Friday, April 17, 2015

The Many Faces of Charlee T


We decided a few months ago that we needed a spring break vacation.  We had hotel points, a place we needed to go, cheap plane tickets... it all came together! When the day arrived, we planned to leave half hour before we needed to leave.  
As you can see here, we have officially been in the car for 31 minutes and we are back at home.  We came back the first time, (yep, I said the first time) for sippy cups.  Then we stopped at the store for bungee cords.  Then we were about to get on the interstate when we realized we did not have the kids' birth certificates.  DRAT.  We were thankful we remembered while we were still near our house.  Phew! Good thing we planned for that extra half hour!

 We got to our park n fly service and took a shuttle to the airport. #shuttleselfie

 We had 3 suitcases, 3 carry-ons, 2 carseats, one stroller, and a partridge in a... Ha.  We were a traveling circus, seriously.  How did we do it all? Well that's what the bungee cords were for.  We strapped the carseats to the two large suitcases with spinner wheels that can go in any direction.  Then we tried to convince a 4 year old to take the small suitcase while we carried and pushed the rest to the check-in counter.  Phew.

 Thank goodness for the people movers, right? So much stuff!!

 Once we checked in and only had our carry ons and a stroller, we stopped for lunch.

 We got our picture with the Indy sign.  These are the two cutest "I"s that you ever did see.  :)

We only had one or two meltdowns while waiting for our flight.  Most of the time they were adorable and eased people's minds that they were going to be good on the flight.

 And good they were!! Excellent little boogers! Tommy was busy with his iPad and activity book the whole time.
 Charlotte was busy with an iPad and food.  We were SOOOO lucky that it was an incredibly empty flight.  They announced only 65 people would be flying today (on a plane that held 144 people!!).  They also announced that everyone could get an aisle or window seat.  HOW COOL.  We were lucky ducks.  Six seats for the price of three! Whoo hoo!

We arrived to the hotel and it was getting late so the girls sent the boys to the store for a few items plus dinner.  The girls sat back at Happy Hour on the business floor (yikes! they didn't know we were bringing kids so they put us on the business floor! #sorrynotsorry). They had quite a spread every night.  Three plates for just the two of us?  It's vacation!!

 We went to Fort Myers Beach the next morning.  This was the first time for the kids to experience "beach".  So very exciting.  Most of my pictures were of the kids crouching down playing in the sand and water.

 Waves!?!?!?!?! What are these things????

 Charlotte wasn't too fond of the water all the time.  She liked being held near the water though!
I convinced Andrew to take this picture because of this article.  I want my kids to remember what I look like and he's the only other person unless I ask a stranger.  Ha! But I do love the love in this picture.  Way to go, Andrew!

 So unless Andrew is taking pictures, it's SELFIES!! Selfie with Char Char!!

 Selfie with Tommy!! Not amused.

 Selfie with the hubs!! See, I was definitely on this vacation!! :) Haha!!

 We were trying our very darndest to keep the kids from getting burned. Lots of SPF and shade and hats and clothes, you get the drill.  But we didn't exactly protect ourselves very well.  Andrew and I both got burned.  Grrrr.  Must do better!

 Sleepy beach babies are the best!

 Charlotte was checking out dada and Tommy upside-down.

 Tommy never stopped moving.  He was constantly running around.  He love love LOVED the beach.

 You can tell Charlotte did too because she passed out as soon as she got in the car.

 Then it was time for Jimmy Johns for lunch! #jimmyselfie

 Then back at the hotel, we swam some more!

 Charlee and I compared pedicures.

I love this picture of Charlotte.  So adorable.

 I also love this picture.  Charlotte did not want to share the chair with Tommy.  Cracks me up.

 After we swam and took naps, we went out to dinner with Andrew's aunt, uncle and cousin.  Charlotte loved meeting new family!

 We got a group pic from a stranger!  Turned out very nice!

 After dinner, we drove around looking for ice cream places that just might have dairy-free ice cream.  We figured it was a shot in the dark and almost settled on Cold Stone until we found a little place called Menchies right by our hotel.  By some luck, they actually had dairy-free ice cream.  Amazing.  These are our ice cream faces.

 This is our ice cream.  Amazing.  I chose a caramel and cake batter mix with brownie bites, cheese cake, a chocolate covered strawberry, chocolate chips, and whip cream... because VACATION!

 Tommy had dairy-free fruit punch ice cream (no clue what was actually in it) with gummy bears and sprinkles.

 Andrew had chocolate brownie soup.  :) He really went for it! :)

More ice cream faces!! Charlotte didn't get any ice cream but she ate a lot of each of ours.

 The next day I didn't take as many pictures.  We decided to start at the pool.  Charlotte wanted to wear Dada's flip flops.

 She was a big hit where ever she would go.  She was just too cute in all her swimwear glory.

 For lunch, we decided to stay at the hotel to eat.  This was the only restaurant Charlotte had to be carried out of.  Sheesh.  She had a meltdown that was a little too loud in a small space so we got out of there as quickly as possible.

