"Relax and Enjoy" was written on the chalkboard as you entered the house. We added a "...that's what she said" and really set the mood for the week!
After 2 long days in the car we arrived at "the ocean's house" as Taylor would call it. The house exceeded our expectations. It was a beautiful, modern, million dollar ocean house. And it was ours for a week. Now, 8 adults and 5 kids seems like a pretty good ratio. But when all but one of the kids is in diapers and only 2 are walking it made for a pretty exhausting week. The two big boys were always into something entertaining: climbing in laundry baskets, pushing empty strollers, hiding in closets and playing duck duck goose with anyone sitting on the floor. The two one year olds enjoyed playing with toys, "borrowing" sippy cups and binkies, sleeping and eating (well at least Josiah did this for sure!). They both were the easiest by far, with 2 naps a day and sleeping till 7 or 8 each morning they adjusted very well to "beach time" and owned up to there first vacation! Baby Rider was a typical 3 month old. He slept, ate, laid on the floor, sat in the shade, and cried a little. He made his momma happy with some good naps and a few good nights.
Overall we went to the pool the most: nearly every day. We went to the beach twice to swim (a few more times we walked but didn't get in). Max did NOT enjoy his first experience with his feet in the sand. He grew used to it by our last trip and sat playing with toys for quite a while. On day 2 of vacation we were headed to the pool when I noticed that Max was burning up. Clark and I got him out of the car and immediately decided to take him back to the house. Motrin, tylenol, and a nap later he was as good as new. Or not. His fever kept coming back for 3 long days. It must have been some virus because we started antibiotics hours after his first fever and it didn't budge. As long as we kept him drugged he was fine, and really he still slept well and when fever free didn't even act sick.
The adults had only one rule. Kids in bed NO later than 8. And it worked out every night. On a few occasions Taylor would come wandering down the hall dazed and confused. He had this look like "why are you all still up?!" After 8 we would cook dinner, eat in peace, play cards and games or just sit and relax. We played our own version of Chopped. Each day one couple would get a list of 4 secret ingredients and had to prepare a meal for everyone in around 2 hours. (The best catch was no clean up and no kid duties for that night!) Clark and I got lemon, garlic, sour cream, and spinach noodles. We made our take on Filet Oscar: Sirloin Oscar... the filet was &18 a pound (did I mention you also had to pay for the groceries?!). We made a delicious crab bearnaise sauce for the perfectly cooked sirloin and spinach noodles with a toasted garlic basil cream sauce. Fancy, huh? It was the winner by a hair, second to Shrimp Scampi with the best noodles and garlic lemon sauce. The other 2 runners up: Grouper with an avacado fruit salsa and smashed sweet potatoes & "Armadillo Eggs" (cream cheese stuffed jalapeno inside a chicken breast then wrapped in bacon) with a peanut butter adobo sauce (first place for creativity) and jalapeno spoonbread. We had no lack for delicious food or good company.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:
"the ocean's house"
Max's first trip to the beach. His face is too far away to see the screaming.
Toes in the sand.
Second trip to the beach. Still kind of under the weather, so sleeping soundly in the stroller.
Third trip to the beach... finally warming up to it!!
Dinner at Toucan's. Max learned to feed other people and thought maybe Monkey wanted a puff. Aaahh!
Clark and I with our ocean view
Day 2, hour 18 of the 19+ hour car ride home. Max had EVERY toy in his lab... including daddy's police badge. Hope Chief Corwin doesn't see this :)
As far as the car ride goes, Max did surprisingly well. We brought along Baby Einstein, snacks, plenty of toys and lots of patience. Turns out we didn't need the patience. He was SO good. We maybe had 30 minutes total in the 4 days in the car where he was unhappy. Clark and I are not much for car rides so we plan on using the airport for any upcoming trips. But it's good to know our little man can make it both ways... as long as it's to somewhere fun!!!
Click here, here or here to read more about our trip as the other's post!
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