Sunday, April 17, 2011

Florida - Part One

We were gifted with the chance to go spend time with family down in florida at the end of march. To say this trip was a blessing seems an understatement. After Ryan's busy season going extra long, have faced and plowed through a huge bulk of adoption paperwork and a busy schedule all in itself, I'll be honest and say we were a weary family. It was perfect timing to step away, catch our breath and enjoy time together. The day before we left, I was starting to pack in my room while the girls played. I stepped into the twins' room to grab a few clothes and saw they'd already started their packing for me. . .by emptying their entire dresser. And since I had two seasons of clothes with the weather we'd been having, let's just say, they wouldn't have gone naked in florida. : )

The day finally came and the girls were SO excited to get on a plane again. It was the first time the twins would have their own seats. On top of that? I'd forgotten that our first plane is always a little smaller. So Ava and Kate had to sit "by themselves" (I was across the aisle). I said a very furvent (and a little bit desperate) prayer and would you believe (I mean, expect?! ; ) ), they were perfect!! I was beyond thankful.

Lest you think my children are always perfect, some time ask me about our flight home. : ) Our first morning down, we went on our first "traditional" slurpee run. My grandpa is a later riser and my girls are not. : ) So when Ava was a baby, we started taking walks every morning to the village where we'd get a slurpee and explore before heading back. It takes up the bulk of the morning and has become such a fun outing together too. Kate happily enjoying hers. We decided to make a stop by the beach for a first look that morning. The girls are still a tad bit small for their summer clothes and this was a common scenario. Oh it makes me smile.
Excited to be at the beach!!

To think that there was a time Ava hated the sand!?! Not anymore!

My sweet beach bum

Olivia was still excited about her slurpee

After some long months of dreaming, it was so fun to finally be there!

There isn't another place that has so many fun memories for me. I love being able to share it with my girls and Ryan.

And with that we had to head back for a swim in the pool!

The girls loved walking alongside the canal with Ryan looking for fish. Our favorite was when one time they were walking and they couldn't see a single fish. Olivia emphatically pointed at the water and told Ryan, "fish - sleeping!!"

Exploring Papa Ben's boat

Scary thought - huh!?!?!

I have a feeling that willingness would not be Olivia's problem.

love this one of Kate

For saturday we headed to lunch at an old favorite - Phillippe Creek.

The crew hungry and waiting

And then my girls proceeded to amaze me.

We had ordered mussels for an appetizer and as the adults started eating them, Kate asked for one. Out of amusement, I thought I'd let her try one. She loved them. Ava saw Kate eat them and wanted to try one. She spit hers out after the sauce was gone but I was so proud of her for trying it!

Then Olivia joined in on the bandwagon and loved them too. They would get the mussel out of the shell, hand it to us to put on a fork and dip in sauce and then they would chow it down themselves.

Ava and Mommy.

I just laughed looking through the first couple days of photos when we got back - we look tired and white. : )

But it was so good to be together.

Playing outside after lunch

Saturday afternoon we spent at the beach.

Kate and Olivia got right to work

While we were playing by the water there was this couple sitting right by the edge. Olivia would just go up to the lady and stare at her. After a bit, the lady put her arms out and Olivia scrambled into her lap. She probably sat with her on and off for the next hour. They were the sweetest couple (down from Canada) that I got to know pretty well. We decided Olivia was missing a grandma. : )

Ava and Daddy spent a good chunk of time out swimming in the water - she rode the waves pretty well!

makes me smile : )

Sunday we drove to Ft. Meyer's for the day to be with Ryan's Grandma and other family who were down visiting.

To say that my girls like Ryan's cousin Stephen and his wife Liz is an enormous understatement. : )

Courtney and the girls ready to swim. Ava was thrilled Courtney was there.

Daddy and my two water monkeys

I'm not sure how to title this: Ava harassing Stephen or Stephen harassing Ava? I'd say both would be a fair statement. : )

My girls loved Grandma Great's golf cart.

Ava and Daddy taking a ride
Ava and Grandma Great

Kate and Olivia get their turn

Ava and Stephen horsing around before dinner

The whole crew at dinner
And with that we came home to our last night with Daddy. While busy season was "over," things were still busy and Ryan still couldn't be away from work for too long.

Olivia and Daddy coloring.
love this : )

So we sent Daddy home and waited for Grandpa and Grandma to come . . .


Mindy said...

Ahhh....that looks like such a nice vacation! I loved all the pictures! So glad you were able to get away! The water and sand make me long to go somewhere warm. :)