It’s official, Bash is going to have a little brother and I only make boys! After Dec 2 (or some time around there😉) I will be sharing about traveling with 2 little boys! We are ready for the challenge and feel so fortunate to be blessed with our rainbow baby so soon. Say hello to Fitzwilliam!
First, I have to say flying out of Indy Airport (IND) was the best airport experience I’ve had with or without a baby. Orlando (MCO) is always a total sh*t show, so Indy airport was a nice way to start the trip off. They have a great kids play area in the terminals, great dining options, super clean, not crowded even during high travel season.
When we got to Orlando we picked up the Chrysler Pacifica (loved it, want to buy it😍) we rented and went to the hotel. We checked in, then headed to Disney Springs for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We love it there. We go even when we don’t go to Disney, so this wasn’t new to Bash and he did remember the awesome Disney toy shops. WARNING you will not be able to leave without buying something. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible. We came back here the last night of our Disney stay and ate at Morimoto. I would get reservations for this restaurant at Disney Springs as it’s delicious and a very popular choice for Iron Chef fans (like myself).
The next day we drove to our character breakfast at Grand Floridian. The breakfast quality is definitely not what it used to be, but Bash enjoyed some of the characters. It might just be our 22 month old, but he did not care for the characters that are still “people”. I’m talking about Mary Poppins, Alice, the princesses. He literally told them no not when they said I’m so and so! He realized their faces were not like the actual movie characters😂 After our breakfast we went to Epcot and toured the world. If you have a little world traveler they may recognize some of the different country markers, like the Eiffel Tower. Bash loves Little Einsteins, so he even recognized the Great Torii and was very excited. We however did not find any Tokyo bananas in the Japanese market:( After we were going to ride the ferry over to Hollywood Studios to see some Star Wars stuff, but rain was coming at 4. We just went back to our hotel to chill for a bit while it rained. Then, we ended the night with the spectacular new fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. Almost Everyone clears out after the fireworks. It is an awesome time to stay!! It’s cooler and almost no lines! We were able to get Bash on the teacups and Dumbo before he fell asleep. We waited less than 5 minutes to ride them. Then while Bash was sleeping we walked around the castle, through it with the beautiful mosaics lit up at night and checked out some shops until close.
The next morning we went back to Epcot to start the day. We went straight to the picture spot for Mickey, Goofy and Minnie because there is no wait first thing in the morning (usually). Then, we grabbed a Starbucks and hopped on the monorail to MK to ride some of the rides Sebastian would love. It’s a Small World was his favorit! He was in pure awe and it was super hot and super humid so the mostly air conditioned wait and entirely air conditioned ride was refreshing. Bash slept for a bit, so we watched a street performance and started lunch without him. After he woke up we finished eating and then watched the parade. The afternoon rain was back so we went back to shower and get ready to meet my family from Florida for dinner at Morimoto. We spent the rest of the night in Disney Springs. Bash danced with one of the kids dance entertainers, he fell asleep and we did our final shopping. The next day was the start of Disney Pride which gets a little crazy we decided we weren’t going to do another day at the parks and head to the beach early.
We hit the road in the AM, stopped to meet one of my hubby’s old professors for lunch, and then on to Saint Augustine where we spent the rest of our trip:)
The beach, splash pad, dolphin watching, old town and Salt Water Cowboys were the kind of relaxing we needed after a couple hot days at Disney. Especially, being pregnant!
So, I haven’t posted on St. Augie yet despite our many trips because, well, it was always our little secret. The European City right here in the US my family has gone to since before I was born, but the cats finally out of the bag. The last few years the city has changed a lot and the crowds are bigger, but it’s still a fantastic vacation spot with something for everyone.
We are big history buffs. I like the beach for a day or two, but that’s all the relaxation my brain needs. Many beach vacation spots in Florida don’t have much to offer beyond the boardwalk. This is not the case in Saint Augustine. Ponce de Leon landed here in search of the fountain of youth, and with him came the Castillo de San Marcos, Spanish architecture and the charm that makes the city so wonderful. Henry Flagler saw the wonder here too and made it a popular vacation spot in the 1880s and beyond. His beautiful hotels are now part of the Flagler College campus and open for tours. When the littles need to release some energy take them to Swing Park. The park has two sections, one for little kids and one for bigger kids. It also has a great covered area with tables and benches, a nice place to stop and nurse out of the sun.
