Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Florida Vacation 2018

Looking at the snow falling outside my window right now, it's hard to believe that our Florida vacation has already come and gone. I'm usually looking at this atrocious white stuff with hope that I'll be sitting poolside in a couple days...but unfortunately, I've already done it, and I came back to perpetual winter. Sigh.

Our trip was great, though! Just too, too short!!

We left on a Wednesday, after picking the kids up a little early from school. Everyone was suuuuper pumped to get to the airport and get on the plane. If you know my Jake at all, you'll know that the airplanes are the highlight of vacation for him. Specifically a Southwest airplane. This boy lives his whole life to get to these moments! lol

Our flight in was really great - it was a little windy at the end and our landing was a little rough, but the boys actually thought it was hilarious. I snapped this picture of Jake while he was watching us on our descent...holding his model Southwest airplane, smile on his cheek, overlooking the Southwest wing. It's the Jakiest picture of all time!

By the time we had our baggage and rental and made our way to Matt's parent's house, it was after 6. Dinner was halfway done, so we finished up making tacos and sat down to eat - we were starved!! Of course the kids were already begging to get in the pool, but it was we told them we could try the hot tub after dinner. The hot tub was manageable if you stayed under the water level....and the view was pretty great. (And yes, Jake put all that on for the hot tub! lol)

The next morning was super chilly, so we weren't able to have our morning out on the lanai. We really missed that on this trip! The mornings were in the 40's, and that has always been a highlight for Matt and I: having coffee and some quiet time with the sun rising. We did wrap up in blankets and rough it out for a little bit, though.

It was way too cold for swimming that day, even after the sun was out for a while (low 60's) but that didn't stop the boys! They were thrilled to be in the pool anyway, while Matt and I tried to find wedges of sunlight to warm up in.

They swam as long as we'd let them, and then we all got ready to drive up to Ft Myers to see my Dad's new condo. I didn't take any photos there, I Maro Polo'ed it for my family so I forgot to take pics! I ended up staying with him and helping him shop for a few hours, and then we came back to Estero and we all had dinner together at Ford's Garage in the outlets. The sunset after dinner was soooo pretty!

We picked up some truffles and macarons from Norman Love after dinner, and had some of those for dessert back at the house. I was sooo blessed in chocolate on this trip!

We didn't do very much that was kind of a lazy night in, and we did chat for a while with Matt's parents after the kids were in bed, but that was about it.

The next day was Friday, and that's the day I documented for my March DITL post. So if you'd like to see it in detail, go check that out. ;) Here's the shorter version, though.

We had to keep our morning routine indoors again (it was only 47 out when we woke up!), which was a bit of a bummer, but still nice. Matt and I made gluten free pancakes, eggs, and canadian bacon for everyone once we finished our usual morning reading.

After some rest and taking our time getting ready for the day, we took a trip to the mall in search of new sandals and sunglasses for the boys. I also made my scouting trips into Kate Spade and Vera Bradley so I'd know what to come back for later ;)

We struck out and the natives were restless, so we went back to the house for lunch. It was warming up around this time, so we ate outside and enjoyed the sunshine for a bit (and I tried to ignore those Norman Love truffles with a larabar ;) )

There were still no sandals or sunglasses to be had (things we typically refresh on this trip every year since it's our first dose of warm weather), so we ventured out to Target. After lots of try-ons, we had a new pair for everyone, plus some snacks, and these little felt birdies from the one spot that Henry + Jake were quite attached to! Cuties.

I also grabbed an iced latte on the way out, and we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some coconut curry hummus, chips, and drinks for the evening. My Dad and Matt's Mom's friend were coming for dinner, so we were supplying the pre-meal snacks.

Next up was swim time! The boys were dying to get in the pool all day, and it was finally warm enough for all of us to want to join in. It felt SO GOOD to get a little sun!

