Another new aspect of this trip was the family we went with. Eli's best friend, and a family that has become our good friends, traveled with us. They have three kids too. That's right, we had four adults and SIX kids, ages 8, 8, 6, 6, 3 and 4months for six days. Kelly (the other mom) and I discussed this at great length ahead of time and prepared ourselves for inevitable meltdowns and arguing and other typical kid stuff. We also tried to prepare ourselves to just let some stuff go (we are both a bit Type A when it comes to our kids). Maybe it was because we set the bar so low, but we were very pleasantly surprised at how well the week went! There were some meltdowns, and there was some disobedience, but all in all, everyone got along really well and was pretty well behaved!
One more new thing was the element of surprise. Our kids knew we were going to the beach, but the other family's kids did not. And NONE of them knew we'd be together. We have two other families we've traveled with in the past, but neither could make this trip. I told the kids that since the houses are so big and we usually share with 1-2 other families, we may be 'assigned' a sharing family this time. (I had them convinced that they don't rent out houses for just one family.) So we talked manners and whatnot beforehand. About ten minutes after we arrived, I called the kids downstairs because the other family had arrived and we needed to greet them. Talk about excitement! Their kids burst out of the car and Eli couldn't stop saying, "DREW!!" Good times.
The week was a possible wash as a hurricane was approaching the beach just as we were, but we were very blessed to only have one partially rainy day. The rest of the days were sunny and gorgeous! The older boys mostly did boogie boarding each day (lots of waves thanks to the hurricane), Maddux and Davis and Emmaline swam but also built many sand creations. Ruby slept and ate. She did get her toes wet several times, and she sat in the sand a lot also.
Awesome times at the beach, great company, and memories to last a lifetime....we had a great trip!