Sunday, October 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vacation!!

1.  We're BACK!!  Actually, we've been back for about 3 weeks now and I needed to photo dump all our vacation pics.  We took a leisurely 20 HOUR drive down to Anna Maria Island, Florida.  The drive was supposed to be 16 hours but you have to add in 4 hours for bathroom/snack breaks with kids in the car.
This is actually a pic from the drive home

Here's one from the drive down

2.  We rented a great house on the island, which had three floors, five bedrooms and a very nice pool.  It also had an elevator, which thankfully the kids didn't discover how to use until our last few days there.  I think we caught Princess (5) and Toddler Boy (2) using it by themselves at one point.  It would have been nice to have some sort of lock down feature on that thing.
The guys cooking a meal
Soccer Boy enjoying the pool!

3.  Florida was in for some wet weather.  We had rain every day we were there and the island had some flash flooding.  The street outside our rental house got pretty deep...
Game time inside during rainstorms
Soda + Risk = Fun!!
Side trip to Vienna, needing to rent a boat for the day!

4.  In between the rain the weather was awesome, the boys got in a few fishing trips.
Fishing off Anna Maria Island City Pier
Game Boy's catch , same pier

5.  Our family hit the beaches to soak in the sun...
Caspersen Beach
Enjoying the black sand @ Caspersen

The "beach look"
We took a day trip south to Caspersen Beach to look for shark teeth.  This beach is renowned for having tons of prehistoric shark teeth. need a sifter to be able to sift through the sand to find them.  We didn't bring one along, so we didn't find any.  However, the boys had lots of fun swimming in the waves.  Toddler Boy did not care for the sand, so he was extremely careful to stay on the beach towel.  Princess and I strolled up and down the beach looking for sea shells while he watched us from the safety of his sand free perch.  I just need to figure out how to transfer this trick onto our "sandless" areas at home and I'd have it made!

6.  We also took a couple additional day trips, one to Mote Aquarium and the other to Sea World.
Family shot
Princess with her manatees

We got to see the orcas at Sea World

Toddler Boy was "turtle crazy" on this trip

Firstborn & Soccer Boy got to ride roller coasters
They're in the middle two front seats on the Kraken!

More family shots @ Mixon Fruit Farms
(Soccer Boy excluded because he's taking picture)

7.  Date Night!!  Can't forget one of the highlights of the vaca, which is roping my parents into watching all five kiddos so Doug and I can pretend we're not parents and hit the town.  Or, in this case, go out to eat and walk along the beach at sunset.
Sunset on Holmes Beach
Same location, 12 years earlier
That pier no longer exists

Taken on Anna Maria Island City Pier

I did not bring my camera along on date night.  The above pictures were all taken on a different day (but you get the idea).  We actually walked along Bradenton Beach, right in front of the beachfront vacation rental we had stayed in on our first trip together to Anna Maria Island.  We had to dodge the little white beach crabs, it was obviously mealtime for them too.  We watched the sunset and then ate at a nice beachfront restaurant.  The meal was good...we had coconut covered shrimp for an appetizer...really yummy!  Then we took a drive up and down the island.  Our night was cut short by a phone call from Mom asking for more diapers for Toddler Boy.  We had run out at the house and the diaper bag was, of course, in the van with us.   Well, at least we got our sunset walk in!

That's it for this long edition of Vacation Quick Takes...head over to Jen's at Conversion Diary for more of the same!!!

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