I was celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. He planned a very romantic getaway for us right here in town. We stayed at the Gaylord Palms and it was perfect. Really perfect.
The hotel is gorgeous and we enjoyed every moment of our time away. We ate lots of delicious food - the highlights being a fancy steak dinner and a breakfast buffet that was nothing short of amazing! We spent a relaxing day by the pool reading books and sipping frozen drinks. Matt scored the last table with an umbrella and arranged lounge chairs in the shade so we didn't melt in the Florida sun. We saw La Nouba (Cirque du Soleil) from the best seats in the theater and it was fantastic!
All in all, it was relaxing and romantic and just what we needed.
The hotel delivered champagne to our room the first night to congratulate us on our anniversary.
And, after dinner we walked around the hotel until we found this enormous screen with this special message -
Matt wanted me to Photoshop an extra "t" into his name but I'm just not that talented yet.
The Gaylord Palms is an elegant and beautiful hotel. It felt like we were in paradise. However, I could not get over the bedspread in our room. Why would such a classy place have monkeys dressed in period clothing on the comforter?
And why do those monkeys also have to be playing musical instruments?
And, why do I have these awful pictures but don't have a single picture of the two of us all dressed up for our fancy anniversary celebrating?
I don't know. I can't explain it.
But, I do know this. As much as we enjoyed our time away - we sure did miss Drew and Abby! It was so much fun to talk to them on the phone and hear Grandma describe the funny things they had done or said while we were away.
So, we were very excited that on our last morning at the hotel, Grandma was headed over with the kids for a fun day at the pool! The kid's pool here is awesome! A huge slide, splash area, playground, beach area, and it is a zero entry pool so there is plenty of space just to sit and splash around. We knew the kids would love it!
We went out to greet them and their reactions were priceless. I was so caught up in the moment of getting my arms around my babies that I don't even know how they responded to Matt. But, I heard them both saying "mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over and I had two little sweethearts wrapped around my neck in a matter of seconds! It is such a sweet memory that I hope will always stay clear in my mind.
Matt had to park the van, so I took Grandma and the kids inside the hotel to show them around. The center of the hotel is an atrium with so much to see. The kids loved the fish (koi), turtles, and alligators - but they really couldn't wait to get out and see the pool we had told them all about!
Drew was having so much fun playing in the sand and making castles with Daddy.
Abby stayed with them for a few minutes, but then she came with me to the shallow end of the pool where we could cool off
and splash to our heart's content.
I love that Drew is holding out his arms for Abby in this next picture! Just like his daddy!
The slide was a big hit! I can't even tell you how many times Drew went down that thing. And, he had no fear! He didn't want us to catch him - he wanted to swim to us after he went under the water!
Abby, on the other hand, wanted to sit on Daddy's lap. As he hit the bottom of the slide he would hold her up in the air so her face didn't go under. But, I knew she would love it if she just gave it a try - she did a water slide out at Disney by herself a few months ago. So, about the 3rd or 4th time I yelled up to Matt to just push her down by herself and I would catch her so she wouldn't go under the water.
She was furious!!
For a second.
And then she was elated! She loved it! She had an enormous smile on her face as I caught her at the bottom of the slide and she squealed to me, "I don't need Daddy anymore! I can do it by myself!"
And she did it by herself for the rest of the day!
Getting thrown in the air by Daddy is always a favorite pool activity.
Especially for my little daredevil of a son who would help by flinging his body as far out as he could go!
When it was time to dry off, the little dude borrowed his Daddy's sunglasses and I couldn't decide which expression I liked better -
And, Abby has to be just like her big brother! So do I like -
It's hard to say, but I can tell you this...
I love those little people (and all of their expressions) more than anything in the world.
I really do.
And their Daddy is pretty wonderful too!