This will be a long series of posts about our first big family vacation! We headed to a house on the beach with all of Alex's family in Destin, Florida. The drive is about 12 hours, so we broke it up on the way down by staying at a hotel half way. So we left around nap time on Friday, hoping that would give us a few quiet hours to start! Holden passed out pretty quick, but Henry was awake and excited to get going! (All of the car pictures are from my phone, so not great quality.) Can't think of too much to say about the first leg of the journey. We got DVD players for the car and let them watch some Dinosaur Train and Thomas DVDs. I had a bag of new toys from the dollar aisle so I could pass them something new when they got cranky. (That didn't really work, by the way. A few were hits, but I had some water balls and they just threw those to the back where I couldn't reach!) And obviously we had lots of snacks to pass back, as well. They did mostly fine. They didn't nap very well, but they seemed pretty happy to look out the window for some stretches of time. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner, which was not very fun. They wanted to be moving around and were not thrilled to be strapped in another booster seat. After dinner, we did do some walking around before we got back in the car.
When we got to the hotel, that was another new experience...and it was not a great one. I think one of the boys was asleep when we got to the hotel, and I took the other one out to walk around and go see the pool. By the time we got our stuff unloaded in the room, they were both awake. We probably should have tried to put them right to bed; I think we missed our window of time there. They loved exploring the room, including trying to open and close the refrigerator door about a hundred times and checking out the phone. We set up both of the pack and plays and made it as dark as we could, but I think they were just wound up or distracted by the fact that we were three feet away. So that was not a promising start, considering Alex and I were both tired. We did pick them up and rock them and hold them, but it took a couple hours before they were both asleep. We did all get to sleep eventually, but really, who sleeps that great in a hotel. Alex was up early and had showered and checked out the breakfast options. We got out of there pretty fast and back on the road, since there wasn't any good reason to hang around! (I was pretty proud of ourselves for getting going with the boys! The credit definitely all goes to Alex. We stayed at the same exit as his mom and sisters, just a different hotel, and they were impressed with us getting on the road ahead of them!)
|Calling "Papa" from the hotel phone|
The road the second day was a little rougher, since they were not excited to be back in their seats. Holden kept saying, "Out, out," which breaks your heart a little as a mom! We stopped at a rest area and just let them run laps for a while and eat a snack. Alex and I stopped for lunch later and just ate in the car. We were ready to be at the beach! We were actually the first to arrive at the house. All 22 of us were staying in one house, right on the beach. It had six master bedrooms and bunk beds and trundle beds in the basement for all of the older kids. The family generously gave us the biggest room, since we had both of the pack and plays in our room. Everyone had lots to bring in from the cars while the boys explored some of our new space.
But then it was finally time to check out the BEACH! I was definitely interested to see what they would think. I know some kids get annoyed from the sand or are afraid of the loud sounds/wind/waves. But they seemed to take to it right away! Picture overload time! We had such a beautiful and quiet beach. The boys, especially Henry, giggled when we got their toes in the waves! Their cousins showed them how to build with the sand. In our first family picture on the beach, the boys are both too fascinated by the ocean to turn around and smile! :)
|Wait, is that...the ocean??!!|
|First time with their toes in the ocean!|
|View of our house from the back.|