Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Six Reasons I Love the Beach

You may get the impression from my last post that I Hate the Beach.  I actually love the beach but I just have a different point of view now that I have to take my children with me on vacation.  Although there were some low points, we did have some wonderful moments on our trip to Florida.  So now I give you...
Six Reasons I Love the Beach!

1)  The View - Sitting in a chair on the beach, staring out at the clear blue water and listening to the crashing sounds of the waves was my favorite way to spend my day.  In spite of the kids, I managed to take a few walks along the beach in the middle of the day to just enjoy the scenery. 

2)  The Slower Pace - Because we were on vacation, I had more time in the mornings to spend doing the things I enjoy, so I went running.  Running barefoot on the white sand, with only the crashing waves as my soundtrack, was a completely different experience than running in my neighborhood or in the park.  Having my husband running alongside of me was also a luxury of going on a family vacation.  We ran a little slower, enjoying our time together and the beautiful white sandy beach.   
Trey on the beach after our morning run. 

3) Trying New Things - Vacation is a time to try new things, like new restaurants, new beaches... or if you are my daughter, the Zip line and SkyFlyer.  Sophia decided to leave her shy, timid self at home and unleash the daredevil inside of her on vacation.  

Sophia on the zip line.  I think my heart was beating faster than hers. 
Sophia was so excited for the SkyFlyer with her Daddy!

Trey asked if she was scared and she replied "No Way!"
Amazing!  I was so proud of her and she LOVED it!

4)  The Food - We tried some amazing new restaurants while we were in Florida.  We ate on the front porch at Borago in Grayton Beach, which was perfect for the kids. An old favorite is The Crab Trap, another family friendly restaurant which is right on the beach and has an outdoor play set to occupy the kids while the adults grab a drink at the outdoor bar. 

The Crap Trap in Destin, FL
My favorite dinner was our adults night out at Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach.  It is in a very exclusive new development and had a European feel.  Everything we ate was excellent and I would highly recommend this restaurant for a date night. 

Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach

5) Late day beach trips - After a hot day of playing at the beach, we would head back inside around 2 or 3 PM to take a break from the heat.  After a few hours of rest, I like to head back out on the beach.  This time of day the sun is not as strong, the ocean seems calmer, and families tend to cluster their chairs together at the edge of the ocean.  

My beautiful daughter on the beach, late in the day.
6)  The Family pictures - Every year I make our family take pictures on the beach.  We have lots of pictures of the kids playing in the sand or swimming in the ocean during the day, but I like the shots that we take on the beach of our entire family together.  Because we had some fights about taking family pictures earlier in the week, I put this off until our last night at the beach, right before we went to dinner.  I am not ashamed to say that we bribed Sophia by telling her she could wear pink Barbie high heels to dinner at the restaurant.  I am also proud to say that I LOVE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS!

To avoid a meltdown, we allowed Bunny in our family picture.  I guess she is part of the family!
Look at Trey and Tallen, they stand exactly the same!

It may look like a smile, but Tallen is trying to scare Calvin (our photographer) in this picture. 

I wonder how much longer she will let me hold her like this.
My baby, Tallen.  I promise one day you will love the sand!

What is your favorite part of a beach vacation?  What beaches do you like to visit?  How has having kids changed your family vacations?  I love getting comments!

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