The lovely and talented Angela over at Just Go! (check our her wonderful guidebook about Rome) is hosting a blogapalooza with the Halloween-appropriate theme of “What a strange trip it’s been.”
Since I traveled for a year with a one-year-old, I’ve got more than one er, interesting, experience to draw on, some of which I’ve already shared. There was our arrival in Boston, our jaunt to Cape Ann, and our long trip back from Italy.
But one of my favorite travel stories has to do with the perils of living in a short-term rental with a toddler, something we did for three months in Austin, Texas. I was holding 18-month-old Tommy in my arms one morning as I stood next to the keypad for the house’s alarm system. Before I had time to react or pull away, his chubby finger pressed the activate button, which meant we were prisoners inside the house until and unless we could punch in the code. Satisfied, he looked at me, smiling, his blue eyes wide, his blond hair sticking out around his head like a halo. It’s times like this that I wish we’d installed one of those fancy wireless alarm systems as they’re rather sophisticated and I’m sure this could have been avoided.
I put Tommy down and squinted at the keypad. There were words scrolling and a light blinking and I was pretty sure (although not certain) that they meant the house was armed. My ignorance was no surprise since this was not my house, and was in fact the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…sixth place I’d lived in during the past half a year. A vague memory surfaced: the owner, to me only a voice on the phone, sharing a secret code that shut off the system. But since Matt and I had not been setting the alarm since we arrived in Austin, I had no idea what it was. Every time I came in the door my hands were full of groceries, sippy cups, toys, the diaper bag, and Tommy; I was more concerned that I