Five funniest family travel moments

The human pretzel-napper, a.k.a., Little R.

The human pretzel-napper, a.k.a., Little R.

Spend enough time traveling with youngsters and (in between those inevitable meltdowns) you’re bound to accumulate a handful of hilarious anecdotes. I scored a new No. 1 with Little R this week. It involved an F-bomb. That she uttered. In a crowded locker room.

We were on a daytrip here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The baby—who has become quite a water kid—wanted to go swimming, so I obliged her by tracking down a family-friendly gym with a pool we could use for a few hours one day. We showed up at the gym and she was super-excited to get in the water. As I led her into the men’s locker room, she decided to blurt out a new word.

“Fuck!” she yelled out in her 2-year-old voice. A bunch of (half-naked) men turned around. Then she yelled it again.

By the third time—the only time she yelled, “Fuck me!”—most of the guys were razzing me about the things kids learn these days, etc. Sure, I was mortified. But considering that she almost certainly picked up that language from me (after all, people, I *am* a transplanted New Yorker living and driving in California), all I could do was laugh (on the inside; thankfully I did not reinforce her comment positively by letting her see me laugh about it).

The incident got me thinking about some of the other incidents on my funniest family travel list.

No. 2 would have to be back in London this fall. The girls and I were on the 187 bus coming back from St. John’s Wood, and the two of them had just pigged out on their favorite frozen yogurt. They were happy. They were hyper. And they were in the mood to sing.

Simultaneously, the sisters broke out into a rollicking version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” They belted it at the top of their lungs. And when they were done, all of the passengers applauded.

No. 3: The time L found a stash of “Gold Squares” (that’s my oh-no-gotta-think-of-something-quick nickname for foil-wrapped condoms) in my bag and used them to build a fort for a plastic dinosaur—at the dinner table in a hotel restaurant. (Pretty sure I don’t need to elaborate on this one.)

No. 4 takes us back to Maui, during the summer of 2012. We had gotten up early and left our hotel in Kaanapali to drive the Hana Highway. By the time we checked into our room at Travaasa Hana, the kids were zonked. L face-planted on her bed and passed out instantaneously. R, on the other hand, fought the nap valiantly for about 35 minutes.

Powerwoman and I listened to the entire episode from the lanai. Finally, when we heard silence, we went into the room to see what was up. We found the baby hunched over her own legs like a pretzel, fast asleep (see the image above). She slept like that for nearly 90 minutes.

It’s tough to settle on a fifth-funniest item for my list. Maybe it’s the time the Big Girl started talking to Bruce Willis (yes, THAT Bruce Willis) about flowers while in an elevator. Or the time she escaped the changing table at the California Academy of Sciences and went running around an aquarium naked. Whichever anecdote we decide to put in the No. 5 slot, one thing is certain: With our girls, we’ll never be wanting for new material.

What are some of your funniest family travel moments of all time?

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