Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mom and toddler roadtrip

1/12/10 mom and toddler roadtrip

When I found out that I have MLK day off, I immediately wanted to take advantage of the three-day weekend. I don’t have another paid holiday until the end of May. Mark is still tired from the holiday travel. I didn’t mind. I figured it might be fun to take a road trip with my baby, and dad will appreciate the gift of a few days of silent time alone at home.

I was so excited by the prospect that I couldn’t concentrate the first day at all. Instead, I scanned websites, trying to figure out where to go. A place in Vermont that provided free childcare while I skied looked great, but I was nervous to drive snowy mountain roads alone in our unreliable car. I was attracted to the warmth of more southern locales, but the drive was too long and the flight too expensive. I started to look at nearby options, but I felt the number of places I hadn’t been to already was growing steadily smaller. And it had to be interesting to a two year old.

I decided first upon a Wolf Sanctuary I’d heard of and wanted to visit for a while. I tentatively thought of some other nearby destinations, but upon contacting friends in the area, I changed directions. Right now, the itinerary for our three day excursion includes visit to a wolf sanctuary, a science center, a color crayon center and visits with three friends. I’m splurging on a suite in a bed and breakfast the first night (this is the only room where they’d accept a child, though they gave me a discount since I originally inquired about the cheapest room). On the second night, we’ll stay in a chain that gets good reviews and has an indoor swimming pool.

I find that I’m really excited about the trip, almost as much as if I was going to do something like hiking or skiing. I’m looking forward to the nice hotels, to trying new restaurants, to seeing friends, to spending quality adventure time with my baby, to creating memories, and hopefully, to exposing him to fun new experiences.

I imagine him sleeping well and me having quiet time to myself in a large comfy bed at night. I’m fighting hard against my natural tendency to overschedule and I imagine he’ll behave just fine through the morning activities and lunch, then take a nice nap in the hotel that will allow us to check in early enough for naptime. Of course, these may all be illusions. I might end up being an exhausted wreck at the end who gratefully brings River back to dad at the end.

I think what I’m most excited about is that since our last trip as a twosome (to Panama, when he was six months old), he is now able to take in the trip for himself. He can walk, explore, appreciate new sights and experiences and share some of his thoughts and impressions with me. It’s now more of a joint endeavor. And that makes me very eager to go.

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