Another Summer in the Books

Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year. I work exponentially hard throughout the school year so I can relax and enjoy my vacations, which is exactly what we did this year.

From Mexico to the Texas coast, we had quite a few adventures with our little man in tow.

Corpus Christi

After Mexico we decided venture somewhere a little more local. Usually we enjoy South Padre Island in the summer but we decided to try our luck in Corpus Christi. I’ve heard good and bad things about CC and honesty, we enjoyed our trip and we will definitely be back. I found a great little beachfront Air B&B that we really loved. The only bummer was all the rain! But, even with the torrential down pours, we were able to enjoy the beach and explore the Corpus Christi Museum off Science.

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

We booked a trip to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels early in the spring and honestly, I was only slightly looking forward to it. I did my research and found a ton of toddler activities throughout the parks so I knew there would plenty for our little water baby to enjoy. I on the other hand, am not a fan of water parks. We decided to stay in a little cabin located in the park and the location was great but other than that, I was unimpressed. I think we will save water parks for when baby O gets just a little bit older.

We did however have a pretty good little road trip and stopped at our favorite restaurant in Bastrop, Maxine’s on Main (check it out if you’re every there!)

Galveston

Our final trip of the season was just this past weekend. We decided to join our friends on a little last-minute getaway to Galveston. Of course, it once again rained, but we were still able to soak up the sun, play in the sand, and enjoy our time together.

Unfortunately our sweet little summer is coming to an end but don’t worry, we already have lots of adventures planned for the fall!!!

Baby O’s First Big Trip

They say that traveling is good for the body, mind, and soul and I overwhelmingly agree. We knew from the start that we wanted to instill our love of travel and adventure into our children and in order to do so we started right away. At 6 months baby O was on a 14 hour road trip to Colorado. At 12 months another mini road trip to see Santa. And at 18 months, we decided to take baby O on his first international vacation to Mexico.

The unpredictability of traveling with a little one had me not only apprehensive but very anxious. So many unknowns, would he be okay? Fussy? Sleepy? Throw a fit? I was pretty confident in my ability to calm him down in any situation so we packed up and headed to Mexico with a dozen of our favorite people.

When I planned this international family vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, I wasn’t anticipating a pandemic and I was completely unaware of how traveling with a toddler would be. Overall I was pleasantly surprised! Our first big vacation with our little one was a complete success! 1800+ miles away from home, 4+ hours on a plane, and zero meltdowns; he did so well!

Here are a few things I learned on this trip:

  • When traveling with a baby/toddler:
    • Pack snacks ! Not just for the airplane but for the resort/hotel as well. Baby O eats a lot and frequently. Snack are a necessity at all times of the day!
    • Keep them entertained. Whether your little one needs screen time, toys, or books, pack them all!
    • We took advantage of baby O being under 2 and he sat in our laps on the plane. Next time he will definitely get his own seat.
    • If possible, book the plane ride during baby’s nap schedule. Baby O slept on the plane both ways!
    • Pack extra necessities such as sunscreen and diapers. We packed enough but if we needed them, they were expensive at the resort.
    • When traveling to Mexico for the summer stay on the pacific side. The other side is swamped with seaweed from May to September. If I would have known this in advance I would have booked Puerto Vallarta instead of the Riviera Maya area.
    • Book a local photographer for family photos! It was inexpensive and easy to do.

We couldn’t have asked for a better first big trip with baby O. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed family time, and were able to watch our sweet boy enjoy vacation as much as we do.

Up Next…

Having a baby has been the biggest adventure of our lives and I have loved every single minute of parenthood. But, traveling isn’t quite what it use to be. The Bearded One and I use to spontaneously book an Air B&B, pack an overnight bag, and hop in the car, which is an absolutely impossible task these days.

Don’t get me wrong, we still love to travel, and we plan to take Baby O on endless adventures, but it can get a little tricky these days.

