There are few things I love more than traveling. There was even a time when I considered a nomadic lifestyle. No joke. I love to travel. Yet, it's something I rarely do anymore. I guess I had attributed it mainly to settling down and having a child. Both pathetic excuses. Over the past few years my adventures have slowed to a near trickle of what they used to be. Sure I travel but it's no where near as exciting as it was back in my backpacker days. Now, its less "Let's go whereever the wind takes us" and more "Do you have to go? There's a potty at the Starbucks on the corner and mommy can get a coffee."
It should go without saying that one of the things I love above travel is my family. (Insert deep sigh) However, after 2 consecutive weekend getaways and 1 extended stay at the in-laws, I've come to the conclusion that there are some things anyone traveling with a 3 yr old must know first:
1. Don't assume your child is potty trained! Chances are questionable things have happened in your hotel room. My beloved saintly child has officially committed one of these questionable acts. We were in San Diego. Fabrizio was running around naked while I was getting us ready when I noticed total silence. Never something a mother wants to hear unless her child is sleeping. Thankfully the room was small and it only took me a moment to figure out that he was in the armoire. Silence. I pulled open the door to find him frozen with that far away look in his eyes that could only mean one thing...he's pooping! No, no, no! I grabbed him by the elbows and raced to the toilet but the deed had already been done. There in the armoire was a 6 inch poop standing on end. Totally gross. I cleaned and sanitized the area to the best of my abilities but still...totally gross. So if you're ever in San Diego just pop me a quick email to give you the hotel name and room number to avoid.
2. Even though it's classified as a get away be prepared to come home more exhausted than when you left.
3. To assume your child will enjoy the pool is very very naive. Even though he told me repeatedly that he didn't want to go in the pool I was certain that it was only because he didn't remember what a great time he had swimming last summer. I have never been more wrong. With screams of terror as he clung like a koala to my body, and disapproving looks from my fellow pool goers, I slowly waded into the pool. We lasted an entire 3 minutes before I gave up.
4. When choosing a restaurant for dinner it doesn't count as child friendly just because it has a piano in the bar. Fabrizio loves music and we all love food so this should have been a total hit. Umm..nope, wrong again. Check please!
5. If you are traveling by train (mainly applies to Europe) and you have a stroller and luggage make sure that the station has elevators. I don't need to tell you what a pain in the you-know-what lugging all that up and down stairs is! On the plus side, it's a nice way to burn off those extra pounds of pasta :0)
6. Just because it's somewhere you've spent time, never ever assume that it'll be easier. With cries of "I want Wiggles", "I want a lollipop"...I want, I want, I want. I want a real vacation!
My suggestions? Stay home, blow up a kiddie pool and grab a burger at McDonalds. You might not be happy but everyone else will be and that my friends is as good as anything.