Taking This show on the Road

12th December 2007

About two years ago, Bryan and I traveled constantly, in anticipation of never, ever being able to travel again. We knew we wanted a baby, and everyone very helpfully told us our lives would suck afterward. Also, that we’d never have sex again. Or read a magazine all the way through.

As it turns out, Hank is a happy, flexible guy. He was born that way, so we can’t take much credit, though we’d clearly blame only ourselves if he convulsed with fury at any deviation from routine. Such is parenting.

Fortunately, Hank is so mellow that our largest concern is whether he’ll just hand bullies his lunch money and sigh when he’s older. He doesn’t cry much on planes, or have trouble being in new places. We’re able to put him to sleep even out in the world (thanks Happiest Baby on the Block
!), and he often seems even more content when we travel because he has constant access to both of us.

It’s true that in some ways, traveling with a baby isn’t as much fun as traveling on your own. Especially at first, it was frustrating being unable to go wherever we wanted. In Amsterdam I worried excessively about getting lost and running out of formula or diapers. Of course, Amsterdam has drugstores every three feet or so, but apparently I thought the Dutch allowed their children to crap in the streets and fed them only chocolate until they were old enough for unpasteurized cheese. Live and learn.

At any rate, even when I’m up at 3 a.m. with a wide-awake Henry who hasn’t adjusted to the time change, traveling is still so much fun for us — I can hardly complain that it used to be 10 percent easier. Also, there are so many things about travel that are better with a baby. Hank definitely notices the stuff we’d speed right past, like friendly dogs, or cigarette butts. People are incredibly kind to you, and you waste less time sleeping off hangovers or wondering where the hell you just woke up.

One of the places we visited on our whirlwind pre-baby tour was Argentina, and we fell in love with Buenos Aires. Today, we fly back to live there for a month. (Bryan’s company closes for a couple weeks in winter, and he’s tacking on a couple weeks of his remaining paternity leave.) I’m so excited my stomach is actually flipping every time I think of it. Of course, it’s possible I have some kind of flu, in which case the fifteen-hour flight is going to be even less pleasant than I anticipated.

Anyway, now’s the time to flood me with Argentina tips if you missed your chance last time. We’d like to do every fun thing available, so don’t hold back. We’re also talking about arranging a meet-up, so let us know if you’ll be around too. You can even meet Hank. He’ll be the one eating cigarette butts out of the ashtray.

53 thoughts on “Taking This show on the Road

  1. adiav

    Please, oh please, tell us what it’s like in Argentina. I’ve always wanted to go, but for some strange reason I’ve always found it a little intimidating, probably because my Spanish isn’t excellent and I’m a female who usually travels alone (though I travelled through Europe alone just fine, so go figure). No one I know has been there, except if they lived there as a child and emigrated away, which isn’t very helpful.

    So, do tell, and let me live vicariously through your travels (and plan my next ones)?

  2. Megan

    The beautiful Jenny Vorwaller (www.jennyvorwaller.com/blog/) has lived in Buenos Aires for a little while. She said she’s working on a BA city guide but not sure it’s done.

    To adiav, I also inquired about going as a woman traveling solo, and she was very reassuring.

    Wishing great adventures for you.

  3. Jennifer/The Word Cellar

    No Argentinean tips here, just a thank you. THANK YOU for giving me hope that if I were to have a child I wouldn’t have to stop doing every single thing that I love, including traveling. I hear so many horror stories of going out and about with babies that it’s refreshing to hear another side of it. Of course, I think that you and Andrea at Superhero Journals may have the only two kids of this generation that are so pleasant and easy going. In that case, the rest of us potential mommies-to-be are screwed no matter what! :)

  4. ALF

    I lived in Argentina for 2 months on a summer study abroad during college. I studied in Cordoba but spend a few weeks in Buenos Aires. I LOVE IT!

    Have you been to Iguazu? If not, you must go!

