A Lovely Vacation....by MYSELF

(My aunts pool...such a wonderful place to spend our days)

Do you know that I have NEVER taken a trip or vacation by myself? NEVER. EVER. No girls getaways on a regular basis, no blogging trips for me. I've only been to two ladies retreats and one of them was with a newborn and I did fly to Florida when my mom passed away and was there a week but I don't count that as a vacation. Nope, I've always gone on trips with my family...which I love by the way. 

(I also spent time coloring with my cousins daughters)
Several months ago, well, actually off and on over the years my hubby has commented on how he'd like to send me to visit my family in Florida by myself, but we really just never could and I didn't want to sacrifice us going as a family (which we do every 2 years). However, we were just canceling one of our credit cards that had airline miles on it and hubby had been talking of sending me, so this was the opportune time and we decided to just go for it. I could not wait to go. I was so excited and my family kept teasing me about not even feeling bad for leaving them. Hee Hee, nope I wasn't feeling bad at all. I wanted to see my family. My maternal grandma, two aunts, a cousin and her two little girls live in Central Florida. FINALLY the time arrived to go. I was a bit nervous (only about flying and maneuvering the airport since I rarely go anywhere.) I got to the airport in plenty of time so I could relax, get a drink (coffee that is) and wait. 
(Just some of my amazing family. From left to right: Me, myAunt Lynne, my cousin Jennifer..whom I haven't seen in 17 years..not the one from Florida, my Aunt Patty and my Grandma)
I will say this....the plane flights were NOT my favorite. I flew Southwest and the crew were great, but the seats were not comfortable on a near 7 hour flight. But knowing I was spending a week with some of my favorite people made it worth it. I had no agenda but to visit quaint stores, cook together, play games, float in the pool and talk loud (yep, we're a loud family when all together). I did all those things. 
(I loved lounging in the pool)
The weather was beautiful, not too hot, not too humid. Many times I spent hours just floating in the pool relaxing or playing with my cousin's two little girls. We visited New Smyrna Beach twice; once to play on the beach, and once with just my grandma and aunt to shop in the stores. We visited the town of DeLand and browsed their cute little shops and ate at a wonderful little restaurant called Dally in the Alley. We played games and just enjoyed each other's company. It was a trip that I thoroughly enjoyed and needed. 
(I relaxed and took time to read)
My family survived without me. I made a few meals for them, freezing some spaghetti sauce, taco meat and homemade frozen burritos as well as a roasted vegetable lasagna. 
(Yes, I spent lots of time lounging...I NEVER just lounge in the sun...this was nice)
 (we also went to a flea market which was really cool. That's my grandma)
 (Downtown DeLand. Super cute town with really fun shops!)
 (New Smyrna Beach had some super cute "non-beachy" stores which I really enjoyed)
 (Super cute nursery...LOVED this roof)
 (wonderful bistro with fabulous food)
 (My wonderful grandma and aunt)
 My appetizer salad..organic romaine drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper with a creamy parmesan dressing and crunchy bread)
 (Fried Green Tomato sandwich and homemade tortilla chips...YUM...and for dessert we shared an almond-Lavendar blueberry cupcake that was divine!)
 (A beautiful time at the beach on Mother's Day)
 (While at the beach on Mother's Day, my aunt found this piece of wood shaped like a heart. We decided it was a reminder that my mom was always with us and loved us)
 (Mine and my grandmother's feet)
 (Dolphin in the water outside the restaurant we ate at for Mother's Day)
 (One of the other things I thoroughly enjoyed was looking through old family photos. The above photo was a family reunion from 1936)
 (Found a picture of my mom and dads wedding picture)
 (This is a photo of my great grandfathers family. He is on the far left. WOW..large family)
 (My aunt's wedding. My mom is on the far right and I about fell over because she looks just like my oldest but with dark hair..and about the same age)
 (Super cute coffee shop, that made good coffee, in New Smyrna Beach)
 (The cute town of New Smyrna Beach)

(I also found this picture of my grandma. We have the same side profile...I'll never complain about my side profile ever again)

With Joy UNquenchable,


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