April 26, 2011

world travelers

I'm writing right now because the windows are open. And there is good music on the local college radio station. (Elliot Smith, "Angeles") And the kids are eating Easter candy together quietly in another room.

"I have a two-cent penny!" Noah shows me what looks like a penny, but it says 2 cent euro or something or other and I tell him to save it. For when we go to Europe someday.

He scrunched his nose. Pushed his glasses up higher. Not believing we'll go. I, however, have big plans for us to go to Europe as a family. Some day.

"Well maybe I will just take my own family when I grow up..." his voice trailed off as he went to put real money in his new bank.

In my own little world I imagine that everyone has been to Europe, or will go someday. And how sad if not. But I realize that, yes I've been to Europe twice (namely Switzerland for, like, a few hours and France two different years. Two very different "me"s) but I have never been to New York City. I have never been to the Grand Canyon. (Although I feel like I have; I watched a lot of Brady Bunch.) I have never been to our country's capital. I have never been to Mexico.

But also in my own little world, I know I will go to all of those places, eventually. I've never been to Las Vegas and Jeff and I are headed there very soon. So, see.

Am I in my own little bubble? Have you never traveled? How far have you gone from home? Where is the best shopping Vegas? What should I wear k thanx.


  1. I have very grand plans of going to europe. first with just my hubby, then later with our future fam. briefly visited canada & mexico, though never stayed one night outside of the usa. I'll be waving hi from abq as you fly over me on your way to vegas(never been there either). :)

  2. If you want a girls trip to NYC you just say the word my friend and I am there, tickets booked before you can say Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    (I am absolutely serious.)

    On another note, before getting pregnant with our first son, John and I took about 6 months and just traveled through the US - mostly west coast and western mountain states, hitting lots of national and state parks. We accidentally got pregnant as soon as we stopped traveling, and I'm so grateful we took those trips when we did. But I definitely plan on taking the boys on a trip like that when they get a few years older. Maybe middle or high school - pull them out of school for a year and just travel cheaply, camping and paddling and mountain biking. I'd love it.

    But Europe calls too... maybe a couple's trip, though.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about my travels. Think I'll dig out the photo albums tonight... xoxo

  3. I do have to say though, that even though i've never stayed outside of the country, moving from west michigan to new mexico was cray-zy-town. ;)

    and now I love it.

  4. Personally, the only place outside the US I have been is Mexico...and I grew up in Southern California, so that wasn't really a stretch.

    However, I have been to a ton a National Parks and I would take the beauty and solitude of the High Sierras, with a backpack on my back, before I would go to Europe.

    To each their own...

  5. My very first time on an airplane was when I was 18. To New Zealand (oh hello ridiculously long flight!). I caught the travel bug and never looked back.
    My husband and I have been blessed to have been to Africa, Europe (so far only England and Spain, but soon to be Paris in June! and Amsterdam as well) and a bunch of fun places in the US (we're Canadians) as well as a bunch of fun places in Canada, too!
    We're moving to Uganda in August and our boys will have the awesome opportunity to spend 2 years in Africa!
    But until I was 18? Didn't venture very far from home at all.
    Did you stay in Paris or somewhere else in France? Any Paris suggestions? (We've got 2 full days and nights before we head to Uganda for a week-long set up trip. Sans children!)

  6. Funny, this post is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!

    My dad was in the Air Force, I was born in Spain... studied in France, lived in Korea as a 1st grader. I've been to Canada (cousins lived there a couple of years and we went to visit) and Mexico (have some family in Phoenix so we drove on down). And also, one of my dad's assignments was in Vegas for three years - granted it's a lot different to live there than visit. I'm pretty sure the best shopping is probably at that "mall" in one of the big hotels - want to say Fashion Show mall... but things have probably changed since I lived there many, many years ago.

    Europe as a family sounds like a happy dream :) Go for it!!!

  7. Home is wherever my husband and little men are :) We've (minus Henry) lived in Switzerland and in a different life, I lived in Germany.

    I've traveled throughout the U.S., but no further west than Dallas (and that was only in the airport).

    I feel the most "at home" here in Michigan - I love it here.

