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!


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