We got back from the BEST short vacation on Monday and I am having serious withdrawals, especially with all of the rain we’re having here in Portland. We went down to Southern California for 5 days, including 2 days at Disney! I’ve had a lot of friends with young kids ask me about traveling with a young kiddo and doing Disney with her! I thought I would share our experiences… since it is probably going to be a long post I’m splitting it in to 2 parts. This part will cover our first 2 days (travel and Palm Desert), part 2 will cover all things Disney!
We headed out on Thursday. Luckily I/we have traveled a little bit with Peyton since she was born so traveling with a toddler wasn’t too intimidating. I booked us on a 10am flight to LAX so that we weren’t rushed and we didn’t have to deal with a cranky over-tired toddler at 5 am. We had a flight credit on Alaska Airlines that we had to use so we traveled first class which was WONDERFUL with a child flying on our lap. We did almost miss the flight because the Stumptown through security at PDX decided to take their sweet time making Jordan’s coffee (aka forgetting to make his coffee…). I’m sure we ruined someone’s day when they thought they might snag our 2 first class seats.
During the flight Peyton entertained herself by watching Lion King on our iPad and putting stickers on her face.
I’ll share my must-have travel items for different stages in the near future since we’ve now traveled with a baby ( 6 weeks, 6 months) and a few stages of toddlerhood (12-18 months, 18-24 months)
Originally we were going to fly in to Santa Ana, but Jordan wanted to rent a Range Rover Sport which was only available LAX so that’s what we did. Jordan is kind of obsessed right now with wanting to get a Range Rover Sport for our next car and this was his birthday present… and extended test drive.
We spent the first afternoon pretty much just getting the car, driving to our hotel, getting settled and grabbing dinner. We stayed at the Hyatt Newport Beach which was nice, we didn’t spend much time there and it was not my favorite hotel, but it did the job for the weekend.
By coincidence Jordan’s dad was in Palm Springs, so we decided to drive out to desert and spend Friday with him! Jordan loved it because it meant more time for his “test drive.”
Once we got there we quickly picked up J’s dad and headed to The Living Desert, which I highly recommend as a stop to anyone there with kids! It is such a cool zoo. The animals have amazing enclosures and they also have really cool encounters and learning activities. Right when we got there they were getting the Cheetahs some exercise so we got to see them running.
Peyton was also a big fan of the meerkats. We had to pull her away from their little home and she definitely made some friends.
And then there were the giraffes which are AMAZING! They have a feeding experience which we didn’t do because the line was super long and P is a little wary of giant animals; but we got a great view!
This is by far my favorite photo of the day! That guy is looking right at her!
My other favorite thing that happened at the Zoo was in the petting area where there were some goats. Peyton went in there and wanted to pet one that decided to walk away from her. She yelled at it “GOAT! HEY GOAT! HEYYY GOOOATTT!” while chasing it around. It was HILARIOUS. Jordan’s dad cracked up and was amazed at how chatty she is.
We only stayed at the zoo for a few hours since it was 95°+, so we went back to the hotel and grabbed a quick lunch. Jordan and his dad were awesome and stayed with P in the room while she napped and I got a sweet hour an a half to myself. I went to the Spa, got a great massage, and a quick sunbathing sesh by the spa pool. It was wonderful.
Once P woke up we took a quick walk around the resort then headed out to a great dinner at Guillermo’s, where we were lucky to get a reservation since it was PACKED. They had great food AND great margaritas. We decided to have a “Cheers!” & Jordan’s Dad was AMAZED when he said “CHEERS” that Peyton lifted her water cup to join in. It was adorable. P was also ALL about holding Grandpa’s hand wherever we went. Again, adorable.
After dinner we hit the road back to Newport Beach. It was insanely windy through the desert, but the ride was so comfy Jordan didn’t mind driving… 😉
Luckily we got back early enough to get some sleep since we had a big day at Disney the next morning!!