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Birthday Trip to the Florida Keys

4 May

I turned 30 this year and wanted to take a trip somewhere warm. When Chris and I found out in February that we were expecting again, I knew it would be a family vacation and somewhere nearby would be perfect. I love the Keys and was excited to go back!

We stayed at Hawks Cay on Duck Key (right before Marathon). It was a perfect set-up for us and was a lot of fun. The resort was nice, especially for the Keys where places can be a little dated. This was no exception. While there were some really nice things about the room and place, some other areas needed work. We opted for a 3 bedroom villa in the Harbor side. We were bringing the boat and got a boat slip right outside our room. That was a huge bonus for us.

We arrived Thursday and didn’t get to do much other than a Publix trip while the kids played in the kiddie area. First tropical drink of vacation (not the same without alcohol).

Dinner with a view

After dinner, we stopped by to see the dolphins. They could stay there all day long.

Friday morning, we headed out on the boat later than we wanted.

We went to a reef, Coffin’s Patch, nearby. It was ok, nothing too fancy but fun because Kyler tried to snorkel for the 1st time! She didn’t like the taste of the salt water so she didn’t last too long.

We stopped at a nearby sandbar on the way back. I almost stepped on this guy!

So a boat is the baby whisper for Hudson. He passed every single boat ride and the seas were ROUGH Friday and Saturday…funny kid.

View on the way back

We stopped by a restaurant on the way back… Kyler loves boat drinks.

Hudson is a happy but crazy little guy

Play some music for this girl and she loves to bust a move!

In hindsight, we should have headed to the reef I really wanted to go to but we didn’t realize how rough it would be Friday or Saturday. Cruising down to the 7 mile bridge. After lunch, we attempted to head out to Sombrero Reef but the seas were just too rough so we had to turn around. Bummer.

Best buds ❤

Since we ended the boat ride early, we played in the lagoon and the pool for the rest of the day!

and then there were 3 Jenkinson kids!

We headed back to the restaurant on the water and had dinner. Kyler fed the fish so she was a happy girl.

We watched the sun set over the water and it was so pretty!

My mini ❤

This tiny thing jumped in our boat. Chris and Kyler tried to put it in the water but it was stuggling. They put it back in the bucket and we took it back to the resort with us. We assumed she was on the side of our boat and jumped in the second she had the chance. We put Minnie, the name Kyler gave her, back on the rocks where she most likely came from.

More pool time! This kid is a FISH and just wants to swim, swim, swim!

We headed down to Key West for my birthday for some shopping and dinner. We stopped by Sunset Pier on the way out.

It was a great trip (minus the colds Hudson, Kyler and now myself have) and loved spending time with my family! I love the Florida Keys and can’t wait to go back (just next time not pregnant!)

Fall trip up to the Northeast

26 Oct

We love our trips up to the Northeast in October. We weren’t able to go last year so we were really looking forward to it this year. A few things have changed since last time though. My in-laws moved to Pennsylvania, my best friend moved to New York and my sister-in-law moved back to Connecticut. I only had 6 days to make the trip so we weren’t able to drive my Florida like we had hoped.

I worked a game on a Tuesday, got home at 12:30am, was asleep by 1am only to wake up at 4:30am to start getting ready for our 7am flight. Brutal.

I was sick when I woke up so that caused us to be late at the airport which meant we missed our flight. Lucky for us, they had the same flight leaving a hour later which worked out even better.

We arrived in DC around 10:15am, rented a mini-van and headed towards the White House.

After a quick trip, Kyler was bored and wanted to go to the zoo.

We spent a few hours at the National Zoo before heading out to Pennsylvania.

Our 3 hour drive to the farm ended up being more like 5 hours with DC and Baltimore traffic.

The next day, we spent the morning on the farm.

Hudson, the little Fall model

The kids loved playing in the corn

Love them!

Later that morning, we went into State College, had lunch, and walked around campus. Kyler LOVED looking for pretty leaves and came across a nice pile of leaves to jump in.

The tree we were under was beautiful. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was so yellow it made the ground glow yellow below it.

We our course had to take a picture with the Nittany Lion

After a trip to the creamery and the local Target, we headed back to the Farm and played with the football before dinner. So nice to be in nice, soft grass and cold weather!

