Summer Vacation: Florida!

Let me start this blog by saying: we are so blessed. I never expected to be on a flight to Florida with my family a month ago! Leave it to the Henry family to plan a spontaneous family vacation two weeks before departure… that’s definitely an adventure for me, the list-making, semi-rigid date setting, planning fool that I am! Nevertheless, we went. We’re back. And it was tons of fun!

Cole (my brother-in-law) just graduated college this May, and his last wishes before entering the real world were to take a family vacation somewhere. Since Holly (my sister-in-law) and Ray just recently moved down to Tampa, we had a pretty good reason to head south. So on Sunday morning, May 24, we packed up Evie and Great Grandma, flying out of Kansas City, to the Sunshine State!

The flights were what made me most nervous. Not because I’m scared of flying, but because I had no idea how Evie would respond to being seven miles up in the air in a confined space. Luckily, she loved it! No problems with ears, just needed entertainment, which Uncle Cole was happy to provide in the window seat. A little craft bead box full of her favorite snacks, a few heart stickers, and Cole’s lap were all she needed to be content.

We arrived at our beach house rental at Anna Maria Island on Sunday night pretty late, and I so wish I had a good video of Evie. She was wired, running around the house yelling, “VACATION!” What a sweetie!

Our house was pretty cool. Two master bedrooms made it comfortable for Logan, Evie and I to sleep in the same area. Evie had her own private walk in closet to set up her pack-n-play camp, and she slept like a dream the whole trip. There was a nice living space, kitchen, dining room, lots of beach decor, and as Evie would call them, “Big Fiss” (taxidermied fish) adorning the walls. The whole house was situated right next to a little boat bay (we had a dock in our backyard leading out to the water), which housed a yacht dealership with lots of fancy James Bond boats. Very nice. I think we’d all say the highlight of the house was its back porch sitting. The lanai (screened in porch) was very cozy, and had ceiling fans to make lounging tough to resist. Best of all, it was kid-proofed. The whole trip I was internally freaking out everywhere we went (except for the lanai). So many baby hazards! Oceans, docks, stairs with banisters too far apart, the in-house elevator, the boat ride, airports with baby-snatchers lurking (probably not, but…), eek. Moving on.

Monday was our first day on the island. We all took a little walk down to the City Pier, which was not too far from our house, and ate at the restaurant that was at the end of the boardwalk. We took a trolley across the island to get acclimated. To our luck, it was air conditioned, because our Kansas bodies were not used to ninety degree weather yet. That’ll wear you out quick!

On Tuesday, we went to the beach! Bean Point, the tip of the island, had the prettiest beach. The white sugar sand, the pretty light blue waters, the calm, gentle waves… perfect. Evie, never having been to the beach before, was not sure what to make of this experience. We plopped her down into the sand, and she immediately started crying. She has a slight foot fetish, even at this young age, where she’ll pick microscopic specks out of her toes and go, “Ew-a!” so you can imagine her dread when the sand hit her piggies. She absolutely hated the water, and when Logan and I went down to get in, she very fiercely tried to protect us from entering. But, she also loves birdies. The seagulls were her little friends. So in time, she got used to the sand, and starting following them around, having a dandy old time. Her first beach experience was a success. I love the beach. Glad this was positive for the whole family – even Logan enjoyed himself! Tuesday night, most of us went to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. Lots of fun! Lots of food! Lots of baseball! They lost. Oh well, I don’t care.

I’m going to pick up where I left off on another post, lest I begin writing my own novel.

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