Banff | Canada Travels Part IV

  I am finally wrapping up our Canada travels with you all! It’s only taken me an entire month since we’ve been home. Banff was one of those places I could go back to over and over again and still be in awe. Every single place you go there is so much beauty. I would love to see and experience it all in every season. You may have checked in on some of our past Canada travel posts Victoria – Whistler, Whistler – Revelstoke, and Johnston Canyo – Canmore, and saw that Canada had an abnormally cold winter this past year. I feel a little ridiculous there are so many posts on Canada, but it was just one of those places you couldn’t fit everything into one. Normally, most of the lakes would have been completely thawed by the end of May, but this year they were still partially frozen. Since we had already seen Lake Louise during the complete white out snow storm, we decided to see some other things in Banff first and then come back. I highly…

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Canmore – Johnston Canyon – Vermillion Lakes | Canada Travels Part III

If you have been following along here for a while you may have seen Part I and Part II of our Canada travels. It’s hard to say that any part of the trip was my favorite, because it was all amazing, but Canmore was extra special to us. We were there for about five nights and it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever stayed in. Much quieter than Banff and it felt like we were able to see more of where the locals would go or live and much less touristy. We ate at the same bagel place almost every morning, Rocky Mountain Bagel Company, which had a Friends tv show feel, with amazing bagels and the coziest little fire place. Our condo was right off the main strip downtown so we could walk to everything. There were cute restaurants and an ice cream school bus food truck. I mean, that in itself is pretty darn amazing. There was a little board walk along the river where Ian and I walked down with our ice cream cones…

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Whistler – Revelstoke – Lake Louise | Canada Travels Part II

I hope you aren’t tired of Canada pics yet, because I have so many more exciting places to share with you all. After spending some time in Whistler, which you can read about here, we headed east down the Trans Canada Highway for a pretty amazing road trip to Canmore/Banff. We drove about 19 hours in the course of two days with tons of stopping for pictures, lunch and stretching our legs. I will be completely real with you though, road trips with toddlers are tough. We brought lots of snacks, games and pulled out the iPad pretty frequently. Even though it was tough, the views we’re so worth it. We were lucky enough to have our rental car upgraded to a larger SUV, which made for an incredibly spacious and comfortable ride. And even better, it didn’t have me as nervous when we we’re driving through some of the snow and crazy curves… It didn’t take much for Ian to throw the car into four-wheel drive… The scarier the driving environment, the more excited / adventurous he gets! On our…

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Victoria-Whistler, British Columbia | Canada Travels Part I

I don’t know if we’re crazy or what, but we decided to take a cross-country Canadian road trip with a toddler. We had been really wanting to visit Alberta for a while. My dad was born there and Ian wanted to see Banff and the Canadian rockies. We also wanted to visit my grandparents and introduce them to Cove for the first time. They live in Victoria, British Columbia. So instead of taking multiple trips, we decided to make a big road trip out of it! I wasn’t sure how it would all work, but we sat down one day and made a plan, giving ourselves plenty of extra time for stops and such with a little one. We flew into Vancouver and took the ferry to Victoria to visit with family. Ian and I visited Victoria when we we’re first pregnant with Cove and that’s when Ian got to meet my grandparents for the first time. You can see more from that trip here. We had a great day with my family and I could have cried with happiness to have my dad…

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5 Tips for Traveling like a Local vs a Tourist this Summer

Summer is just around the corner and I have been counting down the days for our summer trips. We have an excursion to cross through the Canadian Rockies and a few beach vacations this summer. I love having a trip to look forward to, even if it’s just a weekend getaway. When I think back to when Ian and I took our first trip together five years ago, I have to laugh about how much we’ve learned about traveling since then. Not to say we know a great deal, but we have come along way from those tourists carrying our rolling luggage through the cobblestone streets of Italy. We’ve learned you can go on vacation to see and experience everything a place and culture has to offer, or you can stay in your comfort zone, only visiting tourist sites and not truly taking in much at all. In our opinion though, there are really two kinds of trips: Vacations and Expeditions. Vacations are where you visit somewhere with the intention to relax somewhere beautiful, take your time and breath. Expeditions are when you visit somewhere with…