  5. Bether

    If you’re into tango at all, you ought to check it out. I hear. I don’t have any specific recommendations; I’m just a Portland tanguera who wishes she could go to Argentina to dance. (Having a small child might be a bad time to start a tango obsession, but San Francisco also has a hopping tango scene if you try it out in Buenos Aires and love it…)

  6. Ana Barroso

    Hi! I’m so excited to hear you love Argentina. That’s one of my favorites places to visit. I lived in Indianapolis for 7 years and believe it or not I ended up moving back to Brazil the week you went to IUPUI. That totally sucked! Now I live in Brazil, and I’ll be in Argentina in January, since it’s so close to where I’m at now and, not to mention it’s one of the best cost-benefit vacations in the world. Make sure to check out the Faena Hotel, designed by Phillipe Stark. The hotel and the neighborhood around it are beautiful. I would also recommend attending a soccer match, but that probably wouldn’t be a wise to do with a baby. The La Recoleta cemetery and the Feria Artesanal de La Recoleta are also a must-go. It’s the place to find local arts and crafts (weekends only), and to see some wonderful architecture. That’s where Evita Perón is buried. The barrio La Boca is also one of the hottest spots to visit and take LOTS AND LOTS of pictures. Anyway, you can’t go wrong in Buenos Aires. I know you’ll have fun!!

  7. She Likes Purple

    I’m so happy for you and it was nice reading this post. I’ve always wanted to visit Argentina. I have nothing of substance to offer except have fun, enjoy, take a slew of pictures and come back safely.

  8. Strizz

    That sounds really exciting. I hope you all have a great, safe, trip. The farthest I have been out of the country is Niagra Falls Canada.

  9. susanna

    Long time reader, never commented… anyway, I am from Argentina (raised in Bs.As. and lived there until 19 years old). Good luck dealing with the Bs.As. summer – so sticky! If you’re going to be leaving Bs.As., some people mentioned IGUAZU. Nice place – but humid and hot as hell. I was there in the winter and the walls of my hotel room were sweating. The NW provinces – salta, Jujuy, are very nice, but the highlands in the summer are also hot as hell. It is hard to give you tips – things that are common to me might seem odd and fascinating. Tips:
    1) Japanese Garden (jardin japones, Alcorta y Casares). I have not been there in years, but I loved that place as a child! Hank might be too young, but I still highly recommend it.
    2)El Viejo Almacen (calle Balcarce) for tango..
    3) Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires (my highschool – I do not know what their visitor policies are, but the architecture is amazing. They have the most stunning Carrara Marble staircases! (Bolivar 263) Next to it is the Iglesia de San Ignacio. Oh, and in my neighborhood, San Telmo, you must visit the Iglesia de San Pedro Telmo. Gorgeous Church! It is a block away from plaza Balcarce.
    4) if you get tired of steak, there are a few places to go for me health food. I really like this little macrobiotic restaurant where they sell breads and sweets. It is called La CASA de Oshawa (Ciudad de la Paz 421). I really like it and many local “celebrities” go get their food there.
    5) To put up with the awful heat and humidity get ice cream! SAMBAYON! Oh the icecream!
    6) I am sure you have visited Galerias Pacifico before -not just for the shopping, but also for the amazing murals!
    7) DO NOT FALL FOR LEATHER SELLERS on Florida! Those guts will rip you off! You have to go to MURANO (if you ask a taxi driver, they will take you there, that’s where local go!)
    8) Jewelry: calle libertad y corriente. Again, I have not been there is a while, but that’s where you can find many, many stores!
    9) There is this little restaurant on my old street (Piedras 848) called OLEIROS. It is supported by a group of old spanish-argentinean guys and serves very, very authentic spanish food: gambas al ajillo, mondongo a la espanola. Greasy, spicy, full of garlic and very gallego!
    10) MALBA, a relatively new museum. Gets good marks from my mom (an artists and still a Bs. As. dweller)
    11) In Plaza Francia there is an artisan fair during the weekends and there used to be a place called “Buenos Aires Design.” Now that I live in the US, I would call it the Argentinean Crate and Barrel.

