This past week we went on our first (real) vacation as a family of three. It was filled with so much fun, laughter, some "firsts" for Lo, and memories we will never forget! Personally, I have been looking forward to this week for awhile, considering, it's the first time since last August that we've had Chris with us for more than two consecutive days. It was such a treat for London and I ... and made the days so enjoyable since we're able to tag-team everything ;)
I will start with the airplane experience. A lot of parents may want to punch me right in the face when I say this, but we had an amazing time with London on the plane. It was actually super fun! She was hamming it up; smiling + waving at all of the other passengers, banging on the window, jumping up and down on the seats .. it was hysterical. Don't get me wrong, we were pumping her full of cheerios, puffs, and fruit pouches as needed, but she was generally happy the entire time! *Highly recommend packing LOTS of snacks when traveling with your little one* We attempted to align our flight time with her morning nap, thinking she would drink her bottle and pass right out. (*I would recommend timing these as best you can!*) Don't underestimate the power of insane over-stimulation! The LAST thing she wanted to do was sleep. There was too much going on + she didn't want to miss a thing. Thankfully, for our sake, she did slow down toward the end and fell asleep for the last 40 minutes or so! *We gave her a bottle on take off to help with her ears, and I think it worked! She didn't seem affected by the altitude at all.* Another thing that I suggest is to *pick up a few new toys and maybe a new book or two. Don't give them to him/her until you're in the air. The "newness" (is that a word?) should buy you a few minutes of sanity!* Overall, our first time flying experience with a baby under one was a success. We had so much fun + can't wait to fly again!
Now for Manasota Key. What a place! We had never heard of it prior to our family friends getting a home there. They were so generous to offer us their place to stay, and we thought it would be perfect for our little family trip...and it was! Manasota Key is about an hour and a half south of Tampa + super accessible/easy to get too. The people are incredibly friendly, welcoming, and everyone seems to be on "island time" a.k.a. moving nice and slow! The water is a beautiful turquoise color, and the beach expands farther than the eye can see, giving everyone plenty of space to relax. A few staple restaurants like the "Lock n Key" and "Flounders" have live music almost every night and yummy frozen drinks to enjoy! We were able to eat out a few times + London was captivated by the music. She was an absolute angel and let us enjoy our food + even some Mommy/Daddy conversation while she watched the performers intently. We loved venturing down to the beach in the afternoons, when the sun wasn't as hot. London was a little apprehensive about the sand at first, but after a few minutes, she was covered in it :) She also loved the water and the waves! Our little love started clapping during our vacation, which is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. So fun watching her discover where her hands are and that they can actually make noise! Ha! Who knew?!
We could not have asked for a more perfect time together as a family. We can't wait to travel together again + continue to make more amazing memories!