Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Florida trip: the pictures

Instead of presents this year, my parents decided to take us back to Clearwater Beach, FL right after Christmas Day, just like they did in 2010 (check that out herehere, here and here).  I promise I won't write four posts this year - just one with some fun pictures!!

And we're off - Charlie's first plane ride!!

After a slight delay in Kansas City...this little booger fell asleep right after take off and woke up with about 30 min of the 3 hour flight left.  We were all thrilled (minus my arm that fell asleep!).

First night dinner out at Crabby Bill's - the only time we actually ALL went out to eat as a group. 

Notice Charlie's position and you will understand why that was!

The next day...despite lack of sun, Charlie saw the beach.  

And he just loved EVERYTHING about the sand.
Sand was EVERYWHERE!!!

And he had no cares in the world that the water was cold.  He wanted to hop right in!

When my mom, sister, Casey and I made a trip to Ikea (and came home with the AWESOME tent on the right)...apparently my dad, Jimmy and Charlie had lots of fun bar hopping.

I think this kid learned a little too much from his dad.
{don't worry - he doesn't know how to open it...just retrieve beer from the fridge for his dad}

We did have one day where it was finally nice enough to pull on our swimsuits and head to the beach.  My mom brought Charlie down after his nap (and after we hit up Hooters for some wings!) and yep, still loved the sand, the sunshine, the water...and...

...even the ladies.  He was flirting with everyone on the beach.  Oh Charlie.

One family picture with mom's CRAZY bun!
One of the best things?  In the morning, my dad, Jimmy and Charlie would walk to the gas station to get out of the house and get a newspaper.  I joined in a few days too and loved it.  I wish we had this weather every single day!!!  {and these trees!}

One of the attractions on Clearwater Beach is the aquarium.  It has the famous dolphin, Winter, that has a prostetic fin and a movie all about him.  Charlie liked the aquarium a bit, but there were less attractions then the one here in Kansas City.  More stuff for older kids - so maybe we'll go back??

He did like this room though!  Got to draw his hand on the board and say where he's from!

Along with our aquarium admission, we got to take a trolley to downtown Clearwater and the museum where Winter movie props are as they prepare to shoot for their second movie.  Charlie was less than impressed and fell asleep instantly when we got there.  

Wish you could have seen the picture of our family when we just walked in!  Charlie's face...haha.


Holy cow - this kid knows what he wants.  And every time one of these puppies passed us on the street he would yell "ride the bike".  So finally, despite a little bit of rain/mist that day, while my mom, sister and Casey were at the mall - we rented a "bike" and the four of us went on a ride.

Don't be fooled.  Charlie didn't stay in the front - of course he wanted to be in the back with us.  So I got to pedal this beast with Jimmy (he steered) while Charlie was sitting on my left leg.  

Holy leg workout.  Don't think these smiles don't mean there wasn't pain.  Days after. 

But it was fun and Charlie got to ride the bike - thank goodness.

As the day passed and the rain stopped, this is what Charlie did.  

You have no idea where we found sand for days after.  After several baths.  But he loved it.

He even loved the happy hours.  Definitely his dad's son.  
{virgin strawberry daiquiri was his drink of choice!} 

But most days, honestly, we did a lot of this.  And it was fabulous.

Fabulous to relax in the beautiful condo that my mom found.  Hang out with our family.  Cook dinner and go to sleep early (ha!).  Of course, we got up early and entertained our toddler - but it was a little more fun knowing we were in Florida and got to walk outside to this every day!!

Then came the last night of our trip - New Year's Eve 2013.

Let me tell you this...neither of us are big NYE people.  But we decided to go to dinner just the two of us and let my parents put Charlie to bed.  However, we snapped a few family pictures before we headed out.

Most of them were cute - even with our squirmy man.

And then we tried to get one of just the two of us. But heaven forbid that Charlie was left out!!!
{see those crazy toddler begging hands??!!}

And just like that - after 17 meals and 6 nights and 6 wonderful days...we woke up on the first day of 2014 and started our journey back to Kansas City.  This time, it was just the three of us and we had 2 flights - a connection in Nashville.  

Charlie did great on the first flight (slept the whole way) and then was a crazy child on the second one.  I guess that's the way it goes right?  We were just so thankful that the second leg we had a seat in between us because the flight wasn't full.  

Best thing of the trip?!?  The Nashville airport having a kid's play area RIGHT by our gate.  Germ infested and all - we let him play and play and play in it with other kids, in hopes that he would get worn out...but no such luck.  However, it was fun to see him playing around!

Then we landed at 2, got home by 4PM (after stopping to get our dogs) and that was it.  The end of vacation.  And it was back to work for both of us the next day.

No recovery time to unpack, get the house in order, clean from the holidays.  It literally took us a few weeks to get everything back at least to the way it was.  And Charlie too.  After a double ear infection and some brutal teeth popping through - we are all pooped still.

But boy was it worth it.

Thank you again mom and dad for a great trip and a great time!!!  Clearwater Beach was good to us again.  Would highly recommend it as a vacation spot!!!

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