Summer Vacation - part 1

3:29 PM

A Happy Family

A Banyan Tree outside our house

Just chilling in the carseats

Part of the house - as it looked all week with towels air drying

Beach-ready feet

Can you call it a summer vacation if it's not technically summer? I choose to.

Our "summer" vacation this year commenced on Friday, May 8th and ended on Sunday, May 17th. The location: Captiva Island, Florida. A good long vacation (with four built-in driving days). And long-longed for by all participants. Of which there were 15 counting my kids. The ENTIRE Dennis clan made it this year - which made for a very large crew! Fortunately, my Dad managed to find the most awesome house ever on Captive - a house with six bedrooms and six full baths! Plus a screened in pool, a deluxe kitchen, TVs in every room and best of all, the house was within walking distance of the beach. Perfection perfection perfection.

Our vacation started off with a bang. Brooklyn decided to snag some virus and run a fever for the 24 hour period prior to leaving. When she woke up Friday morning still running a fever, I made the Mom decision to be at the doctor's office when it opened and beg them to fit her in asap. I knew it would be tight...we were supposed to hit the road following my parents at 9:30 am. The doctor's office opened at 8.

Miraculously, I woke up Friday morning at 6:30 - for those who know me well - this NEVER happens. I was ready to vacate this house for Florida! With the car packed and stuffed and loaded down waiting in the parking lot, I burst through the doctor's office promptly at 8 and explained my situation. They agreed to see Brooklyn first thing! Once back there, our friendly doc just about gave me a heart attack when he said he thought she probably had the flu - and he meant SWINE FLU! Apparently, there had been a few cases in the office already, on the down-low. As they swabbed her nose and we waited for the results, I prayed fervently that he was wrong!

I could just imagine it...a house full of people - TWO of them pregnant and my little flu-ridden kiddo just quarantined. I couldn't imagine how it would work. Oh, and I did say TWO of them pregnant - Zach and Anna announced their pregnancy on Mother's Day! Due at the end of November! Yeah!!!

Praise the Lord when he walked back in the door and said, well, it's not the flu! Wave of relief washing over us.... Apparently, just our friendly fever virus back to plague us - nothing we couldn't handle with plenty of Motrin and Tylenol. So we ran out the door of the doctor's office to find my parents' Suburban, fully loaded with car top carrier and three of my siblings, waiting for us to buckle up and hit the highway.

And we were off: with a 17 hour drive ahead of us. I would like to say that for the next 2 days we were model citizens, staying right at the speed limit with both kids safely buckled in their respective car seats. But that would be a lie. We zoomed down the highway going as fast as we had to in order to tail my dad (which was not as much as you are probably thinking, but still by no means slow). And more than a few times, August just couldn't stay buckled in a second longer and I hauled him up to sit with me or nurse him to sleep... a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Brooklyn, I am happy to say, was an angel. She slept and chattered with August and chattered to herself and read her library books and listened to me reading aloud to Kyle ("Are you reading to ME, Mommy?"). I actually read aloud for about 8 hours straight on Friday - to the point where I actually lost my voice! But man, it was a good book and worth reading! (The School of Essential Ingredients)

After driving all day Friday and most of Saturday, we made it to Sanibel Island and headed north to Captiva. We managed to meet up with Josh and Lauren traveling down from a wedding in Kentucky - they joined our caravan somewhere in northern Florida. Zach & Anna arrived in Fort Myers right about when we did. Chad and Melissa arrived around midnight. After some serious unpacking and claiming cabinets and refrigerator space, the vacation be continued...

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  1. YAY, Florida! I'm hoping to make it down there in July. I miss the beach immensely!

    You guys look great, by the way. Such a great picture of all of you!

  2. What a great glad to find you.

    I am a new blogger and have lots to learn...Stop by and see me...I have 10 giveaways this month.....lots of Disney posts and a very special prayer request.