Thanksgiving in Treasure Island

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img_2670For Thanksgiving this year, the twins and I went to Treasure Island, FL near St. Pete Beach with the Meyer side of our family. We shared a condo with my parents, Dalton and Savannah. Tommy had to stay behind in NC for work. Noah was in Myrtle Beach, SC with his dad.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving,the twins and I left straight from their preschool to pick up Dalton from UNC Greensboro. We left their preschool at 12:20pm and arrived in Treasure Island at about 1:20 AM so you can imagine how fun our 13 HOUR car trip was. Dalton and I took turns driving my car. The twins did not nap in the car and refused to fall asleep until almost 10pm. They slept for about ONE hour and woke up crying. They pretty much cried the last 2 hours of the drive. Dalton drove while I sat in the back wedged between my two crying children and holding their hands. 1) I am definitely glad that we are flying to FL when we return in March. 2) I think my screaming children terrified my brother, who now says he is never having kids.

Despite getting to bed around 1:30am on Wednesday, the twins were up before 7. (There was LOTS of coffee consumed on this trip to stay awake!) We joined my aunts, uncles and cousins on the beach in the morning. The weather was beautiful during our whole trip, sunny with highs in the uppers 70s. The ocean was FREEZING, but we got used to the water on our legs pretty quickly. Only the youngest two boys and Uncle Ed were brave enough to actually swim in the ocean’s cold water!

Emry Jane does not like getting dirty and she has not liked the sand on their previous three beach trips; but she had a blast playing in the sand while we were in TI. She kept my cousins Owen and Camden busy. Whatever she wanted them to do, they did it– and she loved every minute of it.

img_2716That afternoon, we went to the condo pool. My mom bought the twins some floaties because I forgot their puddle jumpers in NC. The floaties didn’t slow them down a bit! They really enjoyed jumping into the pool and pushing the boys, Camden and Owen, into the pool. The boys would pretend to make a big deal about being pushed in and the twins would laugh and laugh. I hope we haven’t started a bad habit of them pushing others into the pool…

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On Wednesday night, we (the whole family of 18) went to dinner in St. Pete at a restaurant called PJ’s. We tried to keep the twins entertained through the late dinner, but they weren’t having it. I ended up getting my food to-go and bringing them back to the condo for bed.

Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day, we went back to the beach after breakfast. The twins were less interested in the ocean the second day, but they kept themselves busy playing in the sand. The ocean was clear, calm and shallow so we didn’t have to worry about floaties near the water. I really hope that it is this clear and shallow when we are back down near St. Pete in March!

After about an hour at the beach, we took the twins back to the pool to swim before lunch/nap. During their nap, my mom and I prepared our Thanksgiving casseroles. My Uncle David and Aunt Nancy had rented a big 3-bedroom condo in the same building so everyone cooked their side dishes in their individual rooms then brought everything to Uncle David’s room to have Thanksgiving together. The front desk gave them an extra card table for us to use. We also borrowed two high chairs for the twins from the downstairs cafe. We had a great meal altogether. Below are some of the group pictures that we took:

After dinner, most of the adults went to the movies to see Fantastic Beasts. My mom stayed with the twins so that I could go to the movies with the older kids and other adults. GG stayed with my youngest cousin Camden (he’s 8 like Noah.) I liked the movie a lot, but the movie theater itself was the best part. The theater seats all reclined AND I got to sip on Sangria while watching the movie. The theater served food and alcohol, in addition to the traditional movie popcorn, candy and drinks. Not too shabby.

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Dad said he would fall asleep (which he is notorious for doing during movies and even Las Vegas shows) with the reclining seats, but he actually managed to stay awake for the whole movie. We sent this picture to my Mom to show off the reclining seats.

Friday was our last beach day. We spent most of our morning at the pool, though I did manage to get a few Emry Jane snuggles at the beach. I really love the beach– it’s my happy place. I cannot wait until we get to take more beach trips. I have so many memories of going to beach with my family when I was a kid and I want to make those same types of memories with our kids.

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On Friday evening, we all went down to the baby pool area to watch the sunset. The twins kept getting farther and farther into the pool until they were “hugging” the fountains. Needless to say, they had to go upstairs to change clothes before we met everyone for dinner. We met in Uncle David’s room later that evening for pizza and Charades. Charades is our family tradition that the youngest cousins look so forward to and the adults complain about, but everyone plays. In years past, Tommy and I have even played with the family via FaceTime. I am not even sure who won this year because the twins and I left before the game was over for their bedtime.

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On the last day of our trip (before a full day of driving home,) we went to Universal Studios in Orlando. Dalton and Savannah have been begging my parents to go to Harry Potter World for years and the twins and I were willing to tag along. We left Treasure Island around 6:30am so that we could be in Orlando by the time the park opened. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was very crowded and we didn’t get to ride many rides, but it was cool to see Hogsmeade and the inside of Hogwarts! I had cute shirts made for the twins for the occasion 🙂

Dalton and Savannah both bought wands at Olivander’s and Eli REALLY liked Dalton’s wand. I look forward to starting the Harry Potter series with Noah soon– I think he will really like it. Then, we will have an excuse to go back and see Hogwarts again.

I’m so glad that we got to spend this time with my family, even though we missed my brother Christopher, Tommy and Noah. Eventually, we will take a FULL-family vacation!

img_3114This is probably the best picture from our time at Universal. Emry Jane wedged herself between this little girl and Eli while they were waiting in line for a ride. Her little crossed arms are just hilarious. That’s her Eli and you better not try to get near him!

img_3120When we were done hanging out at Universal, we drove 4 hours to Savannah, GA to spend the night. The picture above is from the next morning (Sunday) when we were leaving the hotel in Savannah to go home. On our way home, Dalton rode with us for a few hours then he jumped in the car with my parents and they drove him back to Greensboro. We thought this would be easier for the twins vs. them having to be in the car for another hour. I picked up Noah right after that and then drove the last couple of hours home with all 3 kiddos. There was lots of traffic, so it was not a very enjoyable car trip but not nearly has bad as the 13 hours down to the beach. We made it home about 4pm on Sunday. Tommy had already put the Christmas lights on the outside of our house, bought our Christmas tree and put the lights on the tree, so the kids got to decorate the tree that night. Thanksgiving was over and it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas 🙂

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