Cocoa Beach

{Florida trip continued.. catch up here.}

On Thursday (July 15th), Christy had to go to work (boo!) so Ryan and I stayed home with the kids instead of their usual routine of daycare.  Christian was VERY excited about that.  And I was too, because I love those kiddos!

I ever so kindly let Ryan sleep in while I got up at 7:30 AM with Amelia (he let me sleep in the next time, all is fair in love and babysitting!)  We watched Elmo, Thomas the Train while playing with trains, and made pancakes for breakfast.

After a little grocery shopping and more relaxing at home, we packed up some sandwiches and headed to the beach.  Cocoa Beach, to be exact.  I was beyond excited to see the ocean again, as 3 years was far too long to be away.  This time we were on the Atlantic side of Florida, so it has a different feel to it than the Gulf.  Waves made for surfing and boogie boarding, in trade for the calmer, bluer waters.  Still amazing, nonetheless.  Florida has the best of both worlds and I’m glad I have now experienced both!

We had a blast!  Ryan and Christian took off with their boogie boards, while I hung around in shallow water with Amelia.  Eventually, she warmed up to the water and did a little “boogie boarding” herself in the shallows.  She also finally let me leave her with Ryan while I tried out the boogie boards (my first time ever!)  I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it was fun anyway.  Christian is a little fish and does wonderful in the water for a 6-year-old!

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I had almost forgotten how sand gets EVERYWHERE.  In your ears, in your eyes, in places we won’t discuss.. oh and even in your SANDwich.  How appropriate.  I still have sand stuck in my teeth.

After a short time at the beach, we met Christy back at home, where we made tacos for dinner and then went on our first of many bike rides of the trip!  Even though hauling our bikes on my car with a bike rack affected our gas mileage way more than I thought it would (got 30-33 MPG), it was worth all of the fun we had on our rides.

There is a cute little bike path around her neighborhood where we took our casual ride.  The evening was nice and the flat land of Florida is even nicer!  Ryan pulled Amelia in a bike trailer and she absolutely LOVED it.  The rest of the week she kept saying “Bicycle! Bicycle!”  Christian did great following alongside with his bike too.

I must admit… I crawled into the bike trailer to see if I would fit and.. lo and behold, I did.. very tightly though.  We forgot to snap a picture of that, darn!  I can see why Amelia likes it so much.  :)  I think I’ll find one that is more my size and have Ryan pull me around.

After our bike ride, Christian decided we needed to get some ice cream at their local Bruster’s and we all agreed!  Ryan and I needed to see how their “real ice cream” compared with the homemade ice cream at Ruby’s.  Our chocolate buckeye ice cream hit the right spot, but I am still biased about our hometown Ruby’s.

What is cuter than a little girl and her ice cream cone?

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The rest of the night I had to do my homework (boo again!)  Thank goodness for online classes, but homework is a bit of an annoyance during a vacation!  Ha!

By the way, there are even more pictures (and a few videos), but Ryan did the fastest editing possible before he had to leave again on Saturday.  Thank you Ryan for making blogging possible!

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1,100 Miles, One-Way

On Tuesday the 13th, Ryan and I began our road trip to the Sunshine State.  Packed up in my Civic Hybrid were all the necessities… beach towels, swimsuits, beach umbrella, snacks, a cooler, and our bikes (the only thing we forgot was shampoo/conditioner.  My fault!)  We kind of got a late start for such a long trip (10 AM ish), but we just went with the flow anyway.  We would get there one way or another.

Did I mention we drove (ahem, correction, RYAN drove) 24 hours straight to Florida?!?  I mean, of course we had to make the regular stops for food, gas, restroom, etc… but no stopping to sleep!  We also had to make a few extra stops.

Our first stop was the Apple Store in St. Louis.  For some reason, I all of a sudden supported Ryan’s idea of getting an iPad.  ;-)  Maybe because he hasn’t had an iPhone in a month, as he’s been waiting on the iPhone 4, and this would help hold him over a little longer.  Perhaps also because he was going to get one anyway, and what better time than when we could use it on our trip to FL?

We had to take the official, unwrapping new Apple product pictures.

Ooo, it’s so shiny!

We also had to stop at a Honda dealer for an oil change, which turned out to be just perfect timing.  We saw the dealer from the road in Illinois, and as soon as we took the exit, my first oil light came on for 15% oil life.  They took walk-ins and waiting included, it only took about an hour.  While they were doing that, we rode our bikes just down the road to a Starbucks.

That day we drove through a total of 6 states: Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.  It was a bit insane, but I was all for it if Ryan could do it.  I was absolutely no help, as I was tired by 9 pm and slept on and off through the early morning.  I only drove a total of about 2-3 hours on the way there.  Ryan was sipping on energy drinks and listening to comedians to stay awake.  Most of the other time, we listened to the new John Mark McMillan album, The Medicine.

It is very strange when the days run together, especially when you’re stuck in the car watching it happen.

I was getting a bit anxious for the beach!  Can you tell?

Like I said in this post, we saw this amazing full (and almost double) rainbow as we drove through a few raindrops in Tennessee.  I didn’t react quite like this guy did (see this YouTube video).

We drove right under it and could basically see where it started (or ended, however you want to look at it).  I think the gold at the end of the rainbow was Florida itself.  :)

We were only through Nashville, TN by sunset.  That’s not even half way!  We stopped for dinner at this questionable iHop and kept driving, driving, driving until we saw the signs for Titusville, Florida.  Once we finally got to my cousin’s house around 11 AM eastern time on Wednesday, we crashed for the afternoon.

