Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monumental Views

I find it amazing that Amy and I (and now Norah Grace) have added these experiences to our life stories over the past few years.

It's true. The tower in Pisa is, in fact, leaning. October 2010.

Exploring Rome, eating lunch next to the Colosseum, October 2010.

 Paris on a rainy day, February 2011.

Experiencing Egypt, April 2011.

 The Parthenon on a sprint through Athens, November 2012, now starring miss Norah Grace.

We've seen so much, but there's so much left! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

...And We're Back!

As you can probably guess from the title, we've survived our cruise and are back in Leipzig. It was a good trip and we got to see some pretty amazing things, like:

the waterways of Venice,

Oia village in Santorini,

and the Parthenon in Athens.

Throughout the course of our trip, we thought up some really good tips for traveling with a baby. The number one thing we realized was this:

A cruise is a great way to travel with a baby.

Some reasons:

  • We never had to go for a long train, car, or bus ride to get to our next destination. It was like going back to the hotel room after a day of touring, then waking up to something brand new. 
  • There were plenty of places, like lounges during the day, where Norah Grace could explore. 
  • Exploring the ports, for the most part, lined up pretty well with Norah's schedule.
  • Someone else did the cooking and cleaning.
  • The ship rocked Norah Grace to sleep.
  • Having our accommodations so close made nap times a bit easier. 
  • Knowing that it was okay to leave a meal if Norah was acting up; we weren't out any money and could head out to eat again later. 
  • Norah Grace cruised for free (some cruise lines offer free cruises for kids)
There were some downsides, but I imagine that some of these were particular to our cruise line, region, and itinerary.
  • The ports of call were far apart, so we never had more than five or so hours on shore, which is not a lot, especially for a city like Athens, before we had to head off to the next destination. 
  • Dinner didn't start until about seven and  was not a quick affair (at the restaurant, not the buffet)--not a good combination for a nine month old baby. 
  • Make sure you're prepared--there's no way to get more formula, diapers, or baby food on the ship (Some cruise lines do offer some of these, contact them first).
  • The downside to the ship rocking Norah Grace to sleep: we were worried the whole time she would get seasick (it was pretty rough). 
Overall, I'd really recommend cruising as an option for traveling with a baby.