Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Beach Week

I still feel like I could jinx this trip by talking about it, but here we go.

We returned home from vacation late Sunday with beach hair and tired, happy campers. Every one of my children enjoyed being both in and beside the ocean this year, and they traveled like angels. While typing that sentence, I felt I should duck lightning strikes, but every word is truth.

This was our best family vacation to date, hands down. There were no diapers nor strollers {!!!}, no epic sibling battles and no major meltdowns. Owen did leave a front tooth with the beach tooth fairy, and Nora did fall out of her bed, bringing home an impressive forehead knot, but these kids had a blast. Owen ate calamari and shrimp for the first time, and Nathan was brave enough to carry live fish with his bare hands.

Who are these kids?

We stayed at the Sandestin Resort in Destin, Florida, which is basically my favorite place. This trip included our bunch, my parents, and Jonathan's mom. We spent most mornings beach-side, and I actually got to relax in my chair and suck down my strawberry daiquiri while the kids played in the sand. Seriously.

Last year Nora would not put one toe in the water at Gulf Shores, and she hated the sand. She was an absolute different kid this year. She let the waves carry her ring any way they wanted while belting every line from "How Far I'll Go."

I think Owen spent more time underwater than above, diving under every wave and exploring with his goggles. Nathan followed suit, and together they chased the swimming fish and tried to collect the most intact shells. These kids were total beach bums, and I am so pleased that more time was spent in the ocean than in the hotel pool.

While we went to our regular restaurant haunts {plus one for anniversary date night}, a new place we explored in the Fort Walton area was the Gulfarium. We woke up to rain on our first morning, so we decided to see some animals up close and personal. The kids had their first touch pool experience and never wanted to leave. {Hands! HANDS!} We also saw an enormous turtle, a pool of stingrays, and we found both Nemo and Dory fairly quickly. We returned to the condo with a sea of stuffed animals and a newfound dolphin obsession.

I loved this vacation because we were finally able to simply enjoy each other. Of course there was whining and bickering and drawn-out groans, but the kids are getting older and things are getting easier. We can relax a little more and stress a little less. Hats off to my kids for making this trip great, and a big thanks to our parents for helping keep up with them. I'll stop talking now and share a few more highlights:

Now it's back to reality and back to dreaming of surf, sand, and crab legs. Happy Hump Day!

Have you been to the beach this year? Do you have a trip scheduled?
Let me know where you are taking your family in the comments!

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