reason 2: It's great alone time for you & your partner away from the real world
This is going to be the last time you and your partner can go on a trip without your little one or without having to deal with the gut wrenching feeling of leaving your little one behind for a very long time. You should go and enjoy somewhere you both love and are excited to go to. Whether that's somewhere new or an old favorite, pick somewhere that is going to make you both so happy and help you come home refreshed and ready to take on your next adventure.
Reason 3: It's something in the near future to look forward to
While the most exciting thing to ever happen to you is in your future and you're so looking forward it, you probably still have a long time to go. I know for me I thrive on things to look forward to. It can even be something as simple as going out to dinner with my hubby on Saturday night. But the thought of a Disney trip when I was coming out of my 1st trimester sickness was SO exciting for me and my hubby! It gave us so much more motivation to stay positive day by day even when things felt really hard. It was going to be a big treat on top of even bigger treat that we'd be getting later on (our little baby).
Reason 4: It's a great way to relax
I know for me personally I've been a lot more anxious than I normally am since I've become pregnant. That's normal for pregnancy but sometimes you really need a destressor. Going on vacation is obviously a great way to get rid of some real world stress. You don't have to go to work, you can sleep in, and you get to treat yo self on top of so many other things. As mamas to be we all really need that. We have so much on our minds that it's important to take a break from all that and have some fun + relaxation time.
Magic Kingdom Day 1 Outfit Details:
T-Shirt: Main Street Press | Shorts: JCrew Factory | Sneakers: Nike Factory (similar) | Minnie Ears: Disney Parks (available on the Shop Parks app) | Sunglasses: LOFT | Backpack: Dooney & Bourke (only available at Disney Parks)
Magic Kingdom Day 2 Outfit Details:
T-Shirt: ViralStyle (no longer available) | Shorts: JCrew Factory | Sneakers: Nike Factory (similar) | Minnie Ears: Disney Parks | Sunglasses: LOFT | Bracelets: ALEX & ANI
Why Disney is a Great Babymoon Option
If you've made it this far you're probably sold or highly considering a babymoon in general and now want to know how Disney works out as a babymoon destination. I had so many questions flying through my head when I first came up with the idea like can I go on any of the rides? How will my feet hold up? What about the heat? Will we have a good time or will it just be a hassle? Well let me address those questions for you after having done this awesome babymoon myself.
Pregnancy & Rides
Yes you can go on so many rides at Disney World while you're pregnant! If you look on their website and go to the Things to Do section and click on each of the parks pages you can see all the attractions and rides that are available at each park. From there in the filter by section all the way at the end you can click on Accessibility & Advisories and check the box that says Expectant Mothers Advisory. You will then get a list populated for all the attractions and rides it is safe for you to go on at that park. If you're curious about a specific ride you can click on that ride and on the ride's page you then click on the Accessibility and Other Information link. Under Guest Policies it will list any health warnings including an expectant mothers warning if there is one. To give you a quick overview of some amazing rides you can go on while pregnant here is a little list broken down by park:
Solution to Aching Feet: Go to all the Shows & Eat all the Snacks
My feet definitely got tired after awhile of walking around the parks all day but we took frequent breaks by going to as many shows as we could fit in as well as taking multiple snack/meal breaks. By doing this we actually felt like we didn't have enough time at each park and that is without going on all the "big" rides like Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, and Flight of Passage. Each park has some excellent shows that you can enjoy; my personal favorites are: Finding Nemo at Animal Kingdom, Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios, and Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom. As for Epcot, there is so much to do in the World Showcase! We went while the Food & Wine Festival was going on and tried out so much food all day long. Granted I couldn't drink, but that just saved us money and the food was so good that it didn't matter anyways. Plus you can say Caleb drank for both of us ;). Epcot has lots of festivals all throughout the year like the Festival of the Arts in the early spring as well as Flower & Garden all throughout spring that you can enjoy, as well. If you get lucky and go before Halloween you can also enjoy Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and if you go between Halloween and Christmas you can enjoy Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! See there is so much to do at the Disney Parks that don't even involve rides and every single one of them is worth checking out.
