Travel Traumas

Happy End of the Holidays

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 in Travel Traumas

Happy End of the Holidays 0

Happy New Year!

Now that that’s out of the way, can we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that the business and stress that naturally accompanies the holiday season is over?  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays, but now that I have a little person to contend with, I also love when they are over.  Here is my holiday recap, starting in mid-November, because that is really when craziness descended upon my household.

Nov 12: Elisabeth and I return to Japan after a great visit to the States.  We deal with jet lag, inexplicable amounts of unpacking (somehow, I came home with more than I left with), and prepping for…

Nov 17th: Damon’s Homecoming!  Woohoo!  Except…



Nov 15-16: I come down with nasty stomach virus and turn into a worthless corpse laid up on my couch.  All the cleaning, baking, and other general Homecoming activitizing (yes, that is a made-up word) that I inevitably left for the day before Damon’s arrival does not get done.  That will teach me not to procrastinate!  (Eh, it probably won’t.)

Nov 21: Elisabeth turns 1!  The realization that my baby is no longer a baby turns me into an emotional wreck.  But only for a moment because there is party planning to be done!

Nov 22: Thanksgiving.  Our friends host the squadron for Thanksgiving dinner.  Being the control freak that I am, I get inordinately stressed out about this event.  And I’m not even the host.  Has everyone RSVP’d?  Who will bring what?  Are there enough chairs?  Will my food be edible!?  I should probably work on these control issues.  I should probably also not worry about my stuffing ruining Thanksgiving since there is enough food to feed a small army.

Nov 24: The big birthday party! (Still to be written about in detail; it is imperative that I record how psycho I went over this event as a reminder of what not to do in the future.)  Following a major holiday with a major birthday party is not ideal.  The grocery shopping, the cooking, the planning for one of these events is enough to make one’s brain go haywire.  But two of these events in three days!  Oy.  (And yes, again I acknowledge I was not even hosting Thanksgiving.  Just accept that I am not normal and move on.)

Nov 25: Damon travels to the States for several days to complete some training, leaving me slightly hungover with a completely wrecked house to clean on my own.  (What, you weren’t hurting a bit the day after your child’s 1st birthday party?) Oh, and Elisabeth chooses today to come down with a cold.  Naturally.

Nov 26-Dec 21: A flurry of holiday parties, farewells to friends leaving Atsugi (we miss you Deals and Oldenborgs!), gift wrapping and vacation planning.  And Elisabeth meets Santa for the first time.  Twice, actually.  The first Santa is around 15 years old.  Elisabeth is not pleased.  The second Santa is possibly drunk.  Elisabeth doesn’t make it out of my arms.  Maybe next year.

Fleeing 15-year old Santa

Fleeing 15-year old Santa

Dec 22-Dec 29: Damon, Elisabeth and I travel around 24 hours to get to Kauai for Christmas vacation with my parents and two brothers.  It is so worth it.  Great, great vacation that I will write about more later.  But a preview: Before leaving Japan, my dad says to me, “I figure with six adults to take care of the baby, we should each have her around 2 hours/day.”  “No, no, no,” I reply, “There are four adults to take care of the baby.  Damon and I are off duty.”  And so it is.  And it is glorious.

Dec 31: Back in Japan, we are off to Tokyo to ring in the New Year with some friends.  Despite our jet lag, Damon and I rally and make it to midnight.  Actually, past midnight!  We are rock stars!

Jan 1-present: We are idiots.  Ignoring our need for sleep and dealing with a little girl who is awake every few hours effectively turns us into zombies.  Welcome, 2013!

As for resolutions this year? (Besides De-Zombify)  Blog at least once a week.

Er, I think I resolved to do that already.  These dang holidays just got in the way!  This time it’s for real.  Seriously.

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Travel Time. Again.

