We had such a great time on our family road trip to the Central Coast!
A couple of weeks ago, Patrick and I decided to take a little road trip during the week to celebrate our anniversary; and we wanted to of course take Olive along with us. Since I’m not a fan of flying with a toddler, we decided to take a short road trip instead – and how fitting, we returned to the resort where we got married, the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California.
I loved this resort from the moment we stepped foot in it when we were location scouting for our wedding, but at that point, we hadn’t paid any attention at all to whether it was child friendly. Thankfully, the Bacara has two extremely kid oriented pools (where we spent many hours, and Patrick got hopelessly sunburnt, tsk) and even a nearby sandpit for the little ones to play in. The grounds are lush, green and sprawling – plenty of room for kids to run around. In the restaurants, high chairs are readily available, and coloring books and crayons are even given out before each meal. In fact, almost every vacationing party we saw during our stay had kids with them.
During the day, we spent our time visiting wineries and playing by the water. We really enjoyed the Bridlewood and Rusack wineries – both had large outdoor spaces for Olive to roam around in and explore. That’s about as “child friendly” as wineries get though, because besides the occasional cheese plate, you’re not going to find any food, snacks or entertainment for your little.
We also took Olive to see the ocean for the first time, and she was mesmerized. The entire trip, she kept chanting “ocean! ocean!” because she wanted to see it again.
The one thing that threw us for a loop was Olive’s sleep. When we travel, she usually falls asleep in her portable crib, and usually has few problems doing it, too. We were expecting the same this time around. But of course, she’s now older, and wiser – so she wouldn’t have it in her crib. So we co-slept with Olive, for the first time ever. We took her into our bed and it took her 45 minutes of us laying there to fall asleep. I have to be honest – sleeping with our child in our bed is really, really sweet. Being able to kiss her little face while she lay next to us was a dream. I also learned that toddler sleep is really deep. Almost nothing wakes them up! However, no one really got a good nights sleep….Olive, as we found out, is a sleep thrasher. Fun times. Of course, I was worried that this would ruin all of our sleep training, but she was (mostly) back to her old routine once we got back home.
All in all, it was a really great trip – a lot of great memories were made. I can’t wait until we can find the time to take another family trip again! Maybe next time, I’ll be a little more daring and get on a plane to go somewhere farther.
Until then, here are a few Toddler Road Trip tips I learned this time – for you: