From now on, I'll be writing the Monday post for Style Key West ("I" meaning Kate, Jo and Terry's daughter and blogger for The Big Piece of Cake and Wishing True). These posts will focus more on my own Key West favorites and memories.
And I have such fond memories of visiting my parents in Key West.
Of course I was terribly sad when they first moved away, but I was also incredibly excited about spending time in such a fantastic vacation spot.
Funny enough - even though I visited them in Key West many times before becoming a mother, my best and clearest memories are the ones from trips I made with my son, Oliver.
I brought him down when he was a newborn, then again when he was a nine month old. Then I was pregnant with the twins, so Key West vacations were out for a while. But Oliver and I did travel back on our own a few times after he turned two. It wasn't for the happiest of occasions (my mother had some health issues that have improved, thank god) - but seeing Key West through my son's eyes was an experience that I wouldn't change for anything.
So for my Monday post, I thought I'd share some pictures.
Just a couple from our first trip down...one with me and one with my Dad. Oliver was about 10 weeks old and napped a lot. So most of the pictures I have of him could have been taken anywhere. Particularly since he couldn't wear sunblock yet and it was June! We didn't spend much time soaking in the sun.
The next time we flew down, it was as a family of three and Oliver was a crawling nine month old. What a different experience! We did a lot of strolling around town and spent HOURS in the pool (those last two shots are from my parents' first store location - since then, they've moved to a better space in much livelier part of the island):
The next time Oliver and I visited Key West, he had just turned two and my mother had a recurrence of cancer. It was awful and scary, but by the time we arrived, she was well into her treatment and we were all very positive. And of course, Oliver kept us all in good spirits with his sunny smile and enthusiasm for everything he saw. We were able to fly down twice - seeing my parents more in a few months than I had in years:
Our last trip down was in July 2008 when Oliver was three and we had even more fun with him. Unfortunately, we flew down because Mom had ANOTHER recurrence of cancer in an unexpected place - so again, our reason for being there was stinky. But the good news is that she was able to get the treatment that she needed and as of now she's doing really well with every expectation to continue her good health (yeah!)
But back to those pictures... Highlights include playing with Grandpa in the pool (including the famous "push Grandpa in the pool" game - I was thrilled about that one), dropping by the shop, walking through clouds of butterflies at the Butterfly Museum (the one in the first picture is real), and Fourth of July fireworks:
Now that the twins are older and we're able to even consider traveling via plane as a family of five, I think it's getting well past time to introduce them to Oliver's favorite home away from home. How fun to see him acquaint them with all of his old haunts. I think it would be even better than our previous visits. In fact - I can't wait.