Monday, September 23, 2013

vacation: part 5 (traveling with my toddler)

over the ocean and ready for some breakfast and a nap.

i feel like i learned a lot about traveling with a toddler from this past trip.  we've obviously traveled with avery before, but i think that every time is different as she gets older.  some things gets easier, some things get harder, but it's always been worth it.  our past travels have included a 6 hour road trip when she was 6 months old to telluride, a 4 hour plane ride to visit family when she was 10 months old, another 4 hour plane ride to visit family when she was 18 months old, and this trip which was a 2.5 hour plane ride for a beach vacation.  

some things i want to remember before our next trip (which will be with two kiddos!). 

she just broke out of a hole that charlie had buried her in.  

1.  pack light
the three of us shared a suitcase, charlie and i each had one backpack as a carryon, and we brought (and checked) avery's carseat.  sharing the suitcase was really amazing and i would definitely attempt to do that again on future trips.  i was pretty impressed that we packed all of our stuff for 7 days and 7 nights into one suitcase.  it also helped that we were going to the beach a lot which meant that most of the time we were wearing bathing suits and therefore could wear our clothes more than once since we only put them on for breakfast or dinner.  i was a little nervous about checking avery's carseat because i didn't want it to get lost or damaged, but the airline gave us a bag to put it in and we were lucky that it appeared with our checked baggage after each flight.  we also 'rented' a portable crib from the hotel which eliminated the need to bring a pack n play for avery to sleep in.  that would have been a huge pain to lug through the airport.  

after a very long day at sea world.  we picked out this furry friend for her while she was sleeping.

2.  bring an umbrella stroller
we almost brought the bob.  we really love that stroller.  i seriously can't sing its praises enough and we did travel with it during our last trip to maryland.  it was totally worth bringing it that trip as we took it to the beach and did a lot of walking.  this time, i didn't feel like dealing with how big it is (the one downside) and opted for our umbrella stroller.  this was so much easier during the zoo and sea world trips and getting the stroller in and out of the car each time.  this trip made me wish that i had invested in a slightly nicer umbrella stroller, essentially one that actually has a working canopy to provide shade.  but ours worked just fine.  

we stopped to smell these roses a lot!  they replaced them three times during the week we were there.

3.  buy don't bring
we bought diapers, wipes, and snacks for avery and us once we arrived.  last time i tried to bring a lot of stuff on the flight and it just took a huge amount of space in my carryon.  stupid.  

avery learned to appreciate the view.

4.  bring one pair of good walking shoes
i actually brought two pairs of shoes for avery, a pair of toms and a pair from stride rite.  the toms are adorable, but do not stay on her feet.  not worth it.  the stride rites are where its at.  i only brought flip flops for myself.  can't say i regret that but i'm probably going to need a new pair or rainbows for next season. 

i could watch her play on the beach all day.

5.  get someone to take care of your house
all of that flooding that made colorado newsworthy definitely happened during our week away and was not predicted.  we have an amazing petsitter who not only does a great job with the pets but checks our house pretty carefully each time she visits.  in the past we've boarded the dogs and if we went this route in the future i would still make sure there was someone with a key to our house who was willing to stop by and make sure everything was okay.

ice cream for dinner.

6.  be flexible
ice cream for dinner. take out instead of sit down.  taking a car ride up the coast to get avery to take a nap.  kids cry, toddlers throw tantrums and sometimes there's not much you can do about it.  and does it really matter in the end?    

one of my favorite nights.  we had a great dinner where avery ate well and sat down for most of the meal and then she and charlie danced to the live music for a bit while the sun set.

7.  don't stay somewhere fancy
seriously, i don't know what we were thinking when it came to picking a hotel.  we knew that beachfront was a priority but there were a few options that may have actually left us with some onsite dining options that weren't too fancy for my 'can't sit through a meal' 20 month old.  also, charlie and i are not really into fancy places ourselves.  the ritz is not where its at.  at least not for us.  they did have an amazing bar/lounge area that we took advantage of.  and avery loved the $4,000 elephants that were 'art'.


8.  enjoy it
go see the sunset.  eat ice cream.  catch up on sleep when you get back home and enjoy the time while you have it.  i think charlie and i did a pretty good job of this even though it was hard at times.  sometimes you just have to look at each other and laugh because there's not much else you can do.  and i must admit after avery's trip to the ER we asked ourselves if we all wouldn't be happier if we just went home.  i'm glad we didn't.  we had a great last day just playing and hanging out at the beach as a family and we would have missed all of that if we packed up the day before.     

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