Sunday, October 26, 2014

Grams Can't Leave + Vizcaya round 2

This has been the best week! My mom has totally spoiled my little family and we--me especially--will be in a world of hurt when she leaves. She has sewn Caroline's Halloween costume, let me sleep in and take naps (best thing ever), cleaned, folded laundry, gone on walks with Caroline, let me work on my list of projects, helped with dinner, and so much more. I miss my mom already but so excited for Christmas in Miami this year.

Miami weather is crazy and the forecast last week said that it would rain everyday but Monday...and it was completely accurate. Mom and I decided to go to Vizcaya. Now, a lot of people gripe that it is expensive and won't visit it because of that. My opinion is you get what you pay for and if that's the excuse then you are missing out on one of the coolest places. Our morning went smoothly and we got to Vizcaya right when they opened! We went and did a quick tour of the house...Caroline was more interested in running laps around the gardens. The must see's in the house for me are the kitchen, telephone room, sitting room, dining room--down stairs and upstairs as well as Mr. Deering's bedroom and bathroom.Some of the maids rooms are pretty cool but they are up a winding stairs case and we were pressed for time. The kitchens are my absolute favorite and remind me of Downton Abbey--so it's kind of like Downton Abbey Miami style. Caroline loved the courtyard and looking at the swimming pool--we would love to have a swim party in it.

After checking out the house we went around to the back and enjoyed the view of Miami. We quickly made our way to the gardens. Caroline loved the sound of the gravel beneath her feet and loved exploring everything. She especially loved the fountains and splashing in them. We wondered around the gardens for a while and enjoyed the perfect Miami weather. I would love to travel back in time and see Vizcaya how it was a long time ago. Caroline snacked, we took pictures and then we were worn out and went home. It was the perfect trip.

Tuesday we stayed around the house and went on walks. Ben came home early and we went to Red Robin, on a park walk, and Caroline got new shoes! We also went to Hobby Lobby to pick out Christmas stockings that my mom is stitching for us. I am so excited...we will see if she gets to them before Christmas--she has lots of irons in her fire. Caroline also snagged a cute little puppy dog and my mother who hates stuffed animals couldn't resist and bought it for her. I don't know if I'll ever be able to let her live that one down.

Wednesday morning we went to the dollar store and Costco for my flu shot. Caroline kept Grams on her toes and entertained. Plus the Christmas decor is up and Caroline is mesmerized by it all. We also made a trip to Target and Caroline had a huge huge meltdown. She was crying because she wanted out of the cart and I was laughing so hard. Talk about judgement looks. This lady in the store was crazy-eyed looking at us. Thankfully C calmed down and we were able to shop.

Thursday was kind of a blah day. I had a doctors appointment and went into school with Ben. We grabbed breakfast together before his class started and my appointment. Afterwards he brought me home and Caroline, mom, and I just had a fun afternoon together. I had a stake training that night and I feel a lot better about my calling. The ladies put a lot of work and were so prepared for the meeting (doesn't always happen). I'm hoping that I feel more organized and can help with thing more.

Friday was so much fun. We went to BJ's to pick up some essentials (milk and eggs and bananas...I wish we could get them delivered because we go through them so quickly). We also went to Barnes and Noble because we were going stir crazy from all of the rain. There was this cute little photo-ish booth for the book "The Day the Crayon's Quit". Caroline was hilarious trying to get her picture taken. She also loved looking at books, stuffed animals, and playing with the train table and the blocks. I also booked family pictures for us and the hunt for outfits began. All I have to say is there are a lot of sweaters for sell and people who buy them here must work in cold office buildings because I have no desire to wear a sweater! We went to dinner at VooDoo BBQ and Caroline had a blast running through Nordstrom Rack as we looked for clothes. Another awesome day and we got a lot done!

Saturday we shopped some more and found what I think are our outfits for the pictures! We were also told that Barnes and Noble had a fabulous story time so we decided to go to that. Ha. The lady didn't even show the kids the pictures as she was reading and obviously hadn't read the story herself because she was cracking up as she read it. It was slightly disastrous. I told Ben I'd volunteer to do story time + a degree in elementary education and being somewhat of an expert on children's lit, I could sell them lots of books. We rode the escalators up and down and Caroline took a two and a half hour nap after that. We will ride escalators more often. Later that afternoon, once Ben was home, he and Caroline went on a puddle adventure through the biggest puddle in our complex. Caroline was drenched and had so much fun. Ben was pretty pleased with himself too.

Sunday was really good. We had a big family breakfast--biscuits and sausage gravy, Ben cleaned up, we all got ready for church and had a calm and awesome Sunday. Mom finished Caroline's Halloween outfits and Caroline got in a long walk and met lots of dogs. The perfect ending to our week!

Caroline and Gram's

There was so much to see and so little photo taking cooperation

Looking at the airplanes flying over

I love this picture 

Walking foxy lady

I promise we almost made the 5 o'clock news! She was wanting to dive it!

Love this one. This is as good as it gets.

Love her!

"The Vizcaya life is such a drag" - Caroline

Tropical Park walk

The girl and her puppy

Making and Taking important calls at Costco!

Target trip never to be forgotten.


Breakfast with Ben

Snuggles with my girl

Watching the rain with Grams

She loves to sweep

Barnes and Noble saved us from the rain! 

