I’m back from my wonderful trip to Florida and getting back to the routine of things at home. It always seems like it takes me a few days to recover from a big trip, and it’s not just adjusting to a different time zone. I think I’m finally there, though! This week’s installment of Friday Favorites is inspired by my travels. I thought I’d share a few things that really came in use on our trip.
1. Eddie Bauer Packable Backpack. My parents gave me this for Christmas and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s a good-sized pack, with plenty of pockets for keeping things organized, but it’s incredibly light weight. I love the 2 external water bottle holders and the bungee on the back. It even folds up into its own attached pouch, so it’s perfect to toss into your checked bag, but open up when you get to your destination. Despite its light weight, it actually has some padding in the shoulders so it’s pretty comfortable. It was the perfect bag for our days at the beach, through the airport, and at Disney!
2. Sit-and-Stand stroller. My oldest son is 4 and my youngest is 22 months. We’re kind of at an awkward age for strollers. My 4-year-old pretty much wants to walk everywhere. We knew that an entire day at Disney and Sea World would be a little much for him. Thankfully our friends piped up and said, “we have the perfect stroller, please borrow it!” They were right, it was perfect. And we are forever grateful! It’s a sit-and-stand stroller, so the younger child is strapped into a seat in the front, and the older get a small bench to sit on in the back. There’s also a little platform so he can stand in the back if he’d rather. Unlike other double strollers, this one is rather compact, so it’s easy to maneuver through crowds. It also has a huge storage basket underneath. I know we would not have made it through the theme parks or the airports without this baby!
3. iPhone. I’m pretty new to the whole “smart phone” thing, but I have to confess that I have fallen completely in love with my iPhone. Being on a trip, it really proved its awesomeness. Here are a few of the most useful parts:
-The map feature was amazingly helpful and just plain cool. It knows where the phone is, so it pinpoints your exact location with a little blue dot. You just type in the name of where you want to go (gas station, grocery store, a specific address) and it drew the best route. Then, the really cool part is that the blue dot actually moves along the screen, following you as you go. So you know exactly where you are along your route.
-Downloadable shows and music. We were in the airport and I decided it might be good to have a show saved, so I got on the iTunes store, purchased a few episodes of Dinosaur Train and they downloaded instantly to my phone. On our next 3 hour flight, with my phone switched to airplane mode, I handed the phone to my 4-year-old and he sat happily and quietly for the entire flight.
-Games. I’m not a huge “gamer” or very into video games, but since I had this cool phone, I figured I might as well download some apps. I’m all about “free” so I looked for available games that fit the bill. I stumbled across “Paper Toss” and it’s addictive! On the last, late-night leg of our journey, with kids (thankfully!) snoozing on the plane I had some time on my hands. Paper Toss managed to kill it for me, and I had fun in the process. Another great game, that saved me many times, is “Peek-a-Boo Barn.” The free version comes with 3 animals, but I decided it was worth the $1.99 to upgrade to the full version, which has dozens of animals. My 22-month-old LOVES it and it was a great distraction when he started getting cranky on one of our flights. It’s also come in handy when I’m at the bank (to keep him busy while I deal with the teller) and while chatting with his doctor during his appointments.
So, there you have it! Enjoy your Friday and hopefully you’ll find some of these things help you on your next great adventure!