Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category


July 18, 2011

We spent the week leading up to Aiden’s second birthday in Kissimmee, Florida with Nama, Paw Paw, and his cousin Tyler Brown.  It was an action packed seven days.  But before we get to that, sometime early on in this trip, Aiden picked up on my dad calling Tyler by his first and last name.  Hearing Aiden calling for Tyler Brown throughout this trip is something I want to remember.

And the fact that they so adorably shared a bed together for the  week.


Day 1:

We arrived late only to discover that the Waffle House near my parent’s timeshare closed since last summer.  No tears were shed over it, but it was pretty serious.  We also held true to the belief that Denny’s is not an acceptable substitute for Waffle House.  Even if it is 10pm at night and located right next door to the abandoned Waffle House.

For Dan

Day 2:

We recovered from the drive down pool-side and further mourned the loss of a friend (yes, I’m talking about Waffle House).  Don’t we all look kind of beat down here for it being the first day of vacation?


Day 3:

Beach day at Indialantic where Aiden flew his first kite…

Handing over the reigns

…and kept daddy on his toes.

A new game is born 

Digging in the sand with Nama 

Day 4:

Another day around the condo.  Aiden became deadly with a water gun.  Say hello to his little friend.

Say hello to my little friend!  

Day 5:

We took Tyler to ride go-carts.  Doesn’t he look thrilled about it?


We enjoyed watching though.


And Aiden got to ride a horse and elephant during a rain delay.  The end of this video is classic Aiden in a way that maybe only Dan and I can appreciate.

The rain put a damper on our putt-putt plans for the day, but it couldn’t stop the water gun fights.


Day 6:

The best part about older cousins?  Learning the sacred art of puddle-jumping from them.

 20110630-IMG_1115   20110630-IMG_1121

Then on to Sebastian Inlet. 


These pictures were right before the pelting (and I do mean pelting) rain set in.  We incorrectly did not take those black clouds behind us seriously.


Waving to the boats

And lest my dad think that Dan was just being mean when he told him that he always has the goofiest looks in pictures.



Day 7:

Aiden’s second birthday!  Stay tuned for details on all the ways we celebrated…


St. Pete Vacation – Part 2

June 10, 2011

I’m not sure what to say here, other than the rest of our vacation was absolute perfection.  We stayed at a little resort called TradeWinds (highly recommended for those with children) that had everything we needed right there.

Arriving at TradeWinds

The giraffe and shark statues that Aiden loved and couldn’t get enough of were merely icing on the cake.  And there were other little freebies like paddle boating that allowed us to hunt down the toad that wouldn’t stop croaking while we were swimming in the pool.

In the big pool

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Aiden is at a wonderful age for taking him on vacation.  He’s developed a little bit of independence and isn’t too affected by being miles away from a routine meaning naptime and bedtime are flexible to where ever the day takes us.


A small bin of trains and cars was enough to keep him busy in a somewhat cramped hotel room.  And he’s so fun.  Everything is new and interesting and exciting and it was just a joy getting to experience it all through him away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  It was only a bonus that he didn’t seem too interested in putting the sand in his mouth.

What's going on?

This is different.

We played hard at both the beach and the pool the rest of the trip and just enjoyed each other and every moment of these last precious months as a family of three.  We knew that we had picked the perfect vacation length when on the morning of the day we were leaving, Aiden was falling asleep on me in the pool while going “bouncy, bouncy”.

"All done" were I think his exact words.

St. Pete Vacation – Part 1

May 27, 2011

We recently took a much needed family beach vacation to St. Pete, FL.  We left on a Friday morning and arrived in St. Pete early afternoon.  The drive was the only thing I was dreading, but it actually wasn’t  that bad at all.  Long, but tolerable thanks yet again to Sesame Street.  Once we arrived at our hotel and got settled in the room, we threw on our bathing suits and spent the rest of the day at the pool where we got lots of excited looks from Aiden.  It’s one of our favorite looks.



