Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Vacation, Chapter 1

I think I told Tisra about a week before Christmas that I was looking forward to a quiet little Christmas with just us. I thought about leisurely sitting around in PJ's, watching the Christmas parade and having a simple dinner. Then it happened. Amanda's last day at Starbuck's was supposed to be on Dec. 27th but they only scheduled her until the 21st. And Travis asked for Tuesday through Friday of Christmas week off at the last minute and got it. So all day Friday I had this nagging feeling in my gut that we weren't staying here for Christmas. Actually, I'd had that feeling all along but since Amanda started working at Starbuck's, I thought I must be wrong. Anyway, when Travis got home on Friday I shared my hair-brained scheme with him (I get lots of those, and he almost always tries to talk me out of it). He was reluctant at first but the thought of seeing his family for Christmas was too much to resist. We hadn't done very much Christmas shopping though and wouldn't have time to do it once we got there so Sunday was spent at the mall. And Chloe had a fever. And I was wondering what in the world I'd been thinking. I'm really good at ideas but the follow through leaves me breathless and wishing for sleep. Thankfully, we got it all together and were on the road by 5am Tuesday. We got to Shane and Angie's house at 8pm on the dot. The girls were great on the drive down though and thankfully those years of car trips with screaming infants is over.


When Shane answered the front door Landon was there and said "Hello, I'm Landon Johnson" and we all cracked up. We spent the next few hours catching up and unpacking the car. It had been 20 degrees in TN when we packed up the car the night before so unpacking in 69 degrees seemed heavenly.

The next day we did sit around leisurely for a while catching up while the kiddos played in the backyard. Landon let the girls ride in his big jeep and jumped around excitedly. It was so nice to see him excited about them playing with his toys. They played in the sandbox and on the swings and had fun in the sun. It was really nice since the girls haven't seen the sun much lately.

Later that same day we met a married couple that are Trav's friends. Travis actually lived with Carl for a while when he was in high school. It's a long story but Travis wanted to go to a private school in Lakeland while his parents lived in Tampa so until they moved, he lived with Carl. We met them in Ybor City. I took a few pictures because everything was very cool- and urban, so watch your purse and your kids.


Here's some graffiti....



And a manhole cover. Yes, I realize it's the storm sewer but the cover is really cool and I love the brick paved streets.Here's the cable car...And an open air-indoor-cuban-esque restaurant....And a raised sidewalk...


The obligatory shot of the girls...And Trav's friend Carl...I took lots of pictures because there were so many interesting things to see but we spent just over an hour there. I think that I'd like to go shopping there and get a good Cuban sandwich *but* I wouldn't go by myself.


Later that night was the Christmas Eve party for the Santisteban side of the family (Trav's Mom). It was great to see everyone again, some we hadn't seen in 8 years.


We took about 7 photos before we got one that neither of us hated...girls-sheesh!


Trav and his brothers with little Cameron...Chloe with Kyleigh...she loved being a little mommy....And this is the most beautiful baby I think I've ever seen (my kiddos excluded, of course)...We had a great time with great food and stayed way too late. We were supposed to open stockings and PJ presents for our new tradition of getting new PJ's and sleeping in them on Christmas Eve but Halle didn't quite make it. See?



All in all it was a great night and was nice to see family again. There's more to come...stay tuned...

5 comments:

Christy said...

So much fun! I love all the pictures - I can't believe Christian. In my mind, he'll always be about 9 years old....

Mary said...

Wow, it all sounds so full and busy. I'm so glad you were able to go.

Mom said...

Remember the Cuban sandwiches we would get in Ybor City? They were the best.

Angie said...

We had the best time with you guys!!! So much FUN and loved getting to spend some time with the girls:) You got some great shots. Cna't wait to see more.

Amy said...

Mom, of course I remember those Cuban sandwiches- loved them! Actually, I wish I had one right now.

Angie- we had so much fun too and miss you guys!