Well, the vacation was absolutely delightful! It was everything that I wanted and needed it to be. We were a little bit anxious because Tropical Storm Andrea was causing some commotion right before we left, but we weren't about to let a little bit of rain dampen our spirits. (Get it? Rain...dampen! Ha!) The plan was to be at Mom and Dad's house by 6:30 so that we would have plenty of time to drop the car off at Charlie Brown's park and fly and be at the airport for our 11:45 flight. Looking back, I believe that I may have been given a time that was actually earlier than necessary because I have a tendency to be a teeny bit late. What some people didn't take into consideration was the fact that I was MORE than excited and I was the only one that needed to be ready. I was at mom and dad's by 6:20! We were on our way by 7:00. EEEEKKKK!
At the airport waiting for our flight...First Class baby!
Crazy-eyes Dad and I
Mom and Jess...see the big smiles!?!
Once we boarded, we got comfy. We were LOVING the roominess of our awesome seats. We had, and I quote, "all the elbow room that you could ever want." We were flapping our arms just to make sure. It was awesome, with the exception of the super-annoying guy sitting behind us. He was what you might call a whiny pants. All that he did the ENTIRE flight was talk about how terrible the weather was going to be when we landed and how awful the flight was going to be and how he was ready to go home and fill up sandbags and his wife said that there was a tornado in downtown Tampa..blah, blah, blah. He was really starting to get to me so I popped in my earplugs and said a rosary.That was very helpful. After enjoying the airplane snacks and complimentary drinks we settled in for a slightly bumpy, but relatively uneventful (always a good thing) flight.
When we landed it was gray and yucky. I was starting to think that Mr. Whinypants was right, but I decided that I just didn't really care. We went to dinner where I ordered a bacon wrapped fillet. (Oh yes I did!) There are few things that can make a fillet better, but surely bacon is one of them! Unfortunately the bacon was floppy. (Insert sad face here.) But even with the floppy bacon it was still pretty good. Besides, my food was hot and I didn't have to cut up someone else's meal. I was able to stay seated throughout the entire meal and nobody spilled anything, not even Dad! Vacation was off to a grand start and then the power went out ( It really did, but just for a second. ) and it started to pour! Stupid rain! But thankfully, by the time we got to Walmart to pick up some odds and ends and snacks, it had pretty much stopped raining and the sun was shining! ( YAY! ) Things were looking up!
We went to our hotel, Tradewinds Island Grand, and checked in. It was beautiful!
This was mine and Jess' room. Note the big, beautiful queen sized beds that we each had all to ourselves!!!
I totally loved it!
Mom and Dad's room was the same as ours, although they both slept in the same bed. For them, it was not nearly as exciting as it was for me. They have an enormous king sized bed at home and this felt a little it cramped to them. But I was LOVING it! Each bedroom had it's own bathroom and then we had a living room and kitchen area as well as a little deck. A perfect home away from home!
Once we had all of our luggage, we changed into to comfy clothes and decided to walk down to the beach. One teeny problem with the safe and we were on our way.( By teeny problem, I might mean that somebody may have shut the safe with ALL of our wallets, money, my purse, ipods, ipads, etc. in it before we figured out how to set it and unlock it. We also might have had to call down to the front desk and have a a security guard, who may, or may not, have been every bit as annoying as Mr Whinypants-airplane-guy, to come an open it. He also may, or may not, have accused us of asking him to open the safe with someone else's belongings in it, demanding a description of my purse. Sheesh! )
My beautiful Sissy and I when we FINALLY made it down to the beach!
The only sandbags that we saw.
The next morning, we woke up and hit the beach walking, literally. We went for a three-ish mile walk. It was a good walk and I really enjoyed talking to my dad during it. It isn't very often that I get a chance to just chat with him without the kids interrupting, so this was a treat. Once we were sufficiently sweaty and gross, we went back to our suite to change into our suits and hit the cabanas.
This is what I was waiting for...the sand, the sun, the ocean, my kindle and our cabana. It was finally here!
