Destin Vaca: Day Six Beach and Pool Fun

We decided that we’d spend our last day just relaxing around the condo.  We had done so much every day filling each day to its fullest, and we just wanted to have an easy agenda.  So, we set off to the beach to enjoy the sea and sand, and a picnic lunch.  Boy did we get a work out carrying lunch, towels, four chairs, an umbrella, and… oh yeah two kiddos!  It was a lot of work for just a few hours of fun, but well worth it.  Both boys love jumping waves, and playing in the water.

After spending a few hours at the beach, we decided that it was time for Mason to get a nap in the stroller and for Parker to enjoy the pool for a little bit.  Parker had such a blast in the pool.  He was kicking and learning to swim.  He even loved being thrown in the air and splashing back in the water.

After dinner, we decided to take a walk, and head next door where we stayed last year at Silver Shells to see if anything had changed in a year.  Sure enough, they had put in a nice playground on their property.  The kiddos enjoyed running off some energy before night fell and it was time to end our vacation.

We had such a wonderful time, and we loved some of the simple things that we did… like reading a new favorite book “snuggle puppy” and acting silly before bedtime, watching the boys have fun with their grandparents, and listening to the boys laugh and giggle at each other before bedtime.  It was a nice relaxing time, and Parker said it best when he would continually say during our trip “I want to go on vacation AGAIN and AGAIN!”.

Destin Vaca: Day Five- Seaside and Feeding Gators

We decided after breakfast that we would make a day trip to Seaside, FL.  Dan had heard from a work colleague that it was a cute quaint little town with nice shops and a beautiful beach.  We decided it would be a nice place to walk around, have lunch, and sight see.  It was about 30 minutes from Destin, so it wasn’t too far.  I absolutely loved the charm this cute town had.  We enjoyed walking around in and out of the cottage looking shops, and taking in the beautiful scenery of the seated areas around the park shaded by beautiful trees.  The architecture was a coastal cottage feel with simple lines, and traditional details.  It was a great place to relax and take a stroll.  Mason decided to take a crash in his stroller while we walked around, which worked out perfectly.  We got to enjoy a walk through a local school garden where they were growing flowers, veggies and fresh herbs.  Emeril was there teaching that day, but we missed him!

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Pizza Bar that was right off the beach.  It had a beautiful open air seating area in the back with inviting plush comfy seating.  That coupled with the beach breeze and delicious gourmet pizza made for a perfect lunch!

After lunch, we headed back to the condo to relax a bit.  Parker ended up taking a nap in the car, so on the way to the condo, Dan and I decided to peek at some of the nearby homes for sale.  Hey, a couple can dream, right? We enjoyed driving around and admiring the new communities being built with exterior showers to rinse the sand from your toes after a long day at the beach. Ah, what a life that would be!

Since it was the last night for Dan’s parents in town, we decided to take them over to Fudpuckers to have dinner that evening and feed the gators.  It’s not a fancy restaurant by far, but its fun for kids, and the gators are pretty entertaining.  Everyone had fun feeding the gators and enjoying their meal.

Destin Vaca: Day Four- Two Stop Boat Ride in the Jetties

After making a delicious breakfast in the condo of eggs, bacon and pancakes for the family, we all relaxed on the balcony and watched the kiddos play.  Dan bought Parker some Snap-its that pop on the ground, so they had fun popping them all over the patio while I finished up my coffee, and Mason ran around handing Dan and I the remnants.

We decided to head back to Harbor Walk after breakfast for an afternoon boat ride.  They had a three hour tour that included a ride to an area for shelling where they had hundreds of hermit crabs everywhere.  It was so fun to scoop them up and let Parker see them, and search for shells.  We found an entire colony on the shoreline and it was amazing to see all the different shells that they live in.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures since we were actively in the water when we encountered all the beautiful shells, but we have one picture of the area we were in.  It doesn’t look very pretty with the green mirky waters, but I promise you it was a jewel!

After hunting for sea shells and visiting the hermit crabs, we headed towards the Jetties where we were able to see lots of dolphins along the way. Once we got to Crab Island, there were snorkels and kayaks on the beach for use.  The boys had a great time playing in the water and on the beach.  Dan took Parker for a little kayak ride and then I took a turn after him.  It was a nice relaxing time.  Dan’s parents decided to relax on the boat and enjoy the amazing views from there.  The water was perfect and the weather couldn’t have been better.  We all had a wonderful time.

