Memories for a Lifetime: Childhood Travel

Next week,
we are getting our baby girl
her wings to fly.

That's right.

This traveling circus
has added another member,
and is setting off on our first
international flight 
& whirlwind trip.

With yesterday's arrival of her passport,
we are officially ready to spend three weeks 
in the U.S. of A.

Even though this kid of ours
is a complete champ
in most every sense of the word,
I'm a little nervous
about the (six!) flights. 

Viola, on the otherhand,
is ready to go.

This kid pleases me in every possible way.

If she loves to travel like her parents
it will just be icing on the cake.

If not,
we'll still keep her.

While this kid is making it across the ocean at the ripe age of 9 weeks,
I was 9 years old when we had our first "big" trip.

My dad cashed in his AA miles and took us all around Europe
in a fashion that could make
 W. Clark Griswald feel like an underachiever.

It was an epic time
full of metallic track suits....

fluffy scrunchies... 

colored jean shorts....

& the creation of family memories that have stuck around
for the twenty years since.

What are some memories of your first BIG trip?


Oh, and, as you all know, GFC is going to be extinct 
in the not-so-distant future.

{Bummer, I know.}

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  1. Oh look how she has grown! I was much the same as Viola, off the minute I was born, we had a house in Cannes and used to race to Barbados every Winter/Easter.

    Ps. I am writing this comment wearing a scrunchie, please don't disown me!

  2. My first flight was when I was just a few days old, traveling from the island that I was born on, to the island where my parents lived in the Turks and Caicos. First big trip that I remember? Going back to the Caribbean when I was 4, to visit family in St. Croix. I've traveled and loved it since the beginning! I'm sure Viola will, too!

  3. Adorable.

    I didn't fly until I was 23 - and I went to Italy for two and a half weeks. I may have come to travel later than some, but I absolutely love it. Now if only I could find a job that would better support my habit. :)

    Best of luck traveling with the itty bitty one. V is just too cute.

  4. I wanted to let you know that traveling with a baby can be a breeze as long as you just keep prepared. If you want any specific plane flying tips with babies let me know and I can shoot some over. Ronan and I flew a lot together and it was just me and him, so having two parents will make that much easier.

    Plus love the Griswold comment...the European vacation film was a film my family watched a lot growing up because of living in Europe. Good film.

    We lived in Europe and traveled a lot but one of my favourites from being young was the trip my family took all over Europe using the trains. I cant list all the places here but some of them were Czech Republic, Denmark, and Norway. I still talk about going to Oslo and how it was one of the best places I have ever been too. That trip as a young girl was probably a good reason why I wanted to later as an adult to live in Europe.

    Glad you are starting traveling off early with the little one. Viola will be a pro! But you gotta live in England longer so she can get her English passport too. I think thats one thing my sister misses out on that I got was dual citizenship.

    Bonnie Rose | a Compass Rose

  5. Those family photos are priceless!! how awesome your dad was able to take all of you to Europe for a family vacation!!

    Viola (because I can see into the future...?) is going to be a champ on all 6 flights! Everyone will praise you for a job well done. ;)

    Hope you have a great time back home!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  6. So I picked the wrong weekend to travel to Dallas? Well, boo! One of these days, I'll catch you there at the same time. I know your family and friends have to be thrilled to have you for three whole weeks!!!
    Sadly, I didn't really have any "big" trips growing up, but my husband of almost 11 years and I have more than made up for that. My favorite was of course London and Paris. Ok, and Italy. And...ok a trip anywhere is pretty thrilling!

  7. I think my first trip was at the ripe old age of 8 months (ish) when we flew to meet my dad on leave in Hong Kong (back in the Navy days of my life). obviously I don't remember anything about it, but I have since learned that my mom and grandmother stashed me on the floor under the seat in front of them like a piece of carry-on luggage. suffice it to say that I'm still holding a grudge about that one.

    best of luck with the intercontinental travel! babies can be hard to travel with, but if the other passengers start giving you grief just give 'em a good luck at Viola's face. I mean, that girl is a charmer!

