Monday, March 16, 2009

Aruba with a Toddler was.....

AWESOME!!!!! We had such a great vacation and we are so sad to be back in the depressing world of cold and brown snow :( I have to admit that when I had to put Z's coat on for the first time this weekend, I cried! I know how ridiculous that sounds but it was so sad to leave our vacation and the beautiful weather behind!

Z was the perfect traveler! He listened (most of the time), was great on the plane, loved his life of building sand castles, swimming and playing and even did well in the restaurants (lollipops were our best friends here). It was great fun to vacation with my whole extended family and they were soooo helpful! S and I were so pleased with the entire trip and actually were quite surprised at how much relaxation time we each got! It was WONDERFUL :)

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Aruba and it was the perfect hotel for little ones. They have many beach huts (including one large beach hut) for perfect shady sandcastle building. They have a small shaded playground (with 3 slides) which Z owned the whole time we were there. The kids menu is extensive (and not too expensive) with foods like chicken fingers, string cheese, apple sauce, carrot sticks and even Kraft Mac and Cheese (in fact I ate off the kids menu for lunch most days) ;) The pool was the big hit and is perfect for little ones. It has a very large wading area (1/2 a foot deep) and there is even a large water slide! You have to be 42 inches to ride the water slide but they will let you sneak one or two rides a day with your toddler (S and Z rode together each day and he LOVED it!)

The rooms were also great! We had an adjoining room with my parents which was perfect for naps and early bedtimes. I highly recommend adjoining rooms because the balconies are only walk out so you will be napping with your child if you don't have an adjoining room. We requested a crib for Z and it came with full size baby soap, lotion, powder and wipes! We also requested a fridge because we had read online that they charge you BIG BUCKS for keeping things in the mini bar fridge!!! So they brought up a pretty decent size fridge and we stored all of Z's rice milk and other fun things that we bought at the local grocery store.

Z's typical day started off at about 7 AM :) He would snuggle in bed with us for a bit and then request to go and see his Neene and Chi Chi. We would open the common door and he would then run from room to room as we all prepared for the day. My dad was usually still down in line at the Towel Hut reserving our pool umbrella for the day (this process begins around 6:30 AM and according to my dad it is a very fun and social time ;)). Once the whole family was dressed and lathered up in sunscreen, it was off to breakfast. Most mornings we ate at the hotel and enjoyed their wonderful buffet. This was Z's big meal of the day and he hate his body weight in pancakes and waffles.

After breakfast it was off to build sandcastles. Z could dig for hours and this gave S and I a chance to relax! We would pull chaise lounges under the big beach hut and lounge as Z dug and dug in the sand :) A completely different vacation from last year where we spent the entire week chasing him! After sandcastles, we went for a swim in the pool and a trip or two down the water slide. Then came playground time (next to the Hyatt is a small playground which happens to be right on the beach and outside of a Dunkin Donuts....very convenient for mom and dad!!). Next we would have lunch poolside, one more dip in the pool and then Z would go off for his nap. S and I rotated who would sit inside with him and this gave the other person 2-3 hours of "ME" time. After nap we usually got ready for cocktails and dinner :) It was such a relaxing schedule!

Now that I have done both a cruise and a hotel vacation with my toddler....I would have to say that the hotel stay was a bit easier. We did love the cruise but the ships rule about no toddlers with swim diapers in the pool....was a very difficult one. We spent most of our time avoiding the pool deck and finding places on each island where Z could swim. This worked out fine and there was plenty of other things to do on the ship, however I do think the hotel stay was a lot more fun for Z ;) What more does a 2 year old want than to be able to play on a playground, dig in the sand and swim in a pool? He was in paradise!!!!

Thanks Mom and Dad for a week full of wonderful memories, love and FUN! We love you very much and think that this was the best family vacations yet!


Mom said...

It was wonderful to be all together. We did really miss M though. Next year hopefully he can join us.
Getting away with everyone meant a lot to Dad and I. It was important for us all to get away and enjoy each other after our winter.
So, thank you all for coming!

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