Gasparill-what?

01 February 2016

I almost want to apologize for throwing a weekend recap at you right out of the gate but I could've posted about my opinions on all things Bachelor or even (shudder) a round-up of my favorite leggings. Count your blessings, tolerant reader.

Anyway.

Before we even moved here we heard all about Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The tradition is named after pirate Jose Gaspar who is known for terrorizing the West Florida coast way back in the 18th & 19th centuries - your fun history fact for the day and maybe ever here at the Camp. There's a real live pirate ship decked with 750+ pirates that "invades" Tampa Bay and then once ashore, there's a massive parade which is where things get crazy, from what I understand. We were warned that it is not a place to take a small children because apparently it's about as rowdy as a real live New Orleans Mardi Gras. There's an annual a kids' parade that took place the previous weekend but we were busy painting a bathroom (fun-parents-r-us) so we took part in some of the Gasparilla fun without dipping down into the actual eye of the debauchery storm.

We kicked the day off by joining friends at a local park where the pirates board the ship. The kids got an up close and personal look at the swashbucklers and oh, wait ... Julia, is that you?


Your scary stamped hands threw me.

The boys were mostly wide-eyed in amazement/wtf-is-this-ness and the only reason Theo would abandon his death grip on my hand was if he knew there was a chance he'd score some beads ...


Phoebe was her usual happy-go-lucky self ...


No surprise there.

Next year we will be bringing ear plugs because the noise (cannons? guns? the apocalypse?) was really loud and scared the kids once we got up close and personal with the ship although ... it lulled little B right to sleep thanks to my trusty kangaroo pouch.

I thought 750+ pirates sounded like a liiiiiitle bit of an exaggeration but ...


... they made use of every square inch ...


Next year, I'm totally dressing up and sneaking on.

The Party Pattons continued onward and upward over to a little island (still away from the chaos) to meet up with some other friends (we are very popular and that is very much a joke) who had a beer tent (complete with tented port-o-potty that they brought themselves - Gasparilla veterans) set up to watch the flotilla because we thought they'd love nothing more than a little buzz-kill-o-kids. No, they were great and I kept expecting the kids to get crazy and we'd have to make a beeline for the Odyssey but it turns out watching boats float by with handfuls of beads is sort of the Patton kids' jam ...


... except for Phoebe ...


"have fun, suckers. I'll just be here with the snacks and beer."

We lured her out temporarily with the promise that she'd get to don the biggest beads ...




but once she tossed ALL the beads back in the water much to the chagrin of the other bead hoarders .... back in the wagon she went.

Even our little Joey had a decent time ...


... decent at best.

I know deep down that I'm a pessimist at heart but I like to pretend I'm just a sensible realist and I had visions of the day going down a lot differently because things can take a turn for the worse when we're out and about for an extended period of time {diaper failure, fatigue induced meltdowns, bead shortages, etc ... you never KNOW) but much like our tailgating adventure, I was pleasantly surprised.


Fancy that.

*tiny housekeeping note: I'm trying to restore my bloglovin' feed and I'll put the link over on FB as soon as it's up. Here it is! Thanks so much for your patience and once again, thanks for your insanely generous welcome back! Heart emojis galore.




36 comments:

  1. I am so glad you're back! I love reading your stories and seeing pictures of the kids :) I'm having my 3rd baby in March (3 under 3) and you are my number one inspiration! Thank you, thank you!

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  2. So very excited to see the Pattons again! Your fam is as beautiful as ever!

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  3. Yay! This totally made my Monday, my week, my month. Have missed your blog!

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  4. "I'll just be here with the snacks and beer." My motto at every party.

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  5. Also! I FINALLY caved and got hooked on the Bachelor after reading a recap (Ashley Jones, duh) because I heard there was a chicken enthusiast and I'm hooooooooooked. It's so bad, it's so good. (To clarify, my love for chickens is nowhere near as crazy as that girl's, ha).

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  6. I'm just the happiest. Everysing is NOT the worst.