Posted on Sep 27, 2012 in Travel Traumas, Uncategorized

“I can’t wait to travel internationally with a baby, by myself,” said no one ever.  Like, ever. And let me tell you why: It will be the longest 9 hours and 41 minutes of your life.  And that doesn’t even count airport time. And then you’ll have to deal with a seriously jet lagged infant. Let’s rewind.  About a week and a half ago, I packed (and packed and packed) Elisabeth and me up for an extended trip to the States.  With Damon on deployment, it made sense to go stay to my parents’ house in CA where I won’t have to do laundry or cook or get up with the baby in the middle of the night to pass some of the deployment with family and friends.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that traveling with the little one is nothing new for me.  Elisabeth went on her first flight at two months old and just hasn’t stopped flying since.  Heck, this past trip from Tokyo to Los Angeles was her fourth international flight.  Sixth if you include Hong Kong, which practically doesn’t count since flight time was under four hours.  But anyway, this kid has earned her wings. As for me, even though I’d always had adult travel companions on those past international trips, I’d also flown with the baby enough times by myself to feel mildly confident that this trip would be just fine. Isn’t it funny how when you have even the slightest amount of confidence the world decides to throw it back in your face by keeping your baby awake the majority of a 10-hour red-eye flight?  And then that baby – who had been successfully Ferberized without much drama and had been peacefully sleeping through the nights and taking real hour-long naps for weeks now – begins waking up every few hours throughout the night and once again refuses naps. Yeah, that happened. In fact, I’m writing this blog on the floor of Elisabeth’s temporary bedroom in California while she whimpers and cries and pulls herself up in her...

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Reflections on Summer: 2012 Edition

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 in Travel Traumas, Uncategorized

Holy moly – I missed my blogoversary! By, like, weeks!  I’ve been a negligent blogger but I intend to right my ways.  As I enter into my second year of blogging, my goal is to blog at least weekly.  But I need you.  I need you to hold me accountable.  I need you to get on my case if a week has passed blog-less.  Send me nasty emails.  Post obnoxious comments on previous posts.  Whatever it takes.  Can you do that for me?  Okay thanks. I have one caveat: on weeks that I am traveling, I am given a free pass.  But other than that, totally get on my case if I get lazy.  And by lazy I mean “exhausted and overwhelmed by life,”  but whatever.  No excuses! Since I’ve been so neglectful of this blog, I figure I’d spend this Labor Day recapping my summer.  Last summer I was glad to see summer go.   And this summer?  Well, I’m glad to see summer go again.  I just hate being hot and sweaty.  It’s that simple.  Last summer I was hot and sweaty and cooking a baby in my belly.  This summer I was (am still…) hot and sweaty, but instead of having the baby inside making me even hotter and sweatier, I have the baby constantly attached to my front making me hotter and sweatier.  It’s just not my thing.  Despite the nasty heat, it was still an exciting time, especially as we got to explore our new country.  So here’s the recap: 1) Memorial Day: We had just moved into our house and were preparing for Damon to deploy.  So yeah.  I was overwhelmed and stressed and thus summer’s kick-off is a bit hazy to me now.  I think there was a pot luck. 2) Damon deployed. 3) My mom visited: During my mom’s visit we A) spent over 2 hours driving around Japan trying to find some garden.  B) visited Tokyo and ate the most expensive asparagus in the world.  C) traveled to Kyoto and saw a lot of shrines.  D) pretended to put my...

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Italia, I miss you

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 in Travel Traumas, Uncategorized

I failed.  Yesterday my exhaustion reached levels of such epic proportions that I  simply didn’t have the physical capacity to drag myself to my laptop to type a post for this silly post a day challenge.  Had I tried, anything I wrote would have been completely incoherent anyway.  Forcing myself to post everyday has taken the fun out of this whole blogging thing, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I believe quality should trump quantity in this case.  So I admit defeat, but not without this slew of rationalization.  Onto blogging. I know I have been promising a post on my fall fashion wishlist, but A) I’m guessing most of you don’t really care what clothing items I’m lusting after and B) It’s flipping 80 degrees where I live and just looking at coats and capes and boots makes me break out into a sweat.  So fall fashion is going to have to wait. What’s on tap for today?  A healthy dose of nostalgia.  When Damon is gone, I get to catch up on movies he would never watch with me.  The other night, I watched Eat, Pray, Love.  The film was mediocre, but it made me long to return to Italy.  When I was a little girl, I wanted to visit three places: London, Paris, and Italy.  I have no idea where these desires came from, or why I designated specific cities in England and France, but left my Italy travels unspecified.  I like to think that at eight years old I had to foresight to realize that all of Italy is worthy of visiting. I had the good fortune to participate in an internship program in Florence the summer of 2005, followed by a study abroad program that fall.  While Florence is my fave, I love all of Italy, (almost) everything about Italy:  The people, the food, the art, the food, the language, the architecture, the food, the history, the food… you get the picture.  I returned after college graduation in 2007, but haven’t been back since.  And that makes me sad. Watching Julia Roberts...

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