I have been contemplating this post for days. We returned from our Walt Disney World vacation Sunday morning, and I have been struggling with how to describe the magical five-day, four-night vacation. It was our first true vacation since August 2009. It was our baby’s first vacation. It was a getaway from the cold Philadelphia winter. It was a trip to the most magical place on earth. It was fabulous.
Traveling with Nora
During this trip, Nora experienced many firsts. Her first restaurant. Her first plane ride. Her first time swimming. Her first amusement park. Her first time in Florida (she already has made it to three states!). Her first coating of sunscreen. Her first boat ride. Her first bus ride. Her first monorail ride. That’s the best thing about being five months old. There are a lot of firsts!
Not that I mean to brag too much, but this little gal was a trooper during our trip! She was perfect on the plane and was up for a ton of activities every day. She rode several amusement park rides, cooperated during restaurant meals, and smiled for the camera.
Nora got a little spoiled and we have been dealing with the consequences of that this week. We let her sleep in bed with us during the trip because the hotel’s Pack and Play did not have the bassinet feature and she’s not used to sleeping at the bottom of the playyard. We carried her a lot. We gave her endless amounts of attention. We bought her tens of presents. But I think that when you are a kid you should have some special times so the spoiling is okay with me as long as the occassions are few and far between.
Steve and I enjoyed traveling as a family. It was fun to see Disney through a baby’s eyes and we enjoyed that the restaurants and entertainment were very kid friendly. If Nora got a little squirmy and I took her out of a restaurant before the check arrived, it was okay.
We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn, a short five-minute walk to Epcot. We splurged and stayed at a Disney Hotel because its amenities and close proxmity to the parks fit with our babycentric lifestyle. We enjoyed the Garden Festival at Epcot (which featured a lot of character topiaries) and ate to our stomach’s content, dining at several locations in the World Showcase, including in France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, and Mexico.
I took full advantage of the baby centers found in each park at WDW. We frequented the one in Epcot the most, and it was great to have a quiet place to nurse and change Nora amidst the chaos of the huge Disney machine.
I learned a thing or two about traveling with kiddos during this trip.
- First, there is no such thing as overpacking. Even though I made lists and checked them twice before I left, I still don’t think I packed enough clothes for me or Nora. I didn’t realize that sixty degrees would still feel chilly (it seems balmy compared to our thirty-degree temperatures in Philly) so I should have packed the baby girl some more pants. She could have also used some more pajamas, as we were down to our last pair by the time we left the hotel Sunday morning. But she got a cute red Minnie Mouse outfit because we didn’t have enough warm clothes!
- Second, your trip whips by faster than you could imagine! Between feedings, diaper changes, and naps, the time you have for scouting meals, eating them, enjoying entertainment, and relaxing is half of what it used to be. Not that I am complaining. Nora’s presence made the trip so special.
- Third, flexibity is key. Steve and I made a plan and then would change it to accomodate the little gal. We tried Animal Kingdom Saturday but made it only an hour or two because Nora was too tired. We rearranged meal reservations if she was napping. We walked out of lines if it didn’t seem like she was going to make it through a ride.
All in all, this first family adventure was a success. I am excited to try another one in May when we travel to Boise to visit my family. However, I am looking forward to few quiet weeks ahead. Traveling with a kid is a lot of work!