My guys

Love this little cheese ball

This one too ❤

The next day, Friday, we played around the farm again (because it’s so much fun).

Heading back up the driveway to the Farm

In the afternoon, we headed to Hershey.

Kyler made her own candy bar!

Afterwards, we went to Hershey Park in the Dark

It was a cold but fun night!

Kyler ended the night by busting her lip on the sidewalk. Ouch!

Saturday morning we got an early start to head to New York City and met up with my best friend. The day didn’t exactly go as planned but that’s okay, it was still fun. It was, however, FREEZING!

After spending the night in Long Island, we went to the pumpkin patch and wineries with Jenn and her family.

It was so so so cold out that we found some space inside!

Wine for us and snacks for the kids

It was so cold out that we had snow flurries. WHAT?!

We headed down the road to another winery. This was had a bigger inside and live music.

I miss the girl so much!!!!

We took the ferry boat from Long Island to Connecticut and it was great! We ran outside to check out the sunset and watch us push off.

The ferry was great. We had a table, tv, and a deli/snack bar. The kids had dinner and relaxed. Poor Hudson started coming down with a cold and Kyler was worn out.

We spent the last 2 days with my sister-in-law. She lives near 2 orchards so we walked next door and it was BEAUTIFUL.

She loves her cousin Matt!

The orchards were so pretty

We picked some apples, apple cider donuts, and caramel and walked back.

Kyler playing in the leaves in the front yard

Too pretty

The best picture I could get of all 3 of them.

On our last day, we headed to Newport, Rhode Island for a quick stop

The Breakers

Love the cliff walk

We flew out of Providence, Rhode Island, had a nice and easy fight with the kids (so great when they get along), and pulled into our house at 7:30pm. Next day, I had another game (so tired)!

In 6 days, we travel through DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. It was a quick and busy 6 days but it was perfect. We may have been on the go the entire time but I was the most relaxed I have been in a long time. The kids had a blast, we got to spend time with family and the enjoy the Fall season. It was amazing.

Our Family Vacation to the Bahamas

23 Jun

We just got back from a 4 night/5 day stay in the Bahamas and it was so. much. fun. I have been to Nassau several times but they were only for a day and all while vacationing on a cruise ship. My parents and I had been looking at places to go this summer but hadn’t decided on anything. After our cruise in May, I pitched the idea of going and actually staying at the Atlantis. I have always wanted to stay at the property rather than just visit it for a few hours. After some research and talking to some friends that visit there often, we were booked for June!

For those of you that don’t know much about the Atlantis, it is comprised of 6 different parts; Beach Tower, Coral Tower, Royal Towers, Harborside Marina, The Cove, and The Reef. We opted for The Reef as they had 2 bedroom suites that were equipped with a full kitchen, perfect for the kiddos. They are, after all, resident style rooms. It also shared a private beach and pool with The Cove so it was going to be less crowded and more upscale then other parts of the resort.

The Reef was beautiful. Our room was great! They gave us a crib for Hudson, there was a pull out bed for Kyler, and a king size bed for us. We had our own bathroom and balcony. There was also a main living room and kitchen, and another king size bedroom and bathroom off the living area. It is the furthest tower from the action, however, with the constant shuttles running, we never really found it to be an issue.

The view from our room

We stopped at the grocery store on the way in and stocked up on breakfast and lunch items. We also brought a ton of snacks and dry items with us. Food at the Atlantis is absolutely absurd in pricing. We fully expected it to be expensive, however, it really is just silly. To combat that, the kids had breakfast and lunch in the room and we just snacked on small things until dinner. This helped save some serious $$.

The service was great as well. I had read some not so flattering reviews online, however, our experience was great! Everyone was super friendly and helpful. I am not sure if it was because we stayed at The Reef or what but we were happy!

Shuttle ride!

The kids LOVED the kid water area. It had 4 slides just her size and we spent a lot of time there.

One of my favorite things about the place is their lazy aka not so lazy river. I was so happy that Kyler was big enough to go down it and she loved it!

The pools are great and the kids loved them all!

Big Hud the Stud!

