Baldwin Family

Baldwin Travel Adventures

Baldwin Family

Our traveling band includes Todd, Marcia, Maggie, Tommy, Billy and Sean. We left the zoo at home with our current super-nanny, Chloe.

Our profile pic was taken at Todd's surprise birthday party by photographer and family friend Jim Coates, who also recommended this site for our blog - thank you, Jim!

Europe » France » Île-de-France June 26th 2019

As this was a travel day for us, and we were only operating on 4 hours of sleep, not much sightseeing to report on this time. But, we did accumulate some random thoughts about Paris that we wanted to record and share: This is one of the cleanest cities we've ever seen. Rarely, if ever, did we see trash lying about, despite the millions of tourists passing through. It was very impressive. We could not believe how many people smoked. Everywhere we went, people smoked. The foyer to our apartment building reeked of it. It's sad to see such a sophisticated culture and people in so many ways still addicted to such a horrible habit. Most of the French people we encountered were quite nice, not condescending at all, and happy to help us in English ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France June 25th 2019

Our last day in Paris! We split up for the first time, with Todd, Maggie and Sean getting up and out early to head to see San Chapelle, an ancient church with gorgeous stained glass. Marcia, Tommy and Billy met up with them at Shakespeare & Company, the quaint, fairy-talesque book store that Maggie had discovered on her student trip to Paris a couple of years ago. It sits almost directly across the river from Notre Dame, which unfortunately we could not get too close to as they have closed off most of the area after the fire in April. We strolled around the left bank, souvenir shopping and with Billy looking for enormous fish in the Siene, which we later learned were Wels Catfish. We meandered through many shops and picturesque Paris cobblestone streets, finally ... read more
Notre Dame
Father & Sons

Europe » France » Île-de-France June 24th 2019

After two days of hoofing it for many, many hours, we opted to take a double decker bus tour of the city so we could get a feel for the different sites and neighborhoods without exhausting ourselves in the heat. Almost everyone we met commented on the unusual heat wave timed perfectly with our stay. Lovely. The bus tour was fun, and we hopped off spontaneously at the Paris Opera House - a grandiose building definitely suited for kings and princesses, including Todd and Maggie! It was fun to imagine high society and royalty dressed in their finest garb roaming the grand staircases, marble foyers and gilded ballroom. We were surprised by how small the actual theatre seating area was, but every part of the opera house was so luxurious what it lacked in size it ... read more
Maggie's Balcony
Magic Bubbles Ride
Mona Lisa

Europe » France June 23rd 2019

Despite our late night, we were up and out early to meet our guide for our journey to Versailles. After considering a potential metro path, we opted to use another Uber van as time was tight. We arrived just in time to meet our group, gathering at a quaint souvenir shop in the heart of town. We then trekked to a train station that was about 4 stops from where we had originated! But the train ride was fun and soon enough we were disembarking in the town of Versailles, turned a corner, and viewed the awe-inspiring behemoth of a home for Louis XIV, with its gilded golden gates, ornate everything, and famed Hall of Mirrors. After spending almost 45 minutes in the first room alone, Todd graciously agreed to amble through the rest of the ... read more
St Germaine Chateau.
St Germaine Overlook
Train to Versailles

Europe » France » Île-de-France June 22nd 2019

Keeping true to our traveling tradition, Todd rose first and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast sitting at a Parisian cafe people watching over his coffee and croissant. The rest of us, rested and refreshed, appreciated the delicious French breakfast baked goods he brought back to the hotel before packing up and heading to the train station, carting our 5 large bags. If there is one thing we have not yet mastered it is the art of packing light! The train station was not a far hike, and after some help from Maggie to decipher some key phrases, Todd was able to locate the right ticket machines and begin the transaction to get our first metro tickets to take us to our Air BnB apartment near the Arc de Triumph. They received a highly suspect offer of help ... read more
Sacre Ceour
First Glimpse of Eiffel Tower
Marcia & Todd at Eiffel Tower

North America » United States » Virginia » Arlington June 21st 2019

What better way to celebrate a high school graduation than to get on a trans-Atlantic flight the next day? That's what we were thinking when we booked our first family trip to Europe with a departure the day after Maggie's high school graduation. Let the record show, that a buffer day probably would have been a good idea. Especially since it turned out Todd was in court until 2:00pm the day of graduation, Maggie was out until about 12:30am that night, and we had so many friends and family visiting Wednesday evening that no one was really interested in (or available to!) packing prior to our actual departure day! But, we made it to DCA airport on schedule, only to be able to spend some quality bonus time with my brother, Brian, who ended up literally ... read more
Todd - 1st crepe
Sean 1st crepe
Marcia 1st crepe

North America » United States » Virginia » Arlington August 15th 2013

We're home, safe and sound, our grand adventure coming to an end. The house is still standing, the pets all still alive and the grass in dire need of a mowing. We're all conflicted about being here - not wanting the vacation of our lives (so far!) to come to an end, but all feeling the tugs of home calling. As Todd and I reflect on our last 28 days, we conclude the following: We did it. We lived with our kids in a confined space 24/7 for 28 days, and loved it. We were delighted by the impeachable weather we enjoyed - not having to modify plans once. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of rainbows we encountered in our travels (last count being 4 or 5). We accomplished Todd's ambitious itinerary, ... read more

North America » United States » Indiana » South Bend August 14th 2013

We crossed the Mississippi river today - our arbitrary marker for delineating the eastern US from the western US. It just feels different, almost instantly - more cars, more people, more buildings, more...everything. Goodbye wide open spaces. Goodbye starry skies. Goodbye quiet nights, campfires, mountain overlooks and wildlife. We are almost home. Uncle Brian showed off his parenting skills by having all the kids up, dressed and fed and our load of laundry (due to an unexpected shampoo spill in our overnight bag) folded by the time we arrived at 7:10 am. After saying our farewells, we took off for Chicago's Wrigley Field, racing the clock to make a 1:20 pm game (not 2:00 as we originally thought). We almost made it, but of course got waylaid once we arrived in decking everyone out in Cubs ... read more
The Fields of all Fields
Finally - the Baldwin Kids at Wrigley
The Last Manual Scoreboard

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines August 13th 2013

Corn fields and windmills filled our windows today as we drove across Nebraska and Iowa with stops to visit friendly faces in both states. We first landed in Lincoln, NE, to visit with Deborah, Michael and Adelyn Fuggit. Deborah was our nanny for two years when the kids were 4 and 6, roughly. She's now married to Michael, and their daughter, Adelyn, is 16 months old. We had a delicious buffet lunch, made merry by the gurgling giggles of a precocious and precious toddler who was both entertaining to and entertained by all four of our kids. It was fabulous to catch up and hear about their current life, as well as compare heights to see if Deborah or Maggie are taller (she still has about a 1/4 inch on our daughter, but Maggie will most ... read more
Deborah & Adelyn
Deborah & Michael
Visiting at Valentino's

North America » United States » Nebraska » North Platte August 12th 2013

Parting is such sweet sorrow when you are bidding farewell to a new, albeit temporary, member of the family! We returned our RV on time and in one piece, and when we had finally pulled everything out of it, we stood bewildered for a few moments at how we had managed to bring the mountain of stuff packed beside our minivan out here in the first place. But Todd is a man of many talents, including squeezing every available inch of space out of a vehicle. We managed to get just about everything back in the van, and only had to drop off one box at UPS to be shipped back. Worth every cent, as it meant the difference between the kids have a small carved out space for their legs vs. sitting criss-crossed for four ... read more

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