This last weekend since The Fourth of July fell on a Saturday, and Derek already had Friday off, we decided for him to take an extra day off on Thursday and make a long weekend trip down to Ocala Florida to visit our friends, Evan and Fernanda. Evan and Derek were roommates at BYU and since Fernanda and I were dating guys that lived in the same apartment, we all became super close friends. They're the friends that we always go out of our way to try and hang out with, and they have done more than their share to go out of their way to see us over the last few years.
We headed out on Thursday in the morning after Em's physical therapy appointment (more on that later), and the drive was only 5 1/2 hours. We were excited to go because Derek and I had both never been to Florida and it was the 15th state that we've been to together in our almost four years of marriage. I feel like we're checking states off the list at a pretty fast pace. The kids were champs in the car and didn't have any meltdowns which is pretty much all you can ever ask for.
When we got there we had dinner at their place, and chatted the night away. Evan recently got a job with Betty Crocker and Cake Mate working on their research and development team which means yes, he does work in a lab making cakes, and sprinkles, and icings all day long. He spoiled me with a huge box of products that he developed which I can't wait to show you guys. Unfortunately, some of them haven't been released to the public sector yet so I have to wait on a few things, but you guys... I never thought I could have so much fun chatting the night away learning about how all these baking products we use on a daily basis are made. It was seriously so fascinating to me.
Friday morning we took our time waking up and then headed to a local park where we met up with some of Evan and Fernanda's friends and we had an awesome BBQ. In case anyone was wondering... yes, chicken wrapped in bacon, on kabbos is amazing. But maybe throw a few pineapples on there too... that would be delicious. After our BBQ we headed to the pool for a swim. I mean, it is Florida, so swimming was a must! This was actually Derek's first time going swimming with Em, so it was super fun to see the two of them playing together in the water. Unfortunately, it was Jay's nap time and he cried the entire time at the pool until we left, so that outing was short lived.
After the pool we put all the babies to bed and settled in for a long game of Settlers of Catan. If you've read any of our other posts involving Evan and Fernanda (seen here, here, here, and here), you'll know that this is pretty much all we ever do with them. It's our thing. The babies eventually all woke up, we had some pizza, and called it a night.
Saturday morning Fernanda was going on a run with her friend Briana who is currently training for a marathon. It was a six mile run that she had to get done for the day, and for some reason I volunteered myself to go too. I was super nervous because up until that point the farthest I'd ran since having Em was two miles, but I did it! Surprisingly, I had no muscle or joint pain after either, it just all felt so normal and natural. I know I said I wasn't going to commit myself to any type of race for a while... But I'm totally itching to sign up for the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving after that... we'll see.
After our run we washed up and headed downtown for Ocala's Fourth of July festivities. We walked around, ate some delicious sandwiches from the Food Truck round up, and then headed back over to Briana and Jared's house to play some games while the kids napped.
That night Derek and Jay came down with the plague which left them pretty much out of commission for any sort of firework action. I had already planned on staying behind with Em because she's super sensitive to loud noises, and I was looking forward to turning in early for the night anyways, but with them getting sick we all decided to stay in and watch a movie instead.
It was such a perfect weekend. When I go on trips or vacations I'm not all about trying to cram 50 tourist like things all into a short amount of time. I really enjoyed the slow pace of the entire weekend and just being with friends. Plus, Derek won a cruise that we're taking for our anniversary next year in 2016 that leaves from Florida, so we're planning on getting all our Florida touristy bugs out then. Thanks so much for having us Evan and Fernanda, we'll see you next time, and there definitely will be a next time!