1300 miles in a car for two days with my parents and my 4-year old son…. sign me up!!! In all honesty, it actually was bearable, and kinda fun – well, with the exception of the three traffic jams we got stuck in, especially the one in Orlando when we were within 1 hour of our destination and sticking Avery and Grampy in the backseat together was the biggest #MommyFail of the trip. “Hey I want that!” “He started it!” “Waaaahhhh!!!”… Never. Ever. Again.
We left EARLY on a Friday morning in April. It was dark, and cold. I think it was 20 something out. Avery woke up thrilled and kept asking when we were leaving. I plopped him in the car in his PJs and we were off. It was just like our trips we took to Florida when I was little… I have foggy memories of getting in the car when it was still dark out and waking up already hours into the trip. Dad has always not been a fan of flying, and driving is SOOO much cheaper, especially with a group of people, so driving it was!
Dad drove, I sat shotgun. Avery was entertained with Mimi in the backseat checking maps, coloring, playing travel BINGO.
We were into New York by early morning, then New Jersey a couple hours later.
Aren’t we so happy?!!? (mind you, this is only a few hours into the drive…
We would stop for bathroom and food breaks, but kept chugging along. Mom and I swapped off and Avery and I played in the backseat for the afternoon.
Naptime! Aunt Sarah couldn’t come with us, so she sent a Mickey for Avery to bring to Disney.
Now, I’m used to driving 4 hour stretches to/from Boston to bring Avery to see his Dad or for work, but that trek is all woods and hills and mountains. I found out on a drive with my sister back to Boston years ago that not only am I afraid of heights, but petrified of driving on big bridges over water. Thankfully, Grampy took on the big ones around DC.
Avery caught on and wouldn’t let go… every time there was a bridge he would check that I was OK going over it and soon enough, he inherited my fear of big bridges too… oh grief!
We excitedly watched the temperature rise on the car gauge as we whipped thu the tiny north east states and headed south…
We hit our first big traffic jams outside of DC and later found out that if you take the fast pass lane during peak hours, they charge upwards of $20-$30. Eek!
We made it into North Carolina (our goal) on our first night… lack of ‘Welcome to NC” is proof that it was dark when we arrived (that and Grampy’s camera skills need improvement…)
Mimi brought some great activity books for Avery that kept him entertained for hours.
We were passed all the big cities on the first day, so it was lots of flat uneventful driving for hours between cities now.
We flew thru the Carolinas and into Georgia, and watched the temperature rise…!!! Luckily, no big bridges down here for me!
And finally, we made it to Florida! A few more hours and one more traffic jam (the one Avery and Grampy made sooo ‘memorable’ while they were in the backseat together), and we arrived at our destination!
We hauled all our bags into the condo we rented for the week, and explored our surroundings.
Mimi’s friends, Kim & Rick, who live a few hours away in Florida arrived just after we did.
We walked around the water (that had baby crocodiles!), relaxed in the grass,…
Avery’s favorite aspect of the condo was that he had a TV in his room!
Avery was pretty thrilled he could chill out in his bed AND watch TV… craziness!!
We walked around Old Town, ate some yummy pizza, and Avery did some games and rides…
Avery is finally over that ‘minimum height’ threshold for most kids rides, so we were excited (and a little nervous) when Avery could do this slide all by himself. He was super excited and proud when he finished the slide.
There were car rides…
And another kid of car ride when we got ice cream…
And then we called it a night. The next day, we were up and ready to go…
We went out to breakfast together…
…and Avery had a balloon animal made for him right at our table!
I think I was more in awe than Avery – the guy made a DINOSAUR!!! Pretty cool!
Next up, we went flea marketing! This is something Mom and Dad used to always do when they were down here. We scored some fun goodies, including some local food…
Avery’s big score was an angry birds watch that he still wears and loves.
Back at the hotel, we enjoyed the swimming pool and Avery showed off his swimming skills from our winter of swimming lessons.
We went golfing that night which was a hoot…
We fished balls out of water traps.
Avery showed everyone his mad skillz.
And we even went on a pirate ship!
A silly photo in front of the bathrooms to end the night… (Mimi has a photo of her and Grampy and some others from years ago in this same spot)
We saw a dolphin show.
Avery met this cool creature on its first day outside.
We watched dolphins above and under water…
We checked out turtles… (nice face Avery)
and Penguins…!!! (my favorite!)
We finally got to see these little guys after we got stuck on the ride. It was the second ride that broke down that day… and not the last one of the trip!
All after standing in line for a while… luckily I came prepared with entertainment for Avery…
We saw the whale show! Avery was not thrilled about getting wet, but we purposely sat in the splash zone, because, why not?!
Avery enjoyed some rides…
And we said goodbye to Rick and Kim the next morning – we miss you guys!!! And we were off to Disney!
….pictures and stories from the rest of our trip coming soon….