The view from the cabana...gorgeous!
Mom and Jess made me promise not to post or blog any bathing suit pictures, but I couldn't help it. We were at the beach! How can you not have any pictures in a bathing suit. Get over it Mom and Jess! Besides, I think that we looked pretty good.
No wonder the guy at the one restaurant told Dad that he looked like a greek god with his suntan! True story...
Ok, fine! I know what you are thinking. Yes, we totally staged this picture. We didn't actually RIDE the jet skis. We just posed on them. Whatever...
So, where was I...oh yes, the cabana... We were laying there soaking up some rays when I heard the squawk. I looked up and saw it, a rat with wings, otherwise known as a seagull. I hate those stupid things and apparently the feeling is mutual. Splat! Pooped on. No joke. Did I mention how much I hate those stupid birds!?!
We were loving the waves! They were pretty big because of the passing storm. Jess and I were splashing around and jumping in them like little kids. Mom and Dad were laughing at us from the edge of the water. And then a big wave knocked Dad down on his butt! We were all hysterical. Dad was laughing so hard that he missed the second wave coming in. It him so hard that he slid right out of his swim trunks. We were pretty much dying by then. It was so funny. Mom asked him if he was ok and he said, "Yes, but things got a bit cheeky!"
The waves were so wild that this is what fell out of my bathing suit when we went back to shower for dinner.
Seriously! A handful of seashells!
After our fabulous day at the beach and we showered we went to Crabby Bills for dinner. Oh My Yummo! Best. Seafood. Ever. They also had really funny signs everywhere. The one read, "Unattended children will be used for shark bait." Another read, "If you set out to fail and succeed, what have you really done?" Think about it people. Mind blown.
Yes, I actually ate all of this. And I loved every scrumptious bite! I did not, however, love the oyster that Mom let me try. Think of sludge and mud. Not good.
Every night, after dinner, we would go back to the suite, put on our jammies, and play cards, and eat junk, and laugh, a lot!
Poor Dad had to be my partner when we played 500. I was a bit slow to catch on, but by the end, we managed to win a few times.
Oh yeah, we had a few yummy mommy juice boxes.
On the second day, we got up and hit the beach again. Mom and I didn't walk this time. I was VERY sunburned. Needless to say, we kept the cabana cover thingy up most of the day. At one point, I popped my head out of the cabana just long enough to tell mom something and it happened...again! One of those horrible birds pooped on me again! Seriously people! Two days in a row! I tried to spin it and I said something about it being good luck or something. Jess said, "Yeah, good luck for me! I was beside you both times and didn't get hit!" Did I mention how much I hate those stupid birds!?!
We went for a drive to try to use some of the gas that Mom and Dad had prepaid for in the rental car. (Side note: the rental car did not come with a remote lock thingy. Soooo every time we would have to unlock the car, Dad had to use the key and it set off the alarm...every single time! We made a little game out of it. I think that Dad's record was 5 beeps to get it unlocked. We are easily entertained!)
Sissy finding some pretty shells to take home for the girls.
They are so cute!
Dad and his girls
Mom and her girls
The beautiful sunset on the last night that we were there.
I miss you beach!
Our last day...
We were very sad to leave.
One totally random thing. Jess and I had the same purses, just in different colors. Sister purses! We are so weird.
So, in a nutshell, the vacation was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous. Time with my mom and dad and sister was thoroughly entertaining. I now know how to play 500. Car alarms are annoying, but anything can be made in to a game. I managed to read two and a half books and paint my toe nails. I missed my hubby and kids a ton. And I hate seagulls!
I came home to a clean house. The laundry was still caught up. There was a beautiful Welcome Home Mom sign and a note from each kid and Brian. I was welcomed home by squeals of "MOM!" and a smooch from my sweetie. I picked up Jonathan and he popped his fingers in his mouth and grabbed my hair and started to rub his nose with it. (He always does that!) I was relaxed (and I still am!) and happy to be home. It was nice to miss them and be missed.
Oh yeah, I still hate seagulls.