Hello there! It’s been over a week since we last chatted here, and I’ve missed this blog space.
Don’t get me wrong, however, unplugging and spending time away from screens was very needed and appreciated while we were in Orlando Wednesday to Wednesday. Doing so enabled me to be present and fully soak in time with loved ones. It also helped reset my mind! (In case you missed it, check out the benefits of unplugging regularly and how to do it.)
I’m coming to you back in New York with a slow start back into a routine. Scott is currently traveling for work for ten days (let’s take a brief pause to acknowledge that – hallelujah!), so we are just taking things one day at a time and doing our best to find a new normal through this pandemic … whatever that means.
All of that said, I am very thankful that we were able to travel and return home safe and healthy. Since our last trip down last September, Scott and I received both COVID-19 vaccines and are no strangers to getting tested for the virus, simply for precautionary measures and peace of mind. It’s crazy to think that Skyler has been tested at least a handful of times, too. He’s been a champ through it all!
Our Experience Flying in 2021
Some things have changed since our last airplane ride eight months ago, and others things haven’t. The airports were busier, but lines still moved quicker than what I have experienced in the past, pre-pandemic. The majority of the shops and restaurants were open, and it became obvious that more and more people are traveling now compared to 2020.
We chose my favorite airline, Delta, and have always felt safe with the extra protocols they have in place. Middle seats can now be booked, and both of our flights were full. That was different. Everyone was required to wear masks outside of brief windows of time to eat and drink, and the beverage and snack cart went through the aisle this time. Sanitary wipes were handed out upon entry, and everyone seemed to keep to themselves as much as possible.
Skyler is officially in his own seat from here on out, and while I don’t like the extra expense, I do like him having his own space and entertainment set up.
He did really great on both rides! This was the first trip where he didn’t try to actively leave his seat and run around on the plane, so that’s a win. We brought Skyler’s small backpack filled with a few of his favorite toys, these toddler headphones for him to watch his own movie picks, and some of his Magna-tiles. My aunt gifted him this puffy sticker set for the ride back, and it kept him busy for at least a half an hour. Also, snacks are always a good idea!
Florida Trip Highlights – May 2021
While there was plenty of things to do and places that were open to visit, this trip home was almost as low-key as the last one. We didn’t plan too much outside of quiet time at my sister’s or parents’ house, and that is always the best way to catch up and hang out if you ask me!
I didn’t see too many people outside of family, but I was able to coordinate a few meet-ups with lifelong friends while we were there.
Some of the highlights included …
An afternoon at Southern Hill Farms to pick blueberries with my childhood bestie, Melissa and her kids. They’re now open Thursday through Saturdays and you only pay for what you pick, along with concessions if you choose to purchase their house-made food and treats. I highly recommend trying at least an item or two!
It’s blueberry season, so we enjoyed a round of blueberry mimosas, a blueberry and gouda grilled cheese, a chicken garden salad, blueberry freeze slushies, a peach popsicle and a blueberry cobbler throughout several hours of visiting.
The kids had fun picking blueberries, but the playground and food created the most excitement. It was so cute!
We stayed with my sister the first few nights and then over at my parents’ through the weekend. Skyler couldn’t get enough time in the pool at both houses, and we spent more time outside and around water than we ever have before.
I went on a few stroller runs with my parents and used resistance bands at the house for a strength circuit, too. That was the extent of my workouts for the week, and it was just enough during our vacation.
Sunday was one of my favorite days, as my mom, my sister, my niece, my brother’s girlfriend and I all met for brunch at Sixty Vines in Winter Park.
It was fabulous, and I enjoyed the food and environment as much as the company.
The guys in the family were in charge of watching Skyler for that portion of the day, and they kept him busy by taking him on one of his first boat rides.
The funny part about it is that he didn’t know what a boat was when I asked him if he wanted to go on one. (Talk about the definition of a city kid!) After brunch, we joined the boys on the lake and it was so, so nice to be out in the water in the fresh air with family.
That is exactly how I spent my weekends growing up, and I miss that frequent time on the lake to this day.
Monday was a slow day, so I took Skyler for a jog in the running stroller and re-introduced him to Publix. I grabbed a few staples that – of course – included a sub for lunch and took my time getting ready and packed for a night’s stay and quick trip to see two of my friends from high school in St. Augustine.
Once again, the guys were in charge of watching the kids, and we thoroughly enjoyed our casual Mom’s Night Out that consisted of dinner at Valley Smoke and lounging by the water over wine before heading home.
Our time together went by too fast, but I was thankful for the opportunity to see them … especially after the last few years that did not give us chance to catch up all together and in person. It had been way too long!
We met my Aunt Sandy for breakfast at Cracker Barrel (one of my faves!) in St. Augustine before driving back to Orlando, and Skyler was obsessed with the store as much as I loved the Southern comfort food. It’s the best.
She bought him a harmonica that has quickly turned into our nightly entertainment here in Brooklyn, and it was so nice to spend time with her.
Unfortunately, the joy in the rest of our time home was cut short as my mom got in a car accident as I was driving home on the interstate. (She was in Orlando, so we were not driving together.) She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and spent the rest of the day undergoing a series of tests to be cleared to go home. While the car is no longer functional, we are counting our blessings that my mom will be okay. She has severe chest pain and bruises on her body and head, but she is getting better as the days pass.
That’s what we were dealing with on the last day of our time home, so it made it that much harder to say “goodbye for now” the next day as Skyler and I left for the airport. We would have extended our trip if Scott didn’t have to go out of town, but I needed to be home to take care of the pets, so here we are. It was quite a whirlwind of emotions!
Again, we are very thankful for her recovery, and I’m glad I was able to be with her the night everything happened. She needed the smiles from her grandson, that’s for sure.
We arrived back home Wednesday evening, and we are settling back into our typical days around here. Our time at home flew by, and I’m already wondering when it would be good to plan another trip down with Scott. We are hoping for the fall, and we might even get to introduce Skyler to Disney … who knows.
Until then, we’ll be doing our thing here in NYC. I’ll be back with healthy living content next week and also back into a typical posting schedule.
Thank you for checking in today, and I hope you have a great rest of the day and weekend!
Your turn …
- Have you traveled in 2021? If so, where did you go and how was your experience?
- What is one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend?