Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Traveling Toddler Style

Has anyone noticed how much more difficult it is to travel with busy toddlers? Traveling with newborns was so much easier! Unfortunately I didn't see it that way at the time. Sure there was more stuff to lug around, more feeding stops to make, but seriously....they slept most of the time! These days our traveling is filled with constant entertainment or when we get tired of doing that, very loud toddler screaming. Ethan might sleep for 30 minutes tops when we are in the car these days.

And hotel room stays....hahahahahaha. Oh goodness, we brace ourselves before we go in.

Please tell me what happened to carrying just an overnight bag? At some point life got a little more complicated!
The hotel manager gave us the pet owner speech stating that if we got two noise complaints due to Lola's barking we would be kicked out. My husband and I just laughed and simply said it wouldn't be Lola that got us kicked out. I'm pretty sure they don't kick you out due to toddler screams they?

By the end of our stay, a hotel room is completely trashed and let's be one gets hardly any sleep. I just chalk it up to part of the "traveling with kids experience" though. One day I'll have to drag him out of bed at noon I'm sure. At this stage, Ethan is just so excited about life and all of it's experiences. Yep, that's what I'm going to blame the lack of sleeping on. It sounds good to me.

This weekend we traveled to Winston-Salem, NC for a cousins graduation ceremony. I refuse to drive over 2 hours and not sight see so we made an adventure out of it! We visited the historic Bethabara Park.

Ethan had a blast ringing the dinner bell. Seriously, it was probably the second best highlight of the trip for him. It entertained him for a good 5 minutes which you know is a lifetime in toddler time.

And we explored the old foundations of homes and businesses left from the first settlers in the late 1700's.

We also headed over to Old Salem to do some sight seeing as well. I do have to give Ethan a lot of credit because once we get out and actually start looking at things...he is perfectly content. The simplest things like steps or just wide open spaces to run keep him perfectly happy. At this point the biggest pain in our rear end was the dog who should have honestly failed all of her puppy behavior courses at Pet Smart!

The number one thing I wanted to do while in Winston-Salem was try out the Moravian Sugar cookies I had read about. Let's just say they definitely lived up to all the reviews! As well as the Lemon Cookies, the Ginger Cookies, and the Lemon Pound, did I mention I have a weakness for sweets?

The bakery responsible for said delicious sweets! 
As much of a hassle as it is to travel with Ethan at this age, I can't help but think it will be challenging at any age and that I just need to relax and enjoy some of the easy things about him being a busy toddler. This trip probably would have bored a middle schooler or even early school age kid to death, but my precious little toddler? He was just happy to explore with us. In fact, his number one favorite thing about this trip was riding a statue of a lion...

It's a nice reminder to just take the simple joys of life in. To not overlook the little things. I'm pretty sure when I look back on this trip one day. I won't remember the hassle of dragging our whole world with us, or the sleepless hotel room stay, or the screaming 4 hour car ride both ways. Eventually all that will fade from memory, but what will stay is the fact that Ethan had a fabulous time and was thoroughly entertained with a stone lion that he would have done anything to bring home with him.

This is us during the graduation...yeah I said during, not at...oh the joys of toddlerhood :)


  1. I always love your perspective on things. I am so nervous of traveling with Eva. we do travel to see our families a lot but we have only stayed in a hotel on one trip. Two of the nights were in a suite, so we could actually put her in a different room and the other two nights were in one room and it was AWFULLLLL. I am hoping as they get bigger that will wear off? MAYBE? She was only 10.5 months then ...

    I love the photos and it looks like, despite the chaos, you had a wonderful time.

  2. Thats a lot of stuff mama! I love Lola in her crate on the wrack, Ha! You are so right, every stage will have some element of challenge that makes us want to pull our hair out, so we should focus on the wonderful bits of the stage instead. Glad Ethan enjoyed ringing the bell and playing with a stone statue. You now have two ideas of what to give him/find when he gets bored at home :)

  3. I cannot get over seeing Lola on the luggage rack! Too, too cute! Like L said up top, I so much appreciate your perspective. Like you said, it's so easy to get frustrated with the little things now- but to step back and actually appreciate them? the short toddler attention span, the packing of a bazillion things, etc.. is so, so refreshing! ;) And inspiring! Thanks!

  4. I so agree with this. There are so many things to get frustrated with or upset at ... vacation and life is just not the same with a toddler. But it's always refreshing to think about how much fun life is anyway and how these are the days we will miss as we sob after dropping them off at college. I love your dress in the last pic!

  5. Hi, Laura! I found you via Katie's blog. Moving to East TN, huh? I'm so jealous. I grew up 30 minutes south of Knoxville. It will be nice when we're able to move back a little closer to home. You have a beautiful family- it's nice to "meet" ya! :)

  6. Great photos! Glad you made it there and back in one piece. Its gets easier!!

  7. You have such a cute family girl. I'm so glad you've survived the trip and that it was so worth it.
    A couple of months ago we went to a really nice cabin payed by the hubby's company and instead of enjoying it we were up until 3am w Giada. Girlfriend refuses to sleep if there is anyone else in the room w her. So right around 3:30 she got moved to the bathroom. Yep. She spent the rest of her night there. Now I'm terrified to go to any hotel overnight w her.

  8. Hi! So glad that Katie introduced you in her blog. Now I'm a follower too! Thanks for sharing!


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