Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Travel

I do love to travel, and it seems summer is the best time for it. There are few things I look forward to as much as packing the van full to the brim, piling in the family, and setting off for an adventure.  Eric and I sit up front and talk for hours, or listen to podcasts, or music, or just drive while the other one sleeps. The kids are accustomed to car trips and know what to do, whether it is bringing books, watching movies on the DVD player, or looking out the window.  It is especially wonderful when they are asleep, though.

So far this summer, Eric and I have taken 2 plane trips- one to Galveston, TX for my friend Kelly's wedding, and one to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a conference.  Two trips a month apart is a pretty big deal for us, considering we went years without travel together.
Hazy morning sun over the Seawall in Galveston
It completely changes the dynamic to be away from the kids- we do what we want, when we want. We talk a lot to grownups, and we try to sleep late but don't always succeed.  I find that when we travel just the two of us, I get very anxious. I am anxious leading up to the trip, trying to make sure that I arrange everything the kids might need while we are gone.  While we were in Galveston, Eric's parents stayed at our place, and I had to make sure they had addresses for everything since they're not as familiar with our area. Then I stress about travel. Then I feel sad that we aren't with the kids.  Why can't I just let myself relax?

On our second trip away, to Puerto Rico, I actually did relax, and we had such a great time. We were in San Juan for a conference I attended, and I spent 2 days in seminars and at lunches, but we had plenty of time to relax and socialize. We got so distracted by enjoying ourselves one day that we forgot to call the kids!  Somehow we all survived.
Practicing our relaxation skills by the pool
On one of our fun days, Eric and I walked into Old San Juan from our hotel (2 miles). It was really hot and humid and I got completely soaked with sweat! But, it was exercise.
In Old San Juan 
The view from Castillo San Cristobal 
Selfie at San Cristobal
The cafe where we had coffee and I had Mallorca bread with guava butter that I still dream about
One day, while I was in the conference, Eric rented a bike and rode around town by himself.
 We socialized with old classmates and colleagues of mine, went out to dinner, had drinks at the swim up bar, went in the hot tub... It was amazing. The whole thing felt like a dream!

 One weekend at home, and then it was off to Washington, DC for my cousin Jess's wedding.  There was much to do about who would be attending the wedding- originally I planned to go alone with my parents, then Asher asked to come, then Benjamin asked to come, then it seemed silly for Eric and Charlotte not to come... There was a lot of rearranging of plans, and I rode down on Friday afternoon with my parents and the boys.  It was perfect weather and we got to take a walk in DC before we dropped the boys at my cousin's with a sitter and Elana and I went out to dinner.
3 across in my dad's car. My back was killing me!
Stoop sitting on a summer evening,
 My sister and I got to go for a run on Saturday morning while my parents took the boys to a playground and Eric and Charlotte drove down. We jogged past the White House, but I am a bad selfie taker so you can barely see it behind us.
See it?
Eric and I attended the wedding on Saturday night, and then we all headed back as a family on Sunday, in time for the boys to get to a birthday party at an ice skating rink.

Just a few days after we got home, we packed up the van again and took off for Maine!  This past weekend, I took Charlotte and Asher to New York City for the day, but other than that we have been at home, and we will be here until we end our summer with our trip to Cape Cod.
Asher on the balcony with the Empire State Building behind him. Eric's response was "Don't let him get too close to the edge!"
At a splash park in a bathing suit I bought at Old Navy in NYC. She now thinks she is fancy because she has a bathing suit from New York, even if I could have bought the same one 1 mile away from our house.
In a taxi. Hate that we have no car seats, but comforted by the fact that we go a max of 5 mph.
Me cooling off at the splash park

We are lucky, because the kids are adaptable and get excited about travel just as much as I do.  In DC they slept on air mattresses in my sister's room; in Maine the boys shared a bed and Charlotte slept on an air mattress in the closet.  They sleep well wherever we go, and are always curious to see new things.  I get a thrill out of exposing them to the world and seeing them interact with it.  Their joy is infectious and lets me be a kid again.  They were just as happy to be left at home with their grandparents the weekends we were away, and seem to barely miss us.  I'm sure a great deal of it is their temperament, but I can't help but feel as though Eric and I have done something right to have our three well-attached children.

Summer is half-over, but we've traveled the coast, and enjoyed ourselves here at home.  More summer pictures to come- we have been busy here, too.

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