Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Traveling with our "little explorer" to D.C.

Smelly people, loud people, or people who take up your space.  All people I try to avoid when flying. 

During this latest travel adventure, I was sitting next -to - and responsible for -- the smelly traveler.  Our then 5 month old baby decided to smell up our very small plane and then fall asleep while starting our travels to Washington, D.C. 

Riding on my first flight in style with my frog jammies.

Do we wake the sleeping, smelly baby?!?!
 At first, JC and I were both sure that that smell couldn't be coming from our sweet, perfect little girl.  But thanks to newly introduced baby food, her smells were starting to become more human like.  After realizing we were the "smelly family," and getting glares from the college boys sitting across the aisle from us, began the debate: do we wake up our sleeping baby during her first flight or continue to be the smelly family for the short 30 minute flight.  A serious dilemma!

Despite starting out the trip on a foul foot, our short family trip to Washington, D.C. was extremely successful and very stress-free.  JC and I discovered team work, time and baby crisis management, while Anderson took in her first museums, plane rides and hotel stays.  We saw and learned fascinating things about U.S. history.  We also found out that we have a little traveler on our hands as she did a wonderful job tagging along with us through the sites of D.C.

"Seriously, it is way too early to be up Mom!"

Family "selfie" -- Anderson loved flying.
Even though our travel adventures were somewhat limited as we had a little one to think of, we still saw a good amount of what D.C. has to offer.

The Air and Space Museum, National Archives Museum, various monuments during the day and night and a White House Tour were all part of our quick D.C. trip. 

At the Air and Space Museum.

After diving into our first travel adventure with a baby, we are ready for our next one!  There are, however, a few tips that I will keep in mind while traveling with our little explorer in the future.

1.)   Plan ahead!  Know if you need to bring sheets for a crib if staying in a hotel -- or even if the hotel has a crib, among other things.

2.)   Research transportation.  Even though D.C. has great public transportation we decided to get a car to drive to the various museums and places we were visiting since we stayed a few miles from downtown.  Trying to learn a public transportation system, in the winter with a 5 month old, was not what I wanted to deal with on vacation.

3.)   Be flexible.  Luckily Anderson is a very calm, laid back baby, which allowed us the ability to leisurely browse through museums; however when she was ready to eat we had to meet her needs, even if we weren't hungry or ready to go!

4.)  Be prepared for a "new" way of traveling.  JC and I have been traveling together for years now.  We both love exploring and learning about various things during our travels.  We also love taking in a few local eateries and watering holes.  Many of those things that we used to do while traveling no longer happened during this trip.

5.)   Enjoy the moment!  I was so thankful to be able to take Anderson to a new, exciting place while she was young.  She may not remember or enjoy the vacation like we did -- but for us, it is a vacation that we will always remember and cherish.

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