Raised to love camping, hiking, mountains, lakes, I appreciate everything Mother Nature has to offer. Clark has always enjoyed beaches, sunshine, and boat drinks! We may have started with different vacation styles, but travel has become a huge part of our lives. That’s why it is so important to us that we began vacationing with our newborn early!
Growing up in North Dakota, the amount of time one can spend outdoors is dictated by the season. After enduring hard winters lasting nearly half the year, we couldn’t wait to get outside.
My brother, Matt, and I, along with our cousins, Beth and Ben, grew up taking trips to Glacier National Park, Montana with our parents. My dad and my two aunts all worked in the park in the 1970s. My mom, raised in Florida, worked there too. That’s where she and my dad met. It was a chance meeting of two people from opposite ends of the country that would have never happened if the universe hadn’t come calling.
Believe it or not, my family’s history with the mountains and our national parks didn’t start there. My grandparents took my dad and his sisters on vacations to Montana when they were kids, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood.
Imagine my shock to learn that my husband, Clark, had never been tent camping. Little did he know that his first time camping would be during his first trip to Montana where he also happened to meet my dad’s entire side of the family for the first time. That city boy had a lot to prove. Clark won them over by opening “Clark’s Trunk Bar,” a collection of liquor, mixers, and seasonings we set up in the trunk of our rental car. It equipped my mixology-loving husband with everything needed to make his favorite cocktails. Clark’s Trunk bar is now open for business every time we go camping.
Over the years, Clark grew to love Montana as much as I do. We married in Big Fork and get back out west as often as we can.
On the flip side, Clark’s grandparents made a wise decision decades ago and purchased a condo on a Florida beach as an investment property. As a result, his parents grew up taking family vacations there. We are fortunate that his parents hung onto that condo and we are able to enjoy leisurely beach vacations as well.
Traveling While Pregnant
When I learned I was pregnant with our little boy, Parks, in December 2020, we agreed that we wanted to keep traveling and adventuring as long as I felt OK and our doctor approved it. Lucky for me, I have a supportive doctor who encouraged me to take our trips and live my life as I normally would as long as I was smart about it and listened to my body.
With her seal of approval, we traveled to Mexico for a family wedding where our secret was revealed earlier than planned. Turns out that everyone knows I’m not one to turn down a libation unless absolutely necessary–especially on vacation.
In February, we did some hiking and rode fat tire bikes in the Montana snow. We also made a trip to Disney World. In April, we went on a 7-day cruise, making stops in Mexico, Honduras, and the Bahamas. In June, we made our way back to Montana where we did some hiking and canoeing. We also rode electric bikes up the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park where Parks took his first snow-melt waterfall shower in utero. In July, took our last little vacation and spent time at my family’s lake cabin in North Dakota. In August, our precious boy was born.
Luckily, I had a very easy pregnancy and never felt sick. I was able to continue going to the gym, which I think helped give me the energy to go the distance. It got more difficult toward the end when excessive bloat prevented me from putting on my shoes. Exclusively wearing flip flops forced us to slow down a little bit, which was probably for the best.
All of this to say that Parks has already been on his share of adventures and he doesn’t even know it yet. Now that he’s here, vacationing with our newborn is well underway!. We’re all in for a wild ride and it’s only just the beginning.