Last week my wife and I decided we needed to take a long weekend and get out of Chicago, so we did. We hadn’t gone anywhere since before William was born and even then it was usually just to go back home to visit family. This was much needed and I was excited to be taking William on his first family vacation.
I was excited until I realized how much more we would need to pack in order to travel with a child. When it is just my wife and I, we can get away with packing a small suitcase and a small handbag. When we began putting together the list of what we would need to bring for William for sleeping, walking around, eating and clothes I realized a quick weekend trip is not that quick when a child is in the mix.
We were only making the 90 or so miles trip up to Milwaukee for this getaway because I wanted to make it an easy drive in case we had to come back early. (Added bonus, I realized once there, that Milwaukee is a pretty neat town and I’ll go back again). The drive was nice. Traffic wasn’t bad even though we were leaving Friday evening and William calmed himself down and napped most of the way. So getting there was a breeze.
Even with the weather being a bit on the cool side William enjoyed his tour of Milwaukee. Him and his mother took their picture with the bronze Fonzie along the Milwaukee Riverwalk. (Right before I took the photo William actually had his thumb up). He also was curious of the big red box thing on the sidewalk. I tried to explain to him they are called phone booths but I don’t think he understood. The wind seemed to bug him a bit when it kicked up on the cross streets, but he was a trooper.
William and I had our picture taken in front of the Milwaukee art museum. We decided not to go in seeing how William was starting to get cranky and we knew he wouldn’t get much out of the experience. So instead we took a couple more pictures and headed back to our hotel for a nap.
Neither my wife nor I were excited about taking William swimming for the first time. Neither one of us wanted to wear a bathing suit, but we felt it was an experience we wanted not only for him but for us as well. How many firsts do you actually get with your first born? He didn’t seem to be as thrilled as we thought he would. He loves baths and splashing around in his tub so we thought he’d like an even bigger tub. He wasn’t impressed. I don’t recall seeing a single smile out of the guy while we were in the water. After about 15 minutes of swinging him back and forth through the water we decided it was enough and toweled off. I’m sure before we know it we won’t be able to keep him out of the water so we were happy with only having to spend 15 minutes at the pool this time.
On the way home we stopped off at the Mars Cheese Castle. I’ve been told that if you go into Wisconsin you have to stop and get some cheese. So we did. The place is overwhelming if you don’t know your cheese. After some friendly help from a employee we had ourselves some tasty Wisconsin cheddar and cheese curds. Making sure we documented William’s visit to the cheese castle we took a photo of him next to a giant mouse with cheese. (The place was cheesy like that. Pun intended). After the quick stop we were back on the road and home before we knew it and our family vacation had come to an end.
What I learned. It takes twice as long to load the car when having to pack for a child as well and often you’ll forget something of your own because you were concerned about not leaving anything behind for said child. I also realized living on the third floor is not a good thing when having to load the car with extra stuff. I had to take a few too many trips up and down the stairs with luggage and such in order to be ready to leave on time as well as when it came to unpacking.
This trip was fun and I plan on taking more family trips, but I now know that there is no such thing as a quick and easy trip when you have an infant. Everything is more involved, takes twice as long and more than likely you’ll be buying something you forgot once you reach your destination.