Lost Family of the Week: The Rennhacks

Family & Kid Travel, Lost Girls, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Peru — By on August 30, 2006 at 5:46 pm

As style-savvy media chicks living in the city that gave rise to Project Runway and Daily Candy and Carrie Bradshaw, Jen, Holly and have I spent far more of our 20s contemplating the proper way to layer fall fashions (without looking bulky) and sprinting between post-work launch parties (without snapping a stiletto) than we ever did the topics of matrimony and motherhood. Okay, maybe we were the tiniest bit seduced by the Tacori wedding rings and Vera Wang gowns splashed across the pages of InStyle, but once we’d managed to cram a years worth of outfits inside of an interior frame backpack, our top priority became getting the RTW journey started-not settling down.

Traveling, however, has a funny way of flinging some unexpected lessons at you, and one of our first major curveballs came in the form of The Rennhack Family.

We met Leah, Rick and their four ferociously adorable kids at Ceiba Tops Resort midway through our stay in the Amazon. Even before we officially made introductions, I had noticed this tight knit group, with their Texas twangs and smiles so infectious that I felt happier just hanging out in the hammock next to them. Peeking out from my resting spot, I watched as the kids playfully teased and chased each other while the parents gestured animatedly about the oversized wildlife they’d spotted that day, occasionally pausing to jump in on their kids’ fun. Even from my slightly awkward vantage point, it was clear that this towheaded group had a pretty great thing going-they actually seemed to like hanging out with one other-and Leah and Rick hadn’t stopped traveling to exotic spots just because they’d brought four inquisitive bundles of energy into the world.

As fellow Southerners, it didn’t take long for the Leah and me to say hello, start gabbing and quickly get the scoop on each others lives. I was flattered when Leah not only told me how much she admired Jen, Holly and me for taking such an unexpected adventure, but shared The Lost Girls route and upcoming plans with her whole family. Rather than looking bored or indifferent, all four Rennhack kids seemed instantly fascinated by our upcoming plans and began firing questions in our direction.

“How many countries are you going to?”

“Will you see kangaroos when you get to Australia?”

“If you really go for a whole year, won’t your Mom and Dad miss you?”

From that point on, every time we saw them, they would shout, “There goes The Lost Girls!” and run to join us for a monkey-petting excursion or to play cards on the huge riverboat, The Amazon Queen. While it was so much getting to know all of them, I have a big soft spot for nine-year-old Annie, who shared her opinions on the outfits worn by celebrities in an old copy of People Magazine (“Jennifer Anniston has a nice shape, don’t you think?”) gave me a huge, unexpected hug when I bought her Oreos on the last day of the trip.

We tried to plan one final ice cream outing with the Rennhacks on our way out of the jungle city of Iquitos, but somehow, we just missed their group by just a few minutes. A double scoop of chocolate chip, it seemed, was not in the cards.

As we sat in the scoop shop, savoring the first really cold, sweet treat we’d had in a week, Jen broke the subdued silence by admitting that hanging out with the Rennhacks had done a lot to change her perspective on becoming a Mom.

“I don’t know guys, after this trip, I might actually be ready…”

Ready? The unfinished thought hung in the air, and after a few beats, Holly and I nodded, acknowledging that we might be ready, too. Parenthood, after all, didn’t have to bring a crashing halt to outrageous adventures and wild times abroad.

From what we’d just witnessed, with the right attitude, liberal parenting skills and a little bit of luck, a Lost Girl can always keep the global party going-even after she’s become a Lost Mom.

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  • wawa8223 says:

    Lost Girls???
    …Pretty gutsy!
    Parenthood, huh? That’s one heck of an epiphany. It’s life changing…but it’s worth the ride!

  • Mick Gordon says:

    Looks like a blast, if your kids have the right mindset a family holiday like that would be amazing, I guess that kind of attitude is great.

  • Airhead says:

    Ladies, I’m SO glad that you’re doing well and that you’ve come to that realization! I’m not a parent yet (like there’s been time), but I’ve seen families with young kids in some of the coolest places I’ve been. I also have a friend who travels with her husband and 1-year-old daughter . . . I think my favorite was when they went to Dublin for St. Patty’s Day and took the baby 🙂 Anyway, good luck, and keep writing!