outten.net - random thoughts

Christmas Week in Florida

Well, Christmas has passed us by. We (Suzanne, Reia, Tucker and I) had a good trip to Florida for the week of Christmas. We were gone about 9 days and that is a pretty good amount of time especially with a baby. Reia did well with the process.

We started our journey on Friday after I got off of work. We traveled to Ormond Beach and stopped there for the night (arriving about 2:00 AM). The next morning we were up pretty early considering how late we got in. Everyone was excited to see the newest addition to the family. We were packed back up on and the road by just after noon.

In St. Cloud for Christmas

We arrived in St. Cloud before Matthew and Anna. We got something to eat and just hung out with Grandma and Grandpa. Later that evening Grandma ordered pizza and we opened Christmas gifts. The people there were: Grandma, Grandpa, Rebecca, George, Matthew, Anna, Suzanne, Reia and myself. It was a good time and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. During this time, I was busy feeding my DVD burner blank DVDs to make movies to give to people.

The next morning, Grandma, Grandpa and I went to church while the others were waking up or taking care of Reia (she is a lot of work). After church was just waiting for family to arrive. Mom had estimated about 26 people or so (see the complete list below).

Grandma (Suarez)
NAO (Outten grandmother)
Melissa and Jon (cousins)
Uncle Bill, Aunt Sherri and Jennifer (cousin)
Uncle Don, Aunt Kathy, Erin (cousin), Amy (cousin) and Eddie (boyfriend)
Aunt Carol and roommate’s family
Matthew and Anna
Rebecca and George Richard, Suzanne and Reia (Tucker too) Grandma and Grandpa (Linda and John)

It was quite the crowd. The highlight of the day was Grandma (Suarez) with her marshmallow gun. It was made out of PVC. You stuck a marshmallow in the top and blew it out. It would shot out the front. Grandma was demonstrating it and shot Eddie in the eye, but no damage was done. There was lots of good food and presents for the kids.

Everyone pretty much left before it got dark. Gramdma doesn’t like to drive on Nova Road at night (deer frequent that road). That night we just hung around the house (Matthew, Anna, Grandma, Grandpa, Suzanne, Reia and myself). Grandpa, Matthew and I shared the latest computer ideas. The women put together a showering plan so everyone would be ready for pictures by 10:00 am the next morning.

The next morning was pretty hectic with everyone trying to get ready for pictures. I also had problems with the powerbook’s touch pad, but I will leave that for another discussion (it eventually started working). It took some effort and me forgetting to shave that morning and having to go back and get my razor, but we made it to Bruce’s on time. As usual, Rebecca and George arrived late, but not that late. We started with shots of the entire family and then worked our way down to individual families. It was quite a time trying to make Reia look a certain direction and laugh with everyone else trying to do the same thing. It worked out in the long run and we got some good pictures.

After that, Grandma and Grandpa took Reia home with them while the rest of us (Matthew, Anna, Rebecca, George, Suzanne and myself) went to see “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”. We stopped at Fazoli’s on the way to the movies for some fast Italian food. Then came “Return of the King” and let me say it was a long movie. It was a good movie, but I think it was hyped a little too much - I actually liked the previous 2 movies better. After the movie, we made our way home so Matthew and Anna could get on the road to Indiana. That night we just hung out in St. Cloud.

The next morning, Grandma had to go to work, but Grandpa was still off. We had made plans to go to meet Grandma that afternoon and go to Disney World. We did the normal stuff that morning (feed Reia, bathe her, put clothes on her, etc). We ate lunch and went to get Grandma at work. Grandma had to show off Reia at work. Once we were done at Bruce’s, we packed up in the car and headed for Disney.

Reia had a great time at Disney with Grandpa, Grandma, Suzanne and I. Reia enjoyed looking at the wheels on her stroller, chewing on the bar of her stroller and being in pictures. We were able to get some of the same pictures that Grandpa and Grandma got of me when I was a baby. We didn’t make it on any rides, but we sure did have fun. We headed home and readied the car to travel to Ormond Beach.

In Ormond Beach for Christmas

We arrived in Ormond Beach late Tuesday night and we pretty much said hi to a couple of visitors and then said good night to Nana and went to bed. The next morning, Christmas Eve, we went to Embry-Riddle for a visit. We were only able to meet up with Sally and Lisa in Career Services that morning. They really enjoyed meeting Reia.

Christmas Eve night we went over to Suzanne’s grandmother’s (Nannie) house. Nannie ordered sandwiches and had the group over (see list below). Reia got to open a few gifts from Suzanne’s cousins while sitting in Uncle Mike’s lap.

Uncle Mike, Aunt Debbie, Michael (cousin), Jonathan (cousin) and Katelyn (cousin)
Ashlee (Michael’s girlfriend)
Richard, Suzanne, and Reia

Christmas morning we got up and went through the normal routine with Reia in the morning. Nana fed her and bathed her. After that, we started opening presents. Reia only got through a few before she needed to go down for her nap. At that point, Suzanne, Nana and I continued opening our presents. After Reia woke up from her nap, she opened the rest of her presents and we got things loaded to take to Nannie’s house.

We arrived at Nannie’s when it was just Nannie and Mammie there cooking Christmas dinner. The rest of the crew arrived later. Reia had to go down for a nap and slept while we ate dinner. Dinner was very good and we had a full table. After dinner, we continued opening presents and hanging out enjoying the company. We then headed back to Nana’s to let the dogs out and feed them.

The day after Christmas, Nana, Suzanne and Reia went to the mall that afternoon. I took Tucker for a walk down to the pier on Halifax. It was a very long walk. Nana, Suzanne and Reia made it back to feed Reia her carrots that afternoon. That evening we had Jon, Jennifer and Amelia over for a visit. It was interesting to see the interaction between Reia (6 months) and Amelia (14 months).

The next day, we took Reia out to the beach. We took a few pictures and shot some video. It appeared that Reia really like that beach. The wind was really blowing and it was definitely cooler with the wind blowing. There were also seagulls flying around for us to see. We then picked up Reia’s food at Nana’s and headed over to Nannie’s to meet Sarah (friend from Ormond Beach library) for a visit.

Sarah came over to a visit to see Reia and chat with Suzanne and Nannie. Reia was fed at Nannie’s while I tried to pull up pictures of the family we took earlier in the week on Nannie’s computer (boy, dial-up is slow). We then went over to Manny’s for a pizza. After dinner, we went back to Nana’s to get ready for our trip back home.

The next morning we had several visitors saying goodbye to us before we got on the road. We were on the road by 9:30 which was good considering traffic was pretty busy headed home.

What a trip! It was good to get to see everyone and I think Reia handled all new people and places very well.