First of all, just to put it out there: The word “babymoon” is pretty obnox, right? But the concept, of course, is something I can totally get behind.
Obviously, when I found out I was pregnant, there was zero chance we were going to miss heading out for (at least) one last hurrah abroad. Of course, we got the doctor’s OK (he was relievingly unconcerned), and then we tossed around a ton of babymoon ideas.
Where to go? In recent years, our travel has tended to favor remote and third-world places, often accessed by super-long flights from Los Angeles. This time, we had a few specific criteria:
- In terms of babymoon destinations, it had to be someplace abroad. Gotta stamp up that passport as much as possible before babies!
- The length of the longest flight to our international babymoon vacation shouldn’t be too insane. (Like, not 15 hours, if possible.)
- We should be able to trust the food and water to be safe at any babymoon destinations we’d consider.
- We should go on our babymoon early in the second trimester, while it’s still safe and comfortable for me to travel. For us, this meant wintertime.
- We didn’t want to repeat any countries we’d already visited for our babymoon vacation (although our options for such places are waning — a statistic that fills me with joy and satisfaction).
- It probably shouldn’t be a place with too much political instability or too many ominous state department travel warnings (this time).
Having set forth all these guidelines, we spun the globe — literally, we sat down with Google Earth and spun the globe (I love doing this).
Rio de Janeiro or islands in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay would have all been perfect wintertime options, but that violated that already-been-there rule. Between us, we’ve already visited several wonderful, warm, tropical countries in Asia/Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Bali) (dear god, Bali), and anyway those places probably violate the flights-too-long and questionable-water-supply rules. French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora, always seems like a brilliant idea — but alas (sigh, visualizing heaven on earth), we’ve been there already too. Galapagos Islands and Ecuador emerged as a strong runner up.
But in the end, it appeared only logical that David was going to get his wish that we’d hit European cities. This is something he’d been lobbying for for a long time, but I’d resisted: For one thing, I like to get off the beaten trail if possible when traveling abroad. Second, last time I checked, February meant cold climes in Europe. And third, I don’t know of any tropical beaches on remote islands in European capitals.
(Once, when negotiating travel plans with hubby, he said, “You know, it can’t always be a remote tropical island.” And I famously looked at him like, “I see your mouth moving, but I don’t understand the words coming out if it.” #kiddingnotkidding)
We chose Barcelona (where neither of us had been, though David had visited Sevilla and Madrid), Venice (where I’d been during the summer of 1995 while studying in Italy; David had never been to Italy at all), and Paris, which was brand new for both of us. (I tried to throw Morocco into the mix, but David exercised the region-too-unstable-for-a-babymoon clause, and he’d already been anyway.)
Et voila! Decision made.
I bought my charming compression socks for safe pregnancy air travel (probably not necessary, and definitely not cute), and we were off.
In the coming posts, see more about what we did and what we ate (also known as a vegetarian pregnant lady’s struggle to find pasteurized cheese and adequately cooked eggs in Paris).