If you are more into the beaches and nature, you won’t be disappointed either. The beaches have nice white soft sand and good shells can be found by the early bird. Anastasia state park is beautiful, has some secluded beach areas and a light house you can tour. The St. John’s farmers market is held in a lovely park with beach access. Grab some local treats and have a brunch right out on the beach. About an hours drive south in the winter months and you can see manatees up close where they stay in the warmer water until spring comes.
The kids will have plenty to keep them occupied on rainy or non-beach days. The Ripley’s believe it or not museum has sites of wonder for all ages. The Alligator Farm seems to have more birds than alligators now, but it’s definitely worth visiting. They also have a zip line for older kids and adults. We have not done it, both of us don’t handle heights well. The pirate museum and wax museum are also a good choice for families.
We will hopefully be heading back down there before the springbreakers because we really can’t get enough of this Colonial Spanish city just a 2 HR flight from Chicago.
We’ve been crazy busy here the past 30 days. We got back from Paris to immediately fly to Florida because my grandfather passed away after Christmas. We stayed a little longer to help my grandma settle into her new life. They were married for 56 years, and she has never lived alone:(
Anyway, I wanted to at least post something about our trip, and I thought I would share our new stroller that made Paris soooooo much easier! The new Babyjogger City Tour.
So Paris is narrow and small. Yes, I know it’s a “big” city, but for strollers it is small. The restaurants, cafes, doorways, walkways, crowds, it’s all narrow and small. This stroller has a tiny footprint. It’s also light weight, easy to fold and compact which is important for the train and all of the stairs in the city. Just because there is an elevator doesn’t mean there aren’t still stairs for you to tackle. This stroller makes that navigation a lot easier. It has a good recline (6 months +) and our son napped for hours in if. Also, the basket is pretty big for a compact stroller:)
I will say it’s the hardest of all of my strollers to push, but this is because of the narrow frame. It’s worth the extra effort (which really isn’t bad, I could one hand push still) for the narrow frame and small footprint.
The rain cover was also the worst of all my strollers. It took my son just barely nudging it to pop the bottom open. It didn’t let a lot of rain in, but it would be better if it attached better on bottom.
The backpack feature is cool, but hubby mostly just carried it by side for a quick up or down. Was nice for the gate check, though. Also, good for the train bc we just held our son until we got back outside the station.
The price is awesome in comparison to other compacts, but if this was my first travel stroller purchase I might opt for the new babyzen yo yo+ despite the much higher price. The City Tour is 6 months+ and the new Yo yo+ is newborn friendly with reversible seat and a bassinet option even<3 However, my babyjogger Vue lite would have been ok in Paris and has a bassinet insert, reversible seat and much lower price tag. But that Yo yo+ has me gaga, and I saw it everywhere in Paris. Definitely worth also checking out!
Buon Viaggio Amici!!
Hello mommies and daddies! We just got back from a trip to Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, and let me tell you, it was fantastic! There is so much to see and do for both little humans and big humans.
If you are looking for a vacation other than your typical beach vacation, I highly recommend Seattle. There is plenty to do in the city and around it.
We stayed in the city, at the Hampton inn and suites. This location was ideal for us as it was close to some of the main attractions, like the Space Needle (which we had a view of from our balcony!), and offered a king bed apartment including a full kitchen, pack n play and high chair. There is also laundry facilities, which is always helpful with a bambino on board. Service was fantastic, breakfast typical and location spot on all for a reasonable price (parking is extra but also reasonable for a city).
As for what to do around the city the options are endless and there is really something for every taste and interest. We did almost everything with our little (8 months old), but did spend one evening out on our own.
Our top spots during a 4 day visit:
The Space Needle (save this for the nicest forecast on your trip!) Grab a table and some snacks and enjoy the view.
