Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005 - Florida Vacation

We went "home" to Florida for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law always has her Thanksgiving get together the Sunday before Thanksgiving. She has a huge bash, inviting family, friends & neighbors. There's so much food .... it's crazy! The best part about Thanksgiving is of course my husband's fried turkey. Yum!

It was Griffin's first Thanksgiving and many of our family and friends met him for the first time. He had his first taste of mashed potatoes and his Uncle Jerome insisted he have a taste of chocolate cake. You guessed it ... loved that too!

Griffin experienced alot of "firsts" on this trip. It was so much fun to have him discover new things while his Grandma Bett & PaPaw Joe were around.

We went to Lowry Park Zoo on Monday. We saw many animals ... emus, kangaroos, elephants, giraffes, camels, rhinos, fish, meerkats, manatees, alligators, bison, deer, eagles, turtles, fox, leopards, flamingos, birds ... I can't remember all of them. Griffin and I got to feed the giraffe ... I was in heaven. He thought it was pretty funny too.

While in Florida, there are our "favorite" places to go of course.

One place that's a must visit each time we go home is Nell's Country Diner. I love this place! When we lived in Florida, my mother-in-law and I would go there once a week for lunch. It's one of those places that focuses more on the food than the "look" of the diner. They have some GREAT food! Oh my gosh ... I had hamburger steak (with onions), fried green tomatoes, collard greens, mashed potatos and corn bread. They have the absolute BEST broccoli bread in the entire universe ... but they only have that on Thursday. Unfortunately we went on a Wednesday. It's the first time my husband has actually been to the restaurant. Many times I've brought him meals home ... but this was his first visit to the diner. They have the best ice tea around. What's really great about this place is how intimate it is. When the lady comes around to refill your tea glass, you feel like you are someone's house and not at a restaurant. Southern Hospitality at it's finest. I wish there was a Nell's Country iner here in Virginia! Sadly while we were there, we found out Nell has passed away. I believe her daughter is running the place now ... and she's doing a fine job.

Tuesday was Pop Ray's & Nana Jeri's day as they were going to the Bahama's for Thanksgiving. We decided a trip to Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World in Orlando would be fun. My husband's had a gift certificate for 3 years now ... so it was time to use it. I always enjoy going to Outdoor World.

Thanksgiving was spent with my mother-in-law's best friend Mary Belle and her family. She is so warm and kind. It means alot to us that we are always invited to her house on Thanksgiving. She and her husband Ken live on a lake ... perfect photo opportunity. I got some great ones!

Friday Griffin met Santa for the first time. It was extra special because it was actually his "Uncle Santa". My brother plays Santa each year at various functions. This year he was Santa at The Festival Of Trees. Griffin was absolutely mesmerized by Santa. It was soooo cute!

After our visit with Uncle Santa we headed north to Lake George to meet my mother-in-law and father-in-law in Lake George. We visited family and they met Griffin for the first time.

Saturday we head home! Woo Hoo! We thought we were going to get home more quickly because we had already driven to Lake George and it's 3 hours north of Central Florida. The traffic was horrendous! It normally takes us 14 hours to drive home to Central Florida, and it took us over 14 hours to drive home from Lake George. That's a long day to be in a car ... especially for a dog and very active baby! Anyway ... we drove into the driveway about 9:30 pm. Boy it was good to be home!

Thanksgiving 2005 was a great mixture of family, friends and traditions ...

It is one we will always remember.


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