We spent more time on the beach than I thought we would. The beach was covered in tiny little shells so that kept Kyler busy and Hudson LOVES to play in the sand!

The Marina Village was a fun place to go at night for dinner and ice cream.

We usually walked back to the room for dinner and made stops along the way.

We would stop along the way and look at the flowers and pick up the nice ones that fell off the tree

The aquariums at the Atlantis were another highlight for the kids

With a full casino, there was plenty to do at night. It just so happened that I had co-workers staying at the resort down street at the same time we were there so we were able to meet up one night!

Another dear friend and former co-worker of mine actually works down there in paradise so it was so much fun to catch up with her!

We had a dolphin experience included in our stay so my mom and I decided to do it and Kyler was free so that was a bonus. We suited up (even little Hud!) and were ready to go. Hudson was so tired already that he was just too fussy to go. He watched from the beach and seems perfectly fine with that 🙂

After 5 days in paradise, we headed back home. We loved Atlantis and had a blast. I would definitely go back and we agreed that the length of stay we did was perfect. It didn’t fly by but we were not bored one bit. It was great to have my parents there as my kids are obsessed with them. They would watch the kids and Chris and I would run off, do some of the water parks, then take turns hanging with the kiddos in the pool. The weather was absolutely PERFECT and had sunshine the entire time. We never left the resort as we didn’t feel as though we needed to. Atlantis, thanks for living up to the expectations and hope to see you again soon!!!!

 

 

First Family Vacation as a Party of Four

27 Aug

This past week we took our first vacation as a family of four. Last September, I won a weekend trip to Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida (about a hour and 20 minutes away). I debated using it as a “babymoon” before Hudson arrived but we heard it was great for families and Kyler would love it so we decided to wait until after he arrived. Chris’ 35th birthday was on Tuesday so I thought last weekend would be a perfect weekend to use it. It was a great weekend and we had a lot of fun! I will say, traveling with 2 small kids is definitely stressful, especially when one doesn’t sleep well and one wants to stay up late. Regardless, it was nice to hang out by the beach and pool and have some family time!

She was so excited to help with her own bags. And it was really helpful for us too!

We hit up the pool as soon as we got there

Family Selfie!

She had fun playing on the beach. Considering how close we live to the beach, it’s pretty bad we haven’t been in a year.

She wanted to catch a fishy so bad. A guy next to us was fishing and let her have a fish he caught. So nice of him!

Hudson’s first time at the beach!

Just me and my babes

Love this

The ocean was so calm!

Too cute

They had a big slide there that went pretty fast. Kyler went down once and bumped her head and that was the end of that.

This dude kept passing out everywhere 🙂

Out cold

Just having fun in the lazy river!

Sweet Kyler

Me and my girl

They love each other ❤ Hudson also loves to pull her hair 🙂

Just love them to pieces!

It made me excited to plan a vacation for next summer! By then, Hudson will be running around too and it will be even more fun!

UCF vs Penn State Weekend

18 Sep

In lieu of the Weekend Update with The Jenkinsons, I figured I would share some pictures and highlights of our weekend up in Central PA. We were off bright and early Friday morning (7:30am flight which meant 5am wake up call). We scored with an empty seat next to us which made life MUCH better!

Kyler started out pretty good on Friday. She was pretty good on the flight but as we got closer to land, she started getting a little cranky. By the time we put her in the stroller in the airport, she was having a full on melt-down. As soon as we were in the car, she passed out and I thought the end of the crankiness was near!

Miss Kyler woke up as we approached the Farm and the crankiness had not stopped. We attempted lunch then headed to State College. She continued her tantrum fits and made for a not so enjoyable time. Poor girl had a molar coming through on top of everything else so I know she was really uncomfortable. Tylenol wasn’t really doing the trick but there was nothing other than being outside and walking around that would make her happy. We stopped off at the Penn State Arboretum and she seemed to like that.

From there, we headed to the Penn State Creamery for some ice cream and she loved that (what’s not to like). The rest of the day was followed by tantrum after tantrum until it was bed time. Thankfully, she went down easily and Mom and Dad were not far behind 🙂

Saturday was game day and Kyler was GREAT!!!!! She was back to her happy, normal self. We walked down to the neighbor’s farm to see some cows. She really liked when they moo’ed at her. 

