Florida Trip Part I: Jupiter

We’re baaaack! I wish I could say that it was relaxing, fun and rejuvenating, that Jasper enjoyed every second of it..but I would definitely be lying.

Not to say that there weren’t wonderful moments spent with friends and family (and Mickey!) but they were fewer and farther in between than we would have liked mostly due to the fact that Jasper got sick (of course) the night of our first day there.

Which is so sad because Jasper has been SO excited about this trip.. he would run around in circles saying “Mommy, I’m SO excited about Florida!”  But by the end of the trip, he was saying “Mommy, I want to go home” :(

It all started out well enough, the excitement of waiting for our plane and watching the others land out the window..playing with Daddy while waiting to board:
Hanging out with daddy by the gate

buckling himself in:

Buckling his own seatbelt

Getting bear situated:

Bear needs to get comfy too!

The plane ride went well, I had loaded up my iPad with the Disney immersion program: Finding Nemo, Lilo & Stitch, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to get toddler headphones. Well, I hadn’t actually forgotten, I just couldn’t find any rated for his age and the last time we flew with Jasper we had a borrowed DVD player that he actually preferred to use without the headphones so I didn’t think it was a big deal,  but the iPad volume wasn’t loud enough so he complained that he couldn’t hear. I had my iPod headphones with the earbuds that he could sort of use by putting one in his ear that would stay for about 5 minutes tops before falling out!

The mall near Jay & Sarah who were were staying with in Jupiter had a Pottery Barn Kids store which (of all places) had the best headphones. They are rated 6+ but fit him like a glove…  But, as our (bad) luck would have it they were sold out.. so we ended up picking up a pair at the Orlando PBK for the trip back.

At any rate, Jasper was entertained by my iPad, which I later realized is MY usual source of entertainment on a flight so I actually had to pick up a good old fashioned PAPER book (gasp!) and the flight went smoothly. Jasper continues to prove himself an excellent flier, much to my relief.

After picking up our bags and our rental car – a Dodge charger that I really enjoyed despite the unwise color choice of black in the florida heat – we headed up 95 towards West Boca to have an early dinner with my friends Dawn & Walter and their two adorable kiddos Noah and Kate.

Dawn was my wedding coordinator, but we’ve remained friends over the years – I even did a short stint working at her assistant for a few weddings.  Which, incidentally was a GREAT way to cure my love for all things wedding and the primary reason why I would never consider being a wedding photographer – I can’t handle those long days and the hours of being on my feet!

To this day I will never understand how Dawn worked my wedding only 3 weeks before her due date with her son Noah..seriously, she’s wonderwoman!  Noah is almost 5 (he was born on Jeff’s birthday!) and their daughter Kate is only a month younger than Jasper. It’s too bad we live so far away because I’m pretty sure Jasper & Kate would be great friends if given the chance.

After an early dinner and a much too short visit we hit the road towards Jupiter to spend the weekend with our friends Sarah & Jay who broke our hearts by moving their family from Brooklyn to Florida a few months ago.

Jay was Jeff’s college roommate, and later we were all roommates together when we lived with each other and another couple in a 3 bedroom apartment in the East Village in NYC in our 20s.  Later they were the first couple of our friends to have a baby, a three year old Daphne who Jasper is completely enamored with:


and a year and a half later they had Maddie:


It’s always wonderful when our families spend time together because the kids play so nicely together!

Playing Piano

Look at them all holding hands here:


Too cute.

We spent our first full day in Florida at the beach at a man made inlet surrounded by mangroves with a very large shallow portion – perfect for the toddler set.  Even though we arrived during the middle of a heat wave, the water was still quite cool, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.

The inlet

beach bum

Later that night, we all headed to Dada in Delray Beach. Dada was our favorite restaurant when we used to live in Deerfield Beach, and it was where we had dinner the night that Jeff proposed.  As luck would have it, Saturday night was our 5th wedding anniversary.. and even more special was that the night we got engaged Jay & Sarah happened to be in town and had dinner with us at Dada to celebrate. Here is a picture we took of the message they wrote on our slate table (taken in 2005!)

It’s almost eerie how it all came full circle, all of us having dinner there on our anniversary with our children.  My how things have changed!


Daphne at dinner with her "napkin" superhero cape!

Jay and Maddie

a quick snap of Jay and Maddie leaving the restaurant

After dinner we took the kids to the beach in Delray in hopes that I could get a few shots of them together:

Jasper and Daphne

The three musketeers!


But the land-locked family photographer in me couldn’t help but direct the shoot towards a family shot of the Rogers clan – how I wish I had a beach for all my clients!

The Rogers Family


The middle of that night was when Jasper’s cough made it’s first appearance.. it sounded at first extremely barky (croup-like) and dry.  The next morning he complained that he couldn’t talk and we had to teach him how to clear his throat.  He seemed in OK spirits the rest of that day, a tiny bit warm maybe, but OK.   That night we drove up to Orlando and by the time we woke up in Orlando the next morning he was a disaster..his cough was incredibly mucosy and intense. He seriously sounded like he had emphysema (which is a very disconcerting sound to hear coming from a toddler!) and he kept telling us he was “choking.”

I then noticed that he had developed a rash over much of his body and felt very warm. So Monday, which was supposed to be our first full day at Disnsey we spent the morning in a walk in clinic. But more about that in Part II: Orlando/Disney!

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ariana says:

Thanks Jill – I’m sure in a few months we’ll remember mostly the highlights.. I hope so anyway!

@Karen I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was the plane ride…

Karen says:

Love all these photos! So sorry he got sick. Someone always gets sick on our vacations too–must be from the plane and all that trapped air?

Oh goodness! That doesn’t sound fun at all :( Well, the end, I mean. The beginning, the meeting up with old friends, the full circle moments? That actually sounds amazing. Those are my favorite parts of life, the ones you don’t plan that make your heart all warm and fuzzy. Hope you got plenty of those to make up for the plans ruined by sickness. Love all the pictures, as usual :)

carla says:

I love the shots of Jasper on the plane. What lens did you use? Did you shoot in manual or one of the modes? I’m about to take a trip with my bambina but thinking of shooting in manual while navigating travel makes me nervous.

Ava says:

Boo for colds following you around on vacation.
I’m glad you got to enjoy at least part of the trip.

In terms of beach photography: we’ve got them, but surprisingly enough, I’ve only done 2 shoots at a beach. Maybe now that the weather is getting better though…

ariana says:

Carla, I only took two lenses, my Tamron 28-75 (used on all the outdoor pictures) and my 50 1.4 that I used in any “dark” situations like inside the plane, airport and in some cases inside the Disney rides!

@Ava, well you DO live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.. you have too many spots to choose from!