Well, SO much has happened since my last posts… and the biggest thing?
I gave birth to my baby boy Leo in April! I managed to write his birth story out over on my photography blog if you want to see it here… but in the meantime I wanted to talk about our first trip together as a family 🙂
Back in the summer me, Paul, and Leo got the chance to go down to Florida and stay at my grandparents beautiful beach condo at Cocoa Beach. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to stay there anytime it’s open and free and it ended up being the perfect home away from home for our first family vacation 🙂
Paul got out of work on Thursday and I had spent the day packing up all our stuff and getting it ready for the big drive down (16 hours from Cincinnati). We planned to hit the road when Leo would normally be going to bed for the night around 8pm, drive through the night, and hopefully arrive in Cocoa Beach around lunchtime Friday. And well, our plan worked out pretty well and Leo only woke up once for breakfast (at a Cracker Barrel in Georgia) and once more for lunch right around Daytona Beach (Steak n Shake… yes!) 🙂
When we finally arrived at the condo around midday, we unpacked, got cozy, and spent a while just taking in the balcony views of the ocean, letting Leo sit still, and enjoy some much needed quiet time.
The next morning we went down to the beach first thing so Leo could see, smell, and experience the ocean for the first time 🙂 and us for the first time in a while ❤
On Tuesday we got a chance to go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!! We were really on the fence about going to a Disney park with a 4 month old (germ city) and also with the fear we wouldn’t be able to experience it at full value for our money. But honestly, Animal Kingdom ended up being the PERFECT park to travel to with a baby! With all the animals to see, the cultured “countries” to leisurely make your way through, a train ride through Africa, AND a safari, shows, good music, and a magical light show with the infamous tree that centers the park, well, it’s a slower pace and a beautiful place to recharge. So, I packed up some sandwiches, water, and Leo’s diaper bag and we hit the road bright and early for Orlando. We managed to get there shortly after the park opened and stayed until it closed. And surprisingly, Leo was fantastic the entire time 🙂 (He laughed and giggled his loudest squeals EVER at Disney World! He is so aware for being so little!!)
Another evening was spent going to the Cocoa Beach Pier. We got some ice cream and watched the sunset on the beach. Paul watched Leo for me so I could sneak off on my own for a bit and snag a few photos of the beach. These photos kind of made the whole trip worth it for me.
Also, something ridiculously awesome during our trip was getting to see not one.. but TWO Space Shuttle X launches from Kennedy Space Center! The condo we were staying at had a perfect view to watch the late night launches from our balcony and we enjoyed them with insane levels of excitement! The photos below were taken from my phone.
During our trip there too, Paul wanted to tackle something he had been wanting to do for quite a few years now and that was learning how to surf! So, he spontaneously went down to Ron Jon Surf Shop, rented a board (which is actually super cheap btw) and spent the last couple days we were there teaching himself 🙂
We also took some time exploring a local park for a nature walk, swam at the pool, and really just got as much beach time as we could. Though, with little baby, wasn’t a whole lot for this momma. But I got some pictures that made it all worthwhile 🙂