Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I found amazing flight deals to head to Florida in February all the way back in September. It felt a bit risky to buy non-refundable tickets with the looming adoption possibilities, but I took a chance and bought them anyway. As the time got closer soon Ashley and the kids were also going to come. And then Tyler and family too. I was excited for us to have some time together in Florida. Tyler met us later so Stella and I helped Courtney through the airport and we met everyone else in Florida.

We were pretty lazy our first day and didn't do a thing, since we had taken the dreaded night flight to get there.

The next day though it was such perfect weather we got together all the munchkins and took them to a school playground. I took way too many pictures than the trip warranted because I was playing with my new phone.

Then that night after the kiddos were ready for bed we headed to the outlet mall. We were super sure we would find it just fine this time and not get lost. We did have a few bumps in the road including running out of gas. It was no matter though, because we had plenty of shopping time (Sister Secret). I love malls that stay open until midnight, it's like my fave.

The main downside to having the whole crew this time was that we didn't all fit in the Vero condo. I really wanted all the kids to have a beach day so one day we drove there, changed​ into beach wear, and then headed to the beach. It was really fun. I took like 300 pictures, I couldn't stop. The kids were all being so cute though. And I wouldn't be a good aunt if I didn't fully document Lottie's first time at the beach.

We went back to the condo to clean up for dinner. It was seriously so hard for me to leave the condo. Our trip so far had been fun, but it really wasn't the relaxing Vero Beach visit I had in mind when I booked my plane tickets. I knew it was the last time I would be in Florida for a long while. Plus on top of that we would have Vivi. So I was pretty teary as we drove away to have dinner. My heart still aches for my precious time sitting on the back porch and reading surrounded by the Florida breeze.

My dad finally caved and put a heater in the pool at the house. The girls were thrilled that they didn't have to leave the pool with frozen bodies anymore.

Tyler arrived on Sunday, and we only had one full day of us all being together. Our original plan for the day was to visit LEGO Land, but it was going to be too busy, expensive, and not open late enough. We decided to see the "real Florida" at Blue Spring State Park instead. We saw all sorts of animals, including the manatees, alligators, and armadillos. We had a few toddler breakdowns, but in true Evans family style we rebounded. It was a good thing we didn't go to LEGO Land. I think the boys and most of the adults were pretty worn out.

On our way home we stopped to have dinner at Waffle House. As we sat down Ashley got a message to call her neighbor and received the horrific news that her 12-year old neighbor boy who lives across the street had died snowmobiling that day. It was just horrible news, and we were all really upset. Between that and Porter throwing and breaking a sugar shaker, we definitely made an impression on the staff at Waffle House that night. (I took all these pictures before we found out about the accident.)

So Ashley and I headed home early that next morning. We had a great family trip--the only thing I would have done differently is insist we camp out at Vero for a night, but it will just make my visit there that much more delightful when we take Vivi next time. (Of course, since I just got off of a 12-hour flight with Vivi, I can't imagine wanting to fly anywhere with her anytime soon. :) )

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