Welcome to Miami, a city that has special significance to our family. The last time Mark and I were here was in 1994, boarding the cruise ship (NCL's Norway) upon which, halfway out to sea, we met.
When Mark had a conference on South Beach, the kids and I decided we weren't to be left behind. So we packed up our swimsuits, goggles, waterwings and books and enjoyed a week together at the gorgeous Loews Resort.
Our room was lovely, but we didn't spend much time there. When we did, we'd often read together. The kids and I have loved reading The Wind in the Willows on this trip and following Mole, River Rat, Badger, Otter and Toad on their wild adventures. I also read Wuthering Heights through, though I could hardly relate to the dreary moors of Yorkshire from sunny SoBe.
We enjoyed dinners at the Old Spanish Village.
And ate every other meal at Jerry's, a famous deli serving all things (including the kids' quintessential favorite, breakfast) 24 hours, just across the street from our resort.
Daddy and Lorelei are practicing Hooked on Phonics while waiting on our order, because we usually neglect phonics at home.
At times when Mark was occupied with Rheumatology meetings, the kids and I would go on adventures together, including this one at Bayside near downtown Miami. We took a bus and then hitched a ride on a red pirate ship to sail the seven seas of Miami.
Gryffin John, the pirate, said this was his favorite part of the trip.
We loved spotting celebrity homes from the water.
Ricky Martin, Shakira, Will Smith, P.Diddy, Elizabeth Taylor...
Here's Frank Sinatra's former home...
The kids and I, on the Spanish Galleon.
And, in honor of Gryffy's nickname, we ate at "Bubba Gump."
Back at the resort, we watched poolside Pixar movies.
Lorelei's clinging to her noodles.
Naturally, we spent most of our lazy days playing at the beach.
The hotels made these fun sand islands for the kids to play.
"I dot sand in moeey oeey!" cries Gryffy...
...but tears at the beach are fickle indeed.
By the end of the trip, Lorelei wanted to move to Miami. Gryffy, my home-body, wanted to go home. And so we bid the beach "adios" in the official language of Miami, sad to part with the crashing waves, and yet ready to crash into our own beds and the comforts of our home.
And a quick thanks to Cousin Meghan for watching Mr. Tubbins while we were away, and to Grammy, for stocking our fridge full of goodies as she so often does the day we returned home.