Earlier this week I shared pictures from the first half of our Florida vacation that Justin and I took a couple of weeks ago while we were our 5-week winter break. I told stories about how our plane almost crashed, how much we loved our first day at Disney together, and how attached my grandparents’ dog was to Justin. After four days spent with my grandma and grandpa, it was time to head to Ocala where Justin’s grandparents live. My grandparents were kind enough to offer to drive us there despite that it was an hour north of where they live. We stopped at Bob Evan’s for a late breakfast before pulling into a gorgeous retirement community sprawling with rolling hills, blue ponds, and towering palm trees. All of the grandparents visited for a couple hours, sharing stories about hometowns and traditions. At one point both of the grandma’s made a comment about running around in bare feet. My grandma said, “We’re both rednecks! I’m a Michigan hillbilly and you’re a West Virginia one” to Justin’s grandma!! It was so nice having them meet each other as well as finally getting to meet Justin’s grandparents myself!! I waited FOUR YEARS for this moment!!!
I just totally skipped to the end of the photo set for this post but I am so happy that I have this picture with them and that I got to experience the fun of having dinner with Justin’s grandma and grandpa, sitting and visiting, talking about favorite books, meals, and what the true meaning of a strong marriage is. I am so grateful for the wisdom they shared with me and the time we all got to spend together. NOW. Back to sharing things in chronological order…
Justin and I tend to get into these fitness crazes for a couple months several times a year. This April I’m running a half marathon (!!!), and without Justin I’m really not sure I would push myself as hard as I need to for improvements. While in Florida we knew we wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous warm weather and run a couple miles every other day together. So that’s exactly what we did.
And after… Gracie is currently being fostered by Justin’s family… she is such a cutie and she LOVES feet!!!
I can’t go on without also sharing a few of little Jack. He is so precious and jumpy and about as spastic as a firecracker.
Just 20 miles south of Ocala lies a really, REALLY nice community called The Villages. It houses 100,000 people and sports several different themed city centers. We went here several times over the course of our week in Ocala and enjoyed walking around, looking in the shops, and seeing the live musical performances that happen every night!
Oh man… I never really wondered what you spend your money on when you get old, but apparently, the answer is pimped out golf carts.
This specific town center is made to look like a classic fisherman’s warf… I think they did a pretty good job!
Then we found the dock… and sunset picture time soon followed.
This is what happens when you try to take a selfie with a 35mm portrait lens:
Later on in the week we got to visit the town center that’s inspired by Spain. It was really cool, too!
On our second to last day in Ocala, we decided to visit Silver River State Park to see the natural springs there. I had no idea how beautiful just walking the trails would be. I felt like I’d been transported back in time! I kept expecting a dinosaur to pop out from behind one of the giant leaves or patch of tall trees!
So a dinosaur probably won’t chase you down here… but a black bear might!!!
We finally made it to the water after a 30 minute hike! (Okay, it probably would have been 10 minutes if I hadn’t stopped for so many pictures…)
The MOSS!!! So pretty! I wish I could take my couples here for portraits!!
So many gorgeous sunsets in Florida…
The morning we left to head back home, we took some pictures of Justin’s grandparents. I am in love.
Annnnd I will end our Florida vacation posts with this. The reason why we didn’t leave until two hours after the time we had set to depart… the construction of this luggage rack. A typical end to any normal family’s vacation…