roller skating

This last weekend Dom was invited to a friend’s birthday party at a nearby roller rink and his friend’s parents were so kind as to include the other kids and I as well! So Letty finally got her skate on that she has been asking for all winter! David was hesitant but within a half hour took off practically running! Dom doesn’t like to do things that he isn’t good at so he gave me a little bit of grief until a worker came and tightened his wheels for him and then he was off! I hope Trey had the best party! We sure had fun!


We have been hearing about BizTown all year long and I have been confounded by the description of what that exactly was…. It is Letty after all. But from what I’m could piece together it’s a tiny town and all the kids have jobs… get paid, deposit their check, eat and shop. Much more to it of course but that was the gist. The kids had to interview and Letty got the job of an Account Executive for the newspaper. I got to volunteer the day of which was quite the job in and of itself… but I’m so glad I got to see it! It was exhausting and a long hectic day but Letty had so much fun! 

the wizard of oz!

And for the final act in our week and a half of musical viewing was The Wizard of Oz at our local school district. One of Letty’s best friends was a munchkin so no matter what we had to be there. But first of course was a lunch with the girls! Then it was show time! Alyssa did so great and we are so so very proud of all the hard work she did! So much time and effort!

the sound of music!

Letty and I have been really seeing a lot of musicals lately! She is living the dream!! This year for Christmas the Fitzs and our family decided physical gifts were out and experiences were in… and so this day was planned. The men were left to plan their experiences and well, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink... Us ladies though had a fabulous dinner at Max’s Eatery before seeing The Sound of Music at The Fulton. It was such a great show and the girls just loved it! I am always so impressed with their shows!

crush, i mean squirt’s adventures…

The kids had decided after encouraging me to go to the Keys that they in fact did not want me to go.  So to ease the sting of the fact I was actually going I asked for a list of souvenir wishes… and they decided I was to take a toy with me, photographing our adventures along the way. They chose Squirt from Finding Nemo and unfortunately for us all we referred to him as Crush the entire time. But alas. He adventured! And the kids loved seeing the photos!

a relaxing morning followed by more sightseeing

Up for the sunrise we were once more thwarted by a cloud…. But at least we finally got to see our hotel in the daylight? Quite pretty really. We grabbed coffee from McDonald’s because apparently no cafe opens up before ten down there and enjoyed it watching the water and boats…. We spent a few hours hanging by the pool and relaxing before packing up our car with all the things and heading to another beach, this one named Anne, which was fitting for one of our party, named Anne. We hung out there for awhile wading into the water and catching some sun before starting back towards Fort Lauderdale... stopping quite a few times along the way. A brewery, some artist studios, shopping once more, the Key Lime Factory…all the things! We ended up with a final dinner on the water before we hit the mainland.

Once to our next hotel we took quick showers and then went to see the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino because it is in the shape of a guitar. So we had to. The girls gambled a little and we people watched before heading back to crash after a long day. For the next day was departure day! Schade. Nothing like leaving 80 degrees and palm trees for gray and rain/snow back home. 

Now. Is it time to open our pool? 

the drive back including a beach stop and the sunset singers

We left Key West stuffed and happy, ready for a beach stop at a state park as we headed back to our hotel. The plan was to break up the trip quite a few times and make sure we see all the things we can see! There were warnings about bacteria levels in the water (we were told wearing a mask would help har har Floridians) and man-o-wars so we weren’t entirely in the swimming mood but we sat and listened to the waves and relaxed after a morning of walking. As one does. 

Leaving there we found Sunset Park... Which is aptly named as it is a park set up entirely to watch the sunset. Tables and chairs and palms all ready for optimal sunset viewing.  After the sun went down we were handed music and told to join in on the nightly sing-a-long that has been happening every single night for over ten years. And naturally, we had to stay.  A song written by a local all about living life on the Keys and the palm trees swaying and being in Marathon, etc. It was something to see! What a life!

key west!

