Because You Can Never Have Enough Folks

My best friend and work colleague Jenni and I had to make a trip to Orlando to train book fair teams on our literacy event kits. Since Jenni’s parents live in Tampa we decided to head down early and spend the weekend with Mom and Dad.

I caught an early flight out of DC and flew through Detroit. Jenni was going to fly directly to Tampa but I flew into Orlando and picked up the rental car and made my way across the state. Somehow I got stuck with a big ass SUV instead of the tiny little compact I’d reserved.


It’s like the opposite of a compact car. And I didn’t realize it was a hybrid when I prepaid the gas.

I drove straight over and somehow managed to arrive before Jenni landed. That was no problem since Mom was expecting me. We sat in the lobby of her swanky condo until Jenni arrived. We went up to check out the condo and its incredible views of Tampa Bay.


Taking a conference call from the balcony at Mom and Dads place.

Jenni was kind enough to stay with her sister Melissa so I could stay in the extra room at Mom’s. I unpacked quickly before she changed her mind and then we went for a walk on the Bayshore.

Dad decided to stay home so Jenni and Mom and I went out to dinner. We had a hard time deciding on a restaurant but I saw an ad for the Hula Bay Club that looked super fun so we decided to check it out.


Fresh seafood right on the water!

We got a table on the deck over looking the marina. Jenni ordered some edamame and I got a wedge salad. I skipped the cocktails because #temperancetemp in #dryanuary but I’d earned a free drink so I used it for Mom’s wine. We all ordered some seafood and it was delicious. The only thing better than the food was the company!

Afterwards, we dropped Jenni off at Melissa’s house and Mom and I headed back to the condo. I totally won because Mom had some of the excellent homemade peanut brittle crack that Patrick Brasington made.


Thank God I don’t live near Patrick Brasington and don’t have the opportunity to just happen to drop in while he is preparing what is absolutely the most delicious, peanutty snack EVAH.

The next morning, Jenni came over bright and early and we took another quick walk on the Bayshore.


Lots of people with the same idea. Bayshore was crowded!

Jenni had made appointments for us to get mani/pedis at Crave, a hot new salon around the corner from the condo. We picked out our colors and settled in for a relaxing spa treatment time. Afterwards, we headed over to BT To Go to indulge in some delicious French-Vietnamese food.


Pho with tofu, which Mallory actually seems to like.

Melissa brought Mallory over to join us, since she was going to get a blowout. And I convinced Mallory I was her new aunt by showing her the family resemblance.


Melissa, Beth, Jenni and I in a recent photo I whipped up for Mom.

Mallory convinced us to pop into Sillly Dilly, her favorite shop in the entire world. I not only gave up drinking for #dryuary, I also imposed a personal shopping moratorium. That flew out the window as soon as I entered the store.


Mallory and I needed the matching crown headbands. That shouldn’t even count.

The entire store was full of crowns and sparkles.


Filled with so much regret for not buying this matt!

I also acquired a glittery blue fairy dress ornament and a framed print that says “I’m in my happy place”. I took my new treasures out to the car and settled into the back. Mallory insisted I sit with her since she’d realized we were kindred princess spirits!

Mallory fired up the Heads Up app on my phone and we played a few rounds as Mom drove us back to the condo. When we arrived, Malloy made an attempt to be inclusive by inviting Mom and Jenni to play with us. She even named the teams.


Mallory and I won when my phone battery got too low to continue.

Afterwards, Dad gave Mallory a ride home and Melissa picked up Mom and Jenni and I to take us out to dinner. We had a lovely meal at Boca and then Melissa dropped Mom and I off for my final night in the condo.


Boca wall art

It was a wonderful weekend with my newest folks!



About isherri

I'm a family engagement expert who travels for work and for pleasure. In fact, I’m half hippy, half clown, latte sipping, brunch munching, MINI driving, rabid social media enthusiast.
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