Trains! 

Little girl and Big Blocks

I have the cutest crayon ever

Puddles.

While we were shopping C and Ben were wandering on their own. Then she got hungry and daddy brought her lemon pound cake. If only we could all snack like that. Anyways, we had to shake off all of the crumbs.

My favorite little kitten

Napping after Barnes and Nobles story time. haha

She loves the escalators (even though C's expression might not show it)

Sleeping Caroline's

Piglet post it note ears

Blackberry pudding and whipped cream!

Sunday wrestle buddies.

I purposefully put Caroline in an outfit that matched my mom's. haha

The SWEETEST rescue dog

My walking and adventure buddy.





A Castle and Two Ton Rocking Chairs

I have a list of things that we have to do before we leave Miami. Sometimes I bug Ben that we haven't checked enough off--not that he can really help it--but I just want to make sure that we see and do all of the must do's while we are here. Most of them are low cost experiences but some cost money because it's a historical site or there are up close animal encounters. Luckily, this month a lot of Miami attractions have had "BOGO" on their tickets. The Coral Castle piqued my interest and my mom and I went and checked it out. It was down in Homestead not at a location that I expected--it was right by the highway and I thought it would be bigger--taller walls and such. I guess I envisioned a castle in an empty field in the middle of nowhere too.

The Castle was built by a man named "Ed"who basically made it his hobby. He was an immigrant from Poland (? I think I'm remembering correctly) and left the love of his life behind. He never married or had children so he had a castle--that is one way to put it. It was slightly surreal to see this fortress that one man made and carved out of coral rock. Ed expertly designed a telescope, a way to determine time of day and month, revolving rock gates, anatomically comfortable two ton rocking chairs, tables, a kitchen, bath, anything that one would ever need--all out of coral rock. The chairs were actually comfortable even though none of them rocked anymore out of fear that someone would crush their toe. There was an entrance gate to push that weighed 2 or 3 tons--I felt so powerful after I pushed it. He designed this huge rock to turn on an axel and it still works today! I thought it was quirky and funny but also very amazing that one man could have created the entire thing. Caroline was wiggly and wanted to explore so maybe being able to hear the entire schpill is would have been better. My advice is to go if it's buy one get one free (a tour is included)--and when it is cooler, other wise it just falls short a little in my book. Thank goodness the one and only Sonic was five minutes away so we could rehydrate for our ride back home.

Walking into the castle!

Oh my gosh it was so hot. Luckily they had umbrellas for us!

The tower where Ed (the builder) lived

The Florida Table and chairs

Grams was the best chauffeur

Caroline listened to every word of the tour guide...for like two seconds.

Enjoying the shade

I wish it was only 10 cents. I thought this was pretty entrepreneur like of him

Caroline found of of the fountains and was set and in heaven.

Sitting in the baby bear chair--it was basically made just for her.

Heading to the Corner of Repentance--aka--time out corner--aka--coolest spot in the castle

Me and my wiggly girl

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Little Farm

Last week we went to the Little Farm and we absolutely loved it. Our first mission was to find a pumpkin and our second mission was to see a cow. Luckily we were able to check both of those off of our list and more! The Little Farm was just south of Miami in Homestead...it was a nice drive and fun to leave the hustle and bustle of our little part of Miami. Parking was $5 bucks (which was basically our entrance fee) and then we got to walk through the farm. There were ducks (the pretty ones, not the mean and bully-ish ones at the parks), chickens, sheep, goats, a donkey, one pig and several piglets, a horse (well several), and a COW, and ponies. If I missed any farm animals in my list--they had them. Other than the animals Caroline loved running through the hay and couldn't get enough of the sound of it beneath her feet.

I loved that everything was as clean as it could be for a farm especially the walking area. Caroline's favorite part was viewing the animals and trying to get her hands on them. As soon as we walked up there was a horse and she was mesmerized. Around the pony ride track (haha) there was another horse and it "neighed" for her--oh. boy. that girl now knows what a horse says and she will tell you! The cow was the main attraction and she was a little taken back at it--I think the size and the flies surrounding it. She loved the cow. On the pumpkin note, Caroline could have cared less. I loved that the pumpkin patch was a fundraiser for a charity--so the pumpkins were a bit pricier but it was for a good cause. We picked out a small one and walked around the petting zoo and Caroline decided it was time for a pony ride. Although she was hesitant at first, the little girl quickly decided she needed a pony. Ben lucked out in the fact that it wasn't for sale...otherwise it probably would have come home with us. It was nice to get in the fall and Halloween spirit and for Caroline to experience a real farm!



Getting a good look at that cow

Gotta get even closer


This is the horse that said "hello!"

Fast friends

Look at the pumpkins! Many families came all dressed up in fall outfits and fancy cameras.

She was too interested in other things.

Me and my guy

We attempted a family picture!

Piglet watching

She was watching everything very carefully. The petting zoo was full of kids, parents, and animals (of course) so we opted to enjoy it from the outside.

Ah! I love fall!

Got a shot!

There's our pumpkin girl!

Getting the pony ride started. The guy was so nice,

She was unsure but quickly warmed up.



She's a pro!

I love her sweet profile

No way Daddy!

One last goodbye to the cow

Enjoying a quick run in the parking field before the drive home
This made my list for must do in Miami! We loved the Little Farm and being out of our big city!