Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to prepare for a 10 day trip to California with kids

How do you prepare for a 10 day trip with eight kids under the age of seven,
a trip that will cover over 800 miles,
and span several different climate zones?

Start in the book section of your favorite store (or library).
  We brought lots of books with us on our trip, knowing that we would have lots of long drives.
We also stocked up on squeezable fruit pouches, trail mixes and Go Picnic meals, to ensure
that we didn't have to resort to fast food for EVERY meal.

Sleep when you can.
Too bad, T and I were up until all hours of the night before our super-early departure flight.
Oh, well!  A few winks on the plane and an early night to bed the first night hit the spot.
Be sure to sleep when the babies are sleeping!

When in doubt, take the shuttle!
From the LA airport, we took the Magic Express shuttle to DisneyLand instead of renting our car.
A few days later, we picked up our rental car in Anaheim, not the airport, for a substantial discount.
Shuttle bus plus less hassle, less expensive car rental = happy parents and kids :)

Start vacation with a nice, big meal.
Across the street from Disney Land is a great restaurant called Mimi's Cafe
We could have happily eaten every meal of our vacation there.  
The food was excellent and so was the service, even for a party of 15 with 8 kids!
For breakfast, I recommend the oatmeal, for brunch the veggie omelet and for dinner the
tomato basil soup and any of their salads.  The kids options were healthful and yummy too. 

Hit the pool first.
No matter what is across the street (ahem, Disney Land), when our kids check into a hotel, the first thing they want to do is jump in the pool.  This vacation, we wisely and happily said "yes!"
We stayed at the Howard Johnson across from Disney Land, and there is a wonderful splash pad pirate pool.  Our kids could have played there all day.  The weather was gorgeous, and there was no need to fight the lines right away.  Better to relax and wait for the morning.  Had we thought of it, however, we would have gone to buy our park passes that night ahead of time.  We hadn't purchased them ahead of time, and we could have just walked across the street to the park to get them while the evening lines were short.  Oh well.  If that was our worst mistake, we were doing pretty well.

Happily Ever,
Queen B

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