South Florida 2015

It's been 7.5 years since I was brave enough to drive 700 miles one way to Southern Florida with my kids. That was the car ride in which Jayce insisted on watching "Chicka Chicka 1-2-3" and "Dora's Pirate Adventure" on repeat. For 12 hours. That may have scared me a bit for future travel trips.

My mom and I drove down a little over four years ago to attend my grandmother's funeral in Ft. Lauderdale. We split the drive up into two days and realized that our sanity was worth the cost of a hotel room.

With that in mind, we made plans to head down there with Jaina, Jayce, and Jocelyn to visit my brothers Jeremy and Jason, their significant others, my nephews Joshua and Justin, and my new niece Zoe Jane. And yes, we know that all of our names start with "J". We were doing it looong before the Duggar's started copying us :P

The kids were pretty good on the two-day drive. Jayce played his 3DS and tablet. Jaina played on her phone and watched movies. Jocelyn napped, played with her My Little Ponies, and watched her shows on the DVD player when it was her turn.

We stopped in Jacksonville, FL the first night. That only put us about 4-5 hours away from my aunt's house in Loxahatchee the next day.

My uncle David had passed away unexpectedly the week before. We missed his funeral by one day. Even though we weren't there for the service, we were able to see a lot of family that had come in town to support Aunt Diane.

After we visited for a bit, we went on farther south to stop at my brother Jason's house.

Jocelyn decided early on she was NOT going to share with baby Zoe. Not Grandma's phone, not her ponies, not her books.

My niece might be the cutest baby that has ever lived. (um, besides *my* kids of course!)

We stayed in Deerfield Beach, FL with Jeremy's boys and their mom Melissa. She was the perfect hostess!

All the kids loved cousin Justin's electronic drum set. I'm not sure Melissa's neighbors loved my kids loving them, though!

We crammed a lot of fun in the next few days:

The last night in Florida, we all met up for dinner at Flanigan's High Tide at the beach. I used to be a waitress at the Flanigan's Guppy in Boca Raton when I was 21. They have excellent food, including fresh dolphin (the fish, not the porpoise!) , shrimp, flounder, salmon... yum!

The next day, we packed our bags, gave hugs and kisses, and set on our way... only to discover that our tire was leaking air from an old place where it had been patched once before.

Hence a trip to the tire place.

Finally, finally, we were on our way. 

And I will now dub that black and gray striped shirt as my 'travel' shirt since I obviously like to wear the same thing when I drive 700 miles.

We stopped for the night in Brunswick, GA and got separate hotel rooms. My mom shared with Jayce and I shared with the girls. It was the best idea ever, especially since we got the rooms at a discounted price through

After breakfast at the Waffle House, we made the rest of the trip home in peace.

We got home just in time for Jaina's dance class. And wouldn't you know it? Jocelyn chose on the way home from dance as her perfect time to nap.

Little stinker :P

Florida was sure fun, but I'm being honest when I say that I don't miss living there. I love how diverse the trees, plants, and flowers are in Georgia and South Carolina. I love seeing the leaves change colors and enjoy the brief snow we get. And you can't beat the South in the spring when all the trees are blooming.

Yes, its good to be home :)


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