Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Miles West of Expected

You know the old saying about ‘When pigs fly’? Well, pigs still can’t fly, but because of pigs neither can we. To Mexico anyway. Yes, because of the whole H1N1 Swine Flu virus, our originally scheduled flight this coming Friday to sunny, warm, beachy, breezy, fun-filled Mazatlan was cancelled by American Airlines. Unbelievable. Now I am stuck with a whole case of face masks and nowhere to use them. Great. Just great.

Ok, all kidding aside, the truth is we were not going on this trip anyway. Not after all the reports that came out of Mexico. Plus my parents, who were scheduled to travel with us, were going to have to cancel for non flu related reasons anyway. We were just waiting patiently to see if American would cancel so we could get a full refund on the flights. I had a great poker face, and thankfully they folded.

Sure, the whole news blitz about the possibility of a global flu pandemic has died down considerably, but in reality there was no way we were going to take our little guy to a place where they still don't have a good reason why the outbreak was so much worse, and more deadly, than it has been elsewhere. One of our worst fears would be to be stuck at a foreign hospital, where we don’t speak the language, with a sick or injured Lukas. No, we were happy for the refund thank you very much.

If you have deduced that this left the parents of an energetic two year old, who have not been on a real vacation (see: not visiting family) in 2 ½ years, and who also would have been celebrating a milestone anniversary during that trip, with nowhere to vacation. . . .you are right on the money. Yes, it was a disappointment. However, the cancellation happened a couple of weeks ago, at the height of the flu scare, giving us enough time to come up with alternate travel plans.

We still had credits towards a timeshare – a gracious gift from my parents – to use, but finding an opening which corresponded to a manageable flight within our vacation time frame was a challenge. In the end, what we came up with seems ideal. We will be spending next week on Hawaii’s Garden Isle, Kauai.

Better yet, we are staying close to a place called ‘Baby Beach’, apparently named so for it’s perfect conditions for toddlers. Just what the Doctor ordered.

Help me out readers. Since this will be our first extended trip with our son, what have you found to be the best things to pack to keep toddlers occupied and interested, but take up the least amount of space? And, if you happen to have visited The Garden Isle before and know of any good places to frequent, please pass them along.

In the mean time, I'll be packing.


Whit said...

Hawaii will take care of itself, the flight is what I'd worry about. Do you have any duct tape?

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Whit - Yeah, I don't look forward to the flight but it is nonstop and scheduled partially during naptime. Hopefully, it won't be too painful. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Creative-Type Dad said...

We took my daughter to Kauai when she was 9 months - talk about a challenge.

Baby Beach was OK, but we didn't really go into the water there as it was pretty muddy at the time. We really enjoyed Polihale beach on the west (I think that's the west side) great white sand beach.

The only real advice I have is the Wal-Mart is REALLY hidden behind the Hilo Hattie - the stuff there is about half the price there.

Enjoy your trip!

Idaho Dad said...

I'm so envious. We spent a week on Kauai long before we had kids, and I'd love to go back (with or without them).

I'd recommend visiting the fern grotto, and taking a drive up the Waimea Canyon road. Stunning views from the higher elevations! We stayed at Poipu Beach, which had beautiful white sand and clear, shallow water. I also remember eating a lot of pineapple and macadamia nuts.

Have fun!

SciFi Dad said...

Never been to Hawaii, so my input is for the travel portion only.

1. Crayons and a pad of paper - make sure it's small enough that Luke can use the meal tray for drawing on, but thick enough (or multiples of) so he doesn't run out.

2. Magnetic activities - we have a letters/numbers magnetic matching game that is basically a (relatively) thin (think the thickness of the first Harry Potter) metal tin that opens up to reveal magnets and associated games covering the interior. I'm sure you could find something at one of the more boring "educational" toy stores.

3. You're big anti-tv people, so the whole download stuff to your iPod or phone or whatever probably isn't what you're looking for, but it helps soothe the savage beast.

Other than that, books (which take up a lot of space so maybe not) are good. If I think of anything else, I'll email you.

Steve said...

Blimey, there I was feeling sorry for you then you turn out to be going to Hawaii!


To answer your question, a portable DVD player on the flight (we fly cheap!) and for the holiday a swimsuit, bucket and spade. Oh and endless visitis to places that sold ice-cream. Have fun!

Eric said...

Dude, bring some coloring books... he'll be totally set! :) Btw have a great time!

And I concurr with the aforementioned statement... travel dvd player and movies! Always a good choice.

McMommy said...

You are talking to the right person...I just packed for our Texas trip. Now mind you...most of my stuff is to entertain them on the plane...but still...

Watercolor paintbook (you know..the one where you dip the paintbrush in water and the color appears on the page?)
WikiSticks (spelling?)
1001 stickerbook
And a bottle of wine.

(And if the kid touches my wine, he's in for it.)

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Creative - Thanks for the tips! I hope Baby Beach is less mud and more beach than you remember. Sounds ideal from what I have read.

@IdahoDad - Fern Grotto, got it. We are at Poipu too. Sounding pretty inviting right about now.

@ScifiDad - Thanks for the tips. Great advice. We are not so much anti-tv as tv averse. We will gladly let him watch some episodes of shows if it will keep him occupied on a 5 hour flight.

@Steve - Great tips. We will be picking up the sand toys as soon as we arrive. The DVD player is a good idea too. Thanks.

@Eric - Definitely coloring utensils are being packed. Thanks and we definitely plan on having a great time.

James (SeattleDad) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James (SeattleDad) said...

@McMommy - Thanks for the tips. We are getting lots of great advice for Lukas, but I am definitely digging on the wine suggestion for us.

Brandon said...

I haven't done a long trip with our toddler yet nor have I been to Kauai, so I'm of little help. We'll be taking our first extended trip with a non-baby that sleeps most of the time in June. Should be interesting, that's for sure.

Jim @ CoolStuffForDads.com said...

That sounds like a very cool trip, have a great time. I'm sure there is lots to do for the whole family and activities that will make him sleep well at night and give you some extra time to relax as well. Enjoy!

Jason Roth said...

That sounds like an even better trip. I'm jealous. Have fun.

Scary Mommy said...

Wicky Stix. Seriously- hours and hours of entertainment. You will love me for it.