Thursday, April 26, 2012

Florida Trip, Wednesday & Thursday

Though we've been going to Florida every spring for many years now, this was a year of firsts for us.  The first year we've had to (sort of) work around a school calendar, the first year all our kids needed a plane ticket, the first year being a family of six.

After calculating the cost of plane tickets, times six and during school vacation week, plus the cost of a rental van once we arrived, we did the unthinkable and decided to drive.  Shaun and I had done it once before when we were first married and didn't have nickels two rub together and I remember when we returned we were resolved to fly from then on.

We hauled the kids out of bed and were on the road by 4:30 AM.  The timing was important because we had to be through NYC before the morning rush hour.  The kids slept, watched movies or listened to music and read.  Everyone had their own headphones so Shaun and I didn't have to listen to hours of Veggie Tales.  :)

I had loaded my iPod with a myriad of podcasts, expecting that Shaun would be doing his usual sports talk radio, but I actually ended up reading a novel aloud to him.  

For years and years I'd get sick if I looked down to read in the car for more than about one minute, but last September on the way back from Maine, I discovered that was no longer the case.  A whole new world has been opened up for me...bring on the road trips!  :)

When we finally stopped for the night at the hotel we'd reserved in South Carolina, we were disappointed to find out it was a dump.  At every turn we had problems and the thing that sealed the deal was that the pool (which I'd called about earlier in the day) was not yet open for the season.

With four kids who'd been amazing travelers and had waited all day to swim, this was a deal-breaker for us.  We loaded the car back up and headed down the road to check in somewhere else.

By the time we got settled, it was raining pretty good....the kids didn't seem to notice.

It was chilly, too.  :)
After they'd gotten out their energy, we went to get all-you-can-eat pizza buffet...the kids were thrilled!
For the entirety of the trip we had two adjoining hotel rooms, camp style.  Girls in one, boys in the other.
The next morning, after taking advantage of the free breakfast provided by the hotel, we were on the road again.  From 7 AM until 4 PM when we arrived, we stopped twice.  The kids were superstars!

The kids were thrilled to see Nana and Grandpa John and also Uncle Nathan and Auntie, who'd flown in that morning.  They wasted no time changing into their swimsuits and hitting the pool.

We changed and Nana and Grandpa John took us out to favorite....Outback!

We got back to the hotel with just enough time for a swim before bed.  These four LOVE to swim!


The Bug said...

Every time I see Z in the middle of your family it makes me cry :)

Oh, & was that Cici's Pizza? I like the veggie pizza, but the cinnamon rolls? Oh MAN!

LuAnn said...

looks like great family time all around. We have had sme dumps ourselves and have done the same thing you did.

Thanks for sharing !!!

Meg A. said...

Love it! All 4 of them are little fish! P.S. Aiden looks like such a grown up boy in all these shots!

Amy Joy said...

These pictures are precious! I agree...Aiden has become a little boy!! And way too cute! I love the photo of you and Shaun with the girls, and the one of all 4 kids especially. What wonderful memories!