Our First "Family" Vacation

Sorry to my readers for being MIA for a while. The Brink family has been go-go-go for what seems like months now!

The hubs and I have always talked about going to spring training to see our STL Cardinals play, but unfortunately I’m a little tight with our savings (and money in general), so I’ve never given in for us to go. Well, I must have been bitten by the baseball bug because one day I was all “that’s it, we're going.” I won’t mention that it was Southwest Airline’s $69 one-way sale that convinced me to bite the bullet.  Anyway, that night I surprised Gene with airline tickets, hotel reservations and Spring Training tickets for just three weeks from then.

My Mom and I discussed it, and decided that it would be best for Alice to stay home with her and my Dad and not go with us to Florida. As guilty as I felt about it, I knew it was for the best. We did, however, take Emma along with us. I think I was more excited about her getting to experience all kinds of firsts, over me getting to see my Cardinals players up close.

The first night was rough. We left late at night, when Gene and I had worked all day. The flight was delayed, the car rentals in Orlando messed up, and by the time we got to the hotel it was 4:30am Florida time. Funny enough, I wasn’t THAT miserable staying up almost 24 hours, but man did it do a number on Emma.

Night Before: Here we come Florida!

Day 1: Sea World! *Also St. Patrick's Day!

Day 2: Spring Training!

Day 3: Beach Fun!

Day 4: Disney Springs (and the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique)!

Day 5: Back to the real world. :-( But back to my Alice!

I’m assuming that Emma experienced too many new things at once, because she was so grouchy the entire trip, and then she tossed and turned every night. Even talking and laughing (and crying) in her sleep. I slept in bed with her, and I can tell you that I didn’t get much restful sleep the entire trip.

I should also mention that the day we came home, the plane landed in STL at 8am that morning, and I had to be at work right away. And of course, Emma woke me up at 1am our time, and I was never able to fall back asleep (I was too afraid we’d miss our flight). That day was kind of rough, but so worth it because we saved a ton of money on flights just by taking the ones that weren’t necessarily ideal. We don’t do it all the time, so it’s perfectly okay with me!

All-in-all the trip was a success! So-much-so, that I’m already trying to figure out the next family trip. Maybe it’ll just be all of us girls (including my Mom) taking a weekend trip somewhere fun. Who knows.

I can tell you one thing, we will be doing this trip again. And maybe one day we’ll move to Florida, because let’s face it, pretty much everything about Florida is better than the comparison in Missouri. If Gene were next to me, he’d say “except the toll roads!”

Seriously though, if you visit Florida, take lots of quarters.

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