Well, "weekend" is a bit misleading. I actually spent almost a week in St. Petersburg with the kids, while Eric joined us for a long weekend. I drove down on Wednesday, September 24 and returned the following Tuesday. During that long stay, we did all sorts of fun things! Several of the "big events" will get their own separate (more detailed) posts, but we'll kick things off with a general overview.
This was my first time driving both children down to St. Pete by myself. I was a well-oiled machine the morning of our departure, getting both kids up and ready, throwing the last minute things in the car and getting us out the door right as E.J. was due to go down for his morning nap, in the hopes that he would do so in the car and life would be simple for all of us.
Well, he did sleep...a little. Actually, Ellie fell asleep before him, thanks to a sinus infection we had just visited the doctor for the day before. Both naps were short-lived and by the time we reached I-4, both kids were LOSING THEIR MINDS. Oh, the screaming! We stopped at a rest stop just before Orlando, got everybody a quick snack and a leg-stretch break and then continued on, and this time E.J. slept the entire remainder of the trip. Ellie also took a second nap, albeit brief. That's how you know she was sick - she never sleeps in the car!
We arrived at my Dad's house in time for lunch and naps for the kiddos (and Mama too, let's be honest), then spent the rest of the day around the house, playing with the new "kitchen" (play house) he bought for Ellie and dining on pizza for dinner.
E.J. and his Papa
On Thursday, my Aunt Debbie, cousin Molly and her son Santiago came to spend the day with us, but I'll share more about that in my next post.
It's safe to say that E.J. was a major hit with the toddlers.
Eric drove down after work on that day, so he arrived Thursday evening.
Friday was a pretty low-key day. Eric golfed and I went consignment shopping with the kiddos, and marked Ellie's very first throw-herself-on-the-floor-in-a-fit-of-rage tantrum in public. Milestones! That afternoon Eric and I went shopping for last-minute things for the baptism party (including placing food and cake orders), and then we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at my Dad's house.
Helping E.J. with his tummy time!
My dad and my kids
On Saturday, HEATHER CAME! As you may recall, my sister is currently living in Japan while working at Tokyo Disney. She left in February and the baptism weekend was the first I saw of her since she left, and her current contract isn't up until March so there is still much more time to go now. I know she's having a blast over there and her pictures/stories are all so cool, but man, I miss my sister! I was so happy to be able to introduce her to E.J. and drink some wine with her. Bless her heart for trying to hard to be sociable for all those things even though jet lag had her pretty much down for the count.
E.J. looks very concerned about meeting his Aunt Heather!
Ellie, however, is pumped to see her Heather.
(We made the mistake of telling her she would see Heather soon weeks prior to the actual visit, so for days on end poor Ellie would say to me, "can I want my Heather, Mama?" So, this was a much anticipated moment!)
Sunday was the big baptism day, but naturally, that will have its own post, too! For now, let's just say that it was a beautiful ceremony followed by a great party with our loved ones. We had a perfect day, and E.J. was such a little angel.
Just look at this little cherub.
After all the festivities, Eric played a little more golf while Heather and I went to get pedicures. Let me tell you - sipping wine while getting pampered and chatting with my sister? IT'S GOOD FOR THE SOUL.
Monday was my mom's birthday, and we hit the beach with her, Aunt Debbie, Molly, Santiago and Heather. Another great day, and another individual post to come!
Cheers to the birthday girl!
After the beach Eric hit the road back to Jacksonville to go to work the next day, while I stayed behind and spent the night drinking wine out of super classy cups and chatting with my sister.
I felt like this post just needed another picture including alcoholic beverages.
Tuesday, it was time to say good-bye. Heather's flight back to Japan was departing early on Wednesday, but she had lots of errands and plans with friends on the agenda for Tuesday, so we made our exit Tuesday morning. I got everything loaded up, said goodbye to my dad and Heather (while pretending it was NOT really goodbye for another six months), and hit the road. The kids did pretty well on the return trip, and another mid-journey rest stop didn't hurt things, either.
And that was our time in St. Petersburg! Stay tuned for further posts about our fun with family!