Today, Michael and I are thrilled to introduce you all to our dear friends, Samantha & Graham Terhune! The Terhunes are a talented pair of photographers living in Chapel Hill, NC with their 18 month old son, Perry, and their oh-so-sweet dog, Bolo. We’ve been lucky enough to call Samantha & Graham friends for years now and always look forward to spending time with them during their summer treks up to Maine and our trips down to North Carolina. Eating well and traveling together seem to have played a huge role in their relationship, and we admire that this hasn’t changed much with the addition of Perry. The three of them (and sometimes four with Bolo!) are always traveling to new places and it looks as though Perry has been on more planes than I have in the last year and a half.
We are delighted to be featuring some of the Terhune’s favorite travel finds and tips on traveling with children alongside their beautiful imagery. Thank you both for sharing your lovely work and travel philosophies with us!
M&M: What was the very first trip you took with Perry? How did he manage? How did the two of you do?
ST: Perry’s first trip was to Bald Head Island when he was one month old. It was such a great first adventure for our little family. My family rented a beautiful house and we were able to spend the week after Christmas with our entire family under one roof. I was nervous before the trip about being on an island in the event of a medical emergency and a bit apprehensive about the ferry ride to the island with Perry, but honestly, everything was perfect.
Perry’s first airplane adventure was a trip to Denver when he was six months old. The trickiest thing for us was taking into account all of the gear we would need and traveling in the most efficient way. We decided to bring our Ergo baby carrier and a stroller, and we rented a crib and a car seat. Perry was great on the airplane, all the flights were fairly short and he was still young enough to take long naps on each flight. I was nursing him at the time so we would do that during take-off and landing, and it really helped ease the altitude transitions. When we arrived, we hit the ground running. We used car drives and long walks for naps, and just adjusted our schedules as we needed. We had such a great time, but I think it helps that we have a pretty good sense of humor about things. Sometimes traveling with babies can feel hectic, but it is just the short season of our lives we are in. We try to embrace it, laugh and do the best we can!
M&M: Perry is only 18 months and has been on an airplane an impressive 14 times! Do you have any strategies or tips for flying with a baby or a toddler?
ST: A kind person once told me that when mama is relaxed baby is relaxed. I really tried to take that piece of advice to heart and stay as calm as possible on all of our flights. Graham and I try to always work as a team and help each other out. We try to have plenty of snacks and entertaining toys to pull out when we need. Our flight to San Francisco happened to be around Easter, and so we packed plenty of Easter Eggs with little toys inside. Perry loved taking them apart and putting them back together.
We always try and think about flying during nap time, but it isn’t always possible. We try and roll with the punches, keep him full and happy, and stay calm and relaxed.
M&M: We know that good food is incredibly important to both of you and one of the things we love about the way you all travel with Perry is that you’re not afraid to take him to some really great restaurants. Do you have any tips for parents who don’t want to sacrifice delicious meals while traveling with their little ones?
ST: We’ve found that Perry does the best during lunches. Therefore, we try to prioritize our lunch outings and eat at places that we want to really enjoy. We decided early on that we wanted Perry to learn to eat with us at a young age (because it is something important to us). We bring a couple of snacks for P, but we usually just feed him off our plates. Once the food arrives, he is entertained for a while. I think we understand that our meals may not last as long as they would if it were just the two of us, but we’ve been ok with that and look forward to putting him to bed and finishing our bottle of wine in the hotel room.
On our last trip, we discovered the beauty of the i-Phone baby monitor and we snuck away for a dinner date in our hotel one evening. The hotel was small and safe and therefore I felt fine about this arrangement Another resource we’ve used is local babysitters. In San Francisco, we had a connection with a babysitter and we met her over Skype before inviting her to come to our room and keep Perry for the evening while we went out to dinner.
M&M: Of the trips you’ve taken with Perry, do you have a favorite or most memorable?
ST: Certainly our most recent trip to California! We had the best four days together exploring Sonoma and San Francisco. It was a quick trip, but we feel that we made the most of our time. Perry never adjusted to West Coast time so it made for very early mornings, but they were some of our favorites. We watched the sunrise almost every day! But, thanks to the advice from so many (including M&M) we saw the most gorgeous places and ate at some fabulous restaurants. What we loved the most was watching Perry’s little personality as a traveler shine through. He seemed to always be up for the next adventure and his favorite experiences were the outdoor hikes. We tried to focus on the natural beauty of the area because we know that, while Perry won’t remember the exact details of these trips, we hope that the beauty he experiences is molding his view of the world and teaching him to be a confident explorer.
M&M: And what about the trips you’ve gone on with your sweet pup, Bolo?
ST: We love traveling with our whole family and that includes Bolo! We have taken Bolo on numerous beach trips, but our favorite trips with her are certainly our summer visits to Maine. While our family’s official motto is “no dogs on the boat” we declared that just for sail boats. We have taken Bolo out on our family boat, Gig, and she loved the wind in her face. The only thing we really worry about with Bolo in Maine are the porcupines!
M&M: How did you survive the long drive you made this past summer from North Carolina to Maine and back? Any road trip tips you’d like to share?
ST: We broke the trip up! On the way up we stopped in Connecticut to visit some dear friends for a few days and on the way home, we stopped at the Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania. This was thanks to a recommendation from Map & Menu. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. It is always sad for us to leave Maine, but we had another exciting place to look forward to. The hotel was warm, welcoming and situated in an adorable town. A memory I will never forget is my little family all sitting on the floor eating room service together. It was probably the most expensive room service we’ve ever eaten and it was worth it! I am not sure I have very good tips for traveling with a baby in the car other than ear plugs and patience.
M&M: Switching gears a bit – what are some of your favorite spots in the Triangle?
ST: We feel so lucky to call Chapel Hill home. We love so many things about living here and especially all of the delicious places to eat. A few of our favorites include … Neal’s Deli, Sandwhich, Lantern, 411 West, Pizzeria Toro, Mateo, Nana’s and so many more!
M&M: What does your family’s perfect day in Chapel Hill look like?
ST: Biscuits at Neal’s Deli for breakfast. A hike in the Piedmont Nature Trails and maybe a picnic lunch. Grocery shopping as a family. Taking Bolo for a walk around the UNC Frisbee golf course, giving Perry a bath and putting him to bed. Cooking a nice meal and opening a delicious bottle of wine and enjoying the evening together!
M&M: It seems as though you two have always loved to travel together. We’d love to hear about one of the more special trips you’ve taken as a couple.
ST: We will always remember our honeymoon to France. We had the best time exploring Southern France. We traveled for ten days and spend the first few relaxing at a beautiful hotel in Gargas, then we traveled down to the Cote d’Azur and visited Cassis and the Calangques. We spent the final portion of our honeymoon exploring Paris and ending with a meal we will never forget at La Tour d’Argent. Overall, we wouldn’t change a thing about our honeymoon. It was truly perfect. We are happy that we started in relax mode, which we needed after our wedding. It was fun to have Paris to look forward to and it was a great final stop on our trip.
M&M: Any bucket list trips on your radar, as a family or a couple?
ST: New Zealand. We know that it is an adventure we want to take one day with our family. In addition, Graham and I are looking forward to a trip to Greece next summer!
All photos taken by the talented duo behind Graham Terhune Photography – we’re so grateful to be able to share these stunning images on Map & Menu!