Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 3 & 4- Crystal River/ Homosassa

We left Panama City around noon and drove all day to Crystal River.  To make up for the night before, we found a very nice hotel room right on the river to spend the night.

It had beautiful grounds to walk along the river with gazebos and flowers.

It also had a heated pool that we all swam in until it got dark.

We then had a low key evening back in the room watching basketball and playing cards with the kids.

The next day, we got up early and headed over to Homsassa Wildlife State Park.  It is known for it's manatees, alligators and a hippo named Lou.

We went on a river boat tour around the park.

And got to get up close and personal with some manatees.

They are were cool to see....such graceful, peaceful sea cows.

Lou, the hippo, did not feel like performing that day, so we just got to look at him.

The park also had a bunch of other wildlife that we got to walk around and see and an education center where Malia got eaten by an alligator.

That evening we found a beach and hung out by the ocean.  Andrew made a friend with a little boy named Ryan, while Kai read and slept in the sand.

Malia thought she needed a photoshoot at the get ready for cuteness

We all loved Homosassa-- I think we would all go back to this part of Florida.

Day 2- Panama City

Our second stop of the trip was in Panama City.  We stayed in a beach side hotel that had a beautiful view but some shady clientele.

The weather was in the low 70s while we were there, so there was no way I was getting in the water.  The chilly breeze did not seem to stop the kids though.

The hotel had an awesome pool with a waterfall and  a huge hot tub, so after our time down at the beach we all warmed up in hot tub.

(we always have to get a jumping picture)

I spent my time building castes and collecting shells

Another cool feature of the hotel is that they showed movies on the side of the building.  We got to see Nut Job while sitting poolside with complimentary popcorn and cookies!

The next morning was Easter.  Instead of finding a service to go to, we decided to read the Resurrection story together as a family while sitting on our balcony.  

(This is a shot from our balcony of some dolphins that decided to swim by while we were reading.)

So while we could have done without the drunken yelling that went on until 2am and all the flashy tourist traps that lured our kids in and left them disappointed when we found out it would cost over $100 to all go do it....Panama City did have beautiful beaches and lots of shells (which are always free)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day one-- New Orleans

 Day one of our trip started in New Orleans-- But first we had to drive there.  We had many pit stops along the way but here are a few pictures from the first couple of days that were my favorites.

Once we got to New Orleans--My kids got busy exploring.  They were each given $50 for the entire trip and were told to spend it wisely because once it was gone, it was gone.  The French market was very tempting to them.  Kai bought a harmonica and a metal sign on the United States.  Andrew bought a magnet for the refrigerator, and Malia bought a marti gras mask and a sparkly purse.

The kids loved wandering around this old town and seeing all the sights and sounds.  

After the market we went down to St Louis Catherdral just in time to see a wedding parade march around the square.  People were dancing and music was playing as the wedding party  paraded around--it was such an awesome tradition to get to witness.

(Kai playing his harmonica while walking down the street)

(Malia and Mommy dancing to one of the bands performing at a street cafe)

We ended our evening at Cafe Du Monde.  The kids were more impressed with the hot chocolate than the beignet, but it was still worth the experience.

Maundy Thursday

When I started writing this post, I had 35 pictures to add.... so after some thought, I decided to break it down day by day..... get ready for Roberts' vacation overload!!

This year we decided to take our family vacation over Easter break and take a week off school.   We did this because Kai is in third grade this year, which means it it his first year of the state mandated test called STAAR.  We decided that instead of having our son spend two days sitting a testing room being bored out of his mind, we would take the opportunity to explore Florida.

But first.... we must remember that this is the most holiest time of the year and to celebrate this momentous event called the Last Supper we invited friends over to share in a message and take communion together as a family in Christ.

It is a special moment to see your children serving communion to people they love.