This past weekend we packed up the kid an half our belongings and headed to the Santa Cruz mountains for a family wedding. This was not our first family trip technically, since we did drive to SF when Isobel was a few months old and met up with my Flickr buddy affectionately known around the net as Webchicken. I felt all hardcore and proud of myself for leaving the house for a day with the baby even though Chicken and David and nine month old baby B flew across the country with whatever gear they could fit in their suitcases. And contrary to what I thought back then, traveling with a nine month old is much more complicated than traveling with a small infant, who is content to lay in someone’s arms, look around occasionally, and sleep often. I truly appreciated Chicken’s heroic family trip after Isobel came to be nine months. All she wanted to do was walk around, find some new way to hurt or maim herself, and if she was in her car seat for an extended period of time, scream. Aside from one disastrous day tip, we did no traveling of any sort for a period of her development. It was just not worth it.
It was really a test of our intestinal fortitude to attempt this trip. Santa Cruz is farther away than SF and counting traffic usually takes at least three hours by car. But Anthony and I are the stupid sort, and we had been looking forward to my cousin’s wedding and all the family we’d get a chance to see there. One of my cousins was coming from Germany! Plus, staying a few days in Santa Cruz meant I could cross something off my life list: taking Isobel to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Monterrey is even further away than Santa Cruz and four hours in a car (both! ways!) with a toddler was just not something I could handle. Driving to Monterrey from Santa Cruz, however, was much more feasible.
We went, we drove, we brought our toddler. I have lots to say about this trip but for now I also have multiple loads of laundry that need attention, some dishes to wash, and a sleeping baby to watch over. Traveling with a toddler is definitely doable and the only bad parts about the trip were totally not baby-related. Isobel has come to a comfortable truce with riding in the car and it turns out all that worry about traveling with a toddler was worth seeing this:
All in all, it was wonderful to see family, we had an adventure in the redwoods, and adventure at the sea shore, visited the aquarium, ate sushi, visited thrift stores, and learned valuable lessons about baby-proofing a hotel room. I can’t wait to tell you about it.