Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2020 Florida Trip

We were in Florida for 4.5 days last week and had a really great time! Unfortunately the weather wasn't great for part of the trip but we knew we were running the risk of cooler weather since we were going so early in the season. But we got 1.5 days of nice weather and our last afternoon was decent so we'll call it good enough! Here's a photo-heavy recap of the trip!


My parents drove down to our place on Tuesday night so Paul got to see Papa and Nana when he woke up on Wednesday morning. He has finally gotten over his stranger danger and was happy to sit in both of their laps. At one point he crawled onto the stool next to my dad, pushed a chatbook over to him and said "up please" because he wanted to sit in Papa's lap and look through pictures of himself. #babynarcissist

We had a 10 am flight which worked out super well. Paul was very happy on the plane. Phil downloaded some episodes of Little Baby Bum from Netflix. He happily watched them on his headphones and ate lots and lots of snacks. He charmed the 85+ year old woman that sat next to us and said hello to every flight attendant that walked by.

Waiting to board the plane. We were happy to say goodbye to static electricity!
We flew into Tampa and stayed in a condo in an area on the coast called "Indian Shores." We splurged and got a 3 bedroom condo so Paul could have his own room. He tends to cry out in his sleep and is a light sleeper at times so it's best for him to have his own room, if possible.

We got a late lunch/early take-out dinner (linner?) when we got to our condo. My mom and I went grocery shopping and the boys went for a walk on the beach. We thoroughly enjoyed the sunset from our patio on that first night!

Reading books with Nana before bedtime
It was so beautiful that night that we played cards on the patio after Paul went to bed! We played cards every night with my parents which was so fun!


We woke up to beautiful weather on Thursday. It was overcast in the morning but warm/humid. The humidity felt so good on our dry skin! This was the only morning we were able to eat breakfast and drink coffee on the patio - the other mornings were way too cold unfortunately, even for us Minnesotans/North Dakotans.

It's like Paul woke up on Thursday morning and aged overnight. He looked like such a little boy in this summer outfit!

We headed out for a family walk on the beach. Paul loved running up and down the beach and exploring things that had washed up onto the shore.

He was truly living his best life and could not have been happier! He kept saying "walk beach" or "walka walka" over the course of the weekend.

We made sandwiches for lunch and I read while Paul napped. Phil and my dad swam in the ocean - the weather was nice but the ocean felt so cold so my mom and I passed on the ocean swim! After Paul's nap, we hit up the pool. We have quite the little fish on our hands. He loves to sit on the side of the pool and jump into my hands but quickly changed to standing and jumping into my hands!

He also loved standing in the shallow end and splashing around.

After Paul Phil and I were worn out from swimming, we got cleaned up and had a little happy hour on our patio before heading to dinner. Paul enjoyed snacks while the adults had wine/beer and chips!

We got to the restaurant around 5:50 but there was already an hour+ wait so my parents had a drink in the bar while we went exploring with Paul in the stroller. We found a park close by (gotta love google maps!) and killed some time there.

The adults enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner while the toddler ate mac and cheese. If you'd like to know who has the best mac and cheese in the area, just ask Paul. He literally ate mac and cheese for every lunch and dinner in FL. We gave him about a pouch/meal so he'd get some veggies/fruit but decided to not try to get him to eat outside his comfort zone. I never thought I'd have such a picky eater on my hands since Phil and I are both open-minded eaters. But you can't make Paul do anything! Hopefully he eats better when he's a bit older.

Waiting for his mac and cheese! The lit-up palm trees were so pretty!


We woke up to COLD, windy weather on Friday. It felt like it was in the 30s with the wind off the water. We went for a brief walk on the beach to burn off some energy. Paul enjoyed it until we turned around and the wind was in our face!

There was no way we could spend much time outside that day, so we went to a local wildlife learning center that mroning. They had lots of alligators and other things like turtles, fish, snakes, and even a sloth (random, right?). Paul had fun walking around and checking out all the animals.

We laid low for the rest of the day and grilled burgers for dinner that night.


Saturday was another cool day with temps in the 40s in the morning. Paul slept for 12+ hours and woke up at 7:30 which was a glorious start to the day! We had a quiet morning in the condo. I got picked up for lunch by blogger friend Stephany! She lives in the area and was kind enough to drive to me and pick me up for lunch! I hate driving in unfamiliar areas - especially in a big minivan (I'm a small car kind of girl!) so I really appreciated her driving to me. We went to a pizza place close to our house that had really good GF pizza. It was really fun to catch up and talk about books (Stephany is an avid reader and actually reads more books/year than I do!), cats (she has 2), careers, family, and life!

