Friday, July 9, 2010

Vacation Part II: Activities

We left on a Friday. Our first stop-Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA. Our final destination was Bethany Beach, DE. Sesame Place was just about half way. We weren't sure how the trip would go with a 3 1/2 year old, almost 2 year old, and almost 1 year old. The only place we stopped on the way to Sesame Place was a rest stop. It was one of the simple ones, with only bathrooms, a picnic area, and a place to run around. Unfortunately these rarely exist anymore. It was a lucky find! Sesame Place was fantastic! I had called ahead inquiring about accommodating Adam and they assured me he'd be fine. We were given permission to bring our own food into the park too. (They check all your bags before you enter.)

No food is permitted on any of the rides. I only remember one outdoor area where food is located. Nearby are deck chairs where people were eating various snacks, including ice cream. We could avoid that area all together. All other food was located in restaurants around the park, but nothing outdoors. It was wonderful not having to worry! I HIGHLY recommend Sesame Place to anyone with young children!
We stayed in a Suite 5 miles from Sesame Place that night. After calling almost 10 suite/hotels, I finally found one with a full kitchen, including a cook top stove. This was crucial for us. I had packed a cooler with our meals for that night and next morning. Obviously free breakfasts are out. The kids loved the suite and thought it was really fun to eat their meals there. We know now that whenever we stay in a hotel we always need to book a suite. There's just no other way to do it.
On Saturday morning we headed to Camden, New Jersey to the Adventure Aquarium. This too seemed to be an allergy friendly place. No food or drink was permitted, except for in designated cafeteria and restaurant areas. What a HUGE relief! We had a lot of fun. Adam even touched star fish!

Saturday afternoon we arrived in Bethany Beach, DE, our vacation spot for the next week. We were staying in a beach house with my husband's father and his significant other. They were absolutely wonderful about keeping Adam safe. I had prepared a menu and grocery list. Joanne and I went grocery shopping together. Each day I'd prepare the meals, using recipes from home. (I'll be sure to share those soon!) Before the trip I was really stressing out about the food, but I don't think it could have gone any better. It was worth the stress before hand.
While in Bethany Beach we visited the beach, went to the pool, and visited the local play grounds.
I think the beach was the least conducive to the food allergies, just because there were SO MANY people there. But, we kept Adam safe.
At the local pool, there was a gated kiddy pool sectioned off. No food or drink was permitted beyond the gate. The pool was the perfect size for the kids. We didn't have to worry about a thing! I've never been so grateful for rules regarding foods and beverages.
When we went to the local playgrounds we always made sure it was in the morning when food would least likely be around. This also ensured that the equipment wasn't too hot to play on.
The kids' most favorite place and activity during the vacation was Fun Land located in Rehoboth Beach about 15 minutes away. Fun Land is a mini amusement park designed for young children. It has numerous rides for children of all ages. The best part about this amusement park, which was actually more like a fair, was that each ride was a maximum of 3 tickets each for the boys. You could purchase 90 tickets for just $20!
Again, no food was permitted on the rides. Honestly I didn't even know food was there until I saw one person carrying around cotton candy. Still it was VERY easy to keep Adam safe. He walked around and around.

This being our first real trip away from home since Adam's diagnoses, I'm beginning to really appreciate measures restaurants and vendors take to ensure the safety of their customers. Jason and I went on a date one afternoon while at Bethany Beach. We went to the board walk. It really surprised us when we saw HUGE signs posting that foods were made with peanut oil at certain restaurants and vendors. Jason and I decided to eat lunch at Five Guys. It was my first time there. As we were waiting for our food, I couldn't help but notice the signs about peanuts again, but also another sign that stated no peanuts were permitted out of the restaurant due to a danger they posed to those with allergies. THANK YOU FIVE GUYS!
Little things like signs on the board walk help me remember that there are people out there who care and slowly the world is starting to accommodate those with food allergies.
After staying a week at the beach, we headed back to New York. We made the trip in one day and actually only stopped once during the 7 hour drive. That one stop though was the biggest challenge we faced during the entire vacation. It was a rest stop, a deluxe rest stop, and it was packed! I ran in first to scope things out and to run to the restroom. Immediately I knew we couldn't bring Adam inside. There were people everywhere carrying ice cream and other treats. You couldn't help but run into people. Not a single table was free. So, we walked around the building on the sidewalk, making sure the kids got their wiggles out and then made lunch in the car and continued on.
This vacation will go down as one of the best vacations ever. It was proof that we can have fun and be safe outside the confines of our little bubble home! Here's to having more fun with food allergies next year on vacation!
Read Vacation Part I below.

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