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Over the past few days my parents were in town from Ohio. It just so happened that I was off work for the duration of their stay, which was nice. We enjoyed having them around, and the kids really loved seeing their grandparents. The weather was nice and warm for their visit and they enjoyed the change from the frigid temperatures to which they are now returning.
We had a combined Christmas and New Years Eve dinner at my sister’s house, watched the Ohio State football bowl game (which they sadly lost), and watched the ball drop in New York City on TV. It was fun reminding the kids that we were standing in Times Square less than 6 months ago, although there were considerably less people there when we visited. It took the kids a few minutes to recognize it, but once it clicked they were excited to see somewhere they had been on the TV.
We also made a trip to the beach, because I mean, doesn’t everyone go to the beach on January 2nd? It was 80 degrees with a decent breeze making it feel like a very comfortable 75. The water was a cool 68 degrees, but once we were in the water a few minutes it wasn’t terrible. The kids enjoyed digging in the sand, something that has been specifically prohibited at our campsite after we tired of tripping over all their half-dug holes around our past campsites.
We also took the opportunity to take a helicopter tour of the area. We don’t typically spend high dollar amounts for entertainment, but we figured this would be a special event that will not be repeated for quite a while. There are a few different companies around the area, but we decided on Vertical Flight. We met the pilot at a local airport and enjoyed a beautiful ride around the area and enjoyed his very knowledgeable commentary about the area and terrain. The pilot also banked the helicopter side to side to ensure Bug, our 6-year old had a good view of points of interest below. The helicopter had 4 seats so my mom, Bug, and I took the tour together. We were planning to have Heather, Pie, and Miss Kicky Feet go up for a second run but the pilot told us that he would do it if we wanted, but suggested that due to the fog coming in off the Gulf of Mexico, if we had another day to take the flight it would be better and they would be able to see more. It was nice to have a pilot that was concerned about our view and not simply his income.
Clearwater Airpark, where we lifted off
Tampa Bay & Downtown Clearwater
My parents headed out yesterday, just in time for Heather’s family to arrive today. They too will be coming down from Ohio. So, we have a quick turn-around period to prepare for family visit round two which starts today!