Venice, Italy- In 2015 when we went to Venice, we started the trip off with a major uh oh. We had about 700 euros stolen from us. Yikes! It was a pickpocket situation, and I'll say that some of the factors at play caused some passionate marriage discussions ;) but this was one of the zillion times a week I'm so grateful for the man I married. He earnestly said, money is money, and although this isn't ideal, we can still afford this trip and we don't want to spend the next week and a half being upset over it. We'll get more cash and never think of this again. I tried to pretend in my head that our money was blessing someone who really needed it.. instead of the yucky feeling of being stolen from.
road trip down to the hill country. Several things made this trip have yucky moments... first being that I'd rather fly than drive 10 times out of 10. I didn't grow up doing road trips and so I don't love them. Especially with a one month old, a four and a half hour drive took the whole day. My niece was 23 months old at the time, so between the two of them, we stopped about 4 times on our way down. On the way back Ben and my brother in law vowed for no repeats so we just drove and let Beau sleep and figured we'd deal with it later. This trip was also WAY too hot for him. I carried Beau in the solly wrap and ultimately Ben and I didn't enjoy anything because it was way too hot to have a newborn in a solly wrap outside in June. See the photo above? Right after getting out of the car. We literally ended up going into an old timey candy shop and standing under the AC vent holding Beau up to it "Simba style" However, I shouldn't complain too much, as the night before this trip Beau slept through the night for the first time, and continued to do so throughout the trip with no looking back. BEST EVER.
Paris, France (in 2014)- During our first trip to Paris together, we decided to stay in an Airbnb because it was the new hip idea at the time. We had some issues checking in that ended up with us stranded with our luggage on a random street in Paris with no way to communicate with anyone. I left Ben with the luggage and walked down to Starbucks to use wifi and figure it out.. but let's just say that we realized foreign country apartment rental is not our jam overall. We could probably do it in London, but for countries where we don't speak the language I just feel more comfortable with a front desk and a lobby and lots of other people. I will say though, that our airbnb was GORGEOUS and in a really cool area we would never have visited otherwise. There was literally a burrito shop underneath and when Ben was trying to ask them a question about something, we realized that both of their second (-ish on Ben's part) language was Spanish.. so we were in the middle of Paris speaking Spanish haha!!
Steamboat Springs, Colorado- This one is a real stretch for "worst" as it really was a wonderful trip. We went skiing with our family. I quickly discovered what I already suspected, that skiing was not my gift. This trip also fell on our second anniversary, so while Ben skied from sunup to, well, midnight because he wanted to night ski (HA!) I hung out with my brother in law's best friend all day. Not an ideal anniversary but we loved this trip, and it's still my only time of seeing and being around "real" snow!
Moving on from our three travel "uh-ohs" to the BEST MOMENTS EVER.
Paris, France (that same trip in 2014)- One of the most fun things I've ever done is take photos in formalwear in the city of lights! It felt so glamorous. In the photo above we had watched the traffic lights for a break in the traffic and were shooting in the middle of the street. Those photos are such precious keepsakes and they are always a major conversation starter with people who visit our home. One time at our old house someone coming to work on something asked if we had posed in front of a backdrop in a portrait studio.. haha! It truly looks like it in some of them!
On that trip we also fell in love with Versailles. Please note my very on trend for 2014 neon dress, haha!! This is why in the last few years I've mostly stayed away from trends.. although it could be worse, haha! This whole trip (to England and France) was our first time to travel Europe together as a married couple, the start of #stradersineurope and when we really fell in love with traveling together. We decided on this day trip to Versailles that it was a goal of ours to bring our elementary age children back one day for bike rides, paddle boats, and exploring the gardens. Even now, I know Beau would love playing in the grasses!
England, Switzerland, Italy in 2016 with Beau- This trip was amazing for a lot of reasons, but it was our dream of traveling with Beau came true. We had so many nay-sayers on taking our two month old to Europe, but we had the BEST experience. It is what you make it, I truly believe that. It will probably be one of our most memorable ever. Now I genuinely don't want to travel without our boy.. it's just more fun with him! Plus, Switzerland (here + here) is literally the most incredible place. Of all the places we've been, I go back and forth on if I love Italy or Switzerland more. It's a tough decision. :)
New York City girls trip in 2016- Everything about this trip was THE BEST. The last time I had been to New York was actually just that July, just a few weeks after I had had a miscarriage. It was my first time to really venture back into normal life and it was a good trip, but it felt even better to be back while 10 weeks pregnant with Beau. Five days of bliss with my besties. So memorable and great. This was also right as I was realizing that I was going to have the worst morning sickness ever, so around the corner from looking at the outside of Taylor Swift's apartment, we had to stop and recover from that, haha. The extended time in the city allowed us to do SO MUCH and it was amazing. Fave trip to NYC ever. (here + here) Sorry husband, siblings, and other friends I've been with! Eek. This one was just such a goodie. I mean, we went to Sarabeth's two mornings in a row. Based on that alone...
My other NYC guide can be found here.
Italy 2016- I mentioned this trip above with our Venice troubles, but this trip really was the best ever. Looking back, it feels like a baby moon for us. Visiting Italy had been my dream, and we hit all the highlights. Cinque Terre (pictured above) was SO beyond incredible. Can't wait to go back one day! Really everywhere we went was incredible, and we realized how incredibly kind and helpful the Italian people are! This is by far my favorite trip from a marriage perspective, as it was our last hoorah together!
Disney World- Even though it just happened, one of our FAVORITE trips ever! All of the ways we celebrated Beau's birthday felt wonderful, but this one felt the most meaningful for me by far.
What are your best and worst travel memories?