07 September 2013

a vacation and some catching up...

It turns out, my follow through isn't the greatest.  But here I am again.  Jesse told me it was time.

So.  Jesse and I got to go on a long weekend to Florida.  Just us.  The girls went and stayed in Findlay with my parents, and Aunt Jess, Uncle Rich, Aunt Kimmy and Uncle Joel all popped in to help out/say hi to the girls.  Really, Aunt Jess and Uncle Rich went for the weekend and Uncle Joel and Aunt Kimmy were passing through, but there was a party at my parent's house, and Jesse and I are SO thankful they took the girls and let us have some "us" time.  He and I talked about it, and this was our first vacation just us since we've been married.  The only other one was an overnight camping trip to the Grand Canyon before we moved to West Virginia.  

We flew to Orlando on Thursday and Aunt Lynn was gracious/kind enough to let us crash at her house for a few days.  And oh, the fun we had.  It was relaxing in the way all time away from your kids can be: you miss your children but at the same time, you can actually relax.  I don't know how to explain it any better than that to my friends and family who don't have kids...there's something about being able to turn off the (major) section of your brain that runs 24/7/365 as a parent that is running nonstop wondering/worrying/encouraging/caring for/teaching/feeding/changing/managing/etc. your child and just sit quietly.  And go to the bathroom by yourself.  I suppose I speak mainly from a stay at home mom's standpoint (obviously), but Jesse was able to really relax as well.  
Aunt Lynn had to work on Friday, so Jesse and I took that day to go to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure.  While I couldn't ride any of the actual roller coasters (BOO!), Jesse did and was able to get on all of them in about 5 minutes.  Woohoo for going when kids are in school.  I did ride several of the simulation rides, and after we waited in one line for a little over an hour (it broke down while we were waiting, otherwise I don't think it would have taken as long), we looked at each other and said "listen, I like you, but I don't have to sit next to you in a 3 minute ride" and opted for the Single Rider Lines.  Which cut our wait/ride time down from 45-60 minutes to 5.  Five minutes meaning walking through the line, riding and exiting.  Bam.  Like pros.
Saturday, we took off early for Crystal River which is on the Gulf side of the state so we could go scalloping.  I think Jesse is secretly regretting not planning our entire trip to be spent this way.  Of course he was a natural and was able to haul in way more than I was at any given stop, but I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt for scallops, while also just relaxing floating in the water, snorkeling, watching the fish and other sea/Gulf life and baking to a nice red crisp.  As I had never been to the Gulf, I didn't know what to expect...but I can guarantee that I did not expect to be hunting through tall grass.  I was kind of picturing more of a sandy beach bottom where I just floated along and would occasionally dive down to pick up a scallop.  No, no.  This was much more like looking through a bazillion three leaf clovers for the occasional 4 leafer: you watch for pattern changes in the green floaty grass that aren't fish, aren't sponges, aren't other random assorted life but are that tiny ridge of blue eyes staring up at you.  It was great fun.  After we had our limit of scallops, we headed to a fresh water spring that was FREEZING, but Aunt Lynn showed how much she loved us by taking us back through the arctic temperatures to snorkel in some truly gorgeous spring areas (if you ever get a chance, I'd love the pictures you took!), hoping we'd see some manatee.  I was bummed we didn't, but it was pretty anyway.  Next time!  And we'll take wet suits!
Sunday was more scalloping for a few hours and then we headed back to Orlando to clean up, refresh and then head off to a Blue Man Group Concert/show.  Jesse and I had never been and really enjoyed it, though I was more impressed/interested in the actual music portion than the comedy.  To each their own!
Monday, as a holiday, ended up just being a veg day.  We hadn't decided what to do and we ended up doing very little.  Aunt Lynn and I went off to be pampered with pedicures/manicures and some shopping while Jesse just lounged around at her house.  We had a cook out that night and I ate entirely too much food.  Which was a recurring theme on the trip.  Tuesday morning came too soon/not soon enough when we headed back to Ohio to meet up with our girlies and then head to WV.  By the time we got there, I was incredibly antsy to hug my little kiddos.  
Huge thanks to Mom and Dad for taking such great care of the girls, Jess and Richard for helping, Mom and Dad H for willing to chauffeur us around and take care of us and Aunt Lynn for the wonderful time and hospitality!  

I took very few pictures on my camera and most on my cell phone, which I think you probably have already seen if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook...but hey, here are some of what a scallop looks like!
cleaning with a shop vac!  brilliant.
there go the guts!
This past week has been busy as we've been getting back into the swing of things.  Today was very productive though, and Jesse supervised while I learned how to change the oil in my car "all my by self" and then I supervised him while he put a new battery in my 4 wheeler.  Both are back in business!
great shirts.
The girls are doing well.  Keeping busy!  Lily was thrilled to help pull carrots from our garden-- incredibly wimpy as compared to last year-- and we need to go bring our squash in and pull beets.  Maybe we'll do that tomorrow.  Regardless, you may remember back in the day when I posted about Easter (you can read it here) that Aunt Lynn had brought Rascas for the girls.  Well, we pulled those bad boys out again to harvest carrots!  Lily even remembered and said "we used these for eggs!"

Emma felt wearing the Rasca superhero style was better...

Aunt Lynn, I am sending these to you when Jesse stops hogging the internets!
That's about it folks.  Go check out my (pathetic) picture blog...I really am still taking pictures, I'm just so behind in organizing them and figuring out which ones to post and actually posting them...ah, pregnancy.


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