Want to contribute? We are now featuring a throwback travel memory photo post day on Thursdays. Share your favorite moment of traveling with kids, a caption, and a small (wee!) story about the photo itself, and get featured with an author bio and link backs to your blog, instagram, pinterest, whatever. We are a community. We want to know who you are and help us all engage with one another.
Inspire others. Or show you at your worst. We know you persevered. We’re proud of you.
Memory is part of why we travel with little ones. It makes the world a mosaic of changing sights and sounds. Places we think we know well change when we find ourselves in them years later. Is it even the same place? Or is it we who have changed?
Sausalito, for example, is full of yachts. And dismembered crabs. It was here that I used to find myself having runny eggs before heading into a cool redwood grove as a college student. There was a collection of wooden mariners on the wall, and a wall of windows left open on chilly mornings to emphasize the barking of sea lions. It was refreshing and chill, townie and maritime (coming from the desert). I remember being psyched to wear the sweatshirts that sat at the bottom of my closet the rest of the year.
When I was there last week with the kids, the place was changed. The yachts were still there, but they were buffered with streets of tourists and shops, not just that old breakfast cafe. Crowds pushed one another around. Parking nazis abounded. Kids screamed. Gelato shops raked it in, and the cool San Francisco night gave no clue as to why.
Perhaps it’s looked this way for thirty years and my memories of a sea shanty town were always romanticized.
Travel sometimes confirms what I don’t know. I have all these sensory illusions about Sausalito but what will my kids remember? $4 water bottles? That mom was too cold? The feelings and illusions we have about place sometimes spur us to revisit these places from our past. Even when we see the reality.
On this trip I felt like every parent hauling their kids to the county fair. Knowing it was gunna suck. Knowing it was going to drain my wallet. But still, every year, we go to the fair. Why? Memories, dammit. We’re making memories here.
Left Our Hearts is about the philosophy of travel. We may have tips. And we may have discounts. Or products. Or advice. But at its heart, we welcome posts about the philosophy of traveling with kids and families in tow. It’s about why on earth we do the crazy things we do.
And here’s why I do. When I asked my kids to describe Sausalito, they offered up these lists. I’m sure they will drive their memories of what this place means to them for years to come.
Alice: traffic, traffic, traffic, that good ice cream place, amazing water, loud, sunny, you could see Alcatraz which is awesome, the cool boats. Seawater. Beautiful.
Soren: I see traffic and ice cream.
Oh well. We’ll try again next year.
In the meantime, we’ll run “favorite travel memory with kids” blog submissions. Think of it like “throwback Thursday” with link back perks.