We’ve embarked on our biggest adventure yet! We moved from New York to Florida, with a newborn, a toddler, & two dogs in tow.
Two weeks after giving birth via c section….
The month of July 2021 was such a blur, I still can’t believe we managed to pull it off!
Goodbye New York
New York, words can’t encompass the love I have for you. It was hard to come to the decision to say goodbye to my home for practically my whole life. A few things factored into this decision but the main thing was family.
It wasn’t a choice taken lightly but it was once that moved fast. It was around February or March that we were toying with the idea of moving, by June we closed on the house and before July was over we were all packed and on the road….
Prepping Two Kids
Road tripping from New York to Florida with a toddler and newborn, what could go wrong? People looked at us like we were crazy and wondered why we didn’t just fly down. But honestly, it wasn’t as bad as we thought, because we planned for the worst!
For our newborn we figured we would have to stop every hour or two depending on how he slept. For him, we didn’t need much as he’s breastfed, plus you can’t really entertain a 3 week old.
For our toddler, he was a little trickier. We had about 3-4 bags packed with snacks alone! He loves to eat and he’s a toddler so that means he may ask for a banana, but really wanted crackers and how could I not know that! *cue tears* So mama came prepared with plenty of backup!
We also made sure to have some of his favorite toys to distract him. He isn’t even two at the time of this road trip, so there aren’t many activities he can do in a car. Either way we packed a puzzle or two, some of his favorite peluches, and again plenty of snacks for him.
Most importantly, having accessible diapers and a change of clothes! With the trunk packed better than tetris we couldn’t risk digging for clothes if there was a poop-tastrophe. Having a bag with a few outfits and plenty of diapers and wipes handy was a necessity.
Hitting the Road!
Well, the day finally came. At 5 AM on July 28th we walked out of our Long Island home for the last time, got in the car and didn’t look back. Okay, maybe I looked back once.
Driving through the city was so surreal to me that this would be the last time in a long time. Even as we made our way through New Jersey I couldn’t quite believe it. We didn’t make it too far through Jersey before we needed a diaper change and I needed to breastfeed Cami.
We got lucky that Camilo loves to sleep and stopped about every 4 hours or so. Or whenever I needed to use the bathroom from all the water I drink!
We made pretty good time and stopped in Surf City, North Carolina on our first day on the road.
We woke up on day two only 8 hours away from home! With just two pit stops along the route, we finally made it to Florida. I think around the time we crossed into the state it started to hit me that no, we wouldn’t be making this drive back to New York, this isn’t vacation, and we were staying. It was a very strange feeling.
Arriving to the house I began to get nervous. After all, we did not see the house in person until this moment. What if something was wrong with it, what if the pictures and FaceTimes and videos were missing a crucial detail, what if we hated it!? Oh well, too late now.
But thankfully, we loved it. I’ll admit I thought the living room would have been bigger, but it was beautiful! Above all, I couldn’t believe I was finally getting the kitchen of my dreams! As Santiago started running around the empty house, hearing his little footsteps and giggles I knew we were home. I started imagining both of my boys growing up here, enjoying the pool, the family movie nights and dinners together. We made the right choice.
Why Did We Move?
I’ve been asked this a lot, why leave New York? Why Florida? If I had to sum it up, the reason would simply be family.
Yes we moved for family, but it was more than that. We moved because we now have a property where my grandmother and tia-abuela (great aunt) live with us whereas in NY they lived an hour away. My grandmother has done so much for me that now we can take care of her.
We also moved for the weather. Winter in New York is brutal. I’m Arab-Latina from the Caribbean – I’m not made for snow. Here we can all enjoy the outdoors year round, that means our boys can play and explore more! No more shoveling snow or wearing 5 layers of clothes.
At the end of the day, we just want to enjoy this life we have. We felt Florida would be a better quality of life for us all. So far it seems that we were right.
I don’t know how long our adventure will be here in the sunshine state. Maybe a year, maybe forever. All I know is for now, this is home and I can’t wait to explore our new city and state!