J-5 Rogers Family

7.15.2010

Summer Vacation - Florida

Picture and word MEGA overload
Grab that buttered popcorn, a cupcake or brownie with tons of icing, a glass of wine (soda, milk, water?) and cop a squat...

We left to Florida on June 26th for our family vacation.  We were there until July 6th.  The last time we were there was in July of 2004...6 years ago!
 
Just to give you some background:  Due to a job transfer, my parents, sister and I moved to Bedford, Texas from Miami in 1984 when I was 5 years old.  My mom, sister and I are the only people in Texas currently.  Everyone else from both sides of our family is in Florida - Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Cousin's kids...everyone. 
We are 17 cousins total on both sides, and FOURTEEN of us are girls.  Yes, 14 out of 17 are girls!  I know - our poor families.  I am the second oldest grandchild on both sides, and the boy is older on both sides.  Kinda weird, huh?  What is even weirder is that when we all started having children of our own, we all had BOYS.  The first five great-grandchildren were boys.  We now have 10 great-grandchildren on both sides, and 7 of those 10 are boys.  Total flip-flop.

Here is a run-down of everything we did each day that we were there, along with pictures from each day.  
Enjoy...


Day #1:  (Saturday - June 26, 2010) We departed from Terminal E at DFW -- which is where Jeremy and I met -- so we had to take a picture of the three kids at our meeting spot.  The first picture is at the old satellite that Delta used which is now closed due to the ever slow economy.
This was Jacoby and Jilian's first time on an airplane, and the engines scared Jacoby.  Not scared to the point of crying, but just to the point of holding on tight and leaning back in his chair when we took off.  It was honestly cute.  They did not do so well on the plane...at all.  The portable DVD player and Nintendo DS helped, but not enough.  They cried and whined a lot, but my two little busy bodies are not used to being contained for more than 20 minutes at a time.  Their brother (Jaydon) was a complete angel.
We arrived to Miami at 5:45 to be greeted by my cousin Alany, and her boyfriend.  We got our rental car minivan (Stylin' I tell ya!  If you know me, you know that I am a spoiled SUV kinda girl, so this was tough.) and arrived to Abuela Tata's around 7:00PM to be greeted by another 15 people - really - and some DELICIOUS rice & chicken and Cuban sandwiches.  (Weight gained on this trip will not be discussed.)
It was funny because 15 people is the norm at Abuela Tata's house, but Jaydon thought it was a 'party'.  The next night, a few people showed up and he said, "Are we having ANOTHER party?  Where is everyone else?"

Day #2:  (Sunday - June 27, 2010) We got to celebrate Katie's (Alany's daughter) 2nd birthday on this day.  It started at 2:00, and it was held at a church/park.  Disney themed birthday.  Super cute stuff, and Minnie Mouse herself made an appearance.  This was what we did the entire day.  I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I would have liked, but keeping up with a 1 & 2 year old in 90º & 100% humidity makes for a sticky, sweaty, not happy mommy.  The kids, however, loved every minute of being outside, and that's all that mattered. 
Sassy loved the jump house.  Having a trampoline at home helps because my kids are jump house pros.  They SO enjoyed the see-saw best of all.  I see this as a possible near future investment!

Grandchildren: Lesley (26), Jessica (31), Lyanette (30), Antonio (32), Yamileth (16), Alany (21), & Lyann (22)
Missing: Jessenia (27) & Jorge (21)

Great-Grandchildren: Jilian (17 months), Eric (13), Dylan (7), Jaydon (7½), Dominic (4½), and Jacoby (2½)
Missing: Katie (Birthday Girl - 2), and Richard Julian (5 weeks)

Everyone was there at the party, we just couldn't get them together all at once!  :(

Day #3:  (Monday - June 28, 2010) We headed out to Aventura Beach (North of Miami) and spent a good chunk of the day at the beach/pool.  This day was BY FAR the best part of our trip. 
This was Jacoby and Jilian's first time to the beach, and they loved it.  They absolutely loved it!  The sand was burning hot, but they got used to it.  I loved seeing them all play together building sandcastles.  We buried Jeremy under the sand and when the kids weren't looking, I gave him some extra body parts.  I got a picture of this, but due to this being a family blog, I will refrain from posting it.  :)
Even with 70 SPF, my three kiddos got some color.  Jaydon more so than the other two, but he's naturally lucky like that.  Jeremy and I only wore 30 SPF, and we burned.  We didn't peel or hurt, but we got really red.
Jacoby is a fish!!  He held his breath underwater 5-6 seconds a few times without coming up gasping.  He wanted to swim.  This is a BIG difference from his older brother who still doesn't know how to swim after many swim lessons.  Jaydon loves the water, but just doesn't care to learn how to swim.  He doesn't like the feeling of floating and not being in control. 
We also got to eat at my FAVORITE pizza joint which is inside the hotel where we were at.  DELISH...and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because the entire family thought it was delish, too!
Does Jaydon not look so serious - like a real Italian with that pose & look? (We are Cuban, not Italian)
Snacking while he waits on his pizza

Full mouth of food

That evening, after all of the kiddos were asleep, Jeremy and I took off to South Beach.  We walked down Lincoln Road from about 10:30 PM - 1:00 AM.  We shared a huge slice of pizza (in Miami and eating pizza all day - I know...pathetic!) and had a drink.  It was SO much fun to enjoy adult time together outside.  We people watched, and even saw a few people in bushes that we couldn't decide on...Were they homeless, or did they just have too much fun that night?  We wanted to stroll on the beach for a bit, but by the time we made it down there, the beach was closed.  There were others on it, but call us "goody-goodies".  No need to get a ticket on vacation, right?  Had we been 21 again, it might have been a different story.  At age 31 with 3 kids...we played it safe, and just took in the breeze & view from a short distance away. 

Day #4:  (Tuesday - June 29, 2010)  We got up fairly early on this day to head out to The Everglades.  We met up with my cousin Tony & his wife, Elizabeth.  Jeremy, Jaydon and I went out on the swamp/air boats with them, and really enjoyed our time out there.  (Jacoby and Jilian were too small for this.  It was really too loud for them.) There were a few baby gators.  We only spotted one mommy alligator, but there were a lot of pretty birds and flowers. 

Jaydon bought 3 fake alligators at the souvenir shop whom were named "Moody Monday", "Wild Wednesday", and "Freaky Friday". They ended up being the joy of the trip, and the butt of many jokes. One of these was Jaydon placing Moody Monday in the sink at my Grandmother's house, and her nearly jumping to Cuba the following morning when she woke up and saw it. My little innocent Jaydon can be tricky, too!

After "The Glades", we headed out on a car tour of Miami and surrounding areas.  Long story short - Jeremy and I have considered moving back to be with family, and we wanted to see what neighborhoods our budget would put us in, and what schools pertained to those neighborhoods.  Longer story even shorter, we are "in talks", but nothing really struck us as "perfect".  What was perfect was WAY beyond our means.  Can we say that momma has 'wine taste on a beer budget'?
 
Then later that evening, we went to dinner at my Godfather's house (my Dad's older brother) in Hollywood. (Ft. Lauderdale area.) We got to see him, his wife Marcia, and my cousin Stefany.  Last time I saw Stefany, she was a little girl.  She is now a junior at Emerson College in Boston.  How time flies!
Let's not discuss that Jacoby's favorite thing to do here was hang out in the dog's crate...because that's not embarrassing or anything - even if it's family.


Then when we got back to Abuela Tata's, we found out that my cousin Lesley had to have emergency gall bladder surgery.  She had TONS of stones, and they really weren't passable.  So off to the hospital I went with my grandma to spend a few hours with Lesley before her surgery.  (She had surgery in the middle of the night and recovered just fine - thank God!)

