We began our trip to Florida by, in fact, heading North to Pittsburgh the day before we were to fly out. We stayed that night in a nice Marriott, allowing us the ease of waking up later than if we would have stayed at home, the ability to grab a nice breakfast, and the comfort of being shuttled to the airport directly from the hotel (oh, and free parking at the hotel - Score!). We hopped on the plane around 9AM, and got the babies in position. We hooked Ava up to our Nook Color, watching one of her favorite movies, Monster's Inc, and Audrey began to nurse and was soon asleep (I always nurse my babies once the plane gets moving because swallowing allows the ears to adjust to pressure changes without discomfort associated with changing altitudes - we gave Ava a snack to help with hers... FYI - if you ever hear babies crying during take off and landing, it's most likely due to the fact that they need their ears to "pop").
Once we arrived in Florida, our week of fun began. While we were there we were able to visit with several of Jeremiah's relatives, his Aunt JoAnn, his grandparents, his cousin, Rachelle, and her sweet little girl, Alexis. Ava absolutely loved playing with Alexis. They truly became best buddies. I really wish they were able to play together more often than once a year. I'll just let this next series of pictures show how much they enjoyed being together :)
So, as you can see, Ava was most definitely sad to say farewell to Miss Alexis. At least we have lots of precious memories of the two of them captured on film :)
As the week went on, we got into many other things...
We took a walk on the beach one morning. (Ava loved playing in the sand).
We got all dressed up and went to church with Grandma on Sunday morning.
We walked out on the dock on several occasions. For those of you who don't know, Jeremiah's parents are blessed with a wonderful place to live... right on the Indian River. I'd say it comes close to living in Paradise!
Most days we had a blast just going swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool.
... and in the kitty pool ;)
We also took several walks down the lane and through the orchard.
And, Jeremiah and I were able to sneak out on the boat a couple times while the girls were down for a nap (and under Grandma's supervision, of course). What FUN! We drove the boat all over the Indian River at fast speeds. I remember thinking in those moments how blissful life can truly be and how time sometimes feels as if it's standing still. I'm so thankful we were able to have a couple moments to just the two of us... it really doesn't happen often, and I very much treasure the times it does. Plus, we were able to water ski! It was my first time ever. I loved it! Of course, with only the two of us on the boat (one skiing and one driving), we weren't exactly able to take any pics. We were able though to take a couple shots of us on the boat with my iphone just before the fun began.
Another fun thing we were able to do while we were in Florida was to see our friends and fellow West Virginians, Billy and Jamie Williams (who were recently married), just before the set off on their Honeymoon Cruise to the Bahamas. Pretty cool that we just happened to be in Merritt Island around the same as they were. So, they contacted us, and came over for breakfast just before boarding their ship. Here's a shot of all of us (minus Audrey - she was sleeping) just before they had to leave.
So, I'd say we had a pretty successful trip. We had a joyous time spent with Grandma and were able to enjoy the Florida sunshine. It turns out we'll be doing more of that sooner than you'd think. We're actually heading back down that way at the end of this week with my family. We talked them into visiting Merritt Island this year rather than going to Emerald Isle, NC (a long time tradition of theirs). I'm pretty sure with all there is do to there (water ski, fishing, boating, going to the beach, swimming in the pool and river, and visiting the theme parks nearby - Walt Disney World, Harry Potter World, Sea World, etc etc), they won't regret their decision ;)
As most of you know, our older daughter, Miss Ava, has a birthday coming up on July 2 (our little sweat heart is turning TWO!!), and because that day falls on one of the days we'll either be in Florida or coming back from it, we've decided to throw her a party the following Saturday (July 9). I haven't sent out the invitations yet, in case you're wondering... I'm still waiting for them to arrive. Stay tuned after that day though, because I'll definitely have some coverage to share from her special event :)
So, once again, I'll say ta ta for now. Until next time... because it'll probably be another couple of weeks until we meet again!