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Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

I hope you all are having a great week! We stole some time away from home and work to visit the lake with some friends. We had such a restful weekend, even though Cove partied so hard he didn’t want to sleep at night… It was amazing how even with little to no sleep, you can still feel rested by just being in a different environment. I have been working really hard to keep an open mind every time we travel with Cove. Things can be really unpredictable, so it’s so much better to have a good perspective going into it or your expectations will let you down every time something doesn’t go as planned. The past few trips we’ve taken have really helped with it. Traveling and day trips are one of our favorite hobbies so it’s been great to see Cove adapt and learn to love it too. Snacks can be your best friend when you are traveling with a toddler. When we’re on the road with Cove, sometimes we have to pull over to stretch our legs and fill…

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Nashville and Birthday Musings

This past weekend I turned 26 and got to spend the weekend roaming around Nashville with my love to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary. I have to say, I felt super spoiled and loved on by so many. I really appreciate all your kind words, messages and thoughts. This year has probably been one of the first birthday’s I haven’t been super thrilled about turning another year older. I wanted to be 25 forever. (cue all the laughs) Now that I have gradually started accepting the fact I am in my late twenties, I am embracing more and more that these years will be some of the best of my life. We visited Nashville about three years ago and fell in love with it. Since it had been a while, and we didn’t want to drive too far for our getaway, we decided to visit again and see all the new things the city had as well as a few things we weren’t able to see last time. Ian booked us a suite at the Hutton and it was divine. The…

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Stay for the Sunsets

I promise, I will stop posting about California after this. (Until our next trip…) But, I did save the best for last. On our last day, we enjoyed soaking up the beaches around where we were staying in Dana Point. We didn’t really make plans to see anything in particular. We knew on the last day we would want some time to just soak up the things we loved. After lunch in Laguna, we drove up the coast a ways to Newport Beach to enjoy the scenic drive and let Cove sleep. On our way back, Ian told me he had a surprise for when we got back. A few months before our trip, I had mentioned how I wanted to dedicate Cove on the beach at some point. A little after Cove was born, we dedicated him formally at our church in front of friends and family, but I still wanted just the three of us to do something special together. Ian, being the gem of a husband and father he is, had remembered me mentioning it and surprised me by taking us to one of…

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Victoria Schneider The Southern Trunk

Three Reasons Why We Love Airbnb

As I look back over the past few years of traveling, it’s pretty evident Ian and I choose Airbnb more often than not for our accommodations. When we began using Airbnb, it was a rather new concept, so in the beginning I was a little weary… Looking back at all our great experiences, it’s now the first place we look for lodging when booking any trip. Airbnb is not always be the most practical though, so I can’t say we choose to stay only with them. Hotels can be in a more central location, we have points to use, or we want a more resort-like atmosphere. In most of cases though, Airbnb fits our needs. With that being said, I wanted to put together a few reasons why we love it so much.

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Victoria Schneider The Southern Trunk

Beaches with Special Names

If you know our family to any extent, you understand we have a deep deep love for the beach. I love the places that make you realize how small you are and how great God is. The beach is one of those places that constantly reminds me of that. The irony here though is I am actually afraid of the ocean and all its vastness. But I guess that’s part of what makes me love it so much. When we decided to name our son Cove, part of the meaning behind it comes from Crystal Cove State Park. We visited the park in 2014 and had an overwhelming amount of peace, wonder and awe. It was such a beautiful experience and we still treasure that memory. The definition of “cove” is a small sheltered inlet bay often surrounded by mountains. Ian and I were completely unaware at the time of the mountains we would face the next year and how much we would need a sheltered inlet to come and rest. I pray that Cove knows that same truth in his life. There will be rough…