  8. You might know, from FB, that my oldest daughter is in NYC right now and my oldest son is in San Diego (specifically, Sea World) as I type this. 8th and 6th grades, respectively,

    Never been to NYC. But I've been to Sea World, twice. Been to Chicago 4 times and I LOVE IT.

    I've never been east of Chicago, except for going to Orlando but that doesn't count in my head. Orlando is like its own planet.

    My brother, sister, and dad have all been to Europe (at different times), but my mom and I haven't.

    I've been to Vegas maybe 6 times? It's been years, so I'm no help regarding where to go. It's an astonishing place, especially at night.

    Happy travels!

  9. My husband and I have the same conversations often. We went to France last summer with our family, for a friend (and former exchange students) wedding. It was a wonderful trip, but neither of us have seen very much of the US. He camped during the summer as a child.I have lived in Illinois my entire life, and I haven't been west of Iowa. I have driven through southern states, and been to Disney World, and went to DC during a school trip. I dream of RVing across the US, but as of now a dream is all it is.

  10. i get this. i want to travel (for fun) with my family some day. we have been around the US a bit with moving a lot (a lot meaning 9 big moves just since i had my first baby...who turns 5 on sunday).

    i have been to ireland (for a month...back in college)...and i want to go back so bad...i like to think about going back...and traveling to other places. it's fun to dream!

  11. i live for traveling. i have grand plans and even bigger dreams. i love showing my children the world and someday i will be able to take them to other countries. :)

  12. Wear sequins and glitter. LOTS of it!

  13. Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. Not sure which one was furthest from home. :)

  14. All the way from Cape Town South Africa... I have been to Antarctica, but never a game park. I have never been to Robben Island (famous landmark off Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) but visited heaps of islands all over the Southern Ocean. I have never been more than about 200 miles from Cape Two for a weekend - maybe... Have been through Johannesburg airport but never stopped there, on the way to spending a couple of weeks in Greece and then Italy before we had kids. And all the kids to London and Wales... well worth it!!! I would travel anywhere in a blink. I need to figure out a way to make traveling bucks, don't know any super wealthy mom bloggers out there offering me shares in their websites!!!

  15. I have traveled (here and abroad) but the travel has dramatically decreased since having three kids in five years : ). Places I've been: Vegas, LA, Phoenix, Tuscon, Denver, NYC, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Paris/French Alps (honeymoon), Sweden (another story for another day-HA!), Mexico- Cancun, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco.

    I would love to go to Italy, Spain, England, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Canary Islands, Tahiti and Lebanon (my hubby is half Lebanese and has an entire extended family there). I wanna go everywhere, if only the funds and the time were available.

    Even more, I want my children to know that a whole world exists, with people of different skin colors, languages and cultures.

  16. I am blessed to have been several places on someone else's dime. I have won trips to Las Vegas, New York and Mexico, and they are all quite nice. I am excited that you finally get to see Vegas, it's pretty cool. And Paris, is there any better place on Earth?! I hope to take Elise there someday, but the realist in me thinks it might be more like Montreal, for a taste of France, but not all the way IN France. We'll see. I am just looking forward to all the adventures we'll have together and wherever we end up, I'll be happy. Even if it's just in our own little (big) city. :)

  17. I love to travel but haven't been anywhere for a long time.

    I spent my junior year of college in Italy teaching English and while there, visited Ireland, Sicily, Switzerland and Slovenia.

    I miss Europe. I miss my bike. Sigh...


  18. To date I have been on five continents (not Australia or Antarctica) but I feel just as well-traveled because we did a cross-country road trip. And yet, even with all the traveling, there's really no place like home.

    Also, my husband lived in Vegas and though I can't give you shopping I will say you can wear WHATEVER you want because you will see the drunkest people wearing the most cracked-out bad outfits. Vegas + clothes = hilarious. You could wear a visor and long shorts and sneakers and fit in or wear a full length sequined formal gown from the 1980s and fit in. It's awesome.

