We made it home from the Michigan road trip. After Benton Harbor, we got up and drove to Kentucky the following day. It was about a 5 hour drive to the Holland's hunting cabin in the middle of the woods. We chilled that afternoon, I drank a cold beer on top of a shady hill hiding from my kids. We got up early the next morning and went to Mammoth Cave National Park. It was fairly anticlimatic. We paid for a self guided tour, which only allowed us entrance to one, small cave. Not nearly as impressive as Carlsbad last summer. I made the kids do a quick hike to work off some 'tude and then we got back in the car. It was less than an hour to Nashville. We met the Skwaras for ice cream and caught up with them and planned another vacation in the meantime. Then we drove another 5 hours to Marietta, GA and stayed with the Thompsons. PT, Jean and I caught up over a bottle of wine while the kids took over the basement. The next morning we visited Aunt Susan in the assisted living facility. We took her out to McDonalds for an early lunch. The visit broke my heart. Long gone is my cool, stylish, supportive, fun Aunt Susan. She's a shell of who she used to be. I wish I could be closer to her to take care of her. The 5 hour drive home was full of traffic and accidents that we were luckily not a part of. I made major headway on the Count of Monte Cristo. We got home Wednesday afternoon and had pizza for dinner. Phil was very happy to have us all together again. I made the kids go to swim practice (the last one) on Thursday morning. I walked with Emma and caught up (and tried to get Spot back on a routine). We spent the next two days doing laundry, unpacking, play dates, grocery shopping and then re-packing. The Michiganders came to Florida. We had dinner with Adi at the Nixons on Friday night. Saturday morning we got up early for the city championship swim meet. Abby and Voss were able to compete. Ellie and Marly's was later that afternoon so they helped as assistant coaches keeping the swimmers on track. It was SO HOT! We found a hiding spot of shade behind the bleachers. We had a quick lunch then headed to Steinhatchee for a few days in old Florida. We met the VanWie's at the Serendipity house at Steinhatchee Landing. The Michiganders were all staying in the same neighborhood. We went from house to house and even had a nightcap at the Park's house. The next morning we were on the boat and ready to go. We had to wait a bit for the Michigander boat to get movin' but we eventually met up and headed out for some scalloping. The kids were all scalloping champs. They would jump in as scouts to see if it was a good spot. My rule was for everyone to get their age in scallops. The kids killed it. I got 50 the first day and right at 42 the next day. We saw stingrays, all sorts of fish and crabs even a horseshoe crab. It was awesome. We helped the Michiganders get acquainted. The Gilbos picked it up quick. The guys grilled burgers for dinner. We went house touring again. The next morning, we were out on the water early. The morning went well...but then the rain came. There was drama about what to do. Against my choice, we drove into the storm back to the channel and stopped at the Steinhatchee Marina. It was a grueling ride back. The Gilbos bought everyone a few rounds of tequila shots to celebrate our safe return. The Marina gave away free dry long sleeve shirts. We did a TikTok and then I convinced Phil and the VanWies to go back out to keep scalloping. The Michiganders had enough and went back to the house. We had a great afternoon. I convinced Sea Hag to let us have the boat an extra hour. We used a scallop bag as a live box and brought in a whole bunch, enough to make me happy. Anne Marie made a delicious scallop pasta dish with our freshly caught scallops. Yay! The next morning, the Michiganders went back out and we checked out and headed back to Jacksonville. We had a post trip lunch at Firehouse. Wednesday morning, I got right back in the tennis game with a match with Keri. A win felt great for morale. The older girls had their annual check up at the pediatrician. We had talks about healthy eating and exercise. Marly got a meningitis vaccine, both girls got a COVID booster. I went to Burrito Gallery for happy hour and had a productive meeting with the JWJ PTSA board. I've got a list of items to kick off the year. Working on finding sponsors for meals and mulch! Thursday I did a day of fasting to get myself in gear after all the yummy eating and drinking (and kill some Alzheimer cells hopefully). Liz helped me sort school supplies for the school fundraiser. I forgot I had committed to tennis so I scrambled to get there in time. I took Voss to the dentist to get his cavity filled. The Michiganders and VanWies came over for Abby's play. She'd been working on it for days. Being a director was more pressure and work than she thought but she's already working on the next play! I went to the tennis captains meeting with the new tennis director. It's going to be a great season! More tennis Friday morning. Ellie babysat the Agresti kids at our house since their air conditioning was broken. Marly had a play date and sleepover with Addy. The rest of us drove out to Phil's office to bring him lunch. Ellie opened her first bank account! We turned in Phil's suit measurements for Erik's wedding. Ellie babysat the Gilbo's son, Jack while all the adults went to happy hour at O'rSay. Saturday was a very lazy day (finally). Phil and I walked Spot and visited my parents. Voss had a play date with Walker. I took the girls to Target to get Birthday gifts. Ellie went to Imani's Birthday party at the movie theater. Later, we sat in the pool at TCC and had dinner. It was a nice, relaxing day. This morning we slept in. Phil and I did a round robin with the Wilhelms, Risdons and Gibbs. Now it's a lazy afternoon of homework packets, laundry and going through emails. I finished reading my book club book. We're getting geared up for the start of school. Here are our pics from the last 2 weeks.