Travel with Me; A trip back home with Christina from Ladybug Designs

So last week, given that I do have a new baby at home, we stayed with the Travel with Me series and Jim from One Dad One Blog took us on an adventure with H, D and Mrs F to Bluestone, but as he was quick to point out, in Wales not Australia. This week we are taking a trip with the lovely Christina from LadyBug Home and Design, like me Christina is an expat though she is an American lost in the UK, and today she is taking us on her pilgrimage back home to Portland Oregon to introduce her daughter to the other side of her heritage.

Before I hand you over to Christina, I just wanted to tell you a little bit about her blog, a wonderful parenting blog filled with fantastic photos that capture the essence of Little LadyBug and the world through her eyes.

Where are you taking us to today?

I would love to share with you my hometown of Portland, Oregon USA. Located on the West Coast of America. Oregon has beaches on the west coast (Pacific Ocean), mountains for snow skiing during winter, and warm desert during the summer in the east. Lots of hiking trail to waterfalls and wind-surfing. Portland is known as the City of Roses and has an annual Rose Festival in June. Tax free shopping and fresh seafood from the coast. The Willamette River runs along the Downtown Portland and creates a family-friendly waterfront for exploring.

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What sort of trip was it and why do you recommend this place for family holiday destination?

My trip was focused on family and sharing Portland with my daughter. We travelled to Portland with my baby daughter in Autumn time. We did a lot of shopping and eating at my favourite restaurants.

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I would recommend Portland because depending on the time of year, there are lots of different activities happening in Downtown Portland and the surrounding area. At Portland International Airport, you can rent a car but also you can also jump on the Max Light Rail Train and it takes you directly into the centre of Downtown Portland. A rental car can brought to most hotels for day-trips.

Downtown Portland has a shopping centre with well-known brands but there are also numerous little boutiques that specialise in many different items including vintage, western, and handmade goods. Located on the edge of Downtown area is the International Rose Garden with the Japenese Garden accessed by the same parking lot. Lan Su Chinese Garden is also a lovely place to visit with activites for the children. There are lots of parks including the waterfront throughout Downtown Portland but also just across the Willamette River is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry(OMSI) that has activities for all ages. Located a short-drive from Downtown Portland is the Oregon Zoo and Portland’s Children Museum. For the book lovers, Powells Books located in Downtown Portland claims to be the largest independent bookstore in the world. It has 1.6 acres of retail space and over 4 million books on sale.

Tell me your recommendations to where to stay and other places worth visiting.

Located in Downtown are many different hotel options available. There are large hotel chains located near the Riverplace and but also lots of boutique hotels. My recommendation is stay on the westside of Willamette River. In the last 15 years or so, there has been a huge development project in Northwest Portland to create the Pearl District with lots of modern and chic restaurants and bars.  NW 23rd is a fun street to wander up-and-down with small restaurants and cafes but also lots of little
shopping boutiques.

There are two places that I would highly recommend if you want to stay or visit outside of Downtown Portland.

The first is located 12 miles east of Downtown Portland is McMenamins Edgdefield that is a working brewery but also offers accommodation, movie theatre and golf. It was once a working poor farm so there also may be a few stories of ghosts but don’t tell the little ones.

My second recommendation is Skamania Lodge. Located 45 miles east from Downtown Portland, it offers magnificent views of the Columbia River Gorge.  Several restaurant options, full-service spa, fitness centre, swimming pools, and complimentary coffee in the library area.  In the library located off the front lobby is a huge fireplace with wooden rocking chairs in front that is ideal for booking reading and playing board games with little ones. Hiking trails to explore.

Your Top Tips for travelling with little people

In preparing for trip, stock-up on children magazines and sticker books. Look for magazines that come with crayons/colour pencils and lots of stickers. Keep them as a surprise until on the plane and bring out one-at-time

Put changes of clothes in sealable freezer bags. You can get cheap bags from your local discount store. Put a complete outfit (undershirt and sleeper) in a bag. If they have an accident while travelling, you can easily find a new outfit in your carry-on bag and seal the soiled clothes in the bag

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If travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3, visit the Family Lounge. There are designated play area for ages 0-2, 3-9, and gameroom for 10-15. There is also a quiet room. There are coffee and drink vending machines and departure
board. Private changing and nursing facilities. It is honestly the best place to be with children. You can relax while your children run around. If lucky, they may sleep for the first couple hours of the flight.
There are play areas in Terminal 1, 2, 4, & 5 also.

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I purchased a Baby B’Air Flight Vest for my daughter. It is a vest that a baby or toddler can wear and you put your lap belt through a loop on the back. You should do your own research but it allowed me to be less afraid she would fall or fly out of my arms during turbulence or while sleeping. It is not FAA approved so you need to ask the flight crew if they can wear it during takeoff and landing. I was allowed on the flights we flew and had no issues with her wearing it at all times. There was no alternative child seat-belt option available from the airlines.

Thank you Christina, I definitely needs to see more of America, I’ve heard all about the pumpkin picking and I love your photo!

And if you want to find out more from Christina you can do so at LadyBug Home and Design, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

As always if you want to take part in my “Travel with me…” series please get in touch with me by email on lifewithbabykicks@gmail.com don’t be shy I’d love to hear from you.

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