Hello hello! I hope you all are having a great week. It feels like this week is taking forever! We leave for our trip to Salt Lake City tomorrow and I'm so excited for it! It will be Kai's first plane ride so send me allllll your tips and tricks for keeping a baby happy on a plane! It's a 3 hour flight, so not too long but long enough.
On the flip side though, I want to talk to you all today about road tripping with babies! We didn't do a ton of travel with Kai this year but we did do a couple of road trips out to see family in Ohio, which is about a 5 hour drive. The first one when he was 4 months old was a little rough but this last one we took went so much smoother. I believe it's because I thought out way more how to keep him occupied and how to help him nap when he's supposed to during the drive. So here are my biggest tips for road tripping with an infant...
1. Bring # of toys per # of hours
So what I mean by this is if you are going on a 5 hour road trip, bring 5 toys. They don't have to be huge or anything, just small things they can bang, throw, chew on, etc. Just keep rotating them out when you notice them getting bored with them. I honestly think I only ended up using 2 out of the 5 I brought plus his pacifier.
2. Sit in the back seat w/ them
I don't normally sit in the back seat with Kai when we drive around locally, but I did for our road trip out to Ohio the 2nd time. The first time I didn't at first, but had to move back there in the end because he wouldn't stop crying. Just think, they get lonely and bored! I was able to entertain him, plus give him back his toy whenever he would throw it. Which I would encourage because it kept him happy and entertained, ha! I was also able to feed him some solids when he was hungry + kind of guide him in to his nap when he needed to sleep a little. He's usually really good about napping in the car but when he's been in it for hours, he gets restless.
3. Take breaks at least every 2 hours
Our babes are buckled in nice and tight in their car seats so they need to stretch every couple of hours otherwise they are going to get real cranky. When it's time to feed them milk, find a rest stop and feed them. We're forced to do this because I still mostly breastfeed Kai, but he is bottle fed, too. So technically I could just give him a bottle in his seat, but the break is still necessary to give us all a stretch and bathroom break. Plus this is the perfect opportunity to change their diaper.
4. Download a good movie + playlist
We don't usually let Kai watch TV, but a thing like this is an exception. I give him a toy and put on Mickey on my iPad and he's good for at least 30 min to an hour. He mostly plays with the toy but occasionally watches Mickey and gets all excited. We also have an awesome Disney playlist put together for him on Spotify. It's full of the best Disney songs + other kid-friendly movie soundtracks. It's called Kai Tunes, look it up and follow it for your little ones too!
5. Bring all the snacks + the pacifier
When push comes to shove a pacifier or some puffs almost always does the trick. We have these Wubbanub pacifiers for Kai and he loves them so much. They almost always comfort him. Depending on what comforts your little one most besides you holding them, bring that. He is also a huge fan of these puffs from Happy Baby. He could probably eat the whole container in one sitting! They quickly dissolve in their mouth so they aren't a choking hazard and they actually taste so good! So snacks and binkies for the win!
That's all I've got for you all so far! Simple, but useful. I'll keep the tips coming as we travel more and will definitely do a post on all the tips and tricks I learn from flying with an infant soon!
Only 90 more days until we're hanging out at the happiest place on Earth again! I am so excited for our next trip to Walt Disney World because obviously it will be Kai's first time but also because we've never been in the spring. We tend to always go for our anniversary which is in September. While I absolutely love going in the fall for all the Halloween decorations, I'm really excited to go in the spring for Epcot's Flower and Garden festival! I get asked all the time when's the best time of the year to go to Disney and my answer is always the complicated, "well it depends..." answer. But here's why; Disney has so much to offer than just the rides at the parks. There are a lot of extra things that you can do and some of them are seasonal! So when I answer "it depends" it really does depend on what you're in to. Do you want to go when all the pretty flowers are in bloom? Do you want to go to celebrate Halloween? or Christmas? Well today I am going to tell you about a bunch of Disney extras that you can take advantage of and when!
This special festival is always at the beginning of the year. It is actually pretty new with it being only the 3rd year for it. In 2019 it is taking place from Jan 18-Feb 25th. This festival is all about...you guessed it...the arts! There are special visual art exhibits and culinary exhibits all set up around the World Showcase to celebrate each country. You can even join special workshops to create your own Disney inspired art! No special ticket is required except a park ticket to get in to Epcot.
