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Our Sunny Start To The New Year

Erin Zammett Ruddy

We rang in 2013 down at my parents’ place in Florida and though it was a quick trip, the Vitamin D (and the family time) was worth the journey. We spent the past five days down in the sunshine with my sister Melissa’s family and my parents. It was a great way to kick off the New Year. There is just no underestimating the power of a little warmth and a lot of sun (it was 25 degrees when we left New York and 26 degrees when we returned yesterday—brrr). There were some bumps in the road, the biggest being that Melissa’s three kids all got the stomach flu (Sofia got sick literally the second we walked into the house from the airport). Nora got a touch of it as well, though she rallied quickly thank God. It was pretty gross there for a while and we still have barf bags on us at all times in case Alex finally gets taken down. But despite that we still had lots of fun (Melissa, not so much). We rode bikes, swam in the pool, played at (and in) the ocean, ate delicious home-cooked meals, went for warm walks, ate at our favorite dive bar on the beach and watched the ball drop together (on DVR on New Year’s Day since no one wanted to stay up that late on NYE). The best part was feeling the sun warm our skin, something that won't be happening in these parts for a while. Here are the photo highlights. Hope your new years are off to a great start as well! 

The beach provides hours of entertainment for my kids. And when the water is a tad too cold to swim (as it was this week), I don't have to worry about life guarding! 

We played beach football and then our favorite game: Chase the seagulls. 

My parents' pool heater was having issues when we first arrived so the boys had their very own polar bear club dip. I think it was 60 degrees in this shot. Crazy! 

We got to check out a manatee refuge that was gorgeous but there were only two manatees hanging around. The kids didn't seem to mind though Nick was unimpressed....

The fresh, warm air cleared our lungs, made our skin less dry and overall boosted our moods. The healing power of sunshine! (And yes I was sweating in that sweatshirt.)

When the kids weren't puking, they loved hanging out with each other. And teasing each other and fighting, of course. 

Nora always manages to find something and turn it into a weapon. Good thing she's cute.

Alex is obsessed with golf. And apparently not bad for a five year old. I'm all for it--safer than football! 

We had a dance party on New Year's Eve. My nephew, Andrew, and I battled and Nick secretly took a video that I will never, ever share...

Just being able to take the kids to the playground was awesome. Especially for my kids who have energy to burn....

We ate lunch at our favorite beach spot twice--crabcakes for Al; fish tacos (and draft beer) for me. It was a quick trip but we soaked it all up. Must get another on the calendar soon!