 

My memory card crashed so all of my good photos from Friday and Saturday morning are gone. I am in the process of trying to recover them so fingers are crossed!

A few hours later, calves showed up at Nana’s Farm so we had to say hi to those too! 

 

After a quick nap, we were ready to tailgate (with a good Cheese of course)

We had the House Divided shirt made up from a shop on Etsy. We ironed it on and it was perfect!!! I went to UCF and Chris went to Penn State plus it was Mickey and Minnie so everyone was happy.

A few of my friends from back home traveled up for the game so we tailgated with them for a bit.

UCF Alumni had a tent set-up so we swung by to hang with some fellow Knights. Kyler loved the balloons.

Game time! 

 

She got to meet the Nittany Lion!

Go Knights! 

 

We had to leave at the half since it was Kyler’s bedtime but UCF went on to win 34-31!!!!

The next day, we walked around the Farm for a bit. It was chilly out around 9am but it warmed up later in the day.

Later on, we headed to Horsepower Farm to meet some horses. The woman who runs it is a cousin of my Mother-In-Law’s so Kyler got to meet some up close.

Monday morning, we were up at 4am (UGH) and on the road by 4:30am to catch our 7am flight. Kyler enjoyed some Starbucks coffee cake for breakfast.

We had another empty seat on the flight home and Kyler did great!

 It was a nice trip filled with family time, nice weather, and football! We could have done without the cranky Kyler but she still had a good time and enjoyed all of the farm animals.

Turks and Caicos: Family Vacation Part 2

15 Jul

Since the post was turning into a long one, I decided to break it up. Read about the first part of the trip here (mainly focuses on the resort).

The island of Provo was really nice too. It is pretty expensive, however. The water and beaches are clearly THE reason to head there as it’s just too pretty to describe. The island isn’t too big and there wasn’t much beauty on the island itself. That is okay though because again, the beaches are FANTASTIC. The weather was unreal. Even in the 90s, the ocean breeze kept it comfortable and I found myself “cold” sometimes coming out of the water when the clouds were around. When it rained, it poured quickly and the sun was right back out.

The resort sits on the famous Grace Bay Beach. It’s beautiful. Look at this beach and water!

 Kyler had a great time in the water!

and a great time playing in the sand!

Beautiful sunset ❤

We rented a car one day and went exploring…not the best idea. Normally, we find our way around just find but there are practically no road signs there and the map given to us wasn’t much better. I had read about all these other beaches but couldn’t find the access point to them. Fail. If you decide to do this, research well!

We did come across some great look outs from other parts of the island!

View from Turtle Tain, on the South part of the island.

 

Chalk Sound- wow, what a view!

 

We ate lunch at a place called Bugaloo’s which is in the Five Cays part on the South part of the island. They specialize in conch (the island speciality). The guys at the restaurant were just pulling in the day’s catch. He showed us how they get the conch out and even cut off a piece to me to eat fresh!

Doesn’t get fresher than that!

I bought a shell off of him for $10 too. Excited to add it to the shell we found in Bora Bora during our honeymoon!

View from the restaurant

Snorkeling the reefs right off the beach was definitely the highlight of my trip. I love me some good ole nature and it didn’t get much better than that. I really wanted to get certified at the dive shop at the resort but we didn’t want to stick Kyler at kids camp too much or make my parents watch her the entire time. I hear diving there is unreal so maybe we will try that another time.

Snorkeling the Bight Reef

The Bight Reef was about a 10 minute walk down the beach from out hotel. It isn’t a huge spot, however, there were plenty of things to see! The middle part is roped off so people don’t damage it. It did get a little too crowded at times for my likely but it was still worth the walk. We went snorkeling 4 times at this spot since it was so convenient! We hit this spot up at all different times. I was so damn determined to find a turtle that we snorkeled at 7:30 in the morning on our last day…. and it was our best trip yet!! We saw much more fish since we were the only ones there. Fish were everywhere!!!

We saw so many Lionfish when it was just us there!

Yellowtail Snapper school

 

 

Big ole Barracuda. Not a huge fan of these guys but ran into them on about half of our trips.

