Wednesday, February 21, 2007


We're home from our very first official family vacation! I really can't say enough good things about the wonderful time we spent with my grandparents and the fabulous days that we shared together. Elaina was an absolute doll and made our trip so enjoyable.

Our vacation was somewhat brief by design. I am a firm believer that a guest should always leave before they wear out their welcome. As this was the first time that we were traveling such a great distance with Elaina and staying so busy every single day, we figured that a 5 day, 4 night stay was appropriate for all of us. In total, we had 3 very full days in Florida and a great flight schedule that suited everyone perfectly. This was Elaina's first airplane ride and she did great. I have to believe that she was somewhat surprised that Mommy was so accommodating with her attached binky onto her sweater. She sucked her binky and enjoyed watching Elmo on a portable DVD player the entire flight and never even thought about fussing. Once we had arrived in Florida with my grandparents, we were a little discouraged that the weather wasn't nicer. You know how Florida has like an entire week of winter? Oh yeah... we managed to be there during the very same week. Nice. While it would have been nice to break out the sandals and capris for a cozy 80 degree day, we managed just fine. We saw sunshine and palm trees and flowers in the crisp 60 degree days and didn't once miss the salt covered cars and snowdrifts in 5 degree weather of home. Besides, we didn't go for the weather, we went to visit my grandparents. So... onto the good stuff!!!

I wasn't really sure where to begin to try to catch up so many days away from blogging so I figured the best way would be by narrating beneath my favorite pictures. If you see a picture that you like, be sure to double click on it and make it big. Enjoy!

We spent our first day in Florida at Blue Springs Park looking in on some manatees and burning off some energy at the playground. Yes folks, it really was this cold to warrant a sweater, coat and hat! This is a picture of Kylie (4) and Elaina at the park. Kylie and my grandparents have sort of adopted each other in a way. They are a good fit for each other since neither of them have any grandparents/grandchildren close by. Kylie is incredibly sweet and treated Elaina like her little sister for the day. She wanted to hold her hand, push her stroller and share her lunch with her new little friend. For a girl who has been spoiled by the best, she seemed only a little bit jealous of her grandma and grandpa's "other" granddaughter, Elaina. Of course, Elaina believed that she was much too big for the baby-bucket seat that she persuaded grandma into trying out the big kid swing. Kylie did great on her own. We went to church services on Sunday morning followed by a ride in the golf cart with grandma and grandpa. Grandpa gave Elaina the keys and she found exactly where to put them and was ready for take off. Elaina was so well-behaved at during the church service that all 24 people in attendance (also friends of g-ma & g-pa) came up to meet the youngest guest and compliment her behavior. Elaina sat still for her whole 15 minute tour around the park. Grandpa wisely took control of the wheel! My grandpa has played the harmonica ever since I can remember. This day, he shared some of his musical talent with Elaina and passed along one of his harmonica's from his collection to her. Ummm..... Happy Dwarf = Puzzled Toddler. Elaina quickly pointed out her insistence of getting closer to see this big eared character. Once I waited in line for a quick snapshot, she clung to her dad and was more than ready to move on. ( at Epcot)

We decided on a day at Epcot in DisneyWorld. We didn't rush out early in the morning, rather waiting to leave after Elaina got a good nap in for the day. She held up fairly well with the exception of her two greatest fascinations being the train in China and stair steps. Anywhere stairs. She was there to check out the stairs. In this picture, she is barely able to peel her attention away from the train running in front of us.
We left Epcot after a long day of putting on and peeling off layers of clothing, lots of walking and unforgettable memories. A day well spent!
Speaking of spent.... after leaving Epcot, we headed out to a quiet sit down dinner rather late in the evening followed by all of us crashing into our beds, or cradle-nests as Elaina would have it.
In all, we had an incredible trip and the best visit ever with grandma and grandpa. They spoiled us through and through and delighted in Elaina's sweet smiles. I personally ate enough fresh Florida strawberries that I could be growing strawberry plants within my belly at this very minute!
Thank you grandma and grandpa for a wonderful vacation! I don't know if I can wait a whole other year to come down again- we'll be looking forward to it!

2 Welcome Comments:

Anonymous said...

laura--elaina is cuter and cuter all the time. sounds like you had a great get-a-way. you are right about a shorter visit being better than a long one. i wish that my mother-in- law would get a clue. the last time she visited she stayed 3 weeks and 5 days--(not that i was counting)--anyway the reason i'm commenting on this blog is to let you know that i have a great way to lose the binky, when you all are ready--build it into a bear at the "build a bear" store--that way she will always have her binky safe and close by. how's that sound? i'll keep reading--your blogs are fun and i really do enjoy the pictures of the family. marianne

Laura said...

As always, it is such a pleasure to know that you are still with us and sharing in Elaina's life. It's so nice to hear from you!

Your idea of the "binky-in-a-build-a-bear" is the greatest of all time! When she is a little closer to 2, we will all be faced with binky withdrawal. I do love your idea- stay tuned to find out how we break the vicious binky addiction!