Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sumer, Sumer, Sumer time....June

Trying to stay cool in this heat is no small task...but we had some fun trying!
Seeing these lovely girls brought me back to how this was my job (child party entertainer) for a few years in college and I missed it a bit.  Then I realized, I'm way to old to pull off a princess....but I certainly don't feel like it!
The girls were almost in shock to see them, but got in some love from these favorites!
Our Dr. checkup went well...and we still were scheduled for Zoe's surgery to have the cyst in her throat removed....hoping that she feels better by then.
They have a beautiful garden/fountain/labyrinth behind the Dr. office that we found!
The Art Smart Academy has a new location complete with room to mold and paint!
When I saw they were offering a free class...you know I jumped on it and it was a great funny mini-date with my man!  We were even able to paint it that night too!  It was a huge class and they were very kind in accommodating everyone that wanted to try it out.  We will come back again!
Zoe learned about the kick-off reading program at the State Museum at her school about a month ago, and since that time has been very excited to go!  I have no idea what they told her that it was going to be....but she was excited none the less.
It was a crowded but fun morning with some crafts....
Funny picture booth complete with costume...
(That provided interesting pictures)
face painting...
And exploring.
Dad was a trouper, in that he did not feel well (and hates such large crowds) and took a long long nap when we got home!

Playdates are a lot of fun.  Renee capture these sweet pictures of some of the love.

Beauty in Brokenness, a live event from the blog, Called for Such a Time.
It was such a special time of worship for women, where the Lord's love hit me so strongly, yet again!
Summer library activities can be really fun...especially when your friends come too!
The marionette theater did a fantastic job with the Cinderella show that was very entertaining (even for Shiloh who was content, mostly, to sit with me....win win!).
My girls wanted to dress up (despite it not being a dress up thing) wig and all.  The pictures crack me up as it seems more like George Washington style!
This went so well that I think we will try regular story time next week!
After Zoe's hospital stay a sweet friend provided us dinner (which was so thoughtful as I was exhausted in coming home!).  She also gave us this beautiful cake!
Holla for another amazing swap!!!!  Even though it was a smaller turn out, I still came home with lots of goodies: tex-Mex chicken casserole, tomatoes, oregano, lemon dill, smoothie mixes, caramel sauce, banana bread, lemon bread, herb pizza dough, minestrone soup mix, chocolate granola, Home cured and smoked bacon, Pork sausage, strawberry jam, spicy palmetto cheese, and peach jam. 
Our father's day was pretty low key, as this momma was still pretty worn out.  
The girls each created a paper for daddy and we enjoyed spending some time with him.
 I enjoy seeing their funny perspective at this age!
He loved them!
While we were on our weekend getaway, my parents graciously took care of the littles and sent us some fun pictures along the way!
They even took them to a hot members night at the zoo with my sister.
Although I can't tell who had more fun!

Then on Saturday they had some outdoor water play!
Love these pictures Danielle captured!
Followed by some well needed rest!
We are all very blessed to have such a great Grammy and Poppy!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

10 year (finally!!!) getaway

When we first started talking about getting away for our 10 year anniversary .....we knew it needed to be pretty close, as we just had a weekend to make it work.  Some place that we hadn't been and would like to explore together....after some advice on the old FB, we thought St. Augustine would be fun!  I started planning and researching months in advance, as I just love to see what is out there.
I was pretty bummed when we had to postpone and also knew a month later would mean that we would be facing some serious summer heat....but pumped none the less to finally get going!  Cheers to free juice to welcome us to the Sunshine State!
I'm all about a good deal...and a good deal in a nice restaurant for a special occasion...score. Restaurant.com is a fun site to try (although they have had some sketchy places as well mixed in - it can be a grab bag).  I chose a place for dinner that night that did not have a website (also something you should look at) but did have over 100 great reviews...so I thought we could try it.  Best Decision!  The chef/owner sat down next to me, explained how they changed their menu each week, describing each dish and where they got the food from, nothing was "from a box", perfect.  Huge portions of real food!  He, also, explained that it is a BYO drink (didn't know those existed) but for those who did know they just had a drink that you could have.  Homemade Sangria!  Score!
We were so close to the beach I just couldn't stand it any more.  We drove our stuffed selves east until we hit water.
Sent a little message to my girls to let them know that I was thinking about them.
We had a fun time being silly (ok I was the only silly one), enjoying quite (a rarity these days), taking in the view and walking with the sand in our toes while people watching (you know the usually engagement sessions and then the women sitting in the ocean in her jeans?).
It was a lovely sunset of a night.
Enjoying God's work and power.

