Thursday, July 28, 2011

Traveling...Special Needs Style

Anthony & I like to travel - no question about it.  Whether it's driving somewhere new or flying to a different country, if we can do it we will.  Obviously we haven't gotten to travel much since Xavier has been born.  This really hasn't been because of his special needs but just because he's a kid and travelling with a kid ain't easy.  Take it from (at the time) two childless newlyweds who travelled around Spain for 10 days with two friends and a six month old.  Said six month old couldn't have been a better baby.  She was a total sport and after one minor exorcist-like vomiting incident in the car shortly after landing in Espana, there were few baby related bumps in the road.  The problem is that kids don't travel light.  You ain't going anywhere and a kid is just packing a carry-on.  Nope.  And especially not a kid with special needs.

We decided we wanted to do a little getaway to some place we've never been and to go as a family.  Ultimately we picked Pittsburgh.  I have many friends who will say, "Dear Lord, why Pittsburgh?".  Well the deciding factor was that we could drive there, it's a small city, and I wanted to go to the zoo. 

Anthony and I shared one suitcase and Xavier had his own suitcase.  And a cooler.  And a pack-n-play.  Reference last sentence where I said kids don't travel light.  But I have to say that we actually did better than we have in the past with just going to Ocean City.  Basically we wanted to have our bases covered but, as Anthony had to remind me, we are in a major city.  People in Pittsburgh have kids, they use diapers, we aren't in a random country.  Ahh yes, you are correct.  But will we be able to find Naked Juice?  We need drink thickener.  How much food should I pack?  No to mention that he needed multiple outfits.  What if a strong breeze came through and he got cold?  And I bought him a "chilly-towel" could get too hot and I don't want him to over-heat.  Ok, so I'm a little neurotic and maybe just a tad overprotective.  But he's my little bean and he can't tell me what he needs so I need to think ahead for him. 

So after I made sure I had a multitude of choices (of both the clothing and food variety) we were confident about our little trip.  The boy totally enjoyed himself!  This time he was the trooper. Up at 7am and stayed up through the whole ride and even after we got there.  Same thing the next day (I think this was a product of the pack-n-play though...he is way too good -so he thinks- to sleep on something so hard now and he ultimately ended up in bed with me where I had a blissfull smiling little boy chewing his tongue in my ear in the darkness).  Our only snafu was that we had requested a fridge in the room but it never got there.  We improvised used the ice bucket when we wanted to cool a drink down so it was really no biggie.

Our first real family vacation went off without a hitch!  Lots of bad food was eaten (by both mommy & daddy and Xavier...everyone needs ice cream for dinner at some point!), lots of smiles were had, and we had a great time as a family.  No worries about doctors or appointments or therapies.  Just us doing what families do.

So very unenthused of a 5 hour car ride

Mommy making X pose for a pic at the end of a long day.

Frozen yogurt for dinner? Of course.

This moment was the absolute best.  Xavier thought the suspension bridge was hilarious.  I was laughing so hard at him I could barely take the picture.

A little foot comparison.  Note to self, don't meet a polar bear in the wild.

Family pic.

Stingrays are awesome sensory input!!

After a little misting.

Pooped. Pooped. And more pooped.  This would be a great promo for the Westin's "Heavenly Bed" collection.

Ok, so maybe it's a little over-kill but the head rest and stroller fan come in handy.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear you liked Pittsburgh! Just remember, Starbucks almost always have Naked juice. So, as long as you're going somewhere with a Starbucks, you should be fine :)