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  7. The Pattons' return to the blogosphere is the BEST surprise after spending the day looking after one sick & grouchy one year old (including many attempts at what I'm now calling 'the eye drop wrestle' - how is it possible I can be outmanoeuvred by someone so small?!)...xx

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  8. Ballast Point!! Spent approximately 90% of my childhood there- got my sneaker stuck in a holely board on that pier (before they redid it), followed by a very close encounter with a pelican, and spent several following years refusing to walk on it as a result. It is SO much nicer now- love taking my kiddos there when we go home for visits!!

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  9. I, for one, would LOVE to hear your opinions on the bachelor. I think you would write a BOMB recap. But of course, I would love to read about your fave leggings, so I'll pretty much read anything you want to write. So glad you are back :)

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  10. Theo's face next to the private is priceless...look like a fun time for team Patton...soooo glad you're back blogging, you've been missed by all us:)

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  11. lololol all the way! You're seriously the best mom ever! Welcome back!

    p.s. i'm a 22 year old college student, idk how the heck I got onto the Patton bandwagon, I don't even have kids!

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  12. Yay! So excited to see you and your sweet kiddos! As always, thanks for the LOL's!!!

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  13. So So GLAD TO SEE YOU BACK! :)

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  14. huge sigh of relief that I can read about and see your kids again.

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  15. I'm so glad you went to Gasparilla! My mother in law has a house in Tampa and I used to go (pre-kids) every January to party. Hoping to go back in a few years.

    www.shhmommysdrinking.com

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  16. Your sense of humor is the best. Normally "weekend recaps" on blogs are ho-hum, but yours make the ordinary extraordinary! Welcome back!

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  17. I am all over this!! Can we come to this festival next year while we are in GA? haha. Ace and Pierce would go crazy over the pirates. And Avalon would feel like a queen with all those damn beads. LOL ;)

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  18. So happy to have your posts back and seeing those sweet babies of yours!

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  19. This post was like a serious breath of fresh air. So glad you're back, Grace. And I'm drooling over all that SUN!

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  20. I've truly missed you! It's lovely reading your adventures again!

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  21. Oh good about bloglovin! I have this serious fear I'll miss one of your posts because I'm a Facebook slacker. So SO good to have you back!

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  22. Lol love P and her fabulous beads! Seriously though you make having lots of littles close together look easy! Teach me your ways o wise Grace!

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  23. Thank you for posting this - we've been in the area for a year and we've missed two Gasparillas because I wasn't sure if they were kid-friendly. But it looks like it's toddler approved. I guess next year we'll have to go!

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  24. Your writing is like music to my ears! Love your whit! P and her faces just kill me...dead!

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  25. I'm so happy you're back! I almost had a heart attack when I read "texting with Queen G" on the Fike Life. I thought, "There is only one Queen G." --nearly fell off my chair trying to type "Camp Patton" into the URL bar. THREE CHEERS! <3

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  26. Hilarious! Some pics popped up in my facebook history yesterday and I flashed back to some great times. Your gasparilla looks a little dryer than ours was seven and eight years ago. I love that the kiddos liked it! Definitely dress up next year.

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  27. Pirates- so crazy!! And yes, I clicked over from Bloglovin'! *Happy dance*

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  28. I'm seeing your posts on bloglovin!

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  29. Yes! Clicked over from Bloglovin, and man was I happy to do so! Welcome back.

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  30. Yaayyy!! Have missed your blog posts so much! Hello back Pattons!!!

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  31. I love the new design btw! Seriously isn't Gasparilla the craziest thing ever? I still cannot believe that every year they shut down the city like this for a big pirate festival but I love it :-)

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  32. Funny thing.... Born and raised just 45 minutes east of Tampa and I've never actually been to ANYTHING Gasparilla-related. Maybe I feel like 'Pirates of the Carribean' at Disney World works well enough for me? Or, I'm not a fan of large crowds with scarce indoor plumbing?

    Glad you went and had a good time!!!

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  33. So glad you are back! Have missed your posts and your sense of humor!

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  34. Welcome to Tampa! We are glad to have you!

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  35. You seriously make me laugh out loud. All the time. My daughter is exactly like Phoebe (EXACTLY) and your comments are hilarious. So happy you are back entertaining me:).

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  36. I love these so much I keep ordering different styles and colors and have doubled up on the basic colors like gray and black. I've been using mesh leggings for workouts, lounging around, and even wearing to work.

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