Surprise, Florida again! Back so soon, you ask? Well, besides surviving the Boston snowpocalypse of 2015 and being sick of weekly blizzards for over a month straight, I was ready to look at something other than the 6 feet of snow in my backyard. My aunt was staying in the Daytona Beach area for 3 weeks, so I felt like I had to be a good niece and visit her. Alara wanted to come too, of course. This was my first time flying alone with Alara so I was pretty nervous! Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to Daytona so I had to do my best to choose the cheapest one with a minimal layover. I also decided not to do a rental car since I was fully expecting to sit our bums on the beach all day long. I did some research and thought one taxi company offered child seats (per website and even lady on the phone confirmed) but apparently when I called to make the reservation, two different employees on the phone were convinced they do not have child seats. One star rating on Yelp later, I contacted the private car company my aunt used who said they offer child seats with taxi services, free of charge. That taxi lady ended up being a godsend, but I’ll get to her later.
Flying alone with Alara actually went better than expected! She was probably the most behaved she had ever been on an airplane. However, my briliiant planning of having a 38 minute layover with a slightly delayed first flight was not the smartest idea. I just barely caught my connecting flight while running through the Atlanta airport, air tram and all, with a stroller. We flew with Delta and with my experience, they are one of the least baby-friendly airlines. They do not give any additional allowances with a lap ticket besides the car seat and stroller. Even though I reserve our seats, they always move us to the back row of the airplane. You know, the least desirable one that is seated next to the restrooms and the seats don’t decline? Yeah, those. The only advantage to them doing that is we usually end up with an extra seat next to us. Other than that, I’m pretty sure they do that so babies don’t disturb other passengers on the flight, especially near first class.
We landed in Daytona and the taxi lady had texted me to make sure I knew where to meet her. It turns out that she ended up purchasing the car seat right before picking us up since the one the company offered was being used by someone else! She was a really sweet lady and we ended up using her a couple times on our trip.
We finally arrived at Daytona Beach and enjoyed the nice flat sand and shallow waters. But we had to watch out for cars driving on the beach! We are not exactly used to that while hanging out at the beach. It also turned out to be Bike Week, but surprisingly the motorcycles didn’t turn out to be as disturbing as I thought. Alara got a kick out of the sound the motorcycles made. The condo resort we stayed in also had a nice pool, so we got to split time between the beach and the pool. I think Alara preferred playing around at the beach and chasing the seagulls.
We had dinner one night at the Top of Daytona restaurant, which had great food and amazing views of the beach.
There was also one rainy day that we decided to get some ice cream and play some games.
We were actually staying in two different resorts during our trip and had to transition to New Smyrna Beach about half way through our trip. Since there was a period of time between checking out of the first resort and checking in to the second, we decided to kill some time at the Orange Spring Carnival. There were vendors, activities, food, games and rides. Alara had a great time!
New Smyrna is a much quieter and a little more residential than Daytona Beach, although they still allow cars to drive on the beach. We really liked it there and I could honestly see ourselves purchasing a condo here to come back and relax!
One good thing about staying in a condo resort with a full kitchen is saving money on eating out. We got to enjoy classy, home-cooked meals like our fancy fish sticks, green beans, mac and cheese, topped with a glass of wine (apple juice for Alara) meal. 🙂
Overall, it was really great to enjoy some quality time with my aunt and get to enjoy the nice beach along with some nice weather. We were ready to head out, thankfully the nice taxi lady picked us up at 5am to catch our early flight. If anyone needs car ride services in the Daytona area, I would absolutely recommend her, just let me know. I also hope she gets some use out of that car seat she bought with us in mind. While Alara thoroughly enjoyed this trip, she as pretty exhausted and thankful to have the entire back row of the airplane. Thanks for something, Delta.