Since I was a toddler I was fortunate enough to visit family in Poland and Sweden each summer, and occasionally explore some place new along the way. Little did I know, this would turn into a crazy passion for travel. This year my husband couldn’t join me on our adventure, so little miss and I decided to explore on our own [with my mom and sister in law as support at a few stops along the way].
For tips on toddler travel check out my post Dear Mama (or Dad) Travelling with a Toddler, You Got This!
My summers in Poland were always spent at my grandparent’s farm. I played outdoors with farm animals and ate fruit off bushes in the garden. These were some of the BEST summers! Little Miss did just that during our time here and it was the highlight of my trip.
If you’re looking for tips on where to stay and what to do in Poland let me know and I can write a separate post, however this trip was just dirt roads and farm animals, and it was fantastic!
Sweden is another country I’ve visited a ton, which means I know exactly where to shop! We roamed the streets, ate good food and indulged in some retail therapy. Some of my fav Swedish brands are Livly, Polaryn O. Pyret, Mini Rodini and Gina Tricot.
On day 2 in Stockholm we boarded a Royal Caribbean cruise. I was a cruise virgin at this point. My intention was to see a few places without having to lug all my things around, since my husband wasn’t there to help with the heavy lifting #momwin
The show stopper in Helsinki was Winter World. An indoor winter wonderland with vodka in ice glasses and dog sledding? Sign me up! They also have all the winter gear you need to stay warm, however as a Canadian, the snowsuits were little excessive for -5 degrees Celsius!
St Petersburg, Russia
The Hermitage is a must see. It’s absolutely stunning, however the tour was a bit long for my little, so if you’re travelling with young children, I would recommend exploring on your own. Another highlight was Peterhof Gardens. The grounds are beautiful, and if you’re there early enough you’ll catch the opening of the fountains, which was pretty impressive. My little girl found a pack of ducklings, so instead we spent most of our time here following them around. Balance, right?
Estonia is the perfect city to get lost in, but honestly, we didn’t have our best of days here. The cobble stone roads are like none I’ve ever seen before and pushing an umbrella stroller was next to impossible. Little miss couldn’t nap in her stroller due to road conditions (HA!), which left her rather uninterested in the sites we set out to see. We made the best of it, but there is definitely a good portion of the city we left unexplored.
I fell in love with Riga’s charm, and patio lined streets, which overflowed with flowers! We explored, shopped, and ended up in the park for a picnic. Mother nature cut our picnic short, when got hit with a summer storm that proved umbrellas and rain coats to be useless – we were left DRENCHED. I love me a good summer storm, so I wasn’t complaining. The sound of the rain put little miss right to sleep and we spent the rest of the day exploring in the downpour.
Overall cruising was nice and relaxing. Like I expected, it’s an easy way to see many places at once. My only criticism is that one of my favourite things about travel is getting lost in the culture and being on my own schedule, which usually means no schedule at all. Cruising is more scheduled and only gave me a small taste of each place, leaving me wanting to come back to explore more; but perhaps it’s my itchy feet that are to blame for this, not cruising!