Ashley Muir Bruhn is a freelance writer, book editor, and co-founder of Hither & Thither, a lifestyle and travel blog where the “here” and “there” are equally represented: food, design, family, and a healthy dose of exploration. She and her husband currently share a Manhattan studio with their baby boy, but will be spreading out on the west coast this fall when they move to California. Select photos from their site are available in their shop, Hither And Thither.
Somehow, even for the briefest weekend trips, one finds herself packing what seems to be the entire contents of her home when traveling with a baby. The diapers, the goodnight book, the travel crib…it can seem daunting. But in the end, that’s not the memory that lasts. For me, travel always offers that possibility of renewal in the sense that it can make the old seem new again, can make me see something I might have otherwise overlooked with fresh, curious eyes.
Of course, it never hurts when I get to pack a few new things that might help me feel a bit more, well, transported. Along with the baby carrier, the wipes, and the bulky white noise machine, I would love to toss some of these (destination-appropriate) items into an overnight bag.
[Clockwise from top left: Soft Leather Ballet Flats by thewhiteribbon; Hand-painted silk ikat tee by xsilk; Architectural Structure Ring by osnatharnoy; Okinawa Bag in Black by valhallabrooklyn; Minimalist Baby tees by JessalinBeutler.]
For our trip to the city, I’d plan on a uniform of skinny jeans and comfy, soft leather flats. We would divide our time between art museums and park playgrounds; a beautiful cross-body bag would keep my hands free for trying out the latest food trucks. Pointing out the places we’d like to visit from atop a skyscraper would feel cooler with an architectural ring, and the baby could pick out a different shape tee to wear every day. I might splurge on an in-room babysitter so that I could get away with wearing silk for a night out (even if it were just for a cocktail in the lobby bar).
[Clockwise from top left: Waterproof Diaper Bag by ikabags; Hand-stenciled Deep Scoopneck in Heather by twostringjane; Nautical Baby Shoes with Sail by ShoesbySusie; Hampton Pink Bathing Suit by anibreslin; Soft Sole Slipper for Men by WassookeagMoccasins.]
On our jaunt to the shore, I’d be comfy in rolled up khakis and men’s moccasins, and I’d bring a loose sweatshirt to throw over my bathing suit when the sun dipped below the horizon. We’d get sandy, and smell of salt and sunscreen while napping in the shade — and then of melted butter while eating lobster from a roadside stand. A waterproof diaper bag and anchor-embellished baby shoes would add some nautical flavor without going overboard.
[Clockwise from top left: Ombre Red Chambray Shirt by rerunvintage; Constellation Necklace by oneeyeddog; Hand-woven Brown Blanket Straps by mexchic; Camper Satchel in Gray Waxed Canvas by sketchbook; Vintage Children’s Toggle Coat from CaptainCat.]
A weekend in the mountains would mean crisp mornings with stove-top coffee and cider donuts and clear skies for stargazing at night (after the baby has gone to bed). Some handmade leather blanket straps would be perfect for carrying a blanket in one hand, leaving the other free for toting a sack of marshmallows and chocolate bars. And, during the day, when the sun is out and the mercury has risen, we would tote provisions to a patch of grass where the baby would crawl about. (The sounds of sirens would be replaced by the siren song of all the dandelions he’d try to put in his mouth!)
[Clockwise from top left: Hand-dyed Sea Pink Cotton Scarf by DearJuneShop; Handmade Wenger Wood Sunglasses by TAKEMOTO; Hand Stitched Brown Leather Camera Strap by ArtemisLeatherware; Cross-body Workhorse Bag by missibaba; Hand Printed Geo Leggings by thiefandbanditkids.]
Growing up in Southern California, a weekend escape to the desert was a regular affair. I’d take the baby with us to a very cushy version of the desert: Palm Springs. There we could retreat from the mid-day sun over date shakes and fit in some naps on drives to look for cool mid-century homes. We’d eat Mexican take-out poolside and watch the landscape grow brighter as each day faded.
[Clockwise from top left: Rose and Black Pepper Thumbprint cookies by whimsyandspice; Walnut Toy Cars by BannorToys; Snack Pouch by downhomeamy; Magic Wand by ColetteBream; Felt Organizer Insert by samorga; Turkish Bath Towel from bathstyle.]
On any of these weekend trips, I’d pack the car with snacks (the Cheerios in a sweet pouch for the little one, and the special rose and black-pepper cookies hidden in my purse for me), a few new toys (cars to roll at stretch-breaks and a wand for making things disappear as we go rolling by), and I’d keep everything neatly organized with a very practical (but still pretty) bag insert. Then I’d cross my fingers, hope for a smooth ride, and look forward to singing along with the radio.