Happy Monday friends! Finn and I were on the first flight back to Charlotte this morning after spending five wonderfully soul-nurturing and fun nights in Florida with my family. Our last visit was for Christmas and that seems both not so long ago and forever ago at the same time. I always know it’s time for a visit when I start getting this inner longing and my grandmother starts dropping hints about when she might see us again and that it, “sure has been a long time.” 🙂
The timing of our visit was perfect because we just missed the spring break crowd, which should start rolling in next week and be pretty steady through Easter week. Spring and fall are my absolute favorite times to visit the beach and we made the most of the four full days that we had.
Here’s a photo-heavy day-by-day recap of our visit.
After a busy day of work for me and school for Finn, we hopped on a 5:15p flight. Travel was super easy and my tip for you if you travel out of CLT often is to use the online reservation system for parking. It makes things so much easier and oftentimes you can get a discount. I think I’m in the minority on this but I do not like to Uber to the airport – especially if I have Finn and car seats are involved! I like to have my own car and be on my own time. I usually find it costs the same thing to pay to park as it does to Uber. We usually use the Daily Decks or the Hourly Deck. I like that you can walk to the terminal from either of them and don’t have to get on a shuttle.
Funny story for you…I actually traveled in jeans and “real shoes” on Wednesday and while I was getting ready Finn came upstairs and said, “Mommy, why are you wearing those shoes? Why are you wearing fancy shoes mommy? Take them off.” Haha, clearly he’s used to seeing me in sneakers 99% of the time! For the record, these loafers are super comfortable and supportive/cushioned for walking.
Can you believe how big he looks here!? We got to the baggage claim area in Florida and Finn said he was tired and needed a nap. The squinty fake sleep eyes and hands behind the head are too much!
We got to the condo around 7p and had dinner with my parents and then caught up with my grandmother.
We awoke to very overcast skies on Thursday but no rain.
Finn got lots of Mema snuggles in. Do we love her flamingo slippers or what!? My child, on the other hand, is still obsessed with his Halloween pajamas.
The skies cleared a bit and Finn was itching to get down to the beach so my dad and I took him down there late morning. He found another kid to play with and they splashed around until Finn’s lips were tinged with blue!
He got warmed up in the shower and we spent the rest of the day hanging out with Mema and running errands.
The best part of playing games with Finn is keeping track of the rules he comes up with because they seem to change every time. 😉
I got in a sunset run and then we had dinner with my parents.
It was even more gray and overcast on Friday so we started our day with a gym session. I always let Finn choose whether or not to come with me when we’re in Florida and 9/10 ties he wants to come. He plays on his tablet and does some things with me. There’s usually no one else in there. I did a tough total body lift using dumbbells and then we hit the heated pool so that Finn could swim for a bit before lunch.
We ran into my dad and Beau on our walk back from the pool. You’ll remember that my dad adopted Beau late last spring after they lost Sam. I’m happy to report that Beau has fully integrated himself into the family and is loving life at the beach with my parents. He’s the sweetest boy.
Just look at these two.
After we got showered and had some lunch, we went on a shopping outing with my mom to the outlet mall. Finn fell asleep in the car and slept all the way through me carrying him through a shoe store and then slept in the car with my mom while I got him some things at Old Navy. They were having an awesome pajama sale and we were in need of some PJs in the next size up. I got four new pairs for $10 each!
My dad asked Finn if he’d rather cook at home or go to a restaurant and Finn replied “go to a restaurant” before my dad could even get the question out of his mouth. We went to our favorite local seafood spot and Finn was in heaven eating hush puppies, french fries and “big fish sticks.” It was a fun and very delicious outing with my dad and we took food home to my mom. (My grandmother didn’t want any!) Finn and I had a pretty epic corn hole tournament outside while my dad was waiting for my mom’s dinner.
Saturday started with a visit from P-Paw and Beau and then Finn and I took a long walk.
The sun was finally shining and we spent almost the whole day outside between our walk, the beach and the pool. Unfortunately, there were double red flags on the beach on Friday due to rip currents and the lifeguards were keeping everyone out of the water. After playing in the sand for a bit, Finn was ready to hit the heated pool. Thankfully, there were a few other kids at the pool that Finn enjoyed playing with so we spent a couple of hours swimming. Finn is always disappointed when there aren’t “friends” to play with at the playground or pool so I was glad he found some!
We had dinner with my parents and then watched a couple of episodes of The Floor Is Lava season 3 with my grandmother. I stayed up and watched Your Place Or Mine after everyone went to bed. By no means was it a great movie but I found it to be cute and easy to watch (Ashton Kutcher was verrrry easy to watch – haha).
We sure made the most of the last full day of our trip! We packed a whole lot of sun + fun + family time in. Finn hung out with my mom and Mema while I went for a run. It was 70 degrees, low humidity (for Florida!) and blue skies.
Finn had been asking for days if we could go golfing. He said he’d never been golfing but knew how now because he’s playing soccer. I said, “oh really, how does that work?” He said, “soccer has a ball, and golf has a ball so I can play golf.” Solid logic.
Finn’s golf techniques ran the gamut between starting with his ball mid-hole to erratically batting the ball around with the club (think 20 stroke holes) to tossing the ball towards the hole with his hands and picking it up and putting it in the hole while jumping up and down and saying, “YAY! I did it!”
And it was all perfect. He had so much fun and that’s what mattered most to me. It was nice that we had the place to ourselves and didn’t have to worry about our pace.
Next was lunch on the balcony with Mema. Our favorite place to be!
We were thrilled that the gulf calmed down enough for the double red flags to come down. Finn got to wave jump to his heart’s content.
I’m happy to report that my dad is doing really well. He’s back to his normal walking routine. He walks Beau two miles first thing every morning and then does a solo 3-5 mile beach walk later in the day. He hung out with us for a while after he finished up his daily walk. I can’t even express how grateful I am to have him feeling so good and strong after the heart surgeries he went through last summer.
We ended the afternoon back at the heated pool where Finn played with one of the same friends he’d made the day prior. He was still going strong two hours in and I had to coax him out to head back to Mema’s.
We got showered and in comfy clothes. Finn wanted to go upstairs to hang out with my parents before dinner (they live one floor above my grandmother in a separate condo) so I sent him up to be with them while my grandmother and I watched the sunset. It was a stunning sunset and the whole vibe was so lovely. The condo development gets a lot of snowbirds that come down for the winter and they have a tradition of meeting on the gazebo at sunset for happy hour. It was especially well-attended on this beautiful day and someone even brought a trumpet and played Amazing Grace, Over The Rainbow and a few other songs as the sun was setting.
I could write an entire post on this balcony and what it’s meant to me as a granddaughter and a mom. One day. <3
I know that I’ve said this over and over again but I treasure this time in Florida that I get with Finn and my family. These memories will stay with me for a lifetime. I love sharing our Florida posts with y’all but I also write these detailed blog recaps because my grandmother loves to see and read them and because they’re incredibly special to me. Long after I shut this blog down (has to happen one day, doesn’t it?), I will keep these posts with me forever.