My sole purpose for starting this blog a little over two years ago was to prove that my traveling days did not need to come to an end because I was having a child. I think my husband and I have done well in staying true to that objective. I’m still traveling, most times with my daughter, and am encouraged to do so in order to keep up this blog. That’s great and all but what I feel most proudly about is exposing my daughter to new places, people, and experiences. Today is my daughter’s 4th birthday so it’s caused me to reflect on the many travel and learning experiences she’s already had in her short life. Reflect with me now, won’t you?
Lucia’s first travel experience happened when she was eight weeks old. She and I flew out to Arizona to see my dad through another brain surgery. Lucia was a perfect angel on the airplane, though I was a nervous wreck traveling alone with her for the first time.
Later that year, we took a family trip to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where Lucia dipped her toes in the ocean for the very first time!
Shortly after Lucia’s 1st birthday in March of 2010, we took another trip to Arizona to see my dad, and Lucia visited her very first national park: Grand Canyon.
We took an all-girls trip in the Fall of 2010 to Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts. It was my mother, my sister, Lucia, and me – the ultimate in multi-generational travel! Lucia visited another National Park Service Unit, Cape Cod National Lakeshore; fell in love with some ducks in Boston Public Garden; and went to Fenway Park (the outside of it, at least).
Not quite two years old, in February of 2011, Lucia went on her first snowshoeing adventure! (Well, she was carried on Dad’s back…) She now has her own pair of snowshoes.
The following month, after her 2nd birthday, was the granddaddy of them all: our three-week family trip to Italy, which included stays in Napoli, Umbria, Tuscany, and Rome. Lucia got her first passport stamp, chased pigeons at Piazza del Campo in Siena, and ate double her body weight in gelato.
On our annual family fishing trip later that summer, Lucia caught her very first fish!
In August of 2011, Lucia added Pennsylvania to her list of states visited when we spent four days at the wonderful Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa.
The bulk of 2012 was all about “hometown travel” but we did make it to Iowa twice, once in June and once in October. On that second trip, we visited Franklin County for Harvest Tour 2012. Lucia got to ride in a combine and hold a cute little piglet.
So far this year, the travel highlight was spending a long weekend in Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Of all the cool things we did and saw, the most fun had to be standing at the starting line of the UP200 sled dog race, counting down for each musher and watching the dogs impatiently wait to be let through the gate.
The best birthday presents I could give Lucia are continued travels, further expansion of knowledge, and more incredible experiences. As she gets older, I can only hope that she appreciates all that she has seen and done, and promises to pass it on to those she grows to love. That would be the best gift she could ever give to me.
Happy birthday, Lucia!