A little over a year ago, we checked off something that we’d talked about doing for years – a mommy & kids getaway with my friend Ayesha & her girls (remember this trip Anya & I did?). And so glad we did it when we did; because who knew then what 2020 was going to bring; despite not being the best timing, with the weather and only having one night we could do. Made such wonderful memories and going through these photos now makes me so nostalgic.
Sharing a little diary of what we did and a little bit of a photo story (my camera died after the first night so only have photos from our hotel room haha) + some takeaways in case it inspires you to make this a wish-list item for when life can go back to how it used to be :):)
First: a diary of our trip + what we did
We did talk about it a few weekends prior but ultimately confirmed only the day before | I drove, Ayesha had her husband book the hotel for us and we set off, a little late but well | Reached the hotel a little after sunset and settled in; which the girls did a little too much of and we had to force them out for dinner | Walked through the cold night to find the persian place Ayesha had found for us for dinner – Cazba. Loved it especially the ambiance | Then we walked for dessert to Anya & my favorite place, Nero where we cuddled outside in the blankets and under their heaters to have their yummiest waffles | back to the hotel which was the girls’ biggest excitement with their backpacks full of things to do while Ayesha and I settled in the next room with a drama (haha – Yeh Dil Mera had just started)
Woke up next morning to the most beautiful view that we took time enjoying before getting ready | enjoyed the most wonderful continental breakfast that was included with our stay (yum) and then checked out | Our only main stop was Stanley Park the next day, we stopped at two places, by the seawall where the girls collected some souvenir seashells and then to a playground where it poured but they loved hanging out. | I was constantly worrying that we had to leave in time haha, so then we left for back home but not before grabbing some Tim Hortons and Nandos. | While I waited in line on the border, these crazy girls again went out with Ayesha and ran and took photos | That’s it – nothing too special but we think about it with warm happy hearts because being together like this is just a little extra special.
A few tips / takeaways if you’ve never done this and would maybe like to plan your own getaway with friends
- Because we only planned this last minute, splitting responsibilities really helped keep it easier. I took care of driving and gas and things while Ayesha planned for stops; where to eat, what to do etc, especially great since my friend could do it while I drove.
- Make sure to download offline maps if you’re going cross-border. We have T-Mobile which works in Canada too but Bilal always makes me do that for long trips and it’s so important in case you lose internet for any reason.
- Also good to know when you’re crossing borders, besides passports of course a letter from the other parent is something border control asks about too, so they know you’re not sneaking your kid out of the country.
- When staying in downtown, just make sure your hotel has it’s own parking or plan so you reach when it’s still daylight to make sure you have time to figure it out. Creepy parking lots creep me out a little bit so I like to plan for this properly.
- Downtowns at night especially when you aren’t familiar with them can be a little unsafe so make sure kids stay close by and you choose well-lit streets that are more crowded than others.
- If driving with a car full of noisy kids gets a little overwhelming for you, I recommend podcasts (favorites for kids linked here), also a movie or device time for a bit can be helpful.
- Road trips are nothing without music so make some playlists. We didn’t get time to make ours before time so there were quite some fights over music choices haha but we ended up enjoying it. A few of my favorite places are these Patari, Taazi for Pakistani music; Gaana for Bollywood; Spotify, Soundcloud for everything.
- A hotel with continental breakfast included worked out very well for us with kids especially since weather wasn’t the best for an early morning walk to get food.
- Having a suite was awesome so kids could have their own room and have it feel like a sleepover too was perfect!
- Also remember with kids being together like this for so many hours can and the high excitement and emotions, it can lead to some fights. Expect them and accept them so you’re able to help them through them faster haha. We had a few issues come up haha but things were forgive fast and all remained pleasant.
- Even if it’s a place you’ve done before or it’s nothing too special it’s okay for such trips since the drive + being together was most of the fun anyway.
- In today’s world and our crazy lives, there will never be a perfect time, make it happen! We are so glad we did this and a few sleepovers last summer because look what the world has become now sigh.
Have you ever done a mommy & kids getaway with friends or with family? Would love to hear about it!