Tuesday, June 3, 2014


At 3 1/2 months old Avery earned his first passport stamp! Taking advantage of a 10 day stretch off in David's rotation, we headed to San Francisco to visit Eric, Yuko and their one year old son Christopher.

I was quite nervous about flying with a baby... we have been on our fair share of flights with screaming children. We surveyed our friends and the internet for tips and tricks... then crossed our fingers. In the end, Avery was a champ. The flight there he slept the entire two hours! The flight back he slept for the majority of the flight but unfortunately woke for the last hour (I blame a delay in taking off...). Typically Avery, once he was awake he didn't want to be sitting so Dave and I took turns walking the aisles. It helped that we were not the only parents walking the aisles either!

I had wanted to go to Maui but David chose San Francisco for its milder weather not wanting to have to be constantly worrying about Avery in the sun... Ironically, a heat wave hit while we were there and for the majority of the week it was around 30 C with not a cloud in the sky. Only on our last day did we experience the typically foggy weather that characterizes the San Francisco area.

We spent the first three days in San Francisco, exploring Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Chinatown, the Ferry Building Market and the streets of downtown San Francisco. Eric's apartment was located right downtown so we were able to do all of our exploring on foot or by bus. It was nice to not have to worry about a car seat, parking or a stroller.

Looking to escape the city the one day temperatures soared above 30 C, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to explore the John Muir Forest and Muir Beach in Marin County. The redwood forest was stunning and serene... and a welcome escape from the city and heat!

For the final four days of our trip we rented a car and headed south along the scenic coastal highway. With no particular itinerary and not being able to travel with any amount of speed, we stopped frequently to explore the beaches, take in the view and enjoy the delicious Californian food.

Eric and Yuko met up with us in Monterey where we explored the Fisherman's Wharf and waterfront parks and then took in the famous '17 Mile Drive' through Pebble Beach Gold Course.

We decided Avery is a good luck charm when it comes to wildlife... we saw countless seal lions, seal, sea otters, pelicans, eagles, vultures, jellyfish and even spotted whales almost every day!

From Monterey we continued south towards Big Sur. David had been skeptical when I chose to drive the coast over visiting the peaks of Yosemite but was blown away by the rugged beauty of the cliffs and beaches. He will always be a mountain man but I don't think I will have any trouble persuading him to go back to the California coast. Him and Eric already gathered an extensive list of places to camp and hike once Avery and Christopher are a little older.

Travelling with a baby was definitely a change for David and I. We are used to spending longs days exploring on foot, clocking countless miles, forgetting to stop for meals until we are starving. We quickly learnt that doesn't work with a baby in tow. Especially when it is 33 C out. Sightseeing had to be limited to a couple hours at a time, being cognizant of meal times, nap times, sun exposure... a lot more planning then we usually put into our travel days!

Nonetheless, we enjoyed being able to spend family time together. Our only priorities were to spend time with our son and to soak up some sun!


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