Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 5: Independence Day & Lack of Dolphins

The timing of this trip meant that we would be in Florida during the Fourth of July, which is my second favorite holiday behind Christmas. One of the things I've always wanted to do is spend the Fourth of July with my kids in Florida, specifically, watch the fireworks on the beach. It's one of the memories from my childhood I no longer remember, but I do remember that we did it. Just the memories of it are gone. I remembered that it was always my goal to do that with my kids some day and I thought, now or never.

I don't know how long I'll be around and I don't want to die without having done certain things with my kids. It doesn't seem like a big deal to most people, but my early childhood is fraught with not great memories so the things that did bring me happiness as a kid are a big deal to me. So my goal was to medicate and go outside, even though it was even warmer this day.

Our first stop was Clearwater Beach because the big kids wanted to go on a dolphin cruise. We do this every time we come to Florida, and we had cashed in our change jar so we could do this.
We had lunch right before, but this was happening during nap time so you know.. crapshoot with moods at this point.
Lucy was ALL about it though. It's not a good picture but this girl was so excited, especially when other boats went flying by us. She loved it.
Penelope didn't give a damn. She mostly excited about unlimited iced tea and the lei's they were handing out.
Olivia and Jackson were all about the animals, they really wanted to see dolphins.
Olivia was such a great helper with Penelope on the cruise because she was a handful.
Jackson was in charge of refilling my water and Penelope's iced tea, he did a great job.
Me with three of the kids, Lucy wouldn't cooperate.

The cruise ended up being a total dud because we only saw one dolphin, that's it. Previous cruises we would see tons of them so we know for next time to stick to the morning cruises and apparently, the kind of boat you're on makes a difference. But it was still fun and we got to see Clearwater Beach from the water, and it's a really pretty beach.

After that we headed up to my Uncle Stephen's and Aunt Cheryl's house for a cookout. This uncle was the one who oftentimes would watch my brother and I on the weekends when my mom would work. He would always cook certain things for me especially because I was such a picky eater, and sometimes he'd get us Happy Meals and those were the best weekends.

So we hung out at their house for a few hours and it was great. I had such a good time, the kids loved them, and it made me wish we lived closer. I wish my kids got to know my family better because they'd really love them so much.

After dinner we had just enough time to get to the hotel and grab the sand toys and find a spot on the beach for fireworks.
 Taking a picture with all of the kids looking is next to impossible but this... this is what I wanted.
I don't think Matt understands my excitement over something so small like fireworks on the beach, but when we were little we truly were poor. This was a big deal for us, we would spend the entire day on the beach, and I just wanted to give my kids this memory.
They were loving it. We saw Clearwater's fireworks to our right. St. Pete's fireworks to our left. A couple of families had larger fireworks than either city and they were dueling it out right in front of us. It was the best.
Olivia at one point looked at me and says, "I bet this is your favorite holiday because of the beach, huh, mom?"

Sure is, baby. Sure is.
Jackson was having a blast. This is my kid who falls asleep early always and he was so tired but he was loving every minute of it.
This was the first time Penelope or Lucy have seen fireworks and they didn't really care. They kind of watched periodically and I think they had no clue what was going on, they were just loving being back at the beach in the sand again, at night no less! 
It was easily the best part of the trip. I'll probably forget most of it but I hope I never forget the feeling I had that night.

1 comment:

Julie H said...

awww glad you had a good day!