  10. susanna

    12) Confiteria y bomboneria SIMO mhh! Chocolates! Also, a confiteria I liked when I was a kid is La Richmond de Floria (Florida 468). I have memories of eating grilled cheese sandwiches with cafe con leche…Also (if they have not sold out) there is the Confiteria Suiza on Tucuman 753. They use to serve the most decadent Swiss pastries and their window used to be lined with the most adorable assortment of marzipan fruits and vegetables.
    13) reserva ecologica de la costanera sur (around puerto madero) I used to go bike riding in the inner trails of La Reserva. As close to nature as you can get in the city. Also, outside of the ecological reserve you can find the famous Fountain of Lola Mora (“las nereidas”). If you did not know, they put her in the barrio sur because it was way to racy for the oligarchs living in barrio norte (I am biased towards the south; I was raised in San Telmo).
    14) you can always take the Buquebus and go to Urugay.
    15) if you are going there for the holidays, you have to indulge in PAN DULCE. Oh! And turrones and cidra and anana fizz (some might call it “grasa” – tacky- but it is refreshing). They food does not go well with the climate, but it is so good. My favorite Pan Dulce in PAN DEL CIELO. It is coated with a marzipan-like sugary stuff. So good. They sell it in places where they have wines and imported food (I think there are a few of those place on Avenida de Mayo).
    16) drink coffee. Muchos cafes dobles, dulce de leche, facturas and enjoy your stay!

  11. Steve

    Okay, so you got the good baby. I’m jealous. My first kid traveled well. The second one travels well too. But two of them traveling at once turned out to be a bit too tough for us. One has to nap now, the other wants to play, etc etc.

    But, really, let’s cut to the chase. What about the sex? Surely, that turned out like everyone said? Personally, it is less frequent, but more fun. So everyone wins?

  12. honeydijon

    I lived in buenos aires for 6 months. since its summer right now, i suggest that you travel south if you are going to leave bsas. many people leave the city for the holidays. i would not suggest Iguazu. besides the falls, theres not much to do there and it gets incredibly humid.

    the best thing about buenos aires is the gelato! oh and the parks!

  13. leslie

    So glad to hear that traveling with a baby isn’t always as awful as people say. I was dreading having to travel with mine.

  14. denise

    please buy more of that great stuff you found last time and sell it in your etsy shop. i wear a size 10 shoe. haha. rings too, and just anything you think is cool.

  15. Lisa

    Seriously, in Hank, you have the “trick baby”. It’s what our Family Doctor refers to our daughter..the fairly easygoing, mild tempered little one, that easily adapts to all situations. You start to think all babies act like this…and then you get TRICKED into having a second one…..

    Don’t you dare have a second! Apparently, the luck runs out when the “trick baby” comes first! ;)

    Enjoy Argentina!

  16. Robin

    I am in awe of your family. My son is 6.5 months and a pretty good little traveler (been on 5 plane trips in his short life) but another country for a month?!?!? Mighty Family, you’ve got balls! What I wouldn’t give for a month away with my sweet fam in a beautiful foreign country. Enjoy!

  17. Em

    I always get mad when people say their life is over once they have kids. I think you can do as much with a kid as you can do, and kids take on your attitudes about this. If anyone doubts me about that again, I am going to point them to you.

    Have the best time!!!

  18. Kimberly

    You are truly a Mighty Family! Like Jennifer/The Word Cellar said…thank you for giving me hope that if/when I have a kid, my life won’t end. Thank you for continuing to be adventurous and not turning into a mommyblogger who complains about how horrible her kid is and how mundane life with her kid is. Have a BLAST in Argentina!!

  19. Kate

    Good for you all! And thanks for providing hope. No kids yet, but planning on some in the future. Have a great trip. Love your site.

  20. Martialartsdiva

    I too had a really easy going baby (especially in contrast to his sister). We called him “Joy Boy”. He was pretty passive when kids were mean to him, although he was enrolled in karate to learn self-defense. We watched out for him and stood up for him. Then he got into an honors program starting in third grade and he’s never had a problem since.

  21. Katherine Dey

    Hi Maggie – i worked with bryan doing advance for THK and we met in Boston on that very sad night in ’04…

    I did a 12 day trip to Mendoza, Uruguay and BA last year and it was the best time of my life. Here are the flickr photos if any of them help. http://flickr.com/photos/ksd/sets/72157594419096434/

    Our favorites in BA were going to the National Polo Championship, pretending to be fancy at the racetrack (where they do not sell alcohol strangely enough), and shopping in palermo soho was really fantastic. The hotel we stayed at, Casa Las Canitas was absolutely the greatest place also… the women who run it took great care of us and hosted us for wine tastings in their patio and an asado one night. Clearly the food is great just about everywhere as you well know.

    If you haven’t been to Mendoza you need to do a day(or two) trip there to go wine tasting and possibly horse back riding.. although that might not fly with a lil one. We also spent a day at the Shearaton Spa in Colonia, Uruguay… the photos of us on the 4 wheelers are from that trip. We were quite the spectacle.

