The trip to Greg's was quick and we got there in the early afternoon on Thursday. We had given Audrey and her family a Christmas present of airline tickets for them to visit Greg so this was going to be a family reunion. When we arrived, Greg and Chuck were both working and the Barker Plotkins were at the beach. Our grandsons came back from the beach with treasures packed away in empty coconut shells. Both had stepped on jellyfish stingers and had to have a vinegar treatment to sooth the sting. They had gone canoeing and were all having a high old time. Audrey had left a note about dinner suggesting burgers so Anne & Tom headed to Publix to get the ingredients. Tom contributed home fries and dessert was Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It was so great to be all together as a family and we all stayed up way past bedtime.
We had previously worked out a plan that Grandma & Grandpa would entertain the grandkids on Friday while Jeramy and Audrey could have a date. They chose to take a boat trip down the Intercostal Waterway to South Beach and stay the day, have dinner back in Fort Lauderdale and arrive back in the evening. Greg had worked his head off the day before to give him the chance to be with his nephews. Chuck had a very long day (10AM to 10PM) at the furniture store since it was "Art Walk" night. So, it was just the five of us who hung out playing Mario Cart on the Wii, eating lunch, and going to an Imax 3-D movie on "The Dinosaurs of Patagonia" at the Museum of Science and Discovery. Kilwin's ice cream was a late afternoon treat after the museum. We had planned on a dinner out, but we were so full from the ice cream in the afternoon, that we ordered pizza and just vegged out afterwards. Audrey and Jeremy got back around 9 and brought a box of chocolates for Anne's birthday present. Chuck actually got in before 10 and again we had a long evening.
Saturday was the last day of the vacation for the part of our family from Massachusetts. We spent the morning just playing around outside as the weather had warmed up considerably. Jesse (who is able to plunge into cold water swimming pools) was having a great time in the pool and we were all just frolicking around the pool in Greg's resort. Around 2 in the afternoon, Tom, Jeremy, and Jesse set out on foot to the near-by park where they rented kayaks and paddled for an hour on the Middle River. Jesse had learned to kayak last summer while on vacation with Grandma & Grandpa. Tim is still not up to kayaking, but we expect he will come around in his own time.
Dinner was a grand affair with Tom organizing an entire team of Barkers and Plotkins to create a pink shrimp shish-kabob with rice, salad, and Key Lime Pie for dessert. Greg, Chuck, Audrey, and Jeremy went out for a last night toast at a favorite wine bar while the grandparents played with the kids. A lot of packing was done to prepare for the next day departure and a late night was again had by all.
On Sunday morning, the Barker Plotkins headed off to the airport (Greg drove them). There were so many good-bye's (especially by the 5 and 8 year olds) that we all thought we were ALL going somewhere. It was so good to be immersed in such silliness that was catalyzed by these two precious kids.
Sunday night, our last at Greg's on this trip, was a 4-birthday (Greg, Anne, Chuck, and Tom) dinner.
Tomorrow, we begin the last 2 weeks of our adventure.