Visit Maine: Family Vacation Itinerary

I’ll preface this by saying outside of a lot of research on the destination and a few must dos (aka Lobstering), we did not set out on this vacation with a full on itinerary. However, our week long journey ended up being pretty awesome and epic, so I figured for those of you wondering about Maine, an itinerary post could be helpful.

A lot of people have asked why Maine? First off, it’s absolutely gorgeous in the summer time and very different from our Florida surroundings. As I travel a good bit for work, when it comes to family travel, we always try to find destinations that are new to all of us. Another factor that played a role is our little wild man. As our first big family vacation, we wanted to stay domestic and East Coast (given this was W’s first flight). And finally, I have to say, domestic travel is severely underrated IMO. Granted globetrotting is awesome and I’ve been to Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico and all over the Caribbean, BUT our own country is absolutely GORGEOUS and so incredibly diverse. So as a family with a young child, our plan is to explore and enjoy the good ole US of A and leave the international travel for when W is older and better able to handle and appreciate it.

We traveled with our 2 and a half-year-old, so everything we did was family friendly and especially toddler friendly 🙂 Here is a breakdown of our aMAINEzing vacation.

Accommodations

I can’t say enough about Capt. Phil and Tina’s getaway. This has been by far my greatest find EVER on AirBnB. I stumbled upon this gem by doing tons of research on apartments and homes available in Southern Maine. Once we landed on visiting Southern Maine, I began my deep dive into the area and even ordered the Visit Maine CVB magazine (old school, I know). Then we narrowed our search to a cute little town called Ogunquit and began looking for places to stay. We definitely did not want to stay in a hotel for 8 nights, so I went straight to AirBnB and started searching for apartments and homes.

After exploring a few likely candidates, Capt. Phil and Tina’s getaway quickly rose to the top. They had 20+ reviews and every single one was five stars. And honestly after staying in their beautiful guesthouse, I would give them 10 stars, if that was possible. Their place is technically in Wells, which is a town right next to Ogunquit and by that I mean, it’s literally on the same main road – practically one in the same.

The two-bedroom, one bath cottage was absolutely perfect and impeccably decorated. You could say Tina is the Joanna Gaines of Southern Maine. No detail was overlooked and everything we could have needed or wanted was provided. Capt. Phil and Tina were born to be hosts and embody hospitality.

When we arrived at our little slice of Maine heaven, we were pleasantly surprised to see the set up. Tina had baked us a fresh fig pie (made from her tree), Westley’s room was a toddler paradise complete with bed rails, giant stuffed Dori and Nemo fish, books and a basket full of toys. There was a beach cart with chairs, an umbrella, towels, sunscreen and a red wagon for W. The house was stocked with toiletries, hair tools (did not need to bring my flat iron and curling iron as Tina provided them), a high chair, beach bags, books, magazines and everything you could need for a successful week long stay. Tina is so fabulous that she even bought us a stroller for Westley as we had forgotten to bring ours. Seriously, they went above and beyond.

And then of course the highlight of our trip was the incredible “Sea to Table” experience – Lobstering with Capt. Phil in the morning and then a four-course meal prepared by Tina at home. More on that below!

Fabulous Food

This is one of my passions, so needless to say, I had quite the laundry list of food stops researched and saved on my Yelp collection for Maine. I spent a lot of time reading reviews, looking at food pics (#foodporn) and curating a list of food stops that would be fulfilling!

Clearly, lobster was one of our Maine objectives, but we also wanted to try a variety of other food, so we ate everything from tacos to Indian and it was all delicious. Food in Southern Maine is part of the attraction. Here’s a taste of our foodie adventures:

