While we were home for Toni, Eric spent 12 days in Florida, and I spent nine. It has been a long, long time since we had that much time to spend down there. Of course we hate the circumstances that brought us there, but it was very nice to spend so much time with family.
We spent most of our time with Eric's family, of course. We would spend our days at the hospital then go out to dinner afterwards. On our last night, we were treated to some delicious pasta, sauce and meatballs at Eric's grandmother (Gramz)'s house. It was a collaborative effort, with sauce made by Gramz and meatballs by brother Ronnie. Delicious! Eric and I also stayed at Gramz's house the whole time, which was so nice. Thanks for the great accommodations, Gramz!
I also got to see my dad a couple of times, and my mom drove down to St. Pete to take us to dinner one night. I was so grateful that my parents were so understanding about the situation and where I needed to be, and were willing to work around our schedule so I could still spend some time with them.
Eric also got to golf (both miniature and regular) with his brother, which he loved. That boy loves some golf, let me tell you.
We also got to spend a lot more time than usual with Eric's Uncle Steve, Aunt Patty and cousin Tara (hi, guys!). They're great people and I wish we could see more of them. Tara made my day when she gave me a picture she colored for me - I had told her that for a long time, I had a picture she colored for me when she was probably five years old hanging in my room. I told her I needed an updated Tara masterpiece now that's she's grown up, and she came through! Awesome. That bad boy is going on our fridge.
This part isn't family-related, but we also got to eat more than our fair share of "Florida food." There are certain restaurants/fast food joints that we don't have here in New York, so when we go home we pig out at those places. Arby's, Chick-Fil-A, Dairy Queen, Sonny's, Chili's, Checkers, Steak 'N Shake...mmmm. Good eatin'. Of course, we'll be eating nothing but salad for the next two weeks to make up for it, but it was totally worth it.
Below are a couple of pictures from our trip home. I just can't say enough how great it was to be with everyone. Eric has such a great family, and we miss all of our family so much. At the risk of sounding ridiculously cheesy, I will say that New York City has just about everything a person could ever want - except our family!