Tag Archives: the beach

Vacation in Florida part II: Bring it on

3 Jul

For several nights we had 8 adults, 5 children under the age of three, and one dog in a pretty spectacular beach house. And it was wonderful.

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Beach parade!

The C’s arrived with their adorable six month old before Dave even got there. We took Little C out to the beach for the first time, and since he had just been on his first plane ride too, he was a fairly excited little boy (read: didn’t sleep well that night because he was taking it all in!).

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They’re going to be best buds.

I was so excited for Dave to get there that I woke up when he got in at 3am just to go greet him at the door.

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Beach family portrait!

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We took Duggy to the beach the first day before we knew he wasn’t allowed. He loved it so much and ran around like the happiest puppy in the world. It was probably a good idea he couldn’t go again cause he ate a bunch of sand and seemed to not feel well for a few days after.

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We had the Marines come visit us too! Kyle could only come Saturday night, but we were thankful to see him! He had been at a tough security training course all week, and Dave had to lure him our way with promises of a steak dinner.

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We rented bikes and kid trailers/seats, which was awesome because neither Dave nor I had ridden in at least a decade. It was euphoric and fun, and I can’t wait to continue riding at home. Good thing the Atlanta Beltline will be in our neighborhood in a couple years. Dave drove the bike with the trailer, and Walt would say “Faster Daddy!” every time he stopped pedaling!

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There was an ill-fated evening where we tried to go out to eat. The restaurants on the island hadn’t had power for three hours, so all the good ones were still closed. The one we finally picked because we were starving was overpriced and not that good — especially the margaritas. Little C expressed his displeasure by dumping his mom’s marg all over her and her white shorts!

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We found a good view — and got to walk on a bridge, much to Walter’s delight — along the way!

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More friends arrived later that week! Katye flew solo with her 4mo, and I picked them up at the airport in Sarasota. I love that the exit sign out of the airport has an arrow pointing towards “Beaches”! Her husband and another Marine and his family joined us too. It was an eclectic group of friends, the conversation around the dinner table never got boring, but we all meshed really well I thought. What a joy.

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One of my favorite parts of the trip were our sunset walks along the beach.

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Stormy skies. I love summer storms.

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The ocean might lull us to sleep, but it did not disappoint!

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We finally made it to dinner at The Beach House the last night we were there. Dave ordered a bucket to celebrate! The drinks there were insanely good, as was the food… and the company!!!

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Our beautiful friends who helped make it a one-of-a-kind vacation.

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Florida vacation to the rescue: part 1

18 Jun

Due to the overwhelming generosity of my in-laws, who own a house in Florida, I was able to take a two week vacation at the beach recently. I convinced my mom to drive down with me and Walt to enjoy a few extra days there since my husband has limited vacation days off of work. I have to admit, I was a little worried. My relationship with my mother can be a test at times, sometimes making a dinner feel like a long event. But we had such a good time that it felt like a miracle. I think it was the best time we’ve ever had together, and we got to experience some very cool things on top of that.

The drive down was pretty fun, although it was an extra hour longer than I would have liked because we had a disappointing stop at the Lane peach orchards. I am usually the biggest fan, as their peaches are always the sweetest and never mealy, but the bushel we got there was disappointing (they molded before they ever really ripened) and the lunch we ordered was downright awful, including them putting chicken on my vegetarian mother’s salad. It is also inevitable that whenever I drive down to Florida I hit a bad rainstorm. The only segment of the drive where I personally drove, we went through this terrible storm where I couldn’t see anything, was terrified, and my mom kept telling me to drive faster. Her car is newer than mine and much more sensitive to the touch, so I was just happy to be on the other side of the storm alive.

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Road trip!

We got to the house late, and Walter hadn’t really napped, so he was running around like a crazy boy at 9:30pm and ended up falling down the last couple of stairs while we were unpacking the car. He was fine, but it scared him enough to be careful the rest of the trip!

The next morning it started pouring. It poured the entire time the AC guys replaced a giant coil in the unit, which would have been expensive but my FIL is a master at negotiation and got them to extend the warranty thus saving himself thousands of dollars. Cool. And we put together the all-terrain wagon.

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Made lugging stuff to the beach so easy!

It stopped raining long enough for a beautiful evening walk to the beach, where there were so many live creatures washed ashore it was neat. We rescued conchs, found a starfish, saw the little sand slugs burrowing back into the sand…

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It looked like writing.

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Learned to wash his hands in the surf!

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I am happy at the beach!

Day two we took advantage of a friend’s membership at the Ritz Carlton nearby. Last year we had so much fun in their salt water pool and on the beach chairs with the great service, but this year Walter hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep (we were sharing a room and tried to share a bed and he had never not slept in a crib/pack-n-play before) and he was, to be honest, a pill. He cried in the pool. He said “No” a lot. But we had a good time anyway.

