My brother-in-law is in the Navy and he and my sister were recently transferred to Florida. Florida – a place with beaches, palm trees, and home to two of our favorite people. Our family hadn’t taken a real vacation in almost 5 years so we decided it was high time to make the “sacrifice” and pay them a visit. We are so proud of Kelsey and Johnathon and thankful for their sacrifice and service!
We loaded up the minivan and began the long trek from our little midwest town. Since our kids are 5, 3, and 20 months old, we weren’t sure what it would be like to put them in a car for over 10 hours. A plethora of books, crayons, movies, and snacks helped them tolerate their car seats like old pros and we were soon pulling up to our destination.
After months of being apart, it was wonderful to see Johnathon and Kelsey again! One of the best moments from the trip was seeing the boys run to hug their aunt and uncle.
Now that the boys are all old enough to enjoy it, we were anxious to head to the beach. The weather during our week in Florida was wonderful and we were able to spend quite a bit of time enjoying the sun, sand, and water.
Super W probably gained leg muscle from the amount of time that he spent jumping in the waves. At first, Humorous H was solely interested in throwing sand into the water. As he watched his little brother playing in the waves, though, it wasn’t long before he was doing the same. Their squeals and laughs were a beautiful sound to me. Little L seemed to have a love/hate relationship with the beach. Each time we went, it took him awhile to warm up to the new environment but he would eventually become more comfortable and willing to play (usually around the time we were ready to pack up for the day).
Kelsey and I have a love for musicals and so we were excited to be able to go see one of our favorites, “Annie Get Your Gun,” on the stage! We got prettied up and headed out for our night on the town.
Our first stop was dinner at a sandwich truck. The food was amazing and the outdoor atmosphere couldn’t have been better.
We bought tickets for the front section online and were thrilled to realize that we were seated in the first row!
Our elation at watching the play from some of the best seats in the house was short lived due to the theater overbooking the seats of season ticket holders. We went from the front to the very top balcony!
Nevertheless, we enjoyed the show (especially when we were told that we would be watching it for free due to the seating error)! After all, “there’s no business like show business!”
One of our favorite vacation outings was to the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. Our boys love planes and so it was a real treat to walk among them. The museum is well done and a kid-friendly place since we were allowed to touch most of the planes. There were even various cockpits available to sit in and imagine what it would be like to fly one.
Speaking of imagination, Eric and Johnathon rode in a simulator and had the opportunity to “fly” a jet! If you’re ever in the Pensacola area, this museum is a must!
Johnathon and Kelsey gave us one of the best gifts we can receive as parents – a date night! If you know parents of young ones and want to do something for them, forget anything material. Give them uninterrupted time together! As our kids were in good hands, we were sent off to “The Melting Pot.” It was our first time to eat there and we loved the experience. We were told not to be in a rush to come back but, after eating the four course meal, the only thing we wanted to do after dinner was get in stretchy pants and relax!
We were able to spend six days in Florida. I really wish that time DIDN’T fly when you’re having fun, but it always does. Before we knew it, it was time to head back home. I think that having good company made our vacation seem to go by faster than normal.
I miss Kelsey and Johnathon terribly, but it’s nice to have something to look forward to since we’ll see them again during Christmas time!
This has been our best family vacation to date. I can’t wait to share my most “treasured” vacation memory with you in my next post!