Saturday, August 14, 2010

....Key West....

.....it was one week ago that we left sunsets like this.....



.....they are intoxicating...I could watch them all of the days of my life and I would look forward to them at the close of each day.....

.....and Key West holds so many dear memories for me.....my senior year of college, we headed to Key West for a week....free and young, it was me and five friends that added a little more zest and spark to Duval Street.....and since that initial trip down the chain of islands towards the southernmost point, I have made my way many times to replicate the uniqueness and festive tranquility that this place has in store.....

.....there isn't anywhere quite like it....




.....the night we decided to take the girls to Mallory Square for sunset was the night they chose to meltdown.....not sure if it was the heat, the exhaustion of swimming all day or the fact that day time lingers until way past bedtime......but the overzealous man and his cats caught their attention.....so much so that Elsie squirmed her way to the front row half way after the show had started and all was peaceful.....he worked his magic on my girl....




....but we did capture a few shots to remember the night while the babes were content....






.....and I have now learned, this being my first time coming to Key West with kids; that the island offers something for everyone....while Stefan and my Dad chartered a fishing boat, we girls headed to the aquarium.....


.....it was a long walk there.....and as a New Yorker who walks everywhere, I thought a mile walk would be a piece of cake....I underestimated a one mile walk with two toddlers and one stroller.....

.....while some of us were happy to be hitching the ride as we alternated turns in the stroller.....


.....others of us were not enjoying the exercise....



.....I also underestimated what I am capable of of.....never thought I could push the stroller with one arm, hold a thrashing toddler with another, all while lugging the diaper bag over a shoulder; while still being able to supply sippy cups of cold water for sweating passengers during a 45 minute stroll....

....turns out I can....

.....and then Aunt Rainey showed up and we were ever so happy to see her.....and she was able to document my collapse into the first bench I laid my eyes on after that grueling walk....


.......and once rested for a minute or two, we were off again.....





.....and just as Key West has something to offer the college students, the littles, the happy hour, sunset watching crowd; it also has something to offer two Mommas who are set free at our kid's nap time to let loose and have fun......


.....my sister in law, Erica and I got acquainted with the mopeds very quickly......and after a few cruises around the places we wanted to see, we settled for some live music and a Key West Rum Runner.....


......and when the thunderstorms roll in, two Mommas on mopeds are stuck on a girls afternoon out.....

......so we made friends with the locals and the bar tender and decided to leave our mark.....



......the kids were just fine while we were out.....they had family all around to keep them busy....




.....and although the girls had quality time with everyone in the family, they were able to spend an extended period of time with their Aunt Rainey......and it's amazing how the older, but still very young aunt is always such a special person.....my Mom's two younger sisters are pinnacle people that helped mold me from a young girl to an adult and I love them both dearly.....and my girls love their Aunt Rainey very much too......


......thank you, Rainey for all of the attention and love you gave the girls.....thank you, for also hanging back to play with them so Stefan and I could have some adult time away.....we love you....

.....but all fun times must come to a close.....

......big group dinners become the last night together dinners......


.....and the last sunsets of the trip.....


......the last day to swim in the pool.....




......the last lazy brunch to gorge on pancakes....


.....the last day to try and catch lizards....


......the last night out with my sister in law.....


.....and the close of waking up for 14 days as a family of four.....anticipating another slow moving adventure.....excited about our togetherness....




....and it's vacation times and the breaks from routine that pull us together....it's these moments that make all of the hard days worth it.....the weeks that Stefan travels, the months when Stefan studies, the busyness and hustle and bustle of certain times of the year, the weeks that I might be preoccupied with exhaustion or other household stresses.....

......it's the blessing of family that allow us to appreciate all that we have.......the things that money can't buy......because all of the priceless things like laughter, first experiences of newness with children, date nights in a festive place, a late night conversation with a sibling, a knowing glance with a spouse......those are all the things that make the memories we take with us permanently etched into our hearts.....

.....I'll carry a piece of our two week Florida trip in mine for a very long time....


......Dad and Dawn, thank you for renting such a beautiful cottage for us to make precious memories of our Key West experience.....we are grateful for all of the fun.....xxoo

1 comment :

Kelly said...

WOW! What a fun trip! I love the vibrancy you can feel in every single shot! What a beautiful family you have! xo