Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What We Did On Our Winter Vacation

I have to start with two observations: 1. We really should have taken a much longer winter vacation, instead of only 4 days, and 2. the weather gods were good to us in Florida, but man, did they deliver a gross and yucky day on our first day home - maybe to remind us of the reason for the winter vacation in the first place? hmmmmmmm.

We had an awesome time. Wow. And the weather that was ordered weeks ago was delivered and then some! We had a beautiful weekend.

We left here on Thursday about midday - our flight out of Philly was a little past 5 PM, so there was parking the car in the long term lot, getting to the terminal, checking-in and getting everything situated. We ended up with more time than we really needed. It wasn't so bad getting through the whole security deal as it was our last trip through Philadelphia International!

Our flight was a little late leaving Philly, but we had plenty of time to get to our connecting flight in Atlanta - this is after a VERY bumpy ride into Atlanta on the first flight - wow - I've never experienced turbulence that bad! There was weather in and around Atlanta - thunderstorms, etc. - that caused all the bumps. It also caused our second flight to be delayed by about an hour, so we arrived really late into Fort Myers - about 11:30.

Aunt Bet picked us up at the airport and took us home to her house where we got to see Uncle Gary before we all headed off to bed - of course, after about an hour of chit-chatting and wearing out the kid!

Up early the next morning - I can't figure out why we can keep Leda up until 12:30 in the morning, but she still wakes up at 6:45AM!!!! After a little coffee and a little breakfast, we headed over to the Beach Club for some time on the sand and in the ocean.

What a beautiful morning we had. The gulf was calm and warm (okay, for people from Florida, it wasn’t so warm, but for those of us who live in the northeast, it was perfect – like 75 degrees – early August ocean off the Jersey Shore, so it was MORE than comfortable. Leda loved jumping in the waves and picking up shells and watching the pelicans fly by.

Leda on the beach

Brock and Leda on the beach as a pelican flys by

We left the beach after an hour or so because we wanted to try and get to the airport in time to welcome Lt. Steven home from Iraq for R&R. We didn’t make it to the airport in time, but did get to see him before we all headed back to the Beach
Club for lunch. Steven’s first food on American soil since last June! ;-)

Lt. Steven at the Beach Club

After lunch, while everyone chatted, Leda and I hit the pool for a little swim and she just took to the water like a fish! We didn’t take her floaties or anything, so I had to keep a hold on her most of the time, but she’d jump into the water and sorta swim to me (all of an inch or two!) I see swimming lessons in her very near future – especially while I was attempting to get out of the pool and Brock was walking her back to the table, she jumped right in! I had to jump in after her immediately!

Back to Aunt Bet’s for a little nap and when Leda awoke from her nap, Aunt Aimee, Uncle Kurt and her cousins Abby and Sami had arrived. Then, Grandma and Granddaddy arrived! Then we all headed over to Uncle Tom and Aunt Tish’s for a pizza party and hanging out, celebrating Steven being home! Uncle Tommy has a pool, so all three girls got to go swimming at night! They loved it! Afterwards, Abby painted Leda’s nails and toenails and they watched a movie before we all headed home for bed!

Cunningham Girls by the pool

Saturday was a big day. Aunt Bet and Leda and I did some shopping for the boat ride we were all going to take out to the gulf for a little picnic on the beach. We had to order some subs for everyone and while we were waiting, Aunt Bet took Leda shopping for some clothes – she got a really hip two piece bathing suit, some really neat summer clothes and her first Barbie! She was really excited about the Barbie!

Everyone arrived at Aunt Bet’s about the time we got back and we loaded up the boats and headed out for our trip! It was great. We had so much fun. We even got to see a dolphin, although not real close up. We went for a walk on the beach and in the mangrove forest and we played in the surf and we just had a blast.

Pelican

Sami and Leda

We headed back to Aunt Bet’s after several hours and hung out with family and friends and had an awesome evening. The girls hung out in Uncle Gary’s “Man Cave” (his office on the first floor of their house – it’s a man’s dream. Of course, we had three little girls watch Cinderella and Peter Pan in it, so it may need to be re-christened!) and watched movies all night and the adults had fun upstairs in the main part of the house.

On Sunday morning, Grandma and Granddaddy and Aunt Aimee and Uncle Kurt and the girls came over for breakfast before they headed home for Jacksonville. We all took a little early nap and then off to the Beach Club for some sun, sand, surf and pool time! That evening, we just relaxed at the house and enjoyed each other’s company.

Leda - ready for the beach

Monday we came home. Leda, again, was the perfect child on the plane rides (both to and from). She really does travel just wonderfully. The first leg (Fort Myers to Atlanta) she took a nap the whole flight and she got to watch a little movie on the leg to Philly. And, we got a surprise when we landed and got off the plane – Grandma had just flown into Philly for work and met us at the gate! So we got to see Grandma for a few more minutes last night!

All in all, it was the perfect weekend. Wish we could have stayed longer. Will most likely go back again and again (if Aunt Bet and/or Uncle Tom will have us!) We had so much fun and were so happy to see Steven home from Iraq and in good spirits. He’ll have a good couple of weeks of rest at home before he heads back for a few more months. Hopefully to be home this summer for good.

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