Friday, August 18, 2017

Being, Not Doing (AKA traveling with young kids)

Graffiti Lane

We were called to Melbourne quite suddenly, a couple of months ago.  We had one hectic week to order new passports and arrange a million little details, and then we were straight on a plane, babies and all. 

St. Kilda, Williamstown Bayside, Williamstown Pier

There are lots of things you forget when you're planning a trip.  The first thing is AIRPORTS.  I thought I was nervous about flying.  Turns out the flying was fine (with a little help, mind you), but the airports were HARD with three babies.  How do other families stay cool, calm and collected in airports?  Eventually we got the hang of things, but it there were some really intense family-non-bonding moments, I tell you.

St. Kilda

I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the easiest trip.  Our hearts were broken, and every detail felt imbued with regret.  We still did everything we could to make the trip special, and memorable, in a low-key kinda way.


On past trips we've been able to fit in an outing or two each day, with afternoons for resting and infrequent days off.  Our visit to Melbourne was the reverse; an outing every couple of days and looooooads of down time.  We did our best to make everything count.  Hanging out in our tiny flat all day was not an option - The Incredible Hulk is Garland's spirit animal, so we def had to seek out some S P A C E for running.  Fortunately we were in walking distance of the the sweetest little park and waterfront area, so we spent a bunch of time there.  My number one survival tip for traveling with pre-schoolers?  Find dat playground.  

Williamstown park, Williamstown Bayside

A couple of times our plans went south.  We got lost, we had stuff stolen (briefly losing all contact with the world - um, I don't understand how travel worked, pre-cellphones - you'll never be able to explain this to me), and we also thought we'd have a go at the Melbourne motorway.  Bad times, bad-freakin-times.  But of course there were a ton of totally perfect moments.  My personal favourite was the celebratory (purse-and-cellphones-recovery), late-night gelato in Williamstown, looking across the water at the city lights.  I hope the kids manage to store that one in their memory banks - they should probably leave out all thought of the 'sad fish and chips' we'd consumed earlier (pre purse-and-cellphones-recovery).

Luna Park, St. Kilda

All of our best moments were the slow ones.  Horse and cart rides through the Botanical Gardens, playing 'castaways' on the combed sand of St. Kilda.  Our slower-still days wandering Williamstown were better yet.  Running our fingers against the papery gum bark, and snooping on pretty little Williamstown houses, and lunching on fresh battered fish, in the crisp, wintery afternoons.

Williamstown, Williamstown Pier

I always imagined that visiting Melbourne would be activity-filled, but we found ourselves happiest in the peaceful days.  When calm and un-frantic, we could absorb the various unfamiliar things.  This little discovery will change the way we travel.  It will mean shorter lists of must-see's, and longer periods of do-nothing.  Definitely a better fit for our little bunch of ferals.

1 comment:

  1. Sending you hugs for whatever is making you sad (((((())))))))) xxxx