ETA: I wrote this on Tuesday, but didn’t manage to post it then. So here it is.
The photos from our trip are all on Roo’s computer, which she is using at the moment. But I really will post pictures soon. In the meantime, here are some thoughts about our trip.
It was wonderful to spend so much time with my sweetie! We called the trip our “ten day date,” and it really felt like it. I loved having adventures together and exploring unfamiliar cities. I loved watching Roo’s excitement about the pieces of art that we saw, and learning from her about many different eras of art history. I loved being able to do things on our schedule without having to worry about a little boy’s naptime or bedtime. I loved eating out with my lovely spouse (though by the evening we were often too exhausted for much scintillating conversation–not unlike our lives at home!).
I felt like we made a really good team on this adventure. The trip was wonderful, but also exhausting. We wanted to make the most of our time (since who knows when we’ll be able to take a trip like this again), but that meant long busy days with miles of walking. Plus trying to take in huge ornate palaces, stuffed with amazing artwork (as in all of the walls were covered floor-to-ceiling with Rennaisance masterpieces, and the ceilings were painted with mythical scenes as well). And then there were lots of things that didn’t go the way we had planned, starting with the fact that Roo’s suitcase did not arrive in Venice with us…and when it did we were asked to go back to the airport to retrieve it because it had been “destroyed.” It turned out to not be quite that bad, but it wasn’t usable anymore, so we did have to spend time wandering the alleyways of Venice in search of shop that would sell us a new suitcase. Then there was our incredibly-disorganized travel agent who needed multiple phone calls to be convinced to send us our train tickets and the vouchers for day trips we had planned. And she still got some of them wrong. Despite all of the exhaustion and the snafoos and spending almost 24 hours a day together for 10 days, we didn’t have any arguments. I remember some much more difficult times during pre-kid road trips. I wonder if dealing with the everyday stresses and exhaustion of parenthood made the exhaustion and problems of travel seem small in comparison.
We missed our little boy desperately, especially during the first few days. On our second night we both got a bit weepy over watching a little boy come up to the stage of some musicians who were playing in St. Mark’s Square (the main plaza in Venice). If Tad had been there, he would have been right up there with the other little guy. And in the airport waiting for our last flight home there were two adorable blonde boys, which made the two-hour wait to be reunited with our own little blonde boy feel endless.
Tadpole seems to have managed the whole thing amazingly well. He is full of stories about all of his adventures with his relatives, from feeding the ducks at the duck-pond to a bus adventure downtown. Both grandmothers report that he generally didn’t seem upset and that he mostly behaved himself. Since we have been home there have been several major meltdowns over minor things, and numerous instances of him trying to kick one or the other of us out–one night Mommy wasn’t allowed to read the bedtime stories, and another night Momma wasn’t even allowed in Tadpole’s room at bedtime. It all seems very normal–and I’d certainly rather he have his meltdowns with us than with his grandparents!
We went directly from our school year routine to the trip, and when we got back it was suddenly summertime. This means Roo spends most of Monday through Thursday having fun adventures with Tad, and we all get three-day weekends together. Going back to work on Monday morning was rough, knowing that my two favorite people were going to the zoo together while I would be catching up on email and paperwork. But I get off early on Tuesdays, and Tad and I had a lovely time today with a visit to the neighborhood farmers’ market, followed by a (buggy) picnic in the backyard. We even discovered ripe raspberries on the bushes that have taken over an overgrown part of the yard. And our little family of three spent about half an hour being silly and snuggly on Tad’s bed tonight. One huge plus of the summer non-schedule is that we don’t have to wake Tad up at 6:30 every morning! Which means silly, snuggly, up-past-his-bedtime evenings are much more doable.
It was wonderful to be away–and it’s also wonderful to be home again!