  • All the LOBSTA
    • We ate lobster every day…sometimes twice a day and it never got old. I mean, Maine lobster is EVERYTHING and it’s prepared in so many ways, and did not disappoint. The Maine Lobster Rolls are as good as everyone says and we tried all kinds of interpretations from hot with drawn butter to cold with light mayo and scallions. And while we did not try this, even McDonald’s had a Lobster Roll offering. LOL.
  • Sea to Table with Capt. Phil and Tina
    • This was an unforgettable experience all around. Our hosts Capt. Phil and Tina offer a special excursion to guests of Lobstering and a homemade meal with your live catch. This was hands down my favorite part of our vacation.
    • We woke up early on Monday and drove to the Wells Marina, boarding Capt. Phil’s boat. It was a beautiful, cool morning – the air was crisp and the water was ice cold. We embarked on our lobstering adventure by going to five different traps and taking home five lobsters including a big mama (that I would end up eating that night). As part of the excursion, we learned all about the lobster industry and the crustacean — from how to identify whether it’s a male or female to a lefty or righty. We also saw porpoises and did some fishing. Overall it was a magical Maine morning.
    • We wrapped the adventure with an incredible poolside four-course meal that evening starting with a caprese salad, followed by homemade lobster bisque (Westley loved it), steamed, fresh caught (by us) Maine lobster with drawn butter paired with corn-on-the-cob and new potatoes and a raspberry vanilla cake. And of course, crisp and delicious white wine.
  • BeachFire Grill
    • This was our first dinner stop in Maine on Sunday night. It’s right on Main Street in Ogunquit and was a tasty kick off to our trip. We shared the signature nachos with buffalo chicken, a lobster roll (our first! in Maine) and Fish n Chips with local Haddock, malt vinegar and tartar sauce.
  • Tulsi North
    • Our 6-year wedding anniversary fell during our vacation, so we celebrated with our favorite food, Indian. I was not expecting such a gem in Maine, but this spot was legit and one of the best Indian meals we’ve ever had. We ordered chicken tikki masala, palak paneer and lamb korma. The flavors and sauces were next level and the lamb was the most tender we’ve ever tasted. Finished the meal off with Indian beer. Cheers to six years 🙂
  • Jake’s
    • This was home to our favorite Lobster Roll and you order and pick up from a window. We tried both versions hot with drawn butter (our fave) and traditional, cold with light mayo and spices (only time we say yes to mayo) served with hand cut fries and fresh battered onion rings. YES!
  • The Maine Diner
    • As avid watchers of Guy Fieri’s Triple D, the Maine Diner was a must visit. It is a traditional diner with incredibly creative food. We tried all of Guy’s favorites including the famous Lobster Pie, seafood chowder (best chowder we had) and a lobster club. Topped off the meal with a homemade chocolate cream pie. A winning combo.
  • Feile Irish Pub
    • A local treasure, this real deal Irish Pub is located in a historic old structure that housed the Lindsey Tavern from 1799 until the mid-twentieth century. Owned by an Irish couple from Limerick, the Pub had great food and great beer all with live Irish music as the backdrop. Westley of course LOVED the live music. Food wise, we shared the Nachos O’Houlihan (house cut potato crisps with bacon, cheese, and rosemary beef gravy) Bangers n Mash and a Reuben. Nom nom.
  • Jameson Tavern in Freeport
    • We stumbled upon this historic eatery while spending the day in Freeport. We had some local brews and the lunch special which included a Maine Lobster Roll paired with Clam Chowder.
  • Cobblestone Grill in Old Orchard Beach
    • Before we hit the arcade and carnival rides, we fueled up at this Italian Café. Great service, atmosphere and food. We noshed on a lobster quesadilla (it was amazing) and chicken parm sub.
  • Pizza Napoli
    • This was the perfect lunch post walking the Marginal Way. Simple, but tasty we ordered a large specialty pizza (Italian style) and Coca Cola classic.
  • Las Olas Taqueria
    • If you know me, you know I LOVE Mexican. This local, QSR spot had fresh tacos, burritos and quesadillas and a caliente salsa bar. Perfect lunch spot.
  • Scoop Deck
    • We all scream for ice cream! This place was sweet on all fronts from the décor to the 70+ flavors. We each ordered a cup of homemade ice cream and topped off the outing with a photo shoot (Instagrammabale moment anyone?) in front of the “Life is Sweet” mural.

Things to Do

A sample of our family fun and Maine adventures!

