Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Professional Giraffe Feeder

Grams, Caroline, and I all ventured out to the zoo on the hottest day yet (insert all the emoji's of death and melting that apply here). It was hothothot. But luckily most of the animals were out and the we got a good splash in! 

The carousel was calling our name and Caroline picked to ride a zebra! It's her new favorite animal. The attendant gave us a double discount--we paid less than half and we only paid admission for one. Sweet. We went around and around. Caroline thoroughly loved it and would just squeal with happiness. The carousel would come to a stop and she would say "again, please!" and we would just keep going. If only everything in life was like that. It was just a grand old time! 

We stopped by to see the lion's next. Caroline is the animal whisperer. I have proof of it too (on my phone so it will just have to be in our weekly post--if I get to it this week)! We walked into the viewing cave area (I don't know how else to describe it) and there was one lion and soon two others came and just hung out with us. We just talked and talked with Caroline about the lions. Oh, to have a pet lion, right? It's been so much fun to watch the cubs grow up and now they are practically teenagers!

Then we got passes to ride the monorail only to find out after we bought them and are telling Caroline all about the "magical air conditioned train you get to ride on to see the animals from up high" that we had actually bought tickets for the tram because the monorail was down. What a let down! Ya win some (carousel), ya lose some (tram), right? Chalking that up to two idiots: shame on us because we should have known because of the avid zoo lovers that we are and part of it up to the dumb girl who sold us the tickets for the tram while we are talking all about the monorail! After we paid and had our passes she said, "oh this is for the tram, should have told you." Geez! Help two struggling adults with a wild toddler out why don't ya!? Or not. Venting over.

We still rode the tram and got off at Africa and walked to the giraffes which were the highlight of our trip. My mom loves spoiling Caroline so we fed the giraffes again. We are seriously bff's with the giraffes and the zookeepers took note. Caroline would grab a piece of kale and pipe "Some?" and hand it over to the giraffe. Caroline would also open her mouth when she was handing the food--her way of saying "Open up!". It was hands down adorable. 

We did a quick splash pad stop. Caroline was probably worn out a ton before we even got there but she found some cute kiddos to chase around and had a ball. We left at the perfect time and Caroline fell asleep on the way home and slept until 4:40! The combination of being worn out + a possible growth spurt is something I enjoy. Motherhood. Mom and I were also pretty zapped so we snuck in a little nap too! The heat totally got us! Most successful zoo trip yet!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Resorting it.

Back in January when I dreamed up this idea of going to the Keys after Step 1, Ben and I started scrouring for places to stay. I feel like in the Keys things are super nice and expensive or super dumpy and still expensive--I could totally be wrong but after looking at tons of hotels this is what we were looking at. We found this cute little resort that had little townhomeish things to stay in--2 bedrooms and bathrooms and seemed super relaxing. The day Ben went to make reservations he ended up catching some deal so we got a great deal for a cute nice place to stay.

We were nothing but impressed with The Hawk's Cay Resort! My mom loved it and said we will do it again and stay longer! Our little house was so cute--with a kitchen--and right on the water. Just have to say that kitchens make things easier with toddlers. We were a little walk away from all the amenities but we were in a super quiet part of the resort. We unpacked, played with Caroline, got her dinner together, and then got dressed for the pool and splash pad...

Little did we know it was the splash pad of all splash pads! There was a pirate ship with slides and water squirter guns and the "pad" was full of about 6 inches of water--so there was plenty of water to splash with. We took turns watching Caroline going down of the slides over and over again. And relaxing. Oh, the relaxing. Ben needed it the most, my neck had been in awful verge-of-tears/crying pain for over a week, and my mom now that she is retired is always up for a restful vacation. We splashed and then went to our little house to unwind.

Once Caroline was in bed (which she hated and was screaming "all done! out!" because she wanted to play more) Ben and I walked around the main resort area where there were dolphins!, little restaurants, a lagoon, and humongous pool. It was super busy and none of the restaurants sounded too appealing so we went on a drive. After reading some reviews we went to The Grassy Key Outpost. Oh my goodness. This was the best little find. It's part convenience store and part classy restaurant and I love places like this! We ordered way too much (burger, caesar salad, brussel sprout chips, and a pizza) but we couldn't make up our minds after reading the reviews. THE BRUSSEL SPROUT CHIPS. Goodness. Don't know how they made them but they were divine. The burger was the best ever (seriously something about how a bun can make or break a burger) and Ben's pizza was perfect. I think if we do another little road trip we will definitely stop there.

That night Caroline, who always sleeps through the night was wide awake at 2:00 and rolling in our bed...ahhh!!! Eventually we got her to fall back asleep but Ben and I were total mummy's the next day. Thank goodness my mom was with us because we were all so tired.

We grabbed some fruit and yogurt for breakfast that morning, Caroline and Grams went to the splash pad, and Ben and I packed up the car. After that we spent sometime at the pool and then checked out to head to the beach! We went back to Sombrero beach but by the time we got there Caroline was totally melting from her late night escapades so we stayed for MAYBE 30 minutes before jumping the car and heading home. Caroline slept the entire way an added bonus? especially since she didn't sleep well the night beforehand.

All in all it was a good trip and so fun to do something different. We are so glad my mom was here and up for something like this. And RESORTS are awesome--being in a hotel room would have been all sorts of challenging for our child who like to party 24/7. We wish would have stayed forever...or brought the pirate ship home with us. Now we are just looking forward to our next adventure...moving!

Making it to Key West

I can't say that we loved everything in this post. This was the part of the trip that I think we would change, add in an extra day, or have Ben and I just take a trip here. The combination of being in the car, super hot, and a short nap made for a quick stop in Key West. Despite all of that we are so glad that we made it to the southernmost point of the United States! It just means that we will have to take another trip (or cruise) to Key West sometime in our lifetime...since we've moved here we have dreamed of going to Dry we have dreams that will lead us back!

Once we crossed the 7 mile bridge, wikipediaed all about the Flagler Railroad system, and landed on Key West it was clear that Key West is a place of all it's own. People were riding bikes and on mopeds all over the place. That's also on the future to do dream list. We drove through a few of the neighborhoods and look at all of the Key West-y homes. Some were renovated and true time capsules and some were just dumps. It's funny how that works. The main priority was the Southernmost Point stop. I had read and heard that lines are super long but we got there and the line way maybe 10 people long. So not bad at all! It was cute to see families gather and groups of grandmas on vacation trying to figure out their "darn iphones!".

After we got our picture taken we walked a few blocks, went by the Ernest Hemmingway house and then ventured onto the "famous" Duval Street. It's the one that's always on the new and a little almost nod to my maiden name. Holy Moly, the bars and the shopping. There were cute little restaurants mixed in too but it was also like a strip mall and people were everywhere! It was fun to watch. We made our way back to the car and a cute little beach and drove around a little before heading to our hotel. It was a realllly quick stop but we are looking for an excuse for a longer stop while we are in Florida!