Road Trip to So Cal...with a Toddler!

That's right, we're back and we survived our first road trip with a toddler!

And you know what?  It wasn't that bad!  Call us lucky, but Ethan seemed to enjoy most of his time in the car...the longest day being 8+ hours.  

But let me start from the beginning.

We started early and Ethan was not too sure.  I thought we had a long day ahead of us...

But he did just fine...and actually fell asleep right before noon.  We made the mistake of stopping for lunch about 10 minutes after he fell asleep...figuring that he would nap after lunch.  Wrong!  He never took a nap that day and that was totally our bad!  But he did remarkably well despite his lack of sleep.  He played with his tractors and watched Mickey Mouse Club House on the iPad.  I also recommend bringing food pouches for an easy snack.

We broke up our trip on the way down, which I highly recommend.  In our case, we stopped in our college down, San Luis Obisop and had a blast touring around and visiting our old favorite places.  Like Firestone Grill...their fries are theee best!

We stopped through on a Thursday night, which meant we got to check out the Farmer's Market in downtown.  There is always tons of produce, flowers and food!  We both wondered why we didn't take more advantage of the great food when we were in college.  #kids

We also tried out a new place, Batch, that makes homemade ice cream sandwiches.  They cookies were still warm and gooey when we got them, SO delicious!  The bump and I thoroughly enjoyed!  ;)

And it was nostalgic walking by the Fremont movie theater on our way back to the hotel...that was home to our first movie date!

Ethan had a blast being in the hotel {can you tell??}.  I think the key for surviving a hotel experience with a toddler is to go for the suite option, aka, two rooms.  We were able to setup Ethan's pack 'n play in the living room and close the door, which was great for giving him the quiet he needed to fall asleep.

The next morning, we hit up Scout Coffee, which is the cuuuutest little coffee shop that ever lived.  Seriously, a blogger's little paradise.  Ethan loved the morning bun...

And I loved their honey tea yummy!

The drive from San Luis Obispo to Camarillo was a breeze!  I'll plan to recap my brother's wedding later this week.  Ethan killed it as the ring bearer...such a cutie!

From Camarillo, we drove down to Newport Beach to see friends and family {we figured since we had come all that way, we may as well take advantage!}.  And of course, when in Newport, you must take advantage of the food!

Sidecar Doughnuts?  Yes please!  We also made sure to hit up True Food, Bear Flag, and Kean Coffee while we were there.  Yum-O!

We stayed with our good friends while in Newport and Ethan was in hog heaven having a 12 year old buddy to play with.  He copied everything that Kyle sweet!

The drive back was more of a haul...we did it in one day and stopped maybe three times.  Ethan actually took two full naps, which was awesome and the rest of the time, he either pointed out the trucks and cows or played on the iPad.  He was such a little trooper!

We made sure to stop for a semi-healthy meal on the way home {no Micky D's for us}.  There was the funkiest place that we found on Yelp, called Bishop Burger Barn.  It doesn't sound like anything special, but all of their burgers were made from grass-fed beef, homemade burger buns, homemade milk shakes and more.  I got the veggie burger {which was homemade too} and it was all delicious. 

If you can't tell, we clearly make the road trips worthwhile with lots of yummy food stops.  You have to make it fun, right??

We really had the best time and I am so grateful that Ethan was such a good little road warrior.  I have a feeling we'll be making more road trips in the future so it was good to know that we could survive it!  ;)

You can check out my Insagram for more photos {#schueroadtrip2014}. 

xo natasha 


  1. Looks and sounds like an awesome trip - well done big boy E! x

  2. That sounds perfect! Ethan did great, and it sounds like you planned it well!! We always do the suite, too, so Cam can have his own space to sleep while we stay up (like an hour) later - we're so lame!! Haha :) I can't wait to see the wedding recap!

  3. looks like a pretty successful trip! congrats! i want that ice cream sandwich yummmm! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. Breaking up the trip and yummy food is key to every good road trip, with kids or not ;). So glad to hear Ethan did great!

  5. awww love his little curls! glad the trip was a success!!

  6. Aww! I loved this road-trip recap! We did the drive up to Tahoe (your area) in the Spring and also had to break it up into two days by stopping in Mammoth. We've never stopped at Bishop Burger, but always see it! Will have to try it once, but stops are always dependent on K's mood and she's not usually that happy on long drives. Ethan looks so adorable and sounds like he did great! Ahh... you made it down to our area too. I've yet to go to Sidecar only because I know I'll get hooked and I don't need the extra calories/. :P Looks like a wonderful trip!

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv

  7. Glad your road trip went well Natasha! Ethan is such a cute little trooper. My old college town is San Luis Obispo, too. I haven't been back in a long time. I can't wait to see photos of Ethan as the ring bearer.

  8. can't get over how cute ethan is!

  9. Yay for a good little road tripper!!! And you seriously made me hungry with all that food!!

  10. SO SO jealous of your time in SLO! Oh how I miss the Farmer's Market! What a fun experience for your family.

  11. What good little road tripper! We have driven up north to visit my parents twice with Mason and both times he did great. We always leave super early and think he will fall back asleep but no luck. And then when we planned to stop at a museum for him... nap. Toddlers! So happy your trip was so wonderful!