A few days after his birthday party, we packed up our suitcases and headed to Florida for a week of vacation! We saw the Atlantic coast, played some golf, stayed in Orlando for a conference (and pool time for mom and Hans), and headed to the gulf coast for a couple of days.
We arrived in FL a couple of days before the conference so we could drive up to Ponte Vedra Beach because Tom was fortunate enough to play golf at TPC Sawgrass. His good friend from college, Matt, is the head golf professional at the TPC and got him a tee time on the Stadium course.
The clubhouse at Sawgrass is huge and gorgeous. It was built fairly recently and built specifically for The Players Championship Tournament that is held there every year.
After Tom's round of golf, a volunteer took us all out on the course so we could take some pictures and so that I could look at one of the worlds most famous holes. Above, we are standing near the 18th hole with the clubhouse in the background. Below, is a picture of the famous 17th hole (which Tom got a par on, by the way!).
The grass will be green during The Players, however it's bermuda grass and is dormant in the winter...so we didn't see it at it's peak of prettiness but it was still awesome!
Later that night, Matt took us to dinner at the club house and then, later, gave us a private tour of the place! It was so incredible to look around where the Greats of golf practice, play, and hang out. It was also neat to hear all of the background stories Matt told us about the different rooms and players. One part of the club house is open to the public and then over half of the clubhouse is reserved for current PGA players...locker rooms, restaurant, bar, lounges, etc.
This picture is of a private room that tournament pro's can hang out in with tv, pool tables, etc. They can bring family members in if they would like, but only if they are male...I felt pretty special =-) hehe!
There is a huge locker room that only the players can go into and then there is another, much smaller, locker room that only past Champions (of this tournament) can enter. All of the past champions have their names engraved on a locker. Tom and Hans are standing next to Tiger Woods' locker.
Right outside of the locker rooms, sits a barber chair. The legend surrounding this barber chair is that when players had a bad round of golf, they would sit in the chair and get grilled by other players about their (bad) playing. Looks like Hans didn't mind the grilling =-)
We ended the clubhouse tour by going underground to get a look at the tunnel the players use to head to the practice facility. The tunnel allows the players to practice and warm up relatively undisturbed. This is also where they will meet up with their caddy, before heading outside. As you can see, when building this new club house, they truly had The Players tournament in mind!
And...while daddy was playing golf....Hans and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Chick-fil-a and played at the playground! The two things I looked forward to most about the nice weather was taking Hans on walks and finding a swing set! He had fun...but in the picture he looks a little tired!
After that, we made our trek back to Orlando for the PGA merchandise show. We weren't really in a hurry so we drove along the coast and stopped along the way for pictures. It was a little bit windy that day so you'll notice Hans was wearing his coat. The sun was out and warm, but it was slightly chilly.
Tom was busy the next couple of days at the show, so Hans and I spent the days exploring what Orlando had to offer and mostly spent time hanging out around the hotel.
We played chess,
We went swinging,
and we went on walks then rested by the pool.
When Dad came back on his last day, we got to go swimming! It was warm out and Hans loved the water.
Hans even went under water for the first time!
After swimming, we got Hans all dried off and into cozy pj's and played miniature golf at the hotel. Hans actually shows some interest in golf..we know that he loves golf balls and golf clubs! And, he cries if someone tries to take either away from him!!
We went out to eat that night in downtown disney at the rainforest cafe. We also have one here in MN, but Hans has never been to it and he loved looking at the fish and all of the "animals". He was a little confused when the thunderstorm turned on, but was content looking around, trying to figure everything out.
I love the little flippy curls in his hair!
Just about the only picture of the two of us during this trip!
An attempt at a family portrait. Hans was not having it, so Tom and I gave in!
Our 7 day vacation turned in an 11 day vacation due to the snow storm in the midwest. It was wonderful to have a a few extra days to spend in FL together! On the other hand, our clean clothing stash was running out (even though we did a load of laundry while we were down there), we weren't being compensated or given any vouchers from the airline b/c it was weather related, and we were looking forward to our own bed (and crib) at home!
I'll share the rest of our trip in a separate post sometime tomorrow of our time spent on the gulf with trips to the beach!