Friday, October 28, 2011

Florida Part Deux - We invade the Orums

It was a short 5 hour drive across the beautiful state of Florida to see the Orums.  We invaded their fun and bustling house and added one more little girl to their already busy three.  Mattie jumped RIGHT in to the life of sisters and loved the doting, hair combing, doll playing, dress up, art work filled days.   She sprang out of bed each morning as soon as she would hear the girls rustling about the house and say, "mom, its time to get up and get ready for school."   She would "get ready" for school with them each morning, have whatever they had for breakfast, do her hair, and walk them to the school bus.  She even practiced (crayon in hand) her spelling homework in the evenings with Zoe.   She followed them around all week and I swear grew up 3 years in doing so.  Luckily, the Orum girls are the sweetest, kindest and most fun gals you will ever meet and I have no problem with their attitudes rubbing off on Mattie.

We hit Atlantic Beach, had some fun dinners out, went to the Jacksonville Zoo, and went to St Augustine for one day.  We tried to just enjoy Matt, Amy, Katie, Zoe and Anna as much as we could.  We can't wait to get them up to Montana soon to show them around!

The Jacksonville Zoo was very cool.  It has a fun "African Theme" to it with board walks all around and some fun animals that we haven't seen lately.  Mattie ate it up and enjoyed walking around with mom and dad just about as much as any of the sights.

The highlight was Stingray Bay - a little exhibit where you could put your hands in the water and actually touch the stingrays and feed them shrimp from your hands.  Pretty freaky and lots of fun.  The hands on stuff is always more fun for a 2.5 year old!

The next best thing, in my opinion, was feeding the giraffes.  They were very cute and have the coolest tongues.

Of course, we heard they had a "petting zoo" part with pygmy goats.  Mattie LOVES goats.  Every place that ever has them is like heaven.  This place had about a dozen and I swear it was like seeing a kid in a candy store.  She eyed them all and surveyed the area - narrowed in on one and immediately called it, "her favorite" and just got down on the ground with him and tried hugging and squeezing him.  He was very patient and sweet and she sat their talking to it, brushing it and "holding it" until we drug her out and lathered her in hand sanitizer.

My favorite was the bonobos and the the momma with the baby.  Watching that ape with her baby was really illustrative of how all animals love their babies just like we do.  She loved and coddled that baby just like I would a a new born - it was so sweet and humbling to see.

The rest of the trip was filled with "GIRL TIME!"  Those gals played hard and Mattie didn't miss any of it.  I am not sure my hair has ever been brushed more than it was on this trip.  Between Matine, Zoe and Anna - I think I got about 10 new hairstyles and I sported some pretty crazy barrette / pony tail styles out in public.

Atlantic Beach is gorgeous.  We had a pretty nice (windy) day to play in the sand a bit and get in the water for a little while.  Matt and Peter body surfed, tried out the surf board for a few minutes and Mattie continued adding seashells to her collection.  That child loves Montana, but could very easily become a beach baby.  She loves the sand, sun and water!

I just LOVE that stance.  

Hot dogs at a little place on the beach - Uncle Matt learned really quickly that the way to Matine's heart was by letting her play with his iPhone.

The Orum girls have running club, dance, soccer, swimming, and all the other school day stuff going on.  We joined them at soccer practice where Mattie became one of the older kids, ran all over the fields, and wasn't shy about "tackling" all of their friends on the fields.  For some reason she thought it was hilarious to jump on people and knock them over - and would NOT take a hint when the 12 year olds looked at me with terror that she wouldn't get off of them.  I think she was getting a little too comfortable with her new life in Florida.

When we got married in October of 2007, we had a dinner night at Ichiban, a Japanese Steak House.  We returned with all the original clan - Matt, Amy and kids and Chris and Stephanie and kids.  It was fun.  Mattie had been told by the girls that they make a "volcano" out of onions and whatever she had imagined in her head was obviously much bigger than the reality turned out to be.  Mattie kept begging to see a volcano and hadn't had a nap that entire day.  Needless to say, she was exhausted and terrified at all the flames and loud clanging of the knives.  Oh well, we will have to try it again.

Breana, Katie, Caroline and Zoe Orum 

Chris, Amy, Anna and Stephanie Orum 

Mattie doing spelling homework at the kitchen table with Zoe and Amy

hanging with Anna Banana
Katie, Zoe, Anna and Mattie

Mattie got her hair done all week too... So pretty. 

We went to St Augustine for the day and happened upon the strangest little Crepe Shop on the planet.  This place was covered in doilies, flowers, weird dolls and ABBA.  The waitresses wore full "milk maid" outfits, there was a large screen television RIGHT in front of us that played ABBA videos the entire time we were there.  It was like the twilight zone and to add to it, Mattie didn't even TOUCH her crepe filled with Nutella and Bananas... Weird.

My favorite grumpy face... She was NOT happy at this moment.

And, we had enough!  Great week but this little gal couldn't take any more!  She literally put her hand over her eyes while she napped.  Drama queen?

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