  • Ogunquit Playhouse
    • This 85-year-old theater is such a treasure. During the summer they put on spectacular children’s shows with the Junior Players and these kids are truly talented. We were lucky enough to catch a matinee of Lion King, Jr. Westley loved the musical and it was a perfect start to our Sunday.
  • Portland Head Light
    • A quick hour drive to Portland made for an awesome day trip. We spent part of the day at one of Maine’s iconic lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth. The setting was absolutely magical, hiking down to the rocks and water and took it all in.
  • Portland Science Center Real Pirates Exhibit
    • We saw this advertised on a bus at the Head Light and decided on a whim to visit the National Geographic exhibit. This was a very rich exhibit with lots of artifacts, authentic pirate treasure and history on one of the most famous pirates and his sunken ship, discovered off the coast of Maine.
  • Marginal Way
    • This mile-ling scenic walkway ends in Perkins Cove and borders the beautiful cliffs and water. We brought the stroller and took in the beautiful scenery, making stops along the way to sit on the many benches that overlook the water. Not to be missed!
  • Ogunquit Beach
    • Being a Florida girl, I wasn’t sure if Maine’s beaches would be up to par. Happy to report, while the water was COLD, the beaches were beautiful. Ogunquit Beach was unique because on one side you have a bay and then the beach on the other side. There is a current that takes you from the bay side to the beach and many people brought floats, making it a lazy river type ride. The other part we loved about the beach was how far back the water was set during low tide – probably a half mile. There were tons of small pools, sand bars and waves. Perfect beach for a toddler. Next time, we’ll bring a wetsuit though 🙂 
  • The Ogunquit Trolley
    • While this isn’t necessarily an attraction, the Trolley was a great way to get around town and something W thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a great way to see Ogunquit and enjoy the summer breeze.
  • Playland at Old Orchard Beach
    • This classic boardwalk amusement park was tons of fun from the giant indoor/outdoor arcade to the rides. There are tons of kid friendly rides and the operators are teens rather than carnies J
  • L. Bean HQ + Village in Freeport
    • This little port town is a shopper’s paradise. We visited the enormous L.L. Bean headquarters, which is more like its own little city with multiple buildings, an amphitheater and even a children’s village. We then grabbed lunch (lobster roll and chowder of course) at one of Maine’s oldest Taverns.
  • Boston Duck Tours
    • To maximize our last day, which also included travel back home, we left Maine early and did a 9am Duck Tour in Boston. This was a fun and fast way to see the city by land and water.

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Toddler Travel Tips: Brace Yourself + Have A Drink

Optimistically or naively, we decided to take our first official family vacation (or trip as some of my wiser mama friends have told me – vacation is just the two of you) to Maine. This meant a two flight journey there and back (four flights total) with our strong-willed two and a half year old toddler. I know, I know, you probably think we’re crazy…jury’s still out. The trip was a roller coaster in the sky with ups and downs, but certainly a trip we will never forget. 😆 After flying with our sweet and spicy W (tantrums on the floor and all 😱😱😱), here are my tips for traveling with a toddler (tyrant):

Invest in Delta Comfort (or 1st Class)

  • Feel free to apply this to whatever airline you choose — just choose one that offers some kind of upgrade 😃 First things first, there are drinks for mommy and daddy. 🙌🏼 Second, it’s closer to the front and you have more leg room (especially nice for the tall hubby). We chose aisle 10, which is the first seat behind first class, to ensure even more leg room and the closest seat possible to the front.
  • While the ticket may be a bit pricier (not wildly different from coach), is there really a dollar figure to keep you sane? Exactly. 😜

Buy a Jetkids

  • This little invention is definitely worth the investment. It’s a BOGO — a riding suitcase + airplane bed. Need I say more! W was definitely the talk of ATL – everyone from flight attendants to travelers asked about this amazing contraption. It kept him busy and entertained, provided a fun ride, storage for toys and books and a bed on the plane. Now, if they only made these for adults 👌🏼

Sky Club It

  • If you have a long layover (we had a 2+ hour layover), do yourself a favor and go straight to the Sky Club (or airline equivalent). It is much more safe and intimate than the gate and provides a welcome change for parents and toddler.
  • Outside of the food options, coffee, juice and water, there are complimentary adult drinks to help you deal with toddler travel. I enjoyed some white wine, while the hubby partook in Bloody Mary’s. Another win, the private bathrooms with a nice changing table and plenty of space for toddler play time. W enjoyed his time in the Sky Club and it paid off majorly, when he fell asleep on the flight. With a Delta Platinum Amex, it’s $29 per person. Best $60 I’ve EVER spent.

