Imagine you’re on a trip over the long weekend, staring out into the blue waters of the ocean, listening to the waves hit the shore, and feeling your toes sinking deep into the sand. And in the next breath, you hear shrieking from your one-year-old because that my-toes-are-sinking-in-the-sand feeling is actually pretty terrifying to someone who is just figuring out how to walk.
We love the beach. It’s usually the perfect mix of relaxing, adventuring, and eating some dang good seafood. But we learned a couple months ago that going to the beach with a one-year-old can be pretty tough, especially when the said child is cutting his molars. I’m not naming names here, but he wasn’t always the most pleasant person to be around.
And yet, we’re headed to the beach again! This time, for even longer. The first trip was for four days total, which was a nice intro. We also had the pleasure of having Granger’s Nae Nae, Grams, Sonny, Great Aunt Dea, Uncle Reed, Aunt Zoe, and cousins Kadrian, Alexa, and Dalton. Let me tell you, that’s a lot of people that sure do love the little guy, which means that’s a lot of people to help watch him, feed him, love on him, etc. You get the picture.
This time around, it’s just our little family of three for one week. One. Whole. Week. By ourselves without someone there who will give us a break. It’s a little daunting, but we’re going for it. Dare to adventure, right? Yeah, I have to remind myself of that sometimes.
In just a couple of days, we’ll be driving a little over nine hours to Cape Canaveral, FL, which is east of Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Although I’ve been to Florida’s panhandle multiple times, I’ve never been this far south. Additionally, this will be TJ’s and Granger’s very first time in the state. As this trip nears, I’ve been thinking about how it will go, what we should pack, where we should eat, etc., and the more I think about it, the more I’m thankful that we did a quick trip to the beach just a few months ago.
With that trip, we were able to gain some pretty good insight as to what we should pack and what does and doesn’t work for Granger. It also allowed us more time to go to the pool this summer to get Granger used to the water. I won’t go into detail, but he didn’t love the water at the beginning of the summer. Now that summer is ending, he’s all about the water. Go figure.
Stay within walking distance of the beach. With little kids, transportation can be tough. If you have a very independent child like we do, putting him or her in a car seat can literally make or break your day. Or at least the hour.
As you probably gathered, Granger isn’t a fan of his car seat. It’s not that it isn’t comfortable or it’s too tight or anything like that. He’s just not trying to be strapped down in the car when he could be picking up sticks and yelling at the blades of grass. And I really don’t blame him. Running around is much more fun than sitting still. Blegh.
On our first beach trip, we stayed a few miles from the beach, but the resort provided us a shuttle that ran at certain intervals. That was much better than having to put Granger in his car seat and take him out constantly, but it was still a hassle, honestly. We loved the actual resort we stayed in and the pool was fantastic and within walking distance. But when it was time for Granger’s nap and he wouldn’t sleep on the sand, it was a hot minute both literally and figuratively while waiting for the shuttle to take us back.
You probably gathered this tidbit, but the resort we booked for our Florida trip is within walking distance of the beach.
Bring baby powder. You might be thinking this is kind of a weird thing to recommend. And I would totally and completely agree with you because I’m all about calling out weird things when I see them. This is a weird thing but y’all…it works.
Baby powder miraculously takes off sand. I’m not sure how it does it or what kind of special ju-ju they put in that stuff, but it’s important for a beach trip. This can be a lifesaver if your kid/baby (or you adults out there) who end up hating the sand. Like hates it so much that if one little piece of it gets on me, a meltdown WILL BE HAPPENING. Listen, the baby powder is your best friend.
We were lucky in that Granger actually loved the sand. He loved playing in the sand, eating it, rubbing his hands in it, putting in his hair, and rubbing all over him in general. Sure. It was cute, because he’s cute, but no one else really wanted sand in their food or on them if they were to pick him up. So, baby powder to the rescue.
So, uhm, we’re bringing baby powder to the beach with us.
Be flexible. Not everything is going to go how you want it to. And that’s OK. I can remember all the beach trips I’ve ever taken before our family trip a few months ago. When I was a kid, there was a lot of playing in the ocean and running around. As I got older, it was mostly sleeping in the sun, reading a good book, and having good conversations – r e l a x a t i o n, other words.
When we went to the beach with Granger for the first time, I packed the book I thought I’d finish. In reality, I don’t think I even finished a chapter. My expectations definitely weren’t met when it came to being able to relax, and we had help! A lot of help, actually.
This time around, my expectations are much different. I won’t say they’re “lower” because that’s all in perspective. They’re just different. I’m expecting to build a lot of sand castles, swimming in the pool and ocean, talking about the sand, eating, visiting the local museums, and napping. Yes, lots of napping. This definitely looks like a different type of vacation than the one I previously mentioned, and that’s OK! It is different, and I’m more flexible.
I’m ready for what this trip throws at us – the giggles, the meltdowns, and all that’s in between. I usually hate when people tell me to take it all in because “babies don’t keep.” I know they don’t keep, and I’m one of those weird people who don’t want babies to keep because it’s fun to watch them grow and conquer life! But in this instance, it is true that these vacations won’t always be like this. Granger won’t always want me to build a sand castle or swim with him. So this trip, I’m ready with baby powder in one hand and a shovel in the other.
Come on, Florida!