Well, I have gotten WAY behind here! So I need to catch up on our trip to Reno at the end of January. It was both boys’ first time traveling to visit their grandparents there and it was Sam’s first airplane travel.
In anticipation of the trip, I learned a new way to tie the wrap so that it could be pre-tied and I could pop Sam in and out and feed him in it. I watched videos to learn the “Front Cross Carry”. It worked out pretty well, except that it’s still not that easy for me to pop him in and out of it, and all the bulky fabric and knots hanging there all the time bothered me. It did help with getting onto the plane, though!
Our flight was delayed and we had a bit of a wait in the airport, early in the morning:
The flight itself went smoothly, though. A. and Ari sat together and I sat across the aisle from them, with Sam on my lap. With A. right across the aisle, I could hand Sam to him when I needed my hands free to dig a snack or toy out of my bag under the seat.
When we arrived, we went straight to lunch (after a stop at the bathroom for a diaper change). We went to the recently-opened Laughing Planet location there, since it’s one of our favorite places to go in Portland! The former owner of a café where A. used to spend a lot of time, Deux Gros Nez, operates the new Reno location, and he told us that the founder of Laughing Planet used to work at Deux Gros Nez and was inspired by his experience there when he started Laughing Planet in Portland! We hadn’t been aware of that connection, so it was an interesting story to hear.
Sam, at almost eight months old, had recently started eating more solid foods at home and, especially, at school, so I ordered a side of sweet potatoes for him and he loved it!
After lunch, we went to an amazing dinosaur-themed playground at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Ari was terrified at first, but then he realized the dinosaurs weren’t moving and he really enjoyed sitting on them and sliding down their necks!
Just steps from that playground was the Wilbur D. May Center museum, with a “Toytopia” exhibit.
Sam slept through most of it:
They had a giant playhouse with a dollhouse inside of it, and Ari played with the kitchens of both:
And a giant piano!
Back at A.’s parents’ house, we had a delicious dinner (Sam ate and ate, the whole visit!), Ari was given this adorable dinosaur sleeping bag, and their Grandma had set up two baskets, one for each of them, with toys and books.
Ari was so excited that it took a long time to get him to sleep at our hotel!
The next morning, we went to story time at one of the local libraries. They were doing a “Community Helpers” series with an animal shelter employee visiting that day, so the books were pet-themed and there was a dog toy making activity at the end. Perfect for Ari! Then we let him pick a few books to check out from the huge children’s section, which was really exciting for him.
After the story time, we stopped at a shoe store A.’s mom likes, and I got two pairs of shoes (one for work) on a great sale plus a coupon she had, and I’ve been wearing them constantly ever since.
I brought our big waterproof “Splat Mat” and it came in handy for painting during a quiet break between activities.
I think we visited every children’s museum in the area! They have some really good ones. We went to the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum right in Reno and I could have spent all day there. There were so many rooms! Plenty to do for a wide variety of ages and interests (including another giant piano!).
This room was sort of a play area for young kids with a mining theme:
This was a Leonardo Da Vinci themed room:
In the center of the museum, there is a huge water play area and climbing structure. I would have taken more pictures, but we left the boys there with their grandparents and went out for a couple of hours with a friend of A.’s. It was nice to have some grown-up time! We met up back at the house, where A.’s parents’ neighbors had visited and brought teddy bears and animal crackers for Ari and Sam, which was so nice. Then we had another great dinner, then brought two exhausted kids back to the hotel.
The next day, we had a healthy, organic, and delicious brunch at Great Full Gardens, where I wanted to eat everything on the menu. Then, we went to the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada in Carson City. It was a really fun, big space with several different zones.
It looked like an auditorium with a stage at one end, and up on the “stage” there were tables and chairs – and another giant piano! If I lived there, I would take the kids there to play and I could sit at the tables and watch them from above.
There was a little schoolhouse, and a country store and restaurant, and a music area, and a doctor’s office.
The rock climbing wall moved like a treadmill so you could keep climbing for a while. I wanted to try out the big climbing structure and slide but Ari wouldn’t go with me, so I just did it by myself!
There were dinosaur footprints leading to a dinosaur corner.
In a little alcove in the dinosaur area, there were baby toys, books, and a puppet theater. Ari and Sam enjoyed watching another boy put on a little puppet show, and Ari would have spent a lot longer sitting there with his Grandma reading to him, if we had let him.
On our way back to Reno, we stopped and toured the private plane that A.’s dad flies, which was especially fun for Ari. Then we went back to their house for a while and Sam got to move around on the floor. He started pushing up onto his knees and rocking his body back and forth, getting ready to crawl!
We went back to the hotel in the early evening to play in the pool – a first for Sam, and he loved it! Then A.’s parents brought a pizza over and we ate together in the lobby.
Then we slept again and headed to the airport the next morning. It was a jam-packed weekend, but still relaxed feeling, and lots of fun! Traveling with both kids was a challenge, especially when Sam pooped FOUR TIMES during the one-hour flight home, but definitely worth it, and I hope we go back soon!