|Sunset from our dock
After a bitterly cold few weeks, Garrett and I were happy to escape to Florida last month for a vacation with my family. We traded in boots and snowbanks for flip flops and palm trees.
Last year, my parents bought a house in Cape Coral, Florida, and while we’ve all gone down there on our own, this was the first time that we were there as a family. With our boyfriends/girlfriends, there were 8 of us there for the week, with friends dropping by too. It was great to see the house so busy and to get to experience it together. We went on a couple of day trips, but even just lounging by the pool, going for a dip, or heading out on a bike ride was a nice break from the everyday.
With all the warm weather, we couldn’t help but pick up some Southern Living magazines for some Spring decor inspiration. After staring at that amazing Lemon Curd Cheesecake on the cover for so long, but sister and mom decided to make it.
It turned out fantastic, but it wasn’t easy. With all the mixing, chilling and waiting that is required, it took 15 hours! At one point we had to whisk the curd for 16 minutes straight, so we took shifts, ha! In the end it was worth it, but I don’t know if I’d attempt it on my own. It takes a team!
We ate a lot of good food while we were there, including a full turkey dinner (Thanks Mom!) and 8 DOZEN EGGS! Not even kidding. Between 8 of us we went through so many. My mom had bought some of these 2-1/2 dozen boxes on special before we arrived and joked that we’d never finish them, but we did…and then some.
Our days were spent outside, but in the evenings we usually ended up spread out on the lanai, enjoying the warm weather and the quiet. With the glass doors completely open, it becomes one big living space with a spot for everyone. It really is a great house for hosting a big family like ours.
My family’s dog, Shadow, was happy to have everyone under one roof. She got many ear rubs and so much attention.
|Her best attempt to ignore the camera. And that cute flipped over ear.
My mom told me that when all us kids left, she slept for 3 days. We wiped her out. Whiskey stayed at home with Garrett’s family and had his own little vacation, but I would love to be able to bring him with us someday.
On one particularly nice day, we headed to a local farmers market that was full of amazing produce.
It made me miss visiting our farmers market back home in the summer, but I have to admit that our bounty is never quite has vibrant as this.
One thing we did take home was an entire flat of strawberries. They were perfectly ripe and had so much flavour. Nothing like the anemic-looking ones we get at the grocery store back home during the winter.
We ended up adding some into fruit salads, mixing them into muffin batter and even whipping up a batch of strawberry daiquiris – which always taste better with real strawberries.
The farmers market was attached to a flea market and we took a walk around. I immediately spotted this distressed wooden sign, but I couldn’t justify the price, or trying to get it home. I might even attempt to make something like this myself! Those cute little turquoise chippy paint chairs would be adorable for a kids’ table too. There was a full 4 piece set!
The display that made me laugh the most were these garbage bins full of BB Guns. Lots to choose from. If my brother had come with us that day, I’m sure he would have made us stop and look at them all.
With the whole family there, my Dad took us out for a little trip in the boat. Some of us went in my Dad’s boat (up ahead), while Garrett and I joined a neighbour in his boat. Our Captain is a local and was quick to point things out while we went along, giving us our own private tour.
There is the bridge from Cape Coral over to Fort Myers. We were going through a manatee zone here, so you have to go extra slow.
I secretly hoped we’d spot one like this one we saw at the Mote Marine Laboratory a couple of years ago.
As we made out way back through the canals, there were so many great properties with screened in pools that actually have palm trees inside. So tropical!
We also went to the beach a few times and went to a great museum, but those deserve a post all on their own.
On a final note, I just had to share this fun restaurant we found during our layover at the St.Paul/Minneapolis Airport.
Each seat has it’s own iPad, where you can place you drink or food order. Our gate even had seats like this too!
You get to see the chefs working on your food inside a glassed in kitchen – it was like watching our own cooking show! If we’d had a longer layover, I could have sat there and watched them cook all afternoon.
It was a great vacation, and a much needed break. Looking forward to many more visits down to our second family home!