We tried really hard to make it a priority this year that we take a week long family vacation JUST US. We've traveled and vacationed before since Jonathan and I have gotten married, but we have not done an extended trip like this where it was just our little family of five.
We originally planned to leave on a Friday morning and drive all day down to Fort Walton Beach, FL. However, Jonathan was so excited about our trip that he insisted we go ahead and leave Thursday evening after work. I, of course, couldn't wait either, so we left as soon as the kids finished up their last swim lesson. (CRAZY!) We arrived on Friday afternoon and got to get settled before finding some dinner. The next day, we started our week long routine of waking up, eating breakfast, hitting the beach and the pool, lunch, more playtime, naps, dinner, and evenings by the water.
It was DIVINE. Here are some pictures of our wonderful and treasured family time:
|See that shirt? It's because the day before Jonathan wore SPF 15 all day and had a back the color of a lobster!|
|Time for a nap?|
|Our condo for a week.|
The first day or so, I think Nora and Liam preferred the pool to the beach and ocean. The waves were pretty rough and Liam got tackled by some waves early on, so it took him a while to re-warm up to it. But, the more we played with him in and near the water, the better he got. He loved it and so did Nora. In fact, even Stella loved the water and seemed fearless. I think she would have just continued crawling into the abyss had I not continually picked her up to keep her from floating away. She loved the wet sand, however was not a fan of the dry sand (I guess because the dry sand seemed to stick to her hands and skin more).
We enjoyed some fabulous food while there: fried fresh seafood, steamed crab legs, pancake breakfasts, and special treat cereals. We also introduced Nora and Liam to a few things while we were there: (virgin) pina coladas and America's Funniest Home Videos. The condo we were staying in had Netflix, so one day we turned on AFHV while I was fixing dinner and they were hooked. Anytime we would be in the condo they'd immediately ask us to turn it on.
While in Florida, Jonathan and I also got to spend some time with some old friends! We happened to be in FL at the same time as some of our long-time friends from NOLA, Aaron and Kelly Pourciau. They were staying in Destin, so we met in the middle for lunch on the water. It was so wonderful to see them after a few years, and we got to meet their little miracle baby boy, Silas. He and Stella are the same age, practically. In fact, they were due on the same day, but Stella was born two weeks early and Silas was born two weeks late.
We also got to spend some wonderful time with our oldest and dearest friends, Tristan and Shannon Sevdy and their four boys: Zach, Micah, Nathan, and Andrew. We haven't seen the Sevdys in four years because Tristan is in the Air Force and they spent two years in Turkey. However, they are back in the states now and live not far from where we were staying. We spent one evening together when they drove over to see us, and after that, we decided just one evening wasn't enough. We actually cut our condo stay a night short and drove to Tristan and Shannon's house to spend the evening with them and their family. That way, we were able to spend even more quality time with them! Ugh, it was awesome and we just love them so much. Friendship is such a gift from the Lord!
Jonathan and I just loved our family time in Florida, and I think the kids did too. They LOVED the beach, so hopefully this trip will be the first of many more in the future.