Tire Them Out

  • First, make peace with the fact that you will have two kinds of people to deal with: the sympathizers (those who have been in your shoes and totally understand) and the judgers (those who have selective memory or have never been in your shoes). Once you have come to terms with that, focus on your give zero f$&@s attitude and let your kid run wild in the airport, sky lounge or wherever. Trust me, this paid pay off BIG when he immediately passed out upon boarding the plane, sleeping for 2 hours. 👌🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼

Board LAST

  • When I travel for business I’m happy to board early with Gold Medallion. As a traveling mom, zone FAMILY (aka last to board) is a blessing in disguise. Our strong willed toddler is equally awesome as he is restless. We learned during our first flight that early boarding was not a good thing. He wanted freedom and was not interested in his seatbelt. Our second flight, we waited until last call, making the wait one before take off minimal. You live, you learn.

Gummy Bears FTW

  • This was a Pro Tip from my work wife BFF, KA who suggested gummy bears during taxi, take off and landing. As most kids don’t know how to pop their ears and can’t chew gum that young, gummy bears are a welcome treat that will keep your child occupied and chewing during critical flight times. Since W doesn’t often get to enjoy candy, this was a highlight for him and avoided any ear issues. Win, win.

Overall, travel days were better than anticipated. I set expectations low to then be pleasantly surprised. W is not scared of flying, which is awesome and between our four flights, the first was the toughest, but after that it was smooth-ish flying.

XO,

Ivette

Parenthood Hacks: Playing Hooky

There are vacation days, personal days, mental health days and now as a parent, I revel in parenthood play days. This is all part of keeping us sane, happy and connected as adults and as a couple.

Because Westley is still in daycare, I am able to drop him off and have an entire day to get things done – some fun, some just plain chores. Either way, these “play days” give me an opportunity to get some “me time” and decompress.

Two Friday ago was one of those days. We were off from work, so I took advantage of the day to get things done. Dropped off W at daycare and kicked off the day with an 8:30 a.m. Body Sculpt class. After an hour of getting my butt kicked, I headed to Chick-fil-A for an egg white grill and an iced coffee (I work out to EAT). Then it was over to Market District to pick up a giveaway prize (y’all Instagram contests really work…I won an awesome prize pack!) and some shopping at two favorite boutiques – Elle Market and Harper Hill Kids. By 10:30 a.m. I was at my hairdressers’ ready to get my summer hair on – a little bayalage to give my hair some new life. In my post hair happiness, I headed to Old Navy to get the little guy a picture day outfit and then by 1:30 p.m. I was lying in a spa room ready for my first Fire & Ice facial at Axios Salt Spa. That was quite the treat and included a peel as well as a delicious organic smoothie when my facial was complete. All of this was accomplished before 3 p.m., which gave me time to get home, do some laundry, put away clean clothes and shower before the hubby and toddler got home. All in all, it’s what I call a perfect day.

Similarly, as a couple, we sometimes take a day off to enjoy each other’s company. We’re headed to a music festival in Jacksonville this weekend and the Monday following the festival will be a travel day back and a chance to play parenthood hooky. Planning to try a new taqueria in town and maybe catch a move before we pick W up from school. Having three days to ourselves will be glorious, but I’m sure by Monday afternoon, we’ll be ready to hug and hang out with our little guy. He’s our favorite person and topic of conversation J

For me, it’s all about balance. While 85 percent (or more) of our activities and time is spent as a family, we do try and squeeze in some alone time – whether it’s taking a whole day off and hanging in town, or taking a few hours to have a nice adult meal. Making our marriage and relationship a priority makes us better parents because we are happy and healthy. One of our goals is to ensure Westley grows up knowing how much his parents love and respect each other and values that.

As with everything, once you’re a parent your strategy changes – even for vacations. We definitely use vacation days for real vacations, like our upcoming summer family trip to Maine, but I always reserve a chunk of my PTO for parenthood play days because these days there is no better vacation than a day that’s all about me or all about us J

How do y’all spend your vacation time? Have you ever played parenthood hooky?

XO,

Ivette

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Tips for Working Mamas on the Road

I’m sitting on a plane. This is my 23rd flight of the year and I’ve logged in 22,700+ sky miles. While I love my job and traveling for it, I’m a mom too and there is always some level of guilt associated with being away from my son and husband. I especially feel bad because my husband doesn’t ever travel for work, so he’s always playing single dad, while I’m jet setting.