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We tried to take a nap.

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Walt eventually enjoyed playing in the surf with Nini, and I got to relax and read!

Walt sat in Nini’s lap the whole time we watched Up. He had never sat through an entire movie before. When the old man threw all his furniture out of the house near the end, Walt got so upset (“Oh no, what happened!?” with big tears) that we had to pause the movie and explain to him what was going on!

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He won’t leave that lip alone!

The third day we went to the beach near the house and sat in camping chairs in the surf, which was amazing. We built sand castles. We ate at home a lot that week, but also enjoyed an evening at Dry Dock Grill — yum. Best key lime pie and fish tacos ever. We saw the most incredible sunset, which I tried to find again the rest of the two weeks we were there but failed, even though they’re all pretty awesome.

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Tashi loved it out there too.

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I love walking the beach in the evening, especially with my boy.

My mom also introduced me to Jane the Virgin, a hysterical show I am currently finishing with Dave. The last day we tried swimming at the house but Walt cried. I think he was missing his dad, with whom he usually swims. Walt even asked to go home but stopped after I told him daddy would be there tomorrow. After such a blissful time with my mom, I was sad to see her leave, but she drove down to Miami to spend a few days with my brother and his family too. All in all, a great start to a great vacation. I was ready to see my husband though! I’m not sure we had spent that much time apart since 2008!

Our California Trip part III, or How Walt cried when he saw the Pacific Ocean

5 Jun

Funny thing about our child. Long plane ride? Fine. Staying up til all hours of the day and night? OK. Seeing a beautiful ocean? Tears of despair.

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Our hotel was right next to the Santa Monica Pier.

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Estimating whether we could make it to the beach before lunch.

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No baby, I’m not trying to torture you. Most people love the beach.

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Showing Walter what “ocean” and “horizon” and “waves” are. Before we dipped his toes in, of course.

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Meeting up with old friends.

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Mama’s happy to be near the ocean!

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No, not some peaceful, enlightening experience. True and utter horror.

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David got the flu too. The tissues made an entrance into our family photos!

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You can’t even tell that a bird just pooped on me.

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And then we helped Uncle Frank and Aunt Margaret pack for their cross country move. Residency in NJ!

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Breakfast on the Promenade before the plane ride home. Much bigger plane this time. We were so much more comfortable, and all of us took a long nap together (sweet memories). Delicious ending to a wonderful trip. When are we going back? Walt told me he’s desperate to see San Francisco and experience wine country!

Mama meets the idea of traveling with a baby

5 Feb

I had hoped that we would be one of those cool couples with kids that traveled the world with our baby and didn’t let having an infant “stop us” from living our lives the way we wanted.

I guess what you want changes after you have a child.

Oh, I still want to travel. And I suppose I will one day. But right now going to bed before midnight is what I want. Getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Finding ways to entertain both a baby and myself 12 hours every day of every week. These are my goals!

I have a few places I’d like to visit this year. I really wanted to go to California for Dave’s brother’s graduation. See a few friends out there. Visit San Francisco (I’ve never been). Tour wine country. I’ve heard it’s spectacular, and I’m a huge fan of red wine. But the thought of a three hour time difference with a baby who naps 2-3 times a day… well, we’d pay a lot of money to sit in a hotel room on the other side of the country. And could we afford a really nice hotel room to make it worth it?

We have several friends who live out of state we like to see every year. Many of our best friends are out-of-towners. It exhausts me just trying to figure out how to see a couple of them. Do we fly on a plane? That will be a quicker commute but we’re limited in the baby stuff we can bring. Do we drive? We can bring all the baby stuff we need, it’s cheaper, but then we have to subject Walt to 5-8 hours in a car. I don’t even like doing that, and I’m not sure he’s old enough yet to logically understand what we’re doing to him and that there will be a beach at the end of the road! I think maybe it’ll be more fun to travel with him when he’s closer to two, but I don’t want to miss out on everything for two whole years. Even though I believe if I had to stay in my house for two years without even leaving once I still would be a happier, more awesome person for having Walt in my life.

I am someone’s mommy!

I called my girlfriends for a girls night last weekend. Three friends and I went to Dip ‘n Dab, a BYOB paint class that’s oh so much fun. You sit around for three hours drinking wine and beer and talking while a nice teacher tells everyone step by step how to paint the painting you’re doing that night. It was packed Friday night and the coolest thing was that even though there were 40 people painting the same exact painting, every one of them looked different. I can guess it’s similar to how God feels when he says “Let there be X and Y chromosomes” and then 6 billion different interpretations come out of two tiny cells joined together…

Blue Shutters
My Masterpiece.