Days 1-5

Well. How do I choose from 111 pictures? Looks like you’ll be getting Florida pics for a good week or so! Some are so-so but some turned out really great!
So, let’s see….want to hear about our trip down? We left immediately after picking up Samuel from school and had good plans to travel almost 7 hours before stopping at a hotel for the night around 9pm. The nice neat plan was quickly altered by heavy rains and severe thunderstorms! Little did we know that we were following a nasty storm system that ended up in tornadoes everywhere!
At one point the lightening struck SO close to our van that the whole van shook. It was scary to drive in. We rolled into our hotel parking lot 9 hours later…at 11pm. We were exhausted. Zakkai asked the whole way if we were in Florida yet. Samuel didn’t want to stay at a hotel and Eliana did great…until the last 45 minutes of the trip, when she cried hard because she was so tired.
It took awhile to get everyone settled down to sleep but finally the boys gave up around 12:15am or so….

 We got ready and headed out by 7:30am for what was supposed to be another 7 hour trip into Georgia to stop and stay with some good friends of ours…..

Right. TEN hours later……after Samuel threw up all over due to carsickness and we had to stop and take care of that and getting stuck in horrible dead-stop traffic for a solid 2 hours….we rolled into GA.

 We had a really great night with our friends! Here are our kiddos with their buddies Luca and Winnie:) They have a beautiful home in a gorgeous neighborhood and it was so relaxing to spend some time with them, albeit too short.

 My friend Sarah is a very gracious, wonderful hostess! She fed us delicious food and it was so good to spend time catching up. Sunday morning we packed up the Thomas Train and departed around 8:15 for hopefully the last 7 hour stretch of our journey.

After a few wrong turns (including one where we got off at an exit to have bathroom-breaks and get Ben some coffee, realized 15 min later we had passed our exit, only to turn around and realize the exit we’d passed was the one where we had just gone to the bathroom! Go figure..), and more traffic, a hysterical baby (again…great til the last 30-40 min), 8 1/2 hours later we arrived in wonderful, beautiful, sunny Florida!!

All in all, it took 27 1/2 hours to make it there. We were exhausted!!

 The cure for travel-exhaustion? Swimming! Sun! Relaxation! Did I mention that Ben actually left his computer at home? Gasp!

 Grandma-Great (my grandma) got the boys some goggles for the pool which they loved!

 Ben took the boys over to the pool the first day in the golf cart and I followed a bit later with Miss E for her first introduction to the pool.

 I think she was still tired from the trip and overwhelmed by the experience because she started crying and didn’t want to be in the pool. So she and daddy hung out in some chairs while the boys and I played in the pool:)

 She looked awfully cute in a bathing suit!!

 And we spend a lot of time hanging out on my grandparent’s lanai, which is the greatest thing ever created! We would just sit out there and chat, read books, doze off, watch birds…it was wonderful!

My grandparents absolutely fell in love with Eliana and she soaked up every bit of attention that they gave her! She would smile so big at them anytime they talk to her:) Girl knows a good thing when she sees it!!

We finally started feeling the effects of driving wearing off until the warm sun and sweet love of Grandma-Great and Grandpa-Great:)

Stay tuned for more pics….


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