Our week in Florida was much needed and such a good time. Not only was it our first week long family vacation, it was the first time any of our kids had been down to visit Dan's grandparents. We spent the week shooting, riding around grandpa's property, fishing, going to the beach, going out to eat, and just relaxing.
We left at around 2:30AM on Saturday morning and drove straight through to Pensacola. The last few hours were rough...Dan and I wanted to pull our hair out and the kids were (of course) restless, but we made it.
Sunday morning Dan loaded the kids up in the RTV and drove in front of me around his grandparent's property while I got a run in. I was a little afraid of snakes, but luckily I didn't see any and so that gave me the confidence to go out a couple more times that week by myself. Grandpa and Grandma took us out for Sunday dinner and then we had a relaxing evening at home.
Monday we decided to take a trip to the beach. It was the kids first time at the ocean and they had a blast. They were able to swim, collect a lot of shells, and soak up the Florida sun.
Tuesday we headed to The National Museum of Naval Aviation with Dan's grandparents. It was an enjoyable time...but the kids lost interest quicker than Dan and I did. After we spent a few hours there, they took us to McDonalds for lunch and even treated all of us to ice cream cones. It seemed like we no sooner were finished there that they were taking us out to a place called Firehouse for dinner. The kids were in Heaven.
Wednesday, we decided that since the weather was gorgeous again that we would head back to the beach for one last time. It didn't seem like any of us got too much Sun on Monday, but when it was time to pack up and head home this time, we were all burnt. The waves were huge and the kids enjoyed body surfing...my Middle Man especially. It was a hard good bye. I think the kids would have stayed at the beach a lot longer if we would have given them the option. All of them loved it. We came back home and Dan, the kids, and Grandpa spent the rest of the day fishing. Dan was in his element and Kaitlyn is quite a natural little fisher girl.
Thursday was a sad day. I found myself walking around with a little bit of dread. It was our last day and the week just flew by way too fast. It was so nice being together, eating together, sleeping together, doing everything together...that I hated to see it end. Dan's grandparents took us to breakfast at Crackle Barrel...it was the kids' first time. They were amazed that there was a store in a restaurant...and for a few days after that, Collin was begging to go back to "The Chipped Barrel". We had a relaxing rest of the day exploring the property and looking for snakes to shoot. That evening, Grandma put in a couple of Elvis movies and the kids loved them.
The next morning, we headed for home around five. It was a sad goodbye. I really hate that my kids' lives are filled with so many of them...more than I think there should be for their little hearts. It crushes this Mama's heart when I hear a little voice from the back seat say how much they miss Great Grandpa, Great Grandma, Gammy, Poppy, or whoever we are leaving after an extended visit. What's even worse is when I hear a tiny whimper or sob escape...my heart just aches for them.
We ended up getting home a little after 11 that night. We were all sore, tired, and ready to fall in to our own beds. While it was so nice to be home, I have to say, I missed our togetherness already...knowing that in the morning, there would be places we would have to be...a schedule to keep. I loved every minute...every second, really...of our little get-away. This past week, when the stresses of life crept back, the sleepless nights started again, the busyness took over, it was nice to sit down and flip through the pictures...close my eyes and be back there...and that will have to do for at least another year.
Thankful for the time away.