  19. I've lived in England and now go to D.C. often enough since it's so close. I've also been to France, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Malta, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Grand Cayman, and Belize. I've been to Seattle here in the U.S., but even though it's only a few hours away I've never been to NYC. Maybe in the fall. :)

  20. We travel at least once a month, even with a 16 month old. His first trip was sailing around the British virgin islands at 4 weeks old, and it was amazing! Traveling brings my husband and I closer and has made my son into a go with the flow type of guy ( he spent his 11th month of life living on the beach in Nicaragua). We don't have a lot of money but we live simply and spend what little extra we have on exploring the world!

  21. i have lived in the same town my whole life and probably will. BUT, i have big plans to travel too, as a family. i love traveling and want to see the world. namely new zealand and egypt (how could would that be?!) and england, and well, lots of places. i have only been to europe once- germany my senior year of high school-just me and my best friend! (also? what parents let their 18 year old daughter travel alone?)

    and i want to go to nyc BAD. :)

  22. I have serious travel plans for the future. San Diego this summer, of course. But I want to see ALL of Cananda, not just Ontario and East, which is all I've seen so far. I've been through the states a little... as far as North Carolina, as far as Florida... but I really do want to see it all.
    And Germany, specifically Rothenburg, where my family is from. And Dresden.

  23. I've traveled a bit, a good protion of it for blogging events actually, and for that I am grateful. :-)

    I've never been outside of the U.S. though, and I'm dying to see Europe.

    Vegas is SO hot in the daytime, so wear comfy cotton clothes if you'll be walking the strip then.

    At night, people dress all different ways...sequins, casual, formal...I guess it depends what your plans for the evening are. Truthfully, it was a far more casual place than I expected.

    Dress like you normally do, you'll fit right in. ;-)

    Also, Caesars Palace and The Bellagio have amazing shopping. The Paris has a nice mall inside it too.

    Hope this helps.

  24. I traveled with my parents a lot as a youngster and for that I am grateful to them. We never went overseas (yes, still dying to go to Europe myself!) but they did take me on a cruise to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and we traveled through much of our wonderful U.S. when I was a kid too. I've also been to Canada to visit my sister/cousin that lives there. SO beautiful where she is. It's truly God's country.

    I think it's so exciting that you're going to Vegas - but GIRL. It is HOT there. shorts and skirts and tanks are your best bet. Although you may want tote a light sweater or something for when you do go inside since they tend to crank up the A/C!! :D

    Have fun!!

  25. I have never really traveled. But I'll get to visit California for the first time when I go to BlogHer, so there's that. I have been to Las Vegas, but I was 7.5 months pregnant so I didn't really enjoy it much. I was there for my sister's wedding, and left as soon as I could afterward.

    Also? Your Brady Bunch comment totally made me laugh out loud. I'll visit the Grand Canyon, but only as long as I don't get stuck in some jail cell in a ghost town.

  26. Someday I will be a missionary in France. I will.

    The summer my parents told us they were separating my dad purchased an RV and took my brother, sister and me on a 6-week roadtrip. Because what every 15-year-old wants when their life is falling apart is to sit in a motorhome without any contact from friends or mom. We visited the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone and some really big sand dunes in Idaho. There were other things, and it really was fun, but awful timing.

    The furthest east I've been is Montana. I'd like to travel more. :)

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  28. The top of my travel list includes Italy, Portugal, and Egypt. So of course I've only been to Canada, Germany, and France.

    I prefer to take the trips that will produce the best stories. Since memories are made during the journey, not by the destination.

  29. I've been to the Grand Canyon. Once, for about half a day, maybe? I was convinced I would fall in if I got too close to the edge, so I didn't see as much of it as I could (I was in 6th grade, my dad scared me!). We won't take our kids there until they are all older, because of course there are not rails in a lot of places and I would just be a nervous wreck. I've never been to Europe. My brother might study in Rome for a couple of years after he is ordained a priest and if he does, I will definitely be visiting. But not with my kids. I'm not very well traveled, overall. I've been to a couple of interesting places but there are many more I would like to visit.

  30. I too believe that I will eventually go to all of those places!


  31. We traveled a lot before my daughter was born, and I am so thankful that we did! We went to Paris once, Loire Valley once, Mexico, Hawaii, 3 cruises, etc. I really can't wait to be able to travel with her - definitely saving for it!

