Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Destin - Day 2

Our kids are typically pretty early risers (as in 5:30), but thankfully they slept until 6 beach time (which was 7 home time).  We managed to keep them occupied in the room until about 9:00 (partly by letting them jump on the beds - here is Video 1 and Video 2 of that craziness).  It stormed the night before (thankfully only while we were sleeping), so that meant that Sunday it was pretty overcast, windy, and not very hot - it was perfect!

My three favorite people + the beach = perfection!

I finally released them from their picture taking duty, and the took off for the water!

Here's a video of them playing in the water.

This picture doesn't show her face, but I love how you can tell that she's smiling super big.  Both of my kids just love the beach.

It's kind of hard to see, but this is their names and the year in the sand.

While the kids played, Matt started on an epic sand castle!

The finished product!

My best girl!

Since his first time at the beach, Cooper has loved for me (or anyone) to hold him and swing him through the waves.  I soaked it up this year because I'm pretty sure this will be the last year that I'm able to do it - he's just getting too big and too heavy!

Daddy can definitely pick him up much higher!

Look at that smile!

Here are two videos (Video 1 and Video 2) of Matt swinging him through the waves.

I love her expression in this!

Queen of the beach!  Here's a video of Matt swinging LL through the waves just like Cooper.

The people next to us dug this big hole, and the kids had fun playing in it for a few minutes.  We stayed until after lunch, and then headed back to the room to rest and (hopefully) nap.  Before we left, Cooper had fun destroying the sand castle - here's a video.

Nap time success!!  And my goodness he still looks like a baby when he sleeps!

Cooper and Matt napped, LL watched a movie, and I started a new book!

After naps, we got ready and headed to dinner at Fudpucker's. (spoiler alert: food - not good, entertainment - great)

The reason we picked Fudpucker's is because we had driven by the day before and saw that they had "Alligator Beach" and we knew the kids would be so pumped about it.  We were right.  :)

You could buy little packets of food and feed them with this fishing pole type thing.  We (obviously) bought some, and the kids were so excited.  Here's a video of the kids talking about what to do.  Here's a video of Cooper feeding them.  Here's a video of LL feeding them.

They also had an area where you could pay to hold a baby alligator and both kids were beyond excited to do that.  LL wanted to go first, and I figured that would be good for Cooper to see her go.  She rocked it out!  This girl loves absolutely anything that has to do with animals.

When it was Cooper's turn, he got super nervous and wouldn't do it.  He finally decided he could hold the tail if LL held the head - and the picture turned out adorable!

After dinner, we looked up a local ice cream shop for dessert!

When we looked it up, it had good reviews, but it honestly turned out to be a flop.  It was not actually ice cream, but custard (which is usually pretty thick).  When we got ours, it was all soupy and runny and just made a massive mess for all of us.

See our napkin pile?  Haha.

It didn't help that Daddy dropped LL's ice cream on her shirt - haha.

Day 2 was a hit!  After dinner, we went back to the room for an early bed time and the hopes that the weather would cooperate for another fun day on the beach!

If you missed day 1 of our trip, you can read about it here.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Destin - Day 1

We have found the absolute best way to kick off summer vacation - go to the beach!  We've been taking a beach trip every summer for a few years now, but last year we went on the very first weekend of summer - and loved it!  It wasn't as hot, it wasn't as crowded, and it really started summer off on the right foot.  This year, we decided to do the same thing.

Also a few years ago, we decided to start trying out different beaches on our family trip (the trip that is just the 4 of us) instead of going to the same place every year.  Now, this doesn't mean we won't ever repeat a beach, but we've been having fun visiting different places.  Last year we went to Daytona/Ormond Beach, and the year before we went to St. Augustine.  This year, we decided to go to Destin!  I had been a long time ago (before I had LL) with my sister, but Matt and the kids have never been.  Our trip was from Saturday, May 20 - Tuesday May 23.

Saturday morning we dropped both dogs off and hit the road!

The ride down to Destin wasn't bad at all.  It took us right at 4 hours, and that was with one stop on the way.  We packed lunches for the car and just ate as we drove.  I just got a new car at the beginning of the month, and this one has an entertainment system in it.  We do have ipads for the kids, but the entertainment system worked much better for keeping them occupied in a car for a long trip!  I took a few videos on the way down - this video is of Cooper in the car when he realized where we were going, this video is of the kids getting a break on the trip to run around, and this video is of Cooper telling us what he wanted to do at the beach.  :)

Back in January/February when we were hunting for a place to go, I asked for recommendations for somewhere to stay in Destin.  It is a beautiful beach, but the accommodations are so expensive.  I have a friend who recommended a place that she had stayed at before and loved.  She was right about it: it's not much to look at from the outside, but the rooms are perfect, the price is amazing, the people are so friendly, and the location couldn't be better.  We were literally right across the street from the beach (and a beach access), and the street wasn't a main street, so it was never crowded and easy to cross.  It was perfect!  If you're going to Destin, look into the Beachside Inn.  When we checked in, they had a loaf of blueberry bread from a local bakery waiting for us!

Our entire trip was forecasted to be filled with heavy rain.  When we got to town, it was overcast and windy, but not raining.  We knew we couldn't guarantee much beach time, so we changed and headed straight for the beach!

Two kids ready to go!

The first thing that LL wanted to do was jump some waves!

LL jumped them, and Cooper ran from them.  :)

This girl just stuns me sometimes with how beautiful she is!

If that's not a genuine smile on her face, I don't know what is!

My toes in the sand, and my family in front of me in the water - it doesn't get much better than this!

Rocking the shades!

Here's a video of the kids playing in the water.

All boy - digging in the sand and hunting for treasure.

We only stayed at the beach for about an hour and a half so that we could get ready for dinner.  We forgot that we would be gaining an hour on the trip, so this means we were hungry super early by Destin standards!  We asked for recommendations on where to eat on facebook, and several people mentioned Lulu's.  After we figured out everyone's order, I stayed at the table to wait on the food while Matt took the kids out to play.  It was much better than trying to occupy the kids at the table!

Here's a video of LL hulahooping, and a video of Cooper hulahooping.  They definitely get their athleticism from their Daddy.  ;)

Cooper loves lemonade, and his favorite color is blue, so blue lemonade rocked his world!

Ha!  Winking skills!

I ordered pulled pork nachos, and I'm literally still dreaming about these a week later.  Hands down the best meal of the trip.  I could only eat a little less than half, but Matt didn't mind helping me eat more when he finished his meal.  We should have just split this from the get go because it was so amazing.

While we were eating, literally the cutest thing ever happened.  There was a man setting up for live music, and he was running through his sound check and everything.  When he started playing, Cooper turned around to watch him (he was very close to our table) and started "playing guitar" with him.  I managed to sneak in a video (here it is) without Cooper knowing, but it was just one of those sweet, not-a-huge-deal moments that just sticks with you and is so wonderful.  Here I am, with my family, in an open-air restaurant on the beach, with my sweet son playing guitar.  It's one of those moments that I hope I never forget.

We stopped to take some pictures outside as we left.

I love it when nice people stop and offer to take pictures of your family for you - and I always try to be that person for other people.

We put the kids down at normal time (which was actually an hour later because of the time change), and they were out super quick.

We went to bed praying for good weather and a beach filled day the next day!