Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beach Vacation 2014

We went to the beach towards the end of June. We stayed in Orange Beach in a small condo that some of our relatives own (which they were so generous to let us use). We left for our destination after Ryan got off of work on a Wednesday, and drove as far as we could. This was my choice, since we were driving with a two year old... and I may have been at a point in my life (with the packing and all) that I just didn't want to pick up after myself. (You know... leave the beds a mess, not have to laundry my towels, eat a breakfast that someone else fixed and not wash the dishes.) Ryan may have rolled his eyes at me.

So off we went!  
Burke is very comfortable with driving long distances frequently (he's been doing it since birth), but we alway try to work with his consistent sleep schedule. I figure it much better to drive at night, while he is snoozing away, than during the middle of the day when he want nothing more than to run laps around me. We took the long route, and dropped one of our cars at the house in Sylacauga, because I was judging a pageant the coming Monday and would be staying in Sylacauga alone for two nights, Ryan had to go back to Atlanta and work, and Burke would be staying at the beach for two more days with Ree and Papa. (Yes... all very confusing, but somehow it all worked out beautifully.) 

I took over the drive in Montgomery because Ryan was tired from a long day at work, and I drove to Pensacola, FL. I had planned to stop before then... because I too was exhausted, but let me tell you... there is NOTHING between Montgomery and Pensacola, FL. NOTHING. 
I squealed into the first hotel I saw, only to find out they were full!
I guess other people shared the same desire for shut eye as I did. The next had a one bedroom two queen beds available. We took it.

The next morning, we of course were the first ones at the continental breakfast (since my child has a 6:00am internal alarm clock.) It was quite good... we may have had thirds. We only had a 45 min. drive to our condo so we took our time that morning getting ready, lying around, and hiding under the sheets of the beds that we wouldn't have to make up. 

We got to the condo around 11. Unpacked. Made a quick run to Publix for groceries, and my parents arrived shortly after 12. We ate lunch and went straight to the beach!

We couldn't get Burke to follow us to the water because he was so infatuated with the sand! Last summer, he was the very opposite. He didn't like it to touch his feet and had to wear water shoes the whole time! My how he changed! That boy could dig all day if you let him.

At the end of the video, he gets a bit of sand in his eyes... some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

He likes the ocean, but realizes that it has control over him. :)

We went to a yummy meal that night, and called it a day!
The next morning, Ryan and dad headed out on a half day deep sea fishing excursion. It was Ryan's first time, and he loved it! He want to go back out next summer for a longer adventure for sure.

We were there waiting for them when they returned with their catch.

The "I'm hot, let's get back to the ocean, folks" face.

After washing up, we went out for supper. This is one of my favorite parts about vacationing at the beach- the food!

Digging into some hushpuppies. 

After dinner we went to The Track for some more fun.
First up... water gun bumper cars. We volunteered Ryan. :)

As soon as the bell was sounded to start, Ryan bee lined it to a far off corner... but it didn't take long for some one to push him out. As you can see from his face below, he started getting a little competitive... and a lot wet. :) It was a hoot to watch.

I love this place because it has a lot for the little ones to do. It's a mini fair! He rode all the rides, and I will admit I was a bit jealous that he wanted to ride the ferris wheel with a cute little girl.

His favorite was by far the airplanes.

While on the carousel, he spotted it....

The train, of course.

Pretty good form!

And the child loves to spin... and try to walk afterwards. I really must show you and Ryan spinning him on his swing in his playroom... it's hilarious.
He is quite the daredevil, and I have a feeling that I will be watching him do that crazy sky fall ride one day. 

The next day, we all went out on the beach. 

He loved for his feet to be buried.

He also loved to bury PawPaw.

 And the favor was returned.

I could eat him up!

That night we went to LuLu's for dinner. It was my first time here... and I loved it. We will be back!
We got there around 5, and had about an hour to wait. Which flew by because there is so much to do while waiting!
Playing in sand and transporting water back and forth was Burke's favorite way to pass time. 

I love just love these after dinner giggles! Sorry for the lighting, but my dad's bright flash from his phone helps out! lol

The next morning was our goodbye to the Gulf.

So naturally we played in the sand, looked for shells, 
and took lots of pictures.

(More on this news later!)

I sure do love this age. Like all of them, they have their challenging moments, but the pure joy that you see on their faces when they experience something for the first time is absolutely priceless. I would take 10 tantrums just to witness one of those moments. 

We checked out around noon, and met Ree, PaPa, and Cade at their place. They came down for Billy's last visit to the superintendent conference, and to spend two days at the beach with the boys! They had way to much fun and were spoiled rotten. 
Pics to prove it.

Yes, they went to The Track too! Burke was in heaven, I'm sure.

 A little more beach...

and pool time. Shireen said he wanted to jump in and swim all by himself! 

What a great time we all had! So thankful for both of our amazing families!

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