Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013 Family Visit

Two days after Christmas, on Friday, all of my children and my grandchildren came to visit for a few days.  What fun it was!  My apartment became full to the brim!

First order of business after getting out of the car was "jumping in muddy puddles" as Ruby's friend Peppa Pig does with her family.  And Red greeted me with big smiles!  He's such a chill 8 month old!

Ruby is talking up a storm and repeating everything.  When her Mama said "This is G-Pa's house" Ruby echoed, "G-Pa's house."  When she began exploring the layout of my apartment, she repeated, "G-Pa's kitchen" when we went in there.

We had some snacks and exchanged gifts.  Ruby enjoyed playing Santa and giving everyone their presents.  We took a break to call in an order to Valentino's Little Italy.  Gina and I went to pick it up and we feasted in the kitchen!

 We took a walk over to the Bay after lunch.  Ruby loved seeing all the birds.  It was good to walk off some of our lunch.  But, next order of business, off to Mazarro's to pick up some pastries for dessert!  We're a family that loves to eat!

On Saturday morning we went downtown.  First stop, Steve's condo to get a tour and then all of us to head over to the Saturday Morning Market three blocks away.  It was way too crowded so we headed over to the playground at Demens Landing.  Then, off to Sunset Beach on Treasure, after a pit stop at the apartment and a stop at Fresh Market to pick up lunch vittles for the beach.

It was overcast, but comfortable.  Ruby loved the beach.  Red was a little cautious of the sand and the water.  The Gulf waters are a little cold for my blood too!  Ruby loved finding shells.  When she found a fancy one, I said, "Oh, look!  A variegated shell!"  And Ruby said, "variegated".  She's so good at that!  Steve built a little mound with a moat around it and a riverbed leading up to it, so that a wave would find it's way up to surround the mound.  As a wave was coming, we got excited and exclaimed, "here comes a wave!"  Ruby took off in the opposite direction!
Steve then dug a hole for Ruby to sit in.  She loved it and promptly pulled sand in over her legs and feet.
Saturday night was a relaxing one since we were all tired.  On Sunday morning I headed to the apartment to make French toast with the Panettone.  I dip it in egg and egg nog and vanilla batter.  It's sooooo good! Gina manned the Choco Motion machine to make the hot cocoa with peppermint marshmallows.

Since the forecast was calling for rain, we headed over to the Florida Aquarium.  We ran into a lot of traffic since there were several cruise ships docked to let passengers off and pick up passengers for the coming week's cruises.

The aquarium was lots of fun.  Ruby loved the otters doing flips in and out of the water right in front of her.  And the penguins too!

We spent Sunday night going through some of the multitude of boxes of old photos.  A lot of work still ahead!

On Monday morning we headed over to Crescent Lake Park.  First the playground, then a walk around the lake, then over to Panera for a late breakfast.  Shortly after that . . . the family left for the trip back to Leesburg (northwest of Orlando).  The visit went way too fast!

But . . . the following Friday I met up with Joe and Joy and Ruby and Red (the Big Js and Little rs) and Mia and Gina at Linda's and Louie's in Bradenton.  After having lunch we headed to the beach (it was way windy and cold).  Brave Joy and Mia and Gina took off their shoes to wade in.  Ruby enjoyed jumping in the muddy puddles.  

For a much better coverage and photos, see Joy's blog here.

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