As we head into summer, I know many families, including our own, are planning vacations. We'll be heading down to NYC in August with the kids, I'm so (so!) very excited about this trip, I've never been before! I want to go for a picnic to Central Park, I want to take the subway, I want to go up to the top of the Empire State building... there's a lot I want to do! Obviously, I haven't started packing yet, but there's one thing I know I'll be packing, my Manduca (currently, my favourite carrier for Grace). One of the many (many!) benefits of babywearing is the portability it affords parents, and the inclusion it offers babies. As handy as these benefits are in day-to-day life, they are even more appreciated when families are on vacation.
Despite having four children, we have still managed to travel here and there over the past few years, relying on an assortment of carriers to tote our little ones around with us. From the cobblestone streets of old Quebec City, to the escalators of Las Vegas, to the steep walk down to Hanauma Bay in Hawaii (free travel advice: pay the $2.00 to take the bus back up, it will be the best $2.00 you ever spend!), our baby carriers have proven invaluable, ensuring our kids enjoyed the sights as much as we did.
At the start of our vacations, we have appreciated the hands-free aspect of babywearing, sporting a little one on my back ensured my hands were free to hold our other childrens' hands, or to give my husband a helping hand with our luggage (OK, so maybe I mostly just held the other kids' hands, but still, that's equally as important!). We also avoided the hassle of packing an oversized piece of equipment that's proves cumbersome when using public tranpsortation.
Once we were actually on vacation, our little ones were guaranteed a great view, their perch in a baby carrier offering them a bird's eye view of what's going on. Because of the portability of babywearing, we were able to do a lot more with our babies in carriers than if they had been in strollers -from the top of Mont Tremblant to the belly of a Tall Ship in Halifax Harbour, our kids have been a part of everything we do on vacation (except bike-riding, that goes without saying!).
Over the years, I have amassed many pictures of the kids in various carriers, the pictures taken on our vacations are especially dear because of the memories they evoke. Even though the kids likely won't remember their time in a carrier, babywearing will be something I look back on with fondness.
In the course of chatting with our customers, I know many of you have worn your babies all over the world -- in recent months, I've heard about your trips to France, New Zealand, Hawaii, and more. E-mail me a 'babywearing on vacation' picture, let me know where you went, and what you did with your baby in a carrier, it will be posted to our Facebook group for everyone to enjoy. The picture that gets the most 'likes' (comments don't count, but they're always welcome!) will win a gift certificate for the retail value of the pictured carrier, and one lucky 'liker' of the winning picture will win the same carrier. As a result, only pictures showing carriers currently sold (but not necessarily purchased) at The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe (that's me!) can be posted, we can't give away what we don't sell! So if the winning picture features someone wearing a Sleepy Wrap, that person will receive a $50.00 gift certificate, and one of the 'likers' (chosen randomly) of the winning picture will win an actual Sleepy Wrap. Get it? Got it? Good!
Pictures can be submitted until June 26th, 2010, winners will be posted to this blog on July 3rd at 9pm sharp!
ETA: Okay, since you're all sending me such lovely pics that show carriers I can't give away, I'm going to add a twist to the giveaway -- I will gladly post pics that feature carriers that can't be purchased (or given away) at The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe (that's me!). These pics will be clearly labelled, the pic in this category with the most 'likes' gets a $25.00 gift certificate. Get it? Got it? Good!