ARUBA! Just what the doctor ordered. A 3.5 day getaway of much needed quality time with the three big Bowen babes, who so often put their needs last so their baby sister can get the attention she needs. We laughed, played, made a huge (sandy) mess of our hotel room, ate dessert at every meal, and SLEPT. It was amazing. We spent our days at the beach, building castles, floating out to sea on a pirate ship (AKA rafts that we made into a human chain to stick together), pretended we were the characters from the Adams family, (we had two Wednesdays, one Mortricia, and a Pugsley), went tubing, walked the beach, found heart shaped coral, hunted for lizards, played football, soccer, and watched the sunset. Oh and snapped a few (600) photos.
I have to say this was my favorite photoshoot yet, without the pressure of a two hour session to capture the perfect photos, I casually snapped pics all day everyday when I caught them doing something adorable. If only I was a professional...
So often people would come up to us throughout the day to A. comment on all the fun we were having together, (it really was magical) and B. On how adorable the clothing and swimwear are! It was so rewarding to hear and see that all the work that goes into creating a collection really does pay off. The collection translated how I envisioned; playful, bright, with a pop of show stopping adorableness.
I love to travel. Traveling with children is a little bit of an art, unique from family to family, and it takes time to figure out. Below are my travel requirements for traveling with the big kids, soon enough Georgia will join this crazy crew!
- Direct flight – when booking Aruba, I searched (last minute) for a direct flight out of Boston to the Caribbean. Jetblue flies direct to Aruba.
- Guaranteed weather. I made the mistake this year of traveling to South Florida in January and realized if its not blistering hot with crazy amounts of Vitamin D I would rather be skiing in the mountains. Aruba’s climate is desert, little rain, lots of sun = perfection.
- Ambiance – to me experiences are everything. For example; I travel further to shop at a Whole Foods rather than the average mass market chain grocery store because of the feeling I get when I walk in, and the quality I bring home. The hotel must be a marriage of ambiance but not offensively priced. I’m a sucker for open air lobbies!
- Safety- The mom in me only considers destinations that have a great reputation for safety. Traveling without my husband adds an extra level of responsibility.
- Screen Time- essential to survive the flight! (for us) We only let the kids play on their iPads when traveling. They are allowed TV at home, but no iPads.
- When you look good you act 'good' - The kids appreciate how special vacations are. They get so excited to plan their travel outfits and pack their mini wheel-y bags. I think it helps with behavior, since they get so many compliments, its hard to throw a fit after a stranger says how wonderful you are!
Car Service - If you live on the South Shore of Boston you have to use Seaside Livery. It is family owned in Duxbury, has a fleet of beautiful cars/SUVs, trust worthy divers, and incredibly reliable. We often get the owner and he makes sure the kids have a movie ready to go (even at 3Am). I can't say enough about Seaside Livery! (781) 760-2204
Airline - Jetblue. I've always had great experiences and when I don't they refund you for the flight! It happened on the way home form Aruba actually. They are also very good about our daughter's severe nut allergy. Love Jetblue.
staff at the Hilton is amazing!
Jack needed to be re-positioned!
Hotel - The Hilton Resort Palm Beach Aruba - Beautiful property. Mature grounds, open air lobby, with a scenic bar. Gorgeous beach front with little grass huts (to rent by the day $55), and a nice pool. I never love the pool scene at a hotel. We usually hit the beach and our kids are finally old enough to appreciate the novelty of the beach. The food was OK. The kids and I ordered gourmet pizza and salads, two nights from an Italian restaurant across the street and ate in the outdoor lobby after the sunset. The room was great. Spacious, clean and new. The ocean view on our balcony was much appreciated! I loved that the gift shops had everything we needed, from tylenol to sand toys.