Family Trip to Jacksonville!

When I was pregnant with Brittlynn Zach and I had a discussion about the importance of having easy-to-travel kids. Kye took a ton of trips to Melbourne when he was a baby so we could visit Mom. Britt doesn’t get that travel experience because Mom lives in Valdosta now! So it’s important that we still take her as often as we can on little vacations. It’s important to take Kye too, of course, as we want him to continue to travel well. 

Casey and Jordan are getting married the last weekend in March and I didn’t want that to be Britt’s first experience traveling (it’s only a 45 minute drive but it’s still staying away from home) as I worried how she would do. We decided that we’d plan a trip for a weekend away sometime in February. The way everything worked out we ended up going the weekend of Feb 17th. We decided to take the kids to Jacksonville, mostly because it’s only two hours away. We enjoyed all the visits to Melbourne, but a four hour drive is a little tough with a young baby because we’d have to stop so I could nurse. We’d be able to make it to Jacksonville before Britt would have to eat again so it’d be a smoother experience!

Zach got home from work that afternoon at around 4ish so we loaded up the car and as soon as Britt finished up her 5:00 feeding we left! Super pumped for Brittlynn’s first ever trip (btw…I am keeping a list of all the places Britt travels, just like I did for Kye, and you can view it here.)


We have a new McDonald’s right by our house so it made life even easier. Britt doesn’t sleep well when the car stops so we wanted to go ahead and get dinner during her awake time. We went through McDonald’s on the way out and Kye got the big kids happy meal (6 nuggets) and ate them ALL. The people also totally messed up our order and gave him fries instead of the apple slices we requested, but he ate all of those too. He watched Monsters Inc on our car dvd player and was a happy camper the whole way.

We got there close to 8:30 which is Brittlynn’s last feeding of the day. Yes. 8:30. Kye’s bedtime is 7:30. When you have two kids you have some situations that come up where you have to decide whose schedule is more important. Right now, Britt’s is. And in this circumstance it made more sense to let him go to bed late (and skip bath) in order to keep her on schedule. It all worked out well. Britt and I ran up to the room and I started nursing her while the guys got everything unloaded and set up for the night. Kye took a LONG time to fall asleep so Zach and I weren’t able to watch The Office that night…instead we just both messed around on our tablets. 

This trip was FILLED with firsts! Majority of them were good…but there were two bad firsts that happened. The first bad first was that I didn’t get a picture of Kye and Zach on the hotel bed. I ALWAYS get a picture. I realized it the morning we checked out and Zach was so sweet and said “we can run back up to the room!” I did not want to mess with all that with both kids when we were rushing to get back in time for Britt’s next feeding. We didn’t take one the night we got there because we were in such a hurry to get Kye to bed 🙁 🙁 So sad. But I won’t forget next time, I promise!!!

Saturday morning I nursed Britt at 7 and the guys got ready then went down for breakfast (I’ll discuss my requirements for hotel stays in another post but breakfast is one of them!). As soon as I was done nursing and pumping I got Britt and I dressed and we met them down there! 

Ready for a big day!

Kye and Zach were already done eating so I scarfed down really quick (who am I kidding…as a mother I ALWAYS rush to eat, don’t you?!?!?!) while they played around in the lobby. I felt a little frazzled but then a lady came up to me and told me that she was so impressed with our parenting and how well behaved Kye was and how wonderfully he said “yes ma’am” all on his own. Totally made my morning and helped remind me that we’re doing a good job 😉

Another reason I picked the hotel I did was that it was close to the zoo. I have been wanting to take Kye to the Jacksonville Zoo for awhile as I’ve heard SO many wonderful things about it. Zach didn’t get to go with us to Zoo Atlanta so I thought this would make for a fun family outing. Plus it’s a lot of walking which meant constant moving for Brittlynn…and hopefully sleep for her naps!

First time using our City Mini Double Stroller – We LOVE it!

Britt’s first trip to the ZOO!

We went ahead and paid extra for our tickets so we’d be able to ride the choo choo, carousel, and pet the sting rays. Zach was so awesome about not worrying too much about money. It was his idea to pay for the bonus tickets and we both were so glad we did. We got enough use out of the extra things to totally offset the cost! The first thing we saw were the sting rays so we went ahead and got to pet them!!!

