After New York and New Jersey, we spent a little over a week in Florida. It felt so good to land in Florida, where Andy and I moved in together, got engaged and started our married life together. We lived there in our mid-twenties, had a great group of friends there and we have such good memories of those years in Orlando. 🙂
So we arrived there on Wednesday afternoon and once we got off the plane, Andy went to get our luggage and rental car while I walked around the airport with Elodie in her carrier to help her take a nap since she didn’t really sleep on the plane and we had a long drive ahead of us, and in the last few days she had given up on napping in the car. It felt silly to walk around the airport like that but it’s just what had to be done. After her nap we drove to Tampa, stopping halfway at our beloved Publix to buy a few things and feed Elodie in the car.
And then finally, we pulled into the driveway! We spent the evening hanging out with Andy’s dad (Gpops) and Becky and Elodie’s great-grandma. It was the first time Mark and Becky had seen Elodie since their visit here in May when she was just six weeks old.
It wasn’t long before Elodie needed to be put down to bed, and we felt bad they couldn’t see her more. 😦 But it was great to at least have the time we did.
Unfortunately Elodie went on to have a very rough night, with some early morning screaming fits (she was showing all the signs of teething, yet a tooth still hasn’t popped through).
Once we were all up for the day, we spent the morning hanging out and playing with Elodie on this awesome blanket that Becky made for her! It came in really handy on the trip and we love it for tummy time; it’s super soft and thick.
I had ambitions of getting out for a run that morning but after the tough night and with the Florida heat, there was no way. That was a particularly hot day, with the temp around 100 I think, and taking Elodie for a walk and a snooze outside was eye-opening: wow was it hot! We sadly left around noon, the visit was just too short but there was lots to fit in on this trip. We thought we would see them again but (foreshadowing) Hurricane Irene ended up disrupting the final days of our trip….
Anyway, we headed back to the airport to pick up Andy’s mom (Grandma Jill). Elodie wasn’t too happy in her carseat that day and we had another round of walking/napping at the airport, but once we arrived at our Airbnb on Lake Dora in Tavares, everything felt so good. Our house was in a beautiful setting on the lake, with a patio and chairs and a little beach plus a dock, and all the amenities we needed to feel at home. It felt so comfortable and easy to be there and it was so nice to have Grandma Jill staying there with us. It was her first time seeing Elodie since she was a tiny three-week-old newborn! We love living in London but definitely miss having family around. Settling into the house here for a few days made us feel like we could finally start to relax a bit!
That evening Elodie got to meet her Uncle Sean, Aunt Jess, and cousins Aly, Jayden and Layla for the first time. It was a short meeting that night what with baby bedtime, but so fun to see them all! Each time Elodie met a new family member it felt so special!
Elodie continued to wake up early every morning, but it didn’t matter because we got to see this gorgeous sunrise over the lake each morning. Our room had windows facing out and it was actually really lovely to feed her early in the morning while watching the sun come up.
That morning we met Jess and Layla for some playtime at a park in Tavares in the morning. It was great to have more time with Layla, who we hadn’t seen since she was six weeks old! She and Elodie are about 20 months apart so I hope they grow up as friends!
After it got too hot to stay in the park much longer, we made our way to Target to buy all sorts of things we needed both on the trip (new baby swimsuit, sunscreen, etc) but also stuff to bring back to the UK that we can’t find easily or cheaply. We had major culture shock here – the size of this Target was larger than our entire neighborhood in London! I couldn’t get over the amount of stuff or the huge range of selection. And I loved the baby stuff, although I don’t know why you need so much selection. For instance, there were about four different varieties of Pampers. Why? How was I supposed to know what is best? In the UK we have one type and that works well. Same with everything else on offer, from paper towels to peanut butter to laundry soap – millions of variations on everything. Totally overwhelming and yet I kept finding things I wanted! I had to get out of there after awhile.
We had a relaxing afternoon at our place and Grandma Jill tried to give Elodie a bottle (sadly didn’t work) and read to her. I got to sit down and read a magazine, it was great! 🙂
Later we went over to Sean and Jess’s house in the evening for more cousin time and dinner.
And the girls got dressed in matching outfits, courtesy of Grandma Jill!
On Saturday, we visited our friends the Walshes in the morning and did more walking naps with Elodie around the neighbourhood.
She even began to sleep in her carseat, a welcome development!
Sean and Jess and the girls came over in the afternoon for a cookout and some attempted fishing in the lake.
This was kind of a busy afternoon, and we somehow got hardly any photos! It all went by pretty fast, just like the whole trip.
Sunday was a our last morning at the Airbnb, and Elodie’s five-month birthday! We took the opportunity for some family photos.
Next up, Walt Disney World!