Finding adventure can be difficult in the early parenthood season of life. Young kids ground you and the relative ease of being at home with toys and food and diapers and favorite movies at your disposal can tend to make leaving feel laughable. There is no way I could have understood this side effect of having kids until I actually had one. When Greg and I were first married, adventure meant throwing a bag together and leaving in an instant. It meant driving around until we found a new restaurant we hadn’t tried. It meant weekend getaways. It meant trips to the coast with friends. It meant trips to Italy and NYC. When we decided to have our babe we promised ourselves that having her wouldn’t change that aspect of our lives. We wanted to do all of those things and just pack her up and bring her with us. It sounded so easy and beautiful. Beautiful maybe, but easy it is not. So we have had to amend our adventure just a bit. Our adventures are smaller, slower, messier and a little bit more structured. But they are real and wonderful. Pushing ourselves to not lose our sense of adventure and to bring Eliza along with us has allowed us to find excitement and wonder in places we have been dozens of times. It has allowed us to see these places through the eyes of our little girl. To her, everything is an adventure. She is seeing everything for the first time and it is amazing to behold.
One of our favorite places to go is Greg’s family cabin. About an hour and a half from our house, it is the perfect distance for a nap (or a movie) and arriving there feels worlds away from the responsibilities of home. Usually time at the cabin involves comfy clothes, too much yummy food, bonfires, whiskey, and walks through the woods. The perfect getaway.
This trip, we decided to go to Walla Walla on Saturday to go to the farmer’s market and hang around town for a bit. Walla Walla is only about 40 minutes from the cabin and it is such an awesome little town. It is historic and quaint with a vibrant and artistic downtown. It is also in Washington wine country, which makes the case for visiting a total no brainer. (I will have to write more about wine tasting in Washington later…) In addition to going to the market, we went to our favorite lunch spot, “Olive,” and walked around town before heading back up the mountain. I also stopped at a little vintage/junk store in Milton-Freewater, just a few miles from Walla Walla, called “The Store.” I have literally driven through Milton-Freewater more times than I could even count and I had never been to this shop or even that part of town. It was full of treasures for me and the Furnish Shop so I will definitely be back!
Jubilee Lake is another one of our favorite places around the cabin. In our younger years we had some very fun times on the lake with friends, a boat that was too small, food and way too much beer. A tamer version of the lake is what we experienced this time and what we shared with Eliza. She lasted in her stroller for about 5 minutes and then she was off. She ran and walked and ran in the opposite direction and laughed at herself and Greg trying to catch her until we convinced her to stop for some snacks. Between the constant running and eating and playing in the water, she was definitely pooped by the time we decided to head back to the cabin for dinner.
All of these things were things we had done before. I have been to Walla Walla hundreds of times, same with the cabin and the lake, but taking Eliza puts a new spin on everything. It is pretty amazing to be able to spend time with just the three of us, creating our own, unique and strong family, while watching her experience things for the first time. These experiences remind me that life is meant to be lived and adventure is everywhere. It is just that adventure is a relative term, and for us it has taken on a brilliant new meaning. MEB