Faren’s First Flight: Everything We Did On Vacation!
Aug 6, 2021
Snuggle on the couch watching movies all night and travel the world; these are two things I always told my husband I desperately wanted to do with our daughter when she was born.
Thanks to this “pan pizza” (pandemic) we’re still in, it’s safe to say we overachieved at the snuggling-on-the-couch-watching-movies-all-night thing while travel was hard to come by.
That is, until last month when we finally decided to brave the pandemic and take Faren on her first trip! At a walking, talking (in her language), couch climbing 16-months old, there were so many family members who she had yet to meet; aunts and uncles and cousins who were unfairly separated for nearly two years.
We had many reservations, many fears and many concerns before the trip, but together, we decided it was something we had to do; we all deserved a get-a-way at this point and family is super important.
So off to Florida we jetted for baby’s first trip, an amazing week of rest, relaxation, meet and greets and even a little Disney!
We had an early morning flight, I’m talking the plane took off at 6:45 a.m., so we had to be to the airport shortly after 4am. Faren is like mommy, and is not a morning person, but I’m so proud of how she braved the call time and even the check-in process. As we waited to board our plane, Faren was mesmerized by a group of kids a littler older than her. Her eyes were trained on them the entire time, but I guess watching other kids play that early in the morning was like sleeping pill for her. We had a smooth 35 minute flight from Nassau, Bahamas to Miami, Florida. She fell asleep the minute we boarded the plane and to my surprise stayed asleep through taxiing, the entire flight, the landing and even as we made our way through to airport, to the car rental counter and most of the drive to breakfast. I was lowkey happy she was asleep, because I feared how she would react during the plane ride, but sis is a trooper and proved to me on the way back that plane rides are her thing, especially if she has a window seat!
We landed in Miami to visit family there, Faren finally got to meet her uncle Kendrick, Aunty JoJo, cousins Kayla, Kelly, Josh and Deja!
It was a must that I visited one of my favorite restaurants for brunch, Beaker and Gray in Wynwood. It’s this hip little spot I stumbled on during a previous trip and fell in love with. The music is good, the food is better, the service is amazing. I always go for the Waygu burger and avocado toast, and this time we tried the duck with waffles; a very delicious choice!
We also popped into The Salty Donut (also in Wynwood) for a sweet treat. If I’m on vacation in Miami and can’t get my hands on some Bakehouse dounuts, then The Salty Donut is a must! I loved introducing Faren to two of my fave MIA spots, and I think she loved them too.
After brunch and way too many donuts, it was time to begin our three-hour drive from Miami to Orlando so vacay could officially commence. Thanks to lots of snacks, the iPad with several CoCo Melon episodes already pre-downloaded, a comfy car seat and a smooth ride, Faren braved the long trek.
I think mommy was the one who didn’t fare too well on the drive, whew! I was done after hour 1.5. But soon we arrived at our home away from home where Faren met more family members and mommy finally saw a bed! She was introduced to Aunty Meeka, Uncle Vargo and was reunited with her Nana and Papa and cousins Rhaimee and Jirehson. It was both Faren and I’s first time at Orange Lakes and I love the homey feel it gave; not stuffy like a hotel, but still very luxurious and family friendly. For someone who hadn’t traveled in nearly two years and needed to shop for her new body and the baby, I didn’t do as much as I could have on the property. We did visit the pool though and I slept alot, A LOT! The bed was super comfy and just swallowed me whole!
I absolutely LOVED being on the trip with my in-laws! They were oh so helpful with Faren (as always) and really gave us some time to just relax and have several date nights. This was really special to me, because after giving birth in the midst of COVID-19 and having no one around to help us for the first six to eight months, we finally got the chance to experience the luxury of sleeping through 5am bottle-making sessions and 6am diaper changes!
I knew for sure that I wanted Faren to get a little Disney while we were in Orlando. I also knew that at her age, with her sleep pattern and in her current “stranger danger” phase, taking her to the big Magic Kingdom would be too much for her. And I’m a Disney fan too, so I’m gonna need sis to ride the rides, sing the songs and do all the things with me, minus the crying and falling asleep. So we took a family day and headed off to Disney Springs; a small outdoor Disney attraction with restaurants, a Disney store and some of our favorite brands. We walked for a bit, got Faren a balloon and I headed straight for the Zara sign! I shopped a little there, but wanted to save most of it for the real shopping spree. We then towed the very long line to get into The Polite Pig restaurant. The food was good, but the after the rain started pouring and Faren fell asleep (see, I told you!), we decided to head back to the room for the day.
Again, being pregnant and giving birth during a pandemic took a way a lot of simple pleasures for me; no baby shower, no family and friends around, no shopping like crazy before the baby arrives…none of it! While I loved the fact that I’ve been able to shop at my fave local baby boutique, The Sandbox, for Faren, I yearned for a baby shopping spree where I skipped from store to store picking up t-shirts and dresses and shoes and even baby swimsuits.
I didn’t realise how sentimental this would be for me. And it was.
But I guess when so much is taken away from you during such a special time, getting any semblance of it back would mean something. And about that shopping spree, let’s just say Faren is already developing a taste for luxury. She loved it in the Coach store! Not bad for baby’s first trip!
Another first for both of us was eating at the Waffle House! While passing one, I told my husband that I’d never been so he made it his mission to take me to the Waffle House! I love me some P.F. Changs too, so our party of three grabbed a table one evening for some Chinese cuisine. P.F. Changs is always a great choice! Faren grew up a lot on this trip too. So many things she was afraid to do or wasn’t ready to do, she went for and made me proud. Like sitting in her high chair at all of our meals! I was so proud…and relieved!
I was really looking forward to brunch at Keke’s Breakfast Cafe. I’d seen some comments about it on Twitter and figured we should check it out. We had to wait one whole hour on a table, so we did some luggage shopping while we waited. Yes, we shopped too much, lol! When we finally got to our table I was hangry and just needed to eat. I had high hopes for this restaurant, but sad to say I was left disappointed. The staff was nice, but the food wasn’t the best I’d had. In fact, it was such a let down it made me angry and even hungrier. What was I expecting? A (semi) gourmet brunch with explosive flavors and lots of creativity. The food did make for some pretty photos though.