In early August, we took our first vacation as a family of three. Since this was our maiden voyage with the baby, we kept it somewhat local, making an easy drive about two hours south to beautiful Carmel. We stayed at Carmel Valley Ranch, an expansive property that’s home to pools, hiking trails, vineyards, and a restaurant serving organic offerings straight from their own garden, which gave us plenty to do without ever being too far from our room. This is a huge plus when your new travel companion requires frequent naps and occasionally poops his pants.
Before the trip, I had assumed that traveling with a baby wouldn’t feel like a vacation, but I was wrong. Ordering room service, getting into a freshly made bed every night, and just having a change of scenery for playing airplane and doing tummy time was a total treat. It also gave us the opportunity to let our baby experience many new firsts—his first swim, his first time smelling the ocean, his first s’mores demonstration. Here’s a look around the ranch and some of the highlights from our trip.
The ranch’s icicle tricycle.
Warm welcome cookies from the ranch’s resident bulldog, Roxy.
Playtime on our patio.
Baby’s first swim!
Post-swim snuggles—arguably the best part of pool time.
Baby’s first swing session!
The biggest flowers he’s ever seen in his whole life.
We couldn’t wait for the s’mores cart to come out each night.
Sorry, kiddo. It’s not time for solids yet.
Vacations are for animal outfits, right?
Lavender at sunset.
Cuddles in our pjs in front of our room’s indoor-outdoor fireplace.
Early morning coffee fix and stroll past olive groves and vineyards.
Bright blooms in the organic garden.
The prettiest thing I’ve ever seen come out of an empty bottle of Patrón.
More pool time!
A quick trip to the nearby coastline to take in the ocean.
Our next family trip is coming up soon and involves an airplane—wish us luck!