Kye got this experience at the Georgia Aquarium last summer but his arms were so short then that he couldn’t actually touch anything. We kinda had the same issue this time…

Then this BIG guy came by and was up on the sides so Kye could reach! I’m pretty surprised that Kye eagerly stuck his hand down to touch him. I thought he’d be a little afraid but I guess he’s like his mama and loves to touch stuff. This ended up being one of his favorite parts of the day and he’ll randomly bring up how he petted the sting rays!

It was nap time so Britt missed out on petting the sting rays. 

I think from that day the majority of the pictures I took were either of Brittlynn sleeping (I felt guilt only having pictures of Kye so I kept taking them of her even though they were all pretty much the same) or of Kye running. I’m still glad we had the double stroller as we used it plenty, but Kye really wanted to walk everywhere. It was fine by us!

Every exhibit we passed Kye was more interested in the birds than anything else, it cracked me up.

Last summer Kye was kinda into the animals, but he really enjoyed the zoo SO much more this time. He knows more about animals and understood that it was a treat to see them in person. Plus I liked that he was walking around more than he did at the zoo last time. It allowed him to get closer to see things and it was easier to grab him and hold him up and such instead of having to get him out of the stroller over and over again.

More running…

…and more semi sleeping 😉

Even though we were out and about we still stuck to the schedule. She napped in the car seat from 8:30-10:30 then we fed her a bottle and she napped again in the car seat from 12-2. Our plan was to make sure we were back at the hotel by 2:00 for her feeding. I can’t skip two nursing sessions without pumping so it’d be a HUGE pain if we tried to stay out longer than that. So you may have noticed…if we left the zoo close to 2:00 that means Kye missed his nap. Yup! We rarely skip nap (the first time ever was for Zoo Atlanta and the only other time was for Disney…) but, again, Britt’s schedule comes first and this was what would work best for her. One nap won’t hurt, especially at his age (another reason we spread out the ages of our children) and he did fine with it!

Britt didn’t sleep as well as we’d hoped she would but it was a little warmer than we had thought it’d be and there were some annoying gnats so I think that messed her up some. Thankfully it wasn’t sunny at ALL so we didn’t have that issue. We just kept her moving and gave her the paci. She slept on and off and it was better than if we’d completely skipped the naps so it worked out.

Choo choo ride!!!

checking out the kimono dragon

more running 😉

Probably one of the strangest frogs I’ve ever seen!

At the kangaroo exhibit…Kye was all about these birds

This kangaroo was hilarious…

He kept scratchin and scratchin and even ended up, like a typical man, scratching “himself” pretty good too!

We covered a good bit of the zoo before Brittlynn had to eat at 10:30 and then we hunted for a good place to take a break…that post is coming up next!

Jacksonville on Dwellable


  1. Danielle P
    March 3, 2012 / 2:25 am

    Ok that should be Suites not sweets…

  2. Danielle P
    March 3, 2012 / 2:25 am

    Breakfast is  100% must for sure with us! We have stayed at Homewood sweets in a few different towns and they offer "dinner" monday-thursday. There was only one time I had to feed Clayton in addition to their dinner (because the food was down right gross!). 

  3. Sandi
    March 3, 2012 / 11:38 am

    I was noticing how long Kye's hair is in that last picture and then I remembered you are letting it grow out. I then thought (my mind jumps around pretty much all the time!) that Kye's hair remind me a little of the boys on the TV show The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. Try a Google image search, their hair changed a lot over the years but stayed fairly long most of the time.

  4. Anonymous
    March 4, 2012 / 5:19 am

    Yes, McDonald's now puts fries and apples in the happy meals… I think it's to get them addicted young! I have started asking for them to leave out the fries, I figure the nuggets are unhealthy enough on their own- ha!

  5. Rachael_Copponex
    March 8, 2012 / 2:58 pm

    Greg will NOT eat a hotel breakfast.  I like Kye's hair.  I can't justify that for a stroller!  I went to babies r us and threw it around but I wasn't super impressed- what do you like about it?  Seriously, tell me because I will consider it if I know why you like it.

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