Travel Success

We recently went on a trip to Florida. It was a first for both boys. As I am not much of a long distance driving fan, we opted to fly. To prepare Jay for the big day, we did a lot of talking about what to expect. Baby Max just hit 11 months, so he was along for the ride!


A few weeks prior to lift off, we began talking to Jay about going on our trip.

We’ll need to pack some of our toys, take our headphones and iPad and some clothes for warm weather. At the end of the flight we will meet up with Grandma Sisa (Lisa but the kids say “Sisa”); which was the biggest motivation of all. We’ll get to wear shorts and t-shirts every day. We’ll get to go swimming in the pool and out for walks. We might see dolphins at the beach or alligators in the golf course pond. We’ll go to the zoo. We’ll look for sea shells. We’ll play games on the porch. And so much more. But to get to do all that, we have to go on an airplane. We’ll go up in the sky and fly. We’ll look out the window and see houses below us and clouds beside us. We’ll be on the airplane with lots of other people going to Florida.

Here’s how we framed the day of travel plan for Jay to digest. Our flight was at 9am and our wake up time was only slightly earlier than a normal day.

Step 1. Wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast.

Step 2. Drive to the airport.

Step 3. Get on the airplane, watch a movie and eat snacks.

Step 4. See Sisa at the arrival gate and let the fun begin!

Our flight to Florida was a dream. The kids were great. Getting through security was easier than I had anticipated. I had a TSA card for Jay, and that helped as they assigned an Agent to assist us through the process. We left from a small airport and we didn’t have to wait in a long queue to go through security. That definitely helped with the overall experience.

Once we were on the plane, Jay didn’t even realize we’d left the ground because he had already started watching a movie. We decided to board early with the announcement for “families traveling with small children” and that was a good move. I’d recommend that to anyone flying with kids. Get on the plan and get settled! We even took a little trip to the lavatory for Jay and he was confident and did his thing. No tears. No fear. Max played for a while and fell asleep in my arms for a good hour of the flight.

The flight home … not so heavenly but we made it. We were delayed two hours and didn’t leave Florida until nearly 9pm. The kids were overly tired, over stimulated and exhausted from the week. It took some time but they finally settled down for the final hour of flight. Lesson learned…fly in the morning or midday!

Memories Galore

We fit in all the things in a few short days on our Tuesday to Saturday trip. The kids were in the pool every day at least once; we visited the zoo where the highlight for Jay was meeting and getting a picture with Mirabel from Encanto :); we took a boat ride to a special beach, played in the waves and looked for sea shells; we walked around the condo association–Jay spotted several lawn care blower and mower crew members and we followed around one worker for a good 20 minutes while watching at a safe distance, he got waved at several times!; we saw an alligator swimming in a pond just behind the condo’s porch; Mom kept the kids here and there so Ben and I could do a few things like go on an evening date out to dinner and to watch the sunset at the beach or bike ride to a local café for a mid-morning hot tea and a slice of quiche to share; Jay learned a few new songs from grandma; Max ate everything we gave him; Ben got to watch a bit of March Madness Basketball; and I got some much needed time in the sun.

My trip was clouded a bit by a sinus infection that flared up on the decent into Florida. It was so bad that I went to a walk-in clinic on Wednesday to get an antibiotic and advice on how to treat the pressure in my head and aching in my teeth. Not ideal, but I made it through and still enjoyed each day.

All in all, our first family trip to Florida was wonderful and we look forward to the next one!

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