Day #5:  (Wednesday -  June 30, 2010) Jeremy got up really early to go play a round of golf at The Doral with my cousin, Tony.  Considering he hadn't played or practiced in a very long time, he did well.  He shot in the 80's.  (Yes, Jeremy was in manly Heaven!)


 
After that, we all spent the rest of the afternoon/evening at the beach in Aventura once again.  The kids enjoyed this just as much the second time.  Again, the BEST part of our trip!
Jeremy did see a few topless babes on the beach this time.  Somebody asked him if he got hit on the back of the head for looking at them.  He said, "My wife doesn't care.  Hers are bigger than all of theirs anyway."  Oh how true that statement is, babe.  Score 10 for you! 

We did make a pit stop at the BEST Krispy Kreme donuts in the USA on our way back to Miami.  It is in Aventura, and just beats all of the others hands down.  Jaydon is not a sweets eater, but donuts are his weakness.  He had never been to a Krispy Kreme, (I know we have one in Grapevine!) so seeing the joy on his face to see people & machines making donuts was priceless.  He even shocked us and ate one while it was hot, ooey and gooey.  The best way to eat a donut if you ask me!

Day #6:  (Thursday - July 1, 2010) We got up early once again and headed out to Key West with my cousin Tony, and his wife Elizabeth.  Jaydon went with us - the two little ones stayed with Abuela Tata.  The drive down there is SO peaceful.  There is water on both sides for miles & miles & miles & miles...

We stopped to eat breakfast, then to take pictures, then spent a few hours in Key West.  It was BLAZING hot.  We are talking burning.up.hot.  My cousin probably thought we were loony, but we could hardly stand it!  I ended up having to buy a visor.  (Side note:  I started off every day with my hair done, and ended in a cap or visor.  Sad.)  Poor Jaydon felt it worst of all.  Elizabeth ended up buying him a t-shirt which you will see below.  Too funny!  We made all of the "touristy" stops, (Ernest Hemingway's house, Mile Marker Zero, 90 Miles to Cuba Sign, Margaritaville) and stopped at the beach for a bit in the evening before we headed back. 
Jaydon is never short on poses for the camera, is he?
Dollar Bar - Dollar Bills hanging all over the ceiling and every corner!
 

Then, we ate some YUMMY seafood on the way home right by the water.  Scrumptious!! 
Enjoying his special soda for being such a good sport all day long!
(When you don't give your kiddos sodas or sweets, they REALLY do work as special treats.  SCORE!)

This was a 7AM-11PM day. Needless to say, we all slept really well that night!


Day #7:  (Friday - July 2, 2010)  On this day, we packed up our bags (condensed down to 1 bag) and headed to Orlando for the weekend.  Sixteen of us went on this trip in three different vans/SUV's.  My Grandmother and Uncle got some BEAUTIFUL condos just a few miles outside of Disneyworld.  They were 4 bedr/3 bath units - brand new & super cheap - and just awesome.  They all had tile, granite - the works.  The pool was five feet away from our back porch.  We grocery shopped for the weekend, and just hung out that evening in preparation for the next day...

Day #8:  (Saturday - July 3, 2010)  The LONG awaited day.  The day at...DISNEY WORLD



Jaydon's favorite part was meeting Buzz Lightyear.  They did the "cool guy" fist pump/hand shake thingy and Buzz knew exactly what to do.  We stood in line for 30 minutes to meet him... 
...but thank GOODNESS that was the only character that Jaydon had an interest in meeting!  I just thought it was super cool that this "Superhero" was just a little taller than my 5'8'' hubby.  Who's the real hero now Buzz, huh?  Take that!  (I love Toy Story by the way.  ...and Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3. Thank you, Pixar, for these great films.)

