Remember all of the glorious free time you used to have BEFORE you became a Modern Boca Mom?
Ha- me neither!
And that’s why (when I do manage to schedule some valuable ‘me-time’) I try to maximize it accordingly.
Before motherhood, I rarely spent my free time doing things like “taking a day at the spa,” but by God if I haven’t earned that day (or precious few hours) by the time I’m able to nail it on the iPhone calendar now!
Having JUST taken a 28 hour car trip from South Florida to Maine with #dailybabyavery, I can TRULY appreciate this summer travel post with car trip tips from our contributor:Modern Boca Stay-at-Home Mom
As MBMoms, we are always prepared…or at least we try to be! We make sure that our diaper bags are overflowing with drinks and snacks, diapers and wipes, hand sanitizer (!) and a change of clothes because, truth be told, you must be ready for anything!
And that’s just for a trip to the grocery store…
What if you were planning to be in the car for an hour, or 3 hours, or the dreaded 8+ hours….what else would you need for that trip? As me and the kids were in the car for such a long time, it made me realise that on our next road trip, a van may be better. By then, the girls may not need booster seats. I think for me anyway, it will be a lot easier, plus I won’t have to worry about my car as much. I was discussing this with a friend of mine who recommended I looked into companies such as one sure insurance if I was serious about purchasing a van for future trips. As much fun a road trip can be, it’s no fun knowing that you are putting yourself and your family in danger by not having the correct or no vehicle insurance at all. I cannot wait to start making these annual trips for the family once everything is in place.
Besides a giant jug of caffeine and some earplugs (for you, of course), there are definitely some “must-haves” to pack in your Car Trip Arsenal, as I’ll call it.
The Car Trip Arsenal has some basic items, regardless of the length of your trip. And for car trip tips, the suggested would include:
Books. Board books, story books, picture books….keep it diverse to keep them interested.
CDs of kid songs. You can also buy children’s stories on tape – which usually come with a book so you can read along.
Snacks. Also bring little cups or bags so you can dish out the snacks to each child.
Coloring books and crayons. Simple but this is always a winner!
For a longer trip I have some additional car trip tips for the list.
iPad/Tablet. You can download games (educational ones too!) that can be played offline.
Portable DVD player. You can take it out when you need it and put it away when you don’t. That way, they don’t always expect it to be there! And don’t forget to bring a few of your child’s favorite movies!
Small presents. You can get VERY inexpensive “gifts” at the dollar store or the bins at the front of Target! Wrap them all up separately – the more they have to open, the better – and every hour or so the kids can open one up.
So, now you’ve been in the car for (fill in the blank) hours and, uh oh, your Arsenal has been depleted! Well now it’s time to get creative!
To give you a little help, here are a few car trip tips to get you started…
Play a game.
I Spy… Take turns looking around and picking an object. The spy would say “I Spy something red”, picking the Gatorade in the cup holder as the object. The rest of the family asks yes or no questions to try and guess what it is that the spy picked.
I’m Going on a Picnic… This is a fun memory game. Take turns singing, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring…..” In alphabetical order, start adding items that you will bring the picnic. And don’t forget to include the items that have been added before your turn!
For example: By the end, the song will sound something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring: apples, bananas, cards, a dinosaur…….a xylophone, a yak and a zebra!” Phew!
How Many Cars can you Count? Everyone picks a color and counts how many cars they see on the road in a 5 minute span that are their color. The winner gets to pick the next game.
Make up a silly story. Mom or dad starts a story, then each person has a minute or so to build on the story, and so on, and so on! After 5 or 10 minutes you’ll have made up a unique and silly story together!
Call or FaceTime friends or relatives. The call will get your mind off of the trip, even just for a minute or so.
Between the Arsenal, the games and the potty breaks, “I Spy” a very pleasant car trip with your family in your future!
Now we want to hear from you! What are some items that YOU bring on car trips with your kids?? Comment below…
Modern Boca Mom contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog, Peace, Love and Ice Cream!
If you follow me on Instagram @essentiallyerika, then it’s no secret we just came back from our summer family Islamorada vacation!
As I’ve mentioned in the past (maybe only once or fifteen times), I’m a native New Yorker and my idea of a vacation is somewhat skewed.
Living in BocaRaton, I’ve felt like it’s a very laid-back lifestyle (Florida in general gives me that feeling). I’ve even referred to it as “country”. Whenever I speak to southerners, they always refer to Boca Raton as “busy” or “city life”. Well, now I understand.
It wasn’t until I ventured further south that I can fully appreciate “remote living”. My family and I were lucky enough to win a wonderful 3 day / 2 night stay at the wonderful Guy Harvey Resort in lovely Islamorada Key.
This. Place. Rocks.
We stayed in the Bayside Townhomes, 2 King Beds / 2 Bath units right on the Bay!
When I first told the boys we would be going on vacation, all they asked was “Are there trains there?”
There is PLENTY to do here. Just footsteps from the pool /grill area– did I mention it was right on the Bay?
The hammocks were my favorite!
We kept ourselves busy basking in the Islamorada sun and lounging at the pool with great food and plenty of Bob Marley tunes to set the mood.
This quaint little property has some of the best sunsets in Islamorada, I was thoroughly impressed!
Staying at the Islander Bayside Townhomes allowed access to the “sister” resort less than a mile away, The Guy Harvey Islander Resort. There’s more fun to be had there!
Here you can park it under a shady tree on the beach, relax and enjoy the breeze.
There’s also a huge pool with bar and grill for your lunch and beverage needs
I couldn’t resist…
One of the best parts about the Islander is the versatility. There is enough to stay busy in that Islamorada sun all day! (Don’t forget your sunblock! That sun is brutal in the summertime…)
We were lucky enough to have enough wind to go sailing; what a cool experience in these crystal clear warm waters! We stood pretty shallow with the boys and all, so we were really able to just relax and “be”, we took in every moment…
“Don’t ask me big bro…”
The WaterSorts shack offers all types of water activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, motor boat rentals and fishing!
We couldn’t pass this up, so off we went on another #naturetrackers adventure
This was a special moment for all of us. I know I remember the first time I went fishing with my dad. I’m sure they will remember this as the first of many fishing experiences with their father.
(Skipping stones with their dad, just love my guys!)
Islamorada is known for its fishing and music. There are tons of places to grab some food and drinks, or even to play pool! (Insert finger sprain here, don’t ask. Thanks for the good times Hog Heaven!)
It seemed wherever we went, we were met with kind faces and great food. I must say one of my favorites was Marker 88, hands down THE BEST key lime pie I’ve ever tasted, not to mention MORE beautiful views!
(I feel like all of these places have sunset competitions, to see who has the best view)
To sum it all up, I get it.. Islamorada was a win on every level and I can certainly see the allure. Driving back home to Boca Raton was bittersweet. And I thought to myself, it seems so crowded, like CITY LIFE?!?!! Could it be?? This self proclaimed city slicker has gone (dare I say it) FLORIDIAN??
There is something to be said for disconnecting and just taking in the moments slowly and savoring them. Sitting back relishing in life’s simple goodness, the beauty in the ordinary. Salty sea air on your lips, warm summer winds in your hair. Letting time skip away with the ones you love, dropping your inhibitions and losing yourself in “child’s play”.
Sometimes I feel we can get so wrapped up in keeping our children busy, or filling up their schedule so there is no idle time for them to get bored. Being bored as a child at times forced me to come up with some of the best or most creative thoughts, ideas and games. This serves as a reminder to just enjoy “organic” moments if you will.
Those moments where not much is going on and it doesn’t have to. Some of our best memories as kids were summertime with no plans, nowhere to be, nothing to do but to let your day manifest on its own. To just “be” with your kids in nature soaking up the Vitamin D (safely, of course) and letting the day just drift away in unstructured play. It’s good for the “crunchy” soul! I think it teaches us a bit about learning to lie back and enjoy the journey and teaches our children to include this sort of “freedom” in their lives.
We are very grateful to the people of Islamorada and The Guy Harvey Resort, but most of all to Sunflower Creative Arts. (This is where we won this awesome trip!)
Modern Boca Crunchy Mom
Have you set some unstructured time together with your family this summer? Tell us where! We’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comments section below.
I must admit that I’m a bit of a ‘fan girl’ when it comes to the Resort, as I imagine many Boca residents are. The Resort anchors our town and has been here pretty much since the beginning. Yes, it’s exclusive. Yes, it’s impressive. And, the good news is that I’m here to tell you that it’s also an amazing (and pretty reasonable) staycationoption for you and your family this August & September!
Hotel rooms start at only $149 per night and the complimentary amenities available for the kids alone make this new family-friendly Boca Raton Resort and Club an ideal option for MBMoms and beyond.
In the #modernbocaresortmomposts to come, I’ll give you the inside scoop on all of the fab dining options at the Resort AND how to take advantage of your valuable MBMom relaxation time at the Waldorf Astoria Spa on property, formerly known as Spa Palazzo.
In the meantime, let’s go on a little tour of the Boca Beach Club, shall we?
You are here.
My Modern Boca Resort Mom experience started out with a day spent at the Boca Beach Club. Here, the Resort has launched Surf Boca (#surfboca) which offers private lessons, clinics and events for all ages and skill levels, which includes the kiddos!
My Goddaughter Allison, 4, lovingly agreed to be my MBMom reviewer for the day. Her parents are both surfers, so I figured she’d be the ideal girl for the job!
There were small(ish) waves on the day we signed her up for a private lesson at Surf Boca, one of the Boca Raton Resort activities, with Colin, which actually worked out perfectly for showing Allison the ropes.
Next, getting in the water. Colin guided Allison into the perfect surfboard position, so she had the best chance of catching a wave and standing up. I figured she’d get one or two.
No. Not only did Allison catch a minimum of 10 waves (before exhaustion set in), she stood up on her FIRST TRY.
Boy, was I was a proud Godmother! I even thought ahead to bring our GoPro, so we got a great video of her as well:
Colin’s instruction was easy enough for a 4-year-old to “get” right away and older kids will love that he outwardly portrays a “cool surfer dude” image.
And, as Allison’s Mom said: “I would have really liked him when I was a teenage girl.” Take it or leave it MBMoms! 🙂
Boca Raton Resort Activities: Surf School Schedule (weather permitting)
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm.
Private lessons 7 days a week from 10 am to 4 pm
Clinics 7 days a week from 10 am to 11 am
The Surf School includes Billabong rash guard, customized video to view online, emailed photo and 1-hour rental use of a surfboard.
For more information or surf school events and reservations, call 561-447-3385 (Beach Club Water Sports).
After the Surf Boca lesson, we were all starved. So, we rinsed off and walked over to Beaches, the poolside restaurant at the Boca Beach Club.
Because of the restaurant’s speedy and friendly service, Allison’s Mom and I immediately got what we wanted:
And so did Allison! Her lunch was served in an adorable beach pail with shovel.
But, in typical South Florida summer fashion, the skies decided to open up after lunch, so we stuffed ourselves (hello Maine lobster and crab wrap) and had Allison take advantage of the Boca Beach Club’s INDOOR kids’ amenities during the afternoon.
Welcome to Quest Clubhouse, part of the Boca Resort’s Quest Club for Kids.
Part arcade, part library, part children’s entertainment mecca, the Quest Clubhouse has tons of fun, indoor activity options for kids of all ages.
The Quest Clubhouse has token-based arcade games, an air hockey table– even games where you can win prizes! Kids can play anytime between 10AM-5PM and you can leave them there (supervised) for a low, hourly rate.
I even hear that the Quest Clubhouse turns into Q, a teen nightclub (ages 10-17) every Saturday night from 6-10PM! How cool!
On the other side of the Clubhouse lives the Quest Club library and for lack of a better word, “room o’ toys.” This area is targeted to younger kids, who might not be ready for neon lights and arcade games.
They even have a Build-a-Bear workshop in the space…trust me, I was tempted to make a monkey.
It was a great day. I’m pretty sure Allison conked out in the car on the way home to Palm Beach. 🙂
The thing I noticed most about the kids’ amenities at the Boca Beach Club during our visit was OPTIONS.
And, I’m not necessarily talking about variety; I’m talking about the choice to either let your kids do their own thing (safely supervised) while you head to the pool or get a spa treatment with #modernbocadad or simply observe while they are happily occupied for a few hours.
The option and choice is yours as a Boca Resort guest this summer! Check room availability HERE.
Disclaimer: Services and compensation were provided for this review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.
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