Tired + Heat Factor
It's hot in Florida...that's no secret, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go to Disney World while you're pregnant. It was in the low 90s while we were at the parks and while at times it was getting to me for the most part I felt great. I drank lots of water every day, took breaks in air conditioned buildings and stores (there's tons of spaces you can pop in to), enjoyed some pool time, and took a daily afternoon break where we napped and showered. My biggest piece of advice for this is to bring your own water bottle. Water is free at Disney, so you can go to any snack stall or restaurant and ask for a cup of water. Fill up your water bottle multiple times a day to make sure you don't get dehydrated and you will do just fine. Also if you stay at a Disney resort (which I highly recommend doing) go back to your hotel after lunch to take a nap, spend some time in the pool, and take a shower before heading back out for dinner and the night time shows. You'll feel so refreshed and ready for round 2.
Take Advantage of the Fun EVERYWHERE
There is so much to do at Disney World and I don't just mean at the parks. Like I mentioned above, take advantage of your hotel amenities like the pool! Our resort had hammocks all along the water that were perfect for relaxing in! Unfortunately it was under construction while we were there but if it wasn't I would have loved to curl up with a book in the mornings and have some coffee before heading to the parks. There is also Disney Springs and the Board Walk that are worth checking out. Do some shopping at Disney Springs and enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening strolling the Board Walk with some yummy ice cream from Ample HIlls Creamery. You can also hop on over to a resort that has a spa! Caleb booked a prenatal massage for me at the Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian mid-week and it helped destress me and take away so much soreness that was building up from walking around and just being pregnant in general. It was a wonderful experience filled with being able to dip my feet in to the hot tub, relaxing in the lounge eating snacks and drinking cider, and pampering myself with all the special products they had in the locker room area. During this time Caleb picked a spot at Mizner's Lounge in the Grand Floridian and enjoyed a couple drinks and after we met up at the Garden View Room for high tea. It was a great mid-week break from the heat and the parks, as well as a way to do something different that we had never done before at Disney. It was a treat for both of us. A couple things that we wanted to try out but didn't have time for was going mini golfing at one of the golf courses and checking out the ESPN Wide World of Sports area. We didn't want to jam pack our schedule too much as we were there to relax and enjoy the parks as much as possible but if you feel like you need a break from walking around the parks but don't want to be hanging in your room I highly suggest checking those things out, too!
Lingering Question: Was it Worth It?
100% YES! One big factor of why we chose to go to Disney, too, is the distance from where we live. Orlando is only about a 2 hour flight from Chicago, which wasn't too agonizing being on a plane while I was pregnant. I was really uncomfortable on our flight to Portland since it was about 4 1/2 hours, which is a big reason why we chose not to go to Europe or Hawaii for our babymoon. We wanted to get somewhere quick but exciting. Obviously not everyone lives that close to Orlando but don't forget west coasters, you can go to Disneyland! Disney also has parks located in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai, as well. There is literally Disney magic all over the world! I knew we'd have a great time at Disney but we honestly had the BEST TIME EVER! Even though I'm a huge rollercoaster fan and love all the "big kid rides" I can honestly say I had more fun this time around than I did last year when we went. It was so enjoyable to take things slow and take advantage of all things Disney has to offer, not just the rides. However, one of the best parts about going to Disney while I was pregnant though was seeing all the kids there. To see their faces light up when they see a character or watch the fireworks made my heart burst. It made me so excited to take our child there in the future and watch him be excited for all the wonderful things at Disney, too.
High Tea Outfit Details:
Dress: JCrew Factory (old, great fall pregnancy friendly option) | Minnie Ears: Disney Parks (available on the Shop Parks app)
Hopefully I've answered most of your questions now about going to Disney for your babymoon! If you do choose to go to Disney, I hope you have the most magical time! If you have anymore questions please leave me a comment below or let me know where you plan on going for your babymoon! Or if you're not pregnant where is your next exciting trip!? I love hearing about all of your vacations no matter what the occasion is for! Hope you all have a happy day!
Welcome to Tiny Dapper Fox! I'm Diana, a wifey, dog mom, and mama to a little boy. This is a place for sharing & inspiring the best in all of us and hopefully it will add a spark of joy to your life!
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