Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Paradise Rented

{Nathan walked by while I was making this photo and called me rude. Still worth it.}

For six days and five nights, my name was Jessica.

The only time I heard the word "mama" was when it was shouted toward the dozens of women on the beach, dragging overflowing toy bags, removing sand from mouths, and chasing small people into the ocean. It was a good week, my friends.

Unfortunately you can only rent a slot of paradise for so long, so our parents-only trip to Destin, Florida has come and gone. All that's left are some pretty fantastic memories. I spent mornings on the beach and evenings cracking crab legs. I read two books beneath a wide umbrella {Eleanor and Park and Divergent}, I kept my cooler filled, and I napped in a room with an ocean view. This old couple took the week nice and easy, so instead of boring you with a play-by-play, I thought I'd drop by with a few pictures and a list of the things I learned on holiday:
  • You can take a ten-hour drive that crosses four states and only take two potty breaks.
  • Many parents felt the need to be overly apologetic if we got whacked by an errant pool noodle, or a stray kid cut in front of us. Needless to say, we gave lots of reassurance and felt weird on the other side.
  • I missed my kids more than I thought I did when I saw little pink swimsuits waddling around or boys dragging boogie boards and searching for sea shells. Then one by one, the children around me slowly fell apart with the rising sun, and I decided I was okay.
  • You can fit everything you need for a morning at the beach in one bag.
  • Face Time isn't good enough. I assumed turning the camera around so the boys could see the waves splash upon the shore would satisfy their longing. Wrong. "I want to be in the beach, mama!"
  • You can order the exact same meal at four different restaurants four times in a row without getting tired of it. This is not an exaggeration. Also, crab legs for days.
  • Vacations have the ability to be completely relaxing, and you can actually return home from them more energized than when you left. Who knew?!

  • Getting back into the swing of things is easier said than done. I was thrilled to run into my parents' house Saturday and stretch my arms around all three kids, but zero to sixty takes adjustment. We spent Sunday doing absolutely nothing with a side of staring at laundry and counting weeds; however, we're getting there. I've found the bottom of my hamper, all suitcases are empty, and I think I've gotten my kids de-programmed {wink and smile here}.

    All I have to do is close my eyes and I'm back. I can smell the salt in the air, feel the cool water, and revel in the idea of having nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to change.

    Then I'm snapped back by the sound of two boys and one firetruck and the smell of an overripe Nora. Although the former scenario seems like a much nicer version of paradise, the latter is just another day in mine. I was thankful to rent a piece of Florida for a while, but I'm happy to get back to the slice of life that belongs to me. Sleepy babies, sand toys, and all.

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    LifeAsAConvert said...

    I'm not so sure about fitting everything into one bag, but I've never taken a kid free trip so I wouldn't know that one lol

    Fawn @ Instead of the Dishes said...

    We visited the Destin area earlier this summer with kids in tow and had a wonderful time. I can't imagine what a paradise it would be for an adults only trip!! Kudos to you for taking time for yourselves. I bet the kids and grandparents enjoyed their weekend too.

    Jamie said...

    Sounds like a great trip! I'm glad you got away.

    Grace Grits and Gardening said...

    I enjoyed your trip this morning!

    Jessica Bauer said...

    Thanks for reading, y'all! It was a great trip, and I can't tell you how blessed we are for having had the opportunity. And, like Fawn said, I was proud that we actually DID it. Worth every single minute.