Packing my bags to go on vacation used to be so much easier before I had my son. This past weekend I took my first toddler-free girls trip since his birth. Traveling has always been fascinating to me. I always come back feeling reset, re-energized and inspired. Vacations and a girls trip may not always be affordable or accessible, but traveling helps us become more open-minded, grateful and caring humans. Before I had my son traveling once or twice a year was the norm. Now I do not go very far without him, he even follows me to the bathroom. I also did not want to miss out on his many firsts. I finally took the leap and decided to leave him with his awesome daddy (who is very encouraging and supportive of my toddler-free girls trip).
As we arrived at the airport I began to feel some guilt and sadness for leaving my husband with the giant responsibility of our tiny (but mighty) toddler. I did not know how he would manage the house, dog, cooking, cleaning, feeding himself and making sure our child was safe. All I could do was tell myself that my husband is a very capable man and father. He can handle everything I do and more. Sure it would not be exactly how I like things done but he would do his best. Eventually, the guilt diminished and I was able to focus more on my vacation. I did not call every second, I gave my husband space to be the dad I know he is.
The Big Easy
We choose to visit New Orleans to experience the unique culture, music, foods, and sights. It was a memorable, relaxing and busy weekend. One of my best friends went out of her way to include all the must-try restaurants and must-see sights in our itinerary. It included: eating a unique array of pizzas at Domenica, a delicious modern brunch at Willa Jean, Café Du Monde for their famous beignets, Sucre for amazing pastries, at The Rum House we had savory Caribbean tacos and Mahony’s for their famous Po’ Boys.
We bought a day trolley pass and rode through the garden district, which was beautiful and everyone was very hospitable. The French Market was an eclectic walk and where I bought my family souvenirs. The street vendors were selling handmade pieces of jewelry, art, crafts, and food. Our stroll through Jackson Square (through the gorgeous park) was lively and vivid with sounds and sights. We listened to street performers and saw beautiful paintings being painted by different artists.
Now that I am home, I realize how important traveling is to me and how I miss my friends. I love the freedom, flexibility, and ability to reset. I had no bottles, a diaper bag or a stroller. It was completely bizarre to get used to. My vacation helped me realize how lucky I am to live in beautiful Tampa Bay, have my supportive loving family and my awesome son who brings a smile to my face no matter where I am. Vacation is not reality but coming back to my reality is pretty amazing!