I know I’m not alone in the juggle and hustle of being a working mom, so I wanted to share some tips on how I parent from afar and stay connected with my family.

  1. FaceTime, Not Just Phone Time

Thank you, sweet baby technology. What would working parents who travel do without you? But seriously. We are so incredibly lucky to live in a time where a video phone call is possible. I can’t imagine traveling as much as I do and not being able to FaceTime with Westley. A FaceTime call is so much more special and it makes me feel like I’m part of his evening routine. I can hear about his day, make silly faces and see him in his PJs before he goes to sleep. He gets to see my face and I get to see his and give the screen kisses. It’s my No. 1 way to stay connected and close to Westley. I also get to see Sam, which is a bonus J

  1. Pics on Pics

This may just be me, but I LOVE a photo. A photo of Westley is worth its weight in gold. I already have thousands of photos of him in my phone (current photo roll count 6,762 and at least 5,000 feature W), which I scroll through on the regular while traveling. During my travels, Sam keeps me pretty up to date with all of Westley’s adventures with action shots, videos, etc. One of my favorite pictures I’ve ever received (a series really) was W eating my baked ziti, stuffing his face with a big ole smile and literally licking the plate. It brought me so much joy to witness him enjoying a meal I made especially for them to have while I was away. So a steady stream of photos and visual updates is a must to keep this working mama happy.

  1. Wake Up Call

No matter the time zone, I always start every day with a morning call with Sam to hear all about how Westley did the night before, his morning, etc. We time it so I call Sam right as he is leaving daycare and on his way to work for a full report. Some times it’s a very early morning, but to me it is the very best way to kick off my day.

  1. Digital Daycare

Westley has a phenomenal group of teachers at his daycare and my little charmer has definitely stolen their hearts. I’ve always made it a point to get to know all of his teachers because let’s be honest, he spends more time with them during the week than he spends at home. I feel very confident leaving him at daycare because the team there truly cares about the kids. So much so, that when they know I travel, they are more cognizant of Westley’s behavior, if he is spending longer hours there or coming in earlier because of my husband’s work schedule, their main priority is keeping W happy…and they succeed. I also keep in touch with his teachers via Facebook Messenger – they send me updates and photos. It’s awesome and makes me feel more connected.

  1. Just Say No

Once becoming a mom, I have set certain rules up for myself to keep my travel in check. Sometimes I fail miserably and have back-to-back travel, but for the most part I try and stay away no more than three nights in a row and try and avoid trips that stack up. I’ve also learned to say no more than I did before having a child. Sometimes a trip is not feasible and will be an issue for my family, so in that case I have to say no. Luckily, I have a great work family with a lot of moms who get it and clients who also are mindful of my work life balance attempt.

  1. Digital Detox

I rarely travel on weekends, so weekends for me are all about family. There is honestly nothing else and no one else I’d rather be with than Sam and Westley. So part of my being present is disconnecting from emails on weekends (I check once a day for a quick skim to ensure no client crisis have occurred). I also try and put my phone away as much as possible, although I still use it for photos and to check social media because it’s something I enjoy. Being present and not spending time checking email makes my weekends feel more free and 100 percent focused on my little family.

As my good friend Heidi Floyd put it, it’s all about the work life integration. And at the end of the day, it’s about making it work for you and your family – whatever that may look like. Would love to hear from you with any other tips!

XO,

Ivette

Family Getaway: Omni Amelia Island Plantation

At the beach, the air is always different and you always feel better. As a beach baby growing up in Miami some of my fondest memories are on the water and I absolutely love seeing my son enjoy a good day at the beach now. I also appreciate the ability for a quick getaway and living in North Florida, we have access to many destinations within a 4-hour driving radius.

Back in the fall I won a free 2-night stay to Omni Amelia Island Plantation as part of a social media engagement contest at work (woot woot). We decided to cash it in for a “winter” (it’s Florida after all) family weekend escape.

We had never been to Amelia Island, but had heard great things about the area and the resort. Family friendly places are huge for us since I never want to feel like we are inconveniencing other people, but I also don’t want to apologize for my toddler. OAIP Resort was perfect. There was a great mix of guests, but the majority were either older empty nesters or young families. And no surprise, Westley was a hit.

