Crucial Items/Tips For Packing To AVOID Heat Stroke While Traveling This Summer!

Let Me Help You Pack

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Makes It Tough To Attend Theme Parks, Zoos, And well, Anything That Requires Walking Or Standing In Heat and Humidity

How To Pack For A Vacation During Florida’s Heat And Humidity… or…well… Any Trip During The Summer

This post goes for just about anyone as most people have trouble when they are in extreme heat.

Our 10 year old son Nick suffers with a medical condition called POTS: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which is a form of Dysautonomia; which is a glitch in the nervous system where the blood does not flow to the extremities properly causing easy dehydration, rapid heart rate, blood pressure hypotension or hypertension. We believe may have this due to having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – which he has a working diagnosis for. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, “EDS” is a joint connective tissue disorder causing joint hypermobility, frequent dislocations and pain. POTS seems to go hand-in-hand with EDS or possibly EDS causing the POTS? Both being a form of Dysautonomia and both still a lot of research being done on these chronic medical conditions. POTS also creates dizziness and for some people like my son Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It can cause him to have extreme pain at random times, while it may wake him from his sleep or we may be arriving to a breakfast reservation and he spends most of the time in the bathroom. Thankfully Nick has a more mild case so it will pass with a little time some people are more severe and some bedridden. Individuals that are more severe with mobility issues should consider speaking with their physician before their trip and possibly renting a scooter or wheelchair.

When you know you’re going to Florida during the summer heat, OR ANYWHERE DURING THE SUMMER you have a lot to consider. The Florida Heat and Humidity Season typically starts in the Spring and ends late fall. But this goes for really any trip planned during the summer months in any part of the U.S. that requires being outside, in the sun, and lots of walking.

August 2017

Keep in mind during the summer months, no matter where you go people are on vacation so it will most likely be crowded – especially in Disney World. Prepare yourself for lines and when we are post-Covid most likely being in crowds once again. A lot of this will come in handy for walking zoos, museums, boardwalks, nature trails and pretty much any outdoor activity during heat and humidity. For POTS patients this list is pretty much a daily necessity regardless of weather. You can never be too prepared.

Hot and sweaty at Hollywood Studios in August 2019

Your Packing Itinerary:

  • Your Salt Sticks and Medicine! First and foremost, do NOT forget your salt sticks and whatever medicine you use daily! It is a pill filled with electrolytes and salts to help your body retain water. Make sure you have your acetaminophen and ibuprofen with you for any unexpected headaches or muscle pain. Link provided for salt sticks:
  • Cooling towels – I know you’re not supposed to but I pack mine in zip log bags with ice… Disney won’t let you enter the park with ice but you can ask for a cup of ice at any quick service. **TIP** Grab a FREE cup of ice or ice water from any quick service. Chewing on ice helps cool your insides. Link provided for cooling towels:
  • Lightweight Sun Umbrella – for when you’re tired of feeling the heat of the sun on your body. Comes in handy for parades – hopefully we will see them again in 2022?! But during the summer it rains often in Florida, so these are nice to have in your backpack for an unexpected rain storm. Link provided – click link for umbrella:
This isn’t the exact sun umbrella I purchased, but looks close enough to what we use. Easy enough to put on side of backpack.
  • Electrolyte Water / Gatorade: PACK YOUR OWN – Shoprite now has a Bowl And Basket Brand which is much cheaper than Smart Water. Smart Water and Gatorade are ridiculous at any park! Hershey Park let us bring in our own drinks and snacks. Disney World always lets you bring in as much food as you want. Some parks will only tolerate one drink per person, but you could always leave a cooler in your car (If you have it with you) in the parking lot and run back to fill up.
  • Pack Snacks – Nick tends to have some hypoglycemic symptoms (along with my Type 1 Diabetic husband). It is always best to have some salty or healthy snacks packed to help boost energy levels and prohibit crankiness. This rule falls true for just about anyone!
  • Utilize Disney’s DAS (Disability Access System) – *if you or a member of your party has a disability or medical condition where they are not able to stand at long periods of time: Disney’s DAS gives you the freedom to not have to wait in long lines. Simply pick a ride that you are not able to stand in, and someone scans your Magic Band – giving you a return time to enter Fast Pass. So you are not cutting anyone, just giving you the freedom to sit if you need to until the time to return for the ride. You set this up when you arrive at any Disney Park and if you ask there is always a Cast Member with an IPAD around to help you get started.
  • Neck Fans! – we basically wear Neck Fans the entire time we are walking parks, nature trails, boardwalks, zoos etc. Especially with having to wear masks for a while…
  • Breathable Masks – this stands for itself! Just ordered some masks off of Shop Disney and we are hoping they are breathable and comfortable – but time will tell. A lot of people find that the simple blue disposable masks are the easiest to
  • Lightweight/ Breathable Hats / Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen – a sunburn will not help anyone feel well especially if you are affect by POTS or another form of Dysautonomia. I love an easy stick-for-the-face sunscreen.

