Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas in Florida

This year, we were lucky enough to spend Christmas in Florida with some of the Jurgensmeier family. I only had a week off from work, but the family was able to be here all week. We made sure to make the most of our time!! We went snorkeling, paddle boarding, learned to skim board, went on an airboat tour to see some gators, and overall just enjoyed the sunshine and the amazing weather!

Although the Jurgensmeier's didn't get here until late on Christmas Eve, we were able to have a small get together at the beach with some ward members during the day. How weird to spend Christmas Eve at the beach in 80 degree weather! It was our first experience paddle boarding, and Brad and I became a little obsessed with it.

When the family finally arrived, the fun began! We spent Sunday opening gifts, going to church, eating good food, playing games, and taking walks on the beach. Monday was spent just at our beach across the street from our apartment. Brad, Bryce, Kevin, and I (kinda) spent time learning how to skim board and soaking up the sun.

Tuesday was the day for our Air boat ride! We drive up to Sawgrass Mills Recreation Park, which is part of the Everglades. It was a bit chilly that day (chilly meaning you could wear long pants and maybe a sweater), so it was a perfect day to skip the beach. We saw a Gator and enjoyed some Everglades scenery. Then we did some shopping and played some games later in the day.

It sure was windy on that airboat ride!!

There was also a little zoo at the place we did our airboat ride, so we had fun walking around seeing and even holding some animals! We got to hold a baby alligator and a python!

Wednesday we went down to Key Biscayne, the first in the chain of islands known as the keys. It is only about a half-hour drive from our apartment. After getting lost for a bit, we found a fun little snorkel spot where the water was only about a two-feet deep for a long ways out. We also got to watch a bunch of people kite surfing in that spot, which was fun!

Thursday was probably MY favorite day. We drove down to Key Largo where we booked a snorkeling trip off of a Catamaran. The boat drove out about four miles and we snorkeled around the coral reef. It was so fun! The water was so shallow you had to wear your life jacket to keep you from touching the bottom. We even got to see a Sea Turtle! We had an awesome day.

Friday was another beach day around our place. Our friends were nice enough to loan us their paddle board for the day so we could teach the family. It was a fun day just paddle boarding, skim boarding, and soaking up the sun again. We were so lucky to have perfect weather pretty much the whole time the family was here.

Everyone left on Saturday, and Bradley and I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from the crazy fun we had all week! It was a great time, and we were glad that Karen, Dee, Kevin, and Bryce could come for Christmas!