Sunday, July 01, 2007

Florida Fun

Since it's been such an incredibly long period of time since I posted last, is anyone still interested in hearing about our trip to Florida? Well hold onto your seats, it's your lucky day to hear all about the fun Elaina and I had at her great-grandparents' house.

After covering Lincoln and Eric's faces with goodbye kisses, Elaina and I set out early Friday morning for our 2 hour drive to the airport. We arrived in the right amount of time to check ourselves through security and wait in the cattle herd which they called the "gate." While I would never claim to be a frequent traveler by any means, I am accustom to the layout of most airports which accommodate a handful of coffee shops and other miscellaneous restaurants and news stands just past the security checkpoint. My intention was to get where we needed to be and enjoy our wait with a rich, warm cup of cappuccino and share a breakfast danish with Elaina. You can just imagine my shock/ horror when then gate number wasn't even listed on my ticket when we received our seating assignment. Oh yeah, the reason is because they only had ONE GATE! Comprised in that ONE GATE was approximately 200 stinky-rolled-out-of-bed people who had been herded into a tiny square of a room with seating for about 125. Nice. It was just this moment when I began to question, "Is this really a certifiable airport? Really? Seriously?"

Prior to boarding the flight, I had told Elaina that we were going to take a ride in the airplane and since they don't have beds on airplanes, she would need to sleep on Mommy's lap. Airplane rides are meant for taking naps. We shared a granola bar, a far cry from a cappuccino and danish by the way, and she snuggled down and slept for the entire flight. Granted it was her regular nap time hour, I was just thrilled that she actually got her rest before starting our day with grandma and grandpa.

Grandma met us at the baggage claim (at a real airport) where Elaina warmed up to her rather quickly and we were on our way out to grandpa waiting eagerly in the van. Elaina was a little timid around her grandpa upon our last visit in February, but greeted him with a warm hug, just as well, this time. Since it was already going on the 3 o'clock hour and Elaina and I had starved most of the day, grandpa treated us to a middle of the day meal, being neither lunch or dinner, just something to fill our bellies. Once we arrived to their home shortly after, Elaina was intrigued by the pool and asked to go swimming. My girl. Asked to go swimming. Who knew she liked swimming anyway? Grandma, Elaina and myself suited up and enjoyed the enormous, 80 degree bath-water-pool all to ourselves. Aahh... true love. Needless to say, Elaina slept well her very first night being away from home. On Saturday, day 2 of our vacation, we didn't have a single thing planned. Isn't that the beauty of vacation? We played in the pool as Elaina's comfort level grew by the hour, we made a trip to the store for dinner that evening, and we all took an afternoon nap. I was wondering if I could move in with grandma and grandpa at this point. Alas, I would miss my boys too much to stay away much longer. On Sunday, there was more swimming left for us to do. Even grandpa enjoyed the pool with us, despite his trepidation regarding how he might feel after exerting himself. It was great that he was able to splash around with us and enjoy some more silly time with his great-granddaughter. I was more than pleased that the swimming pool agreed with him and appreciated that he put forth the effort to enjoy more time with us. In the heat of the daytime, we went to the mall to enjoy the indoor play area and check out the over the top pet store which Elaina was able to pat the sweet little puppies with grandma. Finally, we rounded out our visit with a lovely dinner out with my Aunt Sandie and great food all around. So that's our visit in a nutshell. Now for the rest of the funny, memorable moments along the way:

* While looking for the sand hill cranes through grandpa's binoculars, I discovered that Elaina had been pretending to use binoculars of her own for weeks now. When she said the word and held her hands up to both sides of her face, I was left with confusion of what she was trying to say. Finally, I caught on that she had been using "ninoccoolers" all along. Duh, Mom.

* With all of our prune time playing in the pool, Elaina learned to blow bubbles, shout through the end of a water noodle and enjoyed a tea party with grandma in the water. With one hand held up in warning and shaking her head, she told grandma, "don't drink the water; tea time." Also, she began referring to the steps in the pool as her home. She gradually allowed me to take her from her home base to swing around in the water and play ring around the rosey and bounce, but she knew that she liked playing at her home just as well. On her first day out, despite grandma and myself being just an arms reach away from her, she managed to step off of her home step too far and went underwater for all of 3 seconds before grandma swept her up. For Elaina's sake, neither of us reacted to the situation with fear, and Elaina cried for all of about a minute before her full recovery and back to playtime. I was glad that this incident didn't scar her comfort level in the water and that she went on about her play. I was possibly more scared than her.

* Elaina was sheer pleasure throughout our entire stay. She was impressively well-behaved and full of entertainment. Every single time the phone rang, she yelled, "I get it!" Every single black pick-up truck that we passed, she pointed and shouted, "Daddy truck!" And every baby we saw or picture of a baby, she called Winkin'. At one point, we were talking about getting ready to go swimming and Elaina asked to "get Winkin' too." Apparently the both of us girls, missed both of our boys just the same.

Monday morning came very early (5:45) and it was time to say farewell. We had a great vacation with happy, enjoyable memories made with great-grandma and great-grandpa. While I didn't take nearly enough pictures, I have plenty of memories to treasure and quality time spent with the ones I love!
Stay tuned for the update on my guys holding down the fort on the home front in our absence!

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