The Deane family finally got to the beach for the first time this Summer, now that it’s almost over. Better late than never right!? Although we couldn’t even swim in the ocean because of the Red Tide, womp womp.
We flew to Orlando from Charlotte on Friday 8/24 at 5:30pm and the time worked really well for Ollie, although he had a really late night, only going down at like 9:30pm. It was so much busier flying with an almost 11 month old versus flying to South Africa with an almost 6 month old. Back in April , he couldn’t sit up let alone crawl, so it was a lot easier than this flight where he wanted to pull himself up on the chair and grab the guy’s hair sitting in front of me (he did have cool hair). Oliver lifted the arm rest up and down a thousand times, and pulled the tray table up and down more times than I can count. He did so well thought, and was a happy chappy the whole flight. Here is what got us through:
- A new toy
- Two new books
- Lots of snacks (Rice crackers and organic fruit pouches)
- Water in a sippy-type cup (the one with the straw)
I decided to use disposable nappies (diapers) for the trip and it was a nice break from washing everyday but I was excited to get back to cloth when we got back home.
We were renting a car in Orlando so we took his car seat and stroller, but left behind the base. Daniel Googled how to strap the car seat in with the base so we didn’t have to lug it around, but I do wish we had taken it. I think the base is much safer than the car seat strapped in.
Anyway, back to the airport – Daniel and I bought some potato chips and Bark Thins but the Bark Thins turned out to be very dry and disappointing. The flight went very well actually and that’s what counts. Ollie was very busy but luckily we had a seat in between Daniel and I so we had some extra space. We landed in Orlando and were ready to get Ollie settled, but we stopped for some Qdoba on the way to our friend’s house as it was past supper time. She had asked me what she could get for us for the weekend so here are some of the things that I asked for:
- Almond Milk
- Baked tofu
- Veggies for veggie skewers
I don’t need vegan butter or vegan mayonnaise when I’m travelling as I use hummus or avocados as a sauce to make sandwiches ‘creamy’ and flavorful. I have bought them before but we don’t end up using the whole tub so I feel it can be a waste. Anyway, being a vegan while traveling is very easy when you plan carefully, but Sunday night was a bit of a flop.
We were supposed to drive to Sarasota (Siesta Key) in the early afternoon while Oliver napped, and were going to go grocery shopping once we were settled into the hotel, but we were having fun in the pool that our plans got delayed. It was late by the time we got to our hotel and Daniel and I were starving. We ordered a pizza and I wasn’t even thinking straight to order it without cheese.
I want you to hear my heart on this – I love being a vegan and am so committed to having a compassionate lifestyle, but sometimes you are tired, haven’t planned properly so you just have a veggie pizza (with the cheese) and plan more carefully for the next day. I don’t make a habit of eating dairy at all because the dairy industry saddens me to the core, but I wanted to be honest about Sunday night’s meal.
We always book a place that has a kitchenette so we can cook ourselves when we want to. We made lovely pastas and had fresh avocado and tofu sandwiches the other days. We also went out to “The Green Zebra” and had an amazing raw lasagne and the best Avocado Tofu sandwich I have ever tasted. I’m really bummed we missed out on the vegan french toast, but will have to go back some time. We also found a cute vegan food store so I bought some coconut chocolate balls and peanut butter cookies.
We had a wonderful time at the pool just being a family, and Oliver got to crawl around the sand one afternoon. I was very surprised he didn’t put sand in his mouth!
Our flight out of Sarasota was at 2:30pm which is right at Oliver’s nap time so we knew it might be tricky. We got to the airport early, and after the lady at the ticket counter talking to Oliver like he was a girl for 20 minutes (we couldn’t get a word in) we got some lunch. I ordered a veggie sub and I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the place. There are only a few restaurants but it had the name “Grill” in I think. It’s to the left before you go through security if that helps anyone traveling there! I subbed the cheese for avocado and it hit the spot. It was so delicious but I had to wolf it down so quickly before boarding. It’s not worth taking it into a tiny space with a baby right on top of you.
We had to wait almost an hour on the runway because there was a big storm, but we eventually got on our way and Oliver nursed to sleep so that was great. He woke up in time for the landing, so we gave him some crackers to chew on and water to sip to help with the pressure of the decent. It really affects me as an adult so I can’t imagine how sore their ears can get if they can equalize them properly. We had another delay of about half an hour while we waited for a plane to move out of our “parking space.” We picked up the stroller right outside the airplane doors and we were greeted by my mom who took us home and had made us a vegan dinner and stocked our fridge! Thanks mom! What a huge gift!
To summarize my thoughts on traveling as a vegan and flying with a baby:
- Plan, but be present with your family and gentle with yourself.
- Do what you have to do: Nurse your baby to sleep, eat all the snacks, push bed time a little later- as long as everyone is happy.
- Learn from your experiences for next time.
Wishing you all the best as you travel as a vegan and/or with kids. Have fun!
Any funny stories from your travels?
What’s one piece of advice or tip you would give someone traveling with a baby or traveling as a vegan?