This is Epcot's spring festival! This year is it taking place Mar 6th-Jun 3rd. Epcot is decorated with an incredible amount of flowers and topiaries in the shape Disney characters! They also have a special food menu for all the pavilions around the World Showcase. No special ticket is required except a park ticket to get in to Epcot.
So Dapper Day technically isn't a Walt Disney World sponsored event, but it's still a very special one that is put together by Disney lovers! You know the lovely greeters when you first walk in to Magic Kingdom that are all dressed up and sing to you? They are called the Dapper Dans! There are two whole weekends, one in the spring and one in the fall, where everyone gets dressed all dapper like them to celebrate old school Disney! The spring one is being held on April 27th + 28th and the fall one has not been announced yet. This past year though it was held on November 17th + 18th, so you can expect it to be around then again next fall. There are no special tickets required to celebrate Dapper Day, you just get dressed up and enjoy the special events all around WDW resort!
This is Epcot's fall festival and the one we love oh so dearly! The 2019 dates have not been announced yet but you can expect it to go from late August till mid-November. It is Epcot's longest and biggest festival. It features over 30 different countries around the World Showcase all having their own special tasting carts for you to try food and drinks from all over the world. There are concerts in the American pavilion almost every night, too! No special ticket is required except a park ticket to get in to Epcot. You can use your snack credits on your dining plan for some of the taste portions, as well. If you do not have a dining plan you can expect to pay around $150 a person if each person were to get a food and drink item from every country.
Mickey's Halloween party is held in Magic Kingdom every fall. The first one usually takes place in late August and the last one held is on Halloween. You can go trick or treating down Main Street, enjoy a special parade and fireworks show, and lots of extra treats all over the park. There are so many more meet and greet characters available during the party and the best part is that you can dress up in your Halloween costume! Disney does not allow visitors to dress up while in the parks except during the Halloween party. This is a special ticketed event costing $75 per adult and $70 per child.
This is Epcot's holiday season festival. The park is of course decorated for the holiday season and the World Showcase features decorations to celebrate the holidays from all over the world. A seasonal holiday menu is available at the different countries for visitors to try cultural holiday favorites. No special ticket is required for the festival except a park ticket to get in to Epcot.
This is another special Mickey party that is held in Magic Kingdom! Christmas decorations go up all the week after Halloween and then the Christmas party promptly starts! This year this special event is going from November 8th to December 21st. This party features a special parade with Mickey and Santa, Elsa does some magic on Cinderella's Castle, and there are lots of extra special holiday treats! This is a special ticketed event costing $99 per adult and $94 per child.
This special event allows visitors to experience the parks after every one else for 3 additional hours! You can go on lots of attractions with little to no wait. You need to call to get tickets for this event as the dates are not advertised online. The number is 407-939-7795 and tickets cost $125 per person.
What is your favorite Disney special event? Or if you've never been, which one do you want to go to the most? Let me know in the comments!
We absolutely love to travel and are so excited to get back in to travel mode in 2019. One of my favorite parts about travel in general though is planning our trips! I find the logistics and anticipation so fun. I get so many questions and comments around how we plan our trips and how it can be very overwhelming. So today I want to share with you all my tips for how to plan out the ultimate travel itinerary for your next dream vacation + show you a little sample of how to build your itinerary!
1. Make a Master List
Make a big list of places you want to see and eat for your destination. I like to use Google Sheets and add everyone that will be going on the trip with me, so they can give their input, too. About a month before the trip, I will go in to the sheet and categorize it by food, attraction, and entertainment. Then I'll sit down with my travel buddies and go through the list and mark down our must visits and take off any items that are not doable or don't have a lot of interest to everyone.
2. Use Google Calendar
I make a new Google Calendar for each trip we take and share it with whoever I'm traveling with so everyone has access to it. I will start plugging in entertainment dates and times (baseball game, attraction tours, etc). I usually do the day view in Google Calendar to better visually see length of time for each place we're going to visit. From there, I start filling in the days with the more flexible items from our Google sheet.
3. Explore 1 Area at a Time
When filling in your itinerary, stick to certain locations as much as possible. What I mean by this is if you're going to a museum on a certain day, pick a restaurant for dinner near that museum that you have on your list of places you want to eat at. That way you're not running all over the city to get from place to place and wasting a lot of time on travel. Same thing goes for dessert spots or bars. Pick things within walking distance or a couple of train stops away from your dinner spot whenever possible.