The next morning I was ready to explore the city of St. Augustine!
We had a walk from our hotel and on the way explored this Catholic church and monument.
This huge cross!  I tried to get a perspective shot with Beach (below) but it my iphone doesn't do such things in the time that I had to make it work.
At the Ripley's Museum, they had this Mustang made out of the bumpers of old cars....my man and his cars.
They, also, had this replicate of David, hidden around some bushes.  How's that for an awkward pic!  (PS don't let you 5-year-old see this picture or you have some fun explaining to do on why you would take a picture of someone's "privates").

After going through the city, where apparently everyone was still sleeping at 9:30am, we made it to our breakfast shop for quality coffee and crepes (thank you Living Social).

Then off to Castillo De San Marcos for some adventure.

It's fun for Beach to get to pick up on a hobby he has not had time for in years.
They had a cannon ball firing demonstration!  Pretty fascinating.

And nice gents to pose for photo opts!

 Some look out spot!
I just can't imagine living such a life!
My awkward posing next to this soldier!
We walked around the Flagler college (hotel) next.  How fun would it be to go to college there! 
Flager sure did like to create beautiful buildings.
And around some beautiful churches (I may or may not have checked to see if all the doors were locked in order to try to get a peek inside).

A highlight was visiting the St. Augustine Distillery (bonus: free tours and tastings).
Much of their profit....tied up in barrels for the future!
Can you tell that Beach is way over me taking his pictures!
A class act!
One of the favorite activities (and long anticipated) was a food tour.  It was awesome, as I love variety and trying different things.  We ate at the oldest B&B...
A German restaurant with something I can't pronounce and waffles.
Had some amazing Cubans (they were even on PBS) and Cuban coffee (not sure why they put them in such large cups though).
A flaming goat cheese appetizer and gyro.
And some handmade chocolate and ice cream!
It was a lot of fun, we enjoyed getting to know those that we were with and it was very filling.

Then we attempted to make it to the winery but ended up on just a self guided tour, as it was late.

Exploring the streets you come across some interesting sites.
Including the couple of places I recalled taking a picture at when I was 10 years old....I will have to dig those up one day and compare!
After grabbing a quick bite to eat we rested our tired feet and enjoyed the sun setting at the fort.
As we walked back to our hotel, we stopped in some fun shops along the way meeting some friendly locals.
The next morning we hit up a local coffee house for some more quality goods....it's always fun to see what other people are up too and how they run things!
Then we were off to Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth
A bit cheesy, this was a fond memory I had of visiting when I was a child with my grandparents.

What really made me want to go was learning that they still had over 30 peacocks roaming the property.

And yes I did chase them around totally excited!

Will you go I will follow!

It is hard to imagine landing at that site back then.
And it makes us even more thankful for what we have!

 Some of the precious water....yep, I think I'm younger already!
They had some interesting exhibits and a planetarium....made me feel a little better about the steep price to get in.
But the peacock were, by far, my favorite thing!  I brought the girls home a feather (just as I had gotten one when I was little).
A little drive brought us to a state park to see the Fort Matanzas.
We walked the nature trail as we waited for our ferry ride to the fort.
It was beautiful.  The soldiers spent a month here at a time.
Maybe only if I was with my love.

He is a good lookout!
The complete living quarters.
A short drive south for a last stop to see some botanical gardens.
Spanish moss trees are so magnificent.  Did you know that the French wanted to insult the Spanish, and thus, the name.  The Spaniards called it French beard and the Native Indians: Hairy trees.
I wanted to do more and more....but reality hit and we did need to head home.  Such an awesome fun packed trip and hoping to get away again in the future!