April 13, 2011


We had a fabulous time on our trip to Florida. Brady was attending a conference for work in Miami for a few days, so we decided to take advantage of that and make it a family affair. I mean, who passes up 3 free nights at a Fairmont resort? Not me!

We left Chicago REALLY early. Our flight left at 6:00 AM, which equates to me waking up at 3:40 AM, Reese waking up at 4:15 AM, and getting a cab at 4:30 AM. Reese did a great job travelling considering she woke up so early. She napped for about 45 minutes on the second leg of our flight.

(Side Story: We did almost get in a fight on the rental car shuttle (OK, not really, but I DID want to punch this lady in the face). We were on the shuttle and Reese was really excited to A) not be strapped in a car seat and B) be able to see airplanes landing/taking off. An older woman got on the shuttle and sat next to us. Reese started whining a little because I moved her to a position where she couldn't see the planes. She wasn't crying, she wasn't screaming, she was making "uhhh uhhh uhhhh" noises and trying to see the planes. I'll be the first to admit when my kid is being a brat. This was not one of those times. Within 30 seconds of sitting next to us, the woman stands up and is clearly upset. She starts saying things like "I should not have to deal with that. I am too good for this. Etc, etc, etc." and acting really put out. Apparently she was making a huge deal about having to sit next to Reese. Luckily, I was too absorbed in caring for child to notice this, but Brady told me about it when we got off the shuttle. I honestly wanted to track the lady down and say some really nice things to her. )

After a long day, we arrived at our hotel. It was insanely nice. And we felt really out of place. As we pull up in our rental car, a Hyundai Sonata, we realize that every car in sight is a really expensive luxury car. Think, Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Bently, Maserati, etc. It was awesome.
We check into our room and are in awe. This ties for the top honor of nicest hotel we've ever stayed at. I mean, there was a TV in the bathroom so you could watch it while you were in the bath tub. And, if you're wondering, yes, Brady did watch the BYU basketball game while soaking in the jacuzzi tub. This is the view of the pool from our room.

{Sleeping in the car}

A few days later, we drive from Miami across the state to Clearwater Beach. We stay at a more "affordable" hotel. Traveling tip....always end your trip at the 4-star resort. Never at the Best Western. Basically, we got spoiled at the Fairmont and when we arrived at the Best Western "Resort," I wanted to cry. I have no problems with Best Westerns, seeing as how Brady and I are really cheap travelers, we stay at them sometimes. Let's just say that Reese cried whenever we would come back to the hotel room and broke 3 things in the first 5 minutes we were there (not joking). The plus side of the hotel was that it was directly on the beach, which was really convenient with a toddler.

Since Brady served his mission in Clearwater, he knew a great spot to go see alligators. We got to see this mama gator with her babies. (If you look closely, you can see them in the picture above her head and swimming in the water.)

Mainly, we spend our time at the pool or the beach. We had perfect weather, mid-80's and sunny, the entire time. It was a perfect break from the cold, gray, Chicago weather.

Reese was in heaven. She learned how to say "beach," which for the first few days sounded naughty. There were tons of seashells and she loved collecting them. She calls them "see sees." She also loved chasing the birds up and down the beach. Taking her to the beach was really, really fun, but not at all relaxing. She was on the go the entire time (not a surprise, right?!).

And, like the last two out of state trips, we made a trip to an urgent care clinic. Reese developed a painful yeast rash while we were there. Not a big deal, but we had no idea what it was. We got a prescription, and we were good.

We spent our last evening in Florida at the beach. There was a little cafe that had ice cream, so we got ourselves ice cream cones and watched the sunset. It was a good night. We were sad to go, but as always a part of us was ready to get back to our own beds.