We were so excited to make the decision to celebrate Christmas in Fl with my Gramma, aunt & uncle. It was hard for me to leave the house for that long. I was a little anxious about it, I played every worse case scenario in my head (it catching on fire, our tree falling into it, someone breaking in). And even though we didn't leave any presents under the tree (for this exact reason), I have heard dozens of reports about homes broken into around Christmas and all the presents being stolen. I'm telling you - my brain is a complicated space. But I am so happy we went.
We enjoyed every moment there. The trip down started rough. We had warmer than usual weather here, so we had a lot of thunderstorms during the day. It was a pain to pack up the car during the rain!
Once we picked up the girls from cheer practice, we jumped onto 75S. It was already dark, we left at 8 that evening. There is a TON of construction on the eway, so on top of torrential down pour, darkness - the roadways being narrowed b/c of construction made for a long drive through northern Ohio. Once I hit Lima, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Dennis had slept the whole time, thankfully Cai was up and keeping me company. As we drove through the rest of the state, she & I played license bingo. As we entered KY, I planned on going at least 1/2 way. Surprisingly, I made it all the way through KY and 1/2 way through TN. The ONLY reason I stopped was b/c our gas was getting low and I didn't know when the next stop would be.
Dennis was shocked I drove that far. I am NOT a good long distance driver. I get tired every, single time. I don't know why, it is so frustrating. I was proud of myself for driving so far and letting Dennis get a good amount of sleep.
As soon as we gassed up, I climbed into the back of the van, where we had a makeshift bed so I could stretch out my bad leg, and slept. The storms picked back up shortly after we got back on the road. I could hear the thunder and the lightening flashes were very bright.
Once daylight hit, we were in Atlanta. We missed morning rush hour (phew) and stopped for gas and breakfast. The girls stretched and went to the bathroom. We climbed back in to the car and kept driving.
Our next stop was once we entered FL. The girls were THRILLED! Our first pic of them was near a REAL palm tree.
I don't remember it taking so long to get to my Gramma's once you get off of 75, but it honestly felt like we drove FOREVER before we got to Arcadia.
We were ALL so excited to pull into Gramma's driveway 18 hours after leaving our house. It was the best Christmas Eve gift ever! And she is psychic b/c the moment I walked in, I asked if I could shower (eww, I felt so nasty) & she said of course, I already have it all set up for you!
That was an amazing shower :)
The girls loved exploring Gramma's house. Having only been to her camper during the summers she came to OH, they could not believe how large her home was.
We unpacked and relaxed until Uncle Rick & Aunt Claire got there.
We joined them in their annual Christmas Eve dinner at Chili's. After dinner, we headed over to Gramma's. The girls opened their Christmas Eve gifts from us, a movie & matching pj's. They spent time getting to know Uncle Rick & Aunt Claire. It was awesome. Shortly after getting there, Bryleigh puked every where. It was disgusting. But Aunt Claire didn't blink an eye and cuddled with her while she laid on the couch next to her. It was very sweet.
We were all exhausted after our long trip and still had to get up early for Christmas mass, so we said good night and headed to bed.
The next morning, we all got up and got ready for Church. Mass was a lot different there, than it is up here. After Mass, we headed back to Gramma's and waited for Uncle Rick & Aunt Claire to get there for the girls to open their gifts. The girls were thrilled to finally open their gifts and enjoyed playing with them most of the morning.
Gramma's friends started arriving early afternoon and we set up for dinner. After dinner, we cleaned up and lounged around relaxing.
The next morning, we decided to head out to downtown Arcadia for their antique sales. The girls loved it. We saw lots of cool things and enjoyed spending our time together.
We went back to Gramma's and got ready for a trip to Ft. Myers beach! Watching the girls run into the Gulf was a great feeling. They had so much fun. Since I was being tortured with my monthly visitor, I didn't swim, but I loved watching the girls & Dennis splash around.
As we drove back to Gramma's, we decided to shower and head out to Fisherman's Village to walk around.
The girls bought a board game with their Christmas money from Nana.
We didn't do much on Sunday, we needed a break before heading out again Monday. It was hard knowing we only had that day left before we had to leave Gramma again.
Behind her house is a field and there is a donkey that lives there. She became friends with the girls. She would run the fence line with them. Enjoyed eating carrots and hee-hawing when we would go back in the house. It was adorable. We named her Eeyore - so original, I know.
Monday was Cai's b/day and we enjoyed ice cream cake and she got to open her gifts from Gramma. It was awesome to be able to do that since she has never been able to spend her b/day with Gramma before.
When we left Monday evening, it was with heavy hearts. We made a stop in KY to visit a friend of Dennis' & we picked up a few random things at the local Walmart.
Once we finally walked in our door (to a clean house - I made sure it was perfect before we left), we all crashed in our beds. I, unfortunately, picked up a bug during the trip and felt miserable by the time we got home. I slept A LOT.
I still don't feel well and do not think I will be up at the ball drop!
I hope your Christmas was fantastic and you have a safe New Years!
Bring on 2016!