I decided to mix things up today. Instead of talking “real food,” I thought I’d share with you what my family and I’ve been doing these last few days.
First, we loaded ourselves up in the car. We turned our car south and drove. For 10 hours. Well, really only 5 the first day. Of course, we stopped at the Alabama Welcome Center to see “the” rocket ship.
We got back in the car and drove a few more hours. We had a dinner at a classy restaurant where you get to throw peanuts on the floor. Then, we found a hotel room to rest our weary heads.
The next morning, we woke up and drove on just a few more hours. Finally, we arrived in Panama City Beach, Florida. Our first stop? Lunch overlooking the beautiful ocean.
After lunch, a certain little boy ran straight into the ocean, fully clothed. This moment will forever be etched in my heart. My little boy meeting the ocean for the first time (that he remembered, he was 7 months old the last time he went to the beach).
It was love at first sight.
Finally, it was time to check in to our condo where we stayed for 5 blissful, beautiful days. We enjoyed an overcast day with the beach all to ourselves. We enjoyed the warm Florida sun on our faces the rest of the trip.
We built sandcastles. We collected sea shells. We jumped in the waves in the ocean. We sunbathed. We played in the pool and the splash park at the condo. We took in the breathtaking sunsets. We stared in wonder and awe at the ocean, especially from our balcony. We spotted lots of dolphins and Manta rays (seriously, and I only barely freaked out about them).
I actually read (and finished) a book that didn’t talk about faith, parenting, pregnancy, or food. It was fluffy and I didn’t have to think at all as I read it. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to read entirely for pleasure and it was just what I needed!
On Mother’s Day, we found a quaint little donut shop where we consumed an absurd amount of sugary goodness. After several hours playing on the beach as a family (and one glorious hour on the beach all by myself), we headed off for dinner and ice cream. We didn’t get a photo of our whole family as I’d hoped, but we still captured some sweet moments. It was a perfect Mother’s Day!
On Wednesday morning, we reluctantly packed our bags and climbed back in the car. We drove the 10 hours back home. We stopped for lunch and to pick up some Fireworks in Tennessee. We stopped at (yet another) restaurant where we could throw peanuts on the floor. And when we turned into our driveway, we all sighed just a little. As much as we loved our vacation, there’s no place like home.
We tucked our sweet ones into their beds where they no doubt dreamed of the salty ocean, the sandy beach, and their very favorite restaurant that they chattered on about for 9.5 of the 10 hours we were in the car: Pineapple Willy’s.
It was a most awesome way to “kick off” our summer and I’m SO glad we decided to go. The kids did GREAT save for a few meltdowns here and there. It was the perfect amount of time. And it was the perfect time to go- the rates nearly double beginning next week!
We are already daydreaming and thinking about our next trip to the beach. Until then, we have lots of amazing memories to carry us through!
Life happens when we go to the beach.
For more quick takes, head over to Jen’s!