Links provided for neck fans:

I just ordered these new Neck Fans – we have yet to try them but I’ll let you know how it works out!

Hands Free Portable Neck Fan – Rechargeable Mini USB Personal Fan Battery Operated – these fans are rechargable and do not seem to hold a charge for an entire day… but you can always recharge during an afternoon break. The only concern I have is I broke one side because my hair got tangled in it.
These mini neck fans are always a must-have item in my Disney travel backpack!

You would want to consider bringing along a few pair of lightweight, supportive, breathable shoes. My son enjoys his Crocs but he also likes Under Armour Sneakers with his inserts. Everyone should bring more than 1 pair of shoes especially to Disney because you never know when you will get caught in a rain shower or down pour.

August 2019

My advice is to practice walking every day before you head out on your trip. Any vacation to any theme park, or virtually anywhere is going to be a LOT of walking. Try to get yourself in shape before you venture out. Start by trying to walk a half mile, and then after a week increase to walking a full mile each day. Not only is this beneficial for your health but you will avoid any unwanted muscle pain, blisters etc. Make sure you break-in, and wear whatever shoes you plan on bringing with you to ensure that they will be the upmost comfort.

My tip for any sore feet and muscles is this Epsom salt lotion that I purchase off Amazon as well as bringing some Magnesium supplements but please check with your physician first. Magnesium can also give you the runs, so you want to check into it prior.

Epsom Salt Lotion for aches and pains.
Amazon link below:

I also believe in soaking in Epsom salts when sore so I like to purchase Dr. Teal’s bath wash off Amazon, Walmart or Harmon’s Face Values.

Dr Teals bath wash for aches and pains.
Amazon link below:

Always soak with Epsom salts and use the Muscle It cream at night – because it does make you sleepy.

HOT TIP: if you decide to shower in the morning before you start your day, especially in Disney World, try a cool shower so you start out cool and refreshed ready for the day! Just remember not to use anything that will make you sleepy and definitely as cool of a temp that your body can handle and feel good!!

When staying in Disney World on property, try to pick a resort where you do most of the walking INSIDE.

If this is not possible financially, then try to pick a preferred room so your room is closest to the bus, food and lobby. Sometimes if you pay a little more for a better resort you do most of your walking inside the air conditioning and this is very helpful. Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge vs staying at Art of Animation during the summer months can make a huge difference and pricing is comparable. Animal Kingdom Lodge has ALL of the rooms inside, so there is no need for extra outside walking in the heat, where Art of Animation can be a LOT of extra walking outside with no shade whatsoever. This can make a huge impact on how you’re feeling. Do not misunderstand me, Art of Animation is fabulous with fantastic Disney theming but while we stayed there in August 2016 in the Cars Section we all had heat rash from the extra walking in sun with no shade. Some of our favorite resorts with indoor rooms consolidated into 1 building, (or walk INSIDE between buildings) would be the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Wilderness Lodge. Port Orleans French Quarter is an extremely small and shady resort so this resort may be fine, where Port Orleans Riverside can be a LOT of walking if you do not have a preferred room.*

Check out my YouTube Video on Packing Tips and prepare to have a chuckle

What tips do you have for traveling during the summer or in the tropics?

August 2016 – cooling towels

What are your future plans?

I would love to hear about any tips or suggestions you may have below!

New Lego Harry Potter Fawke’s, Dumbledore’s Phoenix

Mikey completed this 597 piece Lego in 1.5 hours

Thinking of going to Legoland NY? Click here for some hot tips!

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

Are You Backing Up Your Smart Phone Photos?

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that may happen to your photos, your iPhone or anything associated. These are my opinions and my suggestions on ways to help.