This is a bucket list item for me…. Being to Key West. It did not disappoint and lived up to everything I had heard about it. We found prime parking by one of the few beaches around and made our way from there to the Southernmost point in the continental United States. Which was just a moment! Waves crashing over the walls…. Nothing south of us but Cuba…. That water! 

We spent the rest of the morning sight seeing and shopping for our loved ones… a few drinks and of course and lunch at a great Cuban spot Toniel found. We also had to find the end of Route 1 and then crossing the street, the beginning. We saw a lot of the famouse Key West chickens (Hai Hai!) and man is the people watching good! I know we didn’t get to a lot more but that just means we will have to come back again someday!

one of the most scenic drives in the United States…

US Route 1. The Florida Keys. 

We had to. 

The plan was to get up early and see the sunrise but not only could we not park at planned spot but there was a very rude and very large cloud blocking the rising sun. So we moved on. Got some groceries and buckled up for the two hour and twenty something minute drive to Key West. I’ll dedicate just one post to this route because it was gorgeous. And we were all gasping and declaring how much we loved it and just how pretty it all was! That water!!! I want to bottle it up and take it home with me so it can admire it daily…. We even saw a rainbow! And the Seven Mile Bridge which is apparently one of the longest in the world and not nearly as scary as that other one we do not speak of. These photos do not do it justice as they were all taken while moving and through a car window... how I wished to be up high in a truck or something to get better views of the water... and the ride back was even more gorgeous if one can imagine!

the florida keys!

I have been toe tipping into leaving my kids for like a year and a half now…. A night here, a night there, always leaving the kids in Matt’s incredibly capable hands (he’s a working parent. A father. He’s Mr. Napkin Head!)…. We left them together once with friends and that was incredibly hard to do! I say all this to explain how totally out of my element I was leaving them for three nights. Via airplane no less! I returned from Disney quite forlorn and my friend Toniel said quite last minute hey! Wanna come to the keys with me?! And I discussed at great lengths with Matt over the course of many days and decided ok! Let’s do it! The kids had minimal activities… they would be in school most of the time anyways…. So I booked the ticket! And I went! Not without trepidation….

All the dramatics aside it was fine. Everyone was fine. Tears from the boys if I FaceTimed at night so I stopped doing that. And I am here to tell the tale! And I had a really nice time relaxing and sight seeing and soaking up some sun! 

But first we had to get there. Our flight left Baltimore in the middle of the afternoon so by the time we got to Fort Lauderdale, picked up our rental car and drove the hour and a half to Key Largo it was dark and late. We grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel bar next door and then sat listening to the water and looking at the stars afterward. Enjoying the heat and all the palm trees. Oh so many palm trees! 

the aquarium welcomed us once more just five days later…

The kids had off on a random weekday so even though we were just there we decided the aquarium had to be done. Again. This time with my friend Toniel and her girls. We left bright and early and had breakfast (must carb up) before walking across the street the see the fishes. And low and behold the mask rules have changed and we could actually see the joy on their faces! Which brought me joy! 

After seeing what we could see (a few things were now under construction since the prior Sunday) we walked around Inner Harbor, ending at the kids new favorite park. A solid day off of school to be sure!

the return of daily life…

These past two weeks have just been two weeks of all the little things and everyday things… Matt and my brothers have been spending a lot of time working on our new rental property in York… there has probably been far too much eating out going on…cuddles of the Dom and kitty variety…the start of hitting clinic for David and dinner with friends… basement sleepovers, good sky and niece and nephew cuddles…the end of field hockey…breakfast and the book fair and more basketball still for Dom… all the things! Living the dream!

here fishy…

I was just saying to my mom the other day that we really need to get ourselves back down to the aquarium in Baltimore…. And oddly enough that very night Matt made plans to go the very next day with friends of ours! Last minute plan and it all went perfectly! The sun was shining as we wandered around the harbor… we got a good lunch and the kids had a blast seeing all the different fish... Winner winner! Now hopefully it won’t be four months till we get to come back here again…