traveling curiosities

Some of you express curiosity from time to time about how we get around. Mostly I do well on my own with the girls, but longer trips are a challenge. My little family unit of four is so good together; without Justin we're like a car with low air pressure in one of our wheels. We still get to our destination, just not as fast or as happily.

When we went to my aunt's last week, I put Lucy in a pack on my front, my backpack (with purse and diaper bag contents) on my back, and we set out together to Penn Station. Justin was escorting us for that leg of the trip before heading to work, so I had help with our small suitcase, and ended up carrying Amelia's backpack/rolling suitcase after she complained about it being too heavy upon departure. We walked to the subway and rode to Penn Station, where we printed our tickets just in time to board our Amtrak train. Thankfully our luggage was all small enough to carry on with us.

It's a four hour ride to Boston, which we filled with two trips to the restroom and two trips to the Cafe Car. The freshly brewed coffee was actually delicious, and Lucy fell asleep in the pack while it cooled, so I didn't have to navigate her octopus arms to drink it. In Boston's South Station, we walked to the next building over and rode a couple elevators to get to the bus terminals. We boarded a bus to Manchester, just a short hour away.

My aunt met us in Manchester, and after a grocery stop we drove to her home in Francestown. The return trip was similar, but in reverse. I love traveling by train. When the girls both fell asleep for two hours on the way back, I got to watch the ocean and the Connecticut coastline out the window. In all, our travel day isn't any longer than driving from here to Francestown, except I don't have to navigate the complicated road directions or worry about city traffic. However, it makes for about six or seven hours with Lucy in the pack, which leaves me sore the next day.

Yesterday I woke up with some new ideas about the next trip the girls and I are taking by ourselves. I had been planning to take Mandy's lead and ride the subway to the AirTrain to the airport, leaving the stroller at home and taking only bare-bones essentials again. But I think we'll have a car pick us up and take our own car seats and stroller, and perhaps a larger suitcase. I remembered that in New York airports there is always someone eager to help you from the curb to check-in or from the baggage carousel to the curb if you have tipping money handy. Then when we return, we'll be able to hop in any yellow cab. Also, with the stroller I can wheel Lucy around during the two hour, pre-flight airport waiting time, instead of carrying her. I think my shoulders will appreciate the gesture.

In the meantime, I'm accepting secret survival tips for traveling solo with little ones.