Kidtopia.

We spent most of last week making our children’s dreams come true, as we attempt to do every year.

Okay we attempt it every day but at least once a year we actually succeed – and more often than not, it’s on this trip.

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The time had come for our formerly-semi-annual-but-now-annual beach trip with their best friends, AJ and Tessa (and their parents and a babysitter. But our kids may or may not realize there are other people present on the trip.)

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We cannot discuss this year’s trip without first going in reverse to look at the prior trips. Because they were just so dreamily adorable.

2008….

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2010

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…Including a new addition.

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2012

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…Had another new addition.

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2014

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2015

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And 2016, where we now have children the ages of almost 10, 9.5, 7, and 5.5.

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And yes, Noah’s wearing the same swimsuit as 2015.

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And yes, Noah did smile charmingly for one single solitary picture.

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Our two original tagalongs have done a lot of growing, both in their height and their eternal best-friendship.

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We went to Florida this year – to Seagrove Beach on 30A, to be specific. The perfect road trip stop on the way to 30A is the gem that is Florala,

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and their lovely park.

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It’s the perfect place for a quick stretch-your-legs break.

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And I do mean quick because it doesn’t take very long to crave the lovely air conditioning of the car again.

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We arrived at the beach house and the children were beyond thrilled to find that the owners of our rental house were absolutely obsessed with televisions – there was one in every room, plus one in each of the four bunkbeds in the girl’s room. This discovery led to some epic mixed media chilling – four televisions plus two tablets on vacation where there aren’t screen limits? They found it nearly as exciting as the gorgeous beach.

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This was the first year that Noah had his own room (usually we split the kids by siblings pairs, but we let the three girls use the bunk room.) He was a little distressed by this arrangement before we arrived, but once he saw how BIG his bed was, and that he had HIS OWN TV and EVEN A CHAIR in his room and OH MY GOSH IT HAS A BALCONY(!!), he was one happy little man. As were all of his cars, which had plenty of room to stretch out and line up.

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Parenting really is all about the marketing.

We managed to drag them away from their many sources of Disney Junior to enjoy the fabulousness of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Although the kids didn’t seem to mind, the first day was a bit disappointing for us grownups who were looking forward to the shockingly clear waters of 30A, because there was quite the seaweed population happening.

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However, the water recovered by the next day and the seaweed moved on to irritate some other spoiled vacationers, and we were rewarded with the water we had been waiting for.

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It is really just stunning to experience in person. All you who haven’t visited the Alabama / Florida Gulf of Mexico shoreline need to give it a try. Tomorrow.

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We were even rewarded with a growing-smellier-by-the-hour puddle/stream that was perfect for placing a sandcastle right in the middle of it.

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We took a babysitter again this year, an upgrade that I highly recommend. Giann got to do whatever she wanted all day while we played with the kids, and then at night, when the kids were way too tired to go out to eat, the four parents got a nice quiet double date out.

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During the other quite necessary rest times (Florida sun is exhausting, y’all), the smaller pair thoroughly explored all of the televisions,

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And the older two stayed in the bunk room doing crafts and perfecting their three different secret codes utilized for sending messages back and forth in their between-bunk delivery system.

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Chris, myself, David and Ashley and I used the kid’s daytime chill time to swap up and pair up for runs and bicycle rides, discovering such delights as the house from The Truman Show,

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And the local wildlife enjoying the other local wildlife.

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I also woke up on our last day and took a long run, giving me the intense enjoyment of watching the sunrise as I ran.

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And speaking of sunrise, you know I enjoyed sunset every night. And you’re just waiting for those pictures, right?

Wednesday night was creepy and stormy,

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Thursday night was demure,

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Friday night was a show-off with its many stages,

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And Saturday night was determined, fighting off an incoming storm and wall cloud to get its sunset in first.

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As this last sunset was enjoyed on one of our double dates, we swapped out taking each other’s sunset couple pictures – because that’s what you do on a dreamy vacation.

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But really. Seriously. The trip was totally for the children.

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Comments

  1. Oh my gosh gorgeous pictures!!! Looks like lots of fun!

  2. This looks like the perfect trip! Friends for the adults and kids and a babysitter to boot! Definitely sounds dreamy!

  3. Love the memory pictures and all the new ones! So glad you two families can share these special times together. Priceless!

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