I’ve just returned home from a bit of research for MomsTravelTales. Yep, I had to take my family on a fantastically relaxing vacation so that I could share my experiences with you. Right?
For the next week I’ll share excerpts from my Trip Journal so you can see what we thought of Burlington, Vermont and the Tyler Place. For the fourth time. Yup, LOVE that place! Travel along with me and I’ll tell you all about it…
Travel Day: to Burlington via Newark
We got to the airport with the kiddos in plenty of time. We kissed my husband goodbye at the curb and off he went to work… and off we went to vacation, just me and my three kids, ready for adventure. (Don’t worry, he joined us a few days later.)
We checked our bags (only 3 plus one carseat!!) , made our way through security (where a TSA agent gave us all a speech about summer travel and longer security lines), and sauntered on over to the gate. We played UNO until it was time to board the plane. This time we even decided NOT to use the pre-boarding with children option and boarded when our row was called. (This made my kids feel very grown-up.) As we slid into our seats a kind lady suggested that my cardigan might be inside out. She was right. Oops! Oh well.
After getting that fixed, I continued getting the kids settled into their seats, pulling out of their backpacks whatever they might need for the beginning of the fight. I was sitting across the aisle and wanted to be sure they could help themselves with whatever they needed or wanted for most of the flight. They may be relatively seasoned travelers, but they are still 4, 6, and 8 and can use a few reminders.
Good thing we pulled a lot of stuff out of the backpacks… We sat on the runway for quite awhile and took off one hour later than the scheduled time. The kids didn’t seem to care much. They enjoyed reading and looking through magazines. Plus they were thrilled with all of the new candy in their backpacks and enjoyed trading it and munching. I was definitely okay with that. Traveling may bring new rules, but it also relaxes many others. And junk food is much better tolerated by mom on vacation.
We arrived in Newark 30 minutes later than expected (although our flight left an hour late) and raced as fast as I could with three children in tow to the shuttle. We zoomed as fast as we could to the gate. Grabbed cookies to prevent flying on an empty stomach and cranky children. Fortunately our next flight was also delayed, so we had time to grab hotdogs, too. (Yes, I realize hot dogs aren’t that much more nutritious, but something told me they would be a good idea.)
When we boarded the plane I asked the man in the seat dividing me from my children if he would mind switching. Unfortunately he didn’t want to give up his aisle seat for the hour flight which, of course, baffled me as it always does when people are so territorial about their seats and inconsiderate to families. Fortunately another passenger kindly offered to switch and I could still at least make eye contact with my three kids. (Thank you so much, my mystery traveler. We really, really appreciate your help.)
Fortunately the flight held very little excitement… well, except when my younger son and daughter spotted some sparkly beads on the floor under the seat in front of her and she squealed about the ‘jewels’ when I handed them to her. It was a quick flight and then we were there… ahhh….
Arriving in Burlington was such a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively.
I started to relax as we walked down the jetway and was almost skipping by the time we reached baggage claim.
Then, the people at the Enterprise Rental Car counter were so nice! They pulled the car around for me and even rolled the luggage out to the car! Then, as we were walking out to the car, of course one of the children had to go to the bathroom. The rental car guy didn’t even blink. He stood with the car during our very long potty break. So nice!
We checked into the Courtyard by Marriott, Burlington Harbor and set off for dinner and to explore. This hotel has a great location for families. We just walked a few blocks and were in the middle of downtown Burlington with lots of fun shops, restaurants and live music, thanks to the jazz festival, plus it is super-close to ECHO, a fantastic children’s museum.
We got dinner at our favorite Burlington spot to eat, American Flatbread. We really enjoy their flatbread pizzas and salad. They also have an incredible selection of local beers, so I decided to try one. Perfect breezy evening, delicious pizza, happy kids making paper airplanes and coloring through dinner…. Good stuff!
After dinner we wandered by a closed pottery store. My oldest son suggested we return the next day. (How nice was that?!) Back in the hotel room we watched a movie and finally went to sleep just before 11… Much later then the typical vacation bedtime of 8:30 or 9!
I closed the hotel black-out shades and explained to the kids that they really needed to do their best to sleep in the morning since we were up so late. Then it was off to dreamland…
Wanna know more about the chocolate factory we visited the next day? Or what about the fact that my kids really did venture into that pottery store with me? I bet you’re just wondering if the kids really did sleep in. Tune in tomorrow for Day Two of my Trip Journal on Burlington, Vermont and the Tyler Place….