We got up bright and early Sunday morning to make the three hour drive to Jupiter to see my family. The drive wasn't too bad - the kids watched a movie and we only had to make one bathroom stop. It was definitely worth it to get to see family! We saw my uncle Rik briefly - he had worked the night shift and needed to sleep. But we got to spend the day with my grandmother, aunt Maria, my cousins Emily and Rikki (who is Niall's age), Maria's sister Sandra and her two kids.
We hung out at the house for a while, catching up and petting the dogs (Maria and Sandra each have two dogs), then we went out to the Jupiter Tequesta Holiday Parade. We had a tradition of always watching the Beverly Santa Parade the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and it was probably my favorite holiday tradition of the year. We were missing that so decided to time our visit with this parade so we could all see it together!
Well, let me just say.. they do things differently in Florida. The Beverly parade has a lot of floats, tons of fire trucks, police cars, bands, etc, etc. But it doesn't last for more than 30 minutes (iirc). The Jupiter parade took about two hours and had 75 entrants. A good part of the problem was that they were judging the entrants along the parade route, instead of before the parade in the staging area. It took FOR-FRICKING-EVER.
The kids were good sports, for the most part. Colwyn and Lachlann complained a fair bit, but only quietly to me and Doug. Niall and little Rikki were absolutely adorable together.
I was most surprised when I noticed Sandra's 10 year old son, Nico, and Fiona crouched behind the camp chairs together. They were sifting through the mulch in the planting beds looking for seashells. Fiona is incredibly shy, so this totally blew me away (apart from just the idea that there would be seashells in mulch, what's that all about?). Eventually the other kids got involved, too, but it was just totally adorable and I was so grateful to Nico for getting Fiona to come out of her shell (ha ha!) a little.
We finally got back to my aunt and uncle's house and had pizza for a late lunch. The kids played outside for a while, and again, Nico was super sweet and kept Fiona entertained. What a lovely kid he is.