It’s been a pretty quiet month here on the blog, with winter colds, busy schedules and our trip to Southwest Florida. I finally found some time this week to go through the hundreds of pictures I took and upload a few for a little recap here. I love looking back on these travel posts and I hope they’ll give you some ideas of what you can do on your next vacation with your family. Our trips have changed quite a bit from the days of our childless road trips, but these family-friendly trips we’ve taken the last couple of years have been great too. This time we even snuck away for our own mini-trip just the two of us!
Lucy and I flew out late on a Sunday evening and thankfully had a really good flight. I brought her a few new small toys, snacks, and books for the journey, which proved to be very helpful both in the terminal and on the flight. By the time we got to my parents’ house, it was almost 2am, but she was so excited to go check every room.
The next day we were greeted with a perfect, warm Florida morning. We could hardly get breakfast over with fast enough to hop into the pool.
Later that day we packed up the car and headed to a beach bbq with some of our Florida friends. Lucy had no memories of her trip to the beach last year, so it was all new and exciting for her again. I forgot to pack a shovel and pail so she had to use a plastic cup and spoon from the picnic basket. She didn’t seem to mind, ha!
We’re so lucky to have some really lovely friends in Florida who always make us feel so welcome. It was great to get the gang together and catch up.
There was a big storm going across the water over near Sanibel Island and we got the full show right at sunset. The colours and clouds were unbelievable.
The rest of our first week was spent enjoying time with my parents, a little shopping (had to go to Target!), bike riding, trips to the park and lots of swimming in their pool.
Garrett flew in for the second week and surprised Lucy the next morning. She was so incredibly excited to see him – it was just the cutest. You can catch the video on my “Florida Trip” highlights on Instagram. She dragged him by his hand all over the house to show him the plants, the lizards and the pool.
We hopped in the boat one afternoon for a nice ride around the canals.
Lucy was happy to sit up front as Poppa’s first mate (which she’s loved since she was two months old!) and kept looking over the side for a dolphin sighting.
Another trip down to the beach for a sunset cocktail hour.
My parents kindly offered to watch Lucy for a couple of nights so that Garrett and I could sneak away for our own mini trip to St. Petersburg. It was the first time we left Lucy overnight and I felt at ease knowing she’d already been staying there for a week and was really comfortable being with my parents. We splurged on a 2018 Mustang Convertible for our rental car and it was so worth it to be able to drive along the beach with the top down.
Our first night we stayed in a hotel that ended up being horrible, but thankfully I was able to cancel the second night and moved us to the beautiful historic Cordova Inn.
With the clawfoot tub, high ceilings and beautiful porch, it was perfect. Just what we needed for our little getaway.
We spent the morning cruising along the beach and then headed over to the Salvador Dali museum in the afternoon to escape the heat. I only knew a little bit about Dali from film school, but it was fascinating to see so much of his work in one place.
This painting was unbelievable. up close it was a sketch of Dali’s wife but from 20 meters away it looks like Abraham Lincoln.
We were lucky to catch the Dreams of Dali virtual reality experience before it closed for the day. I’d never tried a virtual reality system like this before and was blown away by how realistic it was. Definitely worth checking out.
After our nice break, we both looked forward to being reunited with our little girl and headed back to my parents’. We were lucky to get so much great weather and spent lots of time outdoors, biking along the canals.
My dad found us a great bike trailer for Lucy that was perfect for taking her along. She even got to pick out her own bike helmet, which was just too cute. I can’t wait to take her on more rides this summer.
With all the heat and humidity, Lucy’s hair was growing like crazy and started forming the cutest little ringlets. As soon as we got back to Canada they disappeared and she’s back to her regular straight hair, but I’m glad I was able to get a picture of what it looked like while we were there. I wish my hair had nice curls when we had humidity, instead of frizz, ha!
On one of our last days, we took her to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. It was a great small zoo, that was easy to walk and had the animals in beautiful tropical settings, like these monkeys on lush islands in a lake. You could take a boat ride all around them.
Their giraffes were super friendly and you could feed them pieces of lettuce. I would have loved to try this with Lucy, but she was more interested in the pebbles on the ground than this big gorgeous giraffe who was barely 20 feet away.
I think she was more into the fake animals we saw when we took her to mini-putt. It didn’t take her long to realize you could hit the ball with your club once…and then just pick it up and go drop it in the hole, ha!
We took a little drive out to Naples Beach to see the amazing beach houses on the water and you could still see all the damage from the hurricane last fall. I’d love to come back here again and spend some more time exploring this stunning city.
Back at my parents’, we enjoyed our last carefree day in the sun. It was hard to picture going back to winter coats and mittens again.
After two weeks of swimming every single day, Lucy became quite the little fish and loved to just float around in the life jacket, looking up at the sky. Oh to be a little kid again.
We had such a great vacation and we’re so incredibly thankful to my parents for hosting us. ❤