The kiddos were pooped on the boat ride back.  Parker started to fall asleep, but managed to say he wasn’t tired, and Mason somehow wiggled too much to allow for snooze time as well.  It ended up working out though, because we decided to put them to bed early, and let the grandparents get dinner early.  That way they could stay with the boys as they slept while Dan and I had a date night.  It something we try to arrange while we’re on vacation so we can enjoy some one on one time.  Dan was able to exchange some Hilton points for a Ruth Chris Steak House gift certificate, so we enjoyed a nice elegant dinner at this upscale restaurant.  It was nice to get dressed up, and go to a place where we couldn’t bring the kiddos for a night to treat our self.  We ended it with a nice walk on the boardwalk, chatting about the endless possibilities for our next spring vacation, and It was a nice relaxing end to the day.

Destin Vaca: Day Three- Playground, Sprayground, Shopping and Nana & Poppy

We decided to have some fun at the outlet mall today.  Destin Commons is great, and it has a wonderful children’s area there with a soft play area outside, and a sprayground for the kiddos.  They have some nice restaurants and shops and it is a great place to walk around.  We decided to let the kiddos play first, then head to lunch.  They had a blast in the water! This is Mason’s first time being able to walk at a spray ground, and he took off without any hesitation!

Johnny Rockets had a nice outdoor seating at their restaurant.  So, after a fun time getting sprayed, we dried off the boys and put them in some nice warm clothes, and ate a nice lunch.

That evening we met up with Dan’s parents for dinner.  They drove in from Palm Harbor, FL to stay with us in the condo for a few days.  We decided to take them down to Harbor Walk, which is a beautiful area right on the harbor, with restaurants, shopping, and beautiful views of boats going by in and out of the inlet.  We had a great time visiting with them, eating dinner at Harry T’s while we watched all the boats, and feed the fish afterwards!

Destin Vaca: Day One- Soaking in the Sun and Sea

We decided to take it easy on our first full day in Destin.  We didn’t have a lot planned, so we just decided to make it a beach a pool day.  The boys didn’t object one bit.

After the beach and pool, and naps, we headed out to get some photos out front by the “Silver Shells” sign and headed to dinner at the Back Porch.  Not only does this place have AMAZING food, they have incredible views, too!  The kiddos loved their dinner as well, and their food was served on a frisby as a keepsake to take home.  What a great idea!

After dinner, we decided to indulge our sweet tooth a bit, and headed over to the Candy Maker and grabbed some small tempting sweets.

Destin Vaca: The evening of our Arrival

We had a great trip to Destin. Last year when we went, we had a 20 month old and a 2 month old, and that was a challenging car ride because of the constant need for nursing, and Parker not being as easily distracted by the DVD player.  We thought the ride may be challenging this year too, since this is our first road trip with Parker being potty trained, but we just asked him to go when we made our stops, and it wasn’t an issue at all.  We arrived around 5pm, ventured around the beautiful condo taking in the beautiful balcony views and the amazing large three bedroom condo with full kitchen.

After having an early dinner of locally ordered pizza, we decided to hit up the beach just to take a peek, and look at the pool, etc.  There is a fabulous restaurant right in front of the beach that has a cute little boat out back with slides to the sand.  The boys took full advantage of this.  They loved it! We hadn’t changed our clothes yet since we were just taking a walk, but I guess the boys had other plans.  Mason made a face plant into the sand only a few minutes into being out there, and it stuck to him like glue.  Dan went out to water to wash off his face, and Parker followed.  The beach was beautiful!  It had rained most the day, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell anything happened at all.  It was a nice welcome to Destin, and we got our sandy fun in early.

The boys had so much fun.  It was so needed after 7.5hrs on the road with little exercise.  They also had fun that evening sharing a room.  They were giggling up a storm and making noises back and forth. At one point I had to go in there to ask them to get some rest, and found that Parker had happily brought all his animals into Mason’s crib and had hopped in there with him.  How sweet!  A fun start to our vacation for sure!

Fun at Cogburn Park

Our friend Meagan, and her boys Rhys and Miles were heading to Cogburn Park one late afternoon, and texted to see if we wanted to join the fun…  and so we did.  I’ve been having fun with all the new things I learned with my camera since my class, so I decided to bring my camera along and practice a bit.


