Florida Recap – Tampa, Disney World & MORE!

When I was planning our trip to Florida I thought 10 days would be more than plenty. In hindsight I could have spent 10 more days there and it still would not have been enough! There is SOOOOOO much that I have missed while living in Alaska. Warm weather, civilization, fresh produce, cute summer clothes, good food, Chickfila….I could go on and on.

After a long 19 hour flight, we finally arrived in Tampa! I was so nervous about our flight but overall Madison did amazing! It was exciting to finally arrive and see Matt. He had been away for about three weeks, which is the longest I think we’ve ever been apart. Madison was ecstatic to see her “Da-Da” and ran to him as soon as she saw him. There’s nothing greater than seeing how much your baby daddy and baby love each other.

We started our trip off with my mother-in-law visiting us in Tampa. Madison had not seen her Grammy since she was about 9 months old, but thanks to facetime recognized her right away! We had a few days in Tampa together where we spent mornings working out at the Riverwalk, playing at the park, enjoying afternoons at the pool and eating yummy salads. It was just SO nice to be in warm weather and around fresh produce. Kodiak is still pretty cold and dreary. Because everything has to be shipped in, a lot of time the produce is close to spoiling – and sometimes already spoiled – when it gets to the grocery store. So it was a nice little escape where I felt back in my element.

On Thursday night, my mother-in-law stayed back at the hotel with Madison so that Matt and I could have a date night! We rarely get these, so it was exciting to get a night of one-on-one time.

We went to dinner at Jackson’s on the Riverwalk. Jackson’s was a steak, seafood and sushi restaurant, so it had all of Matt and I’s favorites! Steak for him and sushi for me. YUM! I ate an embarrassingly large amount and may have had a small food baby by the time we were done.  We were able to sit outside on the patio, enjoy a beautiful view and eat some delicious food. After dinner we walked around the riverwalk and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was a simple night, but it was perfect for us. I even finally got to wear one of my favorite Lilly dresses!

That weekend we met up with Matt’s Dad and went to Disney World! I had never been, so while I was super excited to see Madison’s reaction, I was also dying to see it all for myself!

We spent Friday night at Disney Springs. After grabbing an amazing dinner at The Boathouse, we shopped around to find the perfect princess dress for Madison. Every little princess needs a princess dress when she visits Disney World! Since Madison is so tiny she wasn’t able to fit in any of the character dresses, but we were able to find her the perfect Belle dress. On Saturday we took Madison to Disney World, Magic Kingdom park. Madison was captivated by it all! It was amazing to watch the excitement on her face as she took everything in!

We took her on a few of the kiddie rides and attempted to have her meet a few of the characters. After Cinderella’s evil step-sisters left her crying, we thought maybe Minnie Mouse and Daisy would have better luck. But that didn’t work out very well either! We basically stood in line for 45 minutes only for Madison to cry again. We will probably have better luck with that again in a few years! But overall the day was amazing and full of fun memories.

Matt and I even snuck in a ride on Space Mountain during Madison’s naptime. I absolutely hate rollercoasters, but did it to spend time with my husband. As you can see from the picture, I was less than thrilled. My husband got quite the kick out of my screaming though.

After leaving Disney World we drove to my in-laws house about an hour away to spend the rest of the weekend swimming and cooking out.

On Mother’s Day I woke up to coffee in bed and breakfast being made. It was amazing getting to enjoy coffee by the pool! Madison has become quite the little swimmer. You can even see more photos of her swimming around on my SwimWays Blog post! She was loving splashing around, “jumping” into the pool and would kick and paddle her arms while one of us held her. I can already see that she’s becoming more and more of a daredevil and I am SO not ready!

We finished the week out in Tampa again. Matt was back in class while Madison and I shopped around with my girlfriend and swam in the pool. Most afternoons Matt was home early enough to join us at the pool after class.

Our visit was a much needed break away from Alaska. My love for warm weather just grew stronger the longer we were in Florida. I’ve missed sunshine, living in a city, amazing salads that aren’t spoiled and Target trips. Here’s to hoping we end up near warmer weather and the east coast for our next duty station!


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