Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Vacation at the Beach 2013

It has been awhile since my last post because we were busy enjoying our time at the beach.  We took our fourth trip to one of my favorite places on earth-Seaside, Florida.  We opted to drive this year to save money on flights and so that we could enjoy two weeks at the beach rather than one.  Although I was skeptical when we arrived in Florida as to whether or not it was worth the drive, I can honestly say now that staying for two weeks was well worth the drive.  We drove essentially 1400 miles over a span of 2-3 days each way.  It took us approximately 24 hours ONE WAY.  Long, long, long time in the car.  The boys traveled well and we were well stocked with movies, I-pads, coloring books, and other activities to keep them occupied.  Overall, the drive went relatively well with the exception that three small children and a pregnant wife have to use the bathroom a lot and not always at the same time (just ask John).  On the way down to Florida, we had a small mishap when we left Liam's dearest soft puppy at the hotel where we spent the night.  This is the lovey that Liam received as a gift when he was born and has been very attached to for the last five years.  After several calls to the hotel in Wisconsin, we located puppy and had him mailed to Florida. 

Week 1 was spent with John's parents and his sister (Ann) and her family.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden had so much fun with their cousins.  We spent many days at the beach, pool, eating popsicles and ice cream, watching movies, and even roller skating (when it rained all day on our first day of vacation).  Ella, Caitlin, and Jacob entertained the boys the entire time so it was a very nice break for John and I.  The week was filled with activity and we consumed food at a faster rate than I ever expected, but I have a feeling the boys may exceed my expectations again in a few years.

Week 2 was spent with my parents.  This week was much slower paced and it was a nice week to relax although the boys missed playing with their cousins.  The ocean was beautiful the second week and not nearly as rough so the boys were able to play in it more.  They hunted for shells, crabs, and fish.  Liam caught a hermit crab at the beginning of the week and we cared for him all week long before letting him go on our final day.  We had lots of snow cones and ice cream at the amphitheater and watched "James and the Giant Peach" for the second week in a row.

One important detail that I almost forgot to include was our two week, uncontested title, of BIG SPLASH CHAMPION.  They had a few games for the kids to do on various days of our vacation and the boys enjoyed doing the big splash contest at the pool.  During Week 1, Luke was a clear winner among the much smaller kids that were 6 and under.  Week 2 was Liam's turn to be the winner.  We practiced each day at the pool for the competition and the boys were so excited to get the prize (skittles and licorice) that came with the title.  Luke was a little skeptical of Liam's win on the second week, but Liam could not have been more pleased.

While I have 300+ pictures from the two weeks at the beach, I am going to try to highlight a few of the high points.  It was an amazing week with both families that I am sure we will talk about for a long time.  Thank you Barnes Family for joining us this year and thanks to my family for joining us again this year at the beach.

It poured rain on our first day at the beach so we drove to Panama City to go roller skating.  The boys have done lots of ice skating, but this was our first time to roller skate.

Liam and Ella were best buddies all week!  They have such similar personalities and I think they even look alike!

John's family at the amphitheater to watch "James and the Giant Peach"

The boys were very entertained both weeks

Luke on his surf board.  He loved the waves and really had no fear of anything.

Aiden's favorite activity at the beach was getting buried in the sand and flying kites
Aiden is showing Grandma and Grandpa the shells he found
Our cousins (Jacob, Caitlin, and Ella) with the boys.  Thanks for such a fun week!

All five of us (soon to be six)


Collecting shells, fish, crabs, etc...with Ella

Building sandcastles and burying people in the sand

Enjoying "dirt and worms" from grandma Carrithers

Getting ready to head to the beach

Liam riding the waves.  Liam was a little timid the first week, but was in the water a lot by week 2.  He was also amazing at catching the little fish and lots of shells with his net.

Mimi Morse and John at the beach

Liam's hermit crab he called "Hermie"

Grandpa Morse with Luke and AJ

Grandpa Morse on the beach

Playing in the pool with Daddy

Popsicles on the porch

Enjoying snow cones courtesy of Grandma Mimi

Playing on the playground
BIG SPLASH CHAMPIONS:  Luke (week 1) and Liam (week 2)

Hannah's family (week 2)