Neither Trotwood nor Little Dorrit had ever been to the beach before so this was a new adventure - actually, it was a new adventure for all of us because with Little Dorrit's central line, we had to figure out ways to keep her from getting the dressing over her line wet from the ocean water. Thankfully, Little Dorrit seemed more interested in chasing sea gulls and playing in the sand than actually getting in the water. In fact, she was a little terrified of the waves and didn't want to have anything to do with the ocean so keeping her dressing dry wasn't a problem. Before we go out of town somewhere with Little Dorrit, I always worry that something might happen so we have to do some research to know where the closest children's hospitals and any ERs are located along our route. We were so lucky to all be healthy on this trip. It really was wonderful to get away for a week.
While we were in Florida, we got tickets to go on a pirate cruise ship. I know Trotwood enjoyed himself but Mr. Rochester and I were glad when the two hour boat ride was over. It really was just a booze cruise where the parents drank and the pirate ship crew had different activities to do. And since Mr. Rochester and I aren't into boozing, we just tried to keep Little Dorrit happy most of the time and stay out of the way of inebriated folks. We did take pictures and look, we're smiling. Proof we had fun, right?
One day while Mr. Rochester was at his conference, I took the kids to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. It was an exhausting day but both kids seemed to have a lot of fun. The main things Trotwood wanted to see were the rhinos. And they had the cutest baby rhino ever.
Also, I couldn't resist buying the super overpriced pictures that they took of us in front of a green screen when we got there. It's a vacation. We'll have the memories forever. That's what I kept telling myself.
On the way back from Florida, we stopped in Mobile, AL to see the USS Alabama Battleship. I will say, it was exhausting carrying a two year old up and down narrow spaces and stairs in the battleship, but despite that, touring the ship was a lot of fun. When I was little, I remember my parents taking me to this same park and I thought it would be a neat experience for our family. While in Mobile, we ate at a Ralph & Kacoo's which is a restaurant that my parents used to take me and my siblings to when we were little and lived in New Orleans. I didn't know there were any of these restaurants outside of New Orleans so we decided to eat lunch there.
Our last stop on our trip was to Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi. We actually were able to meet up with some good friends who happened to be in Mobile at the same time we were and they were driving back to Fayetteville the same time we were. So, we all decided to tour Vicksburg together - I know Trotwood enjoyed running around with some friends that day.
From this trip, I've learned something. We need more vacations. And next time, an actual full on vacation where there is no conference involved. It was wonderful, exhausting and rejuvenating all at the same time.