We didn't wait in line for anything else, thanks to the {drum roll, please} flash pass!  Ahh - the best thing ever for skipping the lines.
Jaydon - the boy who rides nothing at Six Flags - rode everything. I was so proud of him! He rode on Splash Mountain, (We have the 'paid for' picture they take of you on the ride here at home.) Buzz Lightyear, Small World, Snow White, and a few others. 
Jaydon loved it at Disney. Jacoby & Jilian had fun on the few rides they went on, but they were too small to really appreciate it all. It was also virtually impossible to get pictures of the family all at once.  Jilian slept at first, (see picture below upon entering the park) then Jacoby slept for 2 hours, then they were hungry - it was impossible.  I had "visions" of this photo shoot (Jeremy was dreading my 'visions'!) in front of Cinderella's castle with Mickey Mouse ears and all, but it just didn't happen.

My grandparents don't really need wheel chairs, but my grandma's foot swells badly if she is on it for too long, and my grandad's knee bothers him, so we always insist that they get them if we are going to be on our feet for a while. They hate it - it's really our doing. Also, my grandmother has never owned a pair of tennis shoes in the 31 years that I have been alive. She lives in clogs and heels at the age of 78. She says she doesn't know how to walk in anything flat. Oh, Abuela!  Diva at your age...really??

She could have stood there and 'people watched' all day.  She was content just running and watching!
She cracked me up with the way she held on.  She insisted on sitting in the chair - not in our laps - and holding on herself.  Such an observant little girl, too!
I loved the picture above because when I took it, it looked like they were riding Eeyore, and the tired look on his face was priceless.  Not so much now, but it still makes me smile.
Jacoby's VERY first lollipop (or 'sucker' for you Texans!) ever was had at Disney World.  Thanks, Alany, for the introduction to sweetness!  :(




We will return again once Jilian is 4 or 5 years old.  At that point, we will be waiting in all sorts of lines to meet Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Snow White, and who knows who else by then?!?  I saw so many little girls with their autograph books, and it made me chuckle nauseous thinking about our future $$$ falling into the laps of Mr. Walt Disney - wherever his frozen self is.  Anywho, moving on...
It rained on us, and this really put a downer on our day.  It rains EVERY day in Florida in the summer, and this was no exception.  We ended up having to leave much earlier than we wanted around 7:00.  We had planned on staying for the nightly parade and fireworks at 10:00, but the rain wasn't letting up.  We didn't know if they would still have the events with the rain anyway.  One day at Disney is just not enough.  We could have spent an entire 3 days there.  This was Jeremy, and the three kids' first time there.  At least they can say they have been now, but it wasn't the experience I had hoped for.  Next time, we will stay at Disney, do character breakfasts, the works.  This time, that wouldn't have worked with the two little ones anyway.  Once again, they were just too young to really appreciate what Disney World is all about.

Day #9:  (Sunday - July 4, 2010)  On this day, we drove back the 3½ hours to Miami.  It was pouring down rain pretty much the whole drive home.  Poop.  The kids were beat.  We didn't even do fireworks this year.  I know that is sooo un-American, but I am a weirdo and have never really loved Independence Day anyway.  Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas...that's a different story.  Jeremy and the boys had on matching flag shirts from Old Navy, and Jilian & I had on matching tanks from Target...bad mom - I didn't get pictures other than this in the car! 

Excited about getting back to Abuela Tata's house, are we?

Late that night, Jeremy and I went on our second date night of the week.  We saw a few fireworks as we were driving.  Woo-hoo.  We ate a yummy Cuban meal at La Carreta, followed by a trip to Wal-Mart.  Romantic, huh?  (Trust me when I tell you that ANY time alone is romantic for us!  We cherish all of it no matter what we are doing.)

