24 August 2008

blue mountain beach 2008
days 1 & 2~

After waiting "forever," and dreading spending 8+ hours in a car with a baby who hates with unbridled passion doesn't care for the car so much, our lovely children talked us into leaving for Florida on Friday night. We weren't so much looking forward to the car ride either, so, with desperate hopes for a peaceful trip, we left around 11pm.

Parenting Tip #4:
Babies who love their beds don't appreciate being expected to

sleep in an upright position for eight hours.

Parenting Tip#5:
Ipods, books on tape, and earplugs are often good investments.
So is Benadryl.

Parenting Tip#5:
Checking the weather is helpful.
If your destination is in the middle of a tropical storm advisory, and you

are arriving at 6:30am and check in is not until 4pm, a plan is good.
And prayer. Lots of prayer.

Parenting Tip #6:
Sleep is not overrated. Sleep is quite valuable.
Children who have slept all night in a car and have been anticipating vacation for months
don't have much of an appreciation for parents who were up all night with a screaming baby.
They think naptime shouldn't apply to vacation.

Parenting Tip#7:
Naptime mostly definitely applies on vacation.
Especially if you're seven weeks pregnant.

Parenting Tip#8:
Don't forget the aluminum foil.

In all seriousness, we are having a very nice, restful, and peaceful time so far. We did leave at 11pm, and Haven, after he got past the initial "hey we're having a party" excitement and realized he was trapped, was not happy. Thankfully, the other children weren't bothered by him and were able to sleep, but Glen and I had to take turns sitting by him and neither of us got any sleep worth mentioning.

We arrived in Blue Mountain Beach (right by Destin) at 6:30 am to be greeted by seventy degree temps and lots of wind and rain, the remnants of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Fay. We had a lovely breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and spent quite a bit of time on the porch there deciding what to do. Our check in time wasn't until 4pm, and there is absolutely nothing to do indoors here. Even the mall is outside. Last year we arrived a hour or so early, and when we inquired, we couldn't check in early as the condo was still being clean. So without much hope, we decided to call, and received evidence number one of the Father's favor...the people who were in the condo before us decided to leave a day early, so we could check in right then! That essentially gave us an extra day, allowing us to unpack and Haven, Glen, and I to get some much needed sleep. Thank you, Lord :o)

After our nap, the rest of the storm had pretty much moved through (evidence #2 of the Father's favor as the storm was expected to linger for most of the week,) so we were able to do some swimming and take a quick trip to the beach before heading out for dinner and the grocery.

I forget how uncommon our family can look to people. Where we live, large families are not the norm, but there are quite a few. I guess they're pretty rare here as during dinner and at the grocery, I could see people counting us, pointing, and whispering. Like we don't notice :o)
Thankfully, no one blew drink bubbles or had french fry fights over dinner, so I think we made on okay impression :o) Another major plus was the place we ended up for dinner had a gluten free menu, and the server actually knew what we were talking about. Anna has decided that is where we are going for her birthday tomorrow night. I had a yummy jerk chicken sandwich with the best teriyaki broccoli I've ever had. I'm going to have to figure out how to make that.

In past years, we've eaten out every night, but this year we decided to only go out three times. I planned our meals and made a grocery list before leaving, so we pretty much had to do a full out grocery trip. We had two full carts, complete with spur of the moment kite purchases. (Tropical storm winds make for great kite flying :o) Four kites and kids running all over the place make for tangled kites. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.) And yes, after all the great planning I did, I neglected to get aluminum foil. Note to self: When a recipe calls for vegetables to be covered for the hour they are baking, there is a reason. So dinner tonight turned into kind of a grab what you can find sort of event, but that's okay. I tried.

This was before we tried to eat the vegetables...

Kite flying with Dad...

He just couldn't seem to understand
why the water kept knocking over his sand castles...

So far, Haven (and Mom)
are enjoying the beach much more than last year.

Well...most of the time anyway...

Fun in the sun...

No matter what I do,
I can't escape the laundry.
Thankfully, I have an abundance of laundry helpers...

For our family devotions, Glen planned out this really cool thing of teaching the kids some verses about speaking kind words, gentle answers turn away wrath, harsh words stirring up anger, etc.
Before we left, we prayed, and Glen read them the verses. Our first night here, he read the verses again, having the kids work on learning them, and talked about what they meant. He also had made a bead necklace for everyone, and every day, he is taking notice of kind words, encouraging words, helpful words (yes ma'am, yes sir, no arguing, etc.) and they can earn beads for their necklaces. How fun :o) I was very impressed. You should see them falling over themselves to out "nice" each other. Very good idea. He wins major dad points for that one. He even picked out nice muted colors for the beads, knowing my instense dislike of primary colors :o)

I haven't earned any beads yet,
seeing as how I'm so mean...

Needles to say, we're having a great time. My sister is arriving on Tuesday, so we'll have an extra pair of hands, and Glen and I can have a date night. Anna's tenth birthday is tomorrow, so we'll be having dinner out and I think she wants to go to Dippin Dots. Yum :o)

A nice evening walk...

Another benefit of not eating out so much is that tonight we were able to go for a walk during the sunset. We've never done that before as we're always out eating. The kids ran in the surf, and of course, ended up completely soaked. Laundry: take three.

post signature


stock market said...

thats amazing story.

MySweetThree said...

Those parenting tips are priceless. :) I could not agree with you more...we take a lot of car trips and our babies LOVE their beds at home, so, needless to say, they do not sleep much in the car. Also, The quote at the top of your blog post brought tears to my eyes. Take Care,

Rachel Lee said...

So glad to hear about your awesome vacation! I hope you can get a little relaxation in somewhere. We have our first long car trip to the beach in oct, so thanks for the pointers! What are #1-3?

Lori said...

I LOVE the pictures and the captions! Shyla, you crack me up sometimes. I love reading your blog. What a life! :0)

Patrice said...

Those are some amazing tips for a vacation trip.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shyla,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blog posts about Blue Mountain Beach to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you :)

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November