Tag Archives: Vacation

Light Airline Travel

We bought tickets to go to New Hampshire to visit family some time ago.  Though we intended to visit around July, plane fares were much cheaper for May.  We’re always looking for a better deal or a cheaper way if we can’t simply opt for minimalism.  Since we really wanted to go and can’t get plane tickets used :), we searched kayak for the best fares during different timeframes on the various airlines, found the best deal there, and then went to that particular airline’s site to find the fare even cheaper (there is a mark-up even through the discount sites- that’s how they make their money).  When purchasing, you can let them know how many bags you wish to check thereby getting a few dollars off the cost of the baggage checking.  Once I got over being infuriated that it would cost us $25-$30 each way for each bag, I decided that we could all travel with one carry-on case and one personal item (small bag) each for the seven day trip.  We had two and borrowed two from friends.

I have to admit, there was some doubt as to whether this could be done.  We are notoriously heavy, “just in case” packers.  But our newfound desire for simplicity and excitement over paring down our life for RV living made it seem possible.  It was actually quite easy given our summertime visit (lighter weight clothing).

As you can see, the kids were layered (which we like to do for plane travel anyway).  The kids’ suitcases were more full than Chris’/mine as they packed some little toys to bring in addition to the clothes.  Here’s what the heaviest packer in our family brought:

Elijah – (wore) track pants, tee shirt, socks, Crocs, & fleece (around waist mostly but also great plane blanket); (suitcase) 1 pair casual pants, 3 pairs casual shorts, 1 pair dress shorts, 4 casual tees, 2 dress shirts, 7 pairs underwear, 2 pairs socks, small bag Legos, 5 small stuffed animals, several tiny plastic animal figures/Transformers, bathing suit trunks and shirt, swim goggles, swim shoes; (backpack) Play-Doh; a few Doh tools; several small, paperback superhero books; a big teddy with his head poking out the top so he could see while traveling :); travel pillow; Nintendo DS; headphones

I did one load of laundry before we left there and snuck a couple of things in with a household load at one point.  We honestly could have gone the whole week without having had to do a wash (just barely) and there were still some things that weren’t used.  I really thought we’d have to ship the gifts from grandparents and extra purchased items home given our minimal space.  However, we were easily able to fit it all in (not necessarily in the suitcase of its owner but everything ended up back in Texas). 

This really felt amazing.  It’s becoming so clear to me how little ‘stuff’ we actually need and how happy and light we feel without it.  Our departing flight was actually changed to another airline so we had to switch airlines at Laguardia (yes- out of terminal, bus to different terminal, secure new boarding pass, go through security, etc.).  Our bags never would have made our new flight.  We felt so free and easy having everything we needed right with us!

Things to think about– 1) I had to purchase trial sizes of shampoo, conditioner, gel (for Chris’ faux hawk :)), adult and child toothpaste, razors, etc. when we arrived because of the airline restrictions of 3 oz. of liquids per person and sharp objects in the cabin.  I didn’t have anything in the house in such small quantities but we were able to bring it home- just separated into 3 oz. bags per person.  2) My kiddos are 7.5 and almost 6 years old.  They were proud and able to handle their own suitcases and backpacks (except on stairs and escalators when Chris and I would grab them in our other hand). 3) We borrowed booster seats from friends in New Hampshire so we didn’t have to lug/check ours.  I could also have tried Freecycle for them ahead of time.

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Posted by on May 30, 2010 in Uncategorized


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A Whirlwind Tour of New England

We ventured north to visit family and friends in New Hampshire and Massachusetts!

Sadie spent hours in Grampa’s office. She took over his second drafting table and was serious about highlighters and geometric print-outs- loving every minute of it.

Steph’s kitchen still feels like home. We were back in the fold with our unschooling pals in NH. Above Bryar and Sadie make paper bag pumpkins.

Elijah plays trains with Caden and Cavan.

This picture had to go in as Elijah is watching one of his parents’ favorite childhood shows- Smurfs!

Awww. Grammy and Grampa’s dog, Rudy, sneaks a snuggle with the kids on their way to dreamland.

Shortly after we moved, the town playground was revamped. We brought Grammy over to check it out.

We give it a thumbs up!

We went bowling with Grammy and look what they have! There was a lot less blowing on the ball with this cool ramp to give it some oomph. Sadie wants to bowl regularly now since seeing Grammy’s cool hot pink ball and stylin’ pink and black shoes.

Tremendous fun to be had with Great Grammy and Great Grampa and some makeshift hats.

Then out for some Japanese food with Grampy and Auntie Kristina! Wow- look at those flames. Chris and I have been going to this restaurant since we were first together. We love the entertainment that culminates in great food.

Here the kids with Grampy and Auntie Kristina check out the giant fish in the entryway fish tank.

Parking lot photo op. 🙂

We caught the tail-end of the foliage and it made for a beautiful drive down to Massachusetts.

We spent a wonderful afternoon with Auntie Amy, Uncle Jay, Emmie, and Ian. It was amazing to see how much fun the kids could fit into one afternoon. There was backyard play, lunch, coloring, dress-up, cars, and tons more. We even hit the local playground in the evening chill. 

Papa came over on his motorcycle for a visit. It was just like old times!

G.G.’s recuperating from a broken hip. We went to visit her at the nursing home. The kids spent some time talking with her about the fish and cockatiel in the entry.

What’s a trip to Westfield without Stanley Park? This is the most gorgeous park I’ve ever been to and we love to visit. The gardens are preparing for winter but we fed the (very) friendly ducks, geese, and swan, wandered around the pond, and- of course- spent some time at the playground.

Chris, Elijah (hiding), Sadie, and Mema stroll along the path around the pond.

