Today I’m jumping in for Friday Favorites with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog. I’m sharing some of my Florida Favorites, because as you know, if you follow me on Instagram, we were in Florida this past week! (Yes. That is a shameless plug to show you how exciting it is to follow me on Instagram.)
|| DAY ONE: SUNDAY ||
We are insane and drove through the night to get to Florida. We did this to arrive before, well, NEVER! Honestly, with how many stops we were making, I felt like Siri was just mocking us by adding hour upon hour to our arrival time. 25 hours later, we arrived.
Though I’ve never felt so tired, I am so glad we pushed through and got to enjoy a walk on the beach before lunch. The kids gathered lots of shells and got soaked, even after I asked them not to walk too deep into the water. It was a rookie mistake, and I only have myself to blame for the immense amount of laundry I did while on vacation.
We returned to the beach after some naps and got to play and soak up the Florida sun. Man-Child spotted a crab in the bay. Which freaked out Sweet Boy-Child. Which meant he couldn’t go back in the water and was convinced a crab was coming for him, even on the beach. All in all, it was as close to perfect as you can get with 4 littles. Probably partly because it only lasted about an hour.
The next morning we went to the pool. I was pretty concerned it would not go, nor end well. But I was pleasantly surprised! It actually was a relaxing and fun time. Each little (minus Baby Boy) had a floatie of some kind, which helped us have enough hands for everyone. Man-Child and Goose are becoming more comfortable in the water and even Sweet Boy-Child had some fun playing in the water! He stayed on the stairs and loved figuring out the feeling of the water on his body and playing with the buoyancy.
After dinner we went out to the pier and watched the sunset. It was beautiful and crazy. Baby-Boy kept picking up garbage. The other littles ran and jumped and sang. It was cute. And loud. And then there were these terrible biting insects. It took a week for the suffering caused by the million billion bug bites to end. We ended up leaving before the sunset actually finished because it got too crazy and the biting insects too horrible. But just like life, we have a choice. To give in to the annoyances and miss the glory or to push through. To cling to hope and grace. Sunday, I almost missed the grace. But at the very end, we turned back. And we saw it. And it was beautiful. (I share more about this night, here.)
|| DAY THREE: TUESDAY ||
Legoland. More words may not be necessary. But in case they are…EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! But really. We love Legoland. We love Legos. We love Florida. We love rides. So there isn’t much not to love. This was our third visit there, and we loved it. Again. This visit we had almost no lines, which was great. Unfortunately there were probably no lines because it was HOT. Terrible hot. I mean it was so hot that we didn’t even look at every.single.lego brick in the Miniland USA and Star Wars areas. If you know our family, this is a HUGE deal.
Despite the heat, we all had fun. I particularly enjoyed getting to ride the rides with the kids. This might be the first time I wasn’t pregnant or nursing since we’ve come to Legoland. Let alone Florida.
Oh. I almost forgot. On the drive back to our condo, we watched The Lego Movie. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Even if you don’t have littles. The ride home was amazing because Boy-Child repeated random lines from the movie. My favorite was “Where’s my paaaaants?!?” It’s the best because he says it at random times and you can just barely understand what he’s saying. Seriously. Him saying that could probably solve all the world’s problems.
|| DAY FOUR: WEDNESDAY ||
The next day was a “relaxing beach day.” Except that doesn’t exist when you are outnumbered 2:1. Instead, it was a morning filled with: eating sand, digging giant sand holes and “rivers,” and defeating the impeding seaweed. It still was a fun morning. The sand covering all of our beings was less fun. But that’s why we stay at a resort with their own beach.
That afternoon was glorious. I caught up on some blog reading, hubby took a nap, and the littles napped/played quietly. It was great to just take some time to rest. We often try to fill our vacation and find rest in the slower activities (like the beach or pool), but to truly rest was perfect. And honestly what we really needed from this trip.
We tried to catch a little of the sunset from the condo patios, so we could stay away from the biting insects. But we only lasted 10 minutes. Sunset is technically past bedtimes, so craziness cannot help but ensue. But we had Popsicles and that makes things a little bit better.
Hubby and I played some Carcassone that evening, and if you’ve never played, you should. (Man-Child even plays!) This was fun, except that he beat me 2/3 games. Thankfully I won the last one, or I never would have been able to stop playing.
|| DAY FIVE: THURSDAY ||
We woke up slowly and ended up at the pool. The littles loved it and enjoyed playing and just plain being silly kids. It was pretty great, until it got past lunch time. And then it wasn’t great at all. So off we went to lunch and naps, while the older kids went back to the pool.
I got to catch up on blog “work,” and saw that I had been chosen to join Emily P Freeman’s Simply Tuesday book launch! I am so excited to be apart of this process and cannot wait to share snippets with all of you!
We finished the day up with some ice cream sandwiches and yet another vain attempt to watch the sunset. Yes. We are insane. I think you have to be a little insane when you have four littles. Anyway, it was the same results as the prior nights. This time, it ended because Boy-Child thought I stole his dessert. I didn’t. Because, gross. But I could not convince him, since we were both eating ice cream sandwiches. And we both ate them slowly.
|| DAY SIX: FRIDAY ||
Our final day. We took it slow. We headed off to the pool, only to find it closed. Thankfully the resort has multiple pools, but we had to walk more than 10 feet. (I’m kidding, it wasn’t that big of a deal, thought you wouldn’t know that by listening to my children’s lamentations!)
After the pool, we headed home for lunch and naps. Man-Child and I played a few rounds of intense Go-Fish. He won. By a lot. (And I didn’t even throw the games!) Then the older two headed back to the pool with Dad. Man-Child
finally officially learned to swim! And underwater, too! This has been such a hard feat for him to accomplish/fear to get over, and I honestly could not be prouder!
It rained a little bit this afternoon, so we sat inside and enjoyed the luxury of cable. To watch Disney Jr. Then one more trip to see the sunset. I already told you we are crazy. We still didn’t catch the whole thing, because our hot mess wasn’t ending anytime soon. But we had some more desserts, because you can’t let ice cream sandwiches just go to waste!
That night I packed us all up, and found the missing hairbrush and wipes. Greg and I played another few rounds of Carcassone. And we remembered this, our 5th Annual Florida Family Vacation.
We reflected on the time to sit. To enjoy. To rest. We remembered the joy. Despite the crazy; the noise; the constant running, jumping, hiding, crying, yelling, itching bug bites.
The grace that surrounds the mess was beautiful, peaceful, and totally worth all the bug bites and headaches. And even the looks from people who probably clapped as we left each failed sunset experience. All worth it.
Next month, I will be sharing my tips and tricks for a family vacation in the This Is How We Do It link-up. So for us, I will be sharing my road trip, packing, and general big family vacation tips! I would love to have you join Lori, from The Boutelle Family Blog, and I then! You can find out more about our monthly link-up and the calendar of future topics, here.