A Winter Weekend in the Poconos

What fills your cup and helps you recharge? For me It has always been traveling. I love going to a new city or a new country and feeling far away from the everyday monotonies of life. When I think of some of my best memories, I think of walking through Parc Güell in Barcelona or visiting Casa Azul in Mexico City. Luckily for me, Sabino is also a lover of travel so prior to having our daughter we had begun exploring the world together. We had big plans for further travel but then Covid happened, and then we decided to start a family. I remember thinking when I got pregnant, well, we can just travel with the baby! Babies under two, fly for free, right? I had a little bit of a naïveté that only a first-time mom can have. It will be so easy! In my mind, I pictured us walking around with our baby in an infant carrier, strolling the Champs-Élysées. Then, my daughter was born and the realities of having a newborn set in. The frequent crying, the frequent feedings and the frequent overall needs of our newborn. Although, I know there are plenty of people who travel frequently with their infants, I questioned whether I truly could handle the challenge. Would it still be an enjoyable trip? This is something, Sabino and I will find out this year when we take our first overseas trip with our daughter.

My daughter, Emiliana or as we call her “Emi” is 4 months old and this past weekend we decided to take our first trip with her. We decided to keep it really simple this time and decided to go for a long weekend in the Poconos. I know, very exotic! But for us just getting away for the weekend and going somewhere else other than home was enough for us this time. The Poconos is a 2-hour drive from where we live, so we figured it wouldn’t be too bad of a drive with her, and we planned on stopping as needed.

Since becoming parents, we have become experts at strategizing our plans, which tend to revolve around Emi’s schedule. We plan down to the minute every excursion we take in order to work around feedings and nap time. So, we timed things out so that we would leave close to her naptime and after a feeding, so that way she would sleep for at least part of the way. This approach worked well for us, we were on the road for about 10 minutes or so before she drifted off. Now this gave us about 30-40 minutes of nap time, and when she woke up, she was in an almost sleepy daze, just looking around content for maybe another 20 minutes. That was her total window before we had to stop at the Quick Check parking lot, do a feed and a change in the backseat, give her a little break outside the car seat, then strap her back in and continue our journey. I sat in the back with her the rest of the way to keep her entertained by interacting with her and giving her the toys, she enjoys. She really only started to get really fussy the last 10 minutes of our ride.

When we got to the Poconos, it was time for another nap, so Sabino quickly set up the pack and play as well as the noise machine and camera. We pretty much had packed Emi’s entire room for this short weekend trip. It’s funny how much time we spent packing her things and almost no time at all packing our own. I think as we begin to travel more, we are going to have to learn how to consolidate and only take essentials. Especially since our next destination will involve air travel to Mexico! We will just have to do without the white noise machine or a million different outfit changes.

This trip was about unwinding and unplugging from the rest of the world. Have you ever gone a weekend or even a day without checking your cell phone? Let me tell you, it is a liberating feeling that I recommend to everyone! Even do it for just a few hours, if the thought of a whole day scares you. Unplugging gives you a chance to reset your brain and tune into your thoughts and emotions. During these times I really enjoy doing yoga or reading a book. There are so many valuable things we can do instead of spending all that time scrolling our Instagram feed.

The highlights of this trip were our morning strolls down the road. Emi got to see the snow and the trees and observe nature. She is at that great age where everything she sees is new and captivating. Walking into the yard she became fascinated by the snow glistening trees and was all smiles taking everything in. We also loved the outdoor hot tub, while my mom watched the baby, Sabino and I snuck away and were able to have a little alone time together. With a four-month-old, we hadn’t planned on going out to restaurants or bars. Instead, we cooked our meals at home. Although cooking on vacation isn’t for everybody, we enjoyed doing it on this particular trip. The Poconos is not necessarily known for its cuisine, so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on any great restaurants.

Overall, we had a nice relaxing weekend and enjoyed our first adventure post baby. This was vastly different from how we have travelled in the past. However, I think this type of trip was the perfect way to begin introducing Emi to the world of travel. It was such a pleasure to take a slow-paced vacation and really relax and not worry about a loaded check list with sites to see, which of course is exciting, but it can also be quite tiring. I recommend everyone fit in this kind of trip every once in a while. We can’t wait for our next trip together!