Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Florida Fun!

So a few weeks ago I was invited to visit my parents, who are now living in Florida. It's funny, I never pictured them living in Florida after they retired, but they are (at least for part of the year). My mother said she'd never do 3 things.

  1. Live in Florida 
  2. Live in a retirement community
  3. Live in a trailer home. (It's actually quite nice)
She ended up doing all three things - on the same day. Never say never. Because I once said I'd never live in Iowa. Look where I am now!

CJ on the plane ride to Florida. This was this kids 7th (down) and 8th (back) flight on an airplane. Not this kids first rodeo. He was pretty good - despite the delays and waiting on the tarmac for take off. (Both times!) 

My parents church. It was the first church they visited when they were looking and found it perfect for them! I love the fact that they are able to go on a mission trip later this summer
with this church to Africa! They are excited about it. While I was visiting with their Sunday School the class (made up of mostly retirees who winter in Florida) prayed over them for the trip. It made me cry, how much these people have come to love and support my parents and of course are praying for them. Such community! 

There was a Koi fish pond outside their main sanctuary. The church had at least 5 separate buildings, and two different worship services in two different buildings with the main sanctuary broadcasting to the other building. The main sanctuary had a full choir and orchestra, I guess the other worship service was band - led. My son had a blast in Sunday School and worship service that included puppets. We only get puppets in our country church once every few months - not every Sunday. 

 Here we are on the beach, at Sunset. 

My dad and I on the beach, while CJ plays in the water in the background. 

Sanibel Island, Florida with the cool lighthouse in the background. There were lots of seashells on this beach, and my dad and CJ were able to make a really cool sandcastle. 

Fort Myers Beach, Florida. While I did think ahead 'Maybe we should bring CJ's swim suit' I ended up not brining it because 'We won't be there long.' I should have thought like the mom that I am and brought them with anyway! He ended up soaked, in his clothes, but he had a blast! This was a totally different experience with the ocean from when he was 4 years old on our cruise. He didn't like the saltiness of the water, and didn't want to go in much, even when we were on a beach. He's since had swimming lessons and he had a blast jumping over the waves and running back in as if the waves were trying to get him! 
This is a definite must-return stop for next time we visit! Beautiful beach. 

No, we didn't spend the entire time on the beach. There were other things we did. CJ got his first Camel ride ever, he played mini-golf and worked on his technique - we have very few nice mini-golf places where we live. We swam in the pool at my parents community several times - CJ said that was his favorite part. Of course wrestling with Papa C came in a close 2nd place. 

On Sanibel Island - there was a free bird show. Yes, that bird is real that's on his shoulder. He had plenty of them on his shoulder and his head. That's my baby bump in the background. 

Even my dad had a bird on his shoulder at the end of the show. Meet Piper. He was a little naughty. 

It was a fun week - despite my being sick for 24 hours and on a nice day. It was cool (at least it wasn't super hot) and everything was so green. I thank my sister in law for encouraging me to go - despite being 29/30 weeks pregnant! While I missed my hubby terribly we talked almost everyday. Hopefully we can all go next year - as a family of four! Yikes!

I know see why the Des Moines airport is awesome, because once you come past the security area and start down the escalators you see your loved ones waiting for you near the baggage claim area and you start crying. I did. I missed hubby terribly, and sleeping in the same bed as my son is not nearly as nice as sleeping next to the hubby! I know hubby feels the same way (only he had to sleep by himself). 

A nice little bonus when we got home, we went to Red Robbin in Des Moines to celebrate my hubby's birthday (free burger on your birthday month) and his brother and wife met us there and we enjoyed dinner with them. Then they offered to take CJ for the night! I think they win the award for being the best Aunt and Uncle of the year! 

A great surprise ending to a great week!