We took our biennial trip to Sarasota, Florida that my family has been going to for 35 years. We've been there so many times and still absolutely love it. I am so thankful for my grandparents who provide us with the opportunity to all go. We had 19 people this year, since we added 2 new ones-Landon and Rachel. It was a blast as usual and we made wonderful memories the entire week we were there.
We left when Brad got home from working a half day and traveled about 6 hours. Naptime took place in the car, but before we had even been gone 20 minutes Madison said "We at beach and ocean yet?" I thought wow, this is going to be a long trip! We had a pretty decent car ride and the kids were wonderful. Madison has been potty trained for almost 6 months now and I was still a little nervous of being in the car that long...well she never had to make a single trip to the potty! I was so proud of her, that girl can hold it like crazy! The only stop we made was for me, haha. We stopped at a hotel for the night, which was Landon's first time to sleep away from home. It took him a few minutes to get to sleep in a different place but he did fine and Madison did great in a real (double) bed. We headed out again the next morning and traveled about 3 more hours, went by Publix and did some grocery shopping, then checked into our condo early. We shared our nice, big condo with my parents and later Stephen and Rachel came. Madison slept in our bed between us for the week (it was a king size) and napped in it by herself, while Landon slept in the playpen. It was interesting all being together in 1 room but it worked just fine and we actually got some decent sleep.
Both kids had an absolute blast at the beach and pools. Madison got to touch a real fish my cousin caught in the ocean. I would have taken a picture but I was holding her in the ocean-so fun to touch one just out of the water! She loved it, and when we let it go she wanted to touch it again. She rode a raft in the ocean which she loved. She also got to see little crabs scooting along, as well as dolphins swimming a little ways out. She chased seagulls every chance she got. She was constantly running around in the surf for hours at a time, singing and yelling--so happy. She was attached to both Aunt Rachel and my 10 year old cousin Morgan who was very sweet and took care of her a lot of the time. We went out to eat at Captain Kurt's which is always yummy and she ate some fish while there. She had a blast jumping in the pool (got a little too brave!) and had fun playing in the sand and building sandcastles with cousins. We went shopping in St. Armand's which is always one of my favorite parts of the trip and Madison got some pretty new earrings. We had ice cream pretty much constantly, including a visit to Big Olaf's--the BEST ice cream ever.
Landon had a blast, and was the biggest little waterbug EVER in the pools. I have never seen a baby so into the water. He wanted to constantly swim, climb out of his float, and kept sticking his face in the water and trying to drink it. He kicked and splashed and laughed and was so adorable. He loved playing in the ocean surf as well, sitting there as the waves rushed over his little legs. Only one time were they strong enough to knock him over! He was cool with it and decided to stand up and walk around with us, with his feet in the water. He also sported a mohawk and sunglasses, because he's just that awesome. (He wouldn't keep a hat on, and doesn't have enough hair, so we had to do sunscreen on his head.)
Brad and I went on opening night around midnight to go to the new Harry Potter movie which was awesome. We were exhausted though when we got back home and in bed at 3:30am. We felt funny being in our mid-20's with 2 kids going to see a movie with a bunch of teenagers dressed like Harry Potter characters, but it was fun to have a little date night while the kids slept back at the condo!
Both kids wanted to play until their little feet and hands were way past wrinkly. The sunsets were GORGEOUS each night and so different each time. The sand was so soft and white (it is the whitest in the world, the #1 beach) and was like powdered sugar. We enjoyed listening to my cousins Evan and Belinda play guitar and sing on the beach. We took our usual grandchildren pictures (with 2 spouses and 2 great-grandkids added in).
Our view from our condo
In St. Armands
Eating ice cream, yum!
Mohawk and sunglasses..too cool
Grandkids, spouses, great-grandkids
I combined several of the videos I took into one to make it easier, and even though it's a little longer it's well worth it to watch!Check them out here if you want.