Saturday, March 08, 2014

Two Weeks in Florida!

Our holiday was lovely. We spent a wonderful (if insane!) week with my family south of St. Pete's Beach. We have a spot we love to go there and this time, with everyone going to be there together, we rented a larger three-bedroom condo. Mom and Dad took one room, and Petite slept on a cot in the corner of their room. Hubby and I had a room and my sis, her hubby and my nephew took the third room with the king size bed. Two full bathrooms and a deck and parking out front and we had lots of space.

Well, lots of space, yes. But the noise! Oh dear heavens. I think it was enough to addle baby Jesus himself! Eeesh! As my mom said, next time, we get two places so there's somewhere for her and my dad to go to get away from the insanity that happens to be life with young children! I figured it might be a tad too much for them to handle. I was absolutely right.

Regardless, we had a fun time visiting the beach and just enjoying time together. We took the kids up the strip to the ice cream shop. That was a special treat. The two kids got along so well it was really nice. They played pretty well together, except for the fact that Petite is older and can, naturally, do things that my nephew is not yet able to do. I think he was a bit frustrated by that. He threw a fit now and then... typical for the "Terrible Two's." We all survived though. He's a sweet little guy. I think he too found it a bit much; with Nana and Poppy's attention divided between two grandchildren, I don't know how much he enjoyed that aspect of things.

For the second week, we drove up to Orlando and rented a house with our friends who flew in from California. We picked up the groceries and found the house, got ourselves settled and waited for them. We were a bit turned off because the promised "heated pool" and "spa" certainly wasn't working as it was supposed to. Not cool. We called a bunch of times and never did get satisfactory resolution for the entire week. We also had to call to remind them about the BBQ that we'd rented for the week. However, other than those two issues, the property was lovely. Hubby and I had a room. Petite had a room. Our friends had a room and their kids (twins) shared a room. All the kids had their own queen sized beds. It was lovely. Three bathrooms. Pool. Spa. Deck. And beautifully decorated. We loved it.

While in Orlando, we hit a few of the parks. Of course we took Petite to the Magic Kingdom! Her very first visit! She loved it. We did a breakfast with the Princesses in Cinderella's Castle too! Such fun! Petite was in awe. We rode on so many of the rides, starting with It's a Small World and finishing the evening at the raceway. Petite rode on that four times I think. One minor glitch; my girlfriend lost her husband's cell phone but retracing our steps, we found it! Whew! He was nervous about that. Understandably so! We were in the park from 9 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. and Petite had the stroller to relax in for much of the day. She was a real trooper. She only crashed and fell asleep on our way out of the park around 11:00 p.m. Not bad for four years old!

Two days later we hit Animal Kingdom. While I've been to Magic Kingdom at least 15 times, this was my first visit to Animal Kingdom. It was... okay. Not as splashy or as fun-filled as Magic Kingdom, but still a good way to spend the day. We did a few rides, saw lots of birds and animals, and had a spectacular brunch at Tusker House where we got to meet four characters! Excellent food. Great atmosphere. And time with Mickey to boot! YAY! Admittedly, Florida was in the midst of a cold snap and we had blankets and sweatshirts during our day in Animal Kingdom. They were definitely needed.

We took a night to go to Medieval Times as well. Flying hawks. Horses and swordplay. A great meal that the kids got to eat with their hands! And Petite got herself a princess tiara at the end of the show. It was loads of fun. My buddy and his wife were in their element. It was loads of fun.

Their family took a day to go to LegoLand too. We went out to do some shopping; I had some vitamins and things to pick up for post surgery and we wanted to check out the stuff in the shops and stores, and see a few sights.

During the trip, I started my Optifast. It was the prescription liquid diet that I needed to take for three weeks prior to surgery. It consists of four shakes a day, supplemented by broth, sugar free jello and sugar free popsicles, decaf tea, flavoured water and absolutely NOTHING else. I confess, I had four meals while on Optifast. Two meals were nothing but grilled steak. Two meals were grilled salmon with steamed broccoli. Those four meals were absolutely delicious! It was lovely. And the night before I started the Opti, we went to Cody's... the most incredible steakhouse we have ever had the pleasure to find. They had a T-bone steak on sale and I polished that off with pinache! Yummy!!!

Other than that, the Opti wasn't that hard. I managed. The goal of the three week liquid diet is to shrink the liver. Because the liver sits so close to the stomach, when doing the surgery there is a risk of nicking the liver with the surgical tools. So by shrinking the liver there is less of a risk.

We enjoyed the vacation, but it was marred upon our return by a huge loss.

That's for the next post...

Thanks for reading everyone. Next up, the incredible loss we suffered, preparations for Nana and Poppy, and my surgery.