When I planned to attend my friend’s wedding at Bishop’s Lodge and Resort in Santa Fe I didn’t know I’d be traveling cross-country as a new, single mother of two babies. In fact, if you told me, I would have said you’re crazy. So, when it came time for the June nuptials with an 8-month-old daughter AND a 4-month-old daughter in tow, I kind of freaked. There was no way I was going to miss the wedding; after all, people fly with babies from NYC to Santa Fe and back again all the time, right?
Straight away I have to say that my not-so-secret weapon was Asia, my daughters’ babysitter. She kindly agreed travel to Santa Fe with us and I’m not sure how we would have even made it to the airport without her. Bishop’s Lodge and Resort was pretty, but not baby-friendly at all. We made it work though and I learned a lot about traveling with babies.
Here’s a summary of what worked and what didn’t:
The Girls and Me in Santa Fe 1 of 19
What Worked #1: The TSA 2 of 19
The TSA now allows parents to wear baby all the way through security. I was so glad I didn't have to take her off and then put her back on a hundred times.
What Worked #2: Assistance 3 of 19
Taking our babysitter, Asia. She is absolutely amazing.
What Worked #3: Renting a House 4 of 19
What Worked #4: Buying Groceries 5 of 19
Heading to the grocery store first. We looked up the closest one before traveling so we knew how to get there to stocked up straight away on food and diapers. My oldest had just started eating solids, so we picked up some fresh bananas and avocado.
What Worked #5: The Carrier 6 of 19
The weather was lovely so I added the month of June to the list of what worked for us. I feared it being too hot to wear a baby in the Ergo, but it was actually pleasant and even slightly cool in the evenings.
What Worked #6: Extra Space 7 of 19
After the rental we moved to Bishop's Lodge, the site of the wedding. I paid extra to have outdoor hotel room space to eat meals, and I'm glad I did. Babies are pretty messy eaters, so it was ideal.
What Worked #7: This Swimsuit 8 of 19
Even though it was downright ridiculous to pack, this baby swimsuit (picked up at Goodwill) stuffed with floatation foam was a big win. I would have rather had the girls in their adorable matching swimsuits but practically, this suit made for a lot less stress in the pool.
What Worked #8: Cute Shoes 9 of 19
These moccasins. Need I say more?
What Worked #9: Decor 10 of 19
The girls LOVED all of the Native American imagery.
What Worked #10: Drums 11 of 19
All things drumming! Babies are never too young for drumming.
What Didn’t Work #1: Other Floaties 12 of 19
It didn't work that I failed to pack something for my youngest daughter to float on in the pool. The extra luggage would have been worth it.
What Didn’t Work #2: The Stroller 13 of 19
Taking the single stroller and not the double. While my babysitter and I are all about wearing my daughters, it would have been a lot easier if they both had their own seat in a stroller.
What Didn’t Work #3: No Babyproofing 14 of 19
It didn't work to let my daughter out of the stroller in most parts of the Plaza. Even though she was only 8 months old, she loved to hold hands and walk around, but with the arts and souvenirs displayed on the ground she was a disaster waiting to happen.
What Didn’t Work #4: Traveling as a Pack 15 of 19
The staff at the Lodge looked at us like we were crazy when we arrived with two babies and luggage. They wanted us out of the lobby, pronto!
What Didn’t Work #5: Lack of Baby Equipment 16 of 19
I should have known how dependent I was on baby gear. A crib, playpen, swing, bouncer, even a hammock would have helped. There wasn't anywhere to set a baby down at the Lodge.
What Didn’t Work #6: Toys 17 of 19
Aside from buying this postcard that one of my daughters loved to the point of disintegration, I failed to find much age-appropriate souvenirs. I should have packed more toys.
What Didn’t Work #7: Rude Staff 18 of 19
We are a city family and we're used to eating most of our meals at restaurants. I knew the Lodge a restaurant and we planned to eat there but it turned out that it was not kid-friendly. They had high chairs, but for every peep the babies made, the wait staff looked stressed. We ended up eating most meals in our room or just outside.
What Didn’t Work #8: The Red Eye 19 of 19
The red-eye flight home to NYC didn't work like I expected it to. Neither baby really slept. The 6am flight out to Santa Fe went much better, so in the future I'll make sure to book early morning flights.
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