Arrival

We arrived Friday evening and were welcomed by the friendly valet staff. As guests, you can choose to valet for $25 a night or you can self park at a nearby garage and can change your decision at any time – no pressure. Resort staff, taking our luggage and then meeting us in our room once we checked in, handled everything seamlessly. The resort has a beautiful lobby and smells delicious…there is juts something so welcoming and soothing about a tropical scent at resorts. For me, it sets off the stay.

The Room 

Once we made it to the 6th floor, exited the elevator area and walked outside to the room, it was time to see our “home” for the next two days. All rooms face the ocean, so that was a wonderful surprise and our suite was incredibly spacious. You walk into a little hallway and the room is split into two sides – to the left was a fabulous seating area with a full sized sectional couch, armchair, desk and flat screen. To the right was the bedroom with a king size bed, a chaise and the en suite compete with a beautiful tub. My favorite part of course was the balcony with a breathtaking view of the pools, hot tubs, fire pits, bar and the ocean. I absolutely adore ocean front properties not only for the views, but also for the sheer convenience of getting to the beach with a toddler.

Nom Nom & Sip Sip

The resort has great options food options for all tastes and budgets. We chose to keep it simple and kid friendly trying Natural Slice for pizza, the Sunrise Café for breakfast and Falcon’s Nest for dinner. The breakfast buffet at Sunrise Café “The Art of Breakfast” definitely lives up to the name. The are feel like a large chef’s kitchen in a fabulous beach house with a gorgeous wooden island housing artisanal house made breads, gourmet cheese spread, local honey, etc. The breakfast also includes almost all the items on the a la carte menu from eggs benedicts and frittatas to bacon, eggs and potatoes. The best part was that children four and under are free, so Westley enjoyed a big plate of delicious breakfast on the house J Breakfast was the priciest meal of the day per person at $23 a head, but the experience, amount of food and filling quality was a good investment overall.

My favorite spot was Falcon’s Nest where we went to dinner Saturday night. It’s in the Amelia Island Village area a short shuttle ride from the resort. Shuttles are free and allow you to navigate the expansive resort without ever having to take your car! A burger and brews restaurant with airplane décor, Falcon’s Nest, was family friendly, but definitely had an edge. The second floor has a game room complete with pool table, dartboard, virtual golf and bowling and an iconic Mr. Pacman arcade. We grabbed a couple of local IPAs, Intuition I-10, and hung out in the game room during our 20-minute wait. The burgers were delicious and creative. We ordered the Plantation Burger with pimento cheese, a fried green tomato, shaved ham and corn relish and the Seaplane Burger with Fernandina shrimp, pickled red onion and lemon mayo. Both were winners and were accompanied by fried and onion rings that came in really cute little baskets. Westley took down a kid’s cheeseburger that was served with fries, applesauce, yogurt and milk. Overall, this place gets an A+ and the bill including drinks was only $55.

Finally some details on the libations. Drinks were good with a kick and prices were not too prohibitive for a resort. We grabbed a few drinks at pool including the signature Plantation Punch and a Margarita and had Moscow Mules at the Piano Bar after dinner.

Because we had Westley, we didn’t venture into the fancier restaurants, but OAIP also boasts a few more premium dinner options including Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Verandah and Oceanside.

Resort Activities 

We lucked out and had wonderful weather with highs in the 70s, so naturally we spent the bulk of our day at the pool (which was heated) and running around on the beach. Westley was all about the water and really got into playing with the sand and shells. To clarify…”playing with the sand” was more like grabbing large clumps of sand and throwing them on us.

We also checked out the Nature Center and one of the playgrounds on property. There’s tons more to do on property including Mini Golf and of course venturing out into  Beach, St. Augustine, etc.

Entertainment 

Of course no evening is complete without music – Westley’s favorite. After dinner we took our drinks on the shuttle (awesome perk for resort guests) and headed back to the hotel. The piano bar was the happening spot and Gary could sing and play any song requested from today’s hottest songs to classics. We ordered some Moscow Mules and sat back to enjoy the music while W put on a dancing show. He was a huge hit among the ladies and Gary even gave him a shout out. All in all it was a fabulous evening and we were all in bed by 9:30 p.m. Crazy, wild weekend indeed J

We definitely want to come back to visit Omni Amelia Island. Hopefully next time we’ll stay a little longer. If you’re looking for a great resort on a gorgeous beach, this one is a treasure.

