life Travel

Updates in List Form

July 8, 2019

1- My trifecta is coming to an end (except for #3, sigh) — most notably the annoying cold that had me feeling half human for about a week. I hate ever thinking about life like this, but I just wanted to hit fast forward and get through the misery as quickly as possible.

Grateful for a functioning immune system today. The kids seem to be largely over it as well (G is still coughing intermittently but nothing terrible). Which is great because . . .

2- We are headed on vacation tomorrow! COOPER CITY –> LEGOLAND –> AMELIA ISLAND. We are sort of aiming low with this trip. Josh and I were sort of half-joking about it last night that this trip is purely for our remembering selves. He remarked “We didn’t realize Genevieve was going to be so hard.”

I find 18 months or so to be the hardest age ever (so many opinions, so little instinct for self-preservation) and G is 19 months this week so . . . I guess I did realize it. Which is why I am glad we aren’t flying anywhere or doing anything terribly ambitious.

3- Goals for trip (because why not):

  • Get G to nap most days and relax during that time
  • Take kids shopping for shoes for the new school year (random I know but they desperately need shoes and we kind of like to do it on vacation — we did it last year on our much more ambitious trip!)
  • Listen to some good music and/or podcasts on our car rides
  • Try to get some workouts in, using either the running stroller or some Beachbody action in the hotel room during G’s naps
  • Eat at some fun places
  • Not think much about work
  • Enjoy watching A&C have a blast at Legoland and hopefully the beach/pools/etc (please weather cooperate — note — this is unlikely given that it is FL in the summer but . . . hopefully there will be reasonable stretches of sun).
  • Maintain a good sense of humor about traveling with a toddler, because it’s going to be relatively exhausting and a challenge but maybe that will serve as a family bonding experience

All in all, I have LOW expectations. We will probably spend many meals taking turns walking G around restaurants (she just entered an ‘OUT!’ phase and her new favorite phrase is “No, NOT” which is so cute but . . . yeah). And she might sleep like @$(@*#&. Seriously, Josh and I are even contemplating not taking any trip over winter break and just doing a Staycation (to be fair, South Florida in December is almost always gorgeous and I always feel like it feels slightly silly to leave, so it’s not the craziest idea). I guess the experience this week will help us make that decision!

4- I have not been as Digitally Minimal as I vowed to be in this post (and I feel rather silly about it, because I was very determined at the moment when I wrote it). However, I did revamp my regular Insta feed to contain only people I would feel comfortable texting in IRL. And it’s better! It’s nearly Influencer-Free now. And far less addictive/toxic-feeling than it was. I will say that while being sick / on call, I really felt I needed (deserved?) a light distraction and the ‘gram fulfilled that need nicely, particularly my planner feed.

I will probably be posting (regular & stories) to some degree during vacation, because I do feel like it’s a nice way of saving special ‘collections’ of experiences. I also think it’s healthy to take some time completely away from the app. So, there you go.

5- My Summer Reading progress continues! I finished Darcy Lockman’s All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership We will be discussing it in the Parenting Book Club (not until September though) and I am very interested to hear what my friends think about it. I thought it was well-written and quite convincing. Without getting too personal, I found myself nodding to many of her research findings and anecdotes — but also feeling thankful that Josh and I have evolved our parenting relationship to be in many ways beyond some of the unfair and uneven splits that Lockman illustrates. (Having a 3rd kid seems to help with this by the way — divide and conquer becomes a matter of survival and you know you are both fully In It.). I also finished Inheritance (Dani Shapiro) and liked it. I will be bringing The Gown on our trip. We’ll see how far I get there . . .

On library hold list for Save Me the Plums, The Last Romantics, and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.

I put 16 books on my list which I thought was slightly ridiculous, but I’ve actually finished 8 of them so . . . maybe I actually will get through them all! (Side note: seeing this is partially what made me rethink my Insta ban. After all, if I can read 8 books in 1.5 months, am I really wasting my entire existence on social media?

Probably not, and maybe I can just focus on removing the parts that make me feel bad. We will see.

Well! I’m going to attempt my first workout in about a week (I do not work out while sick as an official Life Policy) . . . we’ll see how it goes!


  • Reply Amanda July 8, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Fingers crossed for travel with your 19mo. We just returned from vacation with kiddos, including a 19mo. It is tiring at times, but we tried to minimize restaurants for him. We ate lunch by the pool, carryout from a local bbq favorite, lunch at an MLB game, etc.

    There were trying times, but I got to watch two movies and finish three books that I was reading (including Talk to Someone… highly recommend!). I had a beautiful run along the ocean and there were many good family moments.

    Thanks for your honesty!

  • Reply Brooke July 8, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Maybe You Should Talk to Someone way amazing – easy but occasionally profound read. Loved it! We minimize vacation stress by doing AirB&B vs hotel. Usually more room. We buy breakfast basics to eat in, eat out for lunch, and do takeout from local places for dinner. My son has ADHD and his meds are taken at breakfast and run out around dinner, so we know trying to eat at a restaurant at those meals is just asking for frustration on everyone’s account.

  • Reply Gillian July 8, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Traveling with toddlers is sooooo hard. My youngest is now 3.5 and we realized this weekend when we checked into a hotel that he had no idea what one was because he had never stayed in one (our 6 year old hadn’t stayed in one since he was 18 months old and didn’t remember doing so either. With 4 kids it is often just easier to rent a house or apartment when we travel, but I hadn’t realized how much we had avoided hotels until I saw the little guy looking very perplexed when he couldn’t fine the kitchen in our hotel room.

