Wednesday, March 5, 2014

florida 2014...aka the great winter escape! (part 1)

we are back from our annual florida family trip. with this year's brutal, never ending winter, it was more appreciated than ever! for any newbies, my parents have a condo on the gulf coast side of florida, which makes it an pretty inexpensive place for us to travel. they have been down there for most of the winter, so they were pretty excited for some grandkid time. who are we to deprive them of that? :) thankfully they have friends down there with young kids/grandkids, so we have access to all the baby gear we could ever need and therefore don't have to bring much down, which is so nice! as i mentioned before, my parents bought a ticket for my brother to fly down with the kids and i because of my mom's broken ankle and the fact that thatcher wasn't coming down for another 3 days. while it was nice to get away, it was also pretty exhausting traveling with 2 little ones. gone are the days of spending endless hours sitting by the pool, or thatcher taking off for as many bike rides as he wants. but being able to travel and create memories with my little loves is the best! 

the flight down on 2/27 was an absolute breeze, i couldn't believe it. security at the airport went super fast thanks to the family lane and both kids were angels on the plane. azalea has flown 4-5 times before and she usually does alright, but not without a few tantrums and the need for constant entertainment. this time she was happy to just eat some snacks, look at a couple books, and stare off into space while twirling her hair. haha. she even fell asleep for 30 minutes and never once asked for the ipod. i was shocked! ashford was easy too. i used an ergo carrier to get him through the airport  and he alternated between nursing and sleeping on the plane, with a little happy alert time thrown in. i did appreciate having my brother's extra set of hands, though! 

we arrived in florida around 2pm and my parents picked us up for the hour-long drive back to their condo. i had been hearing "i go in the pool!" no fewer than 50 times a day from azalea for the last few weeks, so of course that's the first thing we did when we got there. she hasn't been in a pool since summer, so i wasn't sure how she would do, but she loved it! 

i even dipped ashford's feet in, but he was mostly happy just sitting in his car seat in the shade with my mom. 

of course azalea did not want to get out, so we had to entice her with pizza. we hung out at the condo the rest of the night, ate pizza and just relaxed. we were so happy to be out of the cold!

tuesday was a gorgeous day! in the morning, my dad, ashford, and i took a walk to the grocery store near their house. a walk outside without feeling like your face is going to freeze off? heaven! later that morning, we headed to the beach. my mom was able to use an awesome sand wheelchair. i was curious what azalea would think of the sand and the ocean this year. she liked the sand, but the ocean...not so much! she was scared of the little waves and didn't want anything to do with the water. oh well! 

we hung out for about a hour and a half and then headed home for lunch. after lunch everyone laid down for a nap, then it was pool time again. in the evening, we went to our friends dan and julie's for dinner. they have 2 little girls, shannon and maggie and we look forward to seeing them each winter. they grilled burgers and we all ate dinner outside. azalea had fun playing with the girls and dan insisted on holding a fussy ashford most of the night so I could relax. so nice! they are expecting baby #3 in a few months, so I think he wanted his fix :)

wednesday my mom had an appointment for her ankle in the morning, so my brother, the kids and i walked up to the park, then played out in the driveway for a little while. 

after lunch and naps (seeing a pattern here?), we headed to nokomis groves, our favorite ice cream place. it's an orange grove that makes the best soft serve in flavors like orange, lime, pineapple, etc. we go as often as we can when we are down there. 

we ate dinner at the condo and then my mom and i headed out on a little date. for christmas, she bought us tickets to see oklahoma! at the theater in town. the show was great and i got to enjoy my first adult beverage since last april! i was a little nervous to leave ashford in the evening, since that is his fussy time. he sure gave my dad and brother a run for their money with plenty of screaming, refusing his bottle (which had not been a problem before), and eventually crashing in my dad's arms. oh well, it was a nice break for me and they survived. :) 

thursday morning my dad had chemo and my brother went with him. this was the chilliest day - 60s and mostly cloudy. my mom and i hung out with the kids at the condo. 

after lunch and naps, we were going a little stir crazy, so my mom and I took ashford out on some errands. thatcher's flight got in around 5pm, so my brother and dad went to pick him up, then we all ate dinner at the condo and relaxed the rest of the night.

stay tuned for part 2...


Jen [wonderfully unkempt] said...

Looks so nice! I'm glad someone got to see some nice weather!!

Sarah said...

SO jealous but sounds like it was well needed!

Azalea's curls kill me! They are just so adorable!

Becky said...

I've been super excited to hear (read) about your trip! Sounds like so much fun!

Brittany said...

I bet it was sooo nice to get out of the cold!. Sounds like a fun time. I love the sand wheelchair your mom got to use.

Dawn said...

Sounds like the trip went well. I'm so jealous of the warm weather and beautiful beach!! My toes need some SAND! haha

Sarah said...

oh man! i would have to go down there at the beginning AND end of winter! i love that the kids were so great while traveling! your brother looks JUST like you! and you look SO SO SO good! you're brave girl but you have no reason not to be! hot mama!

ajs {of MN} said...

ahhh so jealous of your florida vacation! and i think i said this last year but that ice cream place sounds DELICIOUS! i am so glad your travel with TWO little ones went well! :)

Carolyn said...

I'm WAY behind...but so jealous that you got to escape the nasty winter we've had!!!!!


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