    I have so many places I want to see in the US though - New Orleans, New England, New York City (why do they all happen to have new in them? weird) and Washington DC. I'm originally from Indianapolis, then lived in Vegas for 12 years (yes, you can wear ANYTHING there - just be comfy!) and now live in Idaho, which I love, because it's like Indiana but with mountains, less snow and rain, and less humidity. So in essence, it's perfect :)

    That being said, we are getting a bit more worried about the economy in this country and are actually considering moving to Chile! So, we'll see how that goes. :)

    Have a FABULOUS time in Vegas - it's a super fun place (to visit - not so much to live) and you will make it out of the country with your family because you want it so badly!

  32. Road trip!! I love to drive and camp and so do my parents so I have seen most of Canada and tons of the US and Mexico that way. We drive a lot with the kids too and plan on heading south this year because the Canadian dollar is so high. DH and I were just in Vegas on our first kid-less trip EVER and it was so much fun. I say dress up however you want at night and daytime wear tanks, shorts or skirts and comfy shoes like Toms or whatever. I shopped at Caeser's Forums and the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood. Wish I would have made it to the Venetian and Paris but that was all my husband could handle. We had a fabulous pool as well so we spent a LOT of time there. Have a wonderful trip, Steph, you two will love the time together.

  33. i love traveling, but i married the wrong guy! he's a homebody ;)

    i was fortunate to attend a wonderful school that took us on amazing trips every other year - europe, washington dc, new york, boston, philadelphia.

    i've also been to the bahamas and hawaii, because my grandparents like to travel to beaches. ;)

    santa fe & albuquerque on our honeymoon.

    that's about it, though. i am hoping that we can go out west next year ... by that point, surely, both of our kids will like riding in the car?

  34. You made me think about all the places I've been lucky enough to travel to... and then the places that I have taken my daughter to.

    I say lucky enough to travel to, but I think anyone should be able to travel. It does require a bit of sacrifice though before hand... there's the deciding where you want to go, the researching of how? how much? and when?, then the saving, and last but not least the actual going.

    I didn't do much traveling with my daughter when she was younger because I don't remember much before the age of 7 or so. I wanted our trips to be remembered. Our first trip was 2 years after my spinal cord injury, when she was 7 years old. We went to Orlando, FL to visit my first roommate from the Rehab Institute of Chicago. It was kind of a test to see if I could still be a dad all by myself and take my daughter on a trip, even though I was now a wheelchair user.

    It was quite a success... from the airports, to the rental van, to Animal Kingdom, to Daytona Beach, to GatorLand, and back home again. After that, we have been unstoppable. Let's see what I can remember... I'm a big fan of the road trip and staying with friends whenever possible. There was the trip to New York, NY - Ithaca, NY - Niagara Falls, NY - Niagara Falls, Canada - through Canada to - Detroit, MI. We've been to wheelchair accessible caves in KY - camping at Mammoth Cave National Park - Kentucky Adventure Land - Nashville, TN. (http://nwiscig.blogspot.com/2010/10/wheelchair-accessible-caves.html) We took a trip to Washington DC where we explored our nations capitol for 5 days. We've gone to adaptive water ski clinics in Twin Lakes, WI and Indianapolis, IN - a wheelchair tennis clinic in Fort Wayne, IN - and to Chicago, IL by car and train more times than I can count.

    I would love to take her to see the Grand Canyon, the Denver area, and I guess anywhere else she'd like to go.

    Some of my Pre Daddy-Daughter trips have included a 2 week road trip to NYC when I was 19, a 28 day/9,000 mile road trip from Chicago to San Diego to Northern CA to Chicago (too many stops to list), Phoenix, St. Louis, Florida, Nassau, Memphis - Dallas/Ft Worth - Corpus Cristi - South Padre Island - Mexico - home, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Nashville - Daytona Beach - Jacksonville - Savannah - Chattanooga - Home. Most recently I explored Columbus, OH. I guess I've been a lot of places. I'd still like to go to Portland, OR, back to GA, back to Phoenix to name a few. I hope you're not sorry you asked after this comment. I consider myself pretty thorough sometimes.

  35. Oh! The Grand Canyon is BREATHTAKING. You have to go there.

    And NYC has a charm of its own. (But it's also crazy-expensive).

    I want to go to London someday.



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