We got back from our vacation almost a month ago, and I still haven't gotten around to writing about it. Until now. Oh yes, the long-awaited vacation blog post is here!
We somehow managed to pack everything for our trip the night before (we are horrible procrastinators), and managed not to forget any major items, especially when it came to PK. We even managed to drag our butts out of bed after two snoozes of the alarm clock, get dressed, wolf down breakfast, wake PK up, dress her, and feed her. We were even on the road at a reasonable hour. PK was a bit fussy in the car because the sun was in her face, in spite of having her hat on. I tried to cover her face a bit more by using her jacket, and that sort of calmed her down.
We were on the 427 almost at the airport, when suddenly, PK started hurling chunks. The puking seemed to go on forever, and we couldn't do a damned thing about it until we got the the airport. Both PK and her carseat were covered in puke, and in spite of that, she was in a pretty good mood. Once we parked the car, I changed PK in the back seat while the hubby pulled out the carseat and tried to clean it as best as he could. He used PK's pukey clothes to clean out most of the gunk, and, despite this minor setback, we actually made it on time to the gate. As a little side-note, PK's pukey clothes were in a plastic bag in my backpack, and we checked the carseat, since we would need it once we arrived at Myrtle Beach.
I am happy to report that in spite of PK's little pre-airport puke incident, the rest of the trip went relatively well. The puking, it seems, was a one-off, most likely the result of eating in our over-heated kitchen (it gets really hot in there in the morning because it faces east), a bumpy car ride, and having eaten prior to getting into the car.
I was a little worried about how PK would be on the plane, but she behaved better than I expected. Since PK our flight out of Toronto was a bit late, we were able to wear PK out by letting her roam the area by the gate. That plan worked. By the time we took off, PK was fast asleep in the hubby's lap. I'd say that she slept through at least half each flight segment, usually falling asleep before take-off, and again before landing. When she was awake, she demanded attention from strangers, enjoyed playing with seat trays (only when there was nobody in the seat in front), and LOVED the flight safety manual.
I should note that while we were away, PK wanted nothing to do with me. Whenever I tried to pick her up, she'd start crying, trying to throw herself into the hubby's arms. On all plane rides, she refused to sit in my lap for longer than two seconds. I sat by the window on all flights, which I thought would be fun for PK. She, on the other hand, found the hubby's seat on the aisle to be a lot more entertaining. Partly because she was with daddy, and partly because she usually had an audience who showered her with attention.
Myrtle Beach itself was great. I'd never been there before, so I didn't really know what to expect. It is definitely a vacation town, and definitely family-oriented. Our hotel was great. It was a beachside hotel, and we'd managed to score an ocean view room. We weren't able to get a suite, but the hotel did provide us with a playpen for PK to sleep in, and there was a mini fridge. There were a couple of supermarkets nearby, so we were able to stock up on Gerber baby food (the chunkier food for 9 months +) and yogurt for PK. We'd also grabbed a few goodies for ourselves. Fruit and cereal for breakfast, some juice, some Coke, and some Rice Krispies squares. Mmmmm...
I was initially worried that, since PK would be in the same room as us, we'd have a hard time putting her to sleep and keeping her asleep. Alas, I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out NOT to be the case. By the end of each day, PK was so worn out, that she usually collapsed by the time we got her to bed. And she stayed that way until morning. Our nighttime showers didn't even bother her. Since we still had a few hours before we got to bed ourselves, we passed the time by watching movies on my iPod (all legit, mind you). I'd managed to load up a few movies before we left on our trip, and it turned out to be a great way to wind down the evening.
We didn't do all that much while we were away, except for one day when we ventured out to play mini-golf at this jungle-themed place near our hotel. The most exciting thing about our days while on vacation was figuring out where we were going to eat. PK's meals weren't as exciting as ours, given that she was on baby food the entire time, but I really think that she enjoyed sitting at the various restaurants we went to, taking in the various sights and sounds (and getting compliments from strangers).
Other than that, our days were spent at the hotel, either lounging at the pool with PK, or walking along the beach. One of our concerns of being away was trying to fit in PK's naps. It would've been a real downer to be stuck in the hotel room on a nice, warm, sunny day for 2 hours so that PK could get her rest. Fortunately, I'd brought the Ergo Baby carrier with me, which I decided we could use for naptime. So while the hubby and I took two-hour walks along the beach, PK slept soundly in the carrier. Our beach walks were great because of the nice ocean breeze hitting our faces as we walked along the shore. A lot of the sand was dotted with broken seashells, but on occasion, we'd managed to find a few nice onces to take home with us. By the end of our trip, I think we'd managed to get 15 or 20 seashells.
In the evenings after dinner, I always swam laps in one of the hotel's pools. Since most people were out to dinner or back in their rooms at that time, I often had the pool to myself. Meanwhile, the hubby took PK to walk around by the pool. I think that this was PK's favorite time of the day. There were few people out by the pool at that time, but the few that were there fell under PK's cuteness spell. She would often walk over to complete strangers, waving one hand, and babbling away as the hubby held her other hand. She would sometimes stare people down until they acknowledged her, and then it was over. They were officially charmed.
PK's walking vastly improved while we were away. Before we left, she was scared of taking steps on her own. By the time our vacation was over, PK was bold enough to walk over from the armchair in our room to our bed without even batting an eyelash. And she also learned how to get from a lying position to a standing position in her playpen via a "vertical crawl". She was able to later transfer that skill into a regular crawl.
Overall, we had a great time. I'm glad that we finally did manage to go on vacation as a family, and I'm glad that we went when PK was a bit older and was a bit more aware of her surroundings. She will most likely never remember this vacation, but I'm sure that it will have a lasting impact on her life. At any rate, I'll never forget it.
Raising A Screen Smart Kid in The New York Times
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