Catching back up to real-time, this'll be my second skip. But perhaps not my last.
This evening, we're getting ourselves packed and ready for a multi-day trip down to Southern California. With an annual pass burning in our pockets, Disneyland beckons. Of course, with a two month old, it's not as easy as our previous casual outings. But, given we don't know how he'll handle a longer car trip, we've really broken it down.
But first, a quick history lesson.
My very first trip to Disneyland was way back when Kayla and I were freshly dating. In trying to figure out a date thing to do, she had somewhat jokingly said "what if we go to Disneyland this weekend lol". Me, wanting to look cool and spontaneous, replied "let's do it". Within hours, Kayla had the whole thing planned out. This was a Thursday, we'd drive out the next day after work and be at the parks over the weekend, coming back on Sunday. It was a blast of a time and a cornerstone of our relationship, not only because that's when I first told her I loved her.
In the years since, we've done enough return trips to pretty much have the thing down to a science. We know the best flights and airports to fly into, the best hotels to stay at, and how to optimize our time at the parks for the most rides/best time. Leave Saturday morning, come back Sunday evening. For special occasions, we'll do something extra like stay a little bit longer or at one of the Disney hotels, and make it a little more special.
I can't explain what it is about being there that's a magical time, but it is and has kept us going back. We've deep dived into Disneyland history and lore, which only enriches the experience while we're there. It seems there's always some new nook or cranny to explore, something new to see, something we haven't eaten. All that said, stands to reason that we'd want to start experiencing this as a family as soon as possible (the aforementioned annual passes help).
Back to the original topic.
Traveling with a two month old comes with its own new set of logistics. Clothes, diapers, feeding supplies, transporation. All of these things need to be thought about in advance and packed for, with extra thought for multiple contingencies. Granted, it's not like we're leaving the comforts of America behind; a big box retailer will always be somewhere close by should we need something. And it's not like Anaheim is that far away, just a six to seven hour drive. Which is a lot for a baby sure, but we're taking baby steps.
Day one, we'll drive half way and stop in San Luis Obispo. There, we'll chill at a brewery I'm a fan of, get some grub, maybe hang out at the beach. It's also a point to assess how the wee babes is handling things. If he absolutely hates driving for that long (and there's evidence to the contrary), it's only three hours. The next day, we'll finish the journey into Orange County, stopping along the way at a brewery/restaurant we've not been to and hitting up a couple stores before checking into our hotel. From there, we can enjoy some casual time in the parks before properly visting for the next couple days (or three; it's in the air).
I'm mildly apprehensive about keeping baby kid fed and happy for that much time while in the parks, but it'll be a learning experience for all of us. We'll figure it out and adjust as we go, and I'm sure a great time will be had by all. I don't want the family trip to be an elusive thing that's just waiting for "the right time". The right time is when we make it.
And that time is now.