Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Duluth, lutsen + tofte with the kids.

After six months of living in the midst of a pandemic, our family was in need of a getaway... a change of scenery... anything. But doing so safely was also a top priority. We decided to pack the kids in the car, and drive up toward the North Shore for a 5-day getaway. We stayed at The Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth for one night, and then headed up to Bluefin Bay in Tofte, MN for the rest of our trip. We stayed in our favorite family suite at The Inn on Lake Superior, as it’s right in Canal Park and has an amazing view from the balcony of the room. Bluefin Bay was absolutely incredible! The views of Lake Superior from our condo were insane. Temps were very autumn-like during our stay, so we were able to sleep with the windows open and enjoy a fire in the wood-burning fireplace every night. Our kids basically had the outdoor pool and hot tub to themselves every morning and early afternoon, and there were plenty of gorgeous trails and sights to take in.

This trip definitely solidified why Northern Minnesota is one of our favorite places on earth. Here are a few of the places we visited along the way...

Portland Malt Shoppe (BEST malts EVER!)

Lutsen Gondola 

Duluth Trading Post (Mama Saigh got a great new leather bag from here)

Betty’s Pies

Peach Beach + Black Beach

Sven & Ole’se Pizza (One of the best pizzas we’ve ever had - Grand Marais)

Grandma’s Restaurant 

Temperance River

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Linna’s last words as an 8-year-old.

I’ve recorded these videos of my kids on the evening before each of their birthdays, starting at age two. So incredible to see and hear how much they change and grow!

(Linna, age 8)

(Linna, age 2)

(Linna, age 3)
(Linna, age 6)

Monday, June 29, 2020

Baby tony is starting to talk.

Our two older kids were basically little chatter boxes from a pretty young age. Baby Tony (turned 2 in March) is taking his sweet time in the talking department, but he’s starting to put more words together to form sentences. I love his cute little voice!

Papa Saigh teaching Baby Tony one of his favorite things to do: Rub my feet 😆

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

FOX 9 buzz: Keeping kids busy at home.

Monday, I did my first LIVE broadcast on the FOX 9 Buzz from my home! This segment was originally booked a couple weeks ago when the country and our state of MN started going on lockdown during the COVID19 outbreak. So, while most (hopefully) people are working from home, schools are closed, and we are all “sheltering in place”, I gave the FOX 9 viewers some activities that kids can do indoors and outside, from home! Enjoy, and stay healthy.

Click on the photo above to link you to my TV segment in full.

- Get 20% OFF your Baketivity order, using the code MELISSA

- STEM Boxes are by Kiwi Co.

- Photo Books are by ChatBooks

- Follow @experintiallearningdepot on Instagram for other great ideas (this blog is my friend who is a former school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Arizona with three kids.

Earlier this month (February), Papa Saigh and I took all three kiddos (Linna 8, Jimmy 4, and Tony 1.5 years old) to Arizona. This was our first airplane-trip as a family of five, and Tony’s first time on an airplane! Flying with an almost two-year-old is so much fun (insert ALL the sarcasm). Thankfully, we were visiting Auntie Lisa (Papa Saigh’s sister), as I don’t think this would have been much of a “vacation” without the extra set of hands.

Auntie Lisa picking us up at the airport at 10:30 p.m.
These Travel Vests are a great car-seat alternative
when traveling with kiddos!
We stayed at a gorgeous resort just outside Scottsdale: The Arizona Grand. The entire staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and we would highly recommend this resort for families with children. The resort has six pools, plus a huge waterpark on the property. We stayed during the water park’s “off season”, which wasn’t a big deal because there was SO much that the kids wanted to do in Arizona during our three-day visit. Papa Saigh and I can’t wait to go back to this resort, so we can enjoy the beautiful golf course and spa!

Jimmy (age 4) enjoying the sunshine on our balcony
at the Arizona Grand Resort, just outside of Scottsdale.

Linna (age 8) celebrated her half-birthday in Arizona!

Beautiful photo opportunities all over the resort property.

Swimming with my girl. Not sure why I look like I’m
growing a fuzzy beard (yikes, LOL!).

Papa Saigh trying to keep up with the middle kiddo.

Baby Tony and Jimmy enjoying the pool at the resort.

With highs of 70, our kids and some other snowbirds from
Minnesota were the only ones in the pool.

Always dancing.

Always stretching. 
Linna wanted to check out the rocks and gems at Four Peaks Mining Co., so we spent one morning at the Arizona Boardwalk (formerly known as OdySea Aquarium). Four Peaks has a free “cave experience” for kids (very small, but super cute), where they get to put on their own mining helmet and discover rocks and gems inside a “cave” inside the shop. Linna and Jimmy loved this place, and each left with their own little bag of rocks and stones. There was music in the center of the Boardwalk, with so many things for the kids to do (aquarium, butterfly exhibit, etc.).

The boys exploring the Arizona Boardwalk.

Four Peaks Mining Co.

Ice cream stop on the Boardwalk.
Another highlight of our trip was a late-afternoon “hike” with all three kids at Papago Park. The Hole-In-The-Rock is the perfect, easy climb for kids and grown-ups of all ages. The kids couldn’t explore or climb enough, and even Baby Tony kept up with his big brother and sister. We even saw a live snake hunting for food in a hole in the ground. With temps in the 60s, this was a fantastic experience for all of us.

Let’s quickly talk about throwing all “schedules” out the window when traveling with kids. We didn’t want to be tied down to staying inside for naps, so we just let the boys fall asleep while on-the-go. Some days, a 20-minute car nap was all they got. Everyone was exhausted when it was time to go home, but we were able to squeeze so much into this trip by simply going with the flow. It’s amazing how resilient kids are when they’re on vacation. They’re like little Energizer bunnies!

Be still, my heart.

Car nap for the boys.

Quiet time with Auntie Lisa.

Finally, the food. The kids’ favorite spot was Biscuits Restaurant in Ahwatukee. Linna says the pancakes were the best she’s ever had! While we didn’t order the healthiest breakfast options, the food was absolutely delicious! Papa Saigh, Auntie Lisa and I were able to sneak away one afternoon (booked a sitter for the kids) to enjoy some cocktails and wings at JTs Bar & Grill in Phoenix. “The Works” wings are honestly the best wings I have ever eaten!

Jimmy enjoying a fruit platter at Biscuits.

Play area at Biscuits.

Biscuits & Gravy

*** Check out our Instagram page (@MelissaSaigh) to see videos from our trip!