Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An amazing vacation!

Our trip was nothing short of amazing. Brayden did awesome on the airplane going to the beach. He napped a little, looked out the window, ate his snacks, and surprisingly enough all of our flights were on time!
When we got there we rented our minivan and got our carseats from baggage but unfortunately one of them was broken during transport. Delta was surprisingly easy to deal with and after a little coaxing they issued us a loaner seat to use during our trip and told me a check would be in the mail soon to reimburse us for the damaged seat. We were finally on our way, and I was surprised at how minimally stressful flying with Brayden was.
We got settled into our condo, got some groceries, and went down to the beach after dinner. Brayden was afraid of the water and as I washed the sand off his feet I wondered if it would be a long week for him.
The next morning we got up, had breakfast, and headed down to the beach. Brayden LOVED the sand and the water so this was what we did each morning with the kids. Every morning Brayden would get up and say "I wanna go wimming", or "Go beach". He happily ran to his room to put his swimmer and trunks on and then stood still for his sunscreen.
Brayden walked miles up and down the beach, crawled in and out of holes Bret dug for him, and scooped sand into his bucket with Lizzy happily for hours every day.
After finishing at the beach the kids always wanted to go swimming in the lazy river on our way back up to the condo so we did that too! As Brayden floated by the water filter he would say "water hiding", and it was very cute. Every time I see a water filter I can hear him saying that in my mind.
We did have one close call where Brayden jumped into the pool without his float but pawpaw fished him out very quickly. On the last day as pawpaw and Brayden were looking for a luggage rack he could see the pool area and did not understand why he couldn't "go wimming". This kid LOVES swimming.
Then the kids took a quick bath, had lunch, and took naps. In the evenings we went to dinner and headed out to do a fun activity.
 They stayed up nearly every night until 11 and we certainly made lots of happy memories with Brayden. We spent 2 nights at "Broadway at the beach" which was an outdoor shopping district with tons of kid activities. They fed fish, ducks, ate ice cream, went to the aquarium, and rode kiddie rides.
One night we went to meet some baby tigers! This is actually for a great cause and it was really neat although Brayden wasn't too impressed. 
One night we went to the boardwalk rode the skywheel.
The views were amazing and the kids thought it was pretty fun pointing out the water/ocean. One afternoon we took a dolphin cruise and while we did see some dolphins, the kids didn't love that activity.
We spent our last 2 evenings at the beachside amusement park. It is amazing to watch Brayden learn things. The first ride I put him were some kiddie airplanes and he cried hysterically.
Lizzie was kind enough to reassure him and encourage him.
I wonder if she will remember these days with Brayden as she gets older. There is no doubt that they are best friends. By the end of our trip it was clear that the rides was by far his favorite nighttime activity. 
We definitely have some thrill seeking 2 year olds on our hands! Brayden and Lizzy prefer the adult rides that they needed a parent to go on with them over the kiddie rides. I was sure when I put him on this ride:
that he would be crying but he was actually laughing hysterically.
And after the "tilt o whirl" which made my sister a little queasy they were asking to "go again".
We got back from Myrtle beach very late on Saturday due to a travel nightmare. We would have missed our flight out of Charleston because of the traffic and poor adult planning, but it was delayed due to a ground stop in Atlanta. We boarded the plan and it looked like we would still make our connection in Atlanta with time to spare but then the captain came over and said their was another ground stop in Atlanta for an additional 50 minutes. As I calculated in my head I knew it was likely we would miss the connection. The flight attendant put us on standby for a later flight and looking back she definitely saved us.
As we approached the Atlanta airport she told us to "run" as our original connection was still there, but unfortunately we got stuck on the tarmak and I watched our KC flight pull away from the gate :( We gathered our stuff and as we got off the plane I was emotionally preparing myself to spend the night in Atlanta with two 2 year olds, an 11 month old, and no belongings . We went to the gate for our standby flight and found a lot of people wanting to get on standby for this flight to Kansas city. Thankfully we were already on the list and we were numbers 7-11. The Delta rep told us that our chances were pretty good as their was an international flight on its way that was not going to make it in time. We made in onto the flight but had scattered seats. We found some kind people who switched seats so that Brayden and Lizzy could each sit with one adult. Overall the kids did great with all of the running, then waiting, and more hustling. Our remaining two carseats did not make it to Kansas City until Sunday, but they were delivered to our house by a delivery service which was very nice! To anyone traveling with small children, I would never travel with our carseats again as it was a nightmare! I think I will take my chances with carseats from the rental car company next time.
Since getting home I think Brayden has finally gotten rested up, but is already talking about going to the beach and airplanes. It seems to take him a few days after being on vacation and staying up until eleven every night to get back into his regular routines, but I think we are getting there. Today we are going to the lake with mawmaw and pawpaw for "wimming and boat ride".  Pawpaw got a new job this week and he will be working a rotating 4 day a week schedule which will allow to be home some during the week to do fun stuff with Brayden without everywhere being so busy! Welcome to the non traditional work schedule pawpaw, we are happy to have you!

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