Get ’em bathed and send ’em to bed

Our busy, but most fun time of the day is when we get the kiddos ready for bed.  We usually eat dinner around 6, watch the evening news at 6:30, then head upstairs for some scrub a dub dub, then a bedtime show for Parker while I’m putting Mason to bed, and then it’s Parker’s turn.  We recently weaned Mason from milk before bedtime.  He now gets milk at dinner, and goes straight to teeth brushing after being put in his jammies, and then gets a few stories and songs before lights out.  Parker LOVES story time, and if I’m done with Mason and his “show” is still on when I come back to get him, he usually asks to go read books right away.  I love it too.  It’s the special alone time that I get with both of the boys that I enjoy.  Here’s some pictures from the last few nights that I’ve captured from our evening.

Mason was in a bit of a grumpy mood this night.  I think he was teething since he kept his finger in his mouth quite a bit.

Atlanta Zoo

Playgroup this week was at the Atlanta Zoo. We had been several times before with Parker, and he wasn’t much of a fan, so I’m not sure why I thought he would love it this time.  I mean honestly, he likes animals, but he’s just not that into you know, the basics… staying with Mommy without running off, riding in the stroller with screaming brother (who also would prefer to run away), or being asked not to climb all over fun fences that prevent little kids from being eaten by big animals.  You know, he’s typically pretty compliant too.  I feel bad that I was losing my patience pretty quickly with him because he wasn’t responding the way he typically does when I give him direction.  Looking back on it now, he wasn’t really being that out of line… he was just being a curious two year old, and I was being an over-bearing Mom with high expectations of how our “Zoo outing” should go.  Nevertheless, it was a memorable and fun outing, and among the craziness, I was able to snap some shots, which made it appear that we had a fabulous time.

Days in the Life

We’ve been pretty busy lately, and I feel like I’ve neglected my blog.  But that’s okay.  I always seem to pick back up where I left off some how and even though I’m a little late, it doesn’t make the updates less important.

The biggest change is that Mason is walking now! Wooohoo!  He took his first steps the day after his first birthday, and now he is cruising around, even recently learned to push himself up to stand from the seated position.  It’s so fun to see the boys run around together, give hugs in mid air while standing, and have fun chasing each other around.  A fun new milestone for sure!

I can’t believe that Parker’s last day of school is next week!  We enjoyed a beautiful spring concert with Nannie for Parker’s school.  He made our hearts happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”.  He was very enthusiastic and full of life as he did his hand motions and sang words to the songs.  He did so well!

We’ve been enjoying some family fun on the weekends.  Two weekends ago we headed up to Dahlonega for a nice family trip for the “Bear in the Square” Festival.  The boys had a blast eating at the Smith House, listening to fun bluegrass music, and looking at the craft tents.  It was sprinkling on the way up there, but turned out to be a beautiful sunny day.

Last weekend we had enjoyed “Touch-a-Truck” with the boys.  We got there right when it opened and even though it was already busy, we had a great time watching Parker enjoy all the trucks.  It was a nice outing for the entire fam!

Later in the day, Dan and the boys enjoyed some time together, while  my friend Jenny and I took a photography class together.  It was at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in one of their classrooms.  It was so informative, and I feel like I’ve learned a great deal about exposure.  I definitely have more to learn, and would love to take another class at some point, but I do feel like I have a much better grasp of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, and ISO.  I couldn’t tell you the definition of each, but I understand what to change on my camera to achieve certain desired shots in certain lighting and conditions.  Which is a huge step!  I’ve also learned hot to shoot in Manual mode, as well as some of the semi-automatic modes like TV and AV modes.

Sunday we enjoyed a birthday party for our neighbor who has twins turning 3.  It was fun and Parker enjoyed playing in the park and of course the yummy cupcakes they had.  I got a chance to test out some of the things I learned in my class with my camera.

After the party and naps, we enjoyed some time outside in the back yard.  The boys got a new pool this week since the last one was losing air.  This one is a little smaller, but came with a slide, which as a bonus that both boys loved.

I took advantage of my 50mm lens to take most of the photos of them playing that day.  They had a great time,  and I enjoyed capturing it.

That night for dinner we enjoyed some spaghetti with Italian sausage and garlic bread.  It was a yummy treat for the boys, and they couldn’t get enough of it.