First of all we have to plan our adventures a little better, and account for any little bump in the road. Will he be fussy? When will we need to stop to change a diaper? Can we stop by a restaurant or should we eat in the car? So many questions with a plethora of possible scenarios!

All of those little details can be worked out, we are quite flexible when it comes to travel and preparation. The biggest question is, where can we take a toddler?!

Not all of our old favorite stomping grounds are necessarily toddler friendly. While I’d love to take him to a local brewery, or outdoor concert, it just isn’t possible to expect him to sit still for a lengthy amount of time. Baby O is a wild one and he definitely needs to be entertained at all times. He needs to run and climb and explore his surrounds…which begs the question, where do we take him?!

We do have a few vacations already in the works but we would LOVE some realistic suggestions! (too tiny for theme parks, Disney is out of the question!)

We are for sure going to Mexico on our big Anniversary trip with family and friends, and we are excited and nervous about that one (first plane ride for Baby O)!

We’re also taking him to The Preserve, an elephant sanctuary only a few hours from home. I am super excited about this one and I hope he loves it! (Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out https://g.co/kgs/DhrhAp ).

If you have any suggestions, ideas, personal experiences or advice on fun toddler trips for this summer, please share! We want to make the most out of every moment with our littlest adventurer.

St. Augustine Beach, FL

Our first time in the Atlantic Ocean and it did not disappoint.

Here are some key observations from our St. Augustine Beach adventure:

  • The beach was not at all crowded, it huge and we had lots of space to spread out
  • The beach and town were clean and well taken care of
  • The food was delicious (Sunset Grill & Antonio’s)
  • Old Town has great shopping and historical sites
  • Everyone was friendly, great customer service
  • Lots of activities, parks, museums, trolley rides, historical tours, etc (we went to old medieval torture museum)
  • Drive A1A instead of the interstate for better views (we took it down to Daytona Beach)

The Beach

St. Augustine Old Town

Savannah, Georgia

We fell in love with this southern city the moment we drove down Jones St. (Also known as one of most beautiful streets in the US)

The old oaks dripping in Spanish moss lined the brick laid streets and exemplify the historic homes. This city is rich in history, so much history in fact that we felt compelled to learn all about it on a classic trolley tour.

I found a decently priced day-night trolley package online and decided to indulge a little. We began the Old Town Trolley Tour by hopping on at one of the 15 stops throughout the city. During the 90 minute tour we saw famous monuments, churches, homes, cemeteries, and heard the stories to go with each. The trolley tour allowed you to hop on and off at any stop throughout the day.

We hopped off at City Market for lunch then decided to walk the shady streets of Savannah on our own.

During our own exploration we visited Forsyth Park, the cemetery and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which was absolutely stunning.

Forsyth Park

Cemetery

Cathedral

Later that evening after a delicious Greek dinner on the river (Olympia Cafe) we hopped back on our night Ghost Tour. The ghost stories told by the conductor were the best part, and we were able to explore the haunted Andrew Lowe house (we didn’t see any ghost 😉).

On our final morning we headed to Tybee Island to see what all the hype was about. It’s a classic little beach town, full of charm, old hotels, family run businesses, and a pretty neat little pier.

Overall Savannah was amazing and we’d love to come back (hopefully when the weather is a little cooler).

Tips and Advice:

  • Rent and AirB&B in the historic district
  • Go on a trolley tour
  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Shop and dine on River St.
  • Swing by Tybee Island

Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Beach was absolutely stunning. It claims to be the “whitest sands in the world” and I wouldn’t argue with that statement. The white sands and crystal clear water compares to the beaches we’ve fallen in love with in Mexico.

We stayed in a beautiful little AirB&B (Casita Sage) in Pensacola then made the short drive to Pensacola Beach for the afternoon. Beach parking was free, chair rental were free (I think we just got lucky) and the water, views, and beach were indescribably perfect.

After spending a few hours on the beach we ate at a delicious little place called The Shrimp Basket and we were not disappointed.

Our overnight stop in Pensacola exceeded our expectations and we are already planning a summer vacation there for next year!

