Lizzard Loves vacation. I mean, who doesn't though?!? So this week (2 days late I'm afraid) is all about our trip to sunny California!
|This is the view from Cody & Matty's front porch. I could get used to it!!|
My best friend & her husband moved to San Diego from the Midwest in February (smartest people I know.......) so naturally I started planning the trip in January when they told us they were moving. I mean, I love the winter in the Chicago area- but dear Lord- it has the ability to drag into spring and make me desperate to get out of dodge.
Organizing is one of my jams. I love thinking and planning the best ways to make a room or a closet work - so it is not too much of a stretch that I love to make lists & plot out the best way to pack for a trip. Since Lulu was born I have started using the packing cube method - not with the pricey actual cubes that are for sale a million places- but with my reusable tote bags! I have a major excess of these bags and they work so well for organizing our clothing! Each family member gets 1 for clothes & 1 for pjs, underwear, swimsuits, etc. It helps prevent our giant rolling duffle from becoming a giant rolling mess on day one of vacation!
This was the first flight where I was concerned Lulu might be so wiggly as to warrant some special entertainment, she was 11+ months when we embarked on the 4 hour flight from Chicago-San Diego and it seemed unwise to go into this trip unprepared! Thankfully, my genius sister had gifted us a busy bag for our baby shower. It had finger puppets, small sorting games, a magnet game, and more. I read a blog post about traveling with a 1 year old & took the following ideas from it: post it notes for Lulu to pull off/re stick on the tray table, downloadable library books for my phone (Lulu doesn't get any of her own screen time yet - but books on the go seemed like a great idea), and the pouch to hold it all (though I bought my pouch from an acquaintance's Etsy shop - she makes the CUTEST bags!! I can't regress to the 6th grade & start rocking a FiveStar pencil case again. Just can't do it). See number 2 for how it all worked out!
2. Lulu's flexibility with sleep
Holy cow I gave a lot of energy to my worry over Lulu not sleeping on our flight to CA (when we traveled with Chris) and the flight home (when we traveled just me & Lulu). I thought through the worst case scenarios, I hoped, and I planned some activities that would (hopefully) keep the interest of my potentially overtired little one. Man. I didn't need to plan. We were incredibly lucky that neither of our flights was fully booked. We fly Southwest as often as is possible and they invite parents to carry on a car seat for a lap child as long as the flight has empty seats. When Lulu was 4 weeks old and taking her first flight, the ticketing agent at Southwest told us about this policy. It blew my mind, in a good way.
Our flight out took off right at Lulu's bedtime - so I was incredibly hopeful that she would sleep - whether or not we had a seat for her & her car seat. She knocked my socks off. It took her about 30 minutes to settle down, but she slept for the rest of the flight! I didn't need my activity bag at all! Yipeeeeeee.
Once we made it to my best friend's house Lulu played & visited with Cody & her puppy, Briar for awhile before we put her down to sleep. She fell immediately asleep in a pack n play she'd never seen in an unfamiliar house. I wanted to give her a gold medal for sleep!
A well slept Lulu makes for well slept parents & sets us all up for a good trip indeed :)
3. SUNSHINE & WARMTH
|Sleepy seals (not dead seals)|
|Admittedly hard to tell from the photo- but the dark spots are snoozing seals! Some are babies!|
5. A burrito with french fries inside
Because vacation eating. I have nothing additional to add.
6. Lulu learning to point
She watched the airplanes taking off from San Diego airport from Cody & Matty's backyard and for the first time in her 11 months, started pointing at them when we'd ask "where's the airplane?" It made me unreasonably happy.
7. Lulu's 1st dip in the ocean
Despite Chris & I both having family who live within easy driving distance of the Atlantic Ocean, Lulu's first ocean experience was the Pacific! Even before her little toes had dipped into Lake Michigan - she was splashing around on the west coast.
8. Last but not least (the opposite of least really)
Friday-Wednesday with my best friend
We spent our first 18ish years living down the street from each other, then a decade or so living reasonably close to each other in Chicago until 2015 when she & Matty moved to Bermuda and we moved.....in with my parents in the suburbs :) (it was for the house renovation, but still). It is conceivable that we will never again share a zip code which makes my heart hurt though I am comforted with the fact that our friendship has lasted 35+ years and a few states/countries/oceans between us won't change it!
It was a delightful treat not to just "catch up" with Cody, but to relax and just hang out. We didn't need to rush, we had very few plans for the time, just took the days pretty slowly. It was a true vacation with some of my absolute favorite people in the world.
Plus a puppy. Did I mention sweet Briar boy?!?