This post is part of "My Sizzling Summer Vacation Spectacle" at We are THAT Family.
It must be said, that it is difficult to travel with kids. There is so much that you have to think about and prepare for "just in case." I should know, we are ALWAYS on the go. There is so much planning and packing that goes into just the shortest of trips. Even on a day trip, you have to have the diaper bag stocked to the top; and usually it's the thing that you forgot that you find out you really need. Since having my first child, Benjamin, I have made up a mental checklist to go through before I leave the house- diapers, check; wipes, check; extra clothes, check; sippy with drink, check; etc. My problem is that I usually walk out of the house without grabbing that wonderfully stocked diaper bag. Lovely.
The only real vacation we took this summer was to Tennessee for the week to stay at Fall Creek Falls State Park. It was pretty uneventful and I am NOT complaining. The kids behaved (fairly well), no one got sick, no one got hurt, well, not too bad, and I don't think that we really forgot anything at home. We even celebrated Warren's birthday and had a great time. Here's the link to his cupcakes- kindof proud of them. http://brandesfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-experience-required.html
Our previous family vacation would have to be going to Disney World in January. Living in Florida, we go when the rest of the world doesn't usually go there. We thought it would be nice to camp this trip. Yes, in January. Yes, it does get cold in January in Florida. Tyler had the bright idea to rent a camper and camp out all week. We talked to our friends Doris and Eric and they were all ready to go with us. Packing for a week to go camping is no easy task. It's a lot of work. Now I know what my mom does twice a year! Menu plans, clothes planning, supplies- oh my! We ended up having a great week, but it was a lot of work to get there. It was the best to see the kids faces and seeing them really enjoy the magic of the whole place.
Speaking of traveling, I guess my worst travel day would have to be going to Colorado with Tyler's family for our Christmas vacation. Tyler's parents decided to give us a vacation for our present this past Christmas, which it TOTALLY fine. There is nothing that we really need right now, so it's a great idea! We made our reservations on our own to fly out so that we wouldn't all be together (don't ask). We decided to stay in Tampa the night before we flew out, because we were flying so early in the morning and we live an hour away from the airport. Made sense not to have to wake the kids up SO early. That night in the hotel was horrible. Let me also let you know that Warren DOESN'T sleep with ANYONE in the room, let alone next to him. He was horrible and we didn't get a good nights sleep. Then we were up at the crack of dawn, or even before it. We got downstairs and got checked in- it was a mad house of course with it being just after the Christmas holidays, but we made it through. I almost missing the flight from Tampa buying milk for the boys for breakfast. Way to start the day. Tyler had had surgery to relocate his knee cap in June and was still healing. He decided to get a first class ticket for the first flight for the extra leg room (the second flight didn't have 1st class). I didn't want to spend the extra money for all of us, so I sat in coach with the two kids! Thanks, honey. I thought that maybe, just maybe they might fall asleep. No luck there. All in all, it went okay. My sister in law and Tyler's brother were on the flight so if I needed help they were right there. Then we got to Texas for a quick layover. We were able to grab a quick bite to eat and then board our next plane. Our next flight was a very small plane. Tyler sat on the one seat side of the plane and Benjamin, Warren and I sat on the two seat side. I was desperate for sleep and so were the kids. Of course, they didn't think so. Finally Warren went to sleep and Benjamin dozed for a little bit. When Ben woke up he wanted orange juice. And because it wasn't a Southwest flight they didn't have the lids for the cups for kids. Ugh. You know what happened... yep, Benjamin spilled his OJ. Yes, on a cramped little airplane. All down the seat and all over him. He got upset and in the hustle and bustle of trying to get that cleaned up, Warren woke up screaming. Got him calmed down and now Benjamin had to change clothes in the middle of the aisle (with a blanket wrapped around him). Luckily, this is one time I was prepared. I had a feeling something might happen. Now I had to keep the two of them entertained without letting them entertain the whole flight. The attendant offered us some peanuts and of course, I took them. Warren hadn't had them before, but he can eat lots of foods so why not. Well, we were already descending into Colorado Springs and he was chipmunking those peanuts. They were all in his cheeks. I was scared that he would get choked so I decided to do the mom thing- the inevitable finger sweep. Let me just say this- Warren has an amazing gag reflex. The kid can get choked on a hair on his tongue! Yeah, you know it- he threw up on him and me right as we were landing in Colorado. Classic.
It didn't stop there, but I think I will. We had a great trip until my father in law fell skiing for the first time and broke his hip. Then Warren got a stomach bug the night before we flew out. Vomiting all over the only set of clothes that I had for him while we were shopping. Thank goodness my sister in law was there and let us borrow my NIECE'S outfit. Yes, pink. It was interesting. But that what memories are made of. Wouldn't trade them for the world.