This was a little to no nap day so I’m pretty sure Drunk Aiden (Aiden’s  silly alter-ego that comes out when Aiden gets tired)   made an appearance out at dinner that night when Dan took this picture…of Aiden lying in a flower bed.


We spent the first full day of our vacation in Lakeland, FL with Dan’s mom and stepdad (Grandma and Grandpa Rick) and their newly completed tiny house.  We were met there by Alex from Tiny House Talk and his lovely fiancé Andrea. For those of you not aware of this little project that Dan took on for his mom, you can read all about it on Dan’s blog.  You can see more pictures of the finished product in his latest post and Alex put together a nice little video on his blog about it too.



I must say that while I wasn’t ever opposed to the idea of tiny living, I was genuinely in awe of what Dan and his mom had created.  It was really awesome to see the practicality of such a tiny space that all of a sudden the prospect of the Louche tiny vacation home that Dan has recently started designing is really exciting.  So exciting in fact that against my better judgment I  may have given him the green light to spend two weeks in Florida building it with his dad and brother sometime in the next month…while I’m back home with Aiden…8 months pregnant.  But on the bright side he should be able to knock it out and be all out of excuses by the time Super Fly gets here.

On the way back to our hotel after dinner that night we stopped for gas completely coincidentally at the Dinosaur World exit that exists between Lakeland and St. Pete.  I treated this as if we were in front of the only Dinosaur World in the world while Dan wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic.  The picture came out pretty crappy.


The first time that we stopped for gas after this was 3 days later when we were half way back to Atlanta.  When I went to get Aiden out of his car seat, he looked up at me expectantly and said “saur?”.  I couldn’t believe he remembered.  Apparently T-Rex made an impression. But I let him down easy by telling him he was going to have to settle for Dairy Queen instead.

Tybee: Round 1 of 2…Hopefully…

April 27, 2011

At the beginning of April, most of my immediate family (sorry Jimmy) took a road trip to Tybee Island to get a feel for where my sister is getting married on August 6th. 

The happy couple

As I’m the maid of honor  in said wedding, I’m desperately holding onto hope that this won’t be my little family’s last trip there this year considering I’m due to have a baby on August 16th, but I have a feeling we won’t know for sure until the day arrives.  The good news is that we’ve found a nice dress that will work for me whether nearly there pregnant or postpartum: Coda Wrap Dress. Hard to believe, I know, but you can find anything on Etsy.

Anyhow, we rushed summer a bit as it was still a little cold for the beach, but we did get a good half day in.  Aiden loved the water even though it was fra-eezing.

A look of happy shock  Loves, loves, loves his Paw Paw 

Nama and Paw Paw 


A boy and his bucket 

I just like this one

The rest of the time we got to hang around our wonderfully disgusting hotel room where we quickly learned not to walk without shoes.

 Hotel room shenanigans

And in the name of rehearsal dinner research, we also ate a lot of delicious food.  There were basically no worries though because Aiden was just wonderfully thrilled to have everyone together.

Show me angry 
Doesn’t he look thrilled here?

Show me happy 
Ok that’s better.

As a little added bonus to the vacation, we walked away with a series of these pictures, all with one thing in common. 

Baby Hitler

Here’s part of the discussion I had with Dan on picking which to use:

Me: “Help me pick which picture makes him look most like baby Hitler.”

Dan: “Well you can eliminate all of those because he’s smiling.”

Me: “You don’t think baby Hitler smiled?”

Steamboat 2011

February 24, 2011

Sometime in mid-January (well over a month ago now because time is BARRELING OUT OF CONTROL), Dan and I went to Steamboat, CO for the first ski trip we’ve taken since Aiden came along.  We went with a couple of our good friends, and since it had been a couple years for all of us, we left extremely anxious to find out who was going to land in the hospital this trip.

The Mountain

But wouldn’t you know it?  Unlike nearly every other trip I’ve ever been on, we all came out uninjured (less a few aches and pains).  It could have been the fact that in three days we may have spent a total of 12 hours on the mountain (~4 hours a day and that’s being generous), but I prefer to think it’s because skiing and boarding is a lot like riding a bike.

