Aquariums, Hamburgers, and Flying with Kids…Southern Travel Links!

IMG_1183-634In front of the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores

North Carolina’s State Aquariums are a family travel tradition for us, especially the location along the Crystal Coast in Pine Knoll Shores (that shot above is from 2010).

Check out our post Kids and Aquariums…A Quick Introduction to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to find out more.

The site Walking on Travels does a weekly postcard from a particular destination and they recently featured the Georgia Aquarium – one of the largest in the nation and a favorite of many across the South.

It’s located down in Atlanta and is a relatively easy trip for most southerners.

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A few weeks ago, we were able to spend a day exploring Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

It was our first time visiting the park as a family in four years, and we had forgotten how much we enjoyed it.

Not long before our visit, I read this post from the Disney Tourist Blog, featuring some of the best hamburgers available at Walt Disney World. I thought it was an excellent idea for a post and I was fascinated with the Kobe Beef Burger available at Animal Kingdom’s Yak and Yeti restaurant.

Alas, a visit to the Yak and Yeti wasn’t in the cards (I am the sole Asian food fan in the family and the Kobe Beef Burger is one of the only western items on the menu). Check out the Disney Tourist Blog’s Yak and Yeti review for more info, and stay tuned for a post from us in the coming weeks on our day at Animal Kingdom.

IMG_2074-634In Raleigh Durham International Airport on one of our first flights as a family

Flying with children can be as challenging as it is magical.

On the magical side, your family may be headed to a vacation in an exotic local or on that first family trip to Walt Disney World as we were in the above shot.

The challenge can come as a fellow passenger dealing with the inevitable noise and those kicks to the back of your seat. The bigger challenge may be for the parent though, who behind the magic is juggling respective roles as day care teacher and secret service agent trying to keep the kids both entertained and safe.

On Travelingmom.com, Eden Pontz has written an essay that details both the joy and the magic of flying with kids. She relays a story of a grumpy fellow flyer whose heart melted a bit when he was challenged to help a mother fold a stroller while coming through security:

I asked the inpatient man behind me to help open the stroller once it was through the x-ray machine and he grudgingly did so. As he did, he struggled with it himself. Quite a bit. “It’s a lot more complicated than when we were children, isn’t it?” I said to him and smiled. At that point, he began to help the mother retrieve items from the bins as well. He didn’t say anything, but his whole demeanor had changed after helping her. She thanked us both with small, repetitive bows and we all headed to our planes.

Her story reminded me of an early flight with our kids.

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One of our daughters was a bit too short to bend her legs properly in the jet’s seat and kicked the back of the seat in front of her. The occupant of that seat, a woman in her 20s, was annoyed and foresaw a flight full of kicks to the lower back.

From across the row, I called our daughter down, helped her rearrange the way she was sitting, and emphasized the importance of not kicking the seat in front of her. I did it loud enough for the kickee to hear, thankfully our daughter kicked no more (of course she forgets that lesson nowadays when she still repeatedly kicks the back of my seat in the minivan).

As we were leaving the plane the woman politely thanked me, and complimented the children on their behavior.  

OK, now I’m ready to hop back on a plane with the kids before they’re grown!

Give us a call when you’re ready to do the same, and never forget to:

Relax…you CAN get there from here!

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