Monday, March 31, 2008

Back to reality - Paradise is No More

After 10 months or so of planning our extended family vacation the time has come and gone and we are back from paradise. Our chosen destination was Upper (North) Captiva. This is a little island, about 550 acres off the coast of Ft. Myers, Florida. The island was actually part of Captiva Island at one time but a hurricane from the early 1900's split the island and that is how the Upper (North) Captiva island name came to be. In order to get to the island you must travel by boat. There are no cars, grocery store, commercial or tourist things to do. The island is very laid back. About 300 acres are reserved for a wildlife, nature park. So wildlife is in abundance and the beaches are full of shells.
Our planning took coordinating schedules for 14 people coming from all directions, planning meals for the week, making a grocery list and hoping we didn't forget anything. We also had 4 little ones under the age of 6 that we wanted to make sure we kept occupied.
Part I - Planes, Cars, Boat, & Golf Carts
The first big action - arriving and catching the ferry. Most of the group met early Saturday morning and we picked up our groceries, shopped for any last minute items we might of forgot and for some it was re-shopping for things confiscated by the TSA at the airport. Gotta love the new guidelines.

We had 72 bags of groceries, not sure how many coolers and 12 cases of water. We were set for the week. Ready to board our ferry, take the 30 minute boat ride across to the island and our "Island Host" would be there to take us the next step. (more on Island Host to follow)

Arrival to the Island - here our mode of transportation is primarily golf carts and at the house we had bikes and there is always the good old fashion way of getting around by foot. There WERE to be two golf carts to meet us, we would load our stuff on the trailers and deliver us to our house. (details to follow)

Monday, March 17, 2008

First Snips of "locks"

It's been known for awhile that Chloe was in much need of a hair trimming and shaping, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. There is something about that first innocent hair.
Well when I came home from my scrapbooking weekend, Tony said we are cutting her hair. After a discussion I said I would trim the hair in her eyes, so the poor child can see.
It was not an easy task to have Chloe sit still and in a couple of areas it is a little shorter than I wanted.
So for now her bangs have been trimmed and she still has the loose curls in the back, of her sweet baby hair.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Loads of the WHITE stuff to play

After our skiing adventure and our safe return home with hazardous conditions we continued to watch it snow, snow and snow some more.

On Saturday morning Cleis couldn't wait to get out and play in the white stuff. She helped Tony snow blow the drive way, she took a little adventure around the yard. She played with the dogs down the street, and the neighborhood girl across the street. And after more than two hours playing she was not ready to come in so she could warm up.

Chloe was able to enjoy the snow for a few minutes. I didn't have proper gear to keep her out there for very long. She was out long enough for me to get some pictures and video.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Winter Play Land

Well for three months we have tried to take Cleis snow skiing and the weather has not worked in our favor. This past Friday was our last chance to take advantage of the Retro pricing at Paoli Peaks. We figured take her when the price is right that way if she doesn't like it, no big deal we're not out a bunch of and it's okay if we don't get to ski.
Well once again the weather was not in our favor but Tony was determined we were going. So we made the plans, dropped Chloe off to Mimi Cheri and Papaw Jerry's, got all our gear out and loaded and headed off for a good nights sleep. We woke Friday morning expecting the weather to be here and there was nothing - good but disappointing. Everyone got ready and we started out the door and the snow started. We went on as planned. Once we got onto Hwy 150 things went from fair to worse and the further west we went the worse the roads became. We took it slow and all turned out well.
Once we arrived we suited up and headed to the slopes with our gear. Because we had to purchase rental for Cleis her admission included a group lesson. We arrive at the lesson and learn that she must be 6 years old. We explain the news to Cleis and she's okay with it, she just wants to go down the hill. We step aside and plan to listen to take some pointers from the instructor and the instructor must have felt sorry for us and gave up one of his instructors to give Cleis a private lesson for about 45 minutes. We stayed with Cleis a couple of times down the hill to see how she was doing and to make sure she was comfortable. Once we felt comfortable, Tony and I headed off on our own to take a couple of runs.

After her lesson we took a break and Cleis needed to get warm. So we headed in to the lodge and shared a couple of cups of our Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate (best stuff ever). Then it was back out to the slopes and Cleis said she was ready to do the big hill. So down we went and never looked back. Cleis was ready to cover all the slopes and so that is what we did.

Even with the extra element of the weather, the wind was a bit strong, overall the day was great. Cleis had a great time. Tony and I squeezed in some good runs and we're planning for next year. Oh yeah, while we were there we ran into a family that had a 2 1/2 year old and he was already out on the slopes. We'll be starting earlier with Chloe and who knows we may be back to our annual Snowshoe trip before we know it. I can't wait!!!!