Upon arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, our family packed up a 5-passenger station wagon and set off for an epic four week road trip around the entire country of New Zealand. Here's what we learned after traveling around New Zealand for a 6 weeks with two children under the age of five.
When you have children (and even when you don’t), traveling somewhere new isn’t always possible and it’s easy to find yourself feeling “stuck” doing the same things with your children again and again. Finding new adventures or activities in your hometown isn’t always easy, but if you start looking, I promise you will begin to look at your own city in a brand new way.
A few weeks ago, we went to Malibu for a quick getaway. Dustin works out of LA for part of the week (every single week!) and being alone with the boys can get well, lonely...so we decided to surprise him one day by picking him and kidnapping him for a local getaway.
We rented the Kid & Coe Zuma Barn and it is probably one of the most amazing houses and properties that I have ever come across in my entire life. It was one of those places that was so amazing that I just wanted to everyone I knew to know about it!
Kid & Coe is a family friendly rental service that provides houses that are made for children. If you are traveling with kids, I can not say enough good things about Kid & Coe. Think, Airbnb, but designed specifically for family travel. All of the homes are impeccably designed and most importantly, made for families that want a home away from home.
Before staying with them, to be honest, I wasn't so sure about the whole concept or how it would differ from any other home rental service. I figured my children are adaptable and I don't need a rental home designed specially for them...or so I thought. When we walked into the Zuma Barn, the fridge and counter were stocked with snacks for us and the kids. There was baby shampoo and body wash in the bathroom plus a baby bathtub, there was a crib that they had brought into the kids room for us, a changing pad and wipes on the bed, and an entire playroom filled with books, toys and art supplies. Not to mention the huge yard that was basically a child's dream come true. We didn't have to bring anything other than clothes, we didn't have to run out last minute once we had arrived to pick up something from Target that we had forgotten to bring, and not having to worry about anything made it feel so luxurious. It was like everything had been taken care of and all we had to do was relax and enjoy ourselves. Although there is so much to explore in Malibu, we pretty much never left the house because it had everything we needed.
****UPDATED**** Kid & Coe is offering $50 off for all of you!!! Just use the code ISOBEL+KIDANDCOE when checking out. The code will expire in 3 months on September 1, 2016 so make sure to book before then.
Illustration done by Melanie Burk
Welcome to Joshua Tree
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Chrissy Powers, and I took the boys on an adventure out to the desert town of Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is the site of a huge national park known for it's rock climbing and hikes, and a handful of eclectic towns in the middle of a vast wilderness.
Here's my guide on where to stay, shop, eat, and explore in Joshua Tree...
If you're looking for a luxury spot in the desert, check out The Joshua Tree House. It's a two-bed, two-bath 1949 hacienda resting just west of Joshua Tree National Park, close to the downtown. Check out my post on The Joshua Tree House for more information!
Jen’s Pirate Booty – We happened to be in town during the designer’s pop-up sale at her soon-to-be newest retail location. Filled with boho fringy dresses, desert hats, and gorgeous accessories this is one of the best place to shop in downtown Joshua Tree for women’s clothing.
Coyote Corner, Joshua Tree National Park Store – A great spot to find trinkets, keepsakes, and treasures to remember your trip to Joshua Tree. Great selection of toys for little ones and the friendliest staff ever.
Natural Sisters Cafe – This is a great spot for lunch in the center of downtown. Here you will find healthy smoothies, vegetarian sandwiches and burgers and vegan desserts.
Pie for the People – Delicious pizza that delivers when you don’t feel like strapping the kiddos in their carseats and going out for the night.
Country Kitchen – Right in the center of Joshua Tree is a delicious spot for breakfast food. Nothing fancy, the place was filled with climbers and hikers, and felt like a true diner. Anthony Bourdain even ate here and there is memorabilia and enlarged photos strung up to proudly to prove it. The service was pretty horrible; it was actually kind of comical like a Seinfeld episode. Our server was also the owner and the only one on duty waiting tables that morning and probably every morning….but the food made up for all her short comings. Oh and be prepared they only take cash but there is an ATM in the gas station next door.
Joshua Tree Coffee Company – Arguably the best place in town to grab a good cup of coffee in the mornings before heading out for an adventure.
Hidden Valley Loop Trail – A great place to explore with little ones. A one-mile loop surrounded by tall boulders, this hike is great for inexperienced hikers and children that just want to climb around. Also just walking around town and window shopping was fun for us with small children.