We decided to drive at night, leaving around the kids' bedtime. It actually worked out great!
During the 12 hour trip I believe we made two quick stops for gas/bathroom breaks. The kids slept pretty well. They woke up when we stopped but went back to sleep. Ben woke up around Ft. Worth and fussed for a little bit. We made great time in spite of about 6 solid hours of rain throughout southern Oklahoma and Texas.
Avery was so excited to get to the beach. As soon as we got to the house we had to check out the beach first thing!
We weren't sure what Ben would think, as last year in Florida he wasn't a big fan of the beach. He took to it much better this year. He was a little hesitant of the sand at first, but he warmed up and spent some time playing with sand toys. The water was pretty chilly so he didn't get in. Actually, he did walk in with us but a wave took him down and he was pretty much done with the ocean after that. Of course, it didn't bother Avery. She is definitely our beachy girl!
She spent the better part of Thursday digging, carrying pails of water from the ocean, making her "own ocean" in a bucket, building sand castles, etc. It was, as she said, "very hard work."
Ben didn't have the beach endurance that his sister did. He had to take naps and such so his time at the beach was limited.
We took Avery crab hunting after dark two times and spotted lots of crab holes and some crabs as well. She declared herself the Crab Hunter Expert.
They also loved hanging around the house and playing with Will, or as Ben calls him, "Wheels."
We were really pleased with how nicely Ben played with Will. Sometimes Ben is rough and there is also his bad habit of taking thing from Avery's hands while screaming "MINE." But he was very gentle with Will and even shared toys and snacks. He was always making sure Will had a toy in his hands. Such a sweet boy. We loved watching them all interact together.
For the most part we stayed around the house. We went to get ice cream one afternoon and over to the sea turtle rescue.
Otherwise we stayed around the house, cooked some yummy food including Gulf shrimp, watched the fireworks, and just relaxed (well, once the kids were in bed).
We hated to say goodbye Sunday morning.
It was a wonderful trip!
Our journey home was so.much.longer. We stopped in San Antonio for lunch and made several other stops along the way. With the kids awake the stops were definitely not as quick. Plus the traffic was AWFUL. Avery took a short nap and Ben took about an hour nap. That was it! But we couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised with how well Ben handled being in the car that long. We knew Avery would be fine-she's occupied by her Leap Pad, movie, or books. We were worried that Ben would freak out but he surprised us again!! Although he didn't sleep much he was fine with chattering and looking out the window, and I sang ABCs and counted to 10 many times (each time I'd finish he'd say "again").
We were incredibly happy to see the downtown Tulsa skyline about 12:30 a.m. So glad we made the trip and looking forward to doing it again sometime!