The trip to Key West was plagued with issues, but all in all, everything went okay. I needed a vacation from my vacation afterwards, however. Vacations are not the same once you have kids…
We left here on Saturday and boarded a plane by 7am. Evangeline did really well throughout, only a few bouts of fussiness. She even trooped through us being stuck on a plane for 45 minutes past boarding just to find out the plane was dead and we’d have to switch planes. By that point, I was exhausted. By the time we arrived in Miami, we were almost three hours behind “schedule.” We didn’t even arrive at our condo until around 7pm. It was a rough drive. Evangeline was so tired she cried and cried, but eventually went out…
Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday. We hung out around the condo and took Evangeline on a walk so she could see all the different trees and sights. We spent some time in the pool, too.
My aunt joined us on Monday. Before she arrived, the husband and I went out on our own. We had a fun few hours trolling familiar sights. We picked my aunt up and had a late lunch. Evangeline and I promptly napped upon returning to the condo, haha. We had wanted to schedule a sunset sail with my aunt, but she wasn’t interested, so we scheduled one for ourselves the next day. It was a day riddled with a bit of conflict because everyone was kind of being a wet blanket. We were also being completely ignored as per what we would like to do… we ended up having a very late dinner, but it was delicious. Mr. Z’s stromboli… well worth the wait.
Tuesday we (me, the husband, and Eva) spent the morning with my aunt downtown. She had wanted to try out this one place that she claimed was “a local haunt”, but truth be told, it was a trip advisor recommendation with substandard food. Luckily, we couldn’t find it so we got to try a place my husband had wanted to go. My food was terrible, but theirs was good, and that’s all that really mattered. It was a seafood place and I don’t really “do” seafood. We walked around, bought some stuff, and then headed back to the condos. We got dressed in our costumes, dropped off for our sail, and then we had a great dinner at Pepe’s and enjoyed a bit of the nightlife. We went to Key West during Fantasy Fest… so there’s a lot going on.
The next day was more of the same. We had a lot of fun, but my aunt wasn’t happy about all the walking or the heat. Let’s note that she’s a Floridian! You’d think she’d have made peace with the heat and humidity by now… anyway, we took Eva to one of my favorite places… the Butterfly Conservatory! She loved it, especially the flamingos. It was so fun to watch her squeal and point at all the butterflies fluttering around. One landed on me while I was holding Eva, but the husband missed getting pictures of it. My aunt’s ferry departed at 5, so we ate lunch and then said goodbye.
The rest of the week was a smattering of going out at night and trying to do stuff during the day. I actually went kayaking! The husband has wanted to do it forever and I’ve always been reticent because I’m so pale. I finally gave in and it was actually a lot of fun. Very hot and sweaty, though. And I definitely got a lot of sun… We went to the beach, late in the day, so Eva could experience the sand and ocean! She wasn’t very thrilled… but it was still a next experience to share with her.
Evangeline and her grandpa dressed up like pirates and spent some time downtown walking around. People were constantly stopping them and wanting pictures of her. She looked adorable! We got a chance to go out on our own some more and that was fun, though I worried about leaving Eva with the grandparents. They’re not usually good about respecting how pale I am versus the sun… but they did well with Evangeline.
I finally got another chance to visit the Dolphin Research Center and holy crap, has it changed! It’s awesome. They have a splash pad now and a neat little garden. They’re remodeling the visitor’s center, too. I was thrilled to show Eva the dolphins! She squealed and pointed when they jumped. It was a really fun time, we spent several hours there. I even played with her on the splash pad a bit, though I wished I had known about it beforehand… I would have had our bathing suits handy instead of being all packed up. We stopped on our way out of the keys as we headed towards our hotel outside of Miami.
The trip home ended up being way simpler than the one we took to Miami, so that was nice. Eva did a really good job on the plane. I nursed her to keep her calm and she usually slept, unless the plane failed to get going (like when we had the maintenance issue.) Plane rides are definitely stressful now, though. No more leisurely reading and passing the time by, sigh.
Even though the visit was fraught with tension and issues, it was still nice to be in Key West and to have Evangeline experience all the things we love for the first time. Any time I was having a rough time, I just looked at her. The expressions on her face and the wonderment she had at everything just made it all seem pointless. Even now, I don’t even really feel like focusing on the bad. I’d much rather chronicle the good. Although, I will say, I was definitely disappointed in my Aunt’s visit. She’s usually a lot of fun to be around, but this time… yikes. Husband thinks it’s because her business is failing and she’s super stressed out. Whatever it is, the crazy needs to go back in the box. It was like vacationing with my mother. I am glad she got to spend time with Eva, though.