This time two weeks ago, we were starting to pack for a ten day holiday to the US, with baby in tow. I was really excited, as it was a trip to see some of my very favourite people. However, I was also quite anxious about the trip because it involved a lot of travelling with Theodore, which we’ve not really done before.
People kept telling me that 4 1/2 months was the best time to travel with a baby, but I was still very nervous to do it. Our journey entailed three plane journeys, two train rides and two long car rides, so I just had everything crossed that things would be okay. And it was! Theo didn’t particularly enjoy the train travel, but the plane rides were a piece of cake – he just slept for most of them. Phew!
No link love this week, but here are the ten best things about my trip to the US:
10) Learning to relax a bit more as a parent. There were delays in our travels. There was jetlag. There were late nights and early mornings. Naps were irregular. And we were all totally fine. I can’t say I totally relaxed, especially during the two late nights, which I found a bit stressful (he definitely doesn’t just fall asleep wherever – he wants bedtime to be in bed, apparently!), but I did kind of end up realising that we just needed to roll with the punches as best we could and I think I stopped being so regimented about his schedule.
9) The ice cream. Oh. The ice cream. God it was good. We ate it almost every day. My personal favourite was Oinks in New Buffalo. That place had some crazy good ice cream.
8) Hiking in Albany. Who knew that Albany had such great hikes? My friend Carla took us for a beautiful walk with waterfalls, great views and lovely shady walks – lovely!
7) Meeting Carla’s children. The last time I saw her, one of my absolute favourite people, her son was coming up on a year old. Now he’s almost five, she has a daughter, and she’s pregnant again! I loved meeting her two little ones and getting to know them a little bit. They’re such great kids. Nathan, her eldest, is so considerate and caring and loving. I hope Theo turns out a bit like him.
6) Lake Michigan. I had seen Lake Michigan the first time we went to Chicago a few years ago, but seeing it from the other side, standing on a beach with no one else around, was pretty great. We were staying at the most incredible lake house, with our own wing (!) with our friends, and it was just pure relaxation – going to the beach during the day and then eating, drinking beer (just the one for me) and talking late into the night. Perfect. Because Peter and I wake up ridiculously early these days, each morning we would head down to the beach with Theo strapped to one of us for an early morning walk. So lovely.
5) Watching the sunset go down on the beach. My friend Leila and I took a drink down to the beach and watched the sun go down while we caught up on each other’s lives. So nice.
4) Our apartment in Chicago. We were staying with a friend of a friend of my mother’s. A connection so distant I ALMOST decided to tell her thanks but no thanks and book a hotel. But I’m so glad we didn’t. Not only was she incredibly nice (and clearly very generous for letting us stay with her!), but her apartment was AMAZING. The views were great – you could see sunrise and sunset, the lake, the city… wow, it was beautiful.
3) Seeing two wonderful people get married. Weddings are always great, but seeing my friend Leila get married was really special. I’m so glad that we decided to throw caution to the wind and fly out to see it.
2) I feel as though Theodore grew by leaps and bounds while we were away. It was incredible. On our first night there, he had his first proper laughing session, giggling like crazy at my mum’s friend talking. On our second night there, he rolled over for the very first time (at 5am, out of his bed, which was a bit scary! Thankfully it was a travel cot that opens from the side and sits on the floor). On our fourth day, he sat up without assistance (although getting into that position is still beyond him). It was really incredible how much changed in just a few short days. I feel as though we returned with a completely different baby to the one we left the UK with!
1) Spending time with my friends. Of course it was wonderful to spend time with Peter and Theo. I loved every minute. But I also really relished spending time with my friends, who I get to see so rarely. I’ve known them since high school and the three that I saw while I was out there are seriously some of the best people I know. I wish I could see them more often, but maybe I would appreciate them less if I saw them every day.
What a trip! It was wonderful, but completely exhausting and I am so glad to be home! One of the best things about holidays has to be the feeling you have when you open your front door at the end of it, right? Travel is something I will always love but home is where the heart is.