Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Petersburg, here we come!

We're heading to St. Petersburg, Florida later this week and I've been counting down the days until our trip for weeks now. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that most of our adventures take place around the Midwest. While I love this area of the country dearly, sometimes in February the need to hop on a plane and head south for some sunshine is just too strong.

My husband and I spent a long weekend in this area of Florida two years ago. I was pregnant with the arrow, and we thought it was our last traveling hurrah for a while. At that time, I never thought we'd be brave enough to venture much beyond a quick day trip here and there with our son. So it is a little bit ironic to basically be boarding the same flight, two years later, with a happy little boy who loves adventures as much as we do. I am not nearly as scared and intimidated about flying with the arrow as I once was, following his first successful flight to Phoenix this fall. And I'm pretty sure he'll love the beach, based on his introduction to it at Lake Michigan.

Our itinerary will likely change from that trip two years ago. I remember a leisurely morning at a large outlet mall, shopping for a newborn outfit to bring the arrow home from the hospital in. The arrow isn't much of a shopper these days, so I bet we'll pass on that. (Come to think of it, he also hated that outfit.) After I grew tired of walking around Tampa, we spent an afternoon sitting on a sunny patio at a bar in Ybor City and watched a Butler basketball game. I sipped lemonade, of course, while I stared longingly at my husband's cold beer. Instead, this trip will probably include a trip to the Florida Aquarium and lots of sand castle making (but maybe, finally, a cocktail for mom!) It will also be nice to leave the maternity clothes at home. And the cankles. All reasons that I'm even more excited for this trip than I was to go on that "babymoon."

But beyond on all that, I'm looking forward to some time together as a family of three for hours on end, day after day. Don't you think that evenings and weekends are too short and pass by in a blur? That's why family vacations are so important to us. A chance to stop and breathe for a few days and enjoy each other even more that we already do. I know my heart will come home full of love. (And perhaps my skin will come home a little tan? A girl can wish.)

My Valentine's Day dream? Time together with my boys, splashing in the surf, running in the sand, all beneath the sun. This post is a part of Mondays are for Dreaming at The Mother of All Trips.