At the end of June and beginning of July, we went on our first family trip – to the Bay Area to visit Dan’s family and our friends. This trip included many firsts for our girls – Lillian’s first flight, county fair, and winery – and both girls’ first real train ride. The trip was very active (what trip of ours isn’t?!) and fun, but tiring, too, mostly just because everything with an infant in tow is exhausting. We were so happy that Vivian got a lot of play time in with her grandparents, who she adores, and that Lillian got a lot of snuggles from her grandparents, who we are sure she will come to adore, also.
Day 1: The girls and I flew up to Oakland on a Tuesday morning and met Dan’s dad at the baggage claim area. He helped us load up our suitcases and the stroller and then we all went back to Livermore.
This trip gave Dan’s parents the opportunity to hold Lillian for the first time!
After settling in and taking naps, we went to a children’s concert at one of the local libraries. Vivian knew nearly all of the songs and had fun singing and dancing.
Later on that evening, after a stressful dinner out at Panera Bread (everyone wants Mama!), the girls and I grabbed ice cream sandwiches at CREAM and met up with our friends Cory and Kiira in downtown Livermore. When Kirra stepped away for a few seconds with one of the girls, Cory whispered quietly to me that he was planning to propose to her in three days! They are now happily engaged and I’m so excited for their upcoming wedding.
Day 2: The following morning, we went to the main branch of the Livermore Public Library, which is beautiful and bustling. Vivian attended a “Music and Movement” story time and she loved it!
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Alameda County Fair. Dan’s dad dropped us girls off and then went and picked up Alex to join us. The fair wasn’t nearly as busy – or as large – as I feared and we had a great time (until it was time to leave…but that’s another story for another time!).
Day 3: After a very busy previous two days, we spent most of this day “relaxing” and letting Vivian play at home. Vivian loved petting Wima, the cat, and picking out a new toy at the local toy store during our one outing outside of the house. Lillian was less thrilled to be at the toy store, but she got a new toy, too.
Day 4: After staying close to home the day before, we were ready for an outing further away from the house today. So, we packed up and went to the Oakland Zoo! Dan’s dad came along for the fun (and the help!) and we all had a really great day. The zoo isn’t too large and wasn’t too crowded and so we were able to see it all without completely exhausting ourselves. In addition to seeing the animals, we also went on another carousel and a train ride through the zoo.
Late that night, after us girls were all in bed, Dan flew into Oakland and his parents picked him up so that he could spend the rest of the trip with us.
Day 5: Although Dan’s parents were so, so, so helpful with the girls (I really can’t stress that enough!), it was nice to have Dan back with us. Not only did we miss him, but he was available for middle-of-the-night cries and early morning wakings and I was grateful to have even more help, especially on the fringe hours of the day.
Dan’s parents took Vivian to visit Hagemann Ranch in the morning while Dan and I tackled taking care of Lillian (newborns are SO much work!). While at the Ranch, Vivian got to pet her third goat of the trip, in addition to bunnies and other animals.
After lunch at home, Dan and I and the girls loaded up in the car and drove across the Bay to Pacifica to meet our friends, the Pilapils, for a visit. We all went on a nice beach walk and took the kiddos to a local playground. It was wonderful to see them and their house, which we hadn’t yet visited since they bought it nearly two years ago. Afterwards, we went out for a sushi dinner in Half Moon Bay, I grabbed a coffee, and we made our way back to the East Bay.
Vivian got to see Dan’s dad’s model train set in action in the evening, which both of them enjoyed.
Day 6: Sunday is bowling day in the Chambers house and everyone except for Lillian and me went to the bowling alley to bowl a game. It’s so adorable to see Vivian in her little rented bowling shoes.
In the afternoon, Dan and I and the girls braved the heat and took the girls on their first real train ride on the Niles Canyon Railway. We were transported via a diesel engine from Sunol to Niles and then via a steam engine from Niles to Sunol.
After our train ride, we dropped Vivian off to play with Grandma and Grandpa and Dan and I took Lillian to her first winery – Rios-Lovell Estate Winery. We always try to go to one “new to us” winery when we are in Livermore and this was our pick on this trip. We had a very enjoyable time and bought a few good bottles to bring home with us. It was fitting for us to take Lillian here, since Vivian’s first winery outing was also to a winery in the Livermore Valley.
Day 7 – 4th of July: We had a low-key 4th of July holiday planned, which was fine with us! Dan had some friends from high school and college over in the morning for a visit, we walked up to Starbucks for an afternoon family coffee date, and then everyone except for Lillian and me walked to downtown Livermore for the fireworks. This was our second year in a row celebrating the 4th of July in Livermore and Vivian’s second time seeing the fireworks.
Day 8: In the morning, Dan’s mom and I took the girls (well, Vivian) to a Kindermusik class in Pleasanton at Prim Pop. Vivian has been going to a Music Together music class for a few months and she loves it and she loved this music class, too. The format was very familiar to her and she loved the bubble machine at the end of class!
In the afternoon, Dan and I took the girls over to our friends, the Krimetzes, for lunch. We were so lucky to see so many friends on this trip and catch up with everyone!
Day 9: Finally, after spending nine days in the Bay Area, it was time for us all to fly home together. We spent the morning packing up and saying our goodbyes and getting in those last family photos.
We had a really wonderful trip, despite the exhaustion that comes with two kiddos (and especially a newborn). We feel so fortunate that our girls get such great quality time with their grandparents and Uncle Alex in their home environment. Dan and I have such fond memories of going to visit our grandparents as children and I hope that our girls will, too!