I’m back! Well, probably not for long, but we took a much needed mini family vacation and I just had to share everything about it! So here I am, back on the blog after almost a whole year hiatus to share our Wildwood Weekend Getaway with a TON of mom hacks (and dad hacks).
Let’s get right to it, the MOST asked question over on my Instagram was: Where did we stay?! I wish I could say I was this awesome researcher of hotels but the truth is, we decided on Wednesday to take a trip (planning to leave Saturday of MDW) and I booked our room Thursday. Literally two days before we wanted to leave. The options were very limited but the reviews on this place were amazing and it was very central to a few things we wanted to do.
The Ala Moana Motel was so amazing we plan to vacation there every year! Hopefully in the same room. We booked through Expedia. It is TWO blocks from the beach and that walk brings you to the beginning of the boardwalk, only a few blocks from the infamous WILDWOODS sign. We were able to walk to dinner, breakfast, ice cream, rides AND the water park. Some reviews I read said it wasn’t close to food and I have no idea what those people were talking about. Tieghan LOVES her stroller and Christian and I love to walk and it was in the most perfect location.
As we walked around we noticed it was easily the nicest most recently renovated motel around. The motel itself looked beautiful, has an elevator (which most do not, I learned that from Christian) and has a pool with a small kiddie pool attached! We stayed in one of their suites/houses. We could tell it was recently redone and it was STUNNING. It had a full bath, full kitchen and two bedrooms each with a closet. It had a dining room and full living room. Tieghan had her own room, I’ll get into that more on how we travel in a bit. She slept through the night every night which she has NEVER done for us when we travel and felt so comfortable in our home away from home.
We had our own parking spot right outside of our room which was SO amazing. It was easy to unpack and pack and get the stroller in and out through the sliding glass door. The property was under a key-fob lock, private and felt very safe.
Ala Moana is also family owned, which you know how much we love to support family businesses. They were so helpful and friendly. So incredibly welcoming and made us feel like we were their only guests when mama got a little frantic the WiFi wouldn’t work for T’s monitor. And the best part, it was only an hour and half away from home!
So what did we bring? Dear lord, everything. Some must haves that helped us this time around were our UppaBaby Vista which you know T loves and so easy to keep her safe from the sun and comfortable, Wyze Camera which is super easy to set up as long as you have WiFi, her Hatch Baby Sound Machine, her Graco Pack n Play and some things from home we know would help her feel more comfortable. She’s never slept with a blanket but for some reason I had a feeling if I brought the one from her room it might help make her sleep better with having the smell of home close by, and it did! We also brought her Summer Infant Chair, some new books thanks to her Aunt Turi and a few stuffed animals we knew she loved. It wasn’t a ton, but just enough to make her feel comfy!
Tip: bring only a few items to make it feel like home, stuffed animals, sound machine. And then bring something new, a chair or some books.
So what did we do? We got in late Saturday so we grabbed a quick bite on the boardwalk and got ready for bed. Our first full day there we ate breakfast at the condo and went to Morey’s Pier Water Park. I learned a very valuable lesson: do not let your daughter leave the house wearing a swim diaper, change her into one when you get there. Because, well she peed on me and in stroller during her nap. Ugh, mom fail, but you live and learn. For this, we drove to the pier, you don’t have to, it was only a 3 minute drive but we figured we would all be to tired to walk after. Once out of the car and in the stroller, as T passed out. We decided to go into the water park anyway and it was perfect. I got lunch to go for T at one of the stands there so it was cool when she woke up. And while T and Daddy napped, mama enjoyed a drink and got to lay out! MAMA WIN! When T woke up we ate and then played. She had the time of her life.
Tip: bring towels but leave their swimmies in the car. They have life jackets but T didn’t need one as Christian and I didn’t leave her side. One less thing you have to bring in.
The second day we went to the Cape May Zoo! We obviously drove and went as soon as they opened, 10am. We brought our stroller but they have cute cart rentals if you don’t want to bring yours in. It says no outdoor food or drink but Christian and I were able to bring our waters, T’s snacks and his food in her diaper bag. Also, it is not free. Well it is, but here’s why I say that; they ask for a donation to park and to enter the zoo. We saw some people just walking by and donating nothing. Cape May Zoo relies on those donations to rescue rehabilitate and release some animals so please don’t think of it as free. Donate what you can, it’s a huge Zoo and is worth the donation. T had a BLAST and so did we!
Tip: let her get out and run a bit, let her walk up to the animal cages, it’ll tire her out for a good nap! Also, bring cold fruit. It’ll keep them hydrated and cool.
For dinner we went to the Mud Hen and Schellenger’s Restaurant. We drove to both and both were very kid friendly! Mud Hen was more stylish and upbeat while Schellenger’s was more casual. We loved both!
Christian went to Atilus Gym while we were down there and that’s easily one of his favorite gyms. Very short drive from our condo.
Reminder: with where we stayed we had our own parking space so driving wasn’t as much of a hassle as it usually is.
Tieghan fell asleep both on the way their and on the way home. She loves the car and a HUGE MOM HACK (if you have the Graco 4ever Extend) is you can recline the car seat from the back of it. So when she falls asleep i recline it one notch and it avoids her head falling forward!
We had so much fun this passed weekend and can’t wait to make this a new family tradition. I hope this helped to plan your next family vacation! If there are any tips and tricks you do please share!! I am still clearly learning many things about traveling with a little one.