We went to the beach.

Every October, the men of our family get together for a golf/fishing/poker weekend.  And every year, they leave us women behind with all the kids to chase after ourselves.  Well this year, mom and I decided we'd go on a little long-weekend getaway ourselves. 

Early Wednesday morning, we packed up the car, loaded up a sleepy Katie Wynn, and hit the road for our beach house.  I was nervous about how KW would do in the car at this age, but she was a rock star!  She took long naps and entertained herself with toys the rest of the time.   

We had two full days there and two half days - the afternoon of the day we arrived and the morning of the day we left.  Our agenda was very simple: sleep in, morning playtime on the beach, back home to nap and get cleaned up, lunch, afternoon shopping and exploring, another nap, and out to eat for dinner.  It was nice and relaxing and a great mini vacation! 

We weren't at the house even thirty minutes before Katie Wynn discovered the stairs.  She paid no attention to them whatsoever this summer while we were there, but this time she was more than halfway up in no time! 


Like any other beach trip, our first order of business was to hit the grocery store to stock up on stuff to eat during our stay.  I love going to the grocery store there because it is so much nicer than what we have at home!!  As soon as we walked in, a man working there heard our whining girl (can't remember why she was unhappy) and immediately blew her up a balloon.  It was pure joy.  She loved that balloon!  Why can't we have a Publix??? 


Actually, I should probably preface these pictures by saying that Katie Wynn's first order of business upon arrival at the beach house was getting her first busted lip.  She immediately opened all the doors and drawers in the kitchen cabinets and got to running too fast, fell down, and caught the corner of a drawer on the way down.  Ouch!  That bloody lip almost put this mama in tears too.  Thankfully, it didn't seem to bother her at all (after the first three minutes) but she is rocking the fat lip in all of these pictures. 

After coffee and bagels outside on our first morning there, we walked down to the beach to see if Katie Wynn was going to like it any better this trip.  It was a beautiful morning out there!  The weather was great, there was not a crowd, and we had the most perfect little sandbar area for her to walk around on.  We let her get used to it with her shoes on first before stripping her down to get her toes wet.  I won't say there weren't any tears at all, but she at least tolerated it much better than she has in the past. 


Can you tell what this is a picture of? 


Give up?  It's thousands and thousands of little minnows swimming together!  They were all in the little stream of water that was creating the sandbar we played on.  This picture probably shows them a little better.


It was insane!  All three of us stood and stared at them for so long.  They were so crazy to watch!  I tried to stick my foot down in the middle of them to see what it'd feel like, but the second I touched the edge of the water, they all darted to the sides.  It was very much like a flock of birds in the sky that are weaving and twisting and turning all as a group.  Who is the leader?  Who says which way for everyone to turn?  Needless to say, I never got to figure out what it felt like because they kept swimming away from me. 

After a nap, we hit up the town of Seaside for lunch at The Meltdown.  It's an Air Stream trailer that serves the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever!  I ordered Katie Wynn one of her own, and she ate it all up!


This cute little children's store had a sign out front for a photo contest.  You just had to take your picture with the giant yellow duck, tag the store in the pic either on Facebook or Instagram, and you'd be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate.  We did as we were told but we didn't win anything.  :( 


We stopped into another really, really cute children's store that had a tiny table full of blocks for Katie Wynn to play with.  She sat and played by herself the whole time that we shopped!  I loved this because blocks and a tiny table and chairs had already been purchased as Christmas gifts.  Nice to know they'll probably be a hit.  :)  Also, please note the crazy hair.  This was after the orange hair bow was lost and we retraced ALL of our steps trying to find it.  No luck.  Good thing this store had one we were able to buy to replace it!


Below, on the left, is KW sporting her newly purchased headband and attempting to carry our drinks.  On the right is a failed attempt at a nap.  I kept listening to her on the monitor and thought it sounded really fuzzy.  After a good ten minutes, it finally hit me that it wasn't static I was hearing, but instead plastic crinkling.  I went in to find her emptying the pack of wipes that she'd pulled off the bed.  I guess she thought if she stood on the pack I might not notice it. 


After nap popsicle snack to try to soothe that swollen lip!


That evening, we got cleaned up for dinner at Wild Olives, one of my favorites!   This trip was the first time I ordered meals for KW off the kids' menu.  I feel like that makes her so big!  


One thing this girl loooooves is sweet tea!  She only gets it when she's out to eat with her Mimi, and she throws her head back to get ready for it as soon as she sees it on the table. 


We hit the beach again early the next morning, but this time we suited up!  Even with the good progress we'd made the day before, Katie Wynn still had to slowly warm up to the idea of the sand and the water.  Before long, she was being very brave and was in knee deep with her Mimi!  Unfortunately, though, she got too brave and took off by herself and face-planted into the salty water.  Talk about some major steps backwards on all the progress we'd made! 


After holding her and patting her and sweet talking and doing everything we could to [unsuccessfully] coax her back into the water, a flock of birds arrived that made her completely forget about that scary water. 


Who knew all it'd take were some silly birds to get her running back into the water without even realizing it? 


If you're wondering why her hand is up, it's because she was calling after the birds.  Give the girl one petting zoo party and now she thinks every animal should let her touch it... 

Girls Gone Wild at the rinse-off shower! 


We hit up the outlet mall that afternoon but I don't have any pictures to show for it.  The only one I have from the evening of day three is this one of some more popsicle action on the kitchen floor. 


Guess who woke up happy and ready to hit the beach the next morning?? 


Once again, she had to warm up to the water.  This time, she thought that'd be easiest to do while hiding in her Mimi's legs. 


Like the other two days, she eventually got brave enough to walk around.  This day was tougher because our tiny sandbar was almost under water.  And the birds were all gone! 


Obligatory feet-in-sand and shadow pictures.  Also, the only proof that all three of us were there together. 


We couldn't stay long that day since we had to start our long drive back home.  After a short visit, we headed back up the steps. 


It was another full moon at the beach that morning.  What beach-goer doesn't want to be greeted at the top of the steps by a nekkid baby? 


And that's all the pictures I have of this trip.  :)

While we were definitely sad to have to head back to the real world, one more totally awesome thing happened on the way home.  Do any of y'all remember Steak Escape?  As in, the restaurant in the mall that served steak sandwiches?  But who cared about the steak sandwiches.  I was all about the Number Seven: Ragin' Cajun Chicken Sandwich (no onions).  Ohmygosh, so good!!  It was my all-time favorite mall food ever and I sometimes planned my shopping trips around lunch just so I could eat there.  They all closed at our local malls several years ago and I was devastated.  BUT, on our way home, not only did we find a Steak Escape, but it was a for real, all by itself, stand-alone restaurant!  (Um, like a fast food one, not a fancy one.)  What the what?!?!  Who knew???  Of course we stopped there and of course I was in Heaven with my Ragin' Cajun sandwich.  You would've been excited too, right?   

Now, how the heck do we get one of these in our town?