Thursday, July 7, 2011

Have Passports; Will Travel

Before the babies arrived, we received plenty of advice on traveling with twins. Generally, this advice fell into two camps: the Get ready. You’ll never leave the house again camp and the Get out early; get out often camp.

For us, traveling and being on the go is so much of who we are, we resolved to confront twin travel head on by getting out early and often.

For those who have been following MaMe’s journey, you know that initially the Melissa/Mommy part of MaMe struggled.

Ironically, the song on the radio the first time I took the babies out on my own was George Strait’s “It Just Comes Natural.” Well, George, it didn’t all come naturally—at least not at first—but, eventually, I figured out how to open the double stroller by myself, and we all made it back in one piece.

From there, we were off.

By eleven weeks, we’d logged quite a few miles and haven’t looked back.

Some trips have been small—a weekend trip to the beach, a visit to the state fair, an impromptu day trip to IKEA, nights out to hockey games. Others have required more planning, more patience, and more luggage: Disney World at 6 months, Myrtle Beach at 9 months, and Busch Gardens at 12 months.

Each trip sharpens our organizational skills and demands the full parenting efforts of both Mommy and Daddy. I am honest enough to admit it hasn’t always been a vacation, but it has always been fun. While we know they won’t have specific memories of any of these places, I love seeing them take in the new experiences. We do want them to grow up learning how to travel, how to be flexible, and how to make the best out of any situation (including sleeping 4 to a hotel double bed because we were too tired to bring in the Pack and Play from the car).

In our quest to raise world travelers and to satisfy our own selfish need to get away, we recently applied for passports for the babies, and this week, they arrived, well in advance of our first international trip--

A 7 Day cruise on the Carnival Dream when the babies will be around 15 months old.

Image Credit

Doing a little research on cruising with twins revealed two interesting facts.

First, the actress Marcia Gay Harden, also a mom to twins, is the godmother of the Carnival Dream. How appropriate that the godmother of the babies’ first cruise ship is also a mom of twins?? This must be a sign that cruising with 15 month old twins is a good idea, right? Surely, she christened the ship with an extra dose of patience for multiples??

Secondly, after skimming some cruise message board posts, it appears that cruisers generally fall into two camps when it comes to cruising with small children, particularly when they come in sets of two or more: Stay home or Cruise early and cruise often.

The point of this post is not to start a debate on the pros and cons of cruising with young children or twins. Both sides have good and valid points, such as “At least on a cruise someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning, leaving you more time to focus on your kids.” Yes! Someone else can take some of my mommy duties for a week! But the naysayers have a point when they beg us to remember that “navigating double strollers and irritable children is not fun for the parents or other guests, so leave the kids home with the grandparents.” Ah, a week of someone else cooking and cleaning, and no children!

But, alas, deciding whether or not to take the babies is not the point of this post.

No, the babies are going. Our cruise is paid in full. Our passports are up-to-date. And, the grandparents are all going with us.

I guess the point of this post is to put us in the camp that would tell other moms and moms of multiples to just get out there and go—whether it’s to the grocery store, to the mall, or on a seven day cruise on a big boat. Go early; go often. You can do it!

Eventually, it will come natural.

PS-If you see us out there, be sure to say HI!


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Andrea said...

You go girl!! Love this!!

Beth said...

Good for you guys! I can't wait to hear how it goes. We have done some traveling, but I would love to try a cruise.
Going places with the kids can be a challenge, but I say, "fake it til you make it!"

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

My husband and I were "Cruisers" before we started our family...I'm talking 8 cruises in 4 years! We actually just took a short 4 day one out of Tampa in April...without the kids!

HOWEVER, right after I read your post I said to my husband..."I think we should take the kids on their first cruise next year!" We had talked about it and thought we'd wait until they were 4 but you've got me "itching" now...LOL!

We do travel all the time with the kids...Florida & Ontario to visit family...since they were 6mths why NOT a cruise I say?

Can't wait to hear ALLLLL about it!

Jealous BTW! :)

Holly Ann said...

Oh, you give me dreams...someday we will have money. Someday when I'm not paying full price for weekly childcare of three kids. Someday when my husband has a steady job. Oh wait. I'll always be a teacher. So I guess we'll always be poor. lol But that's okay because in reality, there's no other career in the world I'd ever want to have. I love teaching. We'll get our vacations. They'll just be modest and close to home. :)
I hope you and your whole family enjoy every moment of that cruise! And have an extra drink for me!

katOUT said...

enjoy it girl! you deserve it!!

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