After some fun and relaxation, we all got changed and I re-did my hair for dinner. We brought out lots of little nibbles and sat outside chatting and snacking. Matt's mom's friend that came for dinner came baring gifts and gave each of the boys a goodie bag full of Easter candy, and she brought me a box of Norman Love chocolates! We were so spoiled!!

We spent the evening chatting outside, and despite the chill returning after the sun going down, it was so nice to be outdoors! (Something I'm already desperately missing here at home!!) The sunset was so pretty, and the boys had fun blowing bubbles from their goodie bags while we relaxed.

By the time everyone left, I was super tired! It was a long day of shopping, sun, and socializing!! So I got cozy in bed watching HGTV (and maybe having a few Norman Love truffles...) while Matt chatted with his parents. I eventually got to sleepy too wait for him, so I got ready for bed and passed out with the tv on.

The next morning, I spent some time getting some work done and getting started on our growing pile of laundry. Then we all got ready to go get some lunch at Maria's in Bonita Springs- our favorite Mexican restaurant. We visit it every year! We all arrived hungry and excited, only to find this on the door...

Figures!! They would reopen just in time for us to be on a flight back to Buffalo. We were SO sad!!! Scrambling to come up with a plan b, we drove back up to Estero and decided on Duffy's. They had a great gluten free menu for the kids, and it was close to home so we could get right to swimming after! It was SUPER good! I got a black bean burger on a gf bun and it was amazing!

We spent the day swimming and relaxing outside, and in the evening we went to a minor league hockey game. The arena is across the street from Matt's parent's development, so it's a simple thing to do for fun, and the boys love hockey. Jake was so cute - the zambonis were his favorite part. And he was super confused about why the mascot wasn't playing with the team, lol

We were super sleepy when we got home, so we put the kids to bed and chatted for a few before going to bed ourselves.

The next morning, Matt and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Jake came along, too. I just love looking at all the palm trees and flowers and tropical vegetation. It's exciting when you don't normally get to see it!

After our walk, I sat and read by the pool for a little while, and Matt did some TKD. When he was finished, we got ready and went for a day-date at the outlets. The boys swam with their grandparents, and Matt and I got our Mexican fix (and I got my Kate Spade fix!)

It was beautiful out when we got back, so we spent time just enjoying the sun and heat by the pool. I think I mentioned it earlier this week, but my vacation treat this time was a nice pair of sunglasses from Kate Spade, so I gave them their trial run!


This was our last evening here, and we were all a little sad about it. It had just gone way too fast, and only Sat + Sun were really warm enough for us. We also missed out on our mornings on the lanai, and our evening golf cart rides. It just felt like an incomplete trip, and we were all feeling it. The boys were begging to stay longer, and we really wished we could oblige!

We did, however, get to sneak in a golf cart ride that evening! We spotted a couple of gators, and Grandpa showed the kids how the fish were all spawning on the shores of the little lakes on the golf course.

It was late when we got back, so the boys had a quick bowl of ice cream for dessert before getting ready for bed. Matt and I pushed loads of laundry through and packed as much as we could to make the next morning run more smoothly.

The next morning, we left pretty early for the airport. The air had that humid chill to it that I assimilate with Disney World (but really, it's just Florida mornings), promising a sweltering day, and it felt like the start of a vacation rather than the end of one. It was hard to want to leave! Poor Henry broke into tears 5 or 6 times on the way home...already missing Grandma and his days in the pool.

We were lucky that Buffalo greeted us with a blindingly sunny 52 degree day upon our arrival, but it was short lived. We were back to winter the very next day, and that's where it's stayed! MAN are we all desperate for summer, now.

But we all had a great time, and Jake has already started asking to make a paper chain for next year's trip ;)

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  1. Awww how lovely! that looks just like the condo where we stayed while in Florida. And we went in February a few years ago. Super fun but yeah we weren't prepared for how chilly it was.

    1. I know, you just never know!! We always have a pair of jeans and a hoodie each, but that's usually enough for the chilly mornings and evenings. We weren't prepared to be cold all day! lol