Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Family Time

What can you find to do in Florida when your 14 year-old granddaughter comes for four days? Plenty!

A day at Universal Studios' "Islands of Adventure" is a wonderful outing, especially when it includes our Tampa family.

Our favorite area of Universal was Harry Potter's Village of Hogsmeade.

Austin was enthralled with the croaking chocolate frog in the window of Honeydukes Candy Shop.

Hogwarts Castle is not to be missed! The indoor ride is amazing! While strapped into our seats, we flew on a broom, alongside Harry, over the quiddich field and Hogwarts. Truly! How did we do it?!

In spite of overcast skies that spit rain until late afternoon when it then turned into a steady drizzle, it was a great day. When the weather isn't nice, people leave early, and lines to rides are shorter - and in the case of "The Adventures of Spiderman," short enough to go on the 3-D ride two consecutive times!

Celina's visit to The Villages wasn't complete without a golf cart ride. Being 14, the legal age to drive a golf cart, she didn't miss the chance for driving lessons with Bapa.

Funny. One of Celina's several petitions to her parents - when she asked if she could extend her visit with us - was to improve her driving skills! (Of course, mom and dad said no, she had to return to school today - Tuesday.)

Another, not-to-be-missed Villages activity is dancing in the square - three squares to choose from, each with live music. Bapa and Celina rocked out to 60's and 70's music played by Uncle Bob's Rock Shop.

At the Saturday Farmer's Market, we couldn't pass up these fresh, juicy, Sweet Navel oranges grown about 20 miles from The Villages.

We've gotten into boccé ball, so that means we're teaching our family to play too.

It's a game for everyone. Our son, Brent, quickly caught on...

...as did our DIL, Lyn, who is a natural.

It warmed my heart to see these two cousins together, who rarely see one another.

I had just demonstrated the yoga tree pose to Austin and he showed me his version of it, accomplished while hanging onto the door frame. Giggle.

For a creative activity with Celina, I took Pokey's lead to color mugs with Sharpies. The plain, 12-ounce mugs are from Tuesday Morning. Celina decided to color her mug to leave for guests to our house. Natch', it has palm trees on it!
front of mugs
back of mugs
Per instructions, we baked the mugs in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. But, in spite of hand-washing only, some of the color is already coming off the rim and handle of my mug. Someone on Pinterest wrote that Sharpies should be "oil-based," so I guess mine weren't.

Celina flew safely back home on Monday, and we're missing her a lot! She was a perfect houseguest and we enjoyed her company immensely. Happily, the feelings were mutual. We heard her tell some of our friends, "I want to be retired!" and "I'm going to go to college at the University of Florida so I can visit Nana and Bapa every weekend!" Gotta love a grandchild who thinks you're fun to hang out with. Linda


  1. How lovely to see all the happy photos of your busy weekend! Celina took some very special memories home with her, I'm sure!

  2. Now you have a different comment box and it works. Interesting1

  3. Fun times!!! Perfect time of year to do it, too. Way too brutal in the summer. :)

  4. Made me smile to see your pictures. Being a native NYer I grew up playing bocce ball. Haven't played in many years.

  5. Love your grand daughters name, tee, hee. Looks like you had a great visit. Those golf carts are a super draw.

  6. you packed a lot into four days - what fun! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my scrappy trip quilt. My dad lives in FL and teases me about the snow all the time - he doesn't miss it one bit, either, nor does he miss the salt and sand they pour on the roads (he likes his cars too much) :-)

  7. Her smile says it all! I love that she begged her parents to stay longer. She is as beautiful as ever, Linda!

  8. What a great time of reconnecting, I am sure she misses seeing you as much as she did when they returned from Australia. What a blessing for you all to have this break--and of course, she enjoyed driving, lol!

  9. Hi Linda, yes I am successfully leaving a comment! You are a genius!
    Great to have time to share with Celina with her being the main focus. Gee your lifestyle has really changed.

  10. What a special time you all must have had together. Celina is certainly growing into a lovely young lady. What a cute picture of the 2 cousins sitting together.

  11. Nice pictures...love your grandson in his lotus pose. Just want to reach out and tickle those cute little toes.

  12. Is there any better job than being a grandparent? I don't think so. You all had so much fun, how special.

  13. The whole family looks so happy! Although, I can feel that it was Celina who was really overjoyed by this experience. She was able to drive a golf cart for the first time, so this trip must’ve been very memorable for her. The pictures show that she really enjoyed her driving lessons with her Bapa!
    Carol Schultz @ A Plus Carts and Parts



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