Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tips and Pics from Our First Mini Road Trip to PA with Our Little

John was a little hesitant at first but he warmed up real quick after this 


more shopping ;)

playground time! 

Asos jumpsuit sold out {similar here}

His smile is everything!

kiddie dinosaur area

Asos dress

bye bye see you soon

Asos dress out of stock {similar here}

What started out as a trip to stay with my sister for the holiday weekend at her vacation spot in PA, turned into a weekend getaway to Lancaster!  As a little girl my family went on many vacations here.  I remember loving it, then liking it, and then hating it.  I guess I've come full circle because I love it again!

The fact that it's only about 3 1/2 hrs away from NY put most of my anxiety about traveling for the first time with John to rest.  Even though it wasn't too long of a ride I knew I had to wear something comfortable and also appropriate to wear in public. We were going straight into town to explore and I didn't want to waste time changing so pjs were not an option. :) This jumper I'm wearing from Asos fit the bill.  I got so many compliments on it and everyone wanted to know where it was from! 

Eden Resort is the hotel we chose.  It was the talk of the town in all the mommy groups and I had to see what all the hype was about.  I'm a bit of a hotel snob, but compared to the other hotels in Lancaster, PA this is luxury.  It has a little playground, little water play area near the outdoor pool, little basketball court, and little mini golf area.  We were more interested in exploring the town rather then the hotel and time was of the essence so we didn't do any of these activities - next time!  Their room selection was the main reason we chose to stay there.  They have so many options!  We picked one that allowed John to have his own room.  Mike and I didn't want to have to go to sleep at 7 pm!  I was anxious about John and sleeping...  Up until now he had only either slept in his crib or car seat.  I just prayed for the best and the best is what we got.  He slept through the night in his own room, in a new crib!  

 Lancaster is such a simple and beautiful town.  Even with all the craziness due to the holiday weekend it still managed to feel peaceful.  Our first stop was Kitchen Kettle.  It's a little village filled with shops and eats.  There's also a little band playing music that John loved dancing to.  We took a horse and buggy ride through Amish country and learned a little bit about how the Amish live all while sipping homemade lemonade.  I would definitely recommend it!  Next was shopping!  Shopping for food, shopping for home goods, and did I mention shopping for food? ;) On the same road as Kitchen Kettle are more shops and eats.  You just park your car and go!  I wanted to buy everything, but could't really fit much else in the car.  Note to self: next time leave room for shopping...  We ended our day at Bird-in-hand Bakery & Cafe. This is a must stop! They have the most delicious treats and other goodies and such. They also have a playground and Mint field on their property! Beautiful!

Sunday was a little different than Saturday. There is something to be said about a toddler that sleeps in.  You would think it would be like Christmas morning for parents, right?  It actually was while he was sleeping and then he woke up and it was game over.  He woke up a little confused and extra irritable and that was the theme for the rest of the day.  

We all rallied together and headed to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.  :)  If you have never been to Cracker Barrel you're missing out!  This is a definite must try!  John loved the store they have before you enter their dinning area.  He found the cutest rocking horse and would not get off.  It sounds darling, but he literally would not get off and it was a true cry fest when we took him off.  That made breakfast extra fun.  Can you hear my sarcasm? Thank God for quick service and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on my husband's cell phone.  That horsey did come home with us.  Daddy said we just couldn't leave without it.  I love him.  :) 

After a nap in the car and a diaper change we headed to Dutch Wonderland.  We unfortunately weren't able to take many pics here in an effort to keep our toddler happy as well as myself and hubby.  It wasn't all tears and tantrums though, I promise.  He loved the rides just hated waiting on the lines and there in lied our battle. 

It was a long day, but John went to sleep with no problem and we had the night to ourselves! It was an early rise for us the next day where we had breakfast at Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant.  I do not recommend their buffet, it was the least bit appetizing.  It has a cute country atmosphere though.  We said goodbye to the cows and headed home.  I chose a comfy, chic dress, also from Asos, to wear to breakfast and in the car on the way home.  I paired it with a belt and Diane Von Furstenburge clogs for a welcome to fall feel.   

Here are some tips from our visit.

My first and most important tip is that you say a pray before you even put the car in drive.  Putting God first put all of us at ease and we were ready to start our little adventure.  

Tips For Traveling with a Toddler 
1. Bring an iPad.  We forgot to buy a mount so my husband used his Macgyver skills and put the iPad  into our car seat mirror.  He used rope to secure it and mounted it to the back of John's seat.  We downloaded a movie that he had never seen to keep his interest.  If your toddler loves Curious George download "Curious About Space."  John loved it! 

2. Leave time for a pit stop if possible.  It was the halfway mark and the movie was almost over.  We decided to stop before the movie ended to stretch our legs, have a bite to eat, and use the bathroom.  I feel like it reset John... We got back in the car, put the rest of the movie on and when it was over he actually took a nap!  When he woke up we only had about 30 mins to go!   

3. Bring a new toy.  We picked up some new reusable animal stickers that came with a book for him to place them on.  It kept him busy the rest of the way.  Plus, all of the animal stickers prepared him to see the real deal - cows, horses, sheep, etc.  
Tips for Sleeping on Vacation with a Toddler
1. Bring your own crib/pack-and-play.  I regret not bringing our own. What the hotel supplied was sufficient but just thinking about the germs drove me crazy... Seriously I had to pray an anxiety attack away.  Thankfully I brought my Honest Company Multi-Surface cleaner.  I sprayed everything in John's room along with everything else multiple times!!! 

2. Don't forget to bring your own crib sheets!  You want your little love sleeping on something clean, soft, and familiar.      

3. If possible, bring your baby monitor and other familiar items.  We brought his room thermometer  (Gro-EGG) and his air purifier too!  The purifier not only purifies the air it blocks out noise perfectly!   

Tips when visiting Dutch Wonderland 
1. You pay for parking. Fifteen dollars for preferred and five for regular.  We wanted preferred but there were no spots left. We got there mid afternoon.    

2. Food is very expensive and you're not allowed to bring in outside food.  We got John a tiny piece of pizza and it was 5 dollars! Bring snacks and a water thermos though.  I brought them and they didn't make me throw it away.  They come in handy while waiting in line.

3. There are a good amount of rides for toddlers.  We went on about 5 rides and that was a lot considering... We went on the merry go round, Sunoco turnpike (car ride), gondola cruise, dragons lairs (boat ride), and wonderland special (train ride).  The wait time for the rides are reasonable too. Even though John was crying for most of the wait time we were only in line for tops 15-20 mins.  That's pretty good considering it was a holiday weekend. 

4. They have a cute water area that we just passed by because John just wasn't having it.  I also was a little nervous about him catching something weird from playing in the water with that many children.... It's the nurse in me. 

5. If your kiddie likes dinosaurs they have a little spot just for them.  John's not big into dinosaurs but he loved looking at them and listening to all the sounds they made.   

6. Sunscreen and hats are needed, although I will say they do have quite a bit of shady areas.  I saw a lot of strollers with sleeping babies in them at these spots.

7. Don't overstay your welcome.  We left at about the 3-4 hr mark.  The park is not that big, so for a toddler I think 3-4 hrs works.

Hope you have a happy Thursday and please share any of your own tips while traveling with kiddies! I'd love, love to here them! 

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