We loaded up six adults and two kids into a van, and set off for Sarasota, Florida. Dad had rented a house near Siesta Key, which is where Johnny got to celebrate his third birthday. It’s a long drive from Pennsylvania to Florida, and we split it into 2 1/2 days, which makes it a little easier on everyone. We stopped at the New River Gorge on the way down (in a state my brother solely refers to as “West By God Virginia”) where Bird asked me to take this picture of him with a fire hydrant.

We made it to the house and went pretty much immediately to Siesta Key. I was determined to spend all week in a rocking chair on the porch, but we have a three year old so that totally didn’t happen.

As mentioned in the title there, I did totally take my very nice camera into the dang ocean. I also got a ton of iPhone shots.

Yes, we brought his tricycle down. Yes, we totally let him ride it around the house. It was a really big house.

We went to the Ringling museum, where they have a GIANT model train setup. We were really stoked to take Bird here, because he’s still deeply in love with trains.

They also have a pretty great playground.

Okay, so THIS is the part where I took my camera into the Gulf. Totally worth it. Bird loved bouncing up and down when the waves came through, and rating their size (itty bitty baby wave, medium wave, GIANT WAVE).

pittsburgh family photographer

So then we went to Busch Gardens, and it was 1,000 degrees. Bird got sunscreen in his eye, but recovered after a nap and an emergency push pop.

The boys actually got to share a party, their birthdays are one day apart.

I handpainted some wooden trains for Bird with local railways (Norfolk Southern, CSX, and the now defunct Monongahela Railway that his pap used to work for) because I’m extra as hell. Happy birthday, little man.

we want your skulls

baby helps me pack a bag

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