The Pioneer Square neighborhood, get lunch at a food truck (many to choose from on week days), grab sandwiches to go from Salumi (Mario Batali’s dad’s place) for dinner later, check out the fun shops, play giant chess or ping pong or go on the underground tour! We didn’t do this because we brought our stroller and heard it’s not really baby friendly, but if we didn’t have baby we totally would have!
Day Trip to the mountains and Pacific. We did the Twilight Forks and La Push drive. Forks wasn’t as cool as I hope, but the drive was gorgeous. The beach was amazing. A true highlight!
My mom came with us on this trip, so we were able to sneak away for a date night. Seattle has a pretty big burlesque scene, and we are always up for a new experience. We originally wanted to go to the pink door, but they were booked. We ended up at the Can Can seeing their French Kiss show. While it is more than just “dancing” it wasn’t fully stripping (I’ve never been to strip a club, but other sources confirmed) and it was very funny. Food was just ok, but I wasn’t expecting amazing. If it’s your birthday, beware!
Boon is just a great baby company, BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free. We love all of their utensils and especially their rubber duckies! But the Squirt and Pulp utensils, in particular, are perfect for travel!
Now as much as I love these Boon products I’m about to share with you, the true reason we have such success eating is because of our very willing little eater. We are foodies. We travel mostly with our stomachs, not hearts (except for you Roma😉). Our little man is being raise the same way.
We started solids at 4 months, with the basics apples, bananas, avocados, but the moment the doctor gave us the OK, he was eating exactly what we eat. He eats American classics like chili (I don’t hold anything back in making it, except it’s not super spicy), corn bread, meat loaf, green bean casserole, Mac n cheese, you name it, he’s had it! But we also give him all the other cultural food we love. He eats Indian favorites like chicken tikka masal and mango lassi. He eats pasta with all different sauces, ravioli with any filling. He eats food from the sea, his favorites being lobster and crab (go figure, the more expensive and harder to prepare stuff!). Mediterranean/middle eastern favorites like lentil soup and hummus are an easy go to because I just spoon them as they are right from the bowl. This may not be for everyone, but it has made our life easier and we feel it is doing him a great service.
Children are not born picky eaters. I’m not saying we aren’t born with any preferences, but we are definitely not born programmed to only like foods like chicken nuggets and pasta with just butter. This kind of food preference will make world travel much more difficult. I’m not even going to sugar coat it. This kind of children’s menu style pickiness is not well tolerated outside the US, at least not the places we go. Most restaurants in other countries don’t offer a children’s menu, nor is it likely they will be very kind to a picky eater tantrum. Food and its preparation is more highly regarded in basically everywhere else I have been.
That said, it doesn’t mean I think you should never travel with your picky eater. Quite the opposite, you should definitely expose them to other foods. Maybe a different environment will inspire some openess to trying different things. I just want to warn you that you won’t go into an Italian trattoria and find chicken nuggets or a grilled cheese made with American cheese on a children’s menu, but I will say Italy is by far one of the most accommodating countries you can visit with your baby! They also have plenty of McDonalds in the bigger cities if you are desparate😂 If you staying in the US you will have no problems finding accommodating food, but I would still suggest trying to introduce local favorites. Trying and Eating new foods should be fun, and what better way to start making it fun than in a fun place!
Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder, this is how we manage to give him just about anything and not worry about him choking on it. It also seems to be helping him learn to chew which is really cool.
Boon Squirt Silicone Baby Food Dispensing Spoon, no need for bowls, which are hard to deal with on the go and hard to pack. Only takes one hand to feed baby with and no worrying about baby getting a hold of the food to make a mess. It even has a little lid so you can fill it before you leave if you would like or save the uneaten food for later. Just don’t wait too long and refrigerate it to help prevent bacteria from baby’s mouth growing quickly in it.
Here’s some photos of our little guy enjoying some different foods for the first time and using the Boon Pulp and Squirt:)
***not endorsed by any of the products I suggest, everything is purchased by us and my personal unbiased opinion.
I decided I would do a more indepth explanation as to why I believe certain products are a baby travel must-have. I will be featuring one or maybe two items per post. Most will be air travel oriented, but really anything for air travel works for a road trip. I just like to keep the extra restrictions of air travel in mind when picking items. I will link them all to this page as go/as baby will allow.
Happy and safe travels:)