Just a short drive (20 hours, only stopping for gas, food, and potty breaks) to Florida.
Nana and I took turns driving in 4 hour shifts and entertaining the kids. The first day we drove from Indy to Macon, Georgia (14 hours in the car- where at one point it took 45 minutes to go 1 mile due to an accident).
Madison enjoyed watching her DVD player and listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on audio CD.
We all enjoyed listening to it and were excited to listen to half of the 7th Harry Potter book on the way home. (We finished reading it after we got home).
Lillian did great in the car- the FIRST day and cried most of the second day (both there and home). She refused to drink out of her sippy cup but loved sharing Nana's. She also gave up eating baby food somewhere in Georgia and enjoyed her first Wendy's chicken nugget.
Overall, she did great!
Lillian's snack stash, she was very excited to eat out of the containers.
As soon as we arrived at Grampie and Grammie's in Naples, the girls headed to the pool. Neither could wait to get into the water. (It is such a novelty to them to have a pool in the backyard and to swim any time you want).
Lillian showed no fear in the water. You had to keep a very close eye on her because without much warning, she would just go under the water- a big toothy grin on her face and a sparkle in her eye. She is definitely a water baby.
Under she goes.
Madison and Grampie created a dolphin game in the pool and enjoyed swimming like dolphins all around the pool.
A jumping contest....
Madison's belly flop was quite impressive.
But so was her cannon ball.
Saturday afternoon (after swimming in the pool all morning and having lunch with Grandpa) we headed to the beach.
Friday night we went to the beach to see the sunset but this was the first time the girls really got to play in the sand and check out the water.
Madison's sand car built by Grammie.
She loved busting out in the end and thought it was so cool.
Lillian enjoyed walking in the surf with Aunt Abby and feeling the not too squishy sand between her toes.
Grammie and Madison enjoyed building their first sand castle together (Madison's first ever).
Lillian was afraid of the Gulf of Mexico but loved her mini Gulf in her Tupperware bowl.
She is so funny!
Building the sand towers
Finishing the moat
A castle for the Princess to sit!
After the beach and dinner at Pei Wei (a chain of P F Changs) we returned home to play games together as a family. Grampie and Grammie gave Madison Uno Attack for Christmas and it has become a family favorite to play on our visits.
Lillian loved crawling under the glass dining table.
She could stand perfectly under the table without ducking.
Climbing over the table leg
Wow- who is that baby?
(It was really funny to put cheerios on the table and watch her try to grab them from underneath. She never quite figured out that even though she could see them that she could not reach them).
Sunday morning the girls and I went to Kids Club with Grammie and Grampie. It was wonderful to participate in their ministry and to share in the kids worship.
Then it was time for lunch with Grandpa- TACOS!
Finally it was time to say our good-byes and our see you soons.
We love you Grampie, Grammie, and
Aunt Abby! We can't wait to see you again soon.
From Naples we drove the 2 and a half hours to Plant City for a short visit with Papi.
Uncle Caleb joined us for dinner and a short visit.
Papi was even able to take Monday off of work to visit with us a bit longer.
Lillian was not so sure about Papi at first (every time he tried to hold her she wailed) but the two bonded over Cheetos and were soon best friends!
Another snack discovery that Lillian loves.
Monday Madison enjoyed another day in the pool and playing with Papi.
Lillian preferred standing on the deck and looking through the fence. She almost fell off the deck when she was walking along the fence and suddenly realized that the fence had ended.
She also enjoyed watching Madison and Papi play in the pool- every time we put her in she cried and tried to climb out.
That evening (Monday) we said good-bye to Papi and headed to our final stop of our vacation: Aunt Sue's in Dade City.
The girls with their Great-Great Aunt.
A family game of dominoes.
Even Lillian played!
Wednesday evening the girls and I headed to Tampa for dinner with Uncle Caleb and Susanne. Susanne is an amazing cook and made us a delicious chicken and pasta meal.
After dinner we bowled on the Wii and then headed back to Aunt Sue's.
Before heading back to Indiana, we stopped in Ocala to visit our cousins at the water park.
Madison enjoyed the kidde Frog slide
And so did Lillian
"No more swimming" Lillian was just too tired to go back in the pool. So while she and Nana got dressed I took Madison and Kristen on one final slide.
For our last slide of the day, Madison and her cousin Kristen enjoyed a race down the Silver Bullet. This was a 3 story slide that shoots you straight down into a pool of water. It was rated a 4 (the highest of the park) and went really fast.
I was so proud of the girls for trying something new and wanting to do it again (this was our second trip down)
It was time to dry off and get on the road. A quick stop at Wendy's and we were on the road.
We drove to just outside of Nashville, TN that day and stopped for the night at a hotel.
After a good night sleep we completed our 6 hour drive and were home Friday by dinner time (8 days from when we left)
While it was a long and some times difficult drive we had an AMAZING trip and it was wonderful to build memories with our family!