So with the news of being able to reserve a park pass for passholders only for the soft opening of Legoland NY I became really excited this morning! With thoughts of this and summer approaching, it has been a while since I backed up the photos on my iPhone and decided now is the time to save them and clear up my phone’s capacity for even more photos! I am so excited for all the photos to come this summer!! We all know how many photos we can capture while visiting WDW and I automatically get Memory Maker being an Annual Passholder! Follow me on Instagram – familypixiedust429 for our upcoming Legoland and Disney World Adventures and Content! https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/?hl=en

I decided to attack this project this morning in the midst of my daily chores. I need to vacuum every day since getting a black lab/boxer puppy mix. I love her to pieces but the amount of hair is just overwhelming. I try to brush her every day – but it is just ALL over all the time – plus it is so fine it blows around so easily. Not to mention working on the laundry, folding towels, dishes, breakfast for my kids, drop off / pick-up for my younger son who went back to in-person school and his lunch etc – being at home is much harder than being at work! I should be going back to work this fall….

A few years ago I learned a hard lesson not to just save my iPhone photos to my WD External Hard Drive because I was also using it to work inside of Photoshop and I blew its brains out – losing all of my photos along with the work I created. Luckily I had some photos saved to the computer we were using at the time but I knew from then on I needed multiple places for storing my precious photos.

Google Photos

Google Photos easily automatically backs up all of your iPhone photos just by opening the app. I believe the phone needs to stay on and the app opened to save all. I just go into the phone’s settings to Display & Brightness, then change “Auto-Lock” to NEVER. Then you can create albums to organize the photos. It also lets you share as well. Don’t forget to go back in and change the auto-lock back after you are finished. You can also upload any photos saved from your computer to Google Photos as well.

Shutterfly

Although this app is a touch more difficult because it takes much longer to upload the photos – I like to have them in more than one place. To upload to Shutterfly I recommend doing this one night when going to bed. Make sure you are fully connected to the wi-fi. I would again change my iPhone’s Auto-Lock in the settings to never and then proceed into Shutterfly keeping it open. Here you can also create albums as well. This app seems to take several hours, so face your iPhone face down for the evening and let it upload from there. I also like having my pictures printed and mailed through Shutterfly as well.

WD External Hard Drive

This would be where you connect your iPhone and WD Drive to your computer. You would create files inside your WD Drive through your computer, and then access your iPhone photos (also through your computer). You highlight which photos you want to save and drag/drop to the file of your choice. I usually name the files by month and year. The problem I have been having with this method lately is that my computer loses my iPhone, or isn’t reading it correctly or does not obtain all of the photos. If anyone has any suggestions for this by all means please let me know!

Here is a link to a WD Drive on amazon – https://amzn.to/3f3tuLa

Uploading to Facebook is nice because your memories pop up – and you can make your albums viewable to you only, or specified people if you prefer. Instagram is also nice for saving photos as well.

With the thousands of pictures we are taking daily we have to make sure to keep up on saving them! I often wonder what will happen to all of the digital pictures when we are gone! AHH What a thought!

What are some ways you save your photos???

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel
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What’s Coming UP…

Planning True Support For Seasonal/Covid Dysthymia

Overcoming Pandemic Depression: Prepping For The Upcoming Spring/Summer

So normally just to get through typical, non-pandemic years and daily struggles I like to plan vacations. I am a planner! When I first had babies I enjoyed planning their giant first birthday parties! I planned beach vacations. I am just the type of person who needs activities, vacations and occasions to look forward to. Since 2020 hit, this has become rather difficult for everyone.

This is an exciting year ahead (as exciting as it can be) in that my older son is turning 13 next week! My husband and I are celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary, my Dad and Mother-In-Law both turn 75 and I turn 40 this coming Fall. I feel the need to celebrate at least with our own little immediate family by vacationing. Vacationing you keep to yourselves, you can social distance, sanitize, Clorox surfaces and wear masks. Any type of a party would be too hard and too risky at this point.

In the past few months I have driven my husband absolutely crazy trying to figure out when and where our next vacation will be…. I thought we had decided on an early May vacation but my older son being in all advanced classes isn’t up to missing and having the extra workload. I think after this year my kids want summer to come and just be done, and be free of the virtual, remote learning. (Although he has no desire to go back into school at all physically.) It is definitely easier to go away when it is Summer and there is no stress of work waiting for him, hanging over his head.

