A few weeks after the 4th of July and just before Amelia turned 6 months old we headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico! Not only was this our first family vacation with Amelia in tow, it was also her first flight (insert cringing emoji). The trip was wonderful, but traveling with a 6 month old is not easy…or lightweight. So. Much. Stuff.
Thank you Robert for doubling as a pack mule. Love the many talents of my super husband.
My biggest anxiety leading up to the trip was making sure I packed everything we may possibly need (this involved lots of list making and double checking) and traveling with breast milk (this turned out to be super easy and no big deal, win!). The flights on the other hand…well, I wouldn’t call them ‘easy’. We had 4 flights total and 2 went OK and 2 involved lots of crying despite my best efforts at nursing/distraction/handing the baby off to family members. I’m not sure if flying will get easier or harder the older she gets. Being a parent on a plane definitely gives you a whole new threshold for tolerating other babies and young children on planes (sorry anyone I ever side-eyed in the past!).
Once we arrived in Mexico Amelia settled into a schedule pretty quickly and did well, despite some very late bedtimes. Our resort, the Vidanta Grand Luxxe, was beautiful and HUGE. The size made getting around slightly difficult since we had to travel everywhere with baby gear, but the variety of restaurants, pools and activities was wonderful.
We never lacked for something new and fun to do on the resort and spent one day away at a zip line park, complete with ATV’s and cenote swimming, which was a lot of fun despite my fear of heights.
Of course we decided that our first full day in the city must begin as every proper day in the city does, with a very good bagel. We made our way down to Best Bagel and Coffee, a hole in the wall with great yelp reviews (always sure to be a winner!).
There was already a line out the door but it seemed to be moving quickly so we joined the queue. Once inside it looked more or less like your run of the mill bagel shop with endless tubs of flavored cream cheese and baskets full of bagels.
Although I was dying for lox (no smoked fish while expecting :() Robert and I both opted for variations on egg and cheese bagel sandwiches.
They were of course delicious and very filling. Stuffed, we gave up our table and walked towards the subway, Central Park bound!
I find the subways more than a little confusing but they are definitely the most budget friendly and often the quickest way to traverse the city. Enter our first real adventure of the trip: Robert made it on to the subway car headed for Central Park and I didn’t. In case you are under the impression that Subway doors are like elevators and you can stick your arm out to cause one to re-open, they aren’t.
Luckily a few kind New Yorkers saw what had happened and took pity on me before I became full blown Home Alone 2 Lost in New York. They told me which car to take and where to get off. Meanwhile Robert was busy sending me text messages that read: “I miss you.” Very helpful under the circumstances.
Soon enough we were reunited and found ourselves in front of Trump Tower (Gross) and right outside the park! We bought a map and started at the south entrance.
I had been to New York several times prior to this trip but Central Park was one landmark I had never experienced and I couldn’t wait to check it out.
Now that it’s in writing I guess I am officially 30! I’ve said it out loud plenty over the last month but this must be the first time I’ve actually typed it out because it looks so old odd!
Robert’s family always makes a big deal out of celebrating birthdays and I am lucky that he has passed that on and makes sure that I feel special and celebrated each year. I met Robert a few months shy of my 21st birthday. We hadn’t had the DTR (defining the relationship) talk before I left for Las Vegas with my girlfriends to celebrate finally being legal. Upon checking into our hotel I learned that Robert had surprised me with a day at the hotel spa the morning after I turned 21. It was such a thoughtful gift and I returned from that trip with an “official boyfriend”. It also kicked off a long line of very sweet and special birthdays (except for the one fluke year where he forgot to get me a card and we ate McDonalds for lunch…but we don’t talk about that 😉 and this year was no exception.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, dinner with friends is always nice and a party (while pregnant) didn’t sound too fun so we decided to take a trip. I hadn’t been to New York City in years and Robert hadn’t been since he was in middle school so we decided it would make for a perfect long weekend. In true crazy planner fashion I started our itinerary right away. There were LOTS of sights I wanted to see, but more so there were LOTS of places I wanted to eat (I mean what else is a pregnant girl supposed to look forward to on vacation?). If you are planning a trip to the city I highly recommend you start following a few NYC Food Instagram accounts but prepare for your mouth to water.
We flew out on Thursday and arrived in NYC around noon, just in time for lunch! Of everything I wanted to try, I was the most excited about trying soup dumplings or Xiao Long Bao. I tried a giant soup dumpling once when I was in China but couldn’t wait to try the cute little ones I’d seen all over instagram (and that aren’t available in any restraurants anywhere near where I live 😦
We wet to Pinch Chinese on Prince Street, a menu I had scoped out well ahead of time and couldn’t wait to order one of everything from. Much to my dismay, they weren’t serving the snow crab over glass noodles for lunch, so we opted for pork soup dumplings, beef pan fried dumplings and Shrimp and Pork Wontons which come in the most delicious broth. EVERYTHING was delicious, highly recommend, A+++. Everything we didn’t order that I saw others around us eating looked delicious too. If we return to NYC anytime soon we will definitely be making another visit to Pinch, preferably at dinner so I can get my hands on those crab noodles.
After lunch we walked around Nolita (Soho? The boroughs confuse me) and browsed through a few shops before stopping at Milk Bar for dessert.
If nothing else this has certainly been a summer of last minute trips.
For a type A planner like me this is pretty out of the ordinary. I knew earlier this year that I wanted to take a trip in June. The end of June would have been our original due date had we not lost our first pregnancy in December. I thought a trip would hopefully help us from being too sad as the date approached. Finding out we were expecting again in May definitely helped alleviate some of the sadness surrounding late June but it still seemed important to take a trip together to commemorate the event.
We talked about the trip a lot, but never pulled the trigger on a location. We wanted to go somewhere totally new but were reluctant to go too far away with a new pregnancy. Finally, at the behest of Robert’s cousin we decided on Sea Island, Georgia. We planned the trip so that it would coincide with our 3 year anniversary, only a few weeks away by the time we actually got around to the planning part.
The planning part entailed booking a room and making restaurant reservations. *Tip* Reserve your restaurants EARLY! We were too late to get into either of our top two choices 😦 A prime example of why I am typically a Type A advance planner. In the end, the restaurant choices mattered very little as I spent some of the trip sick (more on that later). Of the three options for lodging, we chose to stay at The Inn, the least expensive of the three. We quickly found out that Sea Island was pricey (especially during their peak summer season when we were there) so even the least expensive option cost a pretty penny. The Inn was closer to the Cloister (Most expensive option) and all of the amenities than The Lodge (second cheapest option) so it seemed like a solid decision. On top of our room rate we chose to pay extra to use the amenities and have access to the Cloister which I would definitely recommend because if you aren’t going to use their beautiful property and beach then why stay there at all? Wherever you choose to stay, there are free shuttles that run constantly which is a great feature.
We left for Sea Island on a Thursday, later than we had anticipated and hadn’t been on the road 30 minutes before hitting traffic. And by traffic I mean MAJOR traffic. Our easy 2 hour trip took us almost 4 hours 😦 On top of this being annoying (mostly for Robert, I had a book, thanks for always driving babe!) it also completely threw off our dinner plans so we decided to stop on the road. Robert chose Outback, a decision that I would sorely come to regret just a few hours later.