Ben takes on Europe!

10 05 2012

We are finally back from our much awaited vacation to Europe. Dan and I were VERY nervous that it would be less vacation-y and more stressful dealing with long plane rides and time changes with a 20 month old. Ben was such a rock star, I can’t even tell you! He did amazing on our first flight to Amsterdam, and only woke up once the first night and then slept through the night EVERY OTHER NIGHT. I know! My kid is awesome! The flight home was fine, too. We had an empty seat in between us which was nice (the flight there was totally full so he was on our lap).

My travel tips with a toddler:

  • take the last row of the plane, and have the child in the window seat
  • snacks and more snacks
  • their favorite toy(s)
  • NEW toys they have never seen
  • bring benadryl if you want to make you FEEL prepared, but you won’t need it :)
  • bottle or sippy and pacifier if you use one for naps (this helped him sleep). They will give you milk on the flight.
  • don’t let them run up & down the aisles b/c once they are out of their seats it’s all over
  • RELAX. I was way too stressed for days before and got myself sick the first 2 days in Amsterdam.

The trip was absolutely perfect. We had the best time visiting our friends in Amsterdam and taking a side-trip to Paris. We were in Amsterdam for Queen’s Day and rented a boat on the canals all day which is really something everyone should add to their bucket list! We did Keukenhof and saw the tulips which were a sight. We rented bikes. We went to the famous market. In Paris we drank wine outside the Eiffel Tower at night. Walked to the Louvre. Took the Metro to Notre Dame. Spent lots of time in Jardin des Tuileries. It was magical!

Ben is wearing an H&M hoodie, Gap jeans & TOMS boots.

I Amsterdam

Me trying to keep Ben from jumping in the water

Ben’s first bike ride

Since everyone wears orange on Queen’s Day, Ben was wearing an orange bicycle Gap shirt (perfect for Amsterdam!!), H&M shorts & sneakers.

Queen’s Day on the canals!

Above is the boat we rented…it was the best 3 hours! Good drinks, good food & great company. Also, the weather had been rainy and chilly, but on Queen’s Day it was sunny and 70! Perfect weather. The canals were kind of empty (in a good way!) since it was 11am, but as we were leaving they were getting much more crowded. I can’t imagine what it was like by evening! Mayhem.

Happy family! (Ben had just woken up from his nap on the boat)

Keukenhof

Dan and the tulips

When the blankie goes on the head, you know he’s ready for a nap!

First glimpse of the Eiffel Tower!

Trying to get a good picture of Ben and the Eiffel Tower was near impossible.

Love this one!

Outfit change! Ben started out in jeans but as the day got warmer we changed him. He is wearing a Janie & Jack polo shirt, Janie & Jack shorts and H&M sneakers we bought in Amsterdam.

The area surrounding the Eiffel Tower is perfect for a picnic or relaxing. They also have a wonderful fenced-in playground where we spent most of our time. Ben could run around and be safe, and we could soak in the view of the Eiffel Tower right behind us. I didn’t realize how family-friendly the area would be. They also have a carousel right below and vendors selling drinks and snacks. Everything is very stroller-friendly also!

Walking to the Eiffel Tower at night. This is right when the lights turned on.

Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Dan, Ben & Notre Dame

Ben is wearing H&M pants, a Gap sweatshirt we bought in France and H&M sneakers.

Ben racing towards the only puddle in a park outside Notre Dame.

Love Locks

I didn’t really know about these locks before we went, and I wish I did. You can read the story about them here. Paris is such a romantic city!

Ben is wearing a Janie & Jack lobster polo and H&M pants and sneakers.

Back on the Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam!

All in all, it was truly the trip of a lifetime! It was wonderful for Dan and I to spend 11 days together with Ben. I think it was much needed for Ben, also. He slept every night in our room and woke up so happy seeing us each morning. I never felt like we couldn’t do things because of Ben. We are already planning a trip back to Paris and Europe for next year! Hopefully we can convince some family members to come with us :)

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8 responses

10 05 2012
laura

Great post! I want to go to Paris!

10 05 2012
linda

You make it look easy to travel with a toddler!
Love the picture of Ben w/tulips!
The train looked wonderful!!

13 05 2012
mommiecooks

It looks like you had a truly magical time! Both Amsterdam and especially Paris, are truly amazing cities. It sounds like it was the trip of a lifetime. :)

14 05 2012
Lisa M.

Thanks! It really was. Already planning Ben’s next trip to Paris next year, hopefully!

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20 05 2012
Sleeping Mom @ Sleeping Should Be Easy

I’ve always been a bit hesitant traveling, especially something huge like Europe because of my toddler, but maybe it won’t be so bad! Glad you guys had a great time—nice pics, and thanks for the tips!

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