Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beach Trip

Well, we are back from our beach trip, and it is safe to say that I officially have a vacation hangover.  Luckily, I took Monday off so the work week is short this week.  It’s always better to eeeease back into things, I suppose. 

Our vaca ended up being really great despite the fact that Olivia got sick the night before we left.  It never fails, one of our kids always gets sick right before we leave.  Thankfully we were able to get her in to see the doc the day before we left, and they said that it was likely just a viral cold + her ear infection from a couple of weeks prior had still not cleared up.  They switched her antibiotic and gave us their blessing for us to continue with the trip. 

Both kids were very well behaved in the car on the way down.  All we had to do for Jacob was pop a DVD in the player and he immediately turned into a zombie.  Olivia was content reading books and typing on her “laptop” for a couple of hours, and then she crashed the rest of the way.  

When we arrived, we went down to the beach to let the kids see the ocean, and then we went and checked into our condo - room # 311!  That maaaay be why we chose that particular room. ;o)

That evening we went to Pineapple Willy’s, one of our favorite restaurants there, and we sat out on the pier for dinner and drinks.  The weather was perfect – 70’s and sunny.  There was a slight breeze.  The sun was a small orange ball hanging low in the west just over the gulf.  It was a pretty perfect dinner.   

After dinner, we walked down to the beach just as the sun was setting.  Both kids wanted to play in the sand, so we took pictures of them while they made messes of their clean little selves.  Olivia was completely covered from head to toe by the time we left.   

Friday morning we awoke bright and early (because having two small kids will do that to ya), we had donuts for breakfast (vacation – duh), and then we headed to the beach.  The day was sunny and warm – not too hot – but just right.  Jacob was still afraid of the ocean on this trip… he has been afraid of it ever since his second trip to the beach when he was almost two, so he stayed in the sand and played with his sand toys the whole time.  Olivia’s antibiotics require her to stay out of direct sunlight, so she sat in the shade a lot of the time and made duck faces at everyone who walked by. 


We stayed at the beach all morning, and then it was up to the condo for lunch, and naps for the babies.  Hubs was kind enough to stay with the babies during their naps so I could go back down to the beach, and it was so relaxing.  I stayed down there for a couple of hours just laying out with my book, and enjoying listening to the waves crashing against the shore.

After the babies awoke, we got ready and then went to Pier Park – an outdoor shopping center with lots of restaurants, shops, and outdoor activities.  We ate dinner at Margaritaville, where people on stilts made a Viking hat out of balloons for Jacob and a doggie for Olivia. 

After dinner, we walked down to the beach and attempted to take some family pictures.  It was verrrry windy and we had to use a tripod (no photographer), so I expected a complete disaster.  However, we surprisingly got some pretty decent shots. 

After taking pictures, we walked back up to Pier Park and took Jacob to the carnival where he rode his first roller coaster!!  He is normally so afraid of everything, so Brian and I were shocked that he even entertained the idea of riding it.  I was a nervous wreck for him – I thought for sure it would scare the pants off of him and ruin his whole night, but he loved it.  I could hear his shrieks of delight the entire time!  After the roller coaster, we let him ride a horse on the carousel, and then we went back on the carousel for a second time and sat on a bench so Olivia could join us – her first carnival ride!  After the carnival, we got some ice cream (because vacation – duh) and then headed back to the condo.   

Saturday morning we had donuts for breakfast again (hey, somebody had to finish off the dozen we had originally picked up!) and then we got the kids ready for the beach.  We got all the way out the door and then realized that it was drizzling outside.  Womp womp.  With a quick check of the radar we saw that it was almost over, so we waited 30 minutes and then headed back out.  It was pretty cloudy all morning which was good for Olivia, since antibiotics = limited sun.  The babies played in the sand nonstop and Jacob built sand castles.  He even ventured out near the water’s edge to pick up some shells.  Olivia passed out on one of the beach chairs in the late morning which gave Brian and me some one-on-one time with Jacob to fly his kite.   


Saturday evening, we met some old friends (who now live down there) at Sharky’s for dinner and drinks.  Unfortunately a storm was getting ready to blow through, so we had to sit inside, but the conversation was great, the kids were well-behaved, and we really enjoyed our time with them.   

Sunday morning we stopped at Panera for breakfast, and then headed on out for the drive home.  The drive home was uneventful, and we actually managed to get back home without having to stop, not even once.  The trip was overall wonderful – both kids had a blast!  Jacob did finally get the courage to dip his toes in the water on our last day there, but he would only go to the verrrry edge and then he was done.  I’m so proud of him for finally trying, though.  Olivia adored the sand more than anything.  As a matter of fact, she’s had three baths since we left, and she still has sand in her scalp… soooo if anyone has any tips for removing sand from one’s scalp, do tell.   

The very best part of this whole vacation was seeing it through Jacob’s and Olivia’s eyes – seeing the looks of sheer joy on their faces when they saw the ocean for the first time, seeing their excitement when they found out that we were going to get ice cream, experiencing the thrill of riding a roller coaster for the first time, you know, the little things.  Everything we do is for them – to make memories, to create happy moments that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.  My parents gave my brothers and me the happiest upbringing, and I am so blessed to be able to do the same for my kids.  That is what parenting is all about. 


  1. Looks like such a great family vaca! Jacob reminds me SO much of Brayden. Just last year Brayden finally started coming out of his comfort zone for lots of things, it has made me so proud! Love Olivia's bikini too :)

    1. That's so great that Brayden is starting to explore a little more. I'm hoping that Jacob will do the same soon as well!

      And thank you! Yes, Olivia's bikini about killed me when I saw it... I knew she HAD to have it!

  2. Great pictures! It looks like you had fun!
    The last time we went to the beach was 3 years ago. Lily was 11 months old and got sick for the first time ever the day we arrived. She was sick the entire time with a high fever! I couldn't believe our bad luck. We have our beach trip booked for August, so I'm really hoping the kids cooperate!
    Glad you had a great time!

    1. Thank you! :o) Yes, it's always so sad having a sick baby on vacation. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you have four well babies and a well Mommy and Daddy for your trip in August!

  3. This was so fun! Can I just say that you look ah-mazing in a bikini! Go on with your bad self, girl! Oh and Little Miss. Olivia sleeping on the beach is so stinkin' cute. I'm so happy you had a great time. :)

  4. Looks so fun! Where do you guys go?


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