It’s a rare day when the Parent 4 can get in a picture all together. Mema took this great picture for us.

Sweet goodbyes. It was a fun-filled, chilly, and exhausting 6 days. We were saturated in love and joy and returned on our way.

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Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Disneyland- Day 4

More characters! This is definitely the highpoint for the kids (and me)- getting autographs and taking photos with the various characters. Here they are with Mary Poppins (complete with great accent) and Bert.

Here we await the Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams- a very impressive musical parade of floats, dancers, and characters.

On the walk to California Adventure, we lose Sadie to dreamland.

Holding the bumper cars off until she wakes (she found out about them after waking last time :), Elijah decides to try the Grizzly River Run- it’s as crazy as it sounds. We were shocked at his choice. He LOVED it and proceeded to take Mama on a guided tour of the rapids.

Sadie awakes right on time- we head over to the bumper cars. A big hit for everyone except for the end. “We’re not done bumping!”

Sadie begins to cry, “I’m sad that we’re going home. I want to stay here!” With the park closing, she spots ladybug teacups and we RUN over to catch it before they stop admitting passengers. Sadie and Elijah get one more chance to spin Mama and Daddy silly. What’s the big idea? These were faster (by far) than the teacups at Disney. Oy.


Posted by on April 26, 2008 in Uncategorized



Disneyland- Day 3

After opting not to wait in line yesterday for 3 hours to see the princesses, Sadie and I wait at the gates at opening and proceed to run like lunatics through the park to the Princess Faire. We were 3rd of about a million little girls and their parents- very satisfying and almost no wait!
If it goes fast and spins, it’s totally her bag. So the Astro Orbiter (rocket ships that go up and down and ‘orbit’ a center pole at about 150 times the rate of Dumbo) is the ride she’d been drooling over for 2 days. It made Chris and I as dizzy as we’d anticipated.
Yup, more characters. And a princess no less. We’re working on filling those autograph books!

Elijah drives Autopia again. Another of his favorite rides. He’s figured out that, although he can’t see over the steering wheel, he can watch the car in front of us and copy the turns or turn according to the ‘right, left’ direction of his adult passenger.
Sadie checks out.

Tuck n’ Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies. These fit both of Elijah’s criteria for a good time- driving and crashing. This is one of his all time favorite rides.

Elijah hits Princess Dot’s Puddle Park and get’s completely drenched. He loved chasing the randomly spurting water jets and spent a LONG time here. We giggled nonstop just watching.

A drier boy.

Sadie and Elijah pose on a Mickey Mouse bench outside the park. These just crack Sadie right up.

Another day done. Off to the bus stop to head back to the hotel where the kids and I swam and Chris watched the Celtics kick some bootie in the first round of the play-offs. Go Green!


Posted by on April 25, 2008 in Uncategorized



Disneyland- Day 2

The day started with a visit to Mickey and Goofy! The kids got autographs and photos with each of them (we snuck in with Mickey too 🙂 They were very excited to start “seeing characters.”

Elijah plays Goofy’s piano- it moos, clangs, bonks, etc. Very addictive.
Sadie went to the Princess Faire to see Mulan, Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) and Belle show the little princesses how to dance at a ball. She also had her face painted, made a crown, and bought some Belle flip-flops that are forever attached to her feet (and then fall off frequently at inopportune times).
Elijah and Sadie turn the turnstile on Tom Sawyer’s Island to get the skeleton/treasure box to come in and out of the water.
The Pixar Parade at California Adventure! This was way fun! We saw all the kids’ (and our own) favorite Pixar characters singing and dancing down the main street. It was so cool!


Posted by on April 24, 2008 in Uncategorized



Disneyland- Day 1

Aside from the fact that we left our Disney package in Texas and had to navigate the system to replace bus passes, park passes, etc., our first day in Disneyland was fabulous. We all had fun (despite the lines) and are looking forward to much more! Here is a synopsis of our afternoon in Disneyland.

We got a sneak peak at the new monorail- not yet in service but very cool!
Where are we? Waiting to get going while we check and re-check the map to orient ourselves.
Starting with the familiar- a good old fashioned carousel.

Sadie’s preferred method of travel.

Elijah actually poses momentarily.
Elijah really gets into the swing and takes his nerves by the horns. After Dumbo he was ready for anything. Sadie and I take a picture of ourselves on the Dumbo ride.
The kids work hard to get Mama and Daddy sick on the the teacups. They did a fine job.

Chris and the kids share a snack of popcorn. Elijah: ‘They put those yummy bad-for-you spices on it!’
Sadie stears (not sure if you can call it that) our car in Autopia. Sadie: ‘I’m really getting great at this!’ She may have been riding in a different car…
With Elijah at the helm, the boys had a much smoother ride.

We can even have fun at the bus stop waiting for our ride back to the hotel. Those are some big cones.


Posted by on April 22, 2008 in Uncategorized



Life’s a Beach

We spent some long-awaited time at the beach today. The kids have been talking about this for as long as they’ve known we were coming beach-side. It did not disappoint. Elijah loved the feeling of sand between his toes and romped about on the sand and in the water. He was up to his chest on this April day!

Sadie mostly enjoyed telling me where and how big to make rainbows in the sand with my rake. Then ordering me to bring pails of water (which she wasn’t too interested in approaching closely) so that she could ‘erase’ beach drawings.

Here’s a vid clip of the early oceanside exploration. As stated, Elijah ended up sopping up to his armpits and (uncharacteristically) giggling while covered in mud, sand, and salt water. Sadie (characteristically) got dirty…

And apparently someone wanted to chronicle what they did this evening before bed. I found this picture while uploading- a screenshot of The Backyardigans being watched on the laptop! 🙂

Posted by on April 21, 2008 in Uncategorized