Florida Vacation {2012}

I recently flew with Sarah for our bi-annual trip to Florida. I always have mixed emotions when visiting. As the date nears, I get excited to see my family and friends, yet feel anxious!

I hate packing, whether it’s for the weekend or an extended stay! I never know how I’m going to feel, what the weather will be (I tend to run warm), or what dressy occasion might come up. So I do what most females do — I over pack. Usually that works, but now with airline baggage fees and sharing a suitcase with a toddler, I no longer have that luxury.

I browsed the internet for any new and useful tips and came across an article titled, “Tips for flying alone with kids“. It had some interesting finds that I planned to use.

Days leading up to our trip, Sarah and I got a horrible stomach bug! It was real bad! Hubby and I questioned if we should defer the trip. Then hubby got sick and so did MIL.

I somehow manged to pack us both and wear my nurse hat. I don’t know how I did it, but I succeeded. I made the flight and arrived in one piece!

Getting to the airport was anything but boring. My MIL drove with us so she could return the car to hubby. I told her we were flying Virgin and she quickly pointed to the terminal. We unloaded and quickly headed to ticketing. No lines and no employees around so we managed to find a TSA agent and ask where my flight was located. We quickly returned to the car to pack it up again because I realized we were flying Virgin AMERICA, not Virgin ATLANTIC, and they are in different terminals. I learned something. I thought that Virgin was split into two parts: Virgin for continental U.S. flights; and Virgin for international flights.  Actually, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic are two totally separate airlines. I hope this saves some of you from the same error and extra work! Unpacking the car for the second time, we finally made it to Virgin America’s cool lounge and checked in.

Since I have flown alone with Sarah four times already, I have a certain “system.” First, to tire her out (which helps her remain seated for most of the flight), both Sarah and I run around the terminal singing and dancing :)

Once we board, we get in our seat and I start to bargain with the passengers around us. Ultimately, I just want a free seat next to me so that when Sarah is finished hanging out on me, she has a seat all of her own to sit in. I’m happy to say that I was successful, and Sarah had her own seat both ways! Next time we fly she will be an age where I need to buy her a seat. Not looking forward to that extra expense!

Upon take off, I gave Sarah some new crayons and a new coloring book. As we took off, I gave Sarah a pouch of pureed food (this is great and healthy option for kids as the sucking motion helps relive any ear pressure).

A quick 45 minute nap, some iPad Sesame Street time, and some playing around, we finally made it to Florida safely. Phewww!

I always plan ahead, at home and on vacation. I make itineraries and share them with family and friends. I rarely have time with nothing to do. I do this so I know what to expect (and pack) and make sure to see the people I want to see. Sometime it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Here is the itinerary I had planned:

  1. Saturday, October 27th
    1. Arrive
    2. Pick up rental
  2. Sunday, October 28th
    1. Family beach day
    2. Saba’s SURPRISE 80th birthday party @ Betty’s
  3. Monday, October 29th
    1. Day at the zoo
  4. Tuesday, October 30th
    1. Halloween Lunch @ Melissa’s
    2. Drinks w/Ally and Corrie
  5. Wednesday, October 31st
    1. Halloween Party @ Natali’s
  6. Thursday, November 1st
    1. Hubby arrives
    2. Dinner @ Oshrat’s
  7. Friday, November 2nd
    1. Shabbat Dinner @ parents’ house
  8. Saturday, November 3rd
    1. Pool Party at the Hyatt
    2. Drop off rental
    3. Flight to LAX @ 6:55 p.m.

Between seeing my extended family and Sarah’s nap schedule, I knew things would be tight. To make matters more difficult, my parents and sister got the stomach bug and everything went downhill from there.

My mom and dad would watch Sarah in the mornings while I slept in a little bit, but after only a few days of this, THEY needed ME and so did Sarah, so it was exhausting to say the least.

All in all, it was fun! Exhausting, but fun! I got to celebrate my grandpa’s 80th birthday with him, spend the day with my family at the beach, visit the zoo, celebrate Halloween with childhood friends and most of all, I got to see my parents on a daily basis for one week straight!

Here are some of my favorite highlights of the week:

Pool time with Daddy!
Drinks with my childhood friend.
Sarah and Maizy
Family day at the Zoo
Family Beach Day
Most of my Grandpa’s grand kids and his great grand daughter on his 80th Birthday!
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l loved reading this yesterday night on the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv. I hate packing too and will never forget that on one of my trip to Florida I didn’t use 90% of the things I packed. Who knows that it is summer on December in Florida??. I packed all winter clothes…
you are such an organized mama :)

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