One of my closest friends just got married. In Florida. We've been friends longer than...well, any other friend I've had. We're those friends that were always inseparable up through high school and have been through a lot together, and even though we don't talk as regularly these days, when we do, it's like we just pick up where we left off. He still lives in KY, but they got married on the beach in FL, and there wasn't a question as to whether or not we would be there. We even pulled Camden out of school to go. I don't think he would have forgiven me if he hadn't gone. Mark is Camden's godfather, and Camden just has this connection with him. He looks up to Mark so much and thinks the world of him. (Me, too. His friendship means the world to me.) :)
So, anyway...off we went. And while we were at it, we figured we would take a few days to enjoy the beach.
The trip altogether actually wasn't the best "vacation" we've had. We drove through the night to get there, as it was 12 hours of driving not including stops. It took us 15 hours going there... We woke the boys to leave around 10:30pm Tuesday evening, and Aiden thought it was time to wake up and play once in the car, so he was up for another hour. We couldn't help but laugh, thinking it would be our luck that he would just stay awake, but he did eventually go to sleep. Then he woke at 2am throwing up all over the place...and thought he had to stay up for another hour to play once we finally had things cleaned up enough to get back on the road. I didn't sleep much in the car when Ryan drove, which is pretty typical for me. Once we arrived Wednesday afternoon, we realized that the memory card for the good camera was still at home in the computer. I was ready to freak out, but Ryan went and bought a new one after I explained that no, we couldn't just not take pictures. Hello...it was Mark's wedding! (Him buying a new one worked for me, since he's the one that told me he had gotten all of the camera things together...) Then when changing Aiden's diaper right after we arrived, that little kiddo kicked my hand just the right way and caused me to spill some melted coconut oil ALL over the place, including his body and my jeans (good thing that stuff isn't like regular oil and washes right out!). We found out the water was out in the room after unpacking EVERYthing, but luckily it was only for a couple of hours, so we didn't need to switch rooms. After a day and a half, we realized Ryan was having a bad reaction to being out in the sun...and finally put together it was because he was still on antibiotics and shouldn't have mixed the two. This meant he couldn't be in direct sunlight, so...some things weren't as fun for him (or the rest of us at times). I had a cold and woke up every morning with a sore throat that sometimes went away but most days didn't. We discovered that a restaurant with a sign claiming it is "Kid friendly" does not mean they have changing tables and other restaurants make all of their pasta and pizza dough with eggs, meaning you may just have to walk out if your child is allergic b/c there is nothing for him to eat.
It seemed like our whole vacation was full of little things like this. But we still managed to have fun and enjoy the trip. We saw dolphins the first morning we were at the beach (at 8am since they are an hour behind, meaning Aiden woke up at 4:30am Destin-time!). We also saw rays swimming around Camden the next day... Those things were everywhere. The weather was wonderful, though a bit too hot the last couple days, and there was no rain. (It always seems to rain when we go to the beach.) Aiden was so well-behaved when eating out. That's normal, but we ate out a lot, so we were very impressed. (I think we need to detox now, as well. All that eating out...ugh.) The kids both were great in general, really. We hit the breakfast buffet at the hotel as soon as it opened every day, and the lady working just loved Aiden and would bring him (& Camden) oranges...which he LOVES. It was nice to be met with a friendly face each morning. We also got to have lunch with Mark & Kelly the day before their wedding. And I saw some friends at the wedding that I haven't seen in years!
And the most important part of the trip, the whole reason we were there...the wedding. It was beautiful, of course! It really was. It was more than we expected for a beach wedding, and we had a lot of fun, even if we spent a lot of the night chasing after Aiden, who was RUNNING everywhere he could. You could see how happy the newlyweds were and couldn't help grinning for them all night long.
We left last night at 9:30 our time (8:30 beach-time) and arrived home about 14 hours later... The trip home wasn't as involved as the trip there. No kids throwing up or trying to play all night long. Aiden did have one hour where he really struggled with sleeping, but we were in an area with a lot of stop lights instead of the interstate. Other than that, the kids slept really well. Ryan and I struggled sleeping when it was our turn, but we managed and made it home all in one piece. As much as driving through the night might not be the most pleasant for us, it certainly has its benefits, and we'll be doing it more often, I'm sure! Our road trips aren't usually too short, and this really helped Aiden deal with being in the car for such long periods.
Of course, I took a bunch of pictures on the trip. I tend to go everywhere with a camera, but I only uploaded a fraction of what I took. You can see the most post-worthy here:
|2010 Destin, FL Beach Trip - Mark & Kelly's Wedding|