JB and I spent our yesterday (Thursday) in Miami -- a little over an hour from parents home in Coconut Creek. (My wonderful mother took the day off of work to stay with the other three kiddos. Bless her.)
Our mission: to obtain a passport for our newest little bambino so that we can all get back to the Azores, back to our home, back to our dog, and back to work (JB anyway.)
JB and I are always a bit uneasy when it comes to government-run anything. Kinda funny when you consider he's in the military and works for the government. However, so many times in our past, we feel like we follow the rules, do what they say to do, and something still goes awry.
So getting Hannah a same day passport, made us both a little uneasy. What if something went wrong? We needed to get this done to go home. And it has been very important to us that we get to all go home together. They say it's easy. They say this is all you need. But was it really?
It really was!
Birth certificate? Check
Both parents present? Check
Baby present? Check
One handy-dandy required DS-11 form? Check
Passport photos? Check
Dad's ID? Check
Mom's ID? Check
JB's orders saying we needed to fly ASAP? Check
A lot of money? Check
And ... wa-la! We have a passport.
Our appointment was at 8am. We gave ourselves 90 minutes for what mapquest said was a 45 minute drive, and we barely made it. The traffic was that bad. Thank goodness JB opted to pay an additional $2.50 for a "fast lane" on 1-95. (Did you even know these types of things existed?) Had we stayed in regular traffic, we would have missed the appointment altogether!
They told us to return between 2pm and 3pm. Very important to show up between those hours. We wouldn't be allowed in before 2pm and the doors close for the day at 3pm. However, we were told that the passport probably wouldn't be ready until close to 5pm.
So we opted to show back up at 2:30pm. And miracle of all miracles, her passport was already ready! This meant we could return home before rush hour! Yipee!
But this still meant that between 9am and 2pm, we had to find something to keep us occupied in Miami. And it couldn't be just anything? Dear ol' me is still recovering from a C-section, and while I had no swelling at all during pregnancy, my legs and feet have been swelling quite a bit in the 10 days that have followed. I can walk, but only very slowly. And of course, we have a one week old baby that we don't want exposed to every germ there is.
So ... we headed to Bayside. We got some breakfast snacks at Starbucks and sat by the water. After that, we decided to take an open top bus ride around Miami. It was a little pricey, but boy was it fun! JB and I realized two things while on this bus ride:
1. Man have we missed each other! Not only were we just apart for a five weeks, but the last year of both of our lives has been, without a doubt, the most difficult we have ever experienced as a couple. I was incredibly sick for nearly nine months. I was battling depression for a lot of that. We have three young children that keep us very occupied. JB is working full-time. We had moved to a new country. There has just been so much working against us and pulling us apart. We kept telling each other to hang on. That at the end of this pregnancy there would be a beautiful baby and I would feel better and we could reconnect. And now, we are finally getting to do that. It was so wonderful to spend some time together just he and I (well, and a kid who doesn't talk yet too!)
2. While we both grew up in South Florida, we have never really "experienced" the niceties of Miami. We only know it for the crime and "yuck." There is a whole lot of beauty and fun things to do in this city. We definitely want to return with the kids at some point in the future and do some of the fun things this city has to offer.
Here are some pictures of our bus ride around Miami:
Hannah slept through the whole tour!
My legs were pretty swollen by this point but here's a picture of me 10-days-post-baby.
Little Havana. How have I never been here?
This was outside a Cuban restaurant where a bunch of men were gathered playing dominoes.
A bit windblown.
They were shooting a Spanish soap opera here!
So many beautiful churches. And many of them are pretty old (for American standards.) I had no idea of the history in this city.
In front of the Biltmore hotel which hosts the largest swimming pool in the USA!
We saw a lot of beautiful architecture.
This is a fresh water swimming hole open to the public. I definitely want to take the kids here one day.
We got a lot of shots over Wendi's (and her breastfeeding cover's) shoulder.