Day #10:  (Monday - July 5, 2010)  Today, we spent the day with my dad.  He recently moved to a new condo, and it was SO pretty.  It was a corner unit on the 14th floor of a 20+ floor building overlooking the bay.  It is the perfect retreat for a semi-retired couple...but not at all for that semi-retired man's 3 busy grandchildren.  I had my heart in my throat the entire 4 minutes we were there thinking about Jacoby showing us a trick off the side of the balcony.  Not so fun.  After we saw his new place, we ate another delicious Cuban meal at Havana Harry's.  This is BY FAR my favorite Cuban restaurant.  I don't know what it is, but I love this place!


 Jacoby upset that his brother was leaving with Abuelo and he wasn't.  A few more years, lil' buddy.

After that, Jaydon went with his Abuelo (my dad) to the beach (which was cut short by...you guessed it--RAIN!) and the rest of us headed to my Uncle's house for a barbecue.  We picked Jaydon up later on, ate at my Uncle's, and then took Jaydon back to my dad's so he could spend the night with him.  That night, we finished packing, and said our good-bye's.

Note to self: Don't make animal sounds while taking pictures, or your children will imitate and the result above is not so cute.
Day #11:  (Monday - July 6, 2010)  My dad met us at the airport with Jaydon.  It was his 56th birthday on this day.  We left Miami at 11:17AM.  We got VERY lucky on the way there and back.  On the way there, we had $80 in baggage fees ($50 for golf clubs, & 2-$15 bags)  and we were only charged $15 TOTAL.  Then on the way home, we had $95 in fees, and we were only charged $60 total.  It's all in the way you talk to those people behind the counter.  Been there, done that...now I need the shirt to prove it.  :)

It was nice to get away, but it's so true that you need a 'vacation from your vacation' once you get back to the world of cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, ironing and more laundry.  Thank goodness Jeremy was off until July 11th and didn't have to go back to work until Monday.  He needed that vacation more than anyone!

...to our family who gave so much of their time to us on this trip - especially Tony, Elizabeth, Alany & Tio Yamil!
Also, a BIG Texas "gracias" to Abuela Tata & Abuelo Farito!  For.Everything.
...and to Abuelo, for understanding that we only spent one day with him because our stay was jam packed with activities.  He can get on an airplane ANY time for FREE to come see us.  (Which he should do more often!  Just sayin'...)

PS:  I couldn't wear make-up on the trip because I was sweating SO badly every day!  The humidity was killer, too.  I gussied up at night for my "dates" with Jeremy, but wouldn't you know that since it was just the two of us, we didn't get any pictures?  :(  I didn't want y'all to think that I look sweaty and unkept all of the time.
PPS:  Yes, I color coordinate my children's clothes...always.  The boys will dress the exact same 6 out of 7 days per week, (with one of them being in a size 8, and the other in a size 3, you can't find matching everything) and Jilian will always be in a coordinating color.

I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did!

Stay tuned for more posts about our return trip, (d.r.a.m.a!) and also some other stuff that we've done so far this summer...
 

2 Comments:

Blogger Ashley said...

Great recap! I loved the part about your cousins mostly being girls and then everyone having boys. THAT IS MY FAMILY TOO! Except we had like 27 cousins and 24 of them being girls! Crazy!!
And, I did notice the color trend about half way through.
Mad props!
My only critique is that I would have totally had them wearing the red on the Disney day. "Mickey/Minnie" Catch what I mean?
And last, I won't even tell you how much cola my child has in a week. IT IS SICK!! And I blame her father for it. And suckers? Oh yeah. Let's just say that is one area where we are not alike. And I am not proud of it. But not ashamed either so it is what it is. HA!
You looked cute in all the pics! You are blessed with natural beauty for sure:)

July 16, 2010 at 2:06 AM  
Anonymous Tia said...

Jaydon in chick magnet shirt is my new wallpaper at work LOVE IT! Awesome pictures! Wish I was there. Not the 90 mile to Cuba sign I was thinking, guess they put a new one. Why don't I know the pizza place? When can I take Jacoby to swim lessons? Dad looks super skinny!

July 18, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

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