Monday, March 3, 2014

Cinderella, Globetrotters and Animals - Oh, My!

For any who may be wondering, my sister made it safely to Japan. I was able to Skype with her a little this morning (yay!) and it sounds like she's settling in pretty well, though she's been busy. She gave me a little tour of her room via computer, and it looks perfectly homey, consisting of a small kitchen, bed, bathroom and plenty of storage space. She has already braved the outside world in pursuit of a wireless router for her room, and attempted a grocery shopping trip wherein she did not know what anything was. But, rest assured, she did get wine. She is more jet-lagged than she expected but has a few days off coming up (she's in rehearsals already), and she plans to rest and possibly have some fun with Tones. So, she's doing well!

Heather in front of Cinderella's castle at Tokyo Disney! (Photo shamelessly stolen from Facebook)

As for the rest of us back here on U.S. soil: we're doing well, too. My work project kept me very busy for very many very long days in a row, but it has now died down to just the "tie up loose ends" part of the program so I have a good chunk of free time back. That's the thing about the work I'm lucky enough to do: I don't constantly have something in the works, but when I do, it is all-consuming for a week or two. And then, I'm free again.

With our free time this past weekend we actually did a lot of rather fun things. First, my mom came to visit on Thursday and stayed until Saturday morning. Unfortunately work kept me from doing much visiting on Thursday, but Friday was quiet enough that we were able to spend some time together. We spent the morning at the St. John's Town Center for Barnes & Noble's story time, which was especially fun for Ellie because it included special guest Cinderella. Ever since our Disney trip (recaps coming, I promise), Ellie is HARDCORE in princess mode. She got hit by the princess bug BAD. So, she was thrilled. After Cinderella hour, we spent a lot of time outside enjoying the lovely weather at the playground and little pond area in front of Maggiano's.

Ellie watching Cinderella at story time

For the craft of the day, we made crowns, complete with sparkly star stickers that Ellie put on all by herself.

Cinderella admiring Ellie's crown

Chomp-chomping at an alligator statue at the pond

On Friday night, my mom took charge of Ellie while Eric and I enjoyed a date night. My sister's friend Simon is on tour as a dancer with the Harlem Globetrotters, and they had a stop in Jacksonville on Friday. He was kind enough to get us complimentary tickets (great seats, too!), and we had ourselves a little night on the town. Eric had always wanted to see the Globetrotters, so this was a perfect chance to do so. And it was great fun! What a show. Simon also hooked us up with some gear, including a personalized autographed game ball and other miscellaneous goodies that Ellie quickly claimed as her own the following day. Thanks so much to Simon for giving us a fun night out!

Some Globetrotter shenanigans! Top: Dance break! Middle: Globie showing off some crazy moves, and Moose hanging from the hoop; Bottom: Sneaking up on an opponent to mess him up during free throws, and Scooter throwing water in Moose's face (in retaliation, of course).

Having a fun night out!

Simon (aka "Sonic") doing his thing

After the game Simon let us skip the line to take a photo with Stretch, the 7'4"-tall Globetrotter. This photo was awkward because I tried to put my arm around his back but had to literally reach UP to avoid just grabbing onto his butt.

Contrary to Stretch, this Globetrotter is only 36" tall!

Saturday was pretty quiet - we just ran some errands and hung out at home. In the evening we got some Outback Steakhouse to go and caught up on some TV. Pretty nice little Saturday!

Also, Ellie had fun on her rocking horse.

Then yesterday, we took advantage of the increasingly gorgeous weather (hello, 75 degrees and sunny, where have you been all my life?) and spent the day at the zoo. We signed up for a year membership so we'll be able to go back more often, which will be great because Ellie loved it. She had a blast looking at all the animals and cried when we left. We will definitely be zoo regulars this year!

Eric and Ellie checking out the elephants

Brushing a goat

"Here, birdie!"

Saying hello to a monkey

I think her hair helped her channel her inner rhino


Having a great time at the zoo!

We spent last night relaxing on the couch watching the Oscars, and that was a perfect way to wrap up a fun weekend. Now the countdown to more fun begins: in less than two weeks, Eric will be on spring break and we'll be heading south to St. Petersburg, where we'll host Ellie's 2nd Birthday Party (WHAT) and then will ditch her for a few days while we spend some time golfing/spa-ing/beaching for a little "babymoon" (aka, the last opportunity we'll have to enjoy some kid-free time for a while, because Plus One will be here before we know it!). We have lots to look forward to!

No comments: