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Hotel time in Palm Beach

On our first weekend day in Palm Beach we decided to go out to breakfast as a family since Kyle was free from his work stuff.

But first we had to deal with a bit of drama with our flights.  The terminal we were supposed to fly out of was closed because of the shootings the day before so they wanted to switch our flight (which was supposed to be the next day) so we were on the phone back and forth with the agents and Kyle’s work peeps to try to figure out a solution.  To make a long story short, all of Kyle’s work stuff got switched around and he ended up having a meeting in Tampa on Monday, and since our flight was not happening, we decided to try to get flights home together and just add a few extra days to our trip.  We were scrambling all weekend to figure out a way to make it all work because there were no hotels available in Tampa (we later realized it was because the college football championship was in Tampa that night) so we ended up getting a hotel and flights in Orlando for Tuesday evening.  Yep, that’s the abbreviated version!!

Anyway, we went to Another Broken Egg in Harbourside Plaza after super delirious gym workouts.  I took this horrible picture of my gluten free jumbo pancake, which I shared with V (along with some of Kyle’s eggs).

She also ate the orange – peel and all – which P found hilarious.

I packed a sunbutter and jam sando for my big boy, but his appetite was still nonexistent.  Poor guy was up ALLLLLL night coughing.  And whenever he wasn’t coughing, he could barely stay asleep due to the insane fevers he was running.  Kyle and I took turns with him in the attached room so as not to wake V.  It was a really long night.  He was restless and I was worried like crazy that his cold was in the process of turning into pneumonia.  It was scary being so far from home and we just switched insurances so I couldn’t even email our MD because we hadn’t chosen a new one yet!  Kyle took three showers with him over the course of the night which helped dramatically, but only last about an hour until the steamy effect wore off and he was all congested again.  Needless to say, we had no major plans for Saturday.  We did swing by CVS though, so I could get a whole new arsenal of meds.  P isn’t yet four but desperate times call for desperate measures and so I got him guaifenesin.  He just needed an expectorant so badly to help him get that gunk out and he was refusing to let me do any chest PT on him anymore.  I also needed more Tylenol.  We were dosing around the clock at this point.

Storms hit on and off all day, so it was basically a sick day.  Lots of indoor time in that hotel room…

I felt so bad for Kyle that he didn’t get the fun beach time with the kids that I got but V was still relatively healthy so we went to the pool during a break in the rain, so the two of them could play.  It wasn’t super warm, but it was still nice enough for us.

After some really terrible naps and (gasp!) Disney channel for the kids, we decided to get out of the hotel room.  I had researched some indoor options in case of rain so I had the Playmobil Fun Park all queued up for us.  It is only $1 per person and is basically a room with a ton of legos.  Or whatever their brand of those blocks is called.  There were about 20 tables with different themes and all the corresponding people/figures/vehicles/etc to play with and both kids loved it.

I made this super fancy (NOT!) brown rice, pea, black bean, and chicken combo.  Thanks to a little tamari it was actually eaten rather eagerly!  When the meds were working, he seemed decent, but otherwise things were not good.

Kyle and I got take out from The Cooper that night.  We shared braised short ribs with smashed fingerling potatoes and a crazy good jus and spaghetti squash with scallops and pepitas.  Both were so good.  I’d go back there over and over to try everything on the menu.

Our chocolate was interrupted by this little guy’s sickness.  🙁  🙁  🙁

Another long long night.  We slept with him in our bed so we could keep calming him down when he started shouting and crying out (fever dreams, man!!).  Not much sleeping happened.  Lots more ice packs and showers though.

Winter Quinoa Bowl recipe

Guys, it’s been 4 days since we’ve returned from our Florida trip and I still haven’t been shopping. I’m pretty impressed with my ingenuity.  This is partially because we left town so rashly, I had pretty much just gone to the grocery store when we decided to go.  Woops!  Luckily I was able to throw most things in the freezer and postpone the meal plan.  But still…it’s been a project on getting crafty with pantry stuffs.

