Last week, I was honored to host my father for his first trip to Florida. I’m pretty sure he had a good time… He actually SMILED in most of the pictures. My mom knows that this is a great feat! She’s been having him practice smiling while taking selfies. Haha!

As many of my coaches have said throughout my life, practice makes perfect! And I’ll never forget the first thing my dad said to me in the airport, “Let’s take a selfie!” Who knew this 69-year-old man was so amazing?? I did!!

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The first day of my dad’s visit, we drove up to Tampa Bay. My beloved Angels were also in town, playing the Rays. (Yes, I completely planned my dad’s trip around a baseball game.) I was SO excited to see my boys in action!! Plus, I’m always up for catching a game in a new stadium! And it was my first time in a dome, so it was even better! Annnnd the Angels WON!! Icing on the cake!

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Us Carricks have baseball flowing through our veins. I grew up watching and playing this great American pastime. I was bummed that the Fort Myers Miracle were not in town when my dad was, but I was still able to take him to the stadium – wish we could’ve gone inside though!

For those of you who don’t know, Fort Myers is also home for MLB Spring Training! The Minnesota Twins play at Hammond Stadium and the Boston Red Sox play at Jet Blue Park. I’m hoping Dad will come back out in the spring to catch a couple of games!

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After a crazy weekend with beautiful weather, we were hit with a storm on Monday. I wasn’t happy about that since we couldn’t do much. It rained allllll day! Ugh! However, it was nice to just relax after all the running around we did.

God was looking out for us on Tuesday though! My dad’s last day in Florida was bright, sunny and gorgeous! And we filled it with tons of fun!!

I took him to my work for a tour of the factory, which he enjoyed. Watching stuff being made is pretty awesome! Then we shot down to Naples to meet up with my uncle and his girlfriend for the remainder of the day. We had a delicious lunch at Cocoanut Jack’s, followed by a boat ride on the Gulf.

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There is something about my family and pontoon boats. We love them, but ALWAYS have issues! For example, during a family reunion in Tennessee, we SUNK a boat! Not completely, but it made that 4th of July one we’ll never forget! And on this boat ride with my dad and uncle, we got stranded on top of a sandbar. Never a dull moment!!

My uncle managed to get us off the sandbar and we cruised around for a while. Then we grabbed drinks and appetizers at Fleming’s. And no night in Naples is complete without setting foot in Burn for some delicious cigars and drinks.

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I am so incredibly happy that my dad came out to spend some time with me. It was great for me to have a piece of home for a while. I love my dad to death and am thrilled to have shared this experience with him.

See ya back in Cali, Dad!!

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