Summer Vacation - Part 2

6:23 PM

Continuing on with the story of our summer vacation, I will stop here to show you some pictures of the house - and what a house it was!!!

The Floyd Family Suite - king-sized bed!!! Which slept all four of us QUITE comfortably...which was good since the Pack-n-Play didn't fit in our car. And folks, when you're used to a double, a king seems like an entire continent.

Each bedroom had its own awesome bathroom - ours happened to have the Jacuzzi tub - necessary for all the bathing 2 kids required...

The fabulous kitchen with 2 dishwashers and plenty of countertop for cooking prep. Everyone brought their own breakfast food and stuff for meals - more on that in a minute.

The wet bar - where we used the wine cooler for our water bottles and cokes! It also was home to several bags of lettuce. And as you can see, not a one of us went thirsty. It was awesome.

One side of the great room - complete with monster TV - used for many hours of Wii and some movies. Off the balcony doors is a deck overlooking the pool. At the top of the stairs, Josh is peeking out of his and Lauren's bedroom. Zach and Anna had the bedroom directly below theirs.

The other side of the great room, which the kitchen looked out onto - more doors opening onto the balcony which led to the pool. The stairs up led to my parents' bedroom and a little sitting area where Michael slept on a fold-out couch. Underneath the stairs is the doorway to OUR bedroom. There were 2 other bedrooms toward the front - one for Chad and Melissa and another for Jeremiah and Rachel to share.

This vacation took some thought. With as many people as we had, there had to be a certain amount of planning in order for it not to be chaos, or for my parents to feel like they had to foot the bill for everything. The following plan was hatched: my parents paid for the house for everyone - which was INCREDIBLY generous of them - thanks AGAIN, mom and dad. We were all SERIOUSLY humbled and touched by their willingness to do that for us. In return, every couple was responsible for getting themselves down there and each couple was assigned a night to prepare dinner for the whole crew (including one night for Michael, Jeremiah & Rachel). We did assign 2 free nights - the first night we got there and on Wednesday night. There are so many great restaurants in Sanibel/Captiva that we wanted to leave people the option to enjoy a couple of them.

The cooking thing worked beautifully! Zach & Anna cooked on Sunday night - chicken kabobs on the grill with garlic bread and salad!!! Josh and Lauren cooked Monday - this wonderful seafood casserole that I need to get the recipe for. Tuesday was me and Kyle - and I put a lot of thought into this...what to cook for 15 people that will feed all of them and sort of fit the summer beach theme...I had an epiphany - a fajita bar. And once I got that idea, I went crazy! I had chips and salsa with fresh guacamole as a snack, then tortilla soup in which I made everything from scratch as an appetizer. Plus Mexican rice, and then the fajitas with chicken, beef, lots of veggies...and for dessert - these ice cream boulders from my Tyler Florence cookbook: balls of ice cream rolled in different crushed candies (M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, Oreos) and refrozen, served with hot fudge and caramel. Seriously yummy.

Some fajita fillings...

Mexican rice with peppers and onions

Turn your head to the side to see my tortilla soup!

Slaving away at the stove while the soups are set out ready to eat!

The kitchen smelled of fresh cilantro, onions, chicken, fajita marinade...makes me hungry again!

On Thursday night, Chad and Melissa cooked this amazing barbeque chicken in a crockpot with grilled corn on the cob and we all played a murder mystery game while we ate. It was a stroke of genius. The whole evening was so much fun!

Friday night, the three youngest siblings joined forces to make a lasagna that was incredible. We all stuffed ourselves. It was unanimously agreed that we all had much more fun spending time together while meals were cooking and as we ate than if we'd been out to fancy restaurants. And we truthfully, ate better!

And I will be back, posting more pictures when I grow a brain and remember to re-charge the camera battery! So until then, please hang on!

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  1. Mmmm...that look yummy...and so does that kitchen!!!