Shopping And Relaxing
Since my daughters were not coming to stay with us until the evening, that allowed us to have a lie in after our first night in Florida, and to try and overcome some of the jet lag before they arrived, since adding an extra 5 hours to the day having flown from the UK and then going to bed late, catches up with you sooner or later.
Much of the day was already planned, and I had looked up the location of an IHOP restaurant for breakfast (Debbie’s choice) and also the nearest Super Wal-Mart, which is the cheapest and best place to shop. Although I had lived in Florida for 4 years, the decent Wal-Mart stores that I know are all north of Fort Lauderdale and further away, so we had to do some exploring and make our way to Miami Gardens, not the best of locations, but the drive was simpler than it looked on the map, and made easier because the store was right next door to Dolphin Stadium.
We had an enjoyable breakfast at IHOP, stocked up on groceries at Wal-Mart, then relaxed around the pool until it was time for me to pick up my daughters.
My How They Have Grown
The girls were so pleased to see me and I got some wonderful hugs and kisses from them. it was really hard not being able to see them for 18 months, a combination of not having enough money for the trip and Debbie getting sick, and despite having seen them regularly on Skype, it’s only when you see them in the flesh that you realise just how much they have grown.
My eldest daughter will be 11 next week, and it won’t be long before she is as tall as I am. Her younger sister, who will be 7 in a few weeks time, is not too far behind her either.
This trip was very special in another way, since it’s the first time that their Mom has allowed them to stay over with us, so the first time I have been able to tuck them into bed in 4 years, and it felt really good. We brought some books over for them, both are excellent readers, and so before bed we managed to read some stories, which was nice.
The following day the girls woke up early, and I took them to the beach early, allowing Debbie to have a lie in and to get ready.
We spent the morning in the pool and then the afternoon at the beach, the girls having a great time playing in the ocean, something that they rarely get a chance to do, despite living only 20 minutes from the beach.
Topeekeegee Yugnee Park
Better known locally as “TY Park”, this is a large park in Hollywood that I usually take the girls to, and which has a children’s playground, water park, a large lake, and lots of paths to walk.
We decided to go here the next day, to make a change from the pool and the beach, but as so often happens in Florida it was hot and humid and at times just too hot!
Fortunately there are shady patches in TY Park, and when you walk close to the lake it’s large enough for there to be a cooling breeze. The City of Hollywood also provides plenty of drinking fountains with chilled water, as well as water misting stations to help cool you off.
The girls had a great time there, and we returned to the condo exhausted.
The next day, since the girl’s birthdays are coming up and we won’t be there to celebrate with them, we took them to the movies, to see Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez who they both like. This was a fun teen movie, which they both enjoyed, and was followed by a surprise trip to Toys R Us where they were given an allowance each to spend on birthday pressies. Then back to the condo for dinner, followed by an ice cream cake.
Coming Up Next
CLICK HERE for Part Four and join us for a trip to a Nature Reserve and to the Zoo.