Adventures, Beaches

Spring Break:Cocoa Beach

One week prior to the start of our vacation my husband says to me:

“There is supposed to be a cold front while we are at the beach, can we cancel it? It’s going to be freezing!”

Me: “Nope. Bring a jacket!”

After a year of canceling long weekends and vacations I didn’t care if it was going to be snowing on the beach, I wasn’t canceling again. We needed to get away from the house!

I made reservations at South Beach Inn on Cocoa Beach, we had stayed there once before and really liked it. It’s an older hotel and needs some TLC on the outside, but it’s small and away from the hustle and bustle around the pier down the road. All the rooms are very nice and clean, they have a kitchen, they allow pets, it has beach access and it’s affordable; it checks off all our boxes.

The evening before it was time to leave I started the process of packing and trying to anticipate everything. I went grocery shopping so we didn’t have to worry about it once we got there, packed up our kitchen, our bathroom, kid’s closets, beach gear, dog stuff, and I almost forgot my own bag. The morning of, my husband had scheduled to have our roof and patio pressure washed, so I finished packing the cooler, cleaning up the house, and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything (which I did anyway). Finally around 1:00 we started our 2.5 hour drive and officially began our 5 day vacation at Cocoabeach.

When we got there the very nice man checking us in informed me that we would not have direct beach access because they just started pumping sand onto the beach so there was a lot of construction equipment. BUT, we could walk just a minute down the sidewalk and there was an access point there. This was annoying. But ok, What can I do, besides a little walking never hurt anyone. So we moved in changed and headed to the beach, well, me the kids and our puppy headed there. By this time we could already feel the cold air coming in, it was super windy and my husband just wasn’t feeling it.

The boys didn’t care, they hit the waves and Chase (our pup) loved digging and rolling in the sand. It was just us crazy’s on the beach. It was cold. It was really cold. For a moment I almost admitted my husband was right.

We were there long enough for the boys to get their fix and Chase to get used to ocean water and drink too much of it. Then we headed back, popped open a bottle of wine and some juice boxes, enjoyed the fab dinner my husband made, and got our relax on.

Saturday evening through Monday it was way to cold for me to get in the water, but I made sand castles and watched my little ones boogie board and get beat up by the waves. Monday we ventured to The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and walked a few of their nature trails. We were hoping we would be able to grill, but it’s picnic baskets only. The trails were nice though. It’s hard for me to get excited about Florida nature trails because they all are very similar. But it was easy for the kids to do and very well signed so you can’t get lost. The trails are well kept and the length of the trails is perfect for young kids. We spent a couple morning hours there then headed back to the beach after lunch.

Tuesday the sun and the warmth started coming back but I wanted to do something different, we tried the Brevard Zoo. I love zoos, always have. This one is small, but it’s very well laid out and had animal exhibits that I haven’t seen before. It wasn’t crowded and all of us really enjoyed it! Great day out and recommended!

They had a small pool for smaller kids, a petting zoo, bird and giraffe feedings, kayak rentals, zip lines, and a train that went around a section of the zoo. Plenty of stuff to spend a full day out and at reasonable price for a family.

Wednesday was a perfect day for the beach. At this point however we had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the beach in a different direction because they had closed several beach access points and there was trucks driving back and forth every 5 minutes on the beach. There was also constant beeping and banging from the construction trucks and vehicles all night long. This was very disappointing.

We found a good spot with no beach traffic and even though the water was cold, I was able to handle it and play in the waves with the boys. We spent almost 8 hours on the beach and it was great! I will warn though, the waves are ROUGH! This is a place surfers like to go, so I had to take them just past the “crash” zone and before the drop off where the current really sucks you in and we were able to jump and bob in the waves.

Thursday we headed back home. Overall it was a really great trip and much needed time away. The beach construction was very annoying and disappointing but we made the best of it anyway. The important thing is we all had fun and time together.

Adventures, Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Good Morning Backyard!

“Can we go camping? Please Mommy!” “We haven’t been on any big adventures in a long time!”

“I wish my love, but it’s really hard to travel and finding good camping spots here is really really hard because of alligators and horrendous amount of mosquitoes. “

“ well. Can we camp out in the yard mommy?!”

It’s about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night when we are having this conversation. I will admit, I’ve had several glasses of wine at this point and even though I’ve pitched and broken down tents hundreds of times, at this particular moment it felt like something that might wake all the neighbors. I sit there deciding what my answer will be as I play the scene in my mind.

Seeing my hesitation and basically reading my mind, my sweet big hearted manipulative boy continues his pitch.

“We don’t need tents Mommy, we can just get our sleeping bags and sleep on the patio. We have a privacy fence now. It’s something different mommy. Its a different kind of adventure. come on Mommy, let’s do something different” cue the big bright smile and sparkling blue eyes.

“You’re right, why not. Let’s do it!”

We went and got our sleeping bags, asked my other kiddo if he wants to join us. Of course he did. The boys, myself, and our dog all got “comfortable” on the hard concrete patio under the blooming mango tree.

We talked for a little while, I told them stories of my hiking days in Georgia and the time I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a few days. They talked about Minecraft and all of the details of it. They tell great stories to fall asleep to.

