When we first found out we would be having a baby, I had a mix of emotions (which I wrote about here). One of my concerns was that our traveling itch that crept in every few weeks or so, would fester and never be attended to. I spent a lot of time wondering how traveling with a little boo would impact our experiences and had numerous conversations with TJ about it. We made a decision, as a couple, to not stop… but to show her, and instill within her adventure. So, when Allison gave Tj and me a gift certificate to a trendy new hotel up in Solvang for Christmas, we deicded to book it, pre-Harper’s arrival. I estimated, based on books I had read (and yes, I know, all babies are different… and I was taking a huge risk), that 6 weeks could be a good time for us to take our first trip. So the hotel was booked, and preparations were made.
The first two weeks of being a new mom, I could not have fathomed that this weekend would have happened. My mom continued to tell me, “Don’t rule it out, babies change so much week to week.” Tj and I decided that we needed to start doing small outings, as a family, to figure out the best ways to soothe her, and manage any fussiness in public… we needed to build our confidence and the only way to do so would be to face the fears (you know… being “those people” with the crying newborn). We started small with a quick Starbucks run… and then graduated to a breakfast, morning walk, and afternoon at the mall… we learned to understand what times of the day were better for her and what worked to soothe her. When this past weekend presented itself, we felt fairly confident.
The weekend didn’t disappoint. On the car ride home, we were chatting about what we felt made it a successful weekend, so that we could try to replicate it again (soon… as in next weekend please? Just Kidding… sort of). We decided that our own personal expectations of the weekend were modified. In the past when we would head up to the area, we would visit several wineries and then move directly into happy hour and a nice dinner out. Before we left, we determined that we would need to work around her feedings, and that it would likely allow for two wineries. It was also safe for us to assume that if we wanted to eat out, breakfast or lunch were better options, as she typically is fussy after her early evening feeding… so instead we opted for room service in the room for two nights and a very early dinner (done within 30-40 minutes) out the last evening. While these experiences were different than the past, they were equally as fun. We had wine in the room, watching movies, and when/if she became fussy we were able to attend to her without pressure or stress.
I also received several questions regarding breastfeeding and wine tasting. When we decided that we were going to follow through with the weekend, I started to pump enough milk for feedings that would happen after I would have been tasting, or sipping. I pumped a total of 30 ounces, and also brought along alcohol testing strips. We transported the milk in a cooler, with 25 pounds of dry ice, to ensure that it would remain frozen for the entire weekend. In retrospect, it might have been a bit much, but it was what I needed to have peace of mind.
As far as packing goes…. I need to work on that a little… my overpacking instincts kicked in and our car was so loaded that I wasn’t sure we would be able to move!… at least I didn’t forget anything important… you know, like diapers….and wipes.
I feel so blessed that we were able to take this trip. It was just what the soul needed… a little bit of adventure with loved ones always inspires and rejuvenates me!
We spent the first day visiting one of our favorites tasting rooms, Saarloos. Harper got a little fussy, so a simple swaddle job by TJ did the trick! We learned the calming tricks from The Happiest Baby On The Block… and they work pretty well.
We spent the first evening hanging out at the hotel.We stayed at The Landsby, which I highly recommend. Its theme is “Scandinavian Chic” and the decor is spot on. It sits in the middle of Solvang, which has numerous tasting rooms, cute shops, and lots of restaurants. We ordered pizza into the room the first night from Tower Pizza. It was such an enjoyable evening sitting by the fire and talking about the day.
I opted for a neutral color pallet for the day. I knew the weather would be cooler in the morning and evening hours, so I chose pieces that would last throughout the entire day. I’m loving the sleeveless nature of this sweater, and can’t wait to wear it again and again.
We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel on Sunday morning, and relaxed in the lobby for a little while as we mapped out our day….and then took a quick walk for some coffee and tea.
We picked up lunches at Panino and enjoyed picnics at Brander and Lincourt wineries… both of which I highly recommend if you like excellent Sauvignon Blancs and Rosés.