Happy travels,

Ivette

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Mom Hacks: Airport Edition

If you know me, then you know I spend a good bit of time in airports. Working in PR with clients all over the country and world, the Atlanta International Airport has become a second office.

As a family, we haven’t ventured off on any trips that require flying just yet…but come July, the Faulkners are going to Maine and it’ll be Westley’s first time flying. In preparation for our trip, I’ve been extra vigilant during my travels to see how other families of young kids handle navigating an airport with a toddler.

ATL never disappoints and I witnessed a bit of a travel miracle in the shape of a suitcase that doubles as a sweet ride for kids. It’s called JetKids BedBox® and the site describes it as “the ultimate travel gadget for children up to 6-7 years of age. It is your child´s hand luggage, ride-on suitcase and inflight bed/leg-rest, in the very same box.”

While I didn’t get to see the JetKids BedBox in all its glory as an actual inflight bed…witnessing a smiling 4 year-old girl laughing her way through the terminals and onto the Plane Train was enough to sell me on this travel miracle. I immediately took a photo and video and asked the mom about it. She literally lit up and told me this is her go to travel companion. Knowing Westley, who refuses to ride in a stroller and is Mr. Independent, we MUST purchase a JetKids for Maine — it’s either that or the dreaded leash. (Not happening).

As soon as I got home, I told Sam all about it and proceeded to look up more info about JetKids on the company’s website. The more I researched, the more excited I got about this contraption. We will be able to store his toys and such in it, he’ll ride on the suitcase throughout the airport and then during the flight (once the seatbelt sign is off), we can convert it to a bed, so We can lounge and nap. Hallelujah!

The JetKids BedBox retails for $169, which may sound a little pricey, but not when you consider it’s triple threat accessories (suitcase, airport ride and bed) and your sanity.

I’ll be putting this sucker to the test in July and will report back with an update!

Happy hacking!

XO,

Ivette

The Packing List: Winter Weekend Beach Escape

Traveling with a toddler can feel like you’re traveling with a party of 10. They require a lot of stuff: diapers, sippy cups filled with milk and water, snacks, entertainment, toys and lots of clothing since they tend to wear their food during every meal.

As our family is preparing for a weekend beach escape, I’m attempting to minimize all of our packing and keep it fun and light. Luckily Old Navy just launched its new spring line and it’s all nautical and all adorable. Hit up the store this week for a few new pieces as we take on Omni Amelia Island for a few days of Vitamin Sea. Here’s our packing list by family member:

“The Active 2-year old”

This little guy is always on the go and goes through outfits like they’re going out of style. Aside from the obvious diapers, PJs and sippy cups, here the fashion 411 for W:

  • Two (2) pairs of colorful shorts and one (1) pair of chinos
  • Three (3) nautical inspired graphic tees and one (1) linen oxford shirt complete with boats
  • Boat shoes and flip flops
  • Board shorts and rash guard
  • Crabtastic puddle jumper float
  • Hat
  • Tons of sunscreen

 

“The 30-Something Mama”

I make every day a fashion occasion and love theming out my wardrobe, so naturally a weekend getaway to the beach in Florida means stripes and flamingos.

  • Nautical inspired boat neck top
  • White jeans
  • Neutral sandals
  • Sundress
  • Striped blouse (will pair with white jeans for a BOGO outfit)
  • Floral one piece swimsuit
  • Flamingo cover up from fave boutique Loli & the Bean
  • Flamingo flip flops
  • Diffwear sunnies
  • Panama hat

 

“The 30-Something Papa”

  • Assortment of graphic tees
  • Three (3) pairs of shorts
  • One button down
  • One pair if jeans
  • Board shorts
  • Boat shoes
  • Flip flops

 

So excited for our little family to have a beach escape. Plans include pool and splash pad fun, nature center visit, playground, family fire, casual fare, drinks and Sunday Brunch.

Since this is our first time visiting Omni Amelia Island and the San Fernandina Beach area, I’ll be posting photos