This year, we decided to skip the last week of pre-school (such rebels!) and beat the crowd to the beach. With a total of 11 nights away, this was the longest vacation we'd taken as a family and we enjoyed every minute of it. (Well, most minutes of it. Twenty-four hour togetherness with a 2- and 4-year old for 12 days straight does come with a few less than enjoyable moments.)
We were quite the clown car on the road!
Our first order of business when we got into town was getting Thomas a haircut. He needed one pretty badly and everyone knows you can't get a haircut right after vacation or you'll be showing off a sweet tanline on your neck. So I stopped at a Great Clips because what could go wrong when Great is in the name?
Clippers. This natural redhead went straight for the clippers and buzzed up the back of his head like we were there to enroll in boot camp. And then what could I do but let her finish? So if his hair looks jacked up in every picture from this vacation, here's why.
After the awesome haircut, we went to Target where Matt taught the kids this cool trick where they laid down in the basket and pretended to nap so I didn't have any room in the cart to put anything. Yeah, right. Good try, Daddy. This is the only time I'll wake the kids from their "nap."
Like last year, we invited friends to join us for the week. Both of my kids count Levi as one of their best friends, so they were both thrilled to have him there to play with. Levi's little sister, Reed, was toddling around and able to get into more things than she was the year before. She enjoyed following behind the big kids and they were sweet to try to include her.
FUN IN THE SAND
We have learned that having buddies for your kids to play with on the beach makes it a little more enjoyable (read: slightly more relaxing) for us parents! This was probably the first year with kids where we were both actually able to sit still and maybe read a page or two of a book while the kids played in the sand beside us. And it was fun to see the kids enjoy getting in the water a little more this year - they're getting more and more brave with every trip to the beach!
Since our house is not right on the beach, we ride the neighborhood tram down to the beach walkover. The kids love it - the journey is just as much fun as the destination.
Have you seen those big inflatable couches that are hot right now? I bought a cheap knockoff version to take with us. I wouldn't say it was easy breezy to fill up (punny, since you're supposed to use the windy breeze to scoop up air) but we got it done and both kids had to try it out.
I'll admit, even as a cheap knockoff, it was still pretty dang comfortable to lay on.
That is, until...a giant wave came and swept me off the shore and into the water. Laura managed to catch me sliding into the water on camera; I'm just glad she didn't get the shot of me completely tumping over into it!
MAKING A SPLASH
Even with the beach being a big hit this year, we still squeezed in some time at the big community pool and the splash pad.
You can't leave for the pool until you're properly dressed and accessorized.
When going swimming, you've gotta make sure you stop for plenty of snacks.
And after playing in the splash pad, you have to spend some time out in the grassy yard perfecting your rolling-down-hills technique. It helps to get Mrs. Laura to show you how it's done. :)
We officially brought the redneck to 30A when the kids needed to potty and I let them strip down and go by the fence. But really, can you blame me? Who likes to clean up wet foot prints through the house?
OUT AND ABOUT
We spent a fair amount of time exploring Seacrest, Seaside, and Rosemary. We even managed to eat out a couple times with our whole party of eight. And, because we were on vacation, we stopped for lots of ice cream! (Also, there were lots of matching outfits. But you already knew that, right?)
Matt and I took the bigger kids to paint pieces of pottery one day. It was so fun and their platters turned out so cute! The colors are much brighter and more vibrant after it's fired in the kiln and topped with glaze.
AROUND THE HOUSE
Quick story - we had this doodle board at the house that the kids took turns drawing on. Thomas had had it for a while when I felt a tug on my shorts and heard, "Look, Mommy. I drew a sun!" I gave him the standard mom response, "uh-huh," and kept doing whatever it was I was doing. But when I looked over and caught a glimpse of his drawing, I squealed loud enough to scare everyone in the house. Y'all, he had drawn a legit sun! All by himself! I know, that's like the easiest thing ever to draw but it was his first picture to draw where you could actually recognize the object. I was so dang proud of him. And just look at that big goofy grin on his face. I had a matching one on mine.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, they're sweetest when they're sleeping. Post-beach, post-shower, pre-clothes naps are the best.
We were all super sad on the dreaded morning our friends had to leave.
We stayed for a just a couple more days after they left, but it just wasn't as much fun. We're already looking forward to going back...hopefully in the fall!