Trail of Crumbs

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Sometimes, I take for granted how much my husband puts up with.

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Indeed, that might be the understatement of the year. If my beloved is reading this, he’s probably done a spit take all over his computer while sputtering, “YOU THINK?”

My poor, maligned love. He puts up with a lot. From me. And during the holidays, from his in-laws, too. Which I argue is his fault.

I mean, I was born into them. I had no choice. He walked right into this situation, mostly sober. THE FOOL.

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Sometimes, I suck.

I mean, big time. Several of you are reading those lines and thinking, “Oh, yes, I know. I was just about to leave a comment on your blog expressing that EXACT same sentiment.”

Others of you are thinking, “Well, sure, you suck, but who among us does not?” And for your gracious understanding, I thank you.

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Some of the replies to last Thursday’s post (via the comments, Twitter, and Facebook) hit me pretty hard. I have figured that several years of blogging would have thickened my skin, so my reaction surprised me (also surprising: when I got teary over an Olympics-themed Visa commercial. These damn steroids have turned me into a moody softy). I curled up into a ball and when Rand asked me what was wrong, all I could mutter was, “People on the internet are upset with me.”

And he had a good laugh, because when the sum total of your problems can be expressed thusly, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR LIFE.

But in the midst of the occasionally-heated discussion, an important point came up: this sort of reservation-mishap happens a lot (a big thanks to reader kokopuff for making me aware of this). Sometimes it’s an intentional scam. Sometimes it’s just an honest clerical mistake (I want to give our hotel the benefit of the doubt). Either way, you need to protect yourself.

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This is how it begins.

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I have a bladder the size of a chipmunk’s.

No, no – stop praising me on how amazing this is. How it’s so ladylike and really quite Hollywood to have a bladder so svelte and small. That Angelina’s or Gwyneth’s is probably barely bigger than my own.

Because despite how glamorous it sounds, let me tell you: having an itsy-bitsy bladder is NOT as amazing as movies and TV would have you believe. It means that much of my and Rand’s travels are interrupted with side-quests to find toilets. That before we go anywhere – a flight, a drive, a short walk, or even if we are simply moving from the dining room to the living room – I need to run to the bathroom.

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It is almost May. I’m slightly alarmed by this. Not just because the year is zipping by, and I’m wondering how I squandered away all that time with so little to show for it (Whither the sample chapter of the great American travel memoir, Everywhereist? Whither the clean laundry you were going to do?), but because I am coming up on another anniversary.

Soon, I will have been blogging for three years.

THREE YEARS. Yeah. Having been out school for well-over a decade, and unemployed for a good shot of time, too, I’ve found that only my blog’s arbitrary birthday that provides me with any opportunity for reflection on the events of the last few years.

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Spotted in Manhattan.

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I don’t profess to know very much about anything, desserts and the career of Jeff Goldblum excluded (what? I have my passions). Other than being an authority on these two very important topics, I consider myself a rather middling resource. And yet, time and again, I get emails in my inbox from new bloggers who want me to share my “wisdom” with them.

I, personally, find this equal parts hilarious and misguided. You might as well ask me for driving directions or financial advice (other topics of which I am uniquely unqualified to discuss). When it comes to blogging, I honestly and truly don’t know what I’m doing. I’m still figuring things out for myself. I still make tons of mistakes.

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I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think photos should be taken in museums. And I stand by that point, even though I’m a really huge hypocrite about the whole thing. I defend my actions by claiming that I have to take photos for the blog. If I couldn’t take pictures, I’d have to pepper my posts with crude recreations of the works I’d seen, rendered by my unsteady hand in Microsoft Paint.

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Today’s post is by my dear friend Angela. She’s guest-blogged for me once before, and since then, she’s had a kid, started freelancing, launched her own site, and hopped around the globe a bit just for good measure (I suspect she spends her free time trying to crack the secrets of massive nutrinos).

Fortunately, Angela has decided to share some of her wisdom with the rest of us slackers. Here are her tips for any traveler who wants to see the world with their little one along for the ride. (And yes, she manages to make it all look easy. She has a sickening knack for that sort of thing.)

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Hear ye, hear ye, all brave parents venturing into the great unknown with offspring in tow! I’ve been there and back … and lived to tell the tale. Here are the convictions I brought home as souvenirs. If you’re a fellow jet-set mom or dad, I humbly offer them up to you.

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