Family Road Trip
Call me crazy or call me crazy, but over the holidays we took a road trip from California to Florida. We went to visit family for the holidays. Did I mention we brought along our three month old and our Golden Retriever? I know, it sounds like a ridiculous idea and one that many would not dare to take but we did it. I am so grateful for all of our memories we made from this trip and I am so excited to share a glimpse of it with you all.
Just like you are probably thinking, why would anyone want to drive four days, each way, for the holidays when a flight is 5 hours? We thought about this but logistically it was much smarter for us to drive with Chief and Marleigh and make stops along the way. We also had opportunities to visit some very unique places in the country that we would often never get the chance to see. During our travels, we stopped in Waco, TX. I am obsessed with Magnolia and Fixer Upper, so understandably this was first on my list of stops. The town of Waco is very small and quaint, but its so surreal to see some of the houses they fixed in person. The Silos were beautiful all lit up for the holidays and the store was having a fantastic sale. My husband made sure to never leave my side so I wouldn’t purchase everything in sight. Also, the bakery . . . OH MY. The holiday campfire special cupcake was so tasty! I am still day dreaming over that cupcake. We also made a split decision to stop in Monroe, LA. My husband and I have been fans of the show Duck Dynasty. We figured why not stop for the afternoon to have some lunch and see Duck Commander HQ. It was exactly how we imagined it. We learned about all the different duck calls and even ran into Alan Robertson himself. He was such a gentleman and even grew out a beard! We made a couple more stops to visit friends along the way in Georgia and Tennessee, and alas made it home to FL. The three weeks we were home flew by but we loved being able to spend time with family.
This trip was very important because not only was it the holiday season, but it was the first time many of our relatives were meeting Marleigh. She is the first grandchild on my side and in my husband’s family. Let’s just say Marleigh definitely felt loved and spoiled while we were home. Her aunts and uncles never let her down and naptime was a thing of the past. Marleigh was never really fussy during the trip and enjoyed meeting everyone. We received many compliments on her behavior. I really think it’s because she had all of her beauty sleep. One thing I really thought was important was to keep her night time routine the same. Although Marleigh’s bedtime was usually later than normal, I made sure to keep her bath time and before bed routine the same. This really helped her relax in each of the new settings and fall asleep. We also used her DockAtot as her bed. She usually sleeps in her crib, but we couldn’t load that up so this came in handy. Let’s just say I had a lot of anticipation for this trip and I was crazy nervous, but Marleigh was a ROCKSTAR. I am very blessed with such a calm baby that it made it so much easier for us.
Below are some highlights from the trip.
I highly suggest taking a trip with your newborn if you can! It was so much fun watching her grow and experience everything around her for the first time. It is like we returned home with a new baby and not the newborn we left with. She changed so much over the past month and it was such a joy to witness. Even though she won’t remember this trip, the pictures will let us relive the moments all over again. It was so much fun bringing her back to our hometown and we cannot wait to visit again sometime soon. Until then, we are back in California and finding more adventures we can get into.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! I am sure many of you are getting back into the swing of life. I am definitely not ready to get back to the real world but I am sure next December will be here before you know it.
Tips for Traveling with a Newborn
Make the hotel feel like home. We kept the nighttime routine the same, gave her many cuddles, and used her DockAtot for her sleep.
Plan for frequent stops . . . Stretch time is very important!
Make a side bag with the essentials for the stops for you and baby- diapers, lotions, clothes! It is so much easier than lugging around tons of suitcases.
EXTRA CLOTHES that are easily accessible- Blow outs may happens!
Get creative and have fun stimulating activities on hand that don’t take up much space! (M&Ms in a water bottle are fun, rattles, books!)
If breastfeeding, bring a manual pump.. Just in case. There are not many stops in TX at times.