Los Angeles Summer Adventure

Once again we knocked out another fabulous trip. We laid on the (cold) beach, we explored downtown, we visited museums, but most importantly we allowed ourselves to relax!

Everyone knows we love the beach, even a chilly beach like we experienced on this trip. I refused to go in the water but the bearded one was fearless and jumped right in. Once we warmed up, we walked around the Santa Monica Pier. I know it’s overly touristy but I just love the pier. There’s so much to see and experience, it’s a must if you’re in LA.

We spent the next few days of our trip exploring the city. We visited art museums, a beautiful bookstore, and the local farmers market (which I could have stayed at all day!). We literally walked miles on this trip and I still don’t think we saw enough. There’s always something to do in Los Angeles; around every corner and down every street you will find museums, art galleries, restaurants, and so much more!

Other then spending time with my brother, my absolute favorite part of LA was this pop up experience we decided to go to. It was called the I Like Scary Movies Experience and it was fabulous! We were able to experience interactive art exhibits that represented different horror films such as Nightmare on Elm St., The Shining, and quite a few more. The creativity and interactive art was the perfect way to end our first summer adventure.

Spring Break- So you want to go on a cruise?

We’re Back!

Roasted crickets, slaughtered pigs, and dancing in the street…we found it all!

This was our second time on a cruise and we’ve came to the conclusion that we are just not cruise people.

We had the most fun when we were OFF the ship and able to soak up the sun and culture of Cozumel and Progresso Mexico.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of activities on the ship (including a hairy chest competition that The Bearded One partook in). There’s just so much more to see and appreciate off the ship!

Cozumel

Our first port was Cozumel, which we were slightly familiar with because of our first cruise. Once off the ship we grabbed a taxi and headed straight to Chankannab Beach for some much needed sand and snorkeling. The beach was beautiful, the snorkeling not so bad ( better than my first experience) and the staff attentive. We spend the whole day laying in the beach, watching the other tourists and chatting it up with our waiter Angel. He was so pleasant and beamed with pride when we asked him about his family (3 grown daughters all at university!). It was definitely a challenge to leave the beauty that is Cozumel and head back to our ship.

Progresso

Cozumel is the ‘fan favorite’ but personally, I love Progresso. It may be a little run down and impoverished but it’s full of authenticity and friendly people living their best lives. The Bearded One and I occasionally like to stray and explore when we’re out and about (no worries we were perfectly safe) and on this particular trip we wandered in to the markets and it was quite the experience.

We saw fresh fruit and beautiful flowers, butchered pigs and sharks, and so much more! We also enjoyed multiple buckets of beer on the beach, fun little gifts from numerous beach vendors, and a couple of crunchy cricket snacks 😉

All in all we had an amazing vacation (we always do). The cruise staff was great, the activities plentiful, the weather fantastic, the food decent, but making memories with my forever date was the best part ❤️

Bon Voyage

Today we embark on our 5 day Yucatán Cruise. Although we’ve been to these ports on our first cruise, I am still excited! As stressful as this year (school year for all our non teacher friends) has been, I am ready to soak up the sun and put away my phone!

5 full days of sun, food, drinks, and relaxation with my numero uno.

Today we #choosefun and think you all should as well. Sometimes you just need a break and I am encouraging all of you to take one! Even if it’s just a weekend getaway with your partner, friends, or yourself, you deserve it!

Hasta luego my loves, I’ll report back on the fabulousness of our Carnival ship The Valor!

We’re DINKs!

I learned a new hysterical, yet fitting, term recently. DINK-Double Income No Kids. At this point in our lives we are choosing to embrace this term and spend some of that double income on our next adventure.

In just 3 short weeks (hopefully, if the school Gods are smiling down upon us teachers) we will be ON SEA TIME, headed to Mexico!

This cruise is basically the same as the other we took but no complaints here. Five days of food, drinks, sun and sand, I can’t wait!

I’ll keep y’all posted on the itinerary but until then, wish us DINKs luck, we need it to make it spring break!