Ellison's first plane ride was an absolute, 100% success! She was such a good girl. We are absolutely certain that we only purchased 2 tickets and listed E as a lap child, but the airline was absolutely certain that we had paid for 3 seats. Who are we to argue with the man at the check in counter, so we gladly took the third seat. This meant we were able to keep E's car seat with us on the plane instead of gate checking it. We breezed through security except for having to take elevators to get up and down because of the stroller. Ellison was super patient. We fed her some peas before we boarded which bought us a little time before she was ready for a bottle. Once on the plane, we put her in her car seat in the seat between us. When we took off, we fed her a bottle and she fell right to sleep! She woke up just before we were landing, so we let her snack on some puffs and she was a happy camper! We were armed with a bag full of her teethers, toys, the iPad, and other goodies. She only needed Sophie.
Straight from the plane, we headed over to a bar on the water and took E for a little stroll before we headed home to get her ready for bed. Once she was snuggled in, Barrett and I headed out with Mike to pick up some Mexican for dinner, I had my first margarita, and we were officially on vacation!
The next day, we headed to our favorite beach, Boca Grande, for Ellison's first beach experience! She had such a good time at first. She giggled and played. She didn't love the water so much, but I think it was because the water was chilly. Rookie mistake...we forgot E's paci...so naptime was a huge fail. She got a smidge cranky, so we headed to the car to try to make it all better. After a good wipe down to get rid of the sand and sweat, a change of clothes, and a nap in the cool air conditioned car, she was good as new. While she napped, Barrett and I grabbed a beer and sat in some adirondacks in the sand. Once she'd had a good power nap, we headed over to Miller's Marina for our must have tuna nachos.
That evening, Barrett's Grandma Jeanne came over. Ellison thought her Great Grandma was so fun. She especially liked her bracelets!
The next day, we spent the morning lounging around and hanging by the pool. We headed out to Peace River Seafood for lunch and ate our weight in crabs! Ellison got to see lots of new things...including a parrot, geese, chickens, roosters, and goats! She thought the goats were hilarious!
That night, Barrett and I went out for date night. We went into Punta Gorda and started the evening by having drinks and listening to music on the Wyvern Hotel rooftop while watching the sunset. Beautiful. We had dinner at this great place downtown called The Perfect Caper. It was really yummy and the service was great. We took a little walk, stopped in for a drink at The Celtic Ray and then headed back home. Date nights are the best.
The next day, E hung out at the house and swam in the pool with Nana while Barrett and I went to spend a couple of quiet hours on the beach. We saw Santa while we were there too (see pic below)! Later that night, we were able to spend some time with some of Barrett's extended family who live down in Florida. It was so great to get to catch up with everyone! Ellison got to meet her third cousin (second cousin once removed?) who is 4 or 5 months younger than she is. She thought he was great and wanted to play...he was a little more reserved! :-)
We had such a fun time....as usual...and can't wait to get back again soon. Now that we know Ellison is a budding travel buff, we'll be much more likely to venture out much more often!