Perry does a lot of traveling, which isn't the funnest thing for me at home. I'm SERIOUSLY outnumbered, especially now that school is out. Finally all of that craziness paid off. Perry called last Friday and said that he and some co-workers were talking about their Fourth of July plans and where they were going. Perry realized that there was no reason for us to hang around home and started looking online at places near the beach. He found a sale using his hotel miles and later that night we were starting to get things ready to go to Destin, Florida. This would be everyone's first trip to Florida but mine. We took off early Sunday morning- Caleb even set his alarm clock to 5 a.m. Michaela made up songs for Alabama and Florida when we entered over the state lines. The hardest part of the trip was trying to explain the time change to the kids when they were hungry for lunch at 11 for them and it was only 10.
We arrived about an hour early for check-in. We went to a nearby store to buy beach towels and then crossed the street to go to the beach. Joshua, who had made us take his shoes and socks off about 10 minutes into the drive, insisting that they had sand in them, stopped and would not move when it came to walking on the sand. We had to carry him, kicking and screaming, down the sidewalk and onto the beach.
We checked into the room and went out to dinner. After dinner, we went to the pool. Anneliese hated the water, even though it was really warm. The next morning we got up, ate, and headed to the beach. We are used to California beaches and were unprepared for the complete difference ahead of us. The water was WONDERFUL! So warm. I still remember how freezing the water in San Diego was 3 years ago. We wore water shoes, familiar only with the rockiness of California. Anneliese cried the whole time, even sitting on our laps on the shore- and let's not talk about the screaming that took place when the water would occasionally come up to where we were. Josh cried and wouldn't even make sand castles. Whenever the waves came up, he would hold his hand out, palm facing the wave. We finally asked what he was doing and he replied that he was using his "blue power"- I think I have a Jedi knight in the making. Caleb and Mischa loved the water. Mischa loved the "ooey-gooey sand" that was a mixture of water and sand. We went to Destin Commons, an outdoor shopping mall that evening and got dinner at a drive-thru since Josh was losing it. We were originally planning on hitting the pool before check-out the next day, but made an 11th hour decision (okay, it was more like 10:00, lol) to hit the beach instead. The kids fought us a bit on that in the morning. We decided just to wear sandals instead of the water shoes because it was such a pain getting the sand out of them the previous day. The instant our feet touched the velvet softness of the sand, we were kicking ourselves for wearing shoes the previous day. We had a rule, that since the kids didn't have floaties, that they couldn't go in more than knee deep without one of us. Caleb found himself in trouble a few times the day before. He got knocked down a few times, and it was funny to hear him say "too deep!". Right before we left the day before we had a scary moment where he was in almost literally over his head. I'm glad I looked up to see where he was while I was rinsing the sand pails out. Josh and Anneliese didn't like the water that much more on this day, but they calmed down once they were out of the breaking wave section. Josh played in the sand and used the force on the waves some more.
We took off back for home on July 4th. We made it home in time to eat some dinner and head out to watch the fireworks. Last year, it rained and stopped only enough to have the fireworks show. This year, the rain started right after the show. The three big shows in downtown Atlanta were cancelled. The Roswell (where we were) and Stone Mountain shows started about 15 minutes early, since they saw the rain coming in.
All in all, it was a really nice vacation. The drive was a good length (and the DVD player didn't hurt), the weather was perfect, and we got to spend time together. And the hotel was almost free. Couldn't forget that little factor that made the whole trip a possibility.