It has been almost a year since the birth of my second daughter. It is extremely hard for me to believe that by the end of 2016, I will have both a 1 and 3 three year old. I’m telling you, I still feel like it was yesterday when I graduated from college. The years keeping going by, but my mind just keeps pressing on. In the past year, I have undergone significant physical, career and mental changes – all without a real vacation.
I don’t know what you consider vacation, but let me lay out my idea of a perfect week off. Rest. Drinks. Good Food. Lots of Laughs. Warm Weather. A little bit of exercise. Most importantly – restoration. My husband’s parents own a condo in Florida that they spend a better part of the winter residing in. Thankfully, they invited us to come visit, with little to no agenda and free babysitting services. Traveling with two kids, on an airplane, is nothing like the days when we used to book a last minute flight and scoot in as the door was shutting. There is a process. It’s long, and it’s kind of stressful, but it sure is fun.
The girls were incredible. They observed everything going on around them. They waved and made friends with those sitting near them. They cooperated in security. They made the situation just a little bit easier.
The weather was not as warm as we would have liked it to be, but when you are used to 30 and 40 degree days, the 60’s and 70’s aren’t so bad. We spent one solid morning with the girls on the beach. The last time that we had been to a beach was in May of the preceding year. The girls know what the beach is, but it took them time to grasp the texture of the sand on their feet, the crashing of the waves, and the messiness of the wet sand sticking to their body.
We may have only made it a solid hour and a half to two hours, but by the end of those two hours both girls were more willing to let their feet dangle in the water and crawl around excitedly in the sand. We are looking forward to what our next beach trip will bring.
We only made it out to the beach one other day during our stay. With the weather being so cool, trying to take the girls out in a bathing suit wasn’t the ideal situation. That said, we kept them busy. When they weren’t spending time with Mimi and Papa going for walks, going out for breakfast or playing in the gazebo outside, we were engaging them any way possible.
We made use out of several local playgrounds. We also took an afternoon trip to Gulfstream Race Track – if you are unfamiliar, horse racing. It’s quite popular in our family. It was at the track, that we attempted several family photos. None of which were successful. The emotions on each person’s face in each photo were typical.
We left the track after our oldest daughter had several meltdowns, ultimately the result of two days with no nap. We decided on the way out that we would stop at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor on the way home. We had been there before. Let me forewarn you. We knew what we are getting ourselves in to. We gave up sweets for Lent with the understanding that we would cheat at Jaxson’s and on Morgan’s Birthday. We prepared. We didn’t eat lunch. We went in with an appetite. Our oldest slept in the van, while our youngest, my husband, my mother-in-law and myself sat down at a small table and ordered our incredible three scoop sundaes.
You may think that I’m lying to you when I tell you that my husband ate all of his banana split (pictured above). He ate all of his banana split. I love how they place a small American flag at the top of each sundae, like somehow it is American to indulge in such an outrageously large bowl of dessert.
I opted for a chocolate mint parfait. Again, American Flag. My weakness is chocolate. I tried. I tried with every thing in me to eat this entire thing. Believe it or not, the surge of a sugar high pushed me over the edge before my stomach felt full. I felt like I had drank 5 cups of coffee. It was just too much. I gave up. This is so much a part of my vacation.
We stopped to pose for pictures out front, again, as my oldest daughter slept in the car with her Papa. Too bad. She woke up as we were all leaving. We did get her a “to-go” cone and a side of her favorite guacamole from Chipotle. She wasn’t mad. While I have that picture up – let me note, we have never watched Frozen before, but she knows who Elsa is and she would wear that shirt all day every day if we would let her. It is practically impossible to get it off her just to wash it.
With my in-laws available to watch the girls, my husband and I got so much quality time (which we need). I tell this man all the time how lucky I am that we made this commitment to each other. I told him again on this trip. Life sure has changed, but it just seems like no matter what happens, as long as we are working, everything else will. One thing is for sure – we both love fitness and we both love food.
We spent Friday night, hopping around a few local bars and even a local brewery, before settling down for dinner at a seafood restaurant right near the water. It was cold. We were tourists. We might not show it, but we could have used another layer in the picture above.
We started early enough that we were home shortly after nine. How’s that for date night? There is always something on our agenda. We had a commitment to attend my sister-in-law’s (Lindsay) barre and yoga class the next morning. Oh boy.
My husband left for a run as I was starting barre class. I’m ashamed. I haven’t done a barre class in almost three years. I did better than I thought I would, but I was humbled. I was happy that we had both committed to yoga afterwards. I forgot how much I enjoy faster flow vinyasa. The view of the water above was what I stared at as I worked through almost two hours of light and body weight movements. It was refreshing.
We “monkeyed” around a little bit before heading back to see the girls. This was my first time taking Lindsay’s class. I was impressed. Her confidence is not to be outdone by her friendliness. She is fun. She engages. She makes people feel comfortable. Check her out if you haven’t been. We did one other workout on our trip. A strength workout that I posted to Instagram. It was tough. Other than that, we opted to go on a short run together and take the rest of our time off. Restoration is SO important to growth.
We are extremely thankful for my husband’s family in Florida – both his parents and our sister Lindsay. It is always hard to take a break from your own routine to have guests for an extended period of time. For that we are grateful. The girls are still taking about their trip. We all needed a break, and we all go that.