4. Don't Over Do it
Leave room for open exploring, breaks, and traffic jams. Remember that not every day is going to go according to plan, especially if you have kids! I personally like to use our first day of vacation as an explore/rest day. So if you're going on a tropical vacation, use that first day to just lay on the beach with a margarita. For other days throughout your trip, just schedule in "exploring" time. We don't always like to have something specific in every time slot. We always leave room to just explore neighborhoods and go shopping. That way if something comes up where we want to change what we're doing, we're not stuck cancelling a bunch of reservations or tours. It makes for a much more relaxing vacation. We love structure and to know where we're going, but we also really enjoy the freedom of just discovering gems on our own while we walk around while traveling. There's nothing like walking the streets of Rome and just happening upon an amazing restaurant on getting a glimpse of the Colosseum down a quiet alley way!
5. Mix it Up
Have some full days, and have some light days. Have some long meals and have some quick bites to eat. Have some nights where you grab dessert and some nights where you grab a cocktail. See where I'm going with this? I absolutely love trying all different kinds of experiences when we're in a new place from having brunch one morning to grabbing doughnuts the next. Book a spa day one day and then do surf lessons the next. The best way to immerse yourself and have the best time in a new place is to try it all! Do what you love but also get out of your comfort zone.
How to Build Your Itinerary Tutorial:
Step 1: Add the basics - Add your flight information + your hotel details
Step 2: Add it set activities - Add any shows, sporting events, tours, spa appointments, etc in to your calendar since they all have set times and places. You obviously can't change these things so they are a good place to start.
Step 3: Add in other activities - Add in your other activities that have more freedom like exploring a neighborhood, going to a museum, or shopping. Take it easy on day 1. Exploring a couple of areas is always best. Get to bed early on night 1 to recover from traveling and hit the ground running the rest of your trip.
Step 4: Add in Meals - We usually shoot for 1 hour for brunch or lunch and 2 hours for dinner. This way you can take nice breaks throughout the day to unwind and it pads time in case you need to wait for a table. We always do a pre-dinner refresh, too in case we want to take a nap, shower, or change our clothes. For quick bites to eat like getting doughnuts or sandwiches, I'll usually just do a 30 minute block. Be mindful of your set activities though with dinner! If you have somewhere to be in the evening it's best to grab a quick bite to eat like a burger near where you need to be and keep it a short and sweet. Like in my example above, I have a 1 hour block at a burger joint and the same hotel as the The Beatles: Love show is at. It's best to always make reservations if the restaurant takes them, too. This way you're never crunched for time and stressed about your schedule.
Step 5: Add in day trips - Add in any day trips that you want to take on completely open days. These kinds of things tend to take all day and require extra travel so it's best to keep meals quick and simple on these days and allow for a lot of extra time for travel.
That's all I do when planning! Start with the basics and build upon them for each day of our trip. Planning it all out is so helpful for us especially when it comes to food. We don't like to wing it too much when it comes to food because we quite literally travel for food. We want to make sure we're going to have an amazing food experience wherever we travel so we love to plan all that out. As for the exploring bits, we all have in mind what we want to see when we travel somewhere, so picking when and where you're going to go do these things helps you to know when to start your day and where you need to head to! I hope this helps all of you a little bit for planning out your trips, and as always, I'm always here to help if you ever want to reach out! You all know how much I love to plan trips ;)
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Hey there beautiful friends! I'm SO happy you're here today because today is a very special day for us...this little blog is ONE! I started this blog last November and it has truly brought so much joy and creativity in to my life and I have all of you to thank for that!
I've grown so much in the last year, it kind of blows my mind. To think when I started this blog I was still a mama to be is actually kind of unbelievable to me because I can't imagine my life without Kai and being a mom. I don't mind being defined as a mom at all. It is truly my calling and I honestly love who I've become in the last year. That's the first time in my life that I've been able to say that, I think. To be proud of who you are is so freeing. I start each day so full of happiness and am constantly motived to be the best version of myself possible.
