Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting There...

Vacation 2011 for the Poland family was scheduled and planned for Naples, FL the first week of April. This was a very special trip for me as it brought back memories of many trips from my childhood. Every year possible, my Grandparents would go down to Naples and all of us would travel down to spend our vacation with them. Those vacations are some of my fondest memories of my childhood, but sadly, it has been almost 10 years since we had one of those trips.

My Grandparents are now pushing their mid 80's and traveling is not like it used to be. It doesn't help that my stubborn Grandmother refuses to travel by plane or boat. She figures we would have wings if we were meant to fly. Needless to say, that means 19 hours one way in a car to get to Florida. Much to our surprise, when the idea was pitched to them, they jumped at the idea of going. This immediately made the "idea" of going to Naples a reality. There was no way I would miss this vacation if they were going.

After researching flights and realizing that airlines really do raise their fares during spring break time, we realized that we had to drive. 19 hours in a car with a 2 year old...could we do it? In the car was Myself, Mallory, Marc, and Uncle Dan. Much to my surprise, Mallory did amazing. We made it to the hotel in GA the first day by 5:00 PM. I was so impressed and surprised. Here is what I learned when traveling 19 hours with a two year old:
  1. Buy a car-seat tray to attach to the car seat. Came in handy for eating, coloring, and overall playing.
  2. Invest in a toy that they will LOVE and have never seen before. In our case, it was a Disney Princess play lap top.
  3. Go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of little toys. Put them in individual gift bags and present them to the toddler to open whenever they appear to get restless.
  4. At every stop let them get out and move around.
  5. Snacks are VERY important.
  6. Finally, get an iPad. I fought and fought this purchase with my husband and I have never been so wrong. Mallory was able to watch movies on it, play games, doodle, look at pictures, everything. It was a life saver.
Here are some pics from the ride down. More to come from the actual vacation.

We stopped at BW3s just outside of Naples on the second day. These are pictures from the iPhone, but too cute not to post.