I’m in panic-attack mode because I’ve been saying that we’re leaving “in two weeks” (plenty of time to do…well, whatever needs to be done before you leave the country for over two months. Right?). But time isn’t static, and I’ve been saying “two weeks” for over a week now. (Of course I’m also prone to procrastination and dramatization of my feelings).
Oh funny thing TIME — yes, it keeps marching on…and WHOA, we’re actually leaving in LESS than a week. What??! And most of our days are already spoken for until we leave. And I still have to pack. And I still need to get summer clothes for Mateo. (he grew! what?!). And I still need to organize my laptop. And is there still time to get in shape for summer?? ha. There’s still LOTS to DO. I feel like a chicken with its head cut off. Except that I’m not running around, I’m kinda just sitting on the internet trying to breathe because I’m not sure where to start. I’m pretty sure it’ll be okay.Our last big trip (out of the country) was last fall when Mateo was 12 months old. It was new territory. We didn’t know how we would manage “the baby schedule,” the actual travel, his food, his napping, jet lag, all that. It was new territory. Did I say that already? New.
Travel is one thing; travel with a baby companion is another. It could have gone well, or it could have been incredibly stressful. We were gone for three weeks in Croatia (plus a day-trip to Venice, Italy). In those three weeks we shuttled through two days of flights (including an overnight stay in Stockholm on the way home), a road trip, and a ferry boat. And you know what?! It was FANTASTIC! It ended up being one of our favorite travel experiences EVER. Yup, with a one year old. So much so that this year we’ve decided to go for two months + 10 days.But yeah, I should get on the packing or at least list making. I spent yesterday afternoon listening to Spanish talk radio and looking through photos of that trip. That was the formula to calm me down. It’s so fun to relive memories. Wow, I can’t believe I never went through the photos! I do that.You know how I said that the trip was all super fantastic? Well it was, EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE DAY IN VENICE. Oh Mateo. The little man did not find Venice romantic at all. And made sure that Aki and I didn’t either. :) There was no napping that day. There was no sitting at cute cafes like we normally did. There were no slow gondola rides. Instead we ate on the go and tried to stay away from the rest of the tourists. Mateo was a grumpy little bear.OH that boy tried my patience! But you know what’s funny? I love the few photos that we took that day. It reminds me that there were some good times. And distance makes the stressful moments kinda humorous. Anyway, we definitely got some great photos. That’s important, right? :)
Ya gotta have a sense of humor. Especially when you’re raising a toddler. ;)Venetian highlights according to Mateo:
Marching through the stone streets was amazing (he had only been walking a couple months).
He loved the bakery pastries and sandwiches (even if we would have rather been eating fresh pasta at a restaurant with a glass of wine).
He was fascinated by the local boys playing soccer in a little square we wandered into (and even tried to join in, ha. No luck though. One day!).
Trying to reach the canals was a fun challenge (even if it nearly gave Aki a heart attack).
The bright red fire hydrants were awesome (even if in hindsight, they may have been awesome to local dogs as well).
The boats were fascinating (as long as he didn’t have to be stuck on one).
And really, he was happiest at the local parking garage. Did you know the Venetian parking garage is super fun? Almost like a playground. Playgrounds are better than Venice. Mateo knows this.YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME. And guys, it’s worth it.
Sure, when it’s VENICE….you know, VEEEENNICCE (Venezia!), it’s hard not to anticipate candle light, gondolas, and old world charm whispering to you softly around every corner. But friends, when you have a babe in tow you have to let some things go, and just go with the flow. We learned Mateo’s limits with that day trip. Our original plans included a drive on to Rome or Vienna (weren’t sure which) but we nixed those plans. You have to be flexible. Instead we stayed a few more days in the Istrian region of Croatia (wine country! truffle country! yes please country!) and had an amazing visit with Aki’s sister and family and even ended up being there for the birth of Mateo’s youngest cousin! Right decision.Whenever I travel, I try not to stress myself. I try to enjoy the moment. Travel is your time to enjoy the moment and be present. Sometimes that means letting go of your plans and if everything doesn’t fit…there’s always “next time.” I’d rather believe that there is a “next time” than stress myself out. I’ve been to Paris and never to the Louvre. I’ve been to Vatican City and never seen the Sistine Chapel. Next time! :) PS, woulda seen the Sistine Chapel but turns out we were standing the wrong line. Oops. Yeah, next time.The moral of the story is, not every moment of traveling with a baby is going to be stress-free. But if you hang out with babies with any regularity, you know that “real life” with them isn’t stress-free either. So if you have the chance to go away to somewhere beautiful, DO IT. Don’t be afraid to travel with a baby companion! :)
One bum grumpy day out of three weeks isn’t a bad average. If you have to be grumpy, Venice isn’t a bad backdrop. :)
**if you haven’t already, GO ON and “LIKE” our Facebook page. Let’s hang out. It’s a place to share extra photos, stories, and keep in touch!
PS I should take my own advice. Although I do TRY not to stress when I travel, sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to “have an experience” or to capture “the” photo. I want to try to just “be in the moment” and “go with the flow” this trip. I said try. :)
PPS Ha, anyone notice? I’m wearing the same pants as this style post, and that one. Plus the purse I showed off in the first style post. Totally my go-to travel bag. And yeah, I wear the same clothes all the time guys. And now you know.