Last weekend James had a lot of firsts. First vacation. First long car ride. First hotel stay. First National Park. Overall it went well, after E and I figured out what the heck we were doing. We did learn a few things about James: he doesn't like to be in his car seat for extended periods of time, he hates the wind, when he wants to nurse (even if he just finished) he is not joking around, and he loves to flop his legs at night (E named this maneuver "whale tail").
With all the new learning, I was a little stressed at the beginning of the trip, even crying with James on one of the trails due to pure frustration. However at the end of the trip nobody wanted to leave, we were LOVING it!
I have so so so many photos, so I better get started.
Day 1 - We left Friday morning and drove the five hours to Zion National Park. Some of the drive I sat in the backseat with James. For 90% of the drive he was happy or sleeping. The 10% that he was crying, however, was horrible! Luckily we made it in good time and got the babe out of his car seat.
After feeding him and looking around the historic Zion Lodge we walked across the street to take the Emerald Pools hike. At first James seemed to be enjoying himself. He cooed and talked and looked around. Then about half way in (a mile from the trail head) we had a major major baby meltdown. Nothing calmed him, and I was so so so stressed. I felt so guilty and started to cry myself. Luckily James calmed down a little and we were able to get back to the car quickly.
Aren't these pre-meltdown photos cute though?
After a hard night of sleep in the hotel room with a very awake baby we took a little drive in hopes we could covert James into a park loving boy. We stopped at a pull-out and decided to explore around near the road. James seemed to enjoy it and our spirits were lifted!
And who doesn't love Southwestern cactus and blue sky?
And the sandstone was delicious. The warm golden light cast over orange stone. Nothing says spring like a trip to Southern Utah.
James was a little uncertain at first, but at least he wasn't crying.
And the weather was so so perfect.
E and I were so excited to take James to the visitor center and get him his own Passport to the National Parks! E and I got one of these back in 2002 and we've LOVED filling it up over the years with cancellations from all the parks we visited.
1- James at the Zion visitor center. Don't worry, E is behind him holding on tight!
2- Looking at the signs inside the visitor center. Something we always love to do.
3- Yea! He now has his very own National Park passport!
4- As you can see, we had to take a photo of James "stamping" his new passport with his very first national park!
That night we decided to try the hiking thing again. This time we took the River Walk to the entrance of Zion's famous narrows hike. Luckily this time James seemed to quite like the hike! We made sure to give him lots of positive reinforcement, and he smiled and looked around for the majority of the hike (and no crying!).
Here is our first family photo in a National Park!
He generally enjoyed hanging with Daddy in the front carrier and looking around.
That night we felt so happy, and the beautiful park seemed to mirror our good mood. The evening light was dreamy and magical. Then, once the sky darkened more the moon rose over the red cliffs of Zion.
The second night in the hotel James slept awesome and woke up happy and rested. We decided to do one last hike before heading home, and we are so glad we did! The weather was perfect and James was grinning from ear to ear. Everyone we met on the trail smiled and grinned at the happy little hiker.
At the end of the trail there was an unbelievable view of the canyon. We were happy to get another family photo.
And doesn't this shy little smile just kill you? He is so so sweet.
I just love him.
We had such a good time and were so glad James seemed to love it to. The drive home was awesome, with no crying and a happy rested baby when we arrived back in Salt Lake.
The Mother Co & Staying Safe without Fear
1 hour ago