As a first time mom, one of my biggest fears was traveling with a baby. I have heard too many horror stories from other moms about their journey’s as a family with a baby baby tagging along. We hesitantly made plans to visit some family in California in October to meet our son for the first time.
When we clicked the “Flight booked” button and I got an email confirmation with our itinerary, my heard started to race. I had lists and to do errands to run to get us prepared for this unfamiliar voyage ahead. Our first airplane ride, car rental and hotel check in as a family of three.
As they days approached, I was going through everything to make sure we were 100% prepared for this trip (it was only 4 days long). Running around and making sure our house was also ready for us to leave was a task too! While we were leaving, we planned to get the entire house painted from top to bottom, so a lot of prep work needed to go into this project.
As we laid our heads down to sleep the night before our trip, I was tossing and turning from anxiety. Everyone knows that I HATE flying, so my nerves were being triggered left and right. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep when our alarms when off and we needed to hustle to leave the house on time.
All our bags are packed and we are loaded up in the car heading toward the airport. Surprisingly, I am calm and just trying to stay focused. We park out car, find our gate and head to security. What’s great about Sky Harbor International Airport is that they allow families’ traveling with infants to skip the standard security check so that was nice. We made it and with plenty of time to spare!
The clock is ticking and we are getting closer and closer to boarding the plane. I am more concerned with how Ben is going to do and not as focused on my own anxiety for flying. We get in our seats and I was able to give Ben a bottle right as we are taking off. As soon as we reach altitude, he falls asleep and stays asleep the entire flight (1 hour and 40 minutes from PHX - SAC). We could not have asked for a better flight! Not to mention the flight itself was not full so we had the entire row to ourselves.
We land and get our bags at baggage claim and head to get our rental. We were able to pick from about 15 different card and we decided to go with a new 2018 Dodge Mini Van. I have always told myself that I would never get a van but after this trip, I think it might be my new car!
We are now headed for the hotel. After about a 20-minute drive we arrive and check in with no issues. We had a crib sent to our room for the baby and we get settled in before we headed off to visit with family. So far so good!
It’s time to finally introduce Benjamin to the California family who has only seen pictures. Everyone fell in love and he was such a trooper with all the love and attention he received. He was able to meet his cousins too for the first time and we could not have asked for a better trip. Jeremy and I got to also meet our nephew for the first time too who is 2 months older than Ben. We just enjoyed ourselves and embraced all the love we could get in the short trip we took.
We were able to do a few fun activates while in Sacramento. We made our way up North to High Hill Ranch. This place is BEAUTIFUL! There were gorgeous scenery with Pines, colorful oaks and plenty of apple cider. They make their own donuts, hayrides, pumpkin patches, fudge, apple picking and so much more. The entire ranch was covered in local vendors and plenty of food options. It was such a perfect place to spend the day with the family enjoying the fresh air and amazing food.
We try to make it out to Sacramento at least once a year to visit family. With the baby tagging along, it has changed how we travel for sure! I am not going to lie; it is stressful but so worth having him with us on our adventures. He was a trooper the entire trip and with one adventure under our belts, we are ready for more!
What are some travel tips you can give when it comes to traveling with infants or children? Comment below and make sure to Follow Me on Instagram for more photos and content.
High Hill Photo: http://www.edc-farmtrails.org/member/high-hill-ranch
Apple photo: https://handbookofnaturestudy.com/2010/10/apples-autumn-series-challenge-day.html/
Picking the right shade of gray for your home can be a challenge. When it comes to gray tones, picking the right shade can make our break your homes interior design. When they say 50 shades of gray, it’s more like an infinite amount of shades. How do you pick the right one?
We headed to our local hardware store to start looking at all the different options. After about 45 minutes of standing there with my finger in my nose and an overwhelming array of possibilities, I started to feel dazed. My mind started to play tricks on me and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I would pick up a swatch and say, “yes I found my gray”! But then, I would move a few shades down and find another shade that I thought was the same color. Once I compared the two I could see tones of blue, green or purple in each gray. How can you pick the right one????!?!?!?
After battling back and forth between colors and a nauseating overload, I decided to leave empty handed. This was a big decision for our new house and I had to make sure I was making the right one. I headed home and jumped online to see what others were doing about color choices in their homes. After some research I found some great tips and tricks when it comes to picking that perfect shade of gray. Now, time to test the theories...
My husband and I found a few photos of kitchen and living rooms from others who have painted with grey colors and found out what color and brand they used. We headed back to the store and without looking too hard into the other colors, we had the tec make up samples of the 4 colors we decided to go with based on the online research. One of the tricks we learned was to make sure to test the colors on multiple walls around your home: Living room, kitchen, family room, office, stairway, master bedroom and bathroom. We placed all 4 colors on the wall and wrote below what colors they were. After letting the paint dry, we went back to our locations to rate each color. We changed the lighting from natural light to artificial lighting to get a feel for each color. We began to rate each room based on our favorite colors we placed on the walls and then compared our answers. This seemed to be a great way to get multiple sets of eyes on the colors without feeling like they are meshing into each other.
