Greg took us to Estes Park, Colorado, for our vacation this year. I had warned him repeatedly that the plans needed to be simple. Does anybody remember Tofino?
We assumed that things went poorly with Eleanor in Tofino because we needed nearly three days of travel (plane, car, ferry, car) to get there. And Eleanor had always been difficult to get back to sleep at night. We had learned. Easy destination this time. And Henry, the easy baby.
We can now surmise that all babies are difficult to travel with. Henry awoke four or five times each night, and though he clearly wasn’t waking because of hunger, I had to feed him each time to get him back to sleep. Greg at least had the foresight to rent a house, so we didn’t have to worry about waking others. First we thought Henry was too cold. Then we thought he was upset at his new surroundings. One morning, our bear-proof trash bin had been toppled. Were the bears waking him? By the final night, we had configured the sleeping arrangements such that no one was cold or scared, and we were all getting at least six hours of sleep. It was time to come home.
In our photos, we appear to be having a fantastic time. We did have fun during the day, and I wonder whether we will remember the sleeplessness years from now. Probably not. We have ruled out doing any more travel this summer, though we’ll see whether I stick to that when the August sun is licking the back of my neck.
Eleanor has become a great traveler, happy to try new activities and eat new foods. But it will be a few more years before Henry gets there. I know plenty of people who quit traveling while their children are young because it’s too hard. It is too hard, absolutely. When we begin these trips, I do not ponder whether we will have fun. I ponder whether we will survive. Even the hardest trips have a smattering of good moments though, moments that leave me thinking maybe it was all worth it. I’d rather try and fail than never know, I suppose.