What are the chances…that just a year ago, I was prepping for an amazing & exciting week ahead of me – my first trip to Belgium in over 11 years to surprise my incredible friend, Aline, at her wedding…to now…
I’ve just returned back to Belgium with my husband (who I MET at said wedding) & bonus daughter from an amazing 2.5 week vacation to visit friends & family in Florida. It gives me goosebumps just to TYPE that!
I’ve now lived in Belgium for 6 months and it’s really beginning to feel like home. I ironically say that after just getting back from a place that I used to call home for 8 years – the Sunshine State.
It was my husband’s first time to Florida, my bonus daughter Billie’s first time ever to America and our first official family vacation. SO MANY firsts happened on this trip – that I am happy to declare – WON’T be our “lasts.”
From the moment we all got off the plane together in the USA, we were so excited, despite any jet lag to have an amazing time together.
First up was my cousin Brian, his wife Heather, and their 4 amazing kids around the Washington D.C./Baltimore, Maryland area. If y’all have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard their name before. They were the family I stayed with and helped care for their kids RIGHT before I moved to Belgium in February.
We joke they’re like my customs – they’re my entry and exit point from the USA!
After an awesome night there full of laughter, delicious food, karaoke and even a surprise visit from my cousin, Andrea, and her boys, we were off the next day to Florida.
It was time to see my BFFs….my parents! This is the longest, in my entire life, I had been away from them. And last time we lived this far away (Florida and California), they followed me to where I lived…hmmmmm 🙂
My parents came up to meet us from where they live on the West Coast of Florida, and joined us for 4 full & awesome days in Orlando. We parked it up!
We went to Sea World, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and even Sea World’s water park, Aquatica! We were running on pure excitement, and maybe some sugar, and were so blessed & thankful to so many friends that made it ALL possible! (Special thanks to Melissa, Kelly & Shelly)
After our adventurous time in Orlando, it was time for KIM to go down memory lane. We went to spend a few days on the Palm Coast with Justin, an old baseball friend of his from 15 years ago. Justin & his wife & boys couldn’t have been better hosts. They immediately made us feel like family and the men hit it off like they were 22 again! We spent 3 days mostly in the water – the bay, boat, ocean, pool – you name it- and already can’t wait to go back again!
For the last part of our trip, we left the East Coast of Florida and went down to the West Coast to enjoy some good TLC time with my parents. They had only just moved there themselves about 4 months ago from California and couldn’t WAIT to show us around!
While there we spent many days on the beach, trying lots of ice cream, getting attacked by killer crabs (that was my unfortunate husband), swimming with dolphins, catching up with old friends & even attended Kim & Billie’s first ever MLB Baseball game – a bucket list item for Kim for sure!
The hardest part of the trip was saying good bye on Monday, August 26 – but we also knew it was more like saying I’ll see you soon…we don’t know exactly when we head back – but we’re hoping the next trip, will be my parents turn to cross the pond!
We have a lot we’re “expecting” in the near future – more on that in my next post!
Mrs. Cheyanne Cleyman