Hi friends! How are you doing out there?
It’s been over a week since I’ve checked in with you, and a lot has come and gone in that time. Skyler and I made a trip home to see my family in Orlando! Scott planned a last-minute trip down to Louisiana to volunteer for hurricane relief and was gone for eight days, so I decided to make an impromptu trip home for some catch-up time with my family shortly after he left.
We are back in Brooklyn now, and we are adjusting back to life in quarantine, as we want to be smart and courteous about traveling home from a high-risk location.
As you can imagine, this trip to Florida was very out-of-the-norm and low-key. We didn’t have much on our agenda beyond spending quality time with my family and a few friends that I’ve known for decades. This time was long overdue, as our last trip home was over a year and a half ago!
We spent a lot of our time at or around my parents’ house which is where I grew up. We got out here and there, but it was mostly to go for a walk or travel to another home in our family to visit. Like I said, this trip was much different than any other that we’ve made before.
Skyler was an absolute blast throughout the duration of this trip! Don’t get me wrong, he had his normal toddler moments that included random tantrums and meltdowns, but he was totally in his element of exploring and really enjoyed being around people that he loves and doesn’t get to see often.
I was initially very nervous about flying in general right now, and my anxiety surrounding what I could come in contact with exploded with the thought of everything that Skyler tries to touch or put his mouth on throughout the day. Well, I guess this is where masks really come in handy because he wore his any time we were in an airport or on the plane, with the exception of brief breaks to eat or drink.
The mask really helped keep his hands out of his mouth, and he didn’t argue wearing it too much since that was the main condition of him being able to go on the trip at all. Wearing a mask and sitting in his own buckled seat was mandatory, and it went well … for the most part.
I learned that the timing of the flight really matters, and to try to stick to late-morning departures versus early afternoon/evening. (You can read more of my personal tips for traveling with a toddler here. And looking back at this, I might need to create a second post of tips now that my toddler needs entertainment from his own buckled seat … it’s a whole new ball game!)
A lot of the restaurants and food choices at the airports were closed, but we found enough to fill our bellies and distanced ourselves to eat before boarding each flight. I brought a bottle of water and juice on the flight with us, and the staff handed us a sealed bag of snacks and hand sanitizing wipes each time.
I also brought new sticker books, Skyler’s small backpack filled with a few of his toys, and these toddler headphones for him to watch his favorite movies in air. All went well, except when he was completely over sitting down toward the tail-end on the flight down. I made a mental note to get up and walk the aisles on the next flight, even if we didn’t have to go anywhere … just to mix it up if he fought a nap or sitting with me again.
Overall, he did really well, and I’m so glad that we made this trip happen! I was pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt on the plane and highly recommend Delta Airlines for safety protocols and accommodations. The middle seats are blocked off until January, masks are required, and they constantly came around to collect trash to avoid passengers putting it in the seat pockets. I’ve received some questions in regards to flying during this time of the country slowly reopening, so I hope that helps answer some of yours. If not, please reach out in the comments or message me.
Back to our time in Florida, I truly had the best week unwinding with my little dude. Sky was especially fond of his time by the lake and in the pool, as both activities are not something that we get to do on the regular in the city.
Skyler loved everything about being in the water, especially when we borrowed a floating vest for him to play and swim a little more independently. It was so cute!
I promised Scott that I wouldn’t take Skyler to Disney on this trip, but we did venture out to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens with my childhood friend Melissa and her two kiddos. It’s a smaller zoo, but provided plenty of entertainment for us through activities like giraffe feedings, a reptile house, and a trip to the splash pad before we left.
They all had so much fun, and it was so great to see them … and especially all of the kids together!
Besides the zoo, we dined indoors twice, which was new for us during this phase of lockdown still banning it in New York City.
I felt very safe with the protocols that were taken in the restaurants we chose, but I do have to include that I did not get that same feeling from a restaurant that we picked up a to-go order from on the way to see my grandmother in Daytona. The staff members were wearing masks, but hardly any other patrons inside were … and everyone was congregating and hovering next to each other at the bar and at tables. I quickly took Skyler back to the front entrance and couldn’t get out fast enough.
Luckily, that was the only time that I felt at-risk during our stay. And that includes trips to two airports and two visits to the gym. (Our gym just reopened here at home, and I plan to return post-quarantine.)
Before my arrival, my mom and I discussed me tagging along to her personal training session and had let me know about all of the safety measures taken in their reopening. There are limited people in the facility, and all staff members wore masks or face shields. These were optional for anyone working out, however, but I chose to wear mine. I also brought my own mat, my own towel, my own water bottle (water fountains were closed), and wiped down every piece of equipment before and after use.
It felt amazing to get a good workout in with more than my dumbbells at home, and I cannot wait for my next go around here in a few weeks.
I went for a few runs outside with my mom during the week, and my favorite was when we borrowed a running stroller from her neighbor and Skyler got to tag along for the first time! He really loved going fast, and I think it’s time to just get one already, even though I’ve been resisting for over two years now. (I’m not sure where to store it, as we already have an everyday stroller seat and base and a travel stroller for the subways.)
Anyways, getting some fresh air — albeit humid — in my hometown is always so good for my soul. I love a lot of things about my new home in Brooklyn, but nothing replaces the feeling of nostalgia that comes along with revisiting your old stomping grounds. Especially when they are filled with weekend memories boating and living in the lake with views like this.
Although we were home for a week, it went by too fast as it always does. I am extra thankful for the flexibility that I’ve had to even be able to book a trip home at the last minute from a Wednesday to Wednesday, but I guess that what embracing this crazy season in our lives is all about. When I saw the near $100 ticket price per flight, I had to jump on it!
With talks of another visit happening near the holidays, it’s only a matter of time until we take the leap and hop on another plane ride to see family again. Here’s hoping that things continue to improve and that the world starts to feel a little less upside down in the near future.
Until then, we will be in New York self-quarantined for fourteen days. I’m looking forward to using this time to get back into a routine and to the things that keep me busy like writing more here on the blog, creating workouts, talking clean beauty and more.
Thank you for reading today, and I’ll be back with more health and fitness content very soon.
I hope you all have a great weekend!