WIMDB/WIW: theme-park/water-park/zoo

Part zillion of my "what's in my diaper bag" series-- this time, from a more adventuresome point of view.

The advantage to being in Florida in August (there aren't many but let's be positive) is a proximity to nearly-empty theme/water parks. I went to one recently, and in spite of 90*F temperature readings, it didn't feel as swampy as I'd expected. I flatter myself to think that's because of what I wore, but likely it was from the distracted joy I felt, watching my son explore a new environment.

Background: although we are relatively close to the Big Parks, there is actually no way that I would drive 4-8 hours roundtrip in one day. Not enough ChikFilA in the world for that. (These two sentences are strong contenders for the Wikipedia entries on on "snob" and on "privilege.") So we get a hotel, and leave almost everything in the room, bouncing back and forth at short intervals for breaks, naps, lunch, daiquiris, you name it. That is a big reason I don't bring a stroller or a bigger bag.

Must have: hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. I have these enormous black sunglasses that I'm embarrassed to admit how much (someone else) spent for me, but rest assured they have UV protection-- the bigger the sunglasses, the better.

What I wear: SPF50 clothing & Lululemon. Yes, the clothes are sun-protective guaranteed!! You can find both the brands Mott50 and Coolibar on Amazon prime with free return shipping. (I buy my son's and husbands outfits there also.) They run true to size in my experience, holding up well over years of washing/drying (gentle cycle). I like to wear skorts with pockets, to quickly stash my phone as needed.

Kate top, lululemon bottom

For waterparks: SPF bathing suit (one piece, skirtsuit)! With a little SPF coverup on top (I had my tailor add in pockets).

Either way, I wear comfortable sandals instead of sneakers, because I am in and out of the splash pad, and because sneakers tend to make my feet hot. Mine are from Madrid ~10 years ago,  and it looks like Ipanema doesn't make this style any more. Trust me when I say these are more comfortable than Havainas, more comfortable than Rainbows, more comfortable than Chucks, for a full day of walking in the sun. (I wouldn't wear my SuperGa to a theme park, what can I say. I wouldn't want to wear cork like Birkenstocks because I'm afraid to ruin them. Plus I'm not fashionable so I don't have any.)

What's in my diaper bag: I only carry one bag for the outing, but again I'm steps away from the hotel, and I try not to stay out for long. There is food ~10 paces in most parks, so I don't worry too much about that. I will use a space-saving roll-up water bottle that I can keep refilling from the water fountains as we walk around, because even though I'm using a Longchamp as a zoo backpack, for some reason paying $3/H2O bottle is a grievance.

As always, backpack organizer to the rescue! Previously, I was completely unable to use this backpack for anything other than feeling like a nonchalant Parisian taking in the small-town sights-- I.e.: only for some inner fantasy life where I did not have a small child with lots of items that needed to be quickly accessible.

See how perfectly it fits?? With plenty of room at the top for something along the size of a small thin cardigan (I leave it empty, but that is my estimate). Please let me know if you'd like to have links to everything, because as it is: it takes some time to do, and I'm not sure the utility of it.

I'll just show in a picture everything that I fit (I keep it packed at all times out of convenience, so I can just go without thinking too much during the inevitable last-minute-frantically-getting-out-of-the-house shuffle).
(Also: yes, there is a cell phone pocket on the back of the backpack. I had a ~20 year old Longchamp tote that was on its way out, so I asked my tailor to salvage the leather top closure-- and had her secure it on the back of the bag, as you see below. It fits my iPhone 7 regular with no problem-- I'm not impressed by bags that require opening to store cell phones!)

- 1 SPF chapstick
- 1 hand sanitizer I hang off the zipper
- 1 spray hand sanitizer
- 1 SPF face powder in a to-go package with it's own brush
- 1 package of bandaids
- 1 small handheld fan
- 1 package of antibacterial wipes
- roll up water bottle
- ziplock snack bag with snacks
- 1 package of kleenex
- 1 swim diaper
- 1 regular diaper
- 1 scented diaper trash bag
- full bottle of SPF spray cream
- 1 wet bag with a change of clothes
- 1 tiny water bottle (the pre-filled kind)
- 1 zip-top wallet with keychain
(no umbrella-- I sort of just think: well I'm in my excersize/water clothes anyway!)

Please let me know if that helps, and PLEASE share if you have any tips/tricks for either car trips or longer days out!

P.S. How can I pretend not to see the world around me? I'm human behind this screen, you know. May poor Senator McCain rest in peace. No matter about his politics, when I think of him as a human, I think: hero, gentleman. In residency, we used to say that you could almost predict the biopsy results by how nice a person someone was: the best of them ended up as GBM. What an honorable way to go, too-- it sounded like hospice. Not an easy decision, but it can be the right one, more than most people know until they've seen the end up close-- and know how horrible it can be without dignity.
Just like all of us can pray to have a good life, we can also have a good end-of-life too. I think there is a lot of love, grace, and peace to be found at every moment in life, even the last ones.
Please reach out to one person you love today, just give them 1 reason they're made your life a good one. That's all we can do-- love one another in every moment we are lucky enough to have.

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