Tag Archives: travelling

Ireland

22 Sep

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Washington D.C.

9 Sep

Too, too many photos. Truth is, I took ten times this many.

Travelling with a toddler

9 Sep

Well, travelling with mine anyway. I saw lots of angelic children floating around the place on our trip. Doing what they were told and not getting into every kind of (un)imaginable mischief. My fella? Well, he wasn’t a nightmare. More of a “surely there’s someone putting him up to this for a hilarious “Gotcha” type TV show.” Nope. He’s just a highly inquisitive and imaginative boy. Which is good. But not great when he has gotten himself stuck in one of the exhibits at the Natural History Museum, playing “tunnels” or something. Especially as you can’t get the whole  “Oh My God, what will people think of me/my child/the way I parent?” out of your head, no matter how hard you try or how irrational you know it is to care about what strangers think. So what have I learned?

  • He’s going to catch something. Crawling around the airport or the plane or somewhere. Pack some medications because the GPS won’t work and you won’t be able to find a pharmacy for three days (your husband will find one on the first day, but only bring back milk and snacks. It’ll be too far to go there again).
  • Update the GPS for the area you are travelling to. Otherwise murder will be committed in the car, leaving your toddler orphaned. And probably scarred for life.
  • No matter how many clothes you pack for him it won’t be enough. Not only that, he will be mismatched (a cardinal sin according to the Hubby) and wearing weird socks. He may well end up looking like a ragamuffin for the whole trip. A snotty one. And constantly dirty. (But happy!)
  • Bring all of the snacks you can find. Carry them everywhere, thinking “these will do for when he’s hungry and we can’t find anywhere to stop.” He’ll eat none of them. He’ll want nothing to do with them. You’ll feel like a fool and bring home a sack of rather squashed snacks.
  • He’ll want to walk everywhere. And look at everything. You will only have patience for this for about an hour. In the morning. When everyone is feeling chirpy. Patience wears out, but try to strike a balance. And before you bring him anywhere else, will you try and instill in him the importance of not running off or heading straight for the road.
  • He doesn’t want to go in the buggy because he knows he’s tired and is afraid that he will fall asleep and miss something. Yes, that means a mad tantrum and flailing and “Oh My God! What will people think?” but try to stay calm (not that scary calm where you talk through your teeth, but proper calm, perhaps of the Zen variety). You know what the problem is and you can fix it, but not if you throw a tantrum too….
  • Stickers. Crayons. And books. These are all you really need. Those (rather heavy) cast iron Thomas trains that you carted with you? A waste of time. All you really needed was the hotel pen and a boy with the freedom to write all over himself. Ok, so it took a bit of scrubbing to get off, but it lent itself rather well to the whole “ragamuffin” theme you had going on. That, and the look on the Hubby’s face after the second or third (?) time was hilarious!

Toddler travelling tips

9 Jun

Now that the dust has settled (a bit) on our mad journey across country, I feel confident enough to offer tips for when you are taking your toddler on a long trip. I’ve forgotten most of the awfulness you see, and the good ideas are like shiny beacons in the distance. So, here goes.

  • Try and stop at least every 3 hours. If you would do it for a dog, you definitely should be doing it for your child.
  • Pick out interesting places to stop. Interesting to your child, not you. Parks, childrens museums, science museums, zoos, aquariums etc. You can go shopping, but that defeats the purpose of stopping. You’ll likely strap him or her into a buggy and they’ll have to sit, so they may as well be in the car. Everyone will be miserable if you stop just to eat or shop. Tack the eating and shopping onto an excursion and you’ll be set.
  • Invest in some of the less obnoxious childrens music out there. It can be a life saver. Especially if you have a small boy who gets carsick when he watches DVDs in the car.
  • Forget rules about no eating/drinking in the car (for small people). And if you’re me, be prepared to sit in the back seat (in the uncomfortable middle one) while the eating and drinking is going on. Because paranoia about choking will never go away.
  • Learn some fingerplay games. They’ll whittle away the time for you when you’re sitting on the lumpy seat in the back.
  • Magnets. Magnetic books, balls, activity sets, whatever you can find.
  • Stickers.
  • All food and drink “rules” should be relaxed.
  • Try and make it fun. This can be part of your holiday too.

Oh and you can never have too many nappies or wipes and other essentials.

And this guy is a genius. You need some of his music in your life, whether you’re spending hours upon hours with a small boy in a car or not.

Arizona

3 Jun

I’m not sure what I can say about Arizona. It was beautiful. Desolate. But breath-taking. If it weren’t for the telephone lines, oftentimes you could think there was no one else around for miles and miles and miles.

New Mexico

27 May

I’m having a bit of bother remembering what day it is, never mind what day of the trip it is. Time zones have us all confuddled. And I’m having to look at hotel stationery to figure out where it is we are. Let’s not mention the blind panic when I’m outside of the hotel room by myself, trying to remember today’s room number.

Oh well.

Yesterday we were in New Mexico. In Albuquerque. There was a little more outdoor activity than we’re used to, what with visiting Santa Rosa State park, the Sandia peak tramway and historic downtown Albuquerque. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that we went to Santa Rosa park yesterday, I think it was the day before, on the way to Albuquerque. But I can’t be sure. See? No idea what day it is. I distinctly remember the tramway though. I’m not great with heights you see. And that’s the longest “unsupported” tram in the world. I mean, of course it is supported, but it has the longest distance between the towers or something. The engineering is a marvel. Apparently. It was marvellous to get up and down safely, that’s for sure. And the views were spectacular. The turtle certainly enjoyed it. “Up high sky.” It was like being a superhero on a train. His two favourite things at the moment.

THe historic downtown part of Albuquerque was very pretty and quaint. And all of the little shops prompted me to search for a tangible reminder of our trip. So all of the pottery stores had to be examined. Thoroughly. Until I found THE pot. It’s white with turtles carved into it. Two of which are turquoise. It’s lovely. I have no pictures, because it’s wrapped in the paper equivalent of a small tree. But here are some pictures of our New Mexico adventure:

(I can’t get the photos in the right order. Arrgghhhhh!!! Maybe later.)

Bye Bye Texas!

26 May

It was nice to have met you. Honestly though, I thought you would be hotter. And more desert-y. I didn’t think about all the cows and how they would need grass. What they say is true though, everything is bigger in Texas. At least it seemed so to me. Cows bigger than people. Fields stretching as far as the eye could see. Walmarts as big as a medium-sized town. Trucks galore. Giant ones. And enough steak to feed a small family served on one plate. (Shhh, but I’m a bit sick of steak.)

Maybe we’ll be back. I think you have a lot more to offer.

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