|Melbourne Beach, FL|
|All smiles on the drive down to FL.|
|Sunrise on the first morning.|
|Time to hit the beach.|
|Trying the water for the first time.|
|Wah! Did not like the water much the|
|Went much better the second time around.|
|Our little beach family.|
|Enjoying the beach with Dad.|
|All smiles for Dad back at the beach house.|
|The view from the backyard of our house.|
|Her new favorite thing is to try standing up,|
with some help obviously!
|Back at the beach...she's starting to like this ocean stuff!|
|Better watch out for the wave!|
|Brandon did some surfing while at the beach.|
|Rockin her "Baby Banz Sunglasses"|
|The view from the beach house of the Atlantis Shuttle|
|Sandy little toes.|
|This sun hat was our favorite accessory on this trip!|
|Just lounging on the beach|
Now if there is anyone out there planning a long drive with a baby, here are two things I learned from my time in the car with Avery:
1. Learn how to change a diaper in your lap. Whenever we would stop for gas or at a rest area, I would change Avery's diaper and I did it usually in my lap. I barely wanted to use those not-so-clean and definitely not-so-green bathrooms, so there was no way I was changing her in there! By the way, you might get ready for lots of bowel movements, as Avery had several. I'm not sure if it was something about the movement of the car or just the new surroundings, but Avery had 3-4 BM diapers on our drive down and several more on the drive back. Now this could have been frustrating considering I had to change all these diapers in my lap, but I chose to laugh about it and you can bet that by the end I was one backseat-diaper-changing rock star! I think her "trip nickname" should be "Lil' Poopie!"
|A diaper change in mom's lap- good times!|
2. If the baby gets fussy, roll down the window. The only time Avery really fussed on the trip was when she was tired and needed to fall asleep...but didn't want to. Our solution: roll down the windows. There must be something about the sound of the air blowing and actually feeling it on her face/eyes that really helped to ease her to sleep. Another thing I did was to gently shake her car seat, which created a vibrating kind of motion that seemed to help even more to get her to sleep. Last, it helped sometimes for me to undo the shoulder harness portion of her car seat seat belt, still leaving the lap band fastened. Sometime those shoulder straps would just make her even more upset for some reason. Now I know it's probably not the safest thing to do, but this blog is real life, so I'd be lying if I said I just let her sit all buckled up in her car seat for two days. This is just one thing I did to help make the trip go much smoother for her and for us, and sometimes you just do what you have to do to get by. Anyone else have some tips that have worked for you in the past? Post below!
|Oh no! She's not happy!|
|Let's roll down the window.|
As you can imagine, I still managed to maintain some "greenness" in my life while on this trip, so here's some things I did:
1. We drove to Florida. Aside from the fact that I had no desire to try and fly with my 2 1/2 month old, driving down to Florida was a great green option for us. Here is more about how driving (in a fuel efficient car) is more eco-friendly! Instead we chose our car that gets the best gas mileage, a Dodge Caliber to take on our trek down to Florida.
|Gotta love the view of palm trees out your windshield.|
2. We stayed at a house on the beach as opposed to a hotel. Nothing against hotels, but it was much easier for me to do the "green things" I will list below since we were in a home-like setting.
|The view from inside the beach house looking out onto the|
ocean...wouldn't mind waking up to that everyday!
3. Keep up the recycling. When you're the type that cringes if a plastic bottle gets thrown in the trash, recycling doesn't stop even when you're on vacation. So luckily the beach house we were staying at had a recycling pick up service that our big family of 18 took advantage of during our week stay. Yeah! That makes me one happy green girl!
|Just one of our big loads of items to be recycled.|
4. Keep up the green smoothies! What was the first item I put on my list to pack for the trip? My Vitamix Blender of course! I don't know what I'd do without it for a day, let alone a week, so it made it's way onto the counter at the beach house pretty fast once we arrived. During my stay I kept up my two green smoothies a day routine and I even made some tasty samples for my nieces and nephews...which you can see below. These shot glasses worked great for handing out samples of all the "unique" food I make and eat- he he! ( :
|How about a shot...of green smoothie that is!|
5. Cook our own meals, as opposed to eating out. This is an easy one for me since most restaurants do not have many gluten-free vegan options on their menus. So what do I do since I can't eat out? Sit at home and eat celery sticks and Larabars all day? Heck no! I brought my always-growing recipe folder and made some of my favorite meals. On our way down to Florida we stopped at Whole Foods and stocked up on snacks, produce, and pantry staples so we could cook and eat just like we do back home. Only this time I had the help of my niece, who did a great job with prepping and cooking the food with me...thanks Olivia, you rock!
|"Meat-less Meatloaf and Mashed Sweet Potatoes"|
|Our "Vegan Dining Club"|
6. Pack my own snacks and meals for the road. Want to save some money while traveling and reduce unnecessary packaging and waste? Pack your own meals and snacks! One of my favorite ways to do this is to make something for dinner the night before we leave that makes a lot of leftovers that way we're all set for lunch the next day. All we have to do is keep the leftovers in a cooler, and then warm them up at a gas station and there you have a cheap, green, delicious, and quick lunch! Love it! We also stock up on some yummy, healthy snacks for the road so we don't have to buy them at the gas station or stop at a grocery store along the way. Here's one I found for this trip that was delicious: "Tres Bean Dip" by Eat Smart. It tasted great with some organic corn tortilla chips. Aside from this, Larabars, fresh fruit and baby carrots were also a must for our two-day drive!
|A yummy bean-salsa dip we enjoyed snacking|
on during our drive.
So on our trip we saw fun critters like this lizard and crab below right in our driveway and backyard, and although I didn't get to touch them or watch them perform a show for me, I enjoyed watching them from a distance and letting them stay at peace in the their own surroundings.
So that wraps up my recap of our first family vacation to Florida and how I tried to maintain some of my green-ness! Do you have any favorite ways to stay green while vacationing? Post below!