When Christy and her kids got home from work/daycare, we went out to dinner for pizza and then hung out with the kiddos (and cat) before they went to bed.

Their cat, Nicky, is the biggest cat I’ve ever seen weighing in at 25 lbs.  We actually gave him to my cousin 10 years ago.

After some somersaults…

hugs…

and block building…

the kids had already warmed up to us.

Flo-Rida

As of 11 pm last night, Ryan and I are back home in good ol’ Missouri from our trip to Florida.  It’s definitely bittersweet to be back.  Since I only blogged a few times while I was there and kind of left you hanging (sorry!), I will be posting about our trip over the next week or so… lots of fun pictures to be included!

First off, let’s start with the background details. Ryan and I drove to Titusville, Florida (think Kennedy Space Center) last Tuesday, July 13th to enjoy the wonderful state and visit my cousin Christy and her kids.  The plans to travel arose after I bought my Civic Hybrid back in June, as I’ve been dying to go back to Florida (first trip was in summer 2007) and my new car would make for a nice road trip.  Also, I’ve been wanting to visit my cousin since she moved from MO to FL several years ago.

However, we had to keep our plans on the DL since we didn’t want John Tibbs to find out.  We wanted to surprise him (and did we ever!), as he was going to be in Orlando at the same time, playing at the International Youth Convention.  That’s why I had to keep you in suspense until we surprised him!

We were also planning to visit the Gulf side too, since we have a free place to stay in Ft. Myers, but actually decided to stay in Titusville the whole week.  In a nutshell, it was SO MUCH FUN!!!  I would move there in a heartbeat.

Now that you know more of the who, where, what, etc… I’ll get to the good stuff!

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Last Friday afternoon, we went swimming at Christy’s friend’s pool.  It was a nice, sunny and hot day, just perfect for swimming.  We rode our bikes over there (since it’s just a neighborhood away) and stayed for a few hours.  We brought along Christy’s awesome underwater camera (Canon PowerShot D10), which provided lots of fun and great pictures!!!  Check them out!

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Jumping in…

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Christy and her 2-year-old daughter, Amelia.

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Trying to sit on the bottom of the pool.

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Christy, the mermaid?  Why can’t I look this pretty underwater?

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Ryan jumping in.

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We look SO FUNNY.  The sad thing is I wasn’t trying to look crazy!

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Creepy!

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Amelia and me.  LOVE her… her cuteness melts your heart!

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Christy’s 6-year-old son, Christian.  LOVE him too… he is SO smart and such a sweet little boy.

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Prohibited, But Not Enforced

We have clothes on under that 6’x6′ towel (fooled ya!), but the people on Lot Number 13 at Playalinda Beach were not covered with anything.  We had to see it to believe it, and trust me, it’s really a nude beach.  Nudity may be prohibited, but it sure isn’t enforced.  Lot number 9 was more our thing, with swimsuits and all.

I Can Ride My Bike With No Handlebars

Ow ow! Look at that good-looking cyclist.  They don’t get much cuter than that.

I made him model for me. Isn’t he so kind to be compliant?

Because he’s way too adorable not to be photographed.  On his Trek.

Good thing we have nice helmets to protect our heads.

Because sometimes I get a good look at his cute face and almost crash.  Into the nearest tree, car, or even Ryan himself.

You may think I’m joking, but I’m not.  ;o)

What a great idea to buy these bikes this summer!  Who’s idea was it again?  Hmm..oh yes, his!  hehe.  It’s such a fun way to spend time together.  I would highly recommend it to other couples.

I think we make a good cycling pair if I do say so myself.

I’m slowly getting into shape. (Except right now while he’s gone for two weeks, it won’t be pretty.) And Ryan?  He’s in a whole ‘nother league.  I always ask, “Do your legs hurt yet?”  The answer is always “Nope!”  Of course, Mr. Muscles!

Our longest ride together so far has been about 11 miles.  Not bad!  I only had to have a little help getting up some hills.  Oh yes, when I can’t make it up a hill, I grab onto his arm and he gives me some assistance and I give him a better workout.  He’s such a great boyfriend!  :o)

One night we went on this really hard bike ride, about 8 miles, and oh man… there were some killer hills.  They made me want to cuss.  #$%!  (I held back though).  Those dang Missouri hills! I think that’s the only reason I’d want to live on some flat land, like Indiana.  Does that mean Missourians are in better shape?

I kinda wish we had a tandem bike too.  I’ve never been on one before, but I think it’d be the most adorable thing ever.  Maybe someday, just for kicks.

With my new car, we love the convenience of a bike rack (it wouldn’t fit on my old car, but they fit inside of it somehow).  It also makes me feel a little smug when I drive a Hybrid and carry around our bikes.  Only a little though, and in a good, Earth-friendly kind of way.  I promise I won’t look down on you too much if you are driving a truck and hauling a speed boat or something.  Too bad we can’t haul my paddle boat, too.. that’d be a scene.  ;)

I think it’s about time to take our bikes in for the first tune-up.  We’ve got in some good miles and my gears need a little adjusting.  We’ll do that when Ryan gets back and then we’ll be ready to roll!  Literally. Can’t wait!!!