To Bring, Or Not To Bring (the baby)? When it comes to vacation, that is the question.
We brought her.
My husband starts a new job in a couple weeks, and in the interest of enjoying this time off together as much as possible, he decided it was high time for our first Falik Family Vacation. After much research and debating, we opted to check out the Viceroy Anguilla. And I am so glad we did. I am also glad we brought Alexa- although I am not going to lie, having a baby in tow drastically changes every single notion I used to have about relaxing weeks lazing beachside. Full disclosure- we were fortunate enough to be able to bring our nanny along. Even so- having a crazily curious and unpredictable almost-toddler wandering around a very un-child-proofed space and waking up at the crack of dawn under the same roof is just, well, different.
Oh- and the night before we left, I accidentally closed a door with her hand in it. Subsequently, we watched the Superbowl from the emergency room. And Alexa made her entrance at the resort with her hand in a sling. But that is a story for another day.
Anyway- here are my top 5 takeaways from our first week-long beach vacation with baby:
1- Thank GOODNESS for Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Spray. The Faliks are a fair people- when it comes to skin tone at least- and Alexa is squirmy. This saved us.
2- It is worth lugging a pool float (buy it, pack it and blow it up when you arrive.) Being able to put her in it and not be a nervous wreck every second in the pool was worth the extra suitcase (which we also filled with an assortment of other random toys that came very much in handy.) Plus, out of the water, it became one of her favorite distraction toys- and by the transitive property to parenting, ours too.
3- Soft sand is the best baby-proofing around. We were able to spend much more time on the beach than I had anticipated once I realized she would never crack her head open toppling over into the insanely powdery sand on the Viceroy's perfectly manicured property. I also got to take a few breaths when we buried her from the waist-down in the sand and watch her actually stay in one place for more than 30 seconds. My idea of economical babysitting. Kidding, kidding.
4- Buffet breakfasts are a baby's best friend. Alexa joined us every morning for an endless parade of fruits and pastries, each new thing making her face light up and allowing Brian and I enough time to read the New York Times Digest (the only time I ever really read the Times, beyond the Thursday and Sunday Styles pages) is on vacation when the package it for me in a concise little packet.
5- Make sure that wherever you are going can provide a full size crib so eventually the baby starts feeling somewhat at home, and rent a stroller. Our Snap-and-Go carseat thingie just was not going to cut it. Long walks are so much more enjoyable for everyone involved (and I include other resort guests in this group who otherwise would have their afternoon naps interrupted by a howling child) plus the sun protection from a real deal stroller- as opposed to a dinky travel one- is infinitely better.
I applaud Brian on making the perfect destination choice- they have this amazing "kids club" with every book and Melissa & Doug toy Alexa could dream of, and every single person there made us feel welcome (as opposed to the lepers I most certainly made families with little kids feel like whenever we stumbled across them in our pre-baby vacationing days.) Oh, and the kid's menu at one of the restaurants can only be viewed on one of those old-school View Finder toys- remember the ones, you look inside and click through 3D-like images?- very nice touch.
Viceroy Anguilla has quickly ascended to the top of my vacation destination list and I hope to be so lucky as to return there again. And again. And again. And by again, I mean tomorrow. But I know, I know- good things come to those who wait, patience is a virtue, yada yada yada.