This bowl is hearty and homey, but also light and clean.  The combo of pecans and beans gives it staying power and the quinoa means it’s a complete protein packed entree.  And the herby sweet lemon dressing is the perfect compliment.  It’s especially good when you’ve been eating rich indulgent restaurant meals for a week straight and you need to transition your body back to ingredients that make your body feel top notch.  The kids devoured this faster than any meal they’ve had in front of them in the last 10 days and that is saying something for sure because usually that means pork is involved.  No meat here!  No leftovers either!

Winter Quinoa Bowls [vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free]

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s ACV
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook quinoa per package instructions. I use my rice cooker so it’s super hands off.

In a medium mixing bowl, add olive oil, maple syrup, salt and carrots (if using large carrots, chop them to bite sized pieces first).   Stir until well coated and use a slotted spoon to scoop onto a greased baking sheet, making sure to leave the extra oil in the bowl.  Then add the pecans and toss in the remaining oil.  Add the pecans to another greased baking sheet.

Roast the carrots at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.  Add the pecans for the last 10 minutes (watch carefully so you don’t burn them).

While they are in the oven make the dressing.  Combine everything in a small jar and shake until emulsified.

Once the carrots and pecans are done add to a large bowl with the drained can of white beans and the cooked quinoa.  Add dressing and serve.

Optional: add steamed greens for an extra oomph in the greens department.  We added a small handful of chopped collards to ours.

I wasn’t sure if they would like the dressing, but they totally did.  I can’t emphasize it enough, they loved this dish.

Sickies get sicker

Friday morning started with a date in the hotel gym.

P had several coughing fits throughout the night so we were up multiple times to make sure he was okay didn’t wake his sister.  His cough went from minor to BAD overnight and he also seemed super hot so I was glad I had our first aid kit on hand.  I gave him children’s Tylenol in the middle of the night which helped, but when it wore off, oh man…

It was good to zone out on the elliptical to Real Housewives because I wasn’t in the mood to put in a real workout.

WF for brekkie again.  Twinsies.

I got the same omelet and scone.  Creature of habit.

I got yogurt for the kids again, but P had clearly lost his appetite so he didn’t really eat much.

Think they’re related?

They love each other so much.

I thought some fresh air would be good for P because his cold seemed to be nothing beyond a cough.  So I tried to rally and get the kids excited for the beach.

Check out this hack job.

Miss V wasn’t as into the beach this time, but it turns out she was just hungry.  Apples fixed it.

P was being a spaz so that made me feel good that he was feeling better.

When we got home I diced some tofu up for the kiddos.  P asked for tamari when I bought it, so I went by the sushi station and grabbed a few packets which I poured on the side of the plate so they could dip them in.

The post meal mood shift was immediate and so I rushed them into their beds.

I had leftover odds and ends for lunch…nothing too exciting.

Since they were struggling, I decided to totally spoil them after they woke up.

Merry go round fun!

I know they don’t look thrilled by this but I promise they were in heaven.  We are still talking about his horse and her lion today.

And then after we went and got a green juice (for them to share).

And stroll through the shops…

I found my way into a chocolate shop and bought a bunch of stuff.

Meanwhile, we tried to sort out my departure flight because of this…

Sigh.  No words really.  🙁

Despite my best efforts, P was definitely getting sicker and sicker, so I made a CVS run to grab some dextromethorphan (cough suppressant).  Hopefully that way he’d at least get some sleep.

We tried out a different park after that quick trip and P actually seemed to have a fun time even though he looked like a ghost child.

P was really into learning how to do the monkey bars!

I got smiles by threatening them with tickles.  Don’t be deceived though they were t-o-u-c-h-y.

I have no idea what I had for dinner that night.  Probably more WF leftovers.

This was the highlight. 🙂

Check out that ‘smores bar!!!

And then Kyle got home later and brought me this!

No such thing as too much chocolate.

Unfortunately P was up on and off all night with fever dreams.  Poor baby was a sweaty but shivery mess, shouting out random things in delirium while tossing and turning.  It was so hard to watch.  Tylenol can only do so much.  At least the next day was the weekend and Kyle was going to be able to hang with us for the first time on our trip!

Palm trees and swimming as three

Our second day in Palm Beach Gardens started more normally.  Kyle got to see the kids before leaving for work and we both got to squeeze in a run.  It feels so nice to run in a tank top!  I’m not cut out for winters anywhere.  How did I ever survive living in New York?

We hit up WF again because the kids wanted yogurt and granola again (shocker…).

For some reason this WF doesn’t have a hot bar for breakfast, so that was definitely a bummer (I love their biscuits and tater tots and all the greasy stuff that I never let myself spend money on at our local WF)…but I found a sign that said you could order omelets at the sandwich station so I asked if they could do one with Daiya cheese.  And it’s WF so you know they did! 🙂  Happy dairy free mama breakfast.

I also got a vegan oatmeal walnut date scone (above corner in the pic).  It was LEGIT.  They don’t really have much in the way of gluten free at this Whole Foods.  I asked and they pointed me to the loaves in the freezer aisle.  I guess I’m spoiled because every WF I’ve been to in CA has so many paleo, gluten free, grain free, vegan treats from various local vendors.  It’s like heaven in the Davis baked goods section, but I don’t buy those things for myself because I’m at home and I always figure I can just make my own.  So it was definitely a bit of a let down to finally be on vacation and grant myself permission to splurge on fancy food I’d never get at home and have the options be slim to none.  A little wheat here adn there is fine for me, so I just enjoyed it and moved on.

Pool time again!

They are so fun nowadays with swimming.  Because they both take lessons, they are totally comfortable in the water and now they are at an age where they can safely follow instructions.

When we first booked the trip I was wondering how I was going to do pool time with just one adult and two kids, but it wasn’t a problem at all.  They took turns jumping off the side into my arms and then I’d push them towards the steps and they’d swim over, get out and come over to jump off the side again.  Taking turns, over and over and over.

This was the view from the front of our hotel…

And that bridge is what you walked across to get to the shopping center where WF was.

It had other shops too, including several restaurants, a merry go round and theatre, and fancy chocolate store.  And a few different kids focused places – like hair cuts, clothes, and even an indoor playground cafe thing.  They tossed coins into the fountain for the first time and P wished “for God to give him lots of toys”.  Brother.

After they ate and went down for naps, I made myself some food.  I wasn’t expecting anything too amazing from the salad but it was really good!  I so rarely find pre-packaged salads that don’t have cheese or meat on them so this was a nice find!  On the top there are roasted yucca fries.  Had no clue what to expect, but I liked them!  They had some red pepper flakes on them that gave a perfect kick.

They napped pretty poorly so I just shuttled us all to a park nearby for the afternoon.  Turns out, P was coming down with a cold and it was just starting, so he was in a bad mood and not rested – a winning combo!

We didn’t last long at the park (even though it was an awesome one!) because P was melting down before my very eyes.  Before we left I phoned in an order to pick up at The Capital Grille.  I never know which is capital and which is capitol…I obviously learned it at some point but I never seem to remember and pretty much guess wrong every time.  Am I smarter than a 5th grader?

I did the whole keep the kids in the car with the valet thing again this time.  The restaurant had just opened so nobody was there so I was lickety split getting my dinner.

I waited until after feeding them and putting them down to eat this time because I needed peace and quiet.  Sick (and therefore insanely moody) kids are SO HARD TO STAY PATIENT WITH!

This salad was not that good.  I was so unimpressed with how the meat was cooked.  It was tough and chewy.  The good news is that the dressing was amazing and since I’m a dressing lover (soggy salads for life!) I asked for an extra which I had on hand to use later in the week.  At least there was avocado!  But yeah, Seasons 52’s salad from the night before put this one to shame.

Kyle got home on the late night again, after I had chocolate-d myself up and was almost asleep.

Off to West Palm Beach

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as frazzled as I thought I would as we hit the road to the airport.  Kyle was going for work but we still got to travel on the way there together, so I had help with the kiddos on one leg.  But he was going to stay for two weeks so the kids and I got flights back so P wouldn’t miss school.  We still had a week so it was seeming pretty perfect!  I wasn’t going to let myself even think about the flight back with two kids until the end of the vacay.

We are a media free household but for the purposes of survival on the plane, we resorted to some iPad apps and episodes of Mickey Muse Clubhouse.  V had Kyle’s noise canceling headphones on and they weren’t plugged in.  HA.  She just wanted headphones like big bro even thought she still doesn’t really care about what’s happening on the screen.

I brought a bunch of other random stuff for them to do (pinterest had some successes some fails)…but it was a LOOOOONG trip.  They didn’t nap at all and we had a layover in Dallas, so by the time we landed and went to get our rental car they were wiped out.

Passed out on the Hertz shuttle.  I don’t even remember what time it was when we got the hotal and got checked in, but at least they had the pack n play all set up so we gave them quick baths and then put them straight to bed.

They slept about 4 hours and then woke up with the sun…

P was up first so we snuggled in bed until V was up.  Kyle was already off at work so we had a day of adventures ahead of us!

First order of business was picking up a double stroller I rented.  I gave them a banana to hold them over until breakfast, and then P fell asleep after 2 minutes in the car.  It only took 10 minutes to get to the rental place but I managed to do the whole thing in the loading zone while the car was on so I didn’t have to wake him.

Then it was off to Whole Foods!

There was a WF within walking distance (like 4 minutes away) from our hotel, so that was pretty sweet.  It wasn’t an accident, of course.

I needed to get groceries for the kids’ meals, but first we all needed food.  I cautiously got P out of the carseat once we parked, attempting a transfer to the stroller, but he woke up and wasn’t too upset by it.

Berries, granola, and yogurt for all.  This is a major treat for the kids because I really don’t let them have yogurt at home.  If I do it’s in a smoothie that has no other sweet stuff/fruit because the sugar content in them is unreal!  They both chose Stoneyfield’s strawberry soy yogurt.  I tasted it, and OMG it was crazy sweet.  At least the granola I got was low in sugar.  The last time I had it was in Hawaii because I make my own granola when we are at home.  I remembered liking this one, and I was right.  The kids liked it too although it had pretty big clusters (which I love, but are hard for them).

I’d been eyeing this cashew yogurt by Forager so I decided to give it a shot, and I have to say I wasn’t too impressed.  It was super runny, which is because it doesn’t have gums or thickeners, but it didn’t even resemble yogurt.  I like thick fatty yogurt.  I won’t buy this again.

After we finished eating we went back in to get groceries.  I made sure we got a hotel room with a fridge and microwave because due to P’s allergies, it’s impossible to feed him without at least a semi-kitchen.

After unloading at the hotel it was POOL time!!  In January!!  Heavenly.

They fought/took turns pushing the elevator buttons all week long.  Siblings.

Lunch time. Nap time.  Mama time.

With a side of Bravo on Demand…don’t mind if I do!!

Once they woke up I decided to hit up the beach.

I had packed some flimsy shovels and plastic cups (that I planned to leave in FL) which were just enough to let their imaginations fill in the gaps with the sand, seashells, and whatever else…

We were there until the sun was almost down, at which pint Kyle texted and said there was a storm coming our way (it had just dumped on them) and I should skedaddle asap.

Sure enough I looked up and saw some dark a$$ clouds coming our way.

We raced to the car as fast as possible, stopping briefly to rinse off in the shower, and made it in the car just as the sky opened up.  PHEW.

P was amused by the whole thing.  I buckled them in and then called in a to-go order for myself for dinner at Seasons 52.  Then we drove through torrential downpours to the restaurant.  Holy rain!  It left as quickly as it came though, and by the time I got to the restaurant, there were clear skies again.

I left the littles in the car with the valet (!!) because they didn’t have shoes on, which made me nervous, but obviously it was totally fine.  I ran in and out and then we were back at our hotel in no time.

Those microwaveable rice bowls were my savior this trip.  As was WF ready cut fruit and veggies.  I also learned how hard it is to cut apples into slices with a plastic butter knife.  So yay for being creative!

I’ve never been to Seasons 52 before, despite there being locations in Santa Monica and Sacramento.

I got a sesame salmon salad and it was GOOOOOD.  I don’t know if I wasn’t expecting much, but I was very impressed.

Kyle wasn’t going to get home til late so I bathed the kids and put them down and got my Bravo/chocolate on.

Thanks to the Overdrive app on my kindle I was able to download a few kids’ books from the library onto my device.  You can only have 6 and since I had one for me, I got 5 more for them.  I was pretty pretty sick of those stories by the end of the trip!!!