  8. Sweet little Viola with her passport - such a doll. No doubt she will be a champion traveler just like her mama and daddy!! I smiled at your post because my post today was about giving your children wings (much older children as it was about study abroad programs for high school students) but you may enjoy it all the same! I am loving your posts and instagram photos and watching your little darling grow every day. xoxo

  9. I love how excited she is to travel :) Hopefully she keeps that smile through the flights!

    My first big trip was when I was 6 & we moved to London for 3 years. Pretty much an extended 3 yr trip of traveling around the UK. I looked about as cool as you- scrunchies, colored leggings, & a fanny pack.

  10. Awesome!! I'm sure she will do great! We just got our daughter a passport bc we are going to the Dominican Republic (she is 14 mos) I'm sure viola will be a very seasoned traveler when she reaches that age :) we have done a ton of domestic flights but no international yet even braved one w her solo. Each time is different at different ages never know what will happen! But you just do it right!! I have dreams of going on travel adventures with my daughter when she is about 8! We never did a big family trip abroad...but I was obsessed with traveling at a young age so did everyhing I could to travel starting in HS I took my first trip abroad and the travel bug bit hard!

  11. Growing up, we didn't do much international traveling, though I hope to with my kids. As such, my first big trip was Disney World, and it was pure magic. Sidenote - pleeeease tell me you have plans to take V to Disneyland Paris in a few years - THINK of the blog posts! Anyway, I was four when we went and absolutely believed I was actually meeting Minnie and Mickey. I hulaed at the luau at the Polynesian, ate breakfast with Mary Poppins, and laughed at my dad when he wore my Minnie ears. Definitely memories and photos I treasure.

  12. My first international trip was when I was 9 too. My mom took me to Portugal, Spain and Morocco - leaving my Dad to stay home w/my younger siblings. Interestingly we were in Portugal as they had a coup d'e'tat I remember the soldiers w/machine guns guarding the banks. She also paid a tour guide extra to take us through the off-limits section (gov't didn't want tour guides to go there w/westerners) of the medina in Marrakesh.

    My mom passed away a few weeks ago and your post has reminded me to take time to appreciate the gift she gave me with that trip, it broadened my horizons immeasurably.
    I know your little cutie Viola will love her big trip and all the adventures you'll take her on beyond this one.

  13. oh my GOODNESS those are magic. my first big trip was with the fam the summer I turned 12 - we came to England for a month and were based in London (we stayed in a family friend's house off the King's Road while they were at their place in the States) and we did lots of day trips. one of my memories is of sitting on a bench outside of Christ College Cambridge eating smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches my mother had packed for our lunch :)

  14. I don't see any pictures of us Fullerton's or any berets! What a shame!

  15. We did our first flight from London to the US when our son was 15 weeks (and he did his first flight from London to Spain at 8 weeks) and it was the easiest flight we have ever had with him :) She will be great!

    My first big trip was to China, Japan and Hong Kong from Atlanta when I was 8!

  16. I'm so confused about this GFC thing. How is this all gonna shake out? Anywho, you are too funny with your wardrobe comments. Viola is the cutest 9 week old on the planet and I'm sure she will be an amazing traveler. Good luck!!!

  17. We've taken Zac on several flights now. I'm always pretty stressed before them, but he always surprises me and they go relatively smoothly. If you are breastfeeding, it is the secret weapon of air travel with babies - an instant mute button!
    Good luck!
    Oh and she is ADORABLE!

  18. i cant wait to see how she does! were taking our boy to Germany in October when hes about 10-12 weeks old depending on when hes born! i took my first international trip at 3 months as well! good luck pretty mama!

  19. viola is going to be a great traveler! and i still haven't taken a big trip. i don't even have a passport!

  20. Love that picture of Viola! Gorgeous! I bet you cant wait to go home for a while - have a lovely time! :-)

    First trip abroad I was about 5 or 6 camping to France and we used to go there every year! We progressed to Spain but I didn't go further than that until I was 18! I have made up for it since. Great post xxx

  21. My first big intercontinental trip was to the British Isles in the 90s. But my first flight was from Virginia to New York City when I was 6 weeks old as my uncle was getting married on New Years Eve in Times Square! haha


  22. Amsterdam, when I was 14, and my life was never the same after that trip! I came back and dreamed of saving up tons of money and traveling the world! Now I work for an airline, and I'm still working on achieving that goal :) Viola is adorable, I hope those six, YIKES!, flights are as smooth as possible!

