Magic is as magic does. If you believe that the snow on the rooftops of a recreated fictitious city housed inside an amusement park is real snow, then it is.
We left cold and dreary PA for cool and sunny Florida. This is the past two days in photos. (Click on the airplane window photo to see them all bigger and with explanatory captions.)
The Who and I are enjoying a new photo app that makes everything look like a painting. He took this out the window as we broke through the snow-bearing clouds in Philly and saw sun for the first time in days.
The first thing we saw upon landing.
After a family nap (the 4am wakeup was brutal), The Who and I navigated to the coast. We found a little park on a small key on the Gulf of Mexico and arrived just in time for sunset. It was COLD, though.
Studying the birds digging for clams as the tide went out.
“Downstairs breakfast” is one of The Who’s favorite things about travel. This morning, he casually draped one leg over the other and set about drawing all the Harry Potter characters one by one over a plate of toast with butter.
The place we traveled all this way to see: Clearwater Marine Aquarium. (The Harry Potter stuff coming tomorrow was built on top of this vacation; the original intention was always to come here.)
Both movies were filmed on location, so he really delighted in reading about all the places that were exactly the same.
Hope, getting checked out by a trainer. There are no shows here and it’s really not at all a touristy aquarium. It wasn’t super crowded at all. They only have a few animals and all are either being readied for release after a rescue or being kept because after rescue, they were not able to survive in the wild.
Winter (left) and Hope
Despite never intending to have an overscheduled kid, this is where we seem to have landed. It’s not as intense or insane as it could be; we don’t generally find ourselves running from one thing to another in any given day, but we do have somewhere to get to every single day, including weekends. He’s only really got 2-3 “extra” activities during the week, but that’s all it takes for us to be constantly rushing, always trying to get somewhere on time, regularly setting deadlines for getting dressed and out of the house and in the car and on the way. And while yesterday was no exception in the morning (ballet begins at 11am and is a half hour away) the whole rest of the day was a free-for-all. It was just what we both needed.
After lunch (which itself was incredibly leisurely and enjoyed over several long games of giant-grid tic-tac-toe) we stopped into the music store where he played every piano, pored over sheet music, and strummed on this for a while.
With nowhere to be, we were both free to lose ourselves in our respective books at Barnes & Noble. I found a Jodi Picoult novel and read a couple of chapters while he delighted in this illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The grocery store was the only “must-do” of the day and even that was made tolerable by the new Clever Crosswords for Kids book we picked up. Clues like, “a small drink” (three letters, begins with ‘s’) made it ideal for him to work on independently as I perused the aisles.
We didn’t make our way home until close to 6pm — nearly bedtime. Eight hours in and out of stores, in and out of the car, three meals, multiple conversations, several games of “I Spy” and lots of giggling. No deadlines. No timeline. He was full of the love for me by the time he was out of the shower and snuggled in, reading stories. These days can’t be every day, but it could be yesterday.