Today’s is a day we will always remember as the day that Emily took her first flight, went on her first vacation, rode in an umbrella stroller, visited the United States for the first time and probably a lot of other new things. As parents we went through the same amount of first times and we both enjoyed it more as we would have ever imagined. And to quote a colleague of mine it feels like a relocation…But it was all worth it and the vacation hasn’t really started yet.
As I’m writing this blog we are enjoying our very first beer of this trip in our home for (almost) the complete next month. And Emily is catching up some sleep in another bed for the first time after we came home from the hospital on the 6th of August 2015. And she stopped ‘talking’ after only a couple minutes.
But let’s write about what a vacation blog should be about, the vacation.
Tuuut…..tuuut…tuuut…it was 2:30am and Danielle her alarm went off. At 2:45 she was in the shower, at 3:00 it was my turn and at 3:15 we were waking up Emily. She opened her eyes slowly but when she saw both of our faces hanging over her crib she put her happiest smile on… Amazing I hope she continuous to be so happy when we wake her up in the future. 3:40 we went downstairs because at 3:45 the limousine would be waiting for us.
With 3 suitcases, 1 carry on, 1 car seat + base in plastic foil and bag, 1 umbrella stroller, 1 backpack, 1 Emily, 1 Mama and 1 papa we were happy that we booked a SUV. We arrived at the airport at 4:10 and it took us 40 minutes to get through the Air Canada check-in with special assistance line and the boarding would be in 45 minutes from that point. And that would be challenging because we needed to go through the US Customs before we were able to board. The line was huge…
But not for us because the 2 parents were traveling as Dutch we needed to go through the international section and there for a couple agents doing nothing. And of course probably needless to say Emily stole the hearts of everyone we came across and that saved us a lot of time too. Boarding was chaotic as usual but we were in the plane pretty quick (there was no pre-boarding for people traveling with infants).
On the plane Emily flirted with everyone before we took of and about a couple minutes before take off she insisted on being cuddled by mama and she slept for about 45 minutes. Only 1,5 hour to go and after exploring the rest of the plane she slept almost the entire time, until she woke up from the pilot on the intercom telling that they started the descent to Orlando.
From that moment on everything went as it should, the stroller was the first to be delivered at the gate. The people mover (first time for Emily), the suitcase and car seat came within 5 minutes after the first luggage arrived, the shuttle to SIXT rental car location was waiting for us while we arrived and there was no one in line at the station itself. Unfortunately our car, a Chevrolet Traverse, wasn’t ready yet and we needed to wait for about 30 minutes. But free Nespresso and water was ok for us while Emily enjoyed her puréed pears with a large crowd of Japanese which probably had never seen a blonde baby.
When we got our car I installed the car seat before we went to the Florida Mall to get something to eat at the food court, or as they call it nowadays the dining pavilion. There was almost no one and we found ourselves a spot right in front of Carlo’s bakeshop (known from the Tv show the cake boss). Here we got a Red velvet cupcake but I doesn’t even come close to the ones from Danielle.
After we had seen the rest of the mall we went to the Super Target close to the villa in Sunset Lake to do some shopping. We said to each other this will the same as at home so it will be quick but there is much more to choose from as in our local stores. They sell beer and I was allowed to pay for it at the same cashier…unbelievable. And they asked for my photo I.D. How convenient compared to the LCBO, Beerstore and the couple Supermarket with separate alcohol checkouts back home.
We arrived at the community and soon we were at the villa, and the first impression is good. Everything seems to be there and it’s more spacious as we imagined from the pictures on the website.
For tonight we only plan to the unpack our suitcases and than we call it a night and tomorrow there will be some other firsts for all of us..
Today Emily and I had our second swimming lesson together. Although swimming lesson might be a bit too much to describe I think it’s more a dancing and singing lesson for me and a water exploration for our little princess. No there are no moving images from me “dancing” or sound recordings from me “singing” so you can keep on reading without fear…
So far we had a lot of fun and it’s nice to see Emily reacting on and touching other babies from about the same age. But most fun is watching her smile when we are doing fun things in the water. Today she had a lot of fun while I hit the water with my hand, last week she had fun while I was bouncing her through the water.
Not so much fun is going under water… We started practicing while saying “Emily…Ready…Go” and then splashed water over her head, last week she really disliked it. At the end of the lesson we did the first under water practice, I said “Emily…Ready…Go” and the teacher would put her under water for a split second but not Emily, she decided to start screaming out loud at “Go” and crying/screaming babies are not put under water.
But today she was in a different mood, she didn’t really mind the water in her face. Ok, she wasn’t laughing about it either but she didn’t cry after the fact. After a couple dance routines with bouncing, swimming and jumping through the water it was time for another under water try…and this time she went under for the very first time…
I think she enjoyed for at least a couple seconds, I can’t wait for the next time!
Note from Emily: I didn’t pick my own bathing suit, the teacher made me wear this thing which is called a “Happy Nappy” as a double protection system for some sort of not understandable reason…
It took us 2,5 months to get Emily her first passport, the Canadian one. It wasn’t so easy while we went for pictures twice and we also needed to get a signature from a Canadian we knew at least for 2 years. Luckily for us I knew one for about 7 years. After getting her Canadian passport we went after her Dutch passport which was easy but we need a lot of documents: Recent birth certificate, get the certificate legalized by the Canadian government and the Dutch embassy in Ottawa, a recent passport picture according to the dutch regulations, passport application form, marriage certificate of er parents not older as 12 months, our passports, our work permits and an appointment at the dutch consulate. All worked out as you can see below…
And what do you do with a passport, indeed you travel international! We booked our very first family vacation and we are going to Walt Disney World. Ok, not exactly Walt Disney World we’ve booked a vacation villa less than 4 miles away from the parks. We are staying in the Sunset Lakes Villa in the Sunset Lakes community in a villa with a private pool and some other interesting amenities.