Sunshine, Schedules, and Gatorland

Every day feels like summer
Sunshine in florida

Since we’ve been in Florida, we have come to the realization that every day feels like summer. It’s actually hard to grasp. In Michigan, every nice day deserved attention because they are so few. We aren’t on vacation, and we don’t want life to feel like it, But it is hard to change our ingrained mindset of warm summer days. Something that we have been discussing is how to allow ourselves to let go of the “vacation” feeling with the sunshine. Even rainy days (and they are few) are beautiful.

We think the best way to combat this vacation feeling is to get back into routines. However, we realize that a different geographical location might need a different daily routine! We’ve tried a few different routines since we’ve been here, but none of them have stuck yet. We initially tried to go out and do our “playtime at the pool” first thing in the morning. Our issue with this schedule is that school tends to be hard to do in the afternoons with a tired mind. It’s also hard because Aaron doesn’t ‘play’ with us when we ‘play’ in the mornings. The idea behind this schedule was to ease our sensitive Michigan skin into the hot Florida Sun. The mornings aren’t as hot as afternoons. There are also fewer people in the clubhouse pool area in the morning. This allows casual conversations to be stress-free because the children are easy to keep track of. The afternoons in the week aren’t terrible, but it is definitely harder to have carefree conversations with others due to the number of people.

We have also tried changing our “days off” to be mid-week. We are still pondering this idea because weekends in this location are pretty crazy. Whether we are at the clubhouse pool or go on an outing, we tend to stand in lines and traffic stops quite often. It’s not bad if we plan ahead for the slower movement, but it is at a different pace than we are used to.

Miranda has been diligently working out at the clubhouse and she loves the new machines, weights and options available. There are quite a few people who use the gym here, so she is able to learn, teach, and have good conversations with people during her workout time.


This past weekend, we decided to use our Saturday and go to Gatorland. It’s a cool place close to Orlando, and only a 45-minute drive from where we are staying in Davenport. I feel the need to mention, that it was only about 15 miles away. Yes….15 miles takes about 45 minutes. It’s crazy.
When we got there, we realized really quickly how unique of a place this would be! It’s a park that sits on a couple hundred acres of property. Varoius groups and people will drop off boxes of reptiles at the front gate of this park, and they get to be used for a show.

While at Gatorland, each of our kids got to sit on an alligator, ride a train, check out HUNDREDS of alligators. Feed them. See snakes and tarantulas, baby alligators, play in a water park, and watch someone wrestle an alligator. They all even got to eat an ice cream cone! If you know us personally, ice cream is a big deal. It was Elijah and Joy’s first icecream cone ever!

While we were at Gatorland, we met an adorable local family with super cute kids. Elijah played and PLAYED with their son. They were rough and tough and share a love of legos. We will be spending more time with them (hopefully) while we are here in Davenport.

Speaking of Elijah, He has turned out to be quite the entertaining kid. He has met other boys close to his age, and brings them out of their shy shells like a pro. He laughs, plays and is genuinely amazing at meeting new people. He makes everyone feel like they are #1. It’s so cool to watch him develop this way.

So what was the funniest part of Gatorland? Well…. I once heard a story about my father in law getting pooped on in disney. Although we weren’t in disney, we were close. And Miranda shared grandpa Rick’s enthusiasm for birds….

So what was the funniest part of Gatorland? Well…. I once heard a story about my father in law getting pooped on in disney. Although we weren’t in disney, we were close. And Miranda shared grandpa Rick’s enthusiasm for birds….


3 thoughts on “Sunshine, Schedules, and Gatorland”

  1. Shawn McGinley

    Watch out for those dive bombing birds Miranda! Enjoy your time making new schedules and experiencing new things. If you need a weekend visitor, Kaylie is an hour and 40 from you!

  2. Beautiful story! Beautiful times!!
    I read another friends’ FB post about life being like a garden in that different things need to be tended to each day. So perhaps routines being the same day after day isn’t totally realistic. Good to have variety along with the predictable. And you never know what may come your way! Balance to your weeks for sure!
    Love the pictures!!
    Love to all of you!

  3. Wow looks like lots of fun. We miss you all. Lots to learn from living in the big city that is different than a small town Both have unique things. Love you and praying for you everyday ❤️😘

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