We went to Destin, Florida, again this year. I'll be honest. It's my favorite beach! This year was a tad disappointing though because there was a lot of green yucky floating in the water. I love the beach, but I just don't do green yucky. It didn't seem to bother Mason and Hannah Kate. But Destin is still my favorite beach!
I remember going there when I was growing up. One of my favorite memories as a child is the annual vacation my parents always took us on. Year after year, summer after summer, they always made a way for us to go on vacation. One year . . . I don't think I was in school yet . . . we went to the Smokey Mountains. I have to be honest. I've always loved the beach more! I remember going to Panama City and staying at the Fiesta Inn. I think that's what it was called. I loved going to Shipwreck Island. I remember the "haunted house." And then sometime around 4th grade or so, they discovered Destin. So that's where we went. We'd always stay at the Jetty East condo. And then when we were older . . . teenagers . . . we'd take the boat and spend a week in a cabin on Lake Burton in the north Georgia mountains.
Did I mention how much I love the beach?! So just like my parents used to do for us, Seth and I are making it a priority to take the kids on vacation each summer. And it just so happens that Mason and Hannah Kate love the beach as much as I do! Now Seth . . . well, he's probably more of a mountain kind-of-guy. But there aren't any mountains within a decent driving distance of south Louisiana. So the beach it is for us. For now.
My favorite thing? Besides spending time together, just the four of us . . . away from everything that defines our daily routine . . . is the smile plastered on Mason's and Hannah Kate's faces the entire time we are there! It's like they're discovering the beach all over again for the first time. This has been a difficult year for us. Seth's job has required him to travel a lot more than usual this year. Since January 1, he has been home only eight weeks. So we really needed this time together. I hope, one day, that Mason and Hannah Kate will look back on our time together at the beach as fondly as I do of the days I remember with Daddy, Mama and Rob.We spent a day at the water park . . . strolled along the pier . . . ate seafood while listening to the sounds of the waves splashing against the sand and watching seagulls soar through the air. But we mostly just played on the beach. Everyday.We also played putt putt one night. I thought I'd never seen anything cuter than a bunch of 5-year-olds playing t-ball. But maybe I was wrong. That's because I hadn't yet seen a 3-year-old playing putt putt! Let's just say Tiger Woods might be jealous. Or not!And then, of course . . . the white-and-khaki-sunset-beach pictures that everyone takes when they go to the beach because that's what you're supposed to do . . . that I'm trying to take myself. And I am no photographer. And then a nice man notices that I'm taking the pictures and am not in any of them so he asks if he can take a picture of the four of us. It won't make the Christmas card, but it's a nice memory anyway!Last year I was supposed to do white-and-khaki beach pictures. But I forgot. Until the day we left. So I dressed Mason and Hannah Kate accordingly, and we went to take pictures the morning we left. Only we got out there and then the batteries in my camera were dead, and we didn't feel like exerting the effort to go buy new batteries . . . so we never got any white-and-khaki beach pictures. The dress that Hannah Kate is wearing in these pictures . . . is the dress I had bought for her to wear in last year's pictures that never happened.Until next year . . .