We have never been overseas all together, Shane and I have been separately for work, but even we have never been together, and so the anticipation for our first family overseas trip was at extreme levels. I have always, always and forever wanted to take my kids to America, visiting Disneyland as a kids was a dream I could only ever imagine so to be able to take my kids has literally been a dream come true. However we first had to make it through the long haul flight, ensuring everyone had all their travel documents (stress), luggage, and arriving on time with 3 kids in the wee hours of the morning, tested every ounce of administrative ability I had. Shane was a star in this arena.
We took an early shuttle service to the airport, which proved a great stress reliever for us, all we had to do was look after our kids and everything we were carrying and didn’t have to worry about traffic or directions, allowing an expert to navigate his way effortlessly to the airport. In the excitement of the trip, it allowed us to just have fun and chatter with each other about all the things we were about to embark on, after all anticipating the trip is half the fun.
Getting entry through an international airport was something the kids had never done before, and so even that was quite the adventure for them, I was so appreciative of how helpful staff were at the airports for families travelling wth kids, they certainly made things a lot smoother for us. We had a long leisurely breakfast upon arrival, then did some shopping before entering our departure gate, where the kids were able to pull out their activity packs from their carry on to do whilst waiting to board.
They didn’t really sleep much on the plane, the entertainment was just too much fun for them, their own screen, filled with movies and games, kept our little travellers awake a little more than would be helpful. But as long as they were happy and quiet for the other passengers, I thought we will just have to solve this on the other side. They did a great job. We had travel pillows, headphones and adapter, books, activities, warm jackets and their favourite teddy bears. Mia was a little scared to fly, and paid full attention to the safety instructions, but once we were up in the air, she was totally fine. The hostesses looked after the kids so well, that travelling with them was a dream.
Being able to look out the window and see the clouds and eventually America come into view was one of the best most memorable experiences ever. Being with them as they experienced the excitement of visiting another country was one of the most special moments of my life. Walking through LAX hearing American voices and being immediately immersed in another culture was so much fun, the kids were in total wonder.
After passing through customs and airport checks we made it through a little tired from the journey. We had been advised by our friends who live in LA to wait until after 9:30 to Uber out to Anaheim, when LA traffic should have died down a bit.
So we took the kids to Planet Hollywood and filled them up on bottomless sugar drinks!
Which they loved!!! Welcome to holidays folks!
We took a shuttle to our hotel in Anaheim, checked in and then headed to Ruby’s Diner at Newport Beach for an experience of California’s coastline and the most delicious shakes and burgers!
With some of our best friends in the whole wide world (adopted family really)! This is the way to do the first day in LA, sunshine, beaches and burgers, keeping everyone awake.
We even saw our first squirrel!!
We then headed to Laguna beach for a walk around the cliffs and along the rock pools for a total experience of California’s Orange County beaches, glorious, armed with Starbucks coffee for maximum alertness. We followed it up with Caramel Apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Totes Amazing and all part of the food journey for the kids eating in a different country, they loved it!
For our last stop of the day we took an Uber to Fashion Island Newport Beach, where I could stroll through shops like anthropologie, my friend bought me the most beautiful cheese knives whilst the kids and Shane had more burgers for dinner.
This is where jet lag set in and poor little Riley could not take another moment, he fell asleep on the fountain, not to be awoken for love nor money. We bid farewell to our friends for now, excited to see them the following day at Disney and headed back to our hotel in Anaheim.
All in all a perfect first day in the United States, that I will be forever thankful for.
Lots of Love