Win and Relaxation

nana-with-sign sunset-nana-and-papa nana-and-papa-fishing bird-and-nana-on-pier tree-growing-from-bridge sunset papa-and-trey-kayaking sunset-nell-and-nana nell-hammock-chair nana-and-trey-fish steve-and-trey-chess nell-paddleboarding hammock-chair-biew tropical-path trey-and-papa-chess sunset-with-pier

The place we stayed in the keys was absolutely perfect.  It was located directly on the Gulf and lined with palm trees and hammocks; the perfect location for doing absolutely nothing; exactly what this family needed.  The sunsets never cease to amaze me.  I stand there in awe every time taking a ridiculous number of pictures as the colors evolve every few seconds.  I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching them.

The real reason we went to the keys was for our annual showdown with Key West High School.  This year was a bit different than last.  This year we won (yay!), but unfortunately my son got a fever just an hour before the game started.  The win was great, but a bit bittersweet night for us since he was feeling so bad.  We spent the weekend in the keys relaxing with family as planned.  As soon as we got home on Sunday, I took him to the urgent care and sure enough he had bronchitis.  They gave us an antibiotic and we are hoping for a quick recovery.

All is well that ends well.

Staycation (of sorts) – Part 1

Trey Splashing Trey Floating Sun Rays Steve Hammock Palm Treee - Copy Nell Tube on Head - Copy Nell Floating to Bridge Behind - Copy Nell and Dee Walking on Bridge with Tubes - Copy Dee Kelly Springs Sun RaysNell Jumping in Tube - Copy Nell Dee and Steve Tube Train - Copy Dee Stuck in TreesTrey Holding Onto rockSteve Under BridgeSprings Foot ViewNell Tubing - Copy

It’s summertime and that means it’s family vacation time.  We have lived in Florida for ten years now and have not been to any of the beautiful natural springs that our state has to offer.  For this reason and because we didn’t want to spend much money (one kid in private school and one in college), we decided to do a staycation of sorts.  While we didn’t exactly stay home, we only went three hours north to Orlando.  You see, if I don’t get the boys away from the house, then I’ve lost them to the world of video games.  Pulling everyone away from their day-to-day routine and environment makes all the difference.  We are able to hang out as a family and truly connect.

For the springs part of our adventure, we chose Kelly Springs which is a short 30 minute drive from Orlando.  Kelly Park is a free-flowing natural spring (68 degrees year round – yikes!) which makes is popular for tubing.  The upside to this little adventure is the beautifully clear water and views, the close proximity to Orlando, the tubing experience and the laid back and relaxing environment (including our hammock – good call).  The only downsides is the crowd (the park is closed by 10am due to max occupancy) and the temp of the water (almost painfully cold at first – see pic above).

Most memorable parts of the day:

  • Steve and Trey racing down the river to see who would win.  Trey won (in case you’re wondering).
  • Steve making a bed out of tubes and falling asleep.
  • Watching some kid curl himself up in a tube and roll down the hill being encouraged by his family the entire time.
  • Trey looking for Pokemon (he had just downloaded Pokemon Go).
  • Danica being a princess; not wanting to be outdoors or get in the cold water.
  • Danica doing a high kick and a dance in the middle of the park when we announced we would be going to Disney’s Magic Kingdom the next day.

*I brought the underwater camera along and was able to capture some good pics.  I will go on record that my 16 year old son decided that he wanted to be the photographer for most of the day so some of these pics are attributed to him.  Great job, Trey!

4th of July Celebration

Papa Waving Fireworks D at the Pool Papa and Nell Papa Nana and Trey in the Pool Smokey Pool Steve in Hammock Trey Negotiating with Papa Trey Pulled D in Pool

This 4th of July was spent celebrating my dad’s birthday in their newly purchased retirement home. My parents have been planning for retirement for many, many years and the first part of their dream came true just in time to celebrate the 4th of July. We had a blast breaking in their new pool.

A Weekend without Kids Part 3

Bike under the Palm

Hanging under the Palms

hat and sunglasses

Nell in Hammock on South Beach

Nells Bike Looking Down

palm view

Palm with Sunshine Through

south beach lifeguard

Steve on Bike TrailCruise Ship

Steve on Bike Trail 2

It was our last weekend alone before the kids came home so we decided to something different yet the same. We wanted to do another beach bike ride but change up the scenery a bit so we decided to load up the bikes and head down to south beach in Miami. If you’ve ever been to south beach, you know how crazy and crowded it can be. This weekend was no different. After getting there and seeing all the craziness (world cup parties didn’t help), we were very reluctant that this trip would pan out. But after much searching, we found a place to park, unloaded our bikes and began our little adventure. We rode up and down the boardwalk along the beach, stopped at an ice cream stand, sat and watched the massive cruise ships come up the intracoastal from the port, did a ton of people watching, laid in the grass for a break and even took a short nap. It was fabulous.

I think beach bike riding may be our new thing. You can do so much more sightseeing and exploring when you’re on a bike versus in a car or on foot. Plus the hubs has decided to begin a new “bike pimping” project. More to come on this front.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the time alone with my husband. He is my partner and my very best friend. I absolutely love doing anything and everything with him. These times alone truly make me look forward to the future.

A Day with the In-Laws

Close Up PhotographyCatching Frisbee PhotographyCast Net Throwing PhotographyGrass View PhotographyGetting Ready to Throw Net PhotographyGrandfather and Granddaughter PhotographyIn the Hammock PhotographyLooking in Water PhotographyThrowing Frisbee PhotographyGrandparents PhotographyWalking with a Frisbee PhotographyHugging by the water PhotographyVery Close Up PhotographySilliness
The in-laws flew in for a weekend visit so we decided to take them to our favorite beach park. We fished, read, played frisbee, laid in the hammock, sat by the water, looked at the fish and simply enjoyed each others company. The sun was out and there was a cool breeze; perfect weather. We stayed for hours. It was incredibly peaceful. Well, besides my son freaking out over not catching any fish but that’s another story. We spent the day soaking in nature and enjoying family; my favorite.