Earlier this month, my little family flew out to Oakland, California, for my sister’s wedding. This was a special trip for that reason alone, but it was also Ada’s first plane ride (and my first trip with a toddler!). I want to capture the highlights and maybe share some tips on travelling with little ones.
On our first full day in Oakland, we put Ada in the stroller and took off to walk in the direction of Lake Merritt. Will had read about a park called Fairyland, but Ada was a few years shy of the target age range, so we headed around the lake in search of green space for her to run.
While we were walking around the north side of the lake, we saw several beautiful gardens. Oakland is a flower-town right now thanks to some higher-than-average rainfall. I knew I wanted to explore, but wasn’t sure how Ada would react. Would she have any interest in the flowers? Would she destroy the place? We popped her out of the stroller to see.
Man, she loved it. She touched every flower she could (with us trailing behind calling out color names to make it perhaps a little educational). She toddled down the gravel path exclaiming “uh oh!” whenever she came across fallen petals – and then she’d gingerly scoop them up and try to reunite them with nearby plants. I love watching her mind at work.
There was also a field trip group of elementary-aged students, so Ada got to partake in one of her favorite pastimes – watching Big Kids.
After the garden, we got Mexican for lunch (beans and rice are a sure-fire favorite for Ada) and then wandered through downtown. Once Ada fell asleep in the stroller, we headed to a coffee shop to relax while she napped. I’m not entirely sure what I did to deserve such a good-spirited, easy-napping baby, but I’m truly thankful.
Extended family started to trickle in that evening, and we were so excited to see everyone! While waiting for my aunt to arrive, Ada and I walked along the San Francisco Bay Trail with my parents. The waterfront is beautiful. We saw many dogs on happy walks with their owners – much to Ada’s supreme delight, she yelled “kitty” and pointed at each one she saw (we are still working on mammal identification) – and, of course, more flowers.