Right when we entered Florida on our way to Orlando, we learned that Matthew had been moved up from the Single A Jupiter Hammerheads to the AA Jacksonville Suns. That kind of messed up our plans since we were going to spend a few days in Jupiter. Jacksonville is not really on the way where we were going but after thinking about it, we decided to do the extra driving. This was our first vacation in a really long time that didn't involve visiting family. It was just going to be a bonus that Matthew and Laura were there. But I decided it would be really nice to see them.
We went to church in Orlando and then drove to Jacksonville. Matthew and Laura got us a sweet deal at the Hyatt by someone they met at church who manages the hotel. He gave us the same deal the baseball team gets. It was so nice that we decided to stay for another night.
We put down the boys for naps and then headed down to the lobby so I could use the free wifi and watch Matthew's game. I was only a mile from the stadium and I had a lot of inner conflict trying to justify going. But in the end, I didn't feel good about it. We don't go to sporting events on Sundays, so I watched it online. Matthew did a great job and it was fun to see him batting!
When the game ended, I went back up to our room on the 11th floor. This was our view. Every night we would see dolphins swimming in the water.
We walked the mile to the ballpark to wait for Matthew and Laura to come out. It was so fun to surprise them.
Matthew brought brownies to win over the boys. It worked.
We piled in their car and then all went back to our hotel room together. We ate microwave dinners while hanging out.
We went on a walk and spotted more dolphins and talked until Matthew almost passed out from exhaustion. Not really, but he was tired.
We got the boys ready for bed and then the Neils went to their room for the night.
The next day, we had breakfast with Laura and then moved their stuff into our room. The team wasn't going to pay for any more nights for them since they were supposed to have found a place to live. Our room was big enough for all of us and had a hide-a-bed so paying double didn't make sense.
We went to Matthew's game but he wasn't playing since he had pitched the day before. It was education day and there were 5,000 kids so they wouldn't let us sit in the alcohol-free (meaning free of alcohol, not free alcohol) section. We got sent up to a skybox which we had to ourselves. It was awesome. Matthew was able to get concession vouchers and we got lunch for five of us that ended up costing $4.
We left early because the boys were turning into a nightmare. We aren't really fair weather fans. I think this is the only sporting event we have ever gone home early from.
Matthew, Alex, and Edison took naps while Laura and I went to the store for more diapers and Sam worked out. Then we went swimming.
We walked a few blocks to a pizza place for dinner. It was delicious.
Then, oh then, I came up with a brilliant idea to walk across the bridge. There are five bridges connecting Jacksonville. We walked over the Main Street Bridge. It was such a nice night. I didn't bring my diaper bag and it was getting late, Edison was poopy, and we were all tired. And then we looked over and the bridge was up for construction. They said it was going to be up until 4am. We had to walk a few miles to the Acosta bridge, over the St. Johns River, and back around to the hotel. Edison fell asleep in Matthew's arms but had a diapers rash for a week. All because I wanted to go on a walk over the bridge. We did notice that the bridge was back down once we got back to the hotel. I loved this walk. It was so beautiful and it made me happy, despite our unfortunate timing.
That night we got to have a fun sleepover with Matthew and Laura. The next day our room was kind of messy.
We ate breakfast while Matthew and Laura slept in. Then we packed up, said goodbye, and hit the road. Both boys were asleep before we were out of Jacksonville. The drive to Miami was about six hours and was rainy most of the way.
Jacksonville was my favorite part of this whole trip. I cannot believe we almost didn't go! We realized as we were leaving that we hadn't moved our car the entire time we were there. That is a true vacation.