Thursday, May 31, 2012

Visiting Naples

The kids and I were forunate to get to go and spend a week with my grandmother at her house in Naples. The trip is a little over 600 miles and a lot of people thought I was crazy for taking 4 kids by myself on a trip like that, but it went really well. I prefer driving at night so we set out on the road about 8:30pm. We had only gone about 30 miles when Lydia (my not-so-patient rider) said, "I know we're almost there!!!" Fortunately they watched a movie and fell asleep shortly after. The whole trip down took just about 9.5 hours and the kids slept most of the way. In Florida, we were able to swim, head to the beach and visit with family. The first few days we were there, the kids were still warming up to the pool. Harbin and Catherine seemed to maintain their swimming skills from last year, but Lydia kind of reverted back to using swimmies. Ella wouldn't even get near the pool for the first bit and then she started to warm up to the idea. As the week progressed, Lydia started swimming on her own and she and Catherine started to perfect their flips off the diving board. Catherine can now do aon almost perfect entire flip of the diving board and Lydia flips but usually lands on her back/bottom. Ella got comfortable swimming alone with swimmies on especially when she realized that meant she could go down the slide by herself. She would go over and over and over down the slide. The only problem is that she kicks really hard, but just doesn't move anywhere, so Harbin would swim out and pull her in. One of the last days we were there I told her it was tim to get out and she thought she'd be funny so she ran and went down the stairs, swam all the way across the pool, got out at the deep end and did that 2 more times (which took about 30 minutes all in all). Finally I took her swimmies off and told her it was tim to go in, so she ran down the stairs and just sank to the bottom (don't worry I got her out)! The beach was fun as usual but this time we were also fortunate to get to see some cool wildlife. It's sea turtle season and although we didn't see any sea turtles, the kids enjoyed reading all the signs that talked about turning off your lights and about watching for turtle nests. Speaking of nests, there was a huge osprey nest with a baby bird in it. Ella especially like the "bird" but then she took to playing in the sand. Probably the coolest things was that we were able to see 3 manatee swimming just off-shore. We have never seen manatee down in Florida before, but the water was very calm and warm the first day we saw them. The second day the waters were rough and it was windy, but the manatee were swimming altogether and closer to shore. If I had gone out there, I probably could have touched one! We were able to spend a lot of tim with my Aunt Angela, Uncle Robert and cousins, Samantha and Dominick. Dominick is only about 18 months older than Harbin and is 9 inches taller than him, but they get along really well. Harbin had fun writing notes for Dominick so he would get them when they arrived at my grandma's and they liked playing in the pool together. We were fortunate to get to go to the new Children's museum twice while we were down there- once just us and once with Dominick. The kids had fun getting to see the exhibits and pretend to be vets, grocery store clerks, farmers, and lemonade stand salespeople! Ella really liked getting to push all the grocery carts around and thought she was just as big as everyone else there. We had an uneventful drive back from Florida and we really enjoyed our vacation. Hopefully we will get to visit again soon! The mom.

No comments: