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Adventures of A Traveling Family

When the boys were younger I was frequently asked if I would be bringing them on our travel adventures. The answer was always yes! I know we traveled prior to their arrival, but I hardly remember what it was like, and with very few exceptions, the children have always joined us.


I confess there was a time when I thought occasionally leaving them behind would have been a nice option… Now that they’re getting older I realize our window for family travel is finite and I’m cherishing every opportunity. Speaking of which, my older son turned 16 this month, which is what led me to take this trip down memory lane.

Baby’s first road trip

Simon was only three weeks old when we took our first family trip, a car ride to Santa Barbara.

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We visited the London Zoo when Simon was 3 years old and again when he was 15 and Elliot was 9.

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It hasn’t always gone according to plan, we’ve left strollers in parking lots, formula at home, and wipes in the airport bathroom. Traveling while potty training is always interesting, and I apologize for whoever sat in our seats on United LHR – LAX back in April 2006.

Layover at Heathrow

Elliot suffers from air-sickness, and has pretty much thrown up in every place we’ve ever visited, (Lucky me?) I’ve been there to catch it in just as many places. On the rare occasions when this hasn’t happened, Simon usually takes his place. We’ve lost a few retainers that way.


We brought Salmonella home from Hawaii and Fifths Disease to New Orleans. Our flight left without us in Barcelona, we filled our diesel car with gas in Ireland, and once came back to a car filled with thousands of ants in Santa Barbara.

For the most part we’ve been able to make lemonade out of lemons, except maybe that time with the ants, and though our style of travel has changed as the boys have gotten older one thing has stayed the same and that’s my love of the uninterrupted dedicated time that traveling as a family gives us.

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Maui, Hawaii 2003

A trip to Maui when Simon was just 13 months was our first long distance flight as a family. Happily it went off without a hitch setting the tone for future family travels.

Kaanapali Maui Hawaii

Seattle, Washington 2004

We loved our annual trips to Seattle to visit family, especially in the summer months when we could take advantage of the city’s many wonderful parks.

Queen Anne Playground Seattle

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Miami, Florida 2005

Butterfly World will forever be remembered in our family as the first place Simon decided to use the potty. The expression on his face is the way I felt when he said he wanted to use the bathroom!

Butterfly World Miami Florida

Europe 2006

London, Barcelona & Bilbao

Simon was three when we took Our first long haul flight to Europe. We visited London, Barcelona, and Bilbao. Everything was going according to plan until the plane left without us in Bilbao. Thankfully, the airline put us up in a nearby hotel where I had the best pastry I’ve tasted in my life.

Guggenheim Bilbao Spain

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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington 2007

Mount Rainier Washington

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Washington, D.C. 2008

Washington DC 2008

The Big Island of Hawaii 2009

Volcanoes National Park Hawaii

New Orleans, Louisiana  2010

It’s no secret that New Orleans is a family favorite, we go almost every year, and I have a feeling the kids will continue to visit The Crescent City long after they stop traveling with us.

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Rome, Italy 2011

Visiting the Forum alone with two hungry boys who wanted to be anywhere else isn’t one of my fondest travel memories, but I love what happened afterwards when I treated  them to McDonalds. It was the most crowded one I’ve ever seen (to this day), and there was no way I could get inside with a stroller. I couldn’t leave the boys alone, so 9 year old Simon braved the crowd, pushed his way to the front, and ordered two Happy Meals! Where there is a will there is a way!

Trevi Fountain

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The Big Island of Hawaii 2012

Black Sand Beach Hawaii

Europe 2013

London, Edinburgh, Barcelona & Paris

A 28 day trip to Europe in 2013 was at that time our longest family adventure to date, and it went off without a hitch! Still a number of years before I would start this blog, I was definitely starting to feel like I had a handle on this family travel business.

Paris 2013

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Japan 2014

Tokyo & Kyoto

In spring of 2014 we visited Japan, our dream vacation, and it was everything we’d hoped it would be and more. A return visit is high on our family’s wish list and I hope to make this happen before Simon heads off to college…

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Europe 2015

Portugal & Spain

A last minute trip to Portugal and Spain in the fall of 2015 meant taking the boys out of school, but dedicated family time is important and we made it work, spending the time between sightseeing and dinner doing homework in the room.

Sintra Portugal

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Europe 2016

Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England Belgium, The Netherlands & France

In 2016 we set off on a six week journey, our longest trip ever. During our travels we almost kissed the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland, signed the Peace Wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, went to art school in Glasgow, Scotland and walked on Hadrian’s Wall.

We spent a few days in London (I wished for more) visiting some of our favorite places, before hopping the train to Belgium where we wished we’d eaten way more chocolate, Amsterdam where we visited Anne Frank’s House and Van Gogh’s Museum and finally Paris, where we practiced our French, sailed boats and wandered aimlessly.

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Les Jardins de Paris

New Orleans/American Southwest/England 2017

2017 was a busy travel year. We stuffed ourselves during our annual trip to NOLA and survived the soaring summer temperatures on a 2000+ mile road trip through the Great American Southwest. Finally, we brought the year to a close in London where we froze our Southern California butts off on multiple day trips and outings including Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor, Kent, and WB Studios.

Street Art Masterclass Shoreditch

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West Coast Road Trip 2018

California & Oregon

We stayed closer to home this past year exploring the West Coast of the United States including Northern California, Oregon, and Southern California including Palm Springs.

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2018s’ final trip will be our annual visit to New Orleans, and beyond that I’m not exactly sure where we’ll be headed next, but I’ve got lots of ideas. Stay tuned…

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