Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Florida | February 2018

Ever since my parents moved to Florida, I am always on the hunt for cheap tickets to go visit them since it is incredibly rare that they find themselves "up north".  If I find tickets and the dates don't work, then I move on; however, when I find great tickets and the dates work out, it's the best. This happened back in December. Jet Blue was having a 15% off sale and I scored a great price on tickets to take the kiddos to Florida to see my parents. Bonus: we would arrive the day after my mom's birthday :) Bummer: B no longer gets spring break so I would be taking the kiddos solo. 

The anticipation leading up to the trip was killing me. I started prepping and planning at the end of December and it took everything in me not to pack before February.  I also made sure to hop on Amazon to ship formula, diapers and baby food to my parents house before the trip to save space (and weight) in our checked bags - a total luxury of "vacationing" at my parents house. I also put together the best travel bag for Natalie [more on that in another post] which made flying with her a breeze. She is a total travel rock star anyways, which makes me one proud mama, so the bag was really just a bonus.

We spent most of our week with my mom. My dad kind of did his own thing and didn't join us on our outings. It was good for the kids to get time with my parents, especially since we never know when we will see them again. It may not be until next year. I was going to do a more in depth post about our adventures but have decided a picture heavy post with minimal reading would be easier :) [read less work for me]

Pre-Flight selfie with the kiddos

First stop: lunch at Red Frog & McToad's

My mom and I took the kiddos to Marineland and Natalie got to live out one of her biggest wishes: touching a dolphin!  While Marineland looks a little lot different now than it did 20+ years ago when I was last there, Natalie really loved seeing the turtles and dolphins. 

We also took the kiddos to one of my favorite places from my childhood: the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Bonus: Local Flavor had 50% off adult admission so I was able to snag cheap tickets for my mom and me.  It was a really gorgeous day so we brought a nice little picnic lunch there. Natalie really enjoyed the little "Rainforest Review" wildlife show.  Afterwards you have a chance to touch a python and a baby alligator.  I was really surprised that Natalie was too scared to touch either one, but Everett LOVED it. He had a death grip on the baby alligator and was sad when he had to let go.

Honestly, most of the week was spent just hanging out at my parents house, playing on the patio and in the garden while soaking in the Florida warmth.  The pollen count was HIGH - on a scale of 1-12, we were in the 11s all week.  So allergies + teething baby was rough but he was a trooper. Natalie LOVED being able to play outside all day.  She fought through the allergies and did not let them slow her down.

All in all, it was a good week, albeit incredibly exhausting. Natalie woke up twice with night terrors because she overheated. Everett did not sleep through the night at all - he never really seemed to adjust to being away from home. But we survived and made a few memories along the way.