We have all been feeling somewhat of a depression and feeling of being repressed, haven’t we all? In by no means would I ever want to risk causing someone else to get sick, so we take it very seriously to wear masks, stay home, sanitize etc. But it has been a hard year! The back and forth of vacation planning has really given me a sort of manic-depression. In my strong desire to plan a vacation, to have somewhere to go with my family was giving me so much excitement that I haven’t felt maybe since the night before our wedding and before that since I was a little kid. But then the major let down of discussing finances (I haven’t been working and funds just aren’t the same since the pandemic hit) its almost devastating; as selfish as that is. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone that has lost someone due to COVID-19 or that has had a super difficult time with it themselves – my children and I pray every night for anyone that might have it and for the world to heal. But WOW, I have never had this much trouble getting through a winter funk, every before. Every time we had to reschedule, I felt my heart crumble into a million pieces. I know things can be much worse, and I realize that I am blessed and lucky, but I supposed I have been fighting a depression. With the snow refusing to melt, and the endless cold it has been super hard trying to get outside which always help heal my soul.

So now the idea is to go away after school ends. Which means Summer. Which means heat and humidity and masks. I am in the middle of researching breathable masks, so that we can still go and enjoy as much as we can. My Type 1 Diabetic husband and my younger son who suffers with POTS and a hypermobility disorder both struggle walking through the heat and humidity, never mind wearing a mask. Who wants anyone to feel miserable while on vacation? I am in the midst of purchasing better neck fans and cooling clothing, as well as a sun umbrella to help. But since everyone in my family is just plain sick and tired of a lot of nothing, maybe their excitement to be away from home will overcome the added heat and sweat of a wearing a mask. Can you tell how much this means to me?

So in the short-term this week we are having temps in the low 60’s which is super exciting to be able to be outside and feel pleasant! It will melt the snow! We can plan hikes and find new trails. There is nothing like a good hike in nature to help calm your brain and feed your senses! This will surely help my mind, my heart and my emotions. Easter Sunday is only a few weeks away and that always brings renewal and happiness. I have some surprises for my kids in their Easter Baskets this year. We also have a Legoland in New York, just 4o minutes from our home opening up this spring! We will be there vlogging and we will surely be posting on my YouTube channel. There are some other day trips that I am interested in trying before it gets too hot and humid. Just the thought of all these ventures brings me such joy.

One thing that I have ALWAYS done to keep moving forward is working out daily. It is one thing that I always do for ME. I am not skinny by any means but I do enjoy exercise, it is a therapy just for me. Since the pandemic hit and my kids are a little bigger now, I have added walking with my kids to part of my exercise regimen. I really enjoy the walks and hikes I have had with my kids this past year. I am really looking forward to the snow to melt and enjoying the warmer weather with my kids as we move into Spring. Plus with the all virtual remote learning it has been the only exercise they have been getting since we closed the pool in September for the season. One fabulous thing to look forward to is opening the pool the beginning of May.

My husband and I were walking every night after dinner until the Fall time change and then it became too dark to walk. With the time change in less than a week, and the snow melting I am super excited to be able to walk with him again in the evenings. I will have to change my weight lifting routine to maybe mornings or early afternoons while the kids are still in school.

I am currently in the midst of making a giant lawn sign for my son’s 13 birthday next week. Since it is not yet safe to celebrate with family and friends we need to go all out making it special, somehow, don’t we?! I did purchase the “Happy Birthday” part of it from Walmart, but for his name and the number 13, I purchased a foam board along with some other tools for decorating and installation. I will post a list of the the supplies I used and how it was done. Last August while we were lucky enough to have the pool to celebrate my younger son’s birthday, I purchased 20 balloons from the dollar store and decorated the entire deck and pool area. I used some tablecloths to drape over parts of the deck and hung a bunch of birthday decorations.

Every March I like to start an early spring cleaning, just in time for Mikey’s birthday. Over the weekend I scrubbed down the kitchen cabinets with polish. I was on my hands and knees cleaning the edges of the floors to where they meet the cabinets with a mixture of water, Dawn dish detergent and vinegar. We have a new black lab puppy so if I don’t vacuum every 2 days the hair just gets out of control. I feel like all I do is clean. But so begins the deep cleaning and wiping down of everything. I wish I could just hose off everything inside my house.

