Monday, December 30, 2013

Pensacola 2013

Friday, December 27, 8:00 p.m.

We're on our traditional post-Christmas trip to Pensacola, Florida, again this year. This is the eleventh time Anna and I have been since 2000 (we didn't go in 2006 because she was pregnant with Jessica, in 2009 because she was pregnant with Elyse, or in 2011 because we went to Orlando just before Christmas with Granny and Pa and Jeff; we've gone all the other years since 2000), the fifth time Jessica has been, and the third time for Elyse.

We left on Thursday afternoon--the day after Christmas--at about 4:45, following a frenzied day of cleaning up. We drove for most of the next six hours, with a couple of stops--Arby's for dinner, for example--before putting in for the night at an EconoLodge about 100 miles north of Pensacola (260 miles from home).

We left fairly early this morning--8:20--and were in Pensacola around 10:00. We stopped at the Barnes & Noble on Airport Blvd. for a snack and little browsing, but didn't stay long because their bathrooms were out of service due to a water main break. After a stop at Walmart to visit the restrooms and buy cat food for the sea gulls, we came out to Pensacola Beach to walk along the beach and then check into our hotel.

We were surprised to learn upon checking in that there is an anime convention going on here this weekend (Anime South 2013), which means there are an awful lot of interesting-looking people walking around in various costumes, excitedly talking about what games they like to play and what shows they watch. They seem like decent folks.

Here are some pictures from our first day on the beach:

(A pelican near the pier in downtown Pensacola)

(Pigeons near the pier. Young children love to chase pigeons, for some reason.)

Shortly after I took the last picture, Jessica fell in the water and got soaked, so we had to proceed to the hotel to get her dried off and changed. We had a good time nonetheless.

Elyse is very excited about being here; she's been asking for days when we were going to the beach. I hope it lives up to her expectations.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today was rainy and generally blah in Pensacola, so we did a bunch of indoor things--went to Cordova Mall and ate lunch and walked around for a while, and bought four DVDs at FYE, three of them Barbie movies. Then we went back to the hotel and watched one of them. (We can connect the DVD player we use in the car to the hotel TV set.) As I type this, at 4:05 p.m., the girls are playing some Disney games on my iPad; I suspect there's another movie, or at least some TV, in our future.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better, and we're planning on going to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. I really hope that works out!

Here are some pictures of Anna working on a cross-stitch project in the hotel room:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Today we went out to the beach to feed the sea gulls, spent some time in our hotel room, and then went to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Here are a whole bunch of pictures from our various adventures:

(In case it's not obvious, here the pictures switch to the zoo)

Monday, December 30, 2013

We came home today. We did the whole drive in one day, which we don't always do, but we were ready to be home, so we checked out of our hotel a little before 11:00 this morning, and after a stop at the Fazoli's in Pensacola--we miss the Fazoli's in Snellville, and go to one as often as we can--we headed towards home.

We made a few stops along the way--our traditional stop at Priester's in Fort Deposit, AL; another stop somehwhere...for something, I don't remember what; and a stop at a Wendy's near Hogansville, GA--but were home by 9:00.

It was a good trip, and we'll be very excited to go again next year, but for now, it's good to be home.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

As we always do, we spent Christmas Eve with Granny and Pa and Uncle Jeff, and also most of Christmas Day at Granny and Pa's house too. Here, Jessica admire's Granny and Pa's tree (and checks out all the presents beneath it):

Elyse and Jessica pose in front of the fireplace:

Tree with Presents:

Jessica with Santa:

Mommy and Elyse:

Mommy and Jessica:

Pa helps Granny get into one of her presents:


Jeff snoozes on Granny and Pa's sofa on Christmas Eve:

On Christmas morning, Jessica and Elyse tear into their presents:

A self-portrait, made using the remote control for my camera that Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas:

Mommy, and Elyse in her Merida wig (and crown, and necklace):

Anna and Jeff work on our traditional Christmas Eve/Christmas Day jigsaw puzzle:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Decorations

We don't decorate the outside of our house much at Christmas, but inside we have a million Christmasy things all over the place: