Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Family Beach Trip 2015.

Several months ago, Drew and I decided that we were ready to take our first real family vacation. When we were trying to chose what to do, the beach always came to the top. Both of our older boys had been asking about when they could see the ocean, and I had several friends who had recommended a beach trip as a great family trip. We decided we'd ask my mom to come along for the ride, both to share the memories and to help out with the child to adult ratio (a 1:1 ratio is a lot less daunting than 2:3, especially with drowning hazards present). My mom agreed and we booked and waited for the day.

6 months of waiting is a long time for a 6 and 4 year old. The boys did so well with anticipation, which made it even more fun. As a fun added surprise bonus, the vacation that was only supposed to be our family and my mom ended up being us, my mom and my two youngest siblings (my oldest younger sister and her family, along with my dad, weren't able to make the trip). It was so much fun spending time with everyone and watching the boys experience the beach for the first time.

My sister, her husband & my brother went down to the beach with the boys on the first night we got there, so I only have phone pics of their very first sightings. We watched from the balcony and it was like watching puppies experience the joys of a dog park for the first time; Connor almost immediately face planted himself into the sand and rolled around.
Best photo bomb ever award goes to random couple walking on the beach. #adollopofvacation2015
The people in the background photobombed our picture and we got the biggest kick out of it. So funny!

I brought Tyler down a bit later and his reaction was PRICELESS. He stood where the surf met the sand and said "getchoo!!!" (get you). Unfortunately the waves did get him on that first night, so he was a bit more timid around the surf the rest of the week (which was actually a blessing, since he tends to have no fear of anything)
This is exactly how I feel about the ocean too, Tyler. #adollopofvacation2015
Isn't this just the best ever?! I think adults forget to find the joy in the little things like sea water splashing into sand.

The week was mostly spent seaside, enjoying the sand and the waves. I keep telling people that the beach is the perfect vacation spot for little boys: they could dig holes, splash and shoot water, swim and run and jump and scream without anyone telling them to stop. Brayden, my child who is least likely to sit still for longer periods of time, sat still for over an hour making a drip castle!
"I just love the sea so much." -Connor Andrew. #adollopofvacation2015
Connor came over to my mom at one point on our first day out and said "I just love the sea!"
Brayden says his favorite thing about the beach was boogie boarding. He got quite good at it while we were there.
Drew and Jacob (and my sister, who threw her back out before this picture was taken) spent a good portion of one morning digging a ginormous hole. The boys had fun playing in it for the rest of the week.
Tyler liked to dump out his snacks and then watch the seagulls come and eat it.
Brayden and Connor buried Drew the last day we were there.
I'm not sure what's better: the boys drip castle or Connor's tinted goggles he wore all day on the beach. #adollopofvacation2015
Brayden's prized drip castle. He got pretty good at them by the end of the week!
"Heeyyyyy birdie! Heeeeeyyyy! comere (come here)!!!!" -Tyler Paul #adollopofvacation2015
Tyler was obsessed with the birds. If he saw them he'd say "heeeeyyy birdie! Cmhere birdie!!!"

Family pictures turned out to be a big mess. Tyler is just not cooperative right now, and doesn't want to sit still. So almost every picture someone is making a weird, frustrated face. We did manage to get one halfway decent pic of the family, and I got some cute individual ones of the boys. It made me grateful that I didn't spend money on a profession photographer while we were there. I would've been sick had I spent a ton of money only to end up getting pics of just the boys (I can do that myself).

One of the days we were there we spent the morning at the Track in Gulf Shores. I had found a coupon code several months ago that got us 50% off ride credits, so I stocked up and purchased enough for the boys to ride all of the kiddy rides. The great part of going during the morning during off season is that we had the entire park to ourselves. The kids didn't have to wait and it was a perfect temperature.
They were SO focused and proud to be driving their very own karts. Drew and I also took them on the big three story wooden track. At one point Connor looked over at me and said "this is AMAZING!"
Ty couldn't ride some of the rides in the kiddie land, which was really hard for him to watch as his brothers rode. He did get to ride the swing and the "choo choo". He LOVED the train, and rode it about 3 times.

We also took a little trip to a local ice cream shop called "Scoops." The ice cream was a bit overpriced for what we got, but it was still a fun memory to make with the boys.

Missing the wind, waves and sand. You were good to us, Orange Beach. #adollopofvacation2015
Wishing, hoping and praying that this becomes somewhat of a tradition for our family. It was such a fun time to refresh and enjoy memories with the boys (and with my family as an added bonus!)

I'll post our more formal beach pictures tomorrow, but for now, you can enjoy this outtake, which looks like the other 280 other family pictures we took. It's such an accurate representation of our lives right now though. Life with littles is never dull, that's for certain.
(for the record, this is completely candid. I have no idea what Drew and I were doing, which is fairly accurate for us these days ;) )

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