In early April, we made a sort of last minute decision to take a big trip as a family before baby #2 arrives and makes us a family of four. We knew we wanted somewhere we could relax, where M could have a lot of fun, and somewhere new for all of us. M is getting to an age where she can get off of her routine some and we manage, and traveling in general has become so much easier in the last 6 months, mainly I think due to her language and being able to really talk with her. We knew with a baby on the way, it'd be awhile before we could do something like this again. So after a lot of research, we ended up picking a resort in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (direct flights from Charlotte were a must for me!). We got a lot of crazy looks from some people when we told them we were taking our 2.5 year old on an international trip to the Caribbean, but it was really really fun, and I'm so glad we did it!
Our resort that we chose, was VERY family friendly, close to the airport, and and all inclusive. We wanted easy, and they made it just that. They really did a wonderful job catering to families with young kids. Every restaurant we ate at had items for kids on the menu, or they'd make something specific for us that we knew she'd eat. We were there from a Sunday to a Thursday, and I think four nights was the perfect amount of time for a trip like this with a toddler (or at least our toddler!). By Thursday, we were all ready to get back home to our own beds and routines, but we had enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, as we packed up our belongings that morning, M threw a giant fit because "I don't want to leave the beeeeeeaaaaaaach!" She definitely had a ball!
I could break down the trip day by day, but we honestly did the same thing each day! We woke and had breakfast, changed into our swimsuits and played at the beach and pool until about 1-2pm each day when M would go back to the room for a nap with J, and I headed to the pool for some quiet time with a book. After naps, we'd swim or play for a little bit before our dinner reservations, and then we'd walk around the resort some before calling it a day. It was pretty laid back, and I think that was what we all needed.
Drinking out of a coconut on the beach was a highlight for me!
Her hair was the curliest I have ever seen it while we were there!
One of the best perks for M was when she realized there was dessert to be found at every meal. This girl doesn't ever pass up a little ice cream or cake!
A typical toddler shot...
A year later and still loving our puddle jumper!
And coming home! Poor girl just couldn't hang through customs and immigration at the Charlotte airport. She was awake our whole flight home and then passed out at some point in a line and slept through the rest of the airport and the shuttle back to our car. It's tough being 2.5!
And just like that, M earned her first passport stamps!