St Augustine Weekend

Last weekend Michelle and I took a little getaway to St. Augustine. It was only two nights away, but still a nice little trip. We stayed at the Hilton Bayfront, which was perfect since it was so close to everything. Our weekend was extremely wet, but it was at least a little cooler and the crowds were light.

One of our favorite activities was the distillery. We definitely recommend taking the tour if you are in the area. Also, be sure to stop in at the Ice Plant Restaurant if you do make it out to the distillery. Their service and menu is outstanding!

Irma Outcome

We were very fortunate through hurricane Irma. Despite 100mph+ winds we are all safe and sound, had no damage to our home and miraculously never lost power! Other parts of Lakeland, Florida and the Caribbean were obviously not so fortunate. Please pray for those who sustained damage or loss to their homes and especially those families that lost loved ones from this storm.

In the end I think we fared much better than was expected, but there is still lots of cleanup to be done it the coming weeks.

Hurricane Irma

For anyone reading, be sure to say a prayer for Florida. We are hunkered down in Lakeland. So far things aren’t bad, but we are expecting 90-95 mph sustained winds at the peak early tomorrow morning.

Student From China

We just finished hosting a student from China! Anna, age 10, stayed with us for the last week and a half. We had so much fun with her, especially Abby. As much fun as it was, this morning was very sad for all of us as Anna had to leave. I think Abby will have the hardest time, but we will definitely try to keep in touch.

Here are a few photos of our time with Anna.

Abby Swimming

Over the last few week, I have been working with Abby on swimming.  When we took our trip to Hawaii, we realized pretty quick how much Abby needs to learn to swim.  Basically everything we did on that trip involved water of some kind!  In the weeks since that trip, Abby and I have gone to the pool at least one time each weekend to work on swimming skills.  It's really cool to see how much Abby has taken to it in just a few weeks time.  When we first started, she wasn't confident holding her breath or even doing basic swimming.  Since then, she has started using her swimming motions much more and is even using diving rings.  She has a long way to go before being able to swim the pool on her own, but for now we have been leaving the life jacket at home and just using the kick board as her only flotation device.  I'm really excited to see how she is doing in another 6 weeks or so!!  

Mom and Dad in Town

This week we got to have my parents stay with us for a few days. Abby and Lucky both enjoyed the time very much. We got to have a character breakfast at Disney one day and then went to downtown Disney afterward. Breakfast was really good. Mom really enjoyed it and I think Dad did too! Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey were all there. 

Blog in the cloud

I have successfully moved this blog to a VPS! 

The morning we left for our Hawaii trip, I had a hard drive failure in the server hose ring this blog. The server happens to be a machine I have sitting at home. My goal was to keep the blog updated while on the Vacation, but with the hard drive failure, that simply did not happen. I ended up finding a cheap VPS provider that will serve the needs of this blog just fine. The added bonus is that I no longer have any ports open coming into my home network!

Hawaii Vacation – Day 7

Well, 7 days in Hawaii was all we got to enjoy. Abby and I spent the last morning at the resort pools while Michelle packed. We left at checkout time, got lunch and headed to the airport. 

It was a fantastic Vacation and definitely something we would like to do again!

Hawaii Vacation – Day 6

Monday of our Vacation was our relax day around the resort. We also finished up our souvenir shopping on Monday. Abby spent most of the day in either the pools or the kids club and even made another batch of space goo. We wrapped up the day with dinner at the Marriott a resort down the street and a walk along the lagoons on the way back to our resort. 

Hawaii Vacation – Day 5

Sunday was our trip to the windward (east) coast of the island. We decided to stop and get breakfast on the way, but ended up just eating at McDonalds since everywhere had really long waits. 

Our first stop was sea life park. It’s definitely not an Orlando park, but there was enough to keep us busy for a few ours before our dolphin encounter. We got to see a see lion show and several other marine animals in their enclosures before going to the dolphin area. Getting to touch and interact with a dolphin was definitely the highlight. Abby also liked it. 

After sea life park we stopped a couple lookout spots. Makapu’u was on the extreme southeast portion of the island and  Nu’uanu Pali lookout was higher up in the mountain. Both spots were great for photos. 

We had a late lunch at Kona Brewing in Hawaii also before heading back to the resort. Michelle and I had a good sized beer sampler to go with our meal. We thought the food was delicious and the beer selection was also really good. The lavaman red ale was both of our favorites.