For a while now, February and I have not gotten along. I think it's from all the years in the Midwest where the arrival of February heralded not a spring-is-right-around-the-corner feeling but more of an I-will-die-of-old-age-during-this-same-eternal-winter assurance. Some people associate words like love and short with February. I think miserable interminable slog. Granted, it's better in Virginia.
But not as good as in Florida.
Last week we loaded the kids and Katie in the van and headed to FL for the first time in almost a year. Alex's mom also flew in to be in attendance when Jonathan encountered Mickey Mouse - for whom he has a mysterious, fanatical obsession - for the first time.
We played on the beach, hung out with family and friends and made the rounds of the local playgrounds. Oh, and went to Disney. Thanks to the Mimi, Rocketman and Grandma, Alex and I caught up on a year's worth of missed sleep and even had an evening out.
Mickey was everything Jonathan dreamed he would be, and Naomi can't choose between Splash Mountain, meeting Tinkerbell, or the light parade as her favorite Disney experience.
We were even joined on our Magic Kingdom adventure for a minute by Jacquie and Brooks and her parents, and Naomi requested to ride next to Jacquie on the Little Mermaid Adventure.
But hands down, the best Disney moment was the the Main Street Electrical Parade - which I swear has not changed one iota in thirty years - during which Naomi jumped up and down, shouting at the characters and waving for all she was worth while Jonathan sat mesmerized in the glow of the same floats I remember from my childhood.
We even lasted through the fireworks, and all in all clocked over twelve hours in the Magic Kingdom.
It was a good trip home.