vWhen I was about six I went on a trip to central Florida with my parents. While there we did several things, but what stayed in my mind was visiting Weeki Wachee and seeing the mermaids swim. I had already been dreaming of being a mermaid, but seeing those girls swimming as mermaids made me fall deeper in love with the idea. It was magical!
This past weekend we decided to do something in our state. We drove down to Rainbow River in Dunnellon and the guys went swimming in the spring. I tried, I got about waist deep, but the water was just too cold for me. GG swam so much that he was out quick later that evening! After their little swim we drove the remaining way to our hotel which was just five minutes south of Weeki Wachee. The next day we got up and went over extra early so that we could get in.
After almost an hour in line we made it through the gates! A lot has changed since I was there almost 30 years ago (of course). It saddens me that the state bought it out and turned part of the spring into a water park, BUT I am glad that it's still there and we can still get in to see it.
The mermaids are the best part. Seeing GG see the mermaids for the first time was even better. I'm pretty sure it was just as magical to him now as it was to me all those years ago.
After leaving we drove a little north to see some manatees.
We've taken Gregory to Disney for the past several years. Granted the first time he was 8 months. He stayed in his stroller while we enjoyed Mickey's Christmas and slept through it. Last year however he was able to ride several rides, but this year! Oh this year was magic! He's getting close to the big "3" now and the difference just the year made was amazing!
A 2 year old at Disney- the thought may make you cringe. It use to make me cringe, I won't even lie! It was so much easier than taking a 1 year old. At 1 he got bored with so much. While there were things that held his attention (It's A Small World held it the longest!), there was still so much that he couldn't do yet. I'm not saying it wasn't fun, but it wasn't AS fun.
This year, at 2, when we told him who he was going to get to see he knew who we were referring to and he was EXCITED! So excited in fact that he didn't sleep the night before, so yes, we greatly regretting not waiting until the morning of! This year was special. This year he was ready and boy did it make a difference!
In my opinion there is no ideal age to take your little ones. If you want to take them when they're tiny babies, do it! When they're that little it's for you anyway, not them.
I thought I'd share some tips with other toddler mommies out there!
 Get the mydisneyexpericnce app. It's worth it! Find out if your park is doing the extra magic hour that day. If they are it means they're open an hour early and if you already have your ticket/magic band you can take advantage of this! Go early! Always go as early as you can!!
 Set your fast passes on your app! You can set 3 to begin with. DO IT! Once your three fast passes are out you can choose one at a time until you run out. Typically I think you get about three more, but with all the walking around and extras you may fit it, it's enough!
 Your toddler can walk, does this mean ditch the stroller? While it would be so cool to go without - it's a must to have. Those little legs can only do so much and eventually that little one will need a nap! Take the stroller!
 Take things that will fit under the stroller or on it. Don't make yourself drag around unneeded items all day. They get heavy very fast!
 Again, back to the app. This thing can show you restrooms AND baby centers. What's a baby center? Well, they're amazing for one! Baby centers are fully staffed and have all things baby! Here's a list of what they have:
 Know what your toddler likes and aim for that. Know their limits. Don't push what you want because frankly, we all know, a toddler whats only what interests them!
 HAVE FUN. Don't get caught up in rushing or getting to this or that. Just enjoy it.
Hello! I’m Hilarie!
I am a wife, mother, an assistant, and now a blogger! I am so exciting to relaunch Jacksonville Housewives in the city.
I love the beach, coffee, marketing and meeting new friends. I cannot wait to meet y’all!