Snowed In, Flight Changes, and Other Adventures


Baby Flyer and I went to Massachusetts last week for a family visit.  It was just the two of us on the trip, so I had to brush up on my ‘flying alone with baby’ skills, but all went pretty well considering.  I’ve come to realize that while flying with our baby-turning-toddler is definitely different from our old flights, it can be pretty fun nonetheless.  It’s definitely more active, but she can be a pretty great travel companion.  Plus, it’s honestly surprising how kind other travelers can be when you’re doing your best to entertain a baby through a flight.  Baby Flyer has made her share of ‘in-flight friends’ already.

We were supposed to leave to fly home Tuesday, but in anticipation of what’s turned out to be the biggest winter storm of the year, American Airlines emailed me at the end of last week offering to waive the (usually significant) change fee if I changed our flight in advance to avoid flying on the day the storm was predicted.

Though adjusting plans is never simple, I’m so glad I changed early when there were still plenty of options and seats available, because our flight was understandably cancelled.  Since my original flight was already confirmed in first class, I really didn’t want to be a victim of post-storm overbooking, and stuck in the back of the plane in a middle seat with a busy toddler on my lap.  So, I jumped at the opportunity to change early.  We’re now set to fly back to LA on Friday.  The whole process of changing our ticket was actually incredibly easy.  It’s all done online now when there’s a weather emergency.  No waiting on hold!  You log in to your American Airlines account, find your ticket record, and then you can search for and see the available options.  Our new ticket ended up being $1.87 cheaper so we now have a $1.87 credit.

So, that taken care of, we could get back to enjoying our time away, and settle in to wait for the snow.  However, this same climate we were now enjoying tends to highlight how much I’ve (surprisingly) gotten used to not having this be our normal.  Baby Flyer loves being outside!  Unless it’s pouring rain, getting some fresh air is part of our everyday routine.  Since she was born, I’ve appreciated our mild winters SO much more.  I keep saying I would have to learn how to be a parent of a young child in a cold climate.


It’s cold out here!

It’s not just me either, I’m pretty sure Baby Flyer has gotten pretty spoiled with our typically nice weather.  Case in point- one afternoon we bundled Baby Flyer up for a short walk on a beautiful new handicap accessible trail.  It ended up being particularly windy that day and we had to cut our walk even shorter.  Even though only part of her face was sticking out, I’m not sure she enjoyed the wind all that much.

Fort River Trail

Photo Credit- Trip Advisor

When we were flying in last week, I was surprised to see no snow on the ground.  This is Western Massachusetts at the end of Winter.  I was expecting at least brown crusty snow, and instead was greeted by grass and bare trees.  The week before we got here, they had unseasonably warm temperatures and all the snow melted.


The backyard ‘before’ picture.

So, when I learned that a big snowstorm was predicted, I was pretty excited!  It was just what I was craving.  As crazy as it sounds, I was actually looking forward to shoveling (and grateful that I was here to help my parents do it).  And this snowstorm did not disappoint!

Snowy Sky

Coming down

All in all, we got about a foot of fresh powdery snow!  There was plenty of playing, and yes, shoveling to satisfy my itching for a good workout after being in the house too long.


It’s thiiiiiiis deep!

We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a snow suit for Baby Flyer since we all were pretty excited to take her outside for her first real snow day.  Once the snow wasn’t quite as heavy, we took her out and she LOVED it!  She kept trying to step on top of the snow, like she does with stairs (she loves stairs lately).  She didn’t want to come in but we were worried her feet would get chilly since she only had on a pair of sneakers.  The next day, we borrowed a pair of boots for her.  I couldn’t wait for us to go outside.



Baby Flyer was pretty fascinated with the snow in general, even from inside.  She liked standing on the back of the couch looking out the window and watching it fall.  She seemed so intrigued.  The first time she looked out the front door, she seemed so puzzled and took a good long look.  It really reminds you how much we take our own understanding of the world for granted when you see her mind working on a new experience like this.  These are the moments where I really appreciate being able to travel and show her different parts of the country and the world.


Watching the transformation outside

All in all, we are making the most of our longer trip.  The town was pretty quiet on Tuesday with most places closed.  We stayed home all day, since the roads were pretty snowy.  Today though, regular life is resuming as people dig themselves and their cars out.  I even ventured out for a 5 mile run this morning.  It was slow and slippery (not surprisingly).  There were snow banks I had to leap over, but it was perfect- sunny and barely any wind.


You don’t see these in Los Angeles!

In the end it was a fun adventure, and a longer trip than anticipated.  We definitely made the best of it, and Baby Flyer got her first real snow day!  Now we’re headed back to LA for a week or so before a trip to Seattle.  We’re pretty sure we’re in for some authentic rainstorms up there, but hopefully nothing this dramatic!

