- I can't tan. I pretty much burn if I'm in the sun for more than 20 minutes even with spf 70.
- I can't swim. My dad had a strange fear of us drowning (a totally normal parental concern that we all have) but rather than let us learn an important survival skill, he kept us from all large bodies of water. Makes total sense.
These two fundamental reasons are pretty much why anyone goes to a beach, but somewhere along the way, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to pack up the family and drive 14+ hours to Destin, Florida. We rounded up 3 other couples and their kiddos and rented a house for a week.
Things I learned:
- Adjust your expectations. Vacation with kids (7 at that!) is not REALLY a vacation. . You will not be lounging in your beach chair with your adult beverage reading on your Kindle. You will be chasing your toddler who is about to eat a fistful of sand, reapplying sunscreen every 30 minutes, looking for a juicebox, and digging through your beachbag for snacks to avoid potential meltdowns.
- Get a place right on the beach. We rented a house that was probably a 5 minute walk which seemed like a good idea, but with the number of bodies we had, it was such a pain to lug our gear. All our poor hubbies were worn out from the number of trips they had to take to get everything down to the sand and set up.
- Forget the sand toys. We brought soo many toys. Shovels, buckets, castle molds, sifters, you name it, we brought it. The kids played with ONE bucket. The rest of the time they spent in the water. Who would've thought?
- Make it a pool day. We are so glad we got a house with a private pool because the kids (and parents) loved it! The first two days, some of the little kiddos were actually pretty afraid of the ocean and sand and wanted nothing more than to just go home. Thankfully, they pool eased them into it and it gave the parents a little break to just sit in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time.
While we were there, we took some pictures with a professional photographer, Darris Hartman, for fun. I highly recommend her. Excuse our crazy hair, it was super windy!
Of course, we had to take our first picture as a family of FOUR! Baby Deux coming in December :)