 But not before Andrew and I cashed a huge plate full of wings for Wing Wednesday! Because vacation!! :)

 After lunch and naps, we went to Bonita to see Grandpa Al.  We had a nice visit but I swear little crazy kids have to be so incredibly exhausting for senior citizens.  Holy moses, their never ending energy is something to experience.

 I had to post picture number 2.  Tommy looks like he's throwing major shade for some reason.  Hilarious.

 After driving back from Bonita, we tried to think of what we could take the kids to do.  I had heard SkyZone was fun and there was one near our hotel so we decided to try it out.  We pulled up and we thought it was closed.  Tommy was so disappointed so I called and asked if they were open.  Of course they were! Well, ma'am, you look like you're not!

Anyway, we went to SkyZone for an hour and burned off all those ice cream and wing calories (ha!) and had a marvelous time!

Here's a video!

After SkyZone when we were all sweaty and stinky, we went to Bahama Breeze for dinner.

The kids were delirious. 

We weren't sure how this was going to go.  They didn't have an allergy menu but they said they would tell the chef.

We ordered Tommy a burger and fruit.  The fruit came with sorbet on it which was suspect (he didn't eat it) but he did eat the burger.  He ended up cough/burping so we had an idea that a puke was coming.  Andrew picked Tommy up and didn't quite make it to the stall but at least they were in the bathroom.  As soon as he was done puking, he was fine. It was the weirdest allergy episode we've had yet.  The poor boy was so hungry.  He wanted to finish his food but we said NOOOOO and took him to Wendy's.  Poor guy.  We still felt bad so we went to the ice cream place again after that.  Ha!

 The last full day of fun and sun, we went to the beach again.  We were smarter this time.  Packed lighter and wore a LOT more sunscreen.

 Tommy built some amazing sandcastles.

 They had a great time together.

 Something about the sun, water, and sand makes for such a bright fun picture.

 More selfies with mom!  What are we looking at? No clue.

 We spent a lot of time in the shade when Charlotte started to look a little pink.

She enjoyed the shade for the snacks most of all.

 The cycle would go on with Tommy building a castle and Charlotte sitting on it.

 I tried to get a picture of Tommy laying down while the waves rolled over him.  He freaking LOVED the water.  It was awesome. This is him jumping up and running away after laying down.  Too funny.

 Look at the cute little cubby on the beach.  Adorbs.

 We got hungry so we ate at Pete's Time Out.  Yum! Look at the look on Charlotte's face. "Seriously? Chicken nuggets and fries? You expect me to eat this?"  Ha!

 We had a stranger take our family picture.  I love having kids to hide our bodies in pictures! Awesome!

 After beach, it was back to the hotel for more swimming! We couldn't get enough of that water! This is an action shot of Tommy jumping in the pool.

Here, let me show you what it's like to swim with kids, if you don't already know this.  Imagine a kid saying, "Hey mom, hey mom, hey mom, WATCH! WATCH ME! Watch me do this! Watch me jump! Take a video of me jumping! Can I see the video? Take another video! Take a video of my jumping now! Take another video!"
Throw those sayings into this video and multiple it by a million and BAM, that's swimming with kids.

I sound cynical but it truly was fun to see Tommy conquer his fear of getting his face wet and actually jumping in the pool.  Swim lessons are in his future this summer, I'm sure!

Charlotte waved bye bye to all the swimmers in the pool.

After naps, we walked to find a place to eat for dinner.  Family shades selfie!

We found a Mexican restaurant that looked trustworthy and gave it a try.  Tableside guacamole is my FAVORITE! YUM! Charlotte seriously would have eaten the whole bowl if we let her.

Margarita! Because vacation!

Mmmmm, guac!

Mmmmm tacos! Perfect meal to end the fabulous vacation.

The next day we flew home.  Charlotte was so tired she fell asleep on the plane (and Andrew photobombed her).  I don't know how she slept through all that turbulence.  It was probably the most turbulent flight I've ever experienced. It was like a movie!  I chose to focus on editing videos so that I wouldn't think about horrible things. Tommy thought it was just a thrill ride.  He loved it.  Everyone on the flight was very tense and finally when the flight attendants started in-flight service, everyone was able to relax.  Ugh.  But I'm glad it wasn't like that for two hours.  Half an hour, I can handle.

Tommy and Charlotte helped Dada retrieve our massive amount of crap from the plane.

Then Tommy finally fell asleep in the car.  He was sooooo tired.  He was having trouble staying awake on the flight.  We left him in the car while we played outside after we got home.  He was cashed!

We truly had an amazing vacation (or as someone told me at the airport, it's not a vacation with kids, it's a TRIP. I like to call it an adventure! Haha!!).  It was so fun to spend such quality time with our kids where they could play and do new things and just have fun.  Tommy wanted to stay in Florida forever.  But he was happy to be back with his Avenger toys so he got over it.
Fun times! Can't wait to do it again! I need a nap first. :)

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