Yeah...  ...we're professionals 

Anyhow,  it turned out to be a beautiful trip.  Of the three days, we had one sunny day (one of 5 they said they’d had all season)…

Sally, Scott & Dan

Me and Sally

Beautiful Day 

Sunny but COLD!

…and the rest of the time it snowed…and snowed…and snowed.  The conditions were mostly good, but by the third day, dare I say that I think there was actually too much powder.  As in board buried, no control, snow up to my knees while riding in a lot of cases.  Combine that with no visibility and that actually may have been a 3 hour day…with a 1 hour lunch.  Don’t judge us.  We’re old (and I was 7 weeks pregnant).

Third Day Visibility

Not sure what we're waiting for...

Obligatory lift shots.  I swear there were mountains and trees behind us.  And that neck warmer around my neck?  Yeah, it’s supposed to be black. 

Me  Dan

Since we had somewhat abbreviated days on the mountain, there was plenty of shenanigans in between…

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A bed of snow

Sad face

Lazy Morning

We chuckled like children every time we passed this gas station.  We had to take a picture…

Hee Hee


Last Picture 

This was another vacation brought to you by Grandparents.  Aiden had a blast staying with his Nama and PawPaw (and even got some QT with Aunt Becky and Tyler too).  He was a little young this year, but next year, IT’S ON.

Just say no, Dad.

NYC – Day 3

September 16, 2010

You thought there was only two days didn’t you?  Well by day 3 we pretty much owned the subway (especially if you don’t count the time we got on the wrong platform somewhere near Greenwich Village and had to take a 30 minute detour).

 Train's a comin'

First stop on our last day: Wall Street.

Wall Street Wall Mural

To me this was just a bunch of buildings and a random bull who’s giant brass balls drew tourists from all over the world, but Dan liked it  (Wall Street, not the brass balls).

Heads...  or balls?

We walked over and saw the Statue of Liberty from afar (see that little nubbin behind us?).

Statue of Liberty

And then over to Ground Zero which is some damn crazy stuff, even for someone who never saw those buildings standing.  It’s hard to believe what happened there.  We didn’t take a lot of pictures because it was basically a construction-site and there really wasn’t much to see, but we thought it’d be cool to have these so our kids could see the big hole that it once was since it seems they’ve got big plans for the site.

Thumbs...    DOWN!

We  ate lunch at Katz Deli which was quite the rat race, but it was pretty cool to eat in the restaurant where Sally had her fake orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally”.

We ate three meals worth of pastrami and corned beef...and it only took an hour to order.

And then it was off to Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop.  We’re pretty sure we were in the right place because they had it chained off with no trespassing signs out.  It must be weird to have a famous stoop.  Although in researching the address, we read that the people that live there got paid like $60k every time Carrie was filmed on that stoop so I have to imagine it was worth it.

SATC Stoop: Greenwich Village

On the way back to the hotel, I really had to pee, so we strolled over to the bathrooms in a charming little park near our hotel called Bryant Park. 

Bryant Park

It needs to be said that the public bathrooms there are AMAZING.  So clean and fancy for a public park in the middle of a dirty city.  In all seriousness they’ve been nominated (if not won) awards for their amazing bathrooms.  No seriously.  Google it.

NYC – Day 2

September 1, 2010

I woke up Saturday and told Dan that we were figuring out the subway because all of the aimless walking just wasn’t working for me.  So we hopped a train to Central Park, picked up some Dean and Deluca’s (you know…where Felicity worked ;), and strolled over to the MET.

Museum.  Are we back in Italy?

I’m not a huge museum person (and the security guard wanted me to throw away my iced coffee before entering), so we opted not to go in.  We had fun just sitting on the steps though.

American Woman

Then we entered Central Park where we played with some bears…

Our Bear Brethren

…kissed on a rock…


…sat and listened to a jazz band…

Getting funky and sweating balls

…and imagined.

Strawberry Fields in Central Park

When we left Central park, we hit up FAO Schwartz where we saw the piano from “Big” and met with the ugly doll (and bought Aiden a gift of course).