    Hope you all love your second trip!
    Kat

  22. Meg

    Have a great time, and SHOP (I mean, just for work of course. I wouldn’t want you to feel irresponsible.)
    But seriously, you give me hope. Thanks for proving you can be a mom and still enjoy life. Hank is in for quite a ride :)

  23. ALF

    I was in Argentina in the winter so we traveled north to the warmer areas which was great. We didn’t get a chance to go south because it was too cold but I’ve heard it’s really great to go south and see Bariloche and Tierra del Fuego!

  24. CM

    Hi Maggie. I have been reading you on and off for years. I had a baby shortly before or after you, don’t remember which. Anyway, just wanted to say that you have a totally beautiful child and the mellowness makes him even more perfect. Isn’t it fun? I wasn’t so sure the first month or two but now I could not be happier.

  25. mar

    See – already ideas for your next book – Traveling w/Baby!!! I loved traveling with a baby – really quite fun. It does get a little harder when they are toddlers, for a little while, but then it gets easier again after about 3. My kids travel a whole lot too (mostly long car trips, but lots and lots of sleeping in places other than home), and they are both great travelers now (7, 11). What a wonderful opportunity – enjoy!

  26. Maggeh Post author

    We’ve arrived and slept long enough that we’re no longer hallucinating. Thank you so much for all the good wishes and the valuable tips. Extra thanks to Ana, Kat, and Susanna. I’m busy copying everything into my little moleskine.

  27. Haley-O

    Wait! You can actually get your kid to SLEEP with Happiest Baby on the Block? I can only calm my 2-month old with the book’s techniques…. Maybe I’m due for a re-read…..

  28. Carly

    BsAs is miserable this time of year (oh the humidity!) though I was living in a house without central AC…but it’s also unusually quiet for a city since many are on their holiday. I spent a couple weeks in January down in Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes, Calafate and then traveled north to Mendoza. The Seven Lakes District is very relaxing and quiet; many portenoas head down to Mar de Plata on the Atlantic coast for some summer beach dwelling. Very affordable apartments to rent there.
    In BsAs, I spent an afternoon walking through Palermo…great shops, some health food restaurants and art fairs. Lots to see.
    Oh, and Persicco on Maures y Migueletes in Belgrano is the best helado around (persicco.com).
    Disfruten!

  29. Carrie

    Dear person who can’t get baby to sleep with “Happiest Baby…”

    You should really get the video. It makes it all so much easier than the book.

  30. karoline

    Hi there! Long-time lurker, first comment…and yes, I know it’s late in coming. Anyways, I heartHEARTheart BA. I lived there for a few months in 2006, and am hoping to make a more permanent move there in the next 3-5 years.

    If you haven’t eaten at La Brigada yet, go there. IMO, they had the best lomo and provoleta in BA. I also went to the horse races down there. It was my first exposure to it, and it ended up being a lot of fun. Go check out a soccer match while you are down there, too. Not sure if it would be of interest, but you might want to check out one of the estancias down there as well. I stayed at two when I was there and would recommend Estancia La Portena. As far as tango goes, the Colon theatre has shows there, but local venues are always fantastic, too.

    I’ll stop rambling now. I hope you enjoy your time down there in the summer heat!

  31. Half-Past Kissin' Time

    We had one like your Hank (happy, easy) three years after The Baby From Hell. Thankfully, both turned out to be happy, wonderful kids. The only bad thing about having the happy one first is that you get spoiled. Or, you learn to appreciate the dispostion of the first one even more, I guess :) I look forward to learning more about Argentina from your blog :)

  32. Michele

    You need to take the credit for Hank being the way he is. Children are a reflection of their parents. He’s a happy baby because you two are. One of the comments I would get on my son when he was a baby was, “he’s such a happy baby.” I’m happy to report he’s still happy at 9, and people compliment and comment on this fact to this day.

    My husband says I won the Lotto with my son Hunter because he’s such a great kid. It’s true that I did, but what I did to maintain that gift is what shows 9 years later.

    BTW I loved to travel with my son too. Sure it was trying at times, but it was worth it. You had your child to have him in your life, not leave him with nannies and day care so you can be an adult, and I commend you. There will be moments when it will be mom & dad time but you can’t get these days back with Hank, he’ll be 9 before you know it.

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