If you missed it, here’s why I’m writing A Year of Delights
A Year of Delights Days 7-14 – First Road Trip
It was hard to keep up with posting these while we were on our road trip, so I’ll be sharing the whole week in this post! Lots of great delights!
Day 7 – The Start of an Adventure
One of my favorite moments is the moment you head off on an adventure.
That moment you settle onto your seat on the plane or that moment when you put on your seat belt and start the car. Whatever the mode of transportation, I love that very first moment before it all starts.
The time leading up to travel can be chaotic and stressful, especially if you’re a last minute packer like me. But the moment the travel time starts, it’s time to leave all of that behind. What didn’t get done is no longer relevant. There’s nothing left to do. Adventure awaits.
You’re full of possibility, anticipation, and excitement. So much lies ahead to be discovered.
Off we go, here’s to the delight of our first adventure as a family of 3!
Day 8 – Delighting in our Foodie Selves
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Bassam and I are big foodies. A large part of our life revolves around food and when we travel is no exception. We are determined not to have any bad meals while traveling, so I spend a lot of time researching.
Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it’s a miss, but every once in awhile we come across a place that’s super memorable and really delights our foodie selves.
We found such a place while passing through Berkeley, California.
Lulu Berkeley. Featuring Palestinian inspired Californian cuisine, we were intrigued.
The place was small, but super cute. Lots of attention to detail, which we always appreciate.
The chef/owner did a fantastic job of keeping the tradition of the food while injecting it with a trendy, modern, creative spin. Not an easy balance to strike at all, but she did it.
I had my first coffee in years, a delicious rose brulee latte. We ordered almost the whole menu, as we so often do. Everything was a home run. We left feeling so energized!
We were just sad we couldn’t make it on a weekend when the star of the place is served, a gorgeous breakfast mezze platter. We’ll be back!
Day 9 – The Thrill of Stumbling Upon
That morning, Bassam was getting work done and Zayn and I headed out on a walk. I heard there were some good trails around us and I went off in search of them. Every once in awhile, I love to explore and find my way without consulting a map, so I didn’t actually route to anywhere.
I didn’t find the hikes, but I found something so much better.
I found myself drawn to what seemed like a hiking path. I looked around, but couldn’t find the start of the path. I saw a little clearing that interested me, so I decided to investigate.
Upon walking through the clearing, I found myself in what seemed like a forest. The space radiated with positive energy. Upon further investigation, I found that it was a Goddess sanctuary. I had no idea what that was, but as I looked around I found all kinds of alters and offerings, tents, creative expressions, and so on. It was such a beautifully delightful place!
Zayn seemed to be able to feel the positive vibes as well. I took him out of the stroller and he seemed to delight in looking around with me.
It turned out there was an outdoor yoga class about to start. Zayn and I joined in for 10 minutes, before he got a bit fussy and I decided to leave.
I absolutely love stumbling upon a place. There’s such a thrilling delight in finding a place that you didn’t expect to find. The utter surprise of the not knowing, of the joyful anticipation of what it might be, of discovering what is.
These moments are so rare nowadays. I plan most things, look up reviews, see a bunch of photos, and navigate directly to the place.
There’s delight in that method too and it’s definitely the most efficient way to ensure you have a good experience while traveling, but there’s just something so special about the stumbling upon.
Any place I’ve ever discovered by stumbling upon has always remained so memorable to me. You just can’t recreate the experience of the moments when you are discovering a completely new and unexpected to you place. It feels so truly special.
Day 10 – A World of Books
Walking into a bookstore or library, I always feel a sense of awe and possibility. I’ve always loved to experience the world through the books.
All of those books to be discovered, so much possibility within their pages. So much to discover, so much to learn, so much to experience.
During our one day in Portland, we spent quite a bit of time at Powell’s Bookstore. Powell’s claims to be one of the largest bookstores, at 1.6 acres. I love exploring all of the possibilities that existed within those walls with my sister and Zayn.
This was Zayn’s first time in a bookstore! I delighted in showing him different books and seeing which ones he gravitated towards. Zayn already has strong preferences and it was easy to see which books he liked and which ones he didn’t. I left with several books for him and none for me.
I’ve dreamed about sharing a love of reading with my future kids for as long as I can remember and it feels so exciting to be doing it now!
Day 11 – Dancing in the Rain
There are few things that delight me as much as spontaneity. A spontaneous moment just thrills and energizes me!
Spontaneous moments have been few and far between with baby. Having a baby seems to require so much planning and careful thought.
The plan for the day was to drive from Portland, Oregon to Crescent City, California and find a hike along the way.
Each place we planned to stop at for our hike was pouring rain even though the weather forecast said it wouldn’t be!
On our final attempt, I got out of the car just to check out the hike. It was soooo pretty! I knew Zayn and Bassam would love it and really wanted to do it with them. If it was just Bassam and I, we would’ve done the hike anyway, but we worried the rain and wind wasn’t a smart decision for Zayn.
As we were about the leave, the rain storm slowed to a sprinkle and I told Bassam, let’s just get out for 5 minutes! We all bundled up and grabbed umbrellas. Buddy jumped promptly back in the car, he did not want to get wet. We walked just for a bit and it was so fun!
Zayn had his first rain experience and we loved the spontaneity of it all. Zayn was so bundled up we didn’t worry about him in the wind and we didn’t walk too long in case it started pouring again. Having a baby means a balance of responsibility and spontaneity, but the bits of spontaneity are still such a delight!
Day 12 – Sunbeams Through Trees
There are two sights in nature that bring me so much delight:
The way the sun shines off of water causing it to sparkle.
The way sunbeams glow through trees.
It doesn’t matter what kind of mood I’m in, I can never stop staring in awe at these two natural sights when I come across them.
We got up bright and early as we had a lot to pack into our day. Our drive started off a road lined with gorgeous redwood trees. The sun was starting to shine brightly after a day of heavy rain. The combination of the golden glow shining through the trees and the fresh after the rain air was just so delightful.
We all enjoyed oohing and awing over the trees – even Zayn! We opened up on the sunroof on our mini van rental and he stared up at the giant trees.
I soaked in the delight of our little family on our first road trip and that golden, gorgeous, life giving sun.
Day 13 – Cute Little Towns
There are few things Bassam and I love more than coming across cute little towns. We stopped at Carmel, California for our final stop of the road trip. It’s like a little coastal European fairy tale town. Doesn’t that sound absolutely magical?
We spent the entire day wandering around and delighting at all the pretty buildings. There were so many little pathways and alleyways to follow and each one surprised us with something new. An art gallery set in a cottage with a beautiful garden. A bookstore with a secret garden.
I over used the word “cute”, Zayn delighted at all the swaying trees, and Bassam set aside his work for a few hours to soak it all in.
A truly delightful last day to the trip.
Day 14 – A Refreshing Salad
It’s always sad when travel is over but I also delight at getting back to me routine. After a week of heavy food, it felt so nice to make myself a fresh salad for lunch.
Full of what’s sure to be the almost end of summer produce – crisp romaine, juicy tomatoes, refreshing cucumber, tart lemon… my salad felt like an explosion of fresh energy and hydration.
I love love love a good salad and while I don’t enjoy making them, I find I love the taste of mine better than any restaurant salad.
I’m a person who spends a lot of time cooking even though I don’t enjoy it, simply because I love to eat.
And I delighted in every bite of that first salad back at home!
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