Not really sure what the current plan is for our 15th wedding anniversary at the end of April. If the weather behaves and permits I would really love a dinner that overlooks the ocean – but April is generally super chilly in April – so only time will tell! I despise having to make plans around the weather. 😕

If you have any suggestions or ideas on most breathable masks to wear during the summer, and any suggestions on what we should do for our anniversary coming up, I would love to hear and see your comments below!

What have you been doing to fight the winter blues?

What are your spring plans?

I would love to hear from you.

Hiking and Nature; Walking Cures Covid Boredom

Nature Views Fill The Void In The Heart

My how life has changed! Back when Covid hit last March, we were all basically afraid to leave the driveway. It was really hard to relieve some of the boredom and mental anguish of what was going on in the world around us. Having Disney World and Disney Land closed made what was happening in the world all the more REAL. Prayers to the 400,000 Americans that have lost their lives to Covid-19. As someone who was always planning their next family Disney World Trip – I knew I was in for a real struggle, and some real emotional damage. I was someone who not only was planning an upcoming trip, but a trip for the following year after! In 2019 we traveled to Disney World three times! I am forever grateful and thankful for all the wonderful trips we have had, not just in Disney but all over. We went in April 2019 and stayed at Port Orlean’s French Quarter. August we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and New Years Eve through the first week of January 2020 we stayed at the mother of all DW resorts The Grand Floridian.

I knew then that things were not going to be the same for a while so I needed to find some ways to help my whole family – and also as an outlet, a way to keep myself sane! We needed something we could do together while getting exercise all at the same time. So my sister-in-law introduced me to the All Trails App.

It is difficult to put into words how the time walking outside each day really affects and lifts my mental health and wellness. It gives me something to plan with my family. I know they have said it has been proven that nature cures depression – yes! I am telling you it works. As someone who loves, lives and enjoys to plan – I find myself battling so much sadness. I feel grateful and blessed that we are all OK, & healthy and that we have survived Covid but I still feel this deep sorrow… to be missing out on such precious time traveling with my children; while they are still “small” yet not so small. You know really where I would love to be with them.

Being on the “go” 24/7 came to a screeching halt. I was working at an elementary school, (now on leave) and was able to work around the kids being at school. I would pick them up from school and each night of the week we had a different sport, or club that they were running to. In the beginning of the quarantine, it was nice to have a break, but being the very social person I am, has made it a heavy burden to bear. The scenic views we discover while on the trails are absolutely majestic and soul-warming – reassuring that it will be ok. It will be ok even if we don’t see our family, our friends and our favorite mouse for a while.

We even spotted a frozen waterfall about 2 weeks ago at the Wallkill Valley Wildlife Refuge – picture above.

The only way my children have been staying connected with friends is by playing online, and of course they are online for virtual learning all day. I find hiking to be my only way to disconnect from electronics and find special time with them. I love going on a hike into the woods, only to find a beautiful clearing with water! In the spring and summer these water ways are filled with butterflies, turtles, birds and more. Since it has been winter here in North Jersey it has been a little rough to hike in the cold, but it is still interesting to see what we might find when we venture out.

Additionally, when the kids are finished with school each day we go to our local park which has a beautiful track to walk. This is about a 40 minute walk and we all seem to really look forward to it. We can disconnect from school embracing the good vibes of nature. The movement forcing our blood to flow and fresh air helping lift everyone’s moods and focus. Amazing conversations can happen – most of the time. My youngest is still 10 (who suffers with POTS and EDS) so sometimes he still has a meltdown here and there. We have been lucky enough to spot some wildlife here and there on the park track like snakes, deer and most recently a Barred Owl!

Barred Owl

I have also gotten really excited about the sunsets we see while walking at the park after school as well. There is just something about it that is so beautiful & it brings this calm peaceful feeling. This spring I hope to find pretty flowers and butterflies to photograph while out and about exploring.

Bald Eagle

Hiking is FREE. Hiking is safe: outside – safe and distanced from people. It makes you feel like you are “away” almost on vacation. You never know what you are going to see!

What are you doing to safely pass the time during the pandemic?

Do you have any plans of an adventure into the unknown? Click here for some Walt Disney World Planning Tips

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