Wherever We Go… There We Are.

by farrah on February 4, 2013 · 32 comments

One of my favorite teachers in high school shared ‘Wherever you go… there you are.’  with me a million years ago. Of course that doesn’t apply because there are times that I feel I am not a ‘me’ but a ‘we’. As in wherever I go.. there everyone else is too (as in my children). That’s ok though. That’s what parenthood is all about and I love being a mom.

That said..sure trekking through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland sounds exotic. But was it? Really?  I’m going to give you the low down on our last week- in two (really quick) versions. One, is the happy-go-lucky Facebook version that consists of a story in pictures and status updates. The second, will be the story of how it actually goes down with a family of 5 on a five country tour. Please note that I know we’re lucky. I am thrilled for the opportunity to live in Europe for a while and have these opportunities. But people.. we are still a family of two-two year-olds and a four-year old!

Version 1:

*(Monday) We packed up the car by 11am for France! We are heading to a Center Parc and I have no idea what to expect, but we are so! excited! About to hit up a castle in Luxembourg on the way that I have been yearning to see ever since I was a kid!

*We leave the Netherlands and lose our cell signals. Oops! Gotta buy a Garmin, detour!

*Boys are still in great shape! We made it to Moselle, France- this place is awesome!

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One of the water attractions in Aqua Mundo. It blew my mind.

*(Friday) After an exceptionally fantastic week in our luxury cottage and daily routine of swimming & hanging out on the play structures while exploring the park- we are ready to head to Switzerland!!

*We made it! Wow- this view is crazy!

*(Saturday) We woke up and OH MY GOSH the SNOW!!!!

*We’re riding gondolas! We just ate lunch on the top of a mountain! We’re frolicking in the town! We’re sightseeing in the little village below!

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Happy family! Who cares if we can’t see!

*Heading home in the morning- wowee- what a trip!

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*(Sunday) We made it home! Safe and sound 🙂

Version 2:

*(Monday) We missed our goal time out of the house by at least an hour. We had to go to the city center and find a place that sold swim dipes and winter boots as well as extra pacifiers because I could only imagine hell on earth if we lost a paci. (which we did lose one by the way)

*We leave the Netherlands and realize the google map apps on our phones don’t work. No roaming, no signal, no nothing. We are lost. We have no idea where to go or how to find the damn castle.  My freshly potty trained almost 4-year-old has to pee every 15 minutes. We had to stop at a disgusting overlook to let him pee next to the car while standing on my husband’s feet. In the rain. At least we stumbled onto a store that sold GPS things. That only took us about 2 hours off schedule- so xnay the castle-aye. So long childhood dream!

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Yeah. That thing’s not going to work.

*Before everyone in the car killed one another- we made it to Moselle, France. This place is probably the coolest resort I have ever seen (true story, and full review coming soon on Travel Mamas).

*(Friday) After an exceptionally fantastic week in our luxury cottage that my children attempted to destroy- including epic tantrums by at least 1 child every.time. we left the pool or play structure- we are heading to Switzerland. I am afraid we are going to get snowed in on top of the mountain. Did I mention I do not like snow?

*We survived another road trip. Barely. And it’s raining. Um. Really, really raining. All I can think is SwitzerlandICE  + NO CHAINS FOR THE TIRES = doom.

*(Saturday) We woke up in our single, shared hotel room surrounded by pack and plays and it smelled like a frathouse. L opened the blinds and OH.MY.GOD. The snow.

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Our sleeping arrangements in Switzerland

*What if one of these gondolas snapped? I mean, one gust and my entire family is gone. It’s snowing non-stop and I cannot see. We get down to the village below where some idiot set off fireworks in a garbage can as we depart the bus (sparks flying across the street by the CHILDREN), and I see vomit all over a bench. Now we’re wandering around without a stroller (WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING) and nothing is open.

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Going on the gondola!

*We are heading home in the morning. I am so exhausted I could die and I am dreading the next 6 hours in the car with my children.

*(Sunday) It took us 9.5 hours to get home. It was supposed to take 6.

9.5.

NINE POINT FIVE HOURS, PEOPLE. It was not fun.

Look at these suckers. You know we’re going to do this again, and again, and again. Just like how you eat in a restaurant with your young kids and think ‘this time it’ll be different’. Ha!

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All in all, it honestly was a great trip. But definitely a lot of work to make it fun.. you moms out there know what I’m talking about! Have you ever seen a FB update and thought to yourself-huh. There’s got to be more to it than that????

 

Disclaimer– No those were not my FB status updates. Some may be similar but I swear I am not that big of an asshat.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica February 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I love this-entertaining and real! Thanks for sharing!

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2 farrah February 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Thank you Jessica! Here’s hoping going forward we learn from each new oops! along the way 🙂

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3 Karla February 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I really love this post. My favorite part is that you used the word asshat.

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4 farrah February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Hahah! Thanks for reading Karla. Now when are you getting over here to help me escape on a trip of our own?

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5 Danielle February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I give you so much credit for conquering that much traveling with three kids. You are my idol! Sounds hectic and crazy like all things with kids but an experience you will never forget. Glad you had fun! Love all the pics! Especially the snow one 🙂

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6 farrah February 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

We’re getting there! It is hectic and nuts- but yeah. I clearly remember my father telling me that vacations with kids and stuff like this is going to be long gone before I know it. I want to remember it all- the good, bad and ugly!