  • Reply Haya Finan Mckinley July 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

    the gown was so good! i am reading the last romantics now and it is quite captivating also.
    i originally picked 17 books from the list but keep adding to it. i have now finished 19 and the total number of selections has gone up to 26. i am definitely going through them much faster than i thought and they have almost all been so enjoyable!
    i found the 18-24m time to be super challenging. obligatory travels and fun trips were quite tricky.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 8, 2019 at 11:07 am

    I hope the trip goes better than you think it will. Going in with low expectations is key. We took our first trip when our son was 13 months. He slept better at night than we expected him to but barely napped. It was a quick trip – just 3 nights – but we didn’t want to go for long in case he didn’t sleep well. Plane travel was not so fun so I understand why you chose a driving trip. Going forward, we don’t plan to do any plane travel with the exception of a late winter getaway. I live in MN and our winters are endless so a change of scenery/vitamin D is pretty crucial in late Feb or March. We went in early April this past year and there was a blizzard while we were gone! Bleh! Other than that, our trips will be up to my parents lake place which is about 3 hours away.

    Way to go on all the reading you’ve been doing!!!

  • Reply Nikki July 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Loved the gown, great read! Enjoy! We are torturing ourselves with travel with a 19 month old and 3 year old next month – all tagging along to a training for work with me since their school happens to be closed the same week. Fortunately my mom was available to fly in to help my husband with the girls during the week and then we’ll all enjoy some vacation time together after my training. Mentally preparing for the sleep disruptions though, that’s the hardest part for me, even though they’re wonderful sleepers at home, there are always issues when we travel. Will look forward to hearing how your trip goes and any take aways!

  • Reply JCL July 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    What did you do to unclutter your Instagram feed? Just a big-batch unfollow session? Or muting accounts? I’m following >700 accounts, and I’m intrigued by a tremendous paring-down, but I don’t even know where to begin.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      I was only following 250 or so but brought it down manually by asking myself – would I text this person? Or at the very least message them to personally connect with them with expectation of a meaningful response? If the answer was no, I deleted.

  • Reply Marthe July 8, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    O, we are camping with a 22 month old as of yesterday, and his 3, 4 and 6 years old brothers, and we are having a blast! He is, and we (the parents) are too. He is too cute and does so much enjoy his trips to the pool swimming in one parents arms, and he was sweet for 3 hours in a baby carrier while visiting a quaint Breton (french) ville today 🙂 Maybe 22 months is way better than 18, I don’t remember (times four). I have my issues with the age if three, at which point all my kids up to this one begin to defy my instructions, as in No, I will not, screamed at me with a malicious smile. Every family is different, I suppose. Have a good summer!

  • Reply Tyra July 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    You’re a moderator when it comes to things like diet, so it makes sense that approach might be successful with Instagram too. You prompted me to do my own cull and reduced my following count by 40 or so accounts. I have a seperate account where I follow rock climbers, I need to do a cull on that one now too.
    One thing I realised from your post is that YouTube is my time suck that doesn’t make me feel great. I find it way more addictive than Instagram and definitely feels like a waste of time!

  • Reply Megan July 8, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    While I’ve taken quite a few short trips (driving/a very short flight) to visit family, we took our almost 3 year old son on our first real family holiday just last week- to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest (we are Aussies, but that’s still a 3 hour flight + hour drive away). It went really well (much to my relief).

    Staycations can be good- much more opportunity to recharge without the stress of packing/travelling. I bet your city has heaps of things you could do to enjoy some dedicated family time 🙂

  • Reply Ellie July 10, 2019 at 1:37 am

    I am glad to read that I am not the only one to dread holidays with young children. My youngest is also 19 months and I agree it is the toughest age (especially true with regards to eating out and the naps). I also try to have low ambitions. We only go for five days, to a location that is three-hour drive. We plan to walk around the city, go to a theme park, a zoo, etc. We have rented a house so we probably won’t eat out much.

    I find your trip already quite ambitious though! Going three different places?! Impressed! Are you staying in hotels? I find that very challenging with young children, especially the fact that we don’t have a room separate from them. It is then hard to have a quiet evening. And this is often the only quiet moment we get to have on the day!

    That is actually my biggest challenge when going on family holidays: having time alone. How do you manage that? Do you agree ahead with your partner that you will take that time and that he has to manage fully on his/her own for e.g. 30 min a day? I plan to try that (and of course agree to do the opposite for my husband… if he wants!)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 11, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Just 2 places and yes the quiet time is a massive challenge. I am not sure traveling is worth it at this age from this vantage point … ask me against the end 😂

  • Reply Dominique July 12, 2019 at 12:46 am

    What podcasts do your kids like? Mine (girls, 4 and 7) are currently obsessed with Smash Boom Blast – which debates things like Mt. Everest vs. the Grand Canyon and Snakes vs. Spiders. It is definitely a conversation starter, which makes it extra fun to listen to with them.

  • Reply Lori C July 13, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I’m listening to Save Me the Plums via library audiobook and I really like it! It’s read by the author which makes a huge difference in my opinion.

  • Reply Omdg July 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    I’m just laughing at myself here. We took our first post baby vacation with Dylan when she was 19 months old. We rented a house on the jersey shore in the off season (September). She had juuuuuust learned to do stairs and was so very proud of herself. I spent a large part of that vacation worried she would fall down the stairs or lock herself in the bathroom. We spent a lot of time at the playground (she had recently developed a love for swings – and would tell us “more swing” for whatbfelt like hours). For some reason we decided that vacation would be a good time to caffeine detox (please don’t laugh too hard), but abandoned that after day 2. It was overall a nice trip, she slept well, we saw the shore, went to ocean city. But it was definitely still work compared to where we are now, vacation wise. Hope you guys had a good time.

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