When we took Nik to the airport on December 20th, we thought we had a night to clean up, decorate for Christmas, shop for food, and prep for my mom and Jesse’s visit. Then I got a text from Jess saying “see you soon” and I replied, “yes, see you tomorrow”. Her response was, “no, tonight!” We hung out near the airport for a few hours, getting a few supplies, and picked the ladies up at TPA later that evening. We took them to their condo in Tierra Verde (near our campsite in Fort de Soto) and spent some time catching up. We were so glad they were willing to visit us in Florida for the holiday, but they didn’t put up too much of a fight when we asked them to leave Chicago for a week in December. We spent time exploring downtown St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach, Fort de Soto Park, and the surrounding beach areas.
On the day before Christmas, my mom and I went to the Dali museum while Jess and Johan saw Downsizing. (Two thumbs up on the museum, which was absolutely wonderful. One thumb up on the movie from Jess, who loved Ngoc Lan Tran, one thumb down from Johan who thought it was “weird”.) . We decorated the campsite and grilled outside one night, took kayak rides, introduced my mom to the e-bike, and relaxed outside in the great weather. We collectively pressured Jess to “try new things” this trip, and she did a great job. Throughout the week she ate octopus, tuna, branzino, and a poke bowl, allowed Johan to take her on a kayak ride, and sat still in a face mask for 30 minutes. We’re so proud of her! We saw beautiful sand sculptures at Treasure Island Beach and really enjoyed a beautiful week spending time together. 2017 was a wonderful Christmas!