Little Stingray

 Manta Ray about 15 feet down

 

Trumpet fish

 Parrotfish

On my LAST trip of the vacation (8 snorkel trips to find him), I FINALLY found my little Sea Turtle!!

Walk back to the resort.

 I had read that Smith’s Reef (the other reef right off the beach) was a great area to snorkel. It was about a 30 minute walk from our resort (and that was practically speed walking). There are no marked off areas and it’s super hard to find once you’re in the water. The first time, we didn’t see very much but that is our fault. We (mainly I) underestimated the time it would take to walk there and my parents were watching Kyler so we rushed ourselves. Note to self, don’t do that. The 2nd time we stopped by here, we drove in a car and that was much better 🙂 The water was a lot rougher than the Bight due to the wind directions at this spot. It’s also located near a marina so you need to pay extra attention to the boats and buoys. There was no one there when we were there both times which made it nice. I was a little nervous since I had no idea where I was going (and you can get pretty far from the beach since it’s so massive) but it was worth it. Less fish than the Bight but the coral was really pretty!

Longggg walk back

 

 

 

 

2 other snorkel trips, we headed out on the boat provided by the hotel. They didn’t take us too far out at all but there are so many little reefs around to explore so it was fun!

Chris found this Flounder just hanging out.

 Pretty coral

Reef Squid!!

 Lobster hiding in there.

 Hi!

 

 

 I LOVED Providenciales (kept telling my parents we should buy a beach house there… in my dreams). I can’t wait to go back and explore the island even more!

****

We had an amazing trip and I HIGHLY recommend trying it out 🙂

Turks and Caicos: Family Vacation Part 1

15 Jul

Last Friday, July 5th, my parents, hubby, mini me and I headed towards Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, or Provo for short. We started doing our research in the Spring on where we wanted to go for my dad’s 60th birthday. With Kyler coming along it HAD to be family friendly. We looked at Atlantis and it was a strong contender but my parents really like all inclusive… what’s not to like?!?! That helped narrow our search down and we landed on Beaches (company owned by Sandals). At first, I was a little iffy because I was worried it would be too cookie cutter but I researched more and more and started to really think it could be for us. They have Beaches on 2 different islands, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. We have been to Jamaica before and we were looking to go somewhere new.

Beaches IS family. That is who they market and cater to. The resort is broken up of 4 different villages; Caribbean, French, Italian and Key West. They have 19 restaurants (insane), water park, plenty of pools beach activities, etc.

Sesame Street sponsors their kids camp and have characters roaming about, performing stage shows, parades, etc. Everything is included in the price for the most part (including the lovely kids camp). Kids Camp was a great option to give her some play time with other kiddos and Mom and Dad (Grandma and Poppa too) some free time to go snorkeling, eat at the adult only restaurant, or relax on the beach. We only ended up using it twice since afterall, it was a family vacation. The ladies at the camp loved Kyler and made sure to say hi to her anytime we bumped into them at the resort. Kyler loved the characters (for the most part). She loved the stage shows and for one of them (Zoe’s Dance Party), she got on stage and danced along. She did punch Elmo in the face when he got too close. Oops!

The Sesame Street Parade

More dancing!

Pictures with Sesame Street Characters by the pool!

Speaking of the pool…. they were all great! Kyler definitely loved playing in the pool and the Italian Village pool had a lot of kiddy space!

The butler set up a pool cabana for us the day of my dad’s birthday! Such a nice thing to have!

Little Miss Diva enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it too 🙂

 

Taking a lunch break!

The resort was super nice!! We stayed in the new Key West Village that they just acquired. I am SO glad we did. The rooms were beautiful and spacious and that side of the resort was peaceful.

They kept the grounds really clean and were always working on the landscape which was BEAUTIFUL. So impressed considering how big of a resort it was.

View of Key West Village from the ocean

2 bedroom Oceanview room

View from the room. Amazing!

The food was okay. Sometimes really good and sometimes not so good. I ate sushi everyday and it was super yummy.

Kyler enjoyed the food!

and the ice cream!

Yumm 🙂

They brought my dad a cake on his birthday!

Next post will talk about the island and beaches on beautiful Provo!!

 

 

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