We finally decided on a gray!!! The process was so easy and simple. We are going to go with the
Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. It is going to be exactly what we are looking for in a gray shade. It’s not blue, it’s not green and it’s not brown. It feels like an authentic true gray that doesn’t sway one way on the color spectrum.
We can’t wait to get this project started and show you the after photos of our home!
First off, let me just say that Flagstaff, AZ is one of the most wonderful places to visit. My husband and I went to college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and we adored the city. If we ever have the opportunity to move back, I am sure we would pack up and leave in a heart beat!
This was our first mini road trip with the baby and he did such a great job. It was a spur of the moment decision to pack up and head up to Northern Arizona, and it was so worth it! He was such a trooper and slept the entire 2 hours it took us to get up there.
The entire drive is a scenic experience. Every turn is pure beauty. Mountains, desert landscapes, open fields and meadows all lead the way into Coconino National Forest which is covered in great pines and aspen trees.
Nothing beats Flagstaff’s ability to literally take your breath away. At 12,000 elevation, you may experience some shortness of breathe while walking around down town, but don’t sweat it because there are plenty of great bars and restaurants to stop in and take a rest. One of our favorite spots to hit for something tastes is Pato Thai Cuisine right in downtown Flag. They are a smaller location with great service and fooooood! Ben really enjoyed himself in the fun and exciting atmosphere.
One of the really neat features of Flagstaff is the great railroad system that is still used today. The trains that storm through town are always so fun to watch. Kids get so excited to see the big train chug by with all its power.
After the waves of nostalgia crashed into us, we decided to head off to see the rest of the city we loved so much. We headed up North toward Snow Bowl at the bottom of Mount Humphrey’s where you can ski, hike, camp or just enjoy nature. We were able to capture the Fall leaves changing around the base of the mountain. By this time the baby was pooped, it started to rain and we needed to hit the road.
A perfect way to end the day was with some great sunsets we watched on the way home. Nothing beats the sunsets that we have here in AZ. Read more about AZ living. With a 25 degree difference only 2 hours away, it was nice to be back home in our own neck of the woods. The great thing about Flagstaff is that it is only a 2 hour drive North for us to be able to be in a complete different world. Many do not know that Arizona has snow or 4 seasons in some locations. Flagstaff is a great place to raise a family, ski, go to school or just enjoy the outdoors. If you ever get a change to visit, it is worth the trip.
Share your Fall adventures below!
If you want to read more about Living in Arizona CLICK HERE
I grew up being a Phoenician and have never really considered leaving. Our entire family resides in AZ and the weather isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, the summers are HOT, but that’s why AC was invented, right?!
Here are a few reasons why I love living in Arizona
1. The views are breathtaking.
Not only are you surrounded by miles and miles of rich desert landscape but, there are amazing mountains and peaks surrounding all of Arizona. No matter where you go in AZ, you will have a view!
2. The Weather!
Yes, June – September can be pretty brutal with temperatures reaching 115 degrees! But the great part about bad weather means you need to find other activities to stay comfortable. Just like in the mid west when it snows, we too have to find other ways to beat the heat! Going to a movie, swimming in the pool, and believe it or not we do have ice skating rinks. But the best part about the weather in Arizona is during the FALL! It’s a perfect crisp 60 degrees and 80 at the highest up until April or May. PERFECTION!
The commute around the city has been planned with excellence. With some many freeways available and so many of them connecting to one another, getting around this larger city is a piece of cake. This means that traffic isn’t as bad as some places like LA or Chicago
(not to say we don’t have traffic).
Overall, the price you pay for a home in AZ is pretty cheap compared to other placed around the US. Our real estate is priced appropriately to the city you want to live in. Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Peoria are priced on a higher end scale due to demand, location and overall desired living.
5. Sunrise and Sunset
We have some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Even Forrest Gump made 3 different appearances in his film due to the beautiful nature of Arizona! Check out the clip here!
6. The Grand Canyon… need I say more?
We have some really amazing places you can visit in Arizona.
If you are looking for cold weather with snow, we got it.
If you are looking for a tale gate weekend at an NFL game, we got it.
If you are looking for a great aquarium, waterpark or theme park, we got it.
If you are looking for the best Mexican, Italian or French foods, we got it.
If you are looking for sand dunes and off road racing, we got it.
If you are looking for haunted hotels or spooky towns, we got it.
If you are looking for a relaxing day in a botanical garden, we got it.
If you are looking for a weekend on the lake, we got it.
If you are looking to hike some of the most beautiful places, we got it.
If you are looking to escape the freezing col and enjoy the sun, we got it.
Comment and let me know where you live and why you love living there!
Check out my other blogs on Motherhood, Photography or Beauty
I'm Kristyn from sunny Peoria, Arizona. I'm married to my amazing husband Jeremy and I'm a mother to our incredible son Benjamin. I love inspiring and empowering others to see their true beauty and fight against the stigmas that society has created about beauty.