We are just coming home from two back to back family vacations.
And they couldn't have been more different.
First, we spent Memorial Day weekend in New York. Last time we went to the city was before baby. It was magic. We ate 4-5 times a day, saw museums, stayed out really late just walking the streets and getting swept up in the magic of the beehive.
This time, was not the same.
And I knew it wouldn't be. I thought I'd mentally prepared myself for what was ahead of us, but there was really no way to know what would unfurl. The flight out was stressful and Sam was screamy. Cab rides were hot and sweaty and, again, screamy because Sam wanted to explore the freedom of being in a car without a car seat. Our son who up to that point had been an angel in restaurants decided that he was physically incapable of waiting for his dinner to be served and freaked out. We experienced the "joy" that is using a stroller on the subway (torture) and we were in the hotel room every night by 9 in order to preserve our sanity.
That being said, it was still a pretty wonderful trip. The mornings spent on a playground, at the central park zoo and the cake and cheesecake in bed were heavenly. The long, lazy naps we took while the baby slept were indulgent. The upgraded hotel room spoiled us rotten. Seeing my brother and meeting his fiance were a total treat.
The second trip was a family reunion to Orlando...to do Disney. And it was fabulous. We all rented a huge house 15 minutes from the parks and every morning I got to cook a big breakfast for the people I love most in the whole world. And there as a pool that we all swam in every day. Sam got to play with his cousins. Meals were easy because everyone at Disney expects loud kiddos who want meals to last about 45 minutes...max. The weather was HOT, but we sent all the kids home for naps mid-day so they weren't crabby and tired at all. And at the end of the trip we went to the new Harry Potter world at Universal which was this nerdy girl's dream come true.
Things I learned for traveling with kids:
1) staying somewhere with a kitchen is a must. I may never stay in a hotel again. Being able to cook breakfast was not only a total pleasure, but a necessity for hungry kiddos
2) my baby doesn't really need anything more than a playground, some open space to wander and a pool (if possible). Any more stimulation just makes him nuts and stresses us all out