Boy were we excited to see him...

I also got ready for my Quidditch match while Dan humored me and brewed some magic potion in the Harry Potter section.

Where's my broom? Where's his wand?

Then we *walked* (I was tricked) to Times Square.

Obligatory Picture of Times Square

We ran into Justin Timberlake filming a movie near Rockefeller Center (and let’s face it –  the celebrity encounter pretty much made the whole trip).  We turned straight into paparazzi.



We rounded out the day seeing “The Lion King” on Broadway.  It was good, but I wish that we had seen something more adult and saved it for our kiddies.  I just know the story of Simba all too well to have been wowed.  I spent a lot of the show missing Aiden and thinking about the circle of life.  It was weird.

A night on broadway

I like the shots we took during intermission though…


...Times Square

NYC – Day 1

August 27, 2010

This vacation brought to you by Grandparents: because we could never leave home without them.


Over a month ago now, Dan and I took a long weekend trip to NYC.  I had never been, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t turn out to be another one of those grueling walk-your-face-off vacations, even despite our generous use of the subway.  We stayed at a hotel right by Grand Central Station which turned out to be wonderfully convenient.  We  covered A LOT of ground in 3 days.


On Friday we got a late start as we were coming in from the Newark airport in New Jersey.  We came out of the train station at Madison Square Gardens and hopped straight into a taxi which ended up to be an awesome way to kick off our time in NYC.  I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say taxi drivers don’t like being cut off,  “tapping” in NY is a perfectly legal way to let someone know they suck, and traffic is slow enough through the city that there’s no problem getting out of your car in the middle of the street.  Needless to say, we tipped our taxi driver well because it was a very entertaining ride.

Once we finally got out and about, we spent most of the day at the Empire State Building and it’s surrounding area.  We hadn’t warmed up to the subway yet so we did a lot of walking and saw very little.  It was a rainy, overcast day, so the shots from atop the tallest building in NYC didn’t turn out all that impressive.  I still wish we would have taken the stairs.

Sky line

Real top from the fake top


That night we hit an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.  It was no Dad’s Garage (if you live in Atlanta, and you haven’t, you must!),  but  I still do remember laughing quite a bit.  Plus some of the actors were actually recognizable from commercials.  Gotta love a good improv show!

Gulf Shores

June 16, 2010

Listening to waves crash on the beach while feeding your son a bottle at 6:00AM makes being awake at 6:00AM while on vacation a little bit more tolerable.

To the ocean!

Happy boy

Also, aunts are excellent.

Chillin with Aunt Becky

Beach Days

April 30, 2010

I lived in Melbourne, Florida – a relatively small beach town on the Atlantic coast – for 5 years after college.  I have extremely fond memories of my time there including many, many glorious days of hanging out at beach.  These days involved a lot of volleyball, fun friends, and most importantly refreshing relaxation in the sun.  It was the perfect way to spend the weekend and let’s not even talk about my amazing tan.  I loved these beach days so much that I’ve nearly convinced Dan to move us back on several occasions.   However, recently I was cured of these silly desires…

Don't mind my filthy face...I don't!
Don’t mind my filthy face…I don’t!

What once began with sleeping in until 9 AM, leisurely getting ready and making my way to beach, now begins at 5:30 AM and involves obsessively applying lotion to someone that hates being lotioned.  There’s also the issue of making sure that the trip falls conveniently between all meals and nap times.  And let’s not forget the sand…oh so much sand…which apparently screams EAT ME to a nine month old.  So basically any kind of sitting back and relaxing is out of the question.


I did manage to get in a couple of games of volleyball thanks to my good friend Cynthia, who was crazy gracious enough to open up her spare bedroom to Aiden and I while Dan was working on his tiny house, but I think it will be awhile (if ever) before I’m able to enjoy the beach in the carefree way that I used to.  But Aiden and I had a great time playing around (and the after beach nap was still pretty excellent for both of us).   I can’t wait to introduce the boy to a shovel and a bucket…

Paradise Beach People watching