Traveling with a Toddler via Train, Plane, and Automobiles- Part 1

This past weekend, Roman and I took a trip up to Long Island to see my family. We were all up there to see my very talented sister perform in the musical, “Nice Work If You Can Get”. It was fantastic and she was amazing, as always! I was stoked I got to see it twice!

nice work1

Here is a little synopsis of our mini vacation and traveling shenanigans.

Saturday morning, we took a plane out of Baltimore airport and landed in Long Island. It may have been the shortest trip I have ever taken. I think we were in the air for 40 minutes. Perfect! Roman was entertained by a straw and cup of water for most of the flight. We also lucked out and got the whole row to ourselves. It helps that people do not want to sit next to babies! I had packed a giant bag of snacks, milk, books, and a kindle with sesame street downloaded. He did not even have to use any of it. I was so proud of him. But, less than 1 hour on a plane really isn’t that bad for anyone I guess. (Our train ride was a different story)

airportcollage

My parents rented a house in Bellport for the week and I was so happy to join them Saturday through Tuesday. We had not seen my dad since Christmas (saw my mom briefly in March) and Roman was in grandparent heaven. He did so great while we were there. I was super worried about him sleeping in a foreign place and bed but I think he was so excited from all the stimulation everyday that he was ready to go to sleep by 7pm each night. The house was walking distance from the little downtown area, the water, a playground, and the Catholic Church. Ideal. We went to mass on Saturday night and I have never been to a more friendly parish and met such an inviting priest. He announced that our family was visiting at the beginning of mass. Very sweet.

playgroundcollage

On Sunday, we drove up to the Hamptons and looked at the beautiful gigantic homes along the water. We ate lunch at a restaurant that charged $21 for a BLT. Whoah! Yep, that was memorable. I will pretend that it was the best BLT I ever ate to make it seem worth it. We walked around the town area. Roman had a great time hanging with Grandma and Pop Pop!

IMG_20150614_154702

hamptons2

Monday morning, my parents drove us up to the West tip of Long Island, Orient Point. My grandfather vacationed there as a child every summer. So it was fun driving around and imagining him in that place.  My dad had discovered that we still had some relatives living in the town just south of Orient in Greenport. He had met his cousin a few days before I got there but my dad was really excited to show me the house my great grandfather grew up in and I was too. It was a very cute little town as well and we had to stop and get some souvenirs to remember the place. Roman ate his biggest meal while we were there and entertained himself with the jelly packs on the table the whole time.

restaurant1

On Tuesday , we headed into NYC Penn Station via a commuter train that took about 1.5 hours.  Thank goodness I had my parents with me for that part of the trip because it was around nap time and he was refusing to take one. They were able to help entertain him until he finally passed out on Pop Pop. When we got into Penn Station, we walked over to Chelsea and saw my sister again. We got to see her cute apartment and walk around the neighborhood. We found Chelsea Park and let Roman play and run off some energy.

traintoNYC

I was hoping to let him get all tired out before our next long train ride back to Northern Virginia (5 hours) , and I guess it kinda worked…because he ended up taking his long nap before we got on the train. Boo. He literally woke up right as we pulled out of Penn Station. I pulled out Sesame Street pretty quickly and it worked pretty well for about 1.5 hours. Then, we walked down to the dining cart and grabbed some food, that took up another 30-45 min. He was happy for about 10 minutes after he ate and then all hell broke loose. He did not want to sit in my lap anymore and he was crying his eyes out. At this point I decided to go change him into his pajamas and tried to read him some of his favorite bed time books. He was not having that. I walked up and down the train with him a few times. He screamed the whole time, so I got the evil stare down from just about everyone as I walked through each car.  I also got a few sympathy looks from fellow mamas. When we pulled into DC station, we were able to get off for 10-15 minutes and that helped a lot! He was happy to see the other trains in the station and get some fresh air. For the last hour of the trip I was able to spread out a bit and let him sit on the floor. When we arrived at our final stop, papa belly was waiting for us and Roman was happy to see him. When we put him in the car, he passed out in his car seat immediately. Of course! LOL!  I survived is all I can say!

IMG_20150616_202109

So happy to be home. We have our really big summer trip to Sweden at the end of July and that will be Part 2 to the train, plane, and automobile travels. Here are a few lessons and tips I have learned from this mini trip.

#1 Make sure to have plenty of entertainment downloaded on the kindle. I think I will have more children’s books on there next time. He got bored with the videos.

#2 Have enough milk and snacks. I was good with snacks but I ran out of milk on the train and that was bad! Also, I purchased a little Insulated Lunch bag to store cold milk, I placed an ice pack inside to help.

#3. Bring at least one comfort item. We had his stuffed animal, Paul the Polar bear. He loves carrying that guy around.

#4. A giant beach bag for a carry on item works perfectly. This one, was big enough for all his stuff and mine and fit under the seat in front of me. It also had a few side pockets in it for the important stuff you need quick access to…like a cell phone and ID.

Hope this helps others this summer or at least makes them feel better about their travels with babies. It is a big adventure and worth doing just for the memories!

In Christ,

Mama Belly- Lili