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Tava Travels

Adventure and traveling is something we hold dear in our hearts. It challenges us to think outside our comfort zone, to learn other cultures and capture the absolute beauty of creation through more than just a picture. Traveling is something that has created beautiful memories for our family that will last longer than any ‘thing.’ When I came across Tava, I fell in love with their adorable passports and mission to inspire children to always search for the next adventure. Tava makes adorable childrens passports with cards that explain and have games about where they are traveling. We picked up a San Diego passport and a USA Road trip passport for Cove. It was so fun to go through with him on all the places we visited like the San Diego Zoo, Torrey Pines and Balboa Park and read about all the fun facts about San Diego. The idea of teaching kids about where you are taking your adventures as well as giving them a fun keepsake is something I want to do for every trip. It would be so…

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Victoria Schneider

Why We Chose To Travel With Our Baby

After we left San Diego, we spent a day driving up the coast to Malibu. Traffic was a beast, and when you’ve got a baby crying in the backseat, it can make things feel ten times worse. After an hour or two, we made it to El Matador Beach. I fell in love with this place when we went to Malibu two years ago, so I knew it would lift everyone’s spirits that day. It was overcast, but the sun started peaking through the clouds when we got there, which made it even more magical. Cove was so happy and kept waving at the ocean. As we walked around it started to sprinkle, but instead of running to our car, we just decided to dance in the rain (literally). It was such a fun memory and it helped put the traffic / travel trauma behind us. Afterwards, we had dinner at Malibu Farm, which was right on the pier and had such a beautiful atmosphere. It was a perfect way to end the day. Some days traveling with a baby can…

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San Diego Zoo – La Jolla – Scripps Pier

For the last half of our stay in San Diego, we decided to spend it at the San Diego Zoo and exploring the beaches nearby. We were so excited to take the boys to the zoo. The San Diego Zoo was also celebrating 100 years and was rated the best zoo in America. I was so impressed with it. We saw a grizzly bear fight, elephants up close & personal and the boys were in love with the polar bear that played in front of them. If you haven’t been and you are in the area, I highly recommend it, even if you don’t have kids. It’s just a really cool place to experience and its right next to Balboa Park, which was our other favorite. There are so many great beaches in San Diego too. We stayed right at Windansea Beach, but Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines are all beautiful and super close by. One of our favorite places in San Diego is Scripps Pier. We actually have a picture of it hanging in Cove’s nursery. We started our…

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San Diego – Balboa Park, Old Town & La Jolla

We just got home from my happy place, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all the great memories we made taking Cove there for the first time. I plan on giving you guys a full tour guide with our top food and must sees for all our SoCal favorites, but for now, I thought I would highlight some of our days. I have always loved San Diego since my family took me as little girl. We didn’t get to see a ton in 2014 when we flew in, but we knew with all it’s family attractions, we definitely wanted to take Cove and experience it for a longer period of time. After the first day, which was spent mostly relaxing around the condo because lets be honest, traveling with babies requires some down time, we visited Balboa Park. It was such a beautiful place to walk around and see. There are all sorts of museums, gardens, play areas, and even the zoo. Our favorite was the Desert Garden, pictured below.

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Franklin, TN | Travel Guide

It’s really hard to put into words how much we loved this city right outside of Nashville. I had a pretty good idea that Ian and I would enjoy our stay, but we didn’t realize just how much we would fall in love with the town and people. We headed up through the beautiful mountains of Tennessee on a Thursday morning, on the first day of fall. It was a perfect way to kick off the season. Tennessee’s rolling hills are unlike any other state. When we made it to our B&B, the Tin Roof Cottage, we instantly felt at home. Every single detail of this place was thought out and had a creative touch. Less than a mile down the road was the quaint town of Leiper’s Fork. We walked from our cottage through the downtown area full of antique and boutique shops. Each of the businesses is required to have a place for the community to sit and relax, so outside of every shop or restaurant you will see fire-pits, benches, and tables with locals gathered around chatting and…

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Atlanta Staycation Part III | Fernbank

On the last day of our staycation we headed to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. It is such a beautiful gem in Atlanta. When you walk in the museums great hall, you are surrounded by a recreation of the world’s largest dinosaurs which is stunning. The rest of the museum has a variation of different exhibits as well as a permanent exhibit on  Georgia’s History. One of the main attractions is the museums IMAX theatre, where it shows a variation of films on the planet and its beauty.

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