Sunday, July 17, 2016

Beach Trip 2016

Well - we just spent a wonderful week at the beach.  Welcome to the family vacation slide show! :-) 

We went to Perdido Key, FL which is just over the border from Alabama.  We have stayed there the last three years and we love it there.  It's less crowded than Gulf Shores and is just so nice.  We have stayed at the Indigo the last 3 years also and we absolutely love it.  I search VRBO for months before we go and honestly - for the money - it's the nicest I have ever found.  I highly recommend! 

We had planned to leave around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning and make the 12 hour drive but they called us that Friday afternoon and said we could get in the condo early so we ended up leaving around 8 that night and got there around 9 the next morning (after stopping for breakfast).  We were exhausted but it just is easier to travel that way for now.  We ate lunch, bought our groceries for the week, took showers and ate and were in bed by 6 that night.  Laurie and Steve and family got there later that night.  

I know everyone does vacation differently but we have a routine that works for us.  We always go to the beach in the mornings, come in and eat lunch, pool in the afternoon and then come in early and get ready and go out to eat at 4:30 (to beat the crowds - we aren't waiting for hours with little kids) and then we ride go karts or play mini golf or hunt crabs and just relax at night.  The kids love riding go karts the most.  

Our kids, except Emily, all don't love the beach.  They only wanted to go to the pool but we made them go at least for a couple hours every day to the beach.  

It was nice to have a week with my family.  

My favorite picture of my boy.  He was smiling at Laurie.  And happy to be eating.  He's such a sweet baby.  Busy.  OH SO BUSY.  But so sweet.  His smile just melts me.   

Hollis had a great time! 

I put in a lot of french braids this week.  How cute are they? 

This picture makes me laugh - look at all the kid's faces.  So typical.  

Will basically hated the beach.  He could stand it about 30 minutes a day and 30 minutes in the pool and he was DONE.  I had to remind Scott that we skipped beach vacations when our girls were each this age for a reason.  Clearly we had a senior moment when we planned this trip - going to the beach with a 15 month old is NOT fun.  He took long naps every day so I laid out on the balcony so that was at least relaxing! 

We love to go to the Track and ride rides.  Will was too small but he ran around like a wild man.  It was soooooooooo hot and humid the night we were there.  He and I are both extremely hot natured so we both had sweaty wet hair as he ran and I chased him.  

It's such a gift to have friends who you can spend 24/7 with in a condo for a week and still like each other enough to plan your next vacation.  I don't take that for granted.  

Remarkably, Will Holden was very good every night at dinner.  The secret was eating early and LOTS of hushpuppies.  ha! We ate at all of our favorite spots - Louisiana Lagniappe, Cobalt, Oyster House and the Shrimp Basket.  There are a lot of other great places that people recommend but Laurie has STRONG opinions on food and she doesn't like anything frou frou so she would look at menus and veto.  And the rest of us will eat anything so we stuck to what we like.  

Our girls always have the best times together.  They made up dance routines and watched a lot of "Full House".  

One night we got back from dinner and the lighting was perfect for pictures.  We really didn't plan to take family pictures this year but we decided to run the kids out there to get a few shots.  I had brought coordinating outfits just in case we decided to take pictures and I'm glad we did.  
  The beach almost doesn't look real it's so pretty in these pictures.

Of course Will Holden hates pictures. He bucks and kicks overtime we try to get him in a picture with the girls.  But I would lying if I said I didn't love this picture.  It just perfectly captures our lives and I'm sure it will always make me smile.  I have had so many friends who had two older girls and a younger boy tell me that all their pictures when their kids were little looked identical to this.  If you need a laugh - you need to look at hashtag #willholdenphotofails on IG.  

I'm so very thankful to be the mother to these three.  

One of my favorite views on earth! 

I could cry when I look back at four years ago and see how much these girls have grown.  It's hard to believe that in four years - we will have a condo full of pre-teens and teenagers.  And little Will Holden.  If I could have time in a bottle..........

In full disclosure - these pictures look so fun and we really did have a good time but vacation with a one year old who mostly wants to put his hands in the toilet and get into cabinets and hates the beach is hard.  And then Laurie got extremely sick on Wednesday and so did Emily so they spent the last few days holed up in their bedroom.  So it wasn't perfect but I kept saying "In 10 years - we will laugh at our disaster of a vacation but we will always remember it fondly!"  And we will.  

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