It is hard to believe that the last time Steve and I were at a gulf coast beach was shortly after we were married five years ago! We certainly were way overdue. Steve LOVES the beach and has been wanting to go for awhile. Back before Christmas, a group of us starting talking about the beach and how much fun it is. This casual conversation between 6 families led to the formal planning of a beach trip, and it was booked within 2 months!
Since we had 12 kids between the 6 couples, we thought it would be terrific to travel with 1 or 2 babysitters. One of our friends suggested sisters who teach at her daughter's school who do babysitting on the side....fortunately they agreed to come with us. However, it took some time finding a house large enough to suit our group of 24!! To top off our growing list of wants in a house, we needed to stay within our budget. After weeks of searching, we found a 7 bedroom house with 2 loft areas that had beds, a private pool and across the street from beach access in a private neighborhood (so there would be little traffic).
At first, we were all so excited to be taking a trip with 5 families that we love and have so much fun with socially. But as the trip neared, I started to panic that the house might be too loud and chaotic with 12 kids (and that is coming from a very loud person). Steve convinced me that everything was going to be fine, and he was right! Our trip to Seagrove Beach with our friends was awesome! We all got along fine, the kids had a blast and it was overall a very fun and relaxing trip.
Which led to a little of this....
As most of my vacations do, we lived it up our first day and night! The next day was Father's Day and Elle's birthday party, which was fun. The rest of the week was spent playing on the beach, swimming at the pool, finding seashells, visiting a local splash pad, attending an outdoor concert at Carillon Beach, crab hunting several nights, eating lots of wonderful food and drinking wonderful concoctions!
The weather was HOT every day, so if we weren't in the water, then we were nearby (so we could jump in as needed), or inside where the air conditioning was working overtime. However, the kids could never get enough, so it was nice to have babysitters there to swim with them in the pool when we just wanted to chill on the beach, or had to prepare dinner, etc.
We also celebrated my birthday while we were there. Kadie made a cake for me..."better than sex" cake (my new favorite), and everyone enjoyed some by the pool. Then that night, Steve made reservations at Cafe Thirty A for a "parent's night out." We all thoroughly enjoyed our dinners, but were ready to hit the town afterward. So we cabbed it down the street to dance at a local place. Unfortunately, the band was ready to leave town and went "on break" about 45 minutes after we arrived. What they didn't know was that we had Chris with us. He asked to borrow one of the guitars and then played several more fun songs so we could continue to dance.
Surprisingly, we still weren't ready to wrap up our night so we cabbed it to Panama City Beach to dance more at Tootsies (the name says it all really). We finally got home around 3:30 AM. It certainly was our latest night, and one where we cherished having our babysitters (that had all 12 kids asleep by 9PM that night!).
It definitely won't be another 5 years before we see a sunset on the white beaches of Florida!