The weather had warmed up to the 60s by the time Paul woke up from his nap so we went swimming together one more time in the (heated) pool while my parents went to church. Then we ordered take out from Grubhub - which worked well for everyone except Phil as they didn't bring his meal. We've used places like grubhub or postmates many times in the past and have never had an issue with them but Saturday night was really bad. They were not very helpful initially but once it was clear that they had made the mistake they were a bit more helpful. But not helpful enough to bring him is meal - they said we would have had to start a new order to get his meal. So Phil walked down the road to a take-out place. Womp womp.

We enjoyed one last sunset, played one more game of cards (I won!) and were all in bed by 9:30.


We had a lazy start to the day as Paul once again slept in until around 7:30. It felt amazing to get back-to-back nights of 8 hours of sleep! That never happens at home! We had breakfast, packed up and headed out. My parents were heading to Venice, FL for a couple of days to see my mom's siblings that live or winter there so they dropped us off at the airport.

This time our flight was at 12. I thought it would work out well as that is around Paul's nap time but he didn't nap until the final hour of the flight and then he woke up after about 30 minutes and did not know where he was. He has trouble coming out of a deep sleep so was NOT HAPPY and let out a series of ear-piercing screams for the next 5-10 minutes. Oof. I felt so bad and apologized to our seat mate and the people behind us. Luckily that was short lived and he was back to saying 'hello' to our seat mate within 10-20 minutes. Traveling with toddlers is rough sometimes!! I'm just glad he was content for most of the flight as there were other kids around us that screamed A LOT. I know it's really tough to be on a plane with kids when you don't have children - but just keep in mind how little control parents have over young kids and imagine how bad the parents are feeling when their kids are screaming. Eeks. That concludes my PSA on traveling with kids. ;)

Watching Baby Bum on the plane.
We landed around 2:30 on Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of the day getting groceries, doing laundry, and getting ready for the week. I managed to make chili for dinner. It was nice to have a home cooked meal and have something to bring to work for lunches! I really dislike coming back from vacations on Sunday but it was our only option since the condos we were looking at weren't available Tuesday-Saturday. But we made it work! After spending 4+ days with my parents, Paul definitely misses Papa and Nana. He keeps saying "Papa Nana Flolala." (pronounces Florida Flolala).

Traveling with a toddler is a lot of work between the plane travel and schlepping allllll the things along - but it's worth the effort to have a change of scenery!


Amber said...

Looks like such a great trip with lots of downtime and relaxation, which is perfect when traveling I think. I always want to play more cards or games at home since we do it so much while traveling, especially if we're with family, but we almost never end up doing it as much at home. Too bad the weather wasn't better but it still looked like a really nice break from winter!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Ahh, Florida. I miss you. My parents left Sunday to spend the next 6 week there. They are headed to Venice today through the 1st to stay with friends and then will spend the rest of their time in West Rotunda. Unfortunately we won't be visiting this year, and their place actually doesn't allow kids. Boo. Hoping next year we to visit them!

Stephany said...

I'm so glad I was able to see you when you were in my area, but I wish the weather had been much warmer for you! When it's even too cold for Minnesotans, you KNOW it's cold. And it always feels colder here because we're near the coast!

I'm glad you had a nice time, nonetheless. <3 And I love your PSA about kids on airplanes. I always feel SO bad for the parents because I know they're trying their best and a plane is just not the most comfortable environment for babies/toddlers.

Jeanie said...

Apart from the plane ride home, it sounds like a good trip. Lots of fun in that water and boy, does Paul ever look happy! It was smart to get that extra bedroom, too. Weather can do a number on things but sometimes just being out of your own space and someplace new is just the thing needed to get through till spring!

Leigh said...

Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time away with your parents! Flying with kids definitely isn't easy- I just came back from seeing my family with the kids, and it's a lot of work with one parent. But both were easily entertained with iPads, snacks and colouring so it was an easier flight (compared to babies!)

Gracie said...

Glad you guys had a good trip, despite the cold snap. Paul truly looks like a kid, not a toddler, here! Loved the low-key entertainment: pool, cards, good food - that's the way to do it.
I appreciate the flying PSA...man, we might be in trouble...we're heading off to a business trip this weekend with our little 6-week old! Although I am a lot more worried about the hotel. He is not a great sleeper of course, and we might get some complaints! The flight is short enough to nurse/nap the whole way (I hope).

Anonymous said...

What a bod on that Dad! More pool pics please!

San said...

Oh, so glad to hear you were able to meet up with Stephany! I love when I get the chance to meet bloggers IRL :)
The rest of your stay sounds so nice, too (despite the weather) and Paul looked like he had a blast!

katielookingforward said...

I'm not a food ordering fan, but the losing an order would drive me bonkers! I think even if florida weather isn't 100% it is still good to get out of the normal routine. I'll be going at the end of april which will be way too warm for my liking, but at the same time, it worked well for flights/price.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Oh my goodness, Paul in Florida!! Walka Walka! So cute! I love that he charmed the 85-year-old woman and flight attendants. How sweet!

That's too bad that the weather wasn't spectacular, but it was nice that you got to get away and relax after all the business and stress of moving.