Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Florida Vacation 2013

We just recently got back from a week in Florida.  Honestly?  I could have stayed two weeks (or really, forever).  I am never ready to come home from vacation.  I always, always, always, want to stay longer.

But I digress...

Bottom line-we had a great time!

We decided to drive at night and left at 10pm.  Avery stayed up until we left and we transferred Ben from his crib to the car.  I wasn't worried about Avery-I knew she would be fine and easily occupied by coloring or watching movies during the daytime.  I was a little worried about Ben since he's only 1-not easily distracted by tv and very, very busy.  You could tell he was annoyed and ready to get out of the car at times, but no major meltdowns.  They both did great.

Waffle House, Mississippi, 6:30 am

We stayed at this house on Miramar Beach in the Destin area.  It worked out well for our group of 15.  The kitchen was pretty well stocked, and there was a grill, pool, and plenty of outdoor seating.  It isn't directly on the beach, but the walk was equivalent to walking across a parking lot (100 yards).

The house came with beach service which included two chairs and an umbrella set up daily.  Honestly, this part was a little confusing.  Long story short, the beach boy wasn't very accommodating or helpful.  Regardless, we made it work.

There is a ton of stuff to do in the area, but we mostly stuck to the beach.  One) that's what we came for and two) the traffic around there is pretty bad, so it's not quick to go somewhere that's several miles away.  A few nights we headed to the Baytowne Wharf.  That place is pretty cute, with lots of restaurants and things to do.  The kids enjoyed the candy store, carousel, ice cream shop, arcade, etc.

Taking the kids to the wharf

Adult evening

Rob's dinner

Rob and Tim

Kids on the carousel

Sunset at the wharf pier

Wharf marina

The weather was nice with mostly sun aside from one rainy/cloudy day.  The beach was awesome and the water was gorgeous.  Seriously, some of the prettiest and clearest water I've ever seen (not that I'm a world traveler by any stretch, but I've been to quite a few different beaches).

So, the first day we finally got into the house about 4.  After we got settled, we took the kids to the beach.  Avery was elated.  Ben was elated.  I seriously think they were so happy to be out of the car and free to run.

Sometimes when he gets excited he claps his head

Avery really enjoyed the beach.  She loved the water and the sand.  Ben?  Well, it turns out that Ben is not as beachy as the rest of us.  He was very meh about the whole thing.  He wasn't too interested in getting in the water and he didn't care about playing in the sand much either.   I think when he can walk it will be different.  Also, he woke up super early every day and I think he was tired a lot as a result.  He tolerated the beach somewhat, but he was just fine with being at the house.  Fortunately there were a lot of hands to help and usually someone was at the house to be there when we took him back for a nap.  Avery played hard and took a nap under the cabana almost daily.

We saw a shark swimming right along the shore one day and one farther out another day, there was a stingray sighting (I didn't see it), and we saw a huge school of fish.

We cooked dinner almost every night while the kids played around the house, in the pool, or watched a movie.

All the kids were so good.  Really.  There was not any fighting, whining, pickiness, etc.  They all played well together and they watched out for Ben too.

Getting her hair done

Loved his morning walks with Mimi

The last night, we took some pictures on the beach before taking the kids to the wharf.

The drive home was long.  Traffic going out of Destin was horrible, all the way into and beyond Mobile.  We didn't make it home until 4 am.
Silly at a Whatburger in...I have no idea.

Tracey helping entertain the kids in the backseat

Overall, an awesome trip.  It's not necessarily easy traveling with little ones, but everyone made it so much easier.  There were lots of helping hands.  I can say with 100% certainty that if it would have just been Rob and myself with the kids, it would not have been nearly has fun or relaxing.  Ben is so little, he's just a handful right now and it was awesome to have help.  Very thankful for the time with family. I'm sure Avery will remember this forever.  As for Ben, we'll work on his beach skills until next time:)

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