These recaps might be slow coming at you but I’m not giving up
We knew going in to this trip that we were only doing two theme parks for a five day trip so I immediately started looking at beaches around this area that we could drive to! I need to see the beach at least once every year for my sanity, amen. There are several beaches that are a short drive from Orlando – Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and Daytona were the three I kept getting suggestions for. I’m sort of a beach snob and don’t like a lot of people around me on the beach (Captiva has really spoiled me in that way!) so Cape Canaveral seemed like the best option from my online research. It turned out to be a great decision! We loved it and it will definitely be our go-to beach in that area from now on. Here is a recap of our day and a few tips for making your own day trip to Cape Canaveral or any beach with a baby:
Our GPS told us that Cape Canaveral beach was just under an hour away from our hotel so we ate breakfast, packed up (omg you need ALL the things to take a baby to the beach), and headed to WalMart to pick up something for lunch. We grabbed some deli sandwiches and pasta salad, some drinks and a disposable cooler and hit the road around 9:30. It’s a super easy highway drive but make sure you bring/budget money for tolls! We paid $4.25 each way in tolls.
Before we left I did some research online about renting chairs and an umbrella for the day. Obviously, those things were not going to fit into our checked luggage but definitely make a beach day more enjoyable! I’m so glad I found A1A Beach Rentals, they were awesome guys! I called the night before just in case I needed to reserve something and they said no, we just needed to stop in the next day and they would set us up! This is also their slowest season so this might not always be true. We got the Toes in the Sand Combo (and Nathan made fun of me every time I said it, lol) which was two chairs and a big umbrella for $30 and I thought that was a great price! The guy who runs the shop was so nice and helpful with answering our questions about the area and helping us pick out a good beach spot. I would highly recommend them if you are in the area.
After we picked up the chairs we made our way over to the beach! Before we left, I found Cherie Down Park online in my search for “quiet” beaches but we drove past about 10 other beach access points on our way there and I really think any of them would have been fine! I didn’t see many cars around anywhere. The best thing about Cherie Down to us was that there were bathrooms available and I’m not sure if that would have been true other places.
Other than the rented chairs and umbrella, we brought along this pop-up tent, a picnic blanket (our’s was on clearance at Target but this one is similar), a portable fan, and Camden’s car seat. The pop-up tent was great to give him shade to lay, play, and nap in but also for me to nurse in! I could easily lay in it and angle myself so I didn’t have to cover us up which was amazing because who wants to put a blanket on when you are already hot and sandy? Not this girl. The picnic blanket was great for giving us more surface area without having to use towels and of course the fan was nice for when he was napping. I’m not sure if it actually did anything (there was a great breeze) but for peace of mind more than anything it was nice. The only thing I would not take again was his car seat. I guess I was thinking it would be nice to have something he could sit up in? But he didn’t sit in it and it was just one more thing to lug across the sand. If I had to do it again I would just put him in the Solly or Ergo so I had my hands free!
We hung out on the beach most of the day! I spent the first hour or so trying to get Camden to fall asleep with no real luck. He was acting tired but I think there was just too much visual and sound stimulation for him to fall asleep (a reoccurring theme of this trip!) He didn’t mind at all when I put his feet in the sand and I even convinced Nathan to let me take him out in the water This side of Florida (the actual ocean side) is much more wavey than the gulf side that I am used to so it wasn’t as much fun trying to not get splashed in the face the whole time. We sat on the shoreline for a long time and just let the water rush over us and he seemed to like that too! He honestly wasn’t giving me much emotion to work with though because he wouldn’t take his eyes off the water!
This was my first beach trip as a mom and I honestly thought I would miss my regular beach routine – which was basically reading from the time my butt hits the chair until the sun is down – but I really didn’t. I loved watching Camden discover the sand and the water and really didn’t miss my book at all. He did fall asleep on top of me at one point and I told Nathan that I should have gotten an audio book for times like those (and actually many other times on this trip, I must remember that for next time).
We packed up around 4:00, took our rental stuff back, and headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before dinner. We ate dinner at Chuy’s (our first time!) because we passed it on our way home and it did not disappoint! Definitely different from our Mexican food in Indiana but still really yummy. I became a pro at eating with Camden on my lap and with only one hand on this trip. He just wants to be up with the people I don’t say I can’t wait for him to do things often, but I can’t wait until he can sit in a highchair! For real.
Next up, Animal Kingdom!