10 Things Learned On Our Recent Travels

This past weekend Hubby, the Agents, and I made a trip to Orlando, Florida to visit Animal Kingdom and Sea World. Even though we travel with the Agents a lot, I learn new things every time. Following are ten points that popped into my head on this particular adventure.
Safari Mickey and Minnie . . . always a favorite

1. Everything is a learning experience. I know; pretty much the ultimate homeschooling cliché, right? Maybe, but it's also true. That's not to say that everything must be a learning experience, just that once you get your kids (and yourself) in the mindset of learning happens all the time and your day is not divided into "school" hours and "other" hours, it's kind of hard to turn it off.

2. If you suspect something might be too scary, go with your instincts. We decided to go to one particular show we had never seen before. (Well, Hubby and I saw it about nine years ago, but I forgot what happened, exactly.) Agent E (and to a lesser extent, Agent J) freaked out. It was too much. Luckily, it was pretty short, but I wish we had skipped it altogether. (Agent A was nursing through it, so he didn't notice.)

3. I suck at patience. I don't know why I think I will be more patient than usual (which is not very, by the way) on vacation with three young children. Still, I envision better-than-usual tolerance and composure prior to every trip and it. never. happens. I should probably adjust my expectations from I will be consistently kind and patient and understanding every moment of the day to a more realistic I will not be tempted to feed my children to safari animals.

Chipmunks are fun
4. Your kids are enjoying themselves (even if you're not). There are some parts of every trip that I think, oh my word get me out of here now, please. The Agents seem to go with the flow and have fun no matter what they are doing. Everything is interesting to them, even the most mundane parts of the day. And when I ask them what their favorite parts were, I am always amazed by what they say. (Hint: It's often something I'm rolling my eyes at, thinking are we really doing this?)

5. Young children make friends like drunk people. Saturday night we made a brief trip to the hotel pool. Hubby and I sat on the edge of the kiddie pool (18 inches deep all around) while the Agents pretty much just sat in the water and splashed each other. Two children about E and J's ages were already in the pool, a brother and sister, and their parents watched from nearby, too. The Senior Agents and these two random kids became instant BFFs. Isn't this the best pool ever? Don't you just love it here? You are so awesome! I could stay here playing with you all night! Oh my gosh, it's water! Have I mentioned how cool you are?

6. Rethink your own "rules" as necessary. One thing I mentioned in a previous post was to consider ditching the stroller. I would modify that recommendation to include know your terrain before deciding. While I still don't think a stroller is the best option in certain places (i.e., traveling somewhere that you are using the metro a lot) there are times/places where it's not only appropriate, it borders on necessary. For us, specifically, we prefer not to use it on our many trips to the Magic Kingdom (you have to remove A and park it way too frequently, so it ends up being more of a hinderance in that particular park), but for our visit to Sea World it would have been most helpful. 
Agent E loves to check out the map

(Tip: If you plan on visiting Sea World Orlando and you have a child under about four, take or rent a stroller. I'm serious. Even if you aren't "stroller people" you will appreciate it. That particular park is very spread out, and not in a good way like the Disney parks, with something shiny to keep their attention every ten feet. I mean spread out with a ridiculous amount of walking through basically nothing to get to the interesting stuff. And for the record, as far as Disney goes, Animal Kingdom is probably the best of the four main parks to use a stroller in.)

7. There will be an element of insanity. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, the prime example of this in my world is taking the Senior Agents into a public bathroom. Every single time I think, okay let's just get in there and do this and wash hands and go. And, every single time I have to talk both of them off a ledge about something while we're in there. Usually it involves the automatic flusher. (Tip: Just hold your hand in front of it to block it.) And then there's the soap. And the automatic faucet. And the towels that always seem to be just out of reach. And don't even get me started on hand dryers.

8. I need to get in better condition physically. Trips that involve a lot of walking make me realize how out of shape I actually am. I mean, I manage, but I basically collapse at the end of the day. Perhaps I need to start taking this whole going to the gym thing a tad more seriously. On the flip side . . .

Posing with Franklin the Turtle
9. My children are very fit. Oh they complain a bit about all the walking, especially toward the end of the day, but in general they rock it. Even Agent A will walk a good while on our Disney visits. (Of course, he also wants up up up until Hubby's arms are about ready to fall off, too. The joys of two-and-a-half.) But really, the Senior Agents walk all day on these trips and are total troopers.

10. There's always next time. We have two more weekends of travel planned in the very near future. Which means I will soon have an opportunity to put all the things I learned into practice. In theory. Time will tell if Momma actually "learned" any of this, or if we'll just have another repeat performance. Wish us luck.


  1. Loved this! Some good reminders here, especially that yes, there will be a little bit of insanity and that sometimes you've got to flex the rules a bit.

    We are planning a big family vacation next year, so I'll be pinning this advice to remember :-)

    Best wishes,

    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by, Kara.