Traveling with toddlers is always an adventure, but with a little preparation and a lot of flexibility, it can also be fun. We recently returned from a week-long trip to Gulf Shores, Ala., and we couldn’t have had a better time. (For more about Gulf Shores, see my posts from last year’s vacation here, here and here.)
Based on my experiences, here are my favorite tips for surviving a vacation with a toddler.
Things have been a little slow around the blog lately, which is usually a good indication that my life is anything but slow! I thought this week’s “Your Three Words” would be a great place to catch up on all the random things me and the family have been up to.
We visited the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the Thanksgiving holiday and had a great time reuniting and celebrating with family and friends. And, of course, like any time we get together with our loved ones, this trip involved lots of good food. Honestly, the best food we ate were all the home-cooked goodies we enjoyed at home with family, but we did have a few meals out worth noting, so here are some brief reviews.
In this final post about our Gulf Shores vacation, I’ll post a little bit of everything. Here are all the other places we visited on our trip.
We spent our stay in a rented beachfront home in Gulf Shores. It was a great location (not too crowded, not too remote).
Traveling with a baby, I can’t even describe how awesome it is to have a full kitchen and a full washer and dryer. We were able to eat lots of meals at home, had ample space to prepare, store and wash bottles, and we were even able to wash and dry our cloth diapers. I highly recommend a house or condo for families with little ones.
The Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar - Bon Secour, Ala.
In this second installment of my vacation review, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite subjects–food!
Since we were staying in a house with a full kitchen, home-cooking was a big highlight of our stay. We had a hot breakfast every morning with grits or biscuits, eggs, bacon or sausage and more. Heaven! We ate well at dinner too, enjoying everything from homemade gumbo and fried shrimp to fresh-grilled steaks and corn on the cob, to homemade spaghetti sauce.
Despite the amazing food at home, we did venture out for a couple of meals. Here are our reviews of the places we tried.
Gulf Shores, Alabama, is a summer tradition for our little household. My husband’s family has been vacationing together here for many years, and now that I’m part of the family I’m lucky to be part of the tradition.
While family is what draws us here, the appeal of the Gulf coast makes it a pleasure to come back year after year. Despite the fact that I am a native Floridian, I enjoy the beaches in Alabama for the slower pace, the friendly people and all the great Southern food.
I’ll review our trip in three parts: the beach, the eats and the rest. If you’re considering a Gulf Shores vacation, I hope they’re helpful.
The Beach is Back
The Gulf Coast is back! We made our annual visit despite the oil spill last summer, and the damage to the area’s natural beauty was heartbreaking. That makes the area’s recovery even more remarkable. The beach looks fresh and clean everywhere we went, and more importantly the crowds are back. New businesses are open, houses up and down the beach are full, fresh, local seafood was on the table and we even saw two weddings on the beach during our stay!
Check out the before and after photos below to see the beach’s transformation is just one year.
Orlando is a great place to be a dog, and nowhere is that more true than in the downtown neighborhood of Thornton Park. Streets are lined with dog-friendly outdoor cafes, and the local salons and boutiques put out water dishes for passing pups. The neighborhood is also located right beside Lake Eola Park, one of Orlando’s most scenic and popular parks.
- Shampooch fundraiser at Thornton Park’s Lambs Eat Ivy Salon.
My husband and I spent a perfect afternoon in Thornton Park recently with our weimaraner and our baby. It was great to have an outing the whole family could enjoy. Continue reading