Being asleep didn’t last long for me. The different sounds in the neighbors yards and the temperature chasing to “it might rain” woke me up. I dozed thru the night, but mostly just took in the moment. I stared at my kids hoping this was one of the memories they hang on to. I watched them with bewilderment as they slept so peaceful on the ground. Mostly I just soaked in the love and happiness of being “us”.

As the sun started coming up I realized I have never bothered to be outside at this time, I am always to busy getting the boys up and ready for school or sleeping on the weekends.

Except when our neighbors had a rooster. The stupid bird from hell woke me up every single Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am. I live in South Florida. We have small yards and close neighbors. I consider it very disrespectful to have a flipping rooster cock-a-doodle-doing on the weekend next to my window. Literally because it somehow kept finding its way into our yard. I never allowed this evil bird to get me out of bed, unless Chase heard it and started whining to go out. In those moments, I couldn’t tell you if the sun was rising or not, all I knew was “cock-a-doodle-fuck-a-doo, hurry up Chase and go poo!” Then buried myself back under the blankets for a few hours.

My boy had a good idea as this was a nice change in routine and I got to see how our back yard wakes up on my terms and not some annoying farm animals.

Thankfully by this night the Rooster was gone. I don’t know what happened to it, but I am glad that something did.

I laid there, my spine in some pain and sending tingling sensations to my fingers. Our sleeping bags covered in leaves and flowers that fallen from the mango tree. I watched as the yard came alive.

Woodpeckers started knocking on the electrical pole, mocking birds singing, green parrots flying by on their way to find breakfast, blue Jays chasing away the singing mockingbirds, various insects emerging, silk worms glistening in the morning rays of light, lizards coming out to warm in the sunlight; yes it was a nice change in pace.

I gained some new perspective and reinforced my appreciation for the small things in life (as well as my bed).

About 7:00, I peeled myself off the ground and cleaned up my blanket. Stretched and popped and took a deep breath of morning air. Then I made myself some coffee and decided to open a book I haven’t read since I was a teenager, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” while the boys continued sleeping on the hard ground.

Wishing y’all a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, & Successful Day!

Lessons As We Grow

A End of Year, Yes I’m Still Here, Reflective Post

Are you still here?

I’m here, somewhere. Well not here, here. I’ve been absent from posting for quite some time. I’ve never been more tired than I have been this year….and I’ve been home the majority of it. All the stay at home parents are probably like “humph. Rookie!!”

It’s constantly something. There is more drama in this house with the 4 of us than any office or company I have work in. The drama is exhausting….so is the constant cleaning…..and cooking….and preparing snacks…..and breaking up fights, and having to scream at the top of my lungs for anyone to pay attention….. I want to go back to work.

I wish some powerful magic would happen when the ball drops on Friday, January 1st 2021 at exactly 12:00am. Like Covid-19 would turn into a bat and fly away, people would stop being so hateful, all kids could go back to school, and adults could go back to work and regain their sanity. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that’s going to happen. My kids most likely finish 3rd grade at home and I will continue to try and stay productive and relevant in my work. I love working, in all honesty that has been the biggest challenge for me, putting my work lower on the priority list…but not so low that I lose it. My kids come first and they are so high maintenance. They leave me with very little patience, energy, and emotion for anything else in life. Which has always been the case, but before when they were in school I could compartmentalize easier. Now I am with them 6 days a week 24 hours a day and on the 7th day, I get to go to work for 8-9 hours and feel like a normal human.

Enough of all that. Lets look at the positives for the year.

I have gotten to know how my ADHD/ASD kids think and react to school work and different scenarios better which will enable me to better help the teachers help them.

We have all learned how to accept each other and work with one another in the family in a way we never had before.

I wasn’t really happy in the position I was in at work, 2020 forced me to transfer to a different department that has allowed me to work from home. I don’t know that I will want to stay in this position any longer than necessary, but it has allowed me to take a step back and breath. It’s allowed me to look at my goals and recalculate the path I need to take to get there. Well, I’m still recalculating…..but I’ll figure it out. Like my last position, this one has humbled me and given me the chance to walk in other’s shoes. It’s good to gain perspective by working in other departments within your industry, to walk in other’s shoes and see things from their perspective. I understand better why they make the mistakes they make and why they do what they do. The insight will come in handy when I reach where I’m going.

I’ve spoken to and seen my extended family more this year than any year prior thanks to Zoom. I’ve hosted a couple of get togethers and we are hoping to make it a monthly thing.

Some down falls of the year, I’ve been drinking more. I used to only binge drink on Friday nights and have a few glasses over the weekend, now I have a couple of glasses of wine nightly. I can’t drink whiskey anymore, not really sure why but my body has been having a bad reaction to it. So, maybe it’s actually a good thing that I drink a couple of glasses of wine a day, no whiskey and no binge drinking.

I was exercising and doing really well with running, up until school started back. Once school started, my exercise routine slowly dried up. I need to get back into it. Otherwise, I may have to change the name of this blog site.

We are reading though. The boys have been reading on their own everyday and I read to them at night. I also read my own books. So, that’s good.

2021 I will get back into exercising, posting on my blog page, and determine new path(s) for goal achievements.

Is there anything you can be thankful for in 2020? It’s been challenging, I know. If you have any blessings (big or small) you want to share in the comments below, would love to hear them!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful Day and New Year!!