Monday, July 24, 2017

Somewhere On a Beach...2017 Vacation Recap!

Okay! The laundry is caught up, fridge is restocked, and I’m finally able to sit down and sift through the 1,700 pictures I took during our beach trip! Most of them probably look the same, but I just thought my little cherub looked cuter every day in all of his darlin' tiny swim trunks! (That's your warning: be prepared for an absurd amount to photos!)

This was our first "BIG" family vacation, so it took us an entire week to shop and pack for all the things we needed.  I don’t know about y’all, but I’m a super nervous packer. I don’t know why I get so uptight, but I do it EVERY.TIME. It’s become a family joke. (Except nobody laughs.) I plan in outfits, I make lists, and I get super nervous that I’m gonna leave something important, as if we are traveling to a 3rd world country.  To combat this, I start listing OUT LOUD the things that I’ve packed.  Something about saying it out loud reminds me of things I’ve forgotten. I demand Jeremie to listen, but I’m pretty sure he’s totally tuned me out by that point. By the time we leave, I’m a ball of anxious energy and I spend an obnoxious amount of time checking locks, windows, AC, and making sure my straightener is unplugged. Obnoxious.

And with Jeremie’s product launch happening the same week, we really had all lost our minds.  We literally high-fived each other when we finally boarded the plane and wheels were up!

We flew into Mobile and we were ALL super happy to see Nona and Papa. Seems like The Lord usually ordains a visit 'bout the time we're going off the deep end. (Nona always tells me to "Tie a knot and hang on tight."

We started what would be the “SHORT” drive to Orange Beach, but funny thing, THE ENTIRE US of A was also headed to the beach.  So we rustled through the traffic and were so happy to make it to our lovely condo! The views were amazing! We were ready to get our toes in the sand, we took G down to introduce him to the beach! 

He was super into the sand, not so much the waves. (That all changed by the end of the week!)

We clearly do not have family selfies down yet.
We spotted Nona and Papa on the 17th floor!
It's like wrangling a bobcat.

Mr. Wells and I wasted NO TIME having a free babysitter, so we powdered our nose, got all gussied up, and headed to our favorite restaurant, The Louisiana Langiappe. We literally had an entire room to ourselves overlooking the docks; it was like our own private little date. We took some big sighs of relief and toasted to the fact that "The Launch" had actually happened! (I swear, one day, I’ll blog about this roller coaster!)


And then….we continued our romantic evening….at The Wal-Mart.  I packed for A WEEK and found myself at the Wal-Mart within 4 hours of arrival. I have no idea what we bought, but apparently going to the Orange Beach Wal-Mart is like a Rite of Passage because the entire US of A was there too.

Honestly, we had the best time in the Wal-Mart..just being together was really a treat!
My sister and brother-in-law showed up the next day with my most precious, nephew, Judah, whom Greyson IDOLIZES! We gave Nona a mini-birthday party, and then commenced an entire week in the sun….

PSA: Jeremie and I found the most delicious strawberry and blueberry cake at Publix. (Yes, somehow we managed to find ourselves at Publix too, bless it.) What started off as a quest for ground meat turned into birthday cake, floats  sunhats, and powdered donuts. But really, no vacation is complete without powdered donuts. And Cheese Puffs. 
Anyway, I won’t try to put it in chronological order, because essentially, we went back and forth from slide, to CRAZY LAZY River, to pool, to sand and beach; so all the days kinda fun together. It was fantastic!

This picture was taken in the early AM hours because, believe me...the LAZY RIVER became the CRAZY RIVER 'bout lunch time when all the college kids woke up. 

Greyson LOVED playing in the sand!
A very gentle and supervised version of "Pre-K Chicken Fight".     
It's like someone PAYS HIM to not look.


Mr. Cool really enjoyed his beach loungin'...
The lovely Nona and her boys...
Beach walks became Greyson's favorite!

Yes-I do realize those are not legit swim goggles that Greyson has on. We brought him a tool belt/goggle toy set as a present during our trip and he was OBSESSED with the toy goggles. So he essentially wore them 24/7.

By the middle of the week, Greyson ADORED the waves! He loved running into them and away from them! He'd say: "Here comes a BIG ONE!" or "IT ALMOST GOT ME!" It was the most precious thing!

My sister-in-law, Lauren "La-La" is the best. G kinda likes to mess with her though ; ) 
I know this looks like the most heartwarming moment, but he was really just trying to talk me into something....
When we weren't in the sun, we could be found in the condo laughing over Everybody Loves Raymond, shooting Nerf guns, playing "Shop", hanging out on the balcony, or reading "Fred Visits the Emerald Coast" for the 53rd time.

Sadly, my 5 year old nephew has better aim with the Nerf gun than I do, so I had to take cover behind the chair many times. 


"Movie night" was also a big hit. Which was really our way of bribing the kids to be still with popcorn and Cars. It's amazing what a theme will do for you, people.

(Fred Visits the Emerald Coast is a book I heard about that's written by a local Texas girl! We happened to find it a a souvenir shop and it was certainly a crowd favorite. If you're planning on going to the beach, you should totally order it here!)   
 Crab hunting was the popular night activity....I only joined once, but had the pleasure of seeing the crabs every day since Judah insisted we keep them in a Tupperware bowl on the table outside.


The moon REALLY showed off the entire week we were there….it was absolutely gorgeous!

Greyson asked: "Hey there moon, what you doin' up in the sky?"....#allthehearts

Jeremie and I sat on the beach after putting Greyson down one night and the full moon started rising and what do ya know, fireworks literally started going off down the beach! I was like, Well isn't this just the most romantic date ever?!  If a private concert would have started I would've sworn they were filming an episode of The Bachelor.
We had some fun outings, too! Of course we HAD to have dinner at our family favorite, The Original Oyster House. The fish was good, but me and Greyson were pretty much there for the peanut butter pie.

I love hanging out around the little boardwalk area while you wait!


And the peanut butter pie is WORTH THE WAIT.                  
Another night, we took family photos on the beach, courtesy of the fabulous Michelle Taulbee Photography.  I'll share those incredible pics in another blogpost, but we had the best time at our shoot on Perdido Pass.

Afterwards, we went to THE MOST CHARMING outdoor restaurant venue, called The Gulf. It literally looked like something out of a movie.  It was darling. There was a ton of rustic style picnic tables, posh couches/lounge areas, and a huge sandy areas for the kids to play in. Pretty much a parent's dream dining experience! If you are in the Orange Beach/Perdido Area, you MUST check this place out! 

This is actually a hanging lantern behind G, but I snapped this pic and oh my stars, doesn't he look like Merlin?!  I thought it was hilarious.
On a rainy day, we had to hit up the Souvenir shops...and this is what Greyson insisted on wearing for a picture. 
When we realized this scuba mask was $170 we told him to BE STILL and took it away very gently. 
And of course one day we had to hit up the Outlet Mall in Foley. Greyson cashed in on the ice cream we promised during the photo shoot.


On this particular night, the kiddos were a little tuckered out.  And let's be real, so were the parents. G had just knocked off his plastic toilet ring into the public potty (which I of course had to fish out and clean) so I was over it. I felt no guilt for pulling the smartphone trick in the restaurant. #dontjudge #thanksnickjr
Our last night, everyone was packing, so Jeremie and I decided to squeeze in ONE more date night while we had the chance! (We were also gobbling up all the fresh fish while we could get our hands on!) So we headed to Wolf Bay Lodge and had the best dinner right near the marina.  We had QUITE the entertainment because a teenage kid helped himself to the very expensive fishing poles that were resting next to the very expensive fishing boats. We could tell he didn't really know what he was doing, but went fishing as he had probably seen on TV, and gosh darn if he didn't catch himself a fish.  He was THRILLED with himself...holding up the fish for his family that dining next to us and even taking a selfie with his "big catch".  (It was small catfish.) THEN I think I dawned on him..."I gotta get this thing off the hook"...and it was QUITE clear he had NO IDEA how to do that. He started digging around in all the seaman's ice chest and such. (I guess he did have the sense to look for some pliers.) In the end, he finally got the fishy off and that was the end of his fishing career. We were SO TICKLED watching the whole thing play out.  

Afterwards, we took a walk around the docks.  I absolutely LOVED all the time I got with my man on this trip! 
Another one of my favorite parts of the trip was the morning time on the balcony. Don't get me wrong, I slept LAAAATE a couple mornings, but vacation is usually the time when I totally fall off the wagon with my quiet time.  So before our trip, I literally prayed that God would give me the motivation to get me UP in the morning to enjoy some time with Him. He answered that prayer, and I'll admit, it was more than worth it. 

All the colors and the light and the way that I could see it pouring rain in one area, but beautiful in another just reminded me of God's sovereignty and glory. 

On the last day, what do I look up and see?....but a double rainbow. It was incredible and breathtaking. I actually woke Jeremie up so he could enjoy it too. And he was happy I did. After everything that's transpired in the last 21 months with work, and life in general, it was truly a blessing to see together. 
Okay! So that was PART ONE of my Beach Vacay! PART TWO commenced after I shipped my big guy back to Dallas and my little guy back to Mississippi with my in-laws. (They took him to to be with my parents for a couple days.) Meanwhile, had plans to meet some of my Tallahassee friends in Destin.

I stayed at the condo after everyone left to finish packing and shower.  After an entire week with 7 other people, the SILENCE that ensued was actually deafening, if that makes sense.  I had NO IDEA what to do with my hands! HAHAHAHA!

But I got ready and started my little drive down the Emerald Coast, which was GLORIOUS.

I have about one-tenth of the pictures from my Destin days because I couldn't stop talking and laughing enough to pic up my phone to take a picture.

These gals are some of the best friends I've ever had.  Yet, because we live 20 hours apart and have had 6 babies in 5 years, we just haven't made it around to a visit yet.  We had the best time catching up on ALL THE THINGS. We covered EVERYTHING from beauty products, to labor experiences,  motherhood woes, our faith walks, to our very favorite fast food restaurants. (I have no idea how or why this topic came up.) These girls are just good for my soul.

Destin was absolutely gorgeous.  

I've done some overnights without G before, but this was my first "girls only" vacation. And I think I've underestimated the power of a girls trip. It was so relaxing and we're already planning next year's! (But we did miss our babies, so we agreed, the boys could just join with the kids after couple days.) 

I drove back to Mississippi, collected my little cherub, and we flew back to Texas the next morning! 

We had SUCH a blast, but as always, it's good to be back home. I'm always SO ready for a break from the routine when we leave for vacation, yet always appreciate routine once we get back. 

This vacation was much needed and we had the best time making special summertime memories! 


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