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7 Kathleen February 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Oh, does this take me back to the bad old days of traveling with toddlers. You are such a trouper for handling chaos times three.

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8 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

You mean there’s an end to this? Because it sort of feels like I will be doing this forever. And not in a good way 🙂

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9 DannyZ February 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thanks for the heads up about this post, great read. I give you tons of credit for this adventure. Love the “Facebook version” of a story quote. Melt downs happen when just my wife & I travel! I got a lot of respect for traveling parents with their kids. Keep the adventures coming.

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10 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

I just don’t want to scare you! And without a doubt- I’m sure the will. Hopefully next time it goes a little bit smoother!

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11 Dena Barrie February 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Just found your site and LOVE it!! Makes me laugh! Hang in there, it get’s easier. I am an Expat in Germany-right across the border from you in Ddorf-with 2 littlish Expats in tow.

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12 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:50 am

Oh thank you Dena! How long have you been there? We have friends in Ansbach too- but haven’t done much in Germany yet except drive through. Thank you for reading 🙂

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13 Dena Barrie February 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

We have been here 18 mths and loving it. Take a look at my blog if you ever need ideas for German travel.

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14 farrah February 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

Will do- and I’m passing it on to my friend who is a new expat in Germany as well!

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15 CK February 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm

It’s all fun and chaos when traveling with toddlers! We didn’t see half the stuff we wanted when living in Switzerland and we only have one toddler! Every city we toured, we only saw about one fifth of the stuff we hoped to see (which was about about one 10th of the stuff we saw pre-kids). There were many a times we paid to go into a castle/museum and only saw the entrance, because for some reason entrance was oh so interesting!

As you said, it’s overall experience with the wee ones (not what you saw) that counts the most!

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16 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:51 am

Hahhah! Isn’t that the truth? I’m trying to figure out how we will manage Rome. I can see the boys being interested in 1 thing and that’s it. Whelp! Time to go! Hah. But yes- it really is about the experience- and I will remind them forever and ever of what we did 🙂

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17 outlawmama February 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I love your sense of humor. It’s incredible that you can do this and it looks crazy hard. Yay you!

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18 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

Thanks! And yes. It is. But I love them anyhow 🙂 Thanks for reading Christie!

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19 Julie February 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm

You did all that unmedicated? You’re such a bad ass.

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20 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

Well- I did get used to the 8% beer. Ahem.

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21 Lori Martin February 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

Loved your blog!!! You two are making memoriess that will last forever. Enjoy and savor the times with your kids.
Lori

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22 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

Thanks Lori- we really are trying to take it all in, as it’s already going by so fast. 2 years is nothing. I know you know that since I still also live by the school seasons 🙂

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23 Lana February 5, 2013 at 3:07 am

I loved it! I am so glad you are determined to remember it all! Those memories will mean so much in 25 years! 🙂 (even if they don’t now.) :-p

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24 farrah February 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks Lana! My hope is that whatever technology thing they have out there will still keep this blog floating in cyberspace for them to read and laugh at. I mean, I can hear it now… ‘What? Mom? We went to Switzerland and didn’t go skiing??!!’

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25 Solon February 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

Dear Lord you are so Brave! I’m with you on the “hate snow” thing, which is why I chose semi-tropical Houston to live in. The photos look so wonderful though. We have only made two trips with a little one, once when Indy was 6 months old and the other when she was 8 months old, so no where near the logistical problems you faced, though it seemed like we packed everything Baby Indy owned. I know the Twins won’t remember much of your early times there, and Brody may only remember some of it, but hopefully before you leave, they’ll be able to hold on to a snippet here and there. But, you’ll remember those days forever.

P.S. Found out on Friday that the new Twins are Boy/Girl too. Yea! Haven’t figured the number of diapers we’re going to be going through per week, but the figure will be staggering, I’m sure.

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26 farrah February 8, 2013 at 9:39 am

I am thrilled for you!!! Congrats!

I do miss SC, but I try to tell myself that it IS winter, so….

Also it’s easier now that they aren’t little itty bitties. Less stuff, and we will stay in hotels or places with beds and not have to pack the heavy pnps 🙂 FYI- there is a friend who makes Bover Bags that are super chic travel bags for your pack n plays. Although you’d still need an army to help carry them!

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27 Mamaintheburbs February 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

This post was great! Loved the Facebook “everything was great” version. I still think you are living the dream overseas. I give you a ton of credit. I would be a lost cause over there. By the way, I love some good high alcohol content beer! Yum! The pictures were great too! I love following your adventure Farrah!

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28 farrah February 8, 2013 at 9:39 am

Thank you yet again 🙂 It is fun- but man, it’s still work!

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29 Greta @gfunkified February 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Oh my gosh. I love this. I don’t love that you got lost or saw vomit bench and almost got hit by sparks and stuck in the snow with no swim diapers or a stroller. BUT, I love how honest you are. And yes….we’ll always try, try again. 😀

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30 farrah February 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

It’s kind of like the amnesia you have when you start thinking about having another baby. Oh, it wasn’t THAT bad, right? SURRREEE….. 🙂

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31 Kristen February 6, 2013 at 2:46 am

I am so sorry that I laughed all the way through version 2 of your trip. I kept picturing The Griswolds. So glad you all made it back in one piece and didn’t turn into popsicles from being in all that cold snow!

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32 farrah February 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

You have no idea how many times I have thought we were the modern day Griswolds. I mean, The Ritters Take Europe is kind of begging for a movie. Or a documentary at least.

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