My parents have a timeshare, so they, my brother and his family and us decided to go to Orlando for Spring Break. We're big Braves fans, so we went mainly for spring training games.
The drive...oh my goodness. After receiving advice, we decided to drive through the night to let the boys sleep. Well, the van we rented did not have a/c. We found this out AFTER the van was almost to the house (40+ mins away from rental location). At this point, we decided to let Ben rest (since he had been working) and we'd just exchange it on our way out of town. That meant loading, unloading and reloading two sleepy kids and all of our crap. Lovely. It extended our trip by 2 hours. Not cool.
Road trips with a 9 month old and a potty training tot are an adventure all on their own. We had to stop a few times to nurse Hank (I'm now a pro at nursing in the car) and to let Jack potty/stretch his legs etc. Our 9 hour drive turned into 16+. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we finally arrived to our "Florida house" (as Jack calls it).
We immediately checked out the kid's water park that was below our condo and explored the resort. The next day was filled with swimming and anything that sounded fun.
We went to two Braves games and I'm pretty sure it was hotter than blue blazes. Hank and I spent most of the game in the shade. Thankfully the nice lady in charge let us in a "closed" building that had a/c so I could nurse Hank. I was shocked that the Disney Wild World Of Sports complex didn't have a nursing mom's room, but was just thankful they accommodated me.
One day we went to Clearwater, Florida for the beach. It was an hour and half drive but traffic outside of Tampa and getting to the beach was crazy. Beach days with two kids is more work than I imagined. We ended up only staying about an hour b/c we didn't want to get caught up in rush hour traffic. It was worth it but barely..ha! Jack LOVED it. He could have played on the beach all day long if we let him. Hank wasn't a fan of the cold water, but played in the sand well. Clearwater is gorgeous. I hope to go back to spend more time there soon.
Ben and I felt awful (cough etc) and I knew Hank wasn't his normal self, so we decided to head to the walk in clinic after the beach. Two hours later, we were diagnosed with upper respiratory infections and double ear infection for Hank. The Fisher Four were now all on antibiotics...ugh. The family that takes antibiotics together....right? My mom and brother also were sickly, so it did put a bummer on our trip.
On the way down, on one of our many stops, Jack discovered an airboat. He literally talked about this airboat for an hour and Ben mentioned we might take him on a ride. So....we researched and found an airboat swamp tour and decided to take Jack. My parents kept Hank (he could have gone, but we didn't think he needed to due to his ears), so it was nice just having a special outing with the oldest. The swamp tour was AMAZING. It was probably one of the highlights of our trip. We saw several alligators and the swamp was actually beautiful. Definitely a must do if you're in the area.
To round out our trip, we went to Legoland. We decided to wait to do Disney until the boys were older, but wanted to do something with rides etc. Legoland was PERFECT for Jack's age. There was so much for him to do and there was even a room just for babies to play in (and several nice a/c nursing mom rooms...huge kudos to Legoland for that). My mom went with us and we had an awesome time. It was hot and we stayed longer than I planned, but it was great seeing the excitement on our sons' faces. The figurines etc that were all made out of Legos blew my mind. So neat.
The trip home was rather uneventful. We got stuck in traffic in Atlanta, but Ben navigated us (not using GPS but just a map...scary!) and were able to get around most of it. I was never so happy to be home though. There's just something bout your own bed..
I can't wait to do more family vacations. It's definitely different than vacations sans children, but fun none-the-less.