Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Beach Chat.

The beach.  I LOVE it.  It is my absolute happy place.  It is a place where I can go and fully relax.  (If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you probably realize that fully relaxing is pretty hard for me.)  There is nothing I love more than sitting on a beach with a good book, a cold drink, a floppy hat and watching the waves roll in.  

It's just good for the soul.


Today I'm linking up with Erika and Shay's for Workin' It Wednesday and the topic this month is how we are prepping for our summer vacation.  So it has gotten me all excited about the beach!!



Every year we go to the beach.  We love the Destin area in Florida and the Orange Beach area in Alabama.  Both have gorgeous beaches.

Since we can't go to the beach until Craig is finished with his camp season, we usually go in August. Last year we went the 3rd week of August and Orange Beach was basically a ghost town compared to what it normally is!  Our waterpark that we love was CLOSED except for the weekends so we completely missed out.  (This was beyond disappointing to my kids.  Total #momfail.  I didn't even think to check.  Who knew that summer was over in August at the beach?!)  All the restaurants were empty as well.  We definitely enjoyed having things to ourselves but we also missed the hustle and bustle of the all the vacationers!  

Anyway, since I haven't done a whole lot of planning just yet, I figured I'd reminisce about vacations past to give you an idea of what we'll be doing this year.  So prepare yourself for a gazillion pictures! (You have been warned!)

Some years we go to the beach with friends, sometimes with family and sometimes by ourselves.  Going with another family with kids is always so much fun!  It helps keep everyone entertained.  Bonus if they have older kids who can help watch the younger ones!

We have gone to Florida twice with our next door neighbors and good friends and going with them is just the most fun.  Their kids are older now and involved in a million different summer activities so it just doesn't work out anymore with schedules.  But I'm so glad we have these memories!

 Best neighbors ever!



We went with Craig's parents one year and that was fun too.  I love that the boys will always have those memories with their Mimi and Paw Paw!  


They love playing cards with Mimi!


One year we met up with my cousin who was staying at a fun resort with a slide down the street.  The boys were loving that slide!!


We usually stay a week and it is always full of the stereotypical vacation stuff.

We go out to eat at fun places...





We hit up the bumper boats, go karts, arcades, and putt-putt...






Days spent just relaxing on the beach are so nice...










Sometimes we rent a boat for the day...







We go to the waterpark...



We enjoy the pool (indoor and outdoor!)...




We enjoy the view from the balcony...





We go crabbing at night...


And we take naps during the day...

(The lump is my napping hubby)


We look for any excuse to take a quick family pic...








And we take cheesy family pictures on the beach.  We all hate taking them and the wind is usually out of control.  But we do it so we can have pictures like these!













You are a total rockstar if you just made it through all those pictures.  #highfive

I always plan our vacations.  Craig couldn't care less about the details and I'm ALLLLL about the details so it works out.  I always find our condo on vrbo.com.  Always make sure to read reviews first!

Over the years, I've been able to narrow down what I feel like is our perfect vacation rental.  I look for these things in our condo.  

1.  After staying on the 11th floor one year and having 1 (of only 2) elevators break down for the entire week, we realized we did not want to ever spend half our vacation waiting on elevators again.  I love the view from way up high but it's just as pretty on the 2nd or 3rd floor.  We love being able to run up and down the stairs from the pool to the condo quickly.  So I always look for a second or 3rd floor unit.

2.  My kids love the indoor/outdoor pools.  We've stayed at places with separate pools where you had to go into another building for the indoor pool and that was ok but we LOVE the ones where you just swim under the divider to go inside/outside.

3.  We aren't big on super crowded buildings with a ton of units.  We like to be able to have our own space on the beach without feeling like we have to get out there really early to snag a good spot and we definitely like being able to find pool chairs when we need them.  This could always change though if we decide we'd like to be around more people!  Last year, we were pretty lonely!

4.  I'm going to need wi-fi, TVs in both bedrooms, lots of channels and if they have Netflix for the kids' room, then that is a huge bonus!  I may be on vacation but that doesn't mean I don't want to watch Real Housewives of whoever drama when I'm tucked up into my cozy bed at night!

5.  For the master bedroom, we prefer a big window at the least but our own balcony is even better!  For the boys' room, they love bunk beds but we've learned that having 2 sets of bunk beds or a bunk bed plus a full-size bed is the best option. It gives them a little more space to spread out when they need it.

6.  A tiki hut that serves food and drinks by the pool is amazing.  I'd possibly trade in any of the above for one of those.  ;)

And that's about it.  Grocery stores and restaurants are always just a short drive or walk from our condo no matter where we stay.  We cook in the condo a few nights out of the week but will go out the rest of the time.  (Y'all know how much I hate to cook....so I certainly hate to cook on vacation!)

I'd love to hear about other beaches or things you love to do on vacation!  I'm alway up for new suggestions!  Let me know!

Have a great Wednesday, y'all!

10 comments:

  1. I feel like we were taught at the same beach school! Yes to the elevator rule, yes to vrbo, and family pictures are a pain in the moment but so worth it in the years to come! Your boys are just precious with their sun kissed cheeks and blonde hair.

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  2. Oh my gosh...the blue ombre maxi skirt (I think it's a skirt???) in your beach family photos is TO.DIE.FOR! Love love love!

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    1. Thank you!! That was a few years ago so I'm thinking I may pull it out for pictures again this year! I think I only wore it that one time!

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  3. I always start with VRBO! Being in GA, Destin is always one of our first choices or Hilton Head. But this year we are heading to Cinnamon Beach. It's about 30-45 minutes south of St. Augustine. Which is the home of the golf hall of fame. So my guys are really looking forward to that!

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    1. I wish we lived closer to the beach! It's 12 hours to destin and 11 to orange beach. We usually stop halfway and spend the night with Craig's parents in Louisiana or somewhere in Mississippi.

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  4. We love Orange Beach too! We always go there. Except last year we did Disney World and this year we're doing it again because we loved it so much and our son is 4 so we want to do that while we can and he thinks everyone there is real :) then it'll be back to the beach. Saw a pic of you guys at the hangout! We love it there but we love LuLu's the best! Yum! We always go in August also. Usually 2nd or 3rd week also! Love it at that time. I love all the family pics. You have the cutest family and you are so pretty!!

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  5. I have been wanting to go to Destin or Ala. beaches for years, and just haven't made it happen. Seeing your post and all the fun y'all have, I need to make plans. The beach is definitely my happy place, too!

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  6. We love Destin too! With a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old, beach trips aren't relaxing at all anymore... hahah! I'm sure as they get older, it'll be more fun! We live SUPER close to Lake Michigan so it's nice that we can do day trips to the lake (which feels like the ocean) :) LOVE your blog!

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  7. We were not a beach family growing up... I've been a handful of times, and recently we've been twice this year with a third trip planned... I'm totally turning in to a beach girl!!!

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