Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beach 2014 - First Half

We have been so lucky to be able to visit the beach every year since Eli was born. There have even been a few times where we've been able to swing both a short spring AND fall visit...these kids are blessed! This year we lined up our trip with the kids' Fall Break from school, and we stayed for a whole week!
The first half of the week it was just our family in the house. We actually knew of 3 or 4 other families visiting Watercolor at the same time, and we ran into them at the beach and the pool a few times, but for the most part, we just hung out with us. Us time, just us, is not something we get a lot of in our everyday life, so we were happy to take a few days for just the five of us.
When we arrived, storms were blowing in, so we only got about 45 minutes at the beach before we went back to the house to get dinner. Ruby LOVED the sand and the waves...she kept crawling right into the water. Eli and Maddux have saltwater in their blood; they can't stay out of the water. We took a family trip to Publix to load up for the week and then Lehr put Ruby down while the older kids and I took an extended bike trip through the trails and over all of the bridges. We ended the night with a family game....LOVE vacation!
When we woke up the first day, it was 6AM...this happens every time we come. The early sunrise and excitement gets the kids out of bed early. Eli and Maddux stayed in the bunk room across the hall from our room, and we asked them to stay quiet until 7AM if they woke up early (in the hopes that Ruby would sleep until 7). Not only did they get up and stay quiet (shock!!), but they played together really nicely, making loom bracelets on the top bunk together (awe!!).

That first full day found us at the beach at 8AM. It was great to get out there before the crowds and intense heat. Eli and Maddux traded off with the Boogie Board, and Ruby ate her weight in sand. We sat and watched dolphins just off of the shore (seriously, no deeper than Lehr had been just a few minutes before) for about 20 minutes. A whole pod of them was enjoying some type of snack because they hung out in the same area for so long. Eventually we went to get lunch and then returned to the pool. At one point the older two were actually enjoying each others' company and floated together in inner tubes next to one another. (GASP!)
More of the same for the next few days: mostly beach with some pools mixed in. We did have bad storms one afternoon, so the kids watched a movie and then Ruby napped, mixed in with Eli napping for about 15, and Maddux joining in for about 10(seconds!). We followed that up with pizza on the beach for dinner. This is seriously a life I could get used to!
Ruby enjoyed the sand and the beach, but definitely tired quickly. Lehr would bring her out into the ocean and she would giggle when the waves would hit her. Then she would crawl on the sand and eat a bite here and there. However, she would eventually stop and just sit; the fatigue would hit her hard. She never fussed, but her eyes would get a little glazed over and she would turn from participant to observer. Most of her naps were in the bike trailer because even when we tried to bring her back to the house for a quality nap, she would crash as soon as we buckled her in.
Ruby's friend, Norah (from Gigi's), was stayed in the house right across the street from us; how crazy is that! The girls hung out a little at the beach a few days, trading sand from hand to hand and mouth to mouth.
Each day when we loaded up for the beach, most of our equipment ended up in the bike trailer, as it has in years past. Lucky Ruby got to ride along with it all. Some days were more crowded than others.
I loved getting some one-on-one with Eli and Maddux; that's not something I get the chance to do very often! The second morning, Eli and I got up when Ruby woke up (6AM) and we went to the soccer field for a sprint workout. He and I traded off leading some exercises in between sprints for about 30 minutes. Then we rode our bikes all over the property, ending at a beach side market where we shared a muffin. The next morning it was Maddux's turn: she helped lead an interval workout mixed in with our bike ride. Good times. We also ended up at the beach market.  Loved loved loved stealing these precious early morning moments with each of my littles!

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