  23. What are a great family vacation you had when you were younger! And good luck on the 6 flights with your little beauty What part of the US are you visiting. I feel that I've read that you originally from near me...I'm in central Oklahoma.

  24. Wooohoooo yay for coming back to the USA! I hope Viola loves this gorgeous country of ours :) And priceless, those pictures. Priceless.

  25. Cheers to making memories, old and new!

  26. I dreamed of Europe my entire life. My husband and I broke up for 3 months once while dating, and when we got back together we decided to take the plunge and go backpacking as a way to start our relationship back right. (now that I look back... backpacking ain't probably the most romantic way and thank goodness we made it through not broken up AGAIN) As soon as we stepped off of the plane in Berlin, I couldn't believe it. It was so surreal. I was in EUROPE. And then we walked to the train station and realized we had no idea whatsoever how to read a train map. Surreal turned to panic. Now, I can read tube, trail and rail maps with no problem, but I still laugh about that moment.

  27. Completely agree with Lady Grey! Nursing is a secret mute button if you are comfortable doing it on the plane! I never thought I would be that person, but I breastfed my 11 week old on takeoff during her first flight and she slept through the rest of it! You will all do great! Also, I found that people were much nicer than I expected! Only smiles and encouragement - no one gave us the stink eye. ;-)

  28. Precious beyond words! Your last picture reminds me of a family Christmas card we did with our kids many years ago when we were building our house that we are in now…I had each of us stand in the place where the windows were going to be and we did a verse on "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain." It was a favorite for sure! Hope you do well traveling! I am sure that you will! Keep us posted!

  29. How adorable is Viola!!!! That smile!!!! She had me smiling back!

    And, how cool of your dad. I have no doubt that is where you got the itch for globe trotting!!

    Big hugs!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  30. This is so exciting but I can completely relate to you being slightly nervous about the big trip! your little princess is definitely going to love traveling - it's in her blood!!

    We took our little SJ on her first big trip when she was 8 weeks old - we went to the UK for 2 weeks and it ended up being very easy... She slept like a dream on the plane (in the bassinet), waking up once for her bottle. And for the rest of the airport travels, she was asleep in her sling close to her daddy's chest. In London, we used her sling for longer tube or train distances and her pram for walking distances and we had a blast visiting family and friends and enjoying the rainy English summer.

    Good luck and enjoy special family x

  31. When I was 9 my Mom took my siblings and I to pony camp in a French chalet in Normandy. We were the worst-behaved, most stereotypical American brats you could possibly imagine. But that's where my love of traveling first began.

  32. My first BIG trip was Paris. The city holds a special place in my heart to this day. No Passport travel for us this year but we are taking our baby girl (and my guy) on their first Passport worthy trip next year. Can't wait.

    Memoirs & Mochas

  33. We took a trip across the US when I was 10, but we went to Rome when I was 12 with my dad's company and geez louise, I look like a sight. The early 90's were in large effect along with my big, round, RED glasses, scrunchies, hats with huge flowers that I thought were awesome, and fanny packs. It was a good time. :)

  34. Don't you just hate the GFC deal, I'm still working on getting my subscriptions moved over to Bloglovin.

  35. My first flight was when I was three years old with my aunt and uncle. My aunt had given me a piggy bank which, for whatever reason, I kept calling a guinea pig.

    Upon takeoff, I dropped the bank and it rolled under my seat. I started yelling (repeatedly) that I lost my guinea pig and apparently everyone around us thought I had a live guinea pig running around the plane.

    Good luck traveling with Viola! I hear this is one of the easier ages to fly with!

  36. my parents took us on every vacation and major trip with them growing up... even europe when i was 5 which i imagine was not easy....
    i know she's going to a little jet setter just like you guys!

  37. viola is unbelievably precious and adorable and with her very first passport!!! we are about to take our first little baby flight at aaaalmost 9 months, sooo it should be interesting! ;) good luck with your travels, dear lady!

  38. Oh my god she's brilliant. Good luck with all the flights! I have no kids, but I'm told it's actually easier flying with them when they're tiny- they sleep for a lot of it! I first flew at 8 I think... it's so much fun! xx

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  40. What fun!! Praying that Viola does well on the flight! I'm sure she'll sleep most of the way :)


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