During Leah’s pregnancy we decided that as a reward for all of the anxiety and anticipation around Molly’s arrival, we should take a trip. Not knowing any better we figured that travelling with a newborn should be relatively easy, especially compared to travelling with a toddler. Clothes: they’re small and pack well. Food: Taken care of by Leah. Diapers: Relatively small packing, a 50 pack is about 6″ x 10″ x 4″. Toys: Not necessary.
So with this idea in mind we began to brainstorm ideas on what to do, where to go, the hows and the whys. We had a family bar-mitzvah to attend on the East Coast and used this as our launching point. We needed to head to NY/CT and from there….. Europe, obviously. So the spreadsheet of trip ideas is opened (you have one of these right?), and scanning the list of travel ideas we have brainstormed over the years, one stood out – a self-guided, multi-day hiking tour of Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula. It seemed like the perfect trip to get everyone back in shape.
And that is exactly what we did during the last days of April and the first weeks of May. Off we went to the San Francisco Passport Office to expedite a passport for our 7 week old daughter (yes you need a passport regardless of age and yes it needs a photo…). Four days later, passport in hand and after figuring out the logistics of getting a baby to the airport without taking the car seat on the plane (i.e. having our fantastic neighbor, Joy, drop us off), Molly took her first flight from SFO to JFK. A six hour flight, or in Molly’s case, a six hour nap. Seriously I don’t know how we could have been any luckier. She slept in my lap nearly the entire flight, only waking for a couple of diaper changes (btw airplane bathroom changing tables raise your diaper-fu ten-fold).
After attending our family events, in which Molly was passed around more than a hundred times, we headed back to JFK for our flight to Dublin. Aer Lingus is the flag carrier of Ireland and because of this the second you step on one of their planes, the Irish hospitality starts right away. For instance, Aer Lingus planes have bassinets! And when we walked on to the airplane with a ticket not in the row with the bassinets, the flight crew immediately remedied the situation. Molly was not as enthused about being in the bassinet as we were that she could be in a bassinet. She survived the 6 hour flight in mostly silent fashion and the 3 of us arrived in Dublin and made way to our B&B for the night.
Now here’s the thing. We are in Dublin. Our hike starts in Camp (yes the town is called Camp). Camp is 315km from Dublin, and we don’t want to deal with a car (driving on the left is insanity) or have to figure out a car seat situation. European public transit to the rescue; however, to execute this plan we had to do the following the next day:
- Get on the DART (rhymes with BART but infinitely better) commuter train for 3 stops to Connolly Station (1 of 2 main train stations in Dublin)
- Switch the LUAS Red Line Street Car to Heuston Station (2 of 2 main train stations in Dublin)
- Take Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail basically pronounced “Here nor there N”) Intracity train to Mallow
- Transfer in Mallow to Intracity train to Tralee
- Switch to Bus Éireann (Irish Bus basically pronounced “Bus There N”) to Camp
Do this while carrying an infant and 3 very large suitcases! It is possible and in fact was not even that painful. If we learned anything, it is that travelling with an infant is more terrifying in your mind than in actuality.
Coming soon a recap of our 5 day hike across the Dingle Pennisula!