Thursday, July 28, 2011


In July 2009, we celebrated our honeymoon (belated by 2 years) in Hawaii.
Waikiki behind us

In September 2010, with a 5 month old baby, we visited Senpai's extended family in upstate New York.

This year, July 2011, we visited my family in Treasure Island, FL.
Beach Family

I love the beach.

I grew up in Maryland, not too far from either the Appalachian Mountains or the Atlantic Ocean. Just about every summer my family would spend a weekend at Ocean City: walking the Boardwalk, riding carnival rides on the Pier, and hanging out on the beach, getting sand everywhere, and getting knocked over by the waves in the cold ocean. After Maryland, I went to Sarasota, FL for college, and moved into a house just 5 minutes away from Siesta Key. Some days after school I would take a detour to the beach, grab the chair, towel, and umbrella I always kept in the trunk of my car, and let the lazy lapping of the Gulf of Mexico tune out my stress for a bit. After a brief stint back in MD and then an even briefer stint in Las Vegas, I moved with Senpai to southern Illinois, far from both mountains and ocean, as landlocked in the flat Midwest as we can be. Our little town is quaint, we're close to the big city attractions of St. Louis, but I miss being able to drive-- whether 5 minutes or 2 hours-- to the sunny, sandy beach. Well, this summer we did just that.

We packed up the car and left on a Wednesday night, just after dinner. R had a hard time falling asleep with her carseat facing forward for the first time ever (it gave us more room in the car that way), but after we turned it back to rear-facing she finally dozed off. We drove all through the night and the next morning, pacifying R with the portable DVD player we had bought just for the occasion. At 2:30 pm on Thursday, we finally arrived at Oma and Grandad's house in Northern Florida. Thursday and Friday we got to enjoy lazy time in my parents' pool, and we even tried to take R to her first feature film, the new Winnie the Pooh movie, but she wasn't in the mood to sit through the whole movie. After lunch on Saturday we made the two hour drive to Treasure Island where we all spent the next week. My brother and his wife and kids would join us later in the week.

Somewhere in southern Georgia, driving to Florida.

Breakfast with Grandad
Grandad acts as a high chair at his and Oma's house.

Group Photo!
Group photo in the beach condo. SIL is on the left holding O-buddy and O-lady, Oma is holding C, Grandad, Bro, and I are on the couch, and then Senpai and R are on the floor.

It was so wonderful to meet my brother's fraternal twins, the O's, who had been born late February. O-buddy is just like R at that age: full of gas that he can't get rid of on his own so he always wants to be held. As soon as you pick him up, sure enough, out comes a fart, a burp, or spitup, lol. And O-lady is such a gentle soul, always looking after her brother when he fusses.

Chronological Grandbabies
R and her cousins, C, O-buddy, and O-lady

This trip was R's first time ever seeing sand and ocean. She was not a fan of the shoreline where the waves splash, but she was a big fan of going out into the water and bobbing up and down with the current in her baby saucer.

She loved the water!
She loved the water!

Daddy Floats!
Daddy enjoyed himself, too.

Boba Baby Carrier
How R got around on the sand. I'm so glad I had this Boba Baby Carrier. I even got to bellydance with R on my back when we encountered a drum circle on the beach. ^_^

Other random things that we enjoyed while we were there: a couple's massage at Paradise Spa (I highly recommend them!!!), Senpai got his seafood fix at Bubba Gump's, the Harry Potter Experience at Universal Studios, the Harry Potter 7-2 movie, driving to the Tampa airport to eat Baja Fresh(!!!!), a very interesting karaoke experience at a local bar, the Dali Museum, taking R to a Disney Store, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. It was a wonderful trip. The drive home was hard (thank you, Senpai, for picking up my slack), but it was so very worth it.

Drinks at Rick's Tiki Bar



Anonymous said...

It looks like a wonderful and blissfully happy time for you all. I love the pics of all the babies lined up together!

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