Florida, pt 1
by Ashley Weeks Cart
If I could make love to this camera, I totally would.
Oh, hey, HI! HELLO FROM FLORIDA! A place that inspires me to declare physical passion for inanimate objects.
Let me begin by telling you that yes, obviously, we survived the plane flight. Courtland could have been far worse. She wasn’t great, but we’re choosing to look on the bright side which is that no passengers threatened to duct tape her mouth shut, with the exception of her parents.
While landing, Sunny gazed out the window and James asked her what she saw and she loudly proclaimed, “POOLS! I SEE LOTS OF POOLS!” She had the whole plane laughing with the truth of that observation. Welcome to Florida, y’all! Home of the swimming pool! She then began chanting, “We’re going down. We’re going down. We’re going down down down DOWN!” which shifted the mood a bit. I suppose “We’re descending, we’re descending, we’re de- de- de- scending!” doesn’t have quite the same ring, but we need to somehow explain to the preschooler that such a chant suggests that the airplane is about to crash and burn. Not something one ought to sing at an elevated volume if they want to keep spirits lifted.
Today I left the Florida Keys, where we’ve been staying with James’ parents, and headed to Miami for work. I’ll spend the next five days in meetings with some inspiring people, at lunches, dinners and various events, and, perhaps most importantly, lounging on the sands of South Beach. Tough job, eh? James will remain with the girls and his parents, and they’ll continue to play and frolic in the pool. At the beach. On the boat. IN THE SUN! YAY SUN!
I couldn’t resist doing a photo dump from our new camera. While I only have a work laptop on hand, and thus no Lightroom slash Photoshop, I surely do not need either. I mean, just look at these images! I. DIE. (Prepare thy hearts, as there are over 50 photos below because a. I’m trying to beat our 9,200 pictures a year record, clearly. And b. I’m a terrible self-editor. But I cut out at least three hundred pictures to showcase this lot. So, that’s something, right? RIGHT?!)
The next two images have got to be turned into an animated GIF as soon as Photoshop is at my finger tips. Ah, sisterly love!
Hey, LOBSTER TAT!
Addison delights in wearing her “babing suits” and “zucchinis” in the pool. She especially likes when objects are “sinkaling” to the bottom. And I will never correct any of these language missteps. Never ever ever. I mean, would you? I thought not.
The fact that the swimming pool is the heart of the living room is a dream-come-true for both kids. A tad nerve-wracking with a stumbling 1.5 year old, but primarily a joy for us parents, too. Sunny spends hours jumping in one end, swimming the length, and then racing around to do it all over again, insisting that we count to three to initiate each new jump. All the while, my in-laws’ two black labs pace and stand at the ready in the off chance that Sunny’s life jacket fail her. We have had so much fun as a family of four around that little pool. And it’s a pretty magical and humbling thing to be able to experience that kind of joy with the people I love most in this world.
Every evening, we climb aboard The Yellow Schoolbus (an over-sized yellow golf cart) and head to the local ice cream shop for sweets. Sunny is going to be devastated to return home to Vermont and find that this nightly ritual is no longer a part of the bedtime routine.
Also? James and Courtland smooching in that picture above? Killing me dead.
Sometimes it’s even a midday ritual. Because, in 80 degree whether, an ice cream cone is a required accessory.
The golf cart has provided much entertainment. For both matchy matchy photo shoots and practical transportation. There wasn’t a little old lady in sight who didn’t fall all over themselves when confronted with the nautical stripping of these two. I have never received so many swoons and compliments about the girls. Thanks, Momar! The outfits were a big success!
One of my favorite things about visiting this part of Florida is the requisite trip to a local Everglades Alligator Farm, complete with baby alligators, (which Sunny and Kaki did NOT want to touch, despite Ranger’s urgings), noisy air boat rides (Sunny hovered in the fetal position on James’ lap the entire ride and then declared with pride that she had SO MUCH FUN when it was over. Kids are weird, eh?), and adult alligator feedings with frozen rats (yum!).
The best part of the trip to the Alligator Farm is always a stop at ROBERT IS HERE, an outstanding local fruit stand with crazy fruit smoothies and milkshakes, and exotic fruits of all shapes and sizes.
We ventured into the club one afternoon for lunch where mama enjoyed an extensive Bloody Mary bar and Courtland squealed and pointed in delight every time a boat road by our table (i.e. every 10 seconds. Our neighboring diners loved us). We played at the beach and the public pool to mix up our aquatic activities.
A beautiful trip indeed. Onward to part 2!