Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cousin Andru

We love when cousins come to visit. Andru is such a good helper and a little jokester too. We had a beach day - jumped waves, built sandcastles, ate watermelon and let the juices drip down our faces(see Lyla). We ate ice cream and played in fountains. We watched movies, played video games, made blueberry cobbler and had an ongoing game of slug bug. Andru won of course. It was a fantastic weekend! Lyla had a blast and hopefully Andru did too.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Key West - The End!

Key West is known for its sunsets. Every evening, tourists from around the world gather in Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. Of course we couldn't miss that and I'm so glad we didn't. When the the last bit of setting sun disappears behind the earth the celebration begins. There are performers galore, some quite talented and most a little bit crazy. There were pirates and acrobats, jugglers, and mimes, balloon artists and musicians all trying to lure you in. We couldn't resist the pirates and kids are drawn to balloons like a moth to flame. It was all great fun and after a slice of key lime pie we retired to our hotel for some much needed rest.

The next day began with a visit to Hemingway House. It was actually his second wife's house, which she kept after they divorced, but is still famous for the years he spent living and writing there. The cats are famous too and there are up to 50 that live there at a time. They basically rule the roost and are free to roam wherever they would like. After a very interesting tour of the house and grounds we wandered the streets for a bit and stopped for a snack of conch fritters and some more key lime pie - this time from The Blonde Giraffe. They are famous for their chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick! The regular key lime pie was delicious as well. On the way out of town we had to make one last stop at the southern most point in the continental US for a photo op, then it back in the car for the long drive home. It was a perfect little escape that only left me wanting more. I'm already busy planning our next adventure - I'm thinking somewhere international this time. Lyla needs some stamps in her passport.

Basking in the glow of the setting sun.


Tyler waiting for his motorcycle balloon.


Hemingway House.

One of the many cats. Supposedly cats with 6 toes are
good luck for sailors - that's why Hemingway liked to
keep them around. This one here has 7 toes.

Alaina eating her chocolate dipped key lime pie.

At the bottom.

Homeward bound.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

The drive to Key West took about 4 hours, which is a long time to be in the car with 3 kids. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how good they all were. It was actually quite relaxing. Tina and I sat in the back and chatted away, keeping the kids under control by throwing out a few snacks every now and then. When the kids started to get antsy we stopped and swam, which was wonderful for all of us. That warm water was heaven.

Have I mentioned that Lyla loves the water! She loves the tub, the pool, the ocean. She splashes in the cat's water bowl and runs, ok, crawls really fast, whenever someone turns on the bath or shower. She wants to wash her hands every time I do and tries with all her might to turn on the hose whenever we are outside. Well, needless to say she had a lot of fun every time we stopped for a swim break.

The first beach we stopped at was surrounded by mangroves and had a great little reef you could hike out to. The kids loved that and exhausted themselves running around looking for shells and fish and eating seaweed(Lyla). We snacked on PB and J's and soaked up the sun. It was fabulous! The kids fell asleep almost immediately upon getting back in the car and Tina and I continued chatting.

On the way home, we stopped at a different beach that was so secluded. It was beautiful! The sand was so white and so fine. It squished between your toes when you walked out into the water and was great for making drip castles. You could walk forever but watch your toes. We discovered pretty quick that there were lots of curious crabs waiting to get a pinch. Erik was the only one that braved the long walk out to the drop off for a real swim.

A little hike.

Surf lessons.

A family picture.

Eating seaweed.

Beautiful Alaina!

Our own private beach.

Water Baby!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


If you are an ice cream lover like me and you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in Hollywood, Florida, you absolutely must go to Jaxson's. Here are my reason's why.

*The decor is pretty entertaining.

*They have a delightful menu full of mouthwatering Sundae's. During the time that I lived there Tina and I were working our way through the menu. We barely made a dent.

*They have regular food too, but I say skip it and indulge in the ice cream - they are famous for it and have even been featured on the Food Network.

*They serve you popcorn while you are waiting for your ice cream.

*The charming, old fashioned candy store is worth a peek. They carry everything from candy necklaces and giant gobstoppers to candy cigarettes, t shirts and giant souvenir glasses.

*If you go with at least four people they will let you order the "kitchen sink", a monstrosity of a sundae actually served in a sink. It will be your own "man vs. food" moment. Good luck and know that it is possible - we licked that sink clean! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

The kiddos patiently waiting for their ice cream.

Do you see the yummy goodness in front of us?

The girlies sharing some strawberry. Notice the big chunk
on Lyla's shoulder.


We were a little disappointed in ourselves that we
couldn't finish. Guess we are out of practice.

Just so you know, the hats were Erik's idea. We have picture
exactly like this from about 7 years ago, minus Lyla of course and the hats!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Ok, so there were no trains involved, but we did fly to Miami to hang with my one of my besties, Tina, and her family. I hadn't seen her in over two years, so that alone was bliss! Since we were all the way over on the opposite coast we thought it best to do something we had never done before which led to our hopping in the car and driving four hours down to Key West. Better still, we convinced Tina and her hubby Drew to come along with their two kids. We had a blast despite the new experience of traveling with little ones in tow. Lyla was great, as usual. The plane ride was a little tough because she wanted to get down and crawl around, but the overall experience was completely worth it. She loved playing with Alaina and Tyler and swimming in the warm Atlantic ocean. We have a ton of photos and I'm going to do my best to post a few each day.

Such a big girl. Hopefully there are lots of pictures like
this in our future. We have a whole world to see.
Lyla and Alaina. We waited along time to have our girlies meet.
Alaina pretty much adored Lyla. She kept saying, "I
think her likes me?" Her does!
Lyla's first carousel ride.
Erik, Lyla, Alaina, and Tyler. I think he looks pretty
good with 3 kids, don't you?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kissing Cousins

My nephew, Noah, came to to stay with us for a few days. He likes to escape his two younger
brothers every now and then and hang with us at the beach. We love having him here and wish
we could keep him. Noah was only two when I first met Erik but they have always had a special
relationship. When we got engaged he painted a little toy airplane for our wedding present. It
hangs in our kitchen and every time I look at it I am reminded of how much I love him. He is so
good with Lyla too. It warms my heart. She had a ball while he was here. I'm not sure who
misses him more.

Actually, all of my nieces and nephews are good with Lyla. What can I say? We are a baby loving family! I love that when they talk to her, their already high voices get even higher. I love that they want to hold her, play with her and make her laugh. They might be crazy little rascals but they are SWEET crazy little rascals! Besides, we might have the craziest little rascal of the bunch!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010