~CR & Baby Flyer



Family Destinations: New England


There’s no denying it, Fall in New England is perfect- the air is crisp, the leaves are brilliant, and the flavors are delicious.  It’s truly beautiful, and probably the season I miss the most since moving to Southern California.  ‘Fall weather’ in Southern California may surprise you a day or two during any time of the year, but it doesn’t go much farther than an overcast day, or maybe a few rain showers.  There aren’t any big piles of crunchy leaves to play in, it’s hard to find fresh apple cider in the grocery store, and you can’t count on being able to wear a sweater and boots.

It was time to get some real authentic fall in our lives, so this year Baby Flyer and I were lucky enough to spend almost three weeks in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley during the peak of the season, and boy did we soak it up!


Our favorite baby hiking gear!  Baby Flyer hangs out in the Ergo 360 carrier wearing her moccasins by Freshly Picked in “birch.”

We hit the highlights- apple picking at Cold Spring Orchard, made apple crisp and crazy crust apple pie, drank pumpkin beer (just me on this one, not Baby Flyer) and apple cider, visited a pumpkin patch, went on multiple hikes through the woods, drove to the top of Skinner Mountain to view the foliage, enjoyed the cooler temperatures; perfect running weather, went on a farm tour, stepped on as many crunchy leaves as we could, and wore sweaters and boots as often as possible.  We planned to go on a hayride, but we ran out of time.  Next year!

Next up- what to do with all those apples from our apple picking?  If you love apple pie but don’t have the time to make the crust, this Crazy Crust Apple Pie is a perfect option.  You essentially put the crust on top of the apples.  Very easy and equally as delicious.  We got this recipe from the apple farm and I thought it was too good not to share.


Crazy Crust Apple Pie


Approximately 3lbs or 5-6 medium sized apples; peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (*See note below)

Cinnamon/sugar mixture

¾ cup butter (melted)

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 egg (beaten)

Nuts (if desired)


Fill pie plate 2/3 of the way full with apples then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.  Add nuts, if desired.

Melt butter then add sugar, flour, and beaten egg.

Pour over apples

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, until browned.

 * Using a variety of apples and even adding one pear make for a nice flavor.  Empire, Macoun, and Cortland are all good if they are available where you are.  Otherwise, a combination of Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Gala, and Fuji is an option.  I don’t recommend using Granny Smith apples as they are too tart.  Adding one pear can be a nice addition.

On top of the fun activities the weather was amazing, with only two rainy days during our whole visit.  I probably commented on the beauty daily, and it was perfect to be able to get outside with BabyFlyer as much as possible.


The Pioneer Valley is also a great place to eat any time of year.  For a special night out, we get a table at Chez Albert, one of our current favorites.  I’m probably late to the party, but I had my first pumpkin beer with a brown sugar rim at Judie’s in Amherst.  Holy yum (and decadent).  I’ve tried to replicate it at home out here but it hasn’t been quite as good.  I’m still looking for the perfect pumpkin beer.  The one I had in New England-Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale- was local and isn’t carried ‘out west.’

Baby Flyer seemed to really enjoy our walks in the woods.  She was so peaceful, both in the Ergo 360 and the BOB Revolution Stroller.  She barely made a peep, and spent the time looking around.  You could tell she was taking it all in.  We tried to get outside in the woods daily to enjoy the trees.


Living in the city, there’s little things you don’t realize you get unaccustomed to.  It’s odd but since living in Southern California I’m not as used to hearing (or seeing) squirrels.  Whenever we would be out on a walk, I would get startled when I’d hear ‘something,’ which was always a squirrel, rustling in the leaves.  This might have something to do with the prevalence of lizards and rattlesnakes in SoCal.  We certainly have squirrels here too, but I don’t come across them in the same frequency as I do in the woods in New England.

There are a few iconic fall things that it just seems like you ‘need’ to do with family.  When we booked our tickets for this trip, I imagined visiting a pumpkin patch and taking some fall themed pictures of Baby Flyer among the pumpkins.  We did in fact, visit a pumpkin patch, but it was later in the day and Baby Flyer wasn’t in one of her moods where she smiles all the time but was still very interested and curious about the pumpkins.  So, while they may not be perfectly posed, they are real life and this is what we captured-




Baby Flyer’s Fall outfit- Jacket from Patagonia, leggings from Tea

Overall, we feel so lucky were able to enjoy so much of the fall season this year on this trip.  It is by far the longest I’ve been back during that time of year since moving to Southern California.


No better way to end than a shot of the woods on our last walk in the woods before flying back home!

Thanks for reading!


This post is linked-up!  We’re joining Budget Traveler’s Sandbox for Travel Photo Thursday this week.  Be sure to head over there and check out some great end of the year travel posts!