Saturday, January 9, 2016

Myakka River State Park

It was SO great to have my family here for the holidays!!!! It has been a dream of mine ever since I moved here to get to have family over for Christmas and I can’t believe this year it FINALLY came true!! But then again, it was just great to have them here in general. There’s something about looking around in your home and seeing the people you love fill it up with love and laughs. Thanks you guys, you’ll never know how much it meant to me.
New Year’s Day wasn’t much to talk about for us. However, January 2nd, I was sick of sitting in the house. Since it was the weekend and James was here with us (which also meant we could finally take two cars!) we packed up and headed out on an adventure!
Before we left though, we had a couple visitors wandering around our front yard. It was so weird to see them so close for once, but absolutely hilarious and fun to see everyone freaking out and watching them! We were taking pictures, videos, everything! Those birds were like celebrities!

Once everyone was finally ready (after a pretty cool distraction), we packed into our two cars: me, Mom, Holland, and Qiarra in the car; Dad, Grandma, and James in the truck. On the drive up to Myakka River State Park, OUR car was blasting Qiarra’s new Adele cd she had just got for Christmas. It’s a pretty emotional cd (if you’re going through a breakup, THIS is the cd you’re going to want) and since it was overcast and chilly, it was basically perfect. We sang “Hello” about 40 times throughout the day. I felt like we could’ve been in a music video.
On the way there, we made a small detour and looked at a Memorial site. It was amazing, with hundreds of graves dotting tons of these small green hills. Then we drove through these a-maz-ing properties. Oh my gosh, these were my dream houses. Off on their own, TONS of property, each one so different but all of them radiated old southern charm. We saw properties with horses, cows, or just lots of trees and land. Agh. So perfect. As we drove through, the three of us planned out who would get which houses so that eventually, all of us would be living there together. If only.
We had three stops. The first was a little trail through some woods that lead to a lookout. It was GORGEOUS. Something about overcast weather to me makes everything seem even more pretty than I’m sure it already was. It’s my favorite! (I know, a Arizona-California-Florida girl and my favorite weather is overcast. I can’t explain it!) We looked around a little bit and attempted to find an such luck. But we did see fish and birds!

We stopped for a diaper change, and I had to capture this SUPER cute little moment between these two...

Then it was off to the next stop, which was on a different little trail on a bridge that led to a lookout on some water! Again, GORGEOUS. This one you could look out for miles! It felt so isolated and was really cool to be so out in the open with nothing but nature for miles!

By this time, we were pretty hungry so we started to head home. On the way, we stopped at Cracker Barrel, which I LOVE, and I hadn’t gone with my family to eat there in AGES. Since I was kid and my older sister worked there. So I thought it was time. It was fun to sit there with them and talk and eat together. I wanted to make sure I took another mental picture since it’s going to be so rare to have so many of them here with me all at once like that. Man I miss my family.

Once we were home, it was time to wind down and relax. Everyone was pretty exhausted so we all showered and did our own quiet activities. I watched a movie with my dad (well the first third of one), James and Holland went to bed, my mom and Grandma went to bed, and Qiarra went to her room to read scriptures, watch a show, and go to sleep.
SUCH a fun day. And shout out to my little babe for being SO good!! As always. She is seriously the perfect child, and maybe I’m cursing myself by saying that, but she really is so good. She only ever cries when she is hungry or wants a clean diaper—both EASY fixes. She is just the best girl and I can’t wait to do fun family things together with her.

I love going on adventures and I had never been to Myakka before! James hadn’t been there in a long time either so it was nice to see him enjoying it just as much as the rest of us did. Florida is beautiful and I wish we had more time to explore it! Besides getting to take our little sweetie on our own, I can’t wait until I get to cross of more Florida Must-Do’s as my family keeps coming back!