Writing this blog, taking photos, connecting with all of you through social media, my Tiny Talks, and the Tiny Tribe brings me so much positive energy. I look forward to each and every blog post that I publish and literally get giddy when I hit the POST button. I've had the amazing opportunity to work with some incredible brands, too and thank all of them so much for recognizing the love and hard work that goes in to this blog. I joke that I have 3 jobs. My day job, being a mom, and being a blogger and I love all 3 of them so much. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world! I've put my hand at this blogging/website thing in the past (Yellow Mondays + This Boundless Journey, anyone? ha!) and I always get tired of what I'm doing long before this point. Tiny Dapper Fox though has not reached that point for me, and I am so grateful to have finally found my creative space that brings so much light in to my life.
Even though I've felt more joy in this last year then I ever have in my life, it hasn't come without challenges. I've certainly had my struggles, the two biggest ones being my postpartum anxiety and the loss of my dad. Life is not simply just happy or sad, it's so complex and learning how to deal with the ups and downs is just a part of it. When my dad got sick I was just getting over my crippling postpartum anxiety. For the last 5 months or so I've felt like I've been in a spinning vortex. I've been trying to climb my way out of it but life was spinning very very fast at some points that I just couldn't. This little blog and my family kept me from being lost though. Without you all, I feel like I would be numb and in the unknown. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being here. Whether you've been here the last year or even if you've just joined me, thank you so much for being a part of Tiny Dapper Fox.
Ok I know you're all probably thinking, what the heck? Didn't you guys go to the PNW LAST summer!? Yes, yes we did, ha! Bare with me though...I didn't have this fun little blog back then though, babies and life happen, this is my absolute favorite part of that trip, AND I'm one of the biggest lovers of our National Parks. So...no matter how long ago this trip happened, I want to share it with all of you. The things we did and beauty we saw are still relevant today. So without further ado...our day in Mount Rainier National Park!
We drove out to Mount Rainier National Park on our second day up in Washington. We were staying in Seattle and it was only about a two hour drive to get to the entrance of the park from the city. Our first stop on our way in was the Sunrise Visitor Center. We really love taking scenic landscape photos and researched some of the best views of Mt. Rainier prior to coming and this site popped up. It happened to be on our way to the spot where we we're going to go hiking, so it all worked out perfectly. We took a nice break from the car, grabbed some shots, and honestly just sat and took in the beauty of Mt. Rainier.
After our small little break at the visitor center, we made our way further in to the mountains to get to the trailhead of where we were going to start our hike. Since we were only spending one day in Mt. Rainier NP, we decided to do the Sourdough Ridge Trail hike up to Dege Peak. This hike took around 3 hours round trip for us...they say the average is around 2 hrs but I was first trimester pregnant when we were on this trip so this little mama needed to take it nice and slow with some long breaks. In total, the hike was 3.4 miles round trip. It was a decent steady incline for most of the hike up, but the last 3/4 of a mile or so was a pretty steep climb. The top of Dege Peak is around 7,000 ft and offers amazing views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Adams. I was so proud of myself for climbing this peak, especially while pregnant!
We hung out on top of Dege Peak for awhile to enjoy the view, have a snack, and catch our breath then it was time to head back down. We went back down the way we came...although I really wish we had time to continue down the opposite way to explore the lakes that were in the valley below, but maybe next time! The way down was of course much easier but at the same time challenging in it's own way. The surprising thing about the whole hike was that even though there was snow on the trail, it was still hot and we actually got sunburned! To me this is kind of a no brainer now that I should have worn more sunscreen, but it was my first time in this kind of experience so I had no idea!
After our hike, we headed back out of the park technically (we were just barely outside of it) and went to the Crystal Mountain Resort. We took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and had lunch at the Summit House Restaurant. We got to sit outside on their patio and enjoy the most amazing view of Mt. Rainier. We had burgers and fries and some lemonade to rehydrate and it was all so delicious and enjoyable!
Next on the itinerary was to head over to the Ohanapecosh area to see the hot springs. We "hiked" the Hot Springs Nature Trail in search of the hot springs. We were all prepared with bathing suits and ready to relax after a long day of hiking in the sun. Well guys, I hate to break it to you but these hot springs are well, barely anything, ha! I'm not joking when I say this...we walked right past them! I was laughing so hard that I didn't even get a picture of them. I think Ashlyn might have?! Anyways, it is now one of our biggest inside jokes that we drove an extra two hours for these hot springs and didn't even know we were at them! It was a hilarious way to end the day and a trip we will never forget.
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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