Our family just got back from Florida. We had such a great time last year we decided to go back again this year. We stayed in the same condo, went to the same beach, and did some of the same activities. We had fun but this trip didn’t go as smoothly as last year.
On our first evening at the beach we watched dead fish float up on the shore. We had heard the algae was bad and people were seeing dead fish the week before. But we were hoping it would be better for our week of vacation. This was definitely not what I had pictured happening on our first day at the beach. None of us got in because it was just too gross. The next day we went to a public beach. The girls got in the water and had a great time. But I was hoping we wouldn’t have to travel to public beaches all week. On the third day the beach by our condo was clear and the girls were able to swim. And I rejoiced.
Last year the highlight of our trip was the dolphin cruise. We saw 20 dolphins last year and we were excited about taking another cruise. This year we saw 2 dolphins. Only 2 dolphins? I couldn’t believe it. Apparently we were spoiled last year. A crew member told us it’s really unusual to see 20 dolphins. The girls still had fun because they got to feed fritos to the seagulls.
As we set sail this year the captain announced that we would be traveling out into the Gulf. We weren’t able to go into the Gulf the last time because the waves were too choppy. The captain announced that if you started to feel queasy you needed to go to the back of the boat. I don’t remember the nicely phrased words that he used. But basically he said to puke off the back of the boat where it won’t fly in someone’s face. Because we don’t want your puke to ruin someone else’s good time. Ok. Now I’m feeling a bit uneasy.
Mikayla got really quiet just moments after we started this voyage into the Gulf. Then she said “Don’t feel so good.” Oh great! So we rushed to the back of the boat and stood by the rail. She told me she wanted to sit down. We sat down on the nearest bench and I quickly noticed there was a trash can to our right. Oh good. If she starts to get sick I’m going to get her to that trash can. Another one of my girls wasn’t feeling well either so she joined us at the back of the boat. Then I started feeling queasy. We were only 1 hour into this 2 hour cruise. Suddenly a woman came running from the side of the boat. She was holding a paper towel up to her face. She ran over to the trash can and deposited her breakfast. She did it without getting any on her fellow passengers. Good for her. I spent the last hour of the cruise wishing I could abandon the ship. Please don’t let any of us puke. Please don’t let any of us puke. Please, please, oh please don’t let any of us puke. And none of us did. Half of our family didn’t want lunch when we docked. Was that really the same ship that we had so much fun on last year?
The next day we went to the Gulfarium because Mikayla and Hope insisted that we go see the dolphins. We went to the dolphin show as soon as we got there. The doors opened at 9:30 and we came in at 9:36. The only seats left were at the top. We sat down and one of our little sweethearts started yelling “I can’t see! I can’t see! I CAN’T SEE!!!!!” They sat on the front row last year so they were expecting to sit on the front row again this year. Brett remembered that last year people stood around the rails that surrounded the dolphin pool. He thought the girls would be able to see better if we moved down there. The little sweetheart who couldn’t see was still not happy and continued to let us know. It was extremely hot. Sweat was running down our foreheads and our backs. Our other little sweetheart started yelling “Fix my bra! Fix my bra! FIX MY BRA!!!!” Our girls are new to this whole wearing a bra thing. I guess the sweat, the bra, and the sensory processing disorder all mixed together was driving her crazy. And the other little sweetheart was still yelling that she couldn’t see. People were staring. I felt totally overwhelmed. My bottom lip started trembling. The tears were starting to come but I was determined I wasn’t going to cry. We’re here on vacation and I’m not going to cry. The dolphin show started and the girls settled down.
As soon as the show was over our sweetheart once again started yelling “Fix my bra! Fix my bra! FIX MY BRA!!!!” So I did what any overwhelmed, slightly embarrassed mom would do in the same situation. I took my little sweetheart in the bathroom, peeled her bra off, and put it in my purse. There. Now we can enjoy the rest of our day.
I sent a message to my friend Evana. I told her I was having moments when I wished we had never come to Florida. She reminded me that even though it’s hard to go out and do things and battle the meltdowns we are giving our girls life experiences. And that’s what’s really important. She told me to try to laugh off the times that make me crazy. That’s really easy to do when you go in a gift shop and your girls turn into a horse and a crow.
Taylor decided she needed to experience parasailing. Brett booked an early morning time for them to parasail while the rest us slept in. It was a really good plan because I didn’t want to see my husband and my daughter 500 feet in the air. I’m funny that way.
We had some fun and we had some trying moments. I laughed some and I never cried. Maybe I’m finally learning to laugh my way through the crazy. I’m thankful for every memory made with these 4 girls who call me mom.