The Rest of the Story

It was a wonderful vacation.

After the first few whirlwind days cram-packed with traveling and activity, we settled down for the rest of the week to a slower pace. A pace that felt a bit more vacation-like.

I like a slower pace.

We spent lots of time in the pool (I have hardly any photos of this, because we all went in and played in the water together).


Wednesday morning we took a nice long walk around the marina looking for manatees. We didn’t see any this trip. But when we got home, the girls were very curious about manatees. Lass was asking all about the sounds they make. I actually wasn’t sure what they sound like, so we pulled up some You Tube videos to find out. We watched this one several times and then checked out this one. The girls asked to watch the second one over and over and cracked up laughing each time.


Thursday was one of my favorite days of the trip. We had a lazy morning and then went out to a nearby bird sanctuary. It’s a place where they house injured birds that cannot be returned to the wild. I loved seeing the birds up close, especially these two majestic bald eagles.


There was a playground right outside the sanctuary on the waterfront.

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It doesn’t get much more “vacation” than this. The girls played in the sand a bit and then we went to a local restaurant for lunch and a little ice cream shop for dessert. And, Sis stayed awake during the ride home (with a little help from me) so we even had good naps afterward.

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Friday was the real beach day. We got going fairly early in the morning for the drive up to this lovely beach on the gulf. It was a beautiful day, though a bit on the windy side.

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I have a love-hate relationship with the beach. I love the air and the sounds and the smell. I love the sun and how it sparkles on the water. I love the endless blue of the water and watching the sea birds swooping and gliding looking for food (I’m talking about pelicans here mostly, I am not a huge fan of the seagull). Unfortunately, I really, really don’t love the sand. Oh, how I loathe sand. In my younger days of going to the beach to “lay out,” I didn’t mind the sand too much. I could always manage to keep it contained and minimize the annoyance of it when it was just me, a few friends, and a huge towel or blanket.

With kids not so much. This stuff gets everywhere.

But oh how my girls love to dig and play in the sand. As much as I despise the it, I love watching them in it. So I just had to get over myself.

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The finished castle that Miss made with her Papa:


I love dipping my toes in the water at the beach. There’s something about the pull of the surf on my feet and the swirling of sand around them that makes me smile. Even if the water was frigid this time of year. Miss really loved standing in the water. Lass didn’t want her feet in it at all, but she liked to look at it.

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Baby Sis had her first experience of the beach and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

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She seemed to like the look and sound of the waves and the feel of the sand, though she freaked out when the water washed over her feet.

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DSC_0518 It was a lovely vacation.


Once it was over though, we. were. done. It’s amazing how, no matter how fun the vacation, when it’s time to get home, I want to be home.

We traveled all day Saturday to get here. Literally. “All day” as in we left at 8 am to drive nearly 2 hours to the airport for a two-and-a-half hour flight. Then we got our vehicle from my husband’s sister’s house and drove another five-and-a-half hours. We got here a little after 8:30 pm, so it was a very long day, but so worth it to get here and just